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Highlighting child tooth decay

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Highlighting child tooth decay

Almost nine out of 10 hospital tooth extractions among children up to the age of five are due to preventable tooth decay, according to new Public Health England (PHE) data.

PHE is advising parents to swap sugary drinks and foods for healthier alternatives and ensure children’s teeth are brushed twice daily, using fluoride toothpaste.

While children’s sugar intake has declined slightly in recent years, it is estimated that children are still consuming the equivalent of eight sugar cubes more than the recommended daily limit, increasing risks of obesity and illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.

In the report, PHE found that there were 59,314 tooth extractions in 2017-18, of which 38,385 were because of tooth decay. This compared to 61,301 in 2016-17, of which 39,010 were for tooth decay.

Dr Max Davie, officer for health improvement at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “Despite being highly preventable, tooth decay remains a significant public health issue, particularly in deprived areas where children are three times more likely to experience severe tooth decay due to higher sugar diets and poorer oral hygiene.”

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