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UK Against Fluoridation

Saturday, April 07, 2018

UK - Over 400 children in district had teeth removed due to decay last year, figures show

MORE than 400 children across the district had a tooth removed in hospital last year due to dental decay, new figures reveal.

According to Public Health England (PHE) data for 2016-17, 437 children in Bradford district had rotten teeth extracted in hospital. The figure stands at 7,080 for Yorkshire and the Humber and almost 40,000 for England, which means around 141 children are being operated on across the country every working day.

PHE called on parents to protect their children’s teeth by swapping sugary soft drinks for healthier alternatives, as the Government’s sugar tax came into force.

The official response to the “tooth decay epidemic” has been “woefully inadequate”, the British Dental Association (BDA) said. A total of 39,010 youngsters aged 0 to 19 had teeth removed due to preventable tooth decay last year, the figures show.

The number is almost unchanged from 2015-16, when 39,278 had extractions for that reason. But tooth extraction remains the most common reason for hospital admissions among five to nine-year-olds, PHE said.

Dr Sandra White, dental lead for PHE, said: “It’s upsetting to see so many children admitted to hospital with tooth decay, but swapping out sugary drinks could be an easy win for busy families.

“Parents can also help prevent decay by making sure their children’s teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and reducing how much sugar they’re eating and drinking.” Energy and fizzy drinks are one of the main sources of sugar in children’s diets, according to PHE’s Change4Life campaign.

Parents are advised to swap the products for less sugary alternatives including water and low-fat milk. Haworth dentist Dr Tony Kilcoyne welcomes the sugar tax. He said: “It’s a great idea and overdue. While education is important in the long-term, in the short-term this will help.

“I think it will have a huge impact. Already ahead of it, the good food and drink producers are reducing sugar.”

But Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, criticised the tax. He said: “It fails to address the issue of excessive sugar in fruit juices, milk-based drinks and multi-packs and also does not generate any funds to improve oral health education in the UK.”

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