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UK Against Fluoridation

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

MP's call for action as nearly 500 Cumbrian children have surgery for tooth decay

Nearly 500 Cumbrian children went into hospital last year to have teeth removed, new figures show.
Allerdale and Barrow were the areas worst affected by the problem, with the areas seeing 89 and 177 children respectively go into hospital to have teeth surgically removed.
One Cumbrian MP has now called for Government action to tackle what he says is a rising tide of childhood tooth decay, causing other serious health and social problems.
Copeland’s Jamie Reed said that five-year-olds in Copeland are four times more likely to have tooth decay than those living in the constituency of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Despite the problem being easy to beat – with regular brushing and adequate fluoride exposure – it is now the number one reason in the UK why children aged five to nine are admitted to hospital.
In Copeland, the rate of hospital extractions rose sharply in the last four years, with 64 children last year undergoing the procedure. Figures also show that 28 per cent of children in Copeland have not seen a dentist for more than two years.
Ideally they should have a check-up every six months.
Independent studies have shown that problems with teeth can have a lasting impact on children’s school readiness, impair their nutrition, development, and ability to socialise with other children.
Experts say poor oral health eats into a child’s confidence. Mr Reed called on the government to invest more in dentistry, delivering what he called “a real strategy for oral health”.
He said: “Inequalities in the oral health of British children are truly shocking. It is simply not acceptable that tooth decay – an entirely preventable disease – is the number one reason our children are admitted to hospital.
“Politicians need to work with dentists, teachers and parents to ensure we can keep healthy teeth in healthy mouths, and give children the best possible start in life.”
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, chairman of the general dental practice at the British Dental Association, said: “Ministers have viewed oral health as an ‘optional extra’ for far too long.
“The time has come for the government to come up with a coherent strategy and an NHS dental contract focused squarely on prevention.”
The number of hospital tooth extractions in Carlisle last year was 36, while in Eden 30 children had the procedure.
In South Lakeland, 54 children had the procedure.
Across the county, the total number of hospital extractions for children last year was 481.


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