Tens of thousands of young children have had decayed teeth removed in England’s hospitals over the last four years – recent headlines on Sky News said:
Overall, there have been 128,558 cases of children aged 10 and under needing one or more teeth out since 2011, the figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show.
For those children aged five and under there were 14,445 extraction cases from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015, and among those aged six to 10, a further 19,336.
Overall, in 2014/15, there were 33,781 cases – up from 32,741 in 2013/14, 31,275 in 2012/13 and 30,761 in 2011/12.
Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, said the overall 9.81% increase was “unacceptable” and we certainly agree.
As a family practice most of the children’s tooth care should be at best preventative, and worst, general maintenance.
But the data that’s made the headlines shows a very different scenario. The need for tooth extraction continues to be the number one reason why five to nine-year-old children are admitted to hospital.
Prof Hunt said the “issue urgently needs to be addressed, especially since 90% of tooth decay is preventable.”
So much decay is preventable. Families need good dental discipline – if parents go for regular dental check-ups, so do children; at least that’s our experience.
In 2013 there was a dental survey commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre which also threw up some scary figures.
The study, carried out every ten years, is seen by people like us as a good barometer of children’s dental health.
But this is what it revealed: Nearly half of eight-year-olds and a third of five-year-olds have signs of decay in their milk teeth.
It also showed that 46% of 15-year-olds had decay in their teeth.
Tooth decay is still a severe, preventable disease and this survey echoes the need to urgently reduce the number of sugary snacks and drinks in our children’s diets.
We are deeply concerned that for many, the message of good oral health is not driving home and we have an alarming number of UK children stacking up problems for their future oral health.
Our children need to brush their teeth at least twice a day and understand the benefits of flossing and eating the right kind of snacks.
At North Street Dental we have some excellent Dental Plan schemes for children and teenagers.
Our price for 3 to 10-year-olds is just £3 per month, rising to £6 for 11 to 18-year-olds. Check it out and make sure your children’s teeth get the attention they deserve. It’s a lifetime investment.
Want to know more? Have a chat to Chloe on reception, our Practice Plan Champion on 01384 254067.
Website Updated: 23/09/2020
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