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New figures show that over 25,000 British children visit hospital for dental treatment


A new report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre has revealed that more than 25,000 British children aged between five and nine have been admitted to hospital for tooth extractions as a result of tooth decay. This number is an increase of over 3,000 from 2010/2011.

The British Dental Health Foundation has spoken about this worrying trend and chief executive Dr Nigel Carter OBE, described it as ‘incredibly worrying’ and commented that it is ‘unacceptable’ that these children were not being taken to the dentist from the age of two or three, as is suggested by dental professionals. He added that a child’s first visit to the dentist should not be left until they are in pain and they need to have numerous teeth extracted to combat the decay, Dr Carter commented that this would ‘[set] the child up for a potential lifetime of poor dental health and dental phobia.’

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, the responsibility for arranging dental care lies with the parents and Dr Carter maintains that it is down to them to stick to basic oral hygiene principles to avoid problems with their child’s dental health. Finally, Dr Carter says ‘Tooth decay is entirely preventable through nothing more than a few very basic oral health messages’, including a visit to the dentist on a regular basis. Parents should also encourage children to brush their teeth every day for at least two minutes using fluoride toothpaste and reduce intake of sugary foods and drinks to protect the teeth.

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