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Children’s bad oral health is blamed on the parents


After it was revealed that 500 British children are admitted to hospital for tooth decay every week, dental surgeons have come forward to voice their concerns about this statistic. The figures, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) made for alarming reading and showed that a shocking 25,812 children between the ages of five and nine were admitted to hospital because of poor oral health in 2013/2014 – this is a 14% rise from 2010/2011.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, questioned parents that would leave their child in pain and added that dental decay was ‘a disease of poverty and disadvantage.’ Referring to the figures, Dr Carter said that the numbers were representative of the ‘North-South’ divide, and cited areas in the North West of England and Yorkshire, as the worst in the country.

Voicing his opinion on the cause of the problem, Dr Carter did not mince his words; ‘its pure parental neglect’ he says, and points the finger at the diets parents are feeding their children. He added ‘Parents must learn to check by reading labels… Things parents think of as healthy can be risky, such as sultanas or dried fruit, which are not only high in sugar but also sticky, so sugar stays in the mouth longer.’

With regards to dental hygiene, Dr Carter is concerned that children are not being taught how to brush their teeth, he says ‘Some parents don’t even provide a toothbrush or fluoride toothpaste and don’t supervise their children’s cleaning regime.’ Finally, he added that parents should take their children to the dentist at least once every six months for a check-up, so that they can avoid decay and hopefully a trip to the hospital for extractions will be unnecessary.

More than a third of youngsters in Warrington have tooth decay


Statistics from Public Health England have revealed that over 30% of young children in Warrington have decayed, missing, or filled teeth as a result of bad dental hygiene. Five-year-olds in the North West currently top the regional table for poor dental health, with around 34.8% of children suffering tooth decay. Although this figure has dropped from 38.1% since 2009, it is still above the national average of 27.9%.

The percentage shows that primary school pupils in the town have at least one tooth missing or in some stage of decay; the North West average is 1.29, compared to the 0.94 national average.

A council spokesman said ‘We recognise that Warrington is higher than the national average for tooth decay in children of five and this does cause us concern, that is why we are working with our oral health unit and local dentists to ensure children and their parents are educated on good dental health.’

He went on to advise parents to limit the amount of sugary drinks and snacks their children consume and to teach them how to brush their teeth properly every day using fluoride tooth paste. He also added ‘Work is on-going to promote good oral health through schools and children’s networks and dentists do apply a topical fluoride varnish to children’s teeth to help protect them against decay, this is applied every 3-6 months.’

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