Hospital operations on children with tooth decay surge by 20%
Last week we wrote about how the NHS was to ban sugary, fizzy drinks from sale in NHS hospitals across England. Now, almost as if it was to highlight our own concerns and to underline just how serious the problem of children with tooth decay really is … recent figures have revealed that surgeons are performing operations to remove rotten teeth from 170 children and teenagers – EVERY SINGLE DAY!
The report shows that there were nearly 43,000 operations to remove rotten teeth from children with tooth decay in English hospitals throughout 2017. That is a rise of almost one fifth over the past four years.
The true extent of this epidemic of extractions is in fact even greater because these figures only reflect operations performed under general anaesthetic in hospitals … they do not include the treatment of children with tooth decay at a dental surgery.
Experts warned that these figures are being driven by children’s huge sugar consumption. In other words, for the vast majority of children with tooth decay, the problem is entirely preventable!
We all know that given the opportunity practically all children will very happily binge on sweets, fizzy drinks and sugary snacks. It is, therefore, the responsibility of parents and other adults to limit the amount of sugar that children consume.
The British Dental Association also condemned health ministers for failing to act and said England has no dedicated national child oral health programme.
At Carisbrook Dental an important aspect of our Preventative Dentistry philosophy is to stress the importance of a sensible diet that limits the amount of sugar young children consume. Consequently, we take every opportunity to impress on parents and young children the dental dangers that can be caused by eating and drinking too much sugar … too frequently.
We also explain the importance of a good dental hygiene routine that includes cleaning advice and assistance with learning the correct brushing techniques. Also of great importance is that children should be encouraged to keep regular appointments with their dentist so that potential problems can be spotted and dealt with at the earliest opportunity.
At Carisbrook this approach really does work and we have to say that children with tooth decay are not a serious problem, neither have we ever had to refer a child to a hospital for teeth extraction due to tooth decay.
NHS England is already working with the dental profession, local authorities and health providers and has initiated ‘Starting Well’ a campaign targeted at high-need communities to help children under five to see their dentist earlier and improve their dental health.
At least it’s a start and what’s more, it is a movement that we wholeheartedly support. Let’s hope that it is the beginning of a new era that will see a real reduction in the number of children with tooth decay.
If you would like any further advice on dental hygiene, diet or how to prevent tooth decay, please make an appointment to visit one of our dental team. You call us on 0161 951 7295 or alternatively you can contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.