British Dental Health Foundation Highlights Neglect As Cause of Alarming Rates of Decay Among Children

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The UK’s leading dental charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, has suggested that child neglect is a major cause of the alarming rates of child dental issues. The allegation comes after it was revealed that almost 500 children are being admitted for hospital treatment for dental conditions every week in the UK.

Figures from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre show that dental issues are the most common reason for paediatric hospital admissions and there has been an increase of 15 per cent in the number of cases reported in the last three years. According to the most recent statistics, 25,812 children were admitted to hospital for dental treatment in 2013/2014.

In light of the alarming headlines, the British Dental Health foundation has suggested that parents are not paying enough attention to their children’s dental health. Decay is almost always preventable with the help of a good oral hygiene regime, regular dental visits and a healthy diet, yet thousands of children suffer from dental decay and some children are having up to 20 teeth extracted in hospital under general anaesthetic.

Chief executive of the BDHF, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said, “It is a case of child neglect” and suggested that parents are allowing their children to consume fizzy drinks, sports drinks and sugary foods on a daily basis, which is contributing to a very high risk of decay. Dr Carter also said that parents need to be more diligent when it comes to oral hygiene and suggested that children should be supervise when brushing and encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.

Dr Carter also stated that many parents are waiting too long to take their children for dental check-ups. Many are waiting until their child is in pain until they book an appointment, rather than keeping up with 6 monthly check-ups from the age of 1-2 years. NHS dental treatment is available free of charge for children.

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