A Quarter of Kids Still Have Cavities When They Start School, Despite Falling Rates of Decay

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The number of 5 year olds who have dental decay has fallen, but experts are calling for more to be done to tackle cavities. Although there has been an improvement in the last decade, a quarter of children still have cavities by the time they start school.

Statistics from Public Health England show that the percentage of children affected by decay has fallen from around 33% to 25% since 2008. However, thousands of children across the country are visiting hospitals for treatment under general anaesthetic each year. 1 in 40 children requires hospital treatment for decay, according to figures.

Speaking after the release of the data, officials from Public Health England said that there was still a long way to go to reduce rates of decay and prevent hundreds of children from ending up in hospital.

Experts have encouraged parents and children to cut sugar intake and adopt good oral hygiene habits. Dentists are also eager to stress the importance of regular dental visits.

The North West was the worst-affected region and rates were lowest in the South East. In Liverpool, public health experts have launched a campaign to educate people about the sugar content of popular drinks. Posters have been put up all over GP and dental surgeries and children’s centres to warn people about the alarming sugar content of drinks made by manufacturers such as Lucozade, Coca Cola and Tropicana. Children are only supposed to have a maximum of 5-7 cubes of sugar per day, but a standard 500ml serving of Lucozade contains 15.5 cubes.

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