New figures have suggested that many children around the UK do not have adequate dental health. The number one reason why children aged 5 – 9 go to hospital is due tooth decay and 170 children and teens undergo tooth extractions in hospitals around the UK each day. February is National Children’s Health Month, so we thought we’d take a look at how to combat poor dental health in children in the UK.
Firstly, let’s take a look at a few further statistics regarding children’s’ dental health
- 25% of 5-year-olds have tooth decay, with an average of 3 or 4 teeth affected.
- The majority of tooth decay in children currently remains untreated.
- 1 in 4 children will have tooth decay when they begin school.
- Over 63,000 children between the ages of 0-19 were admitted to hospital for tooth extractions in 2014-2015.
Top tips for preventing tooth decay
- Reduce the consumption of food and drink that contains high levels of sugar and carbonated drinks. As the latter often have aspartame, a substance proven to be addictive, it can be challenging to prevent your child from wanting drinks like Coke, Tango and Fanta. Try to find healthy alternative or introduce moderation from a very early age.
- Make sure your child brushes twice daily and for 2 minutes – plaque and tartar starts to gather on the teeth after as little as 1 hour after eating. With this in mind, making sure your child brushes correctly is essential in avoiding gum disease.
- Take your child to the dentist when the first tooth erupts at about 6 months and bi-annually (at the very least) following this. If your child has any fundamental complications, your dentist here at St Peter’s Lodge may ask you to visit with your child more often than this.
- The NHS recommend that you should supervise your child’s brushing until they are 7-years-old.
It’s true that we know more than ever about our teeth and how to keep them safe, but new information linking the state of our teeth and overall health conditions (most recently, the link made between Alzheimer’s and gum disease) is always emerging and the mouth is undoubtedly a good place to start when ascertaining a person’s overall health. If you have any questions about to care about your child’s teeth, please do not hesitate to ask our friendly team here in St Albans.
If you would like more information about general check-ups at St Peter’s Lodge for yourself or your child, please do not hesitate to contact us.