According to new research, more children are having to get their baby teeth removed, before the teeth can fall out naturally. The research, conducted by the UK’s Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS), part of the Royal College of Surgeons, came up with the following findings, as reported by The Telegraph :
- There were 9,206 tooth extractions performed on children aged four and under in 2015-16, an increase of 24 percent since 2006-07.
- Of the 84,086 tooth extractions on four-year-olds and under between 2006-07 and 2015-16, 47 were performed on babies under the age of one.
- Tooth extractions on children aged nine and under reached more than 34,000 in each of the last two years.
- Despite National Health Service dental treatment being free for under-18s, 42 percent of children did not see a dentist in 2015/16.
The underlying cause for the increase in dental extractions is exposure to sugar, including juice and soda, from infancy. Analysts agree that if midwives, nurses, parents, and even general practitioners could be more aware of the high sugar content in products like fruit juice, these staggering statistics could be prevented. That’s why the FDS is working on directing a significant amount of the Soft Drink Levy, a tax on manufacturers who use sugar in their products, toward education.
“Tooth decay is preventable and we can all take action – this includes limiting sugary food and drink, making sure children brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially before bed, and visiting the dentist regularly,” Public Health England’s Dr. Jenny Godson tells The Telegraph.
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