Tooth decay on the rise in young children
According to a national survey conducted by Public Health England (PHE) one in every eight children aged three or under have decaying teeth.
In some parts of England, as many as a third of children under three have dental decay, and many of these youngsters have around three teeth that are decayed, filled or missing.
It was found that the East Midlands, the North West, London, and Yorkshire and the Humber are the four regions with the highest levels of teeth decay in under threes.
In Leceister, a shocking 34% of children showed signs of tooth decay.
These findings were revealed after experts checked the dental hygiene of more than 50,000 children during 2012 and 2013.
It was noted that a high proportion of those checked showed signs of early childhood caries – a type of tooth decay that affects the upper front teeth and spreads quickly through the mouth.
Significantly, early childhood caries is linked to the consumption of sugary drinks in sipping cups and baby bottles.
Health officials are now warning parents to drastically limit the number of sugary foods and drinks they give to their children to avoid causing permanent damage to their dental health.
The PHE also advises that parents and carers should begin brushing their children’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. This should be followed by close supervision of brushing until their children are at least seven or eight years old.
Sandra White, director of dental public health at PHE said:
“Tooth decay is an entirely preventable disease, which can be very painful and even result in a child having teeth removed under general anaesthetic, which is stressful for children and parents alike.
“Thankfully, tooth decay in children can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle; by parents and carers reducing the amount of sugary foods and drinks they give their children and supporting them to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, especially just before bedtime.”