Figures Reveal Children in Leicester have Worst Teeth in the UK
Recent figures have revealed that children in Leicester have the worst teeth in the UK.
The findings, published by the Dental Observatory and the North West Public Health Observatory, show that the average five-year-old child living in Leicester has at least two rotten or filled teeth, which is significantly higher than the national average of just over one tooth per child.
Local dentist, Philip Martin, said he had seen a child aged just six who had to have all their teeth removed as a result of extensive decay and added that he sees children with serious dental problems almost on a daily basis.
Mr Martin is the vice-chairman of the committee that represents dentists in Rutland and Leicestershire. Members are extremely worried about the high rates of decay among children, especially as poor oral hygiene habits tend to progress into adulthood and dental problems are associated with a higher risk of serious conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. The committee is now campaigning for a specialist in public health to be appointed, as the role is currently empty after being downgraded by the Primary Care Trust over the last three years.
Mr Martin has shared the concerns of the committee with NHS Leicester and NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland and he also spoken to the county council’s health overview and scrutiny committee.
A statement from the Primary Care Trusts said that it was not cost-effective to employ a public health consultant due to budget cuts in public health spending. However the trusts recognise that rates of decay are alarmingly high and are working to encourage parents to take their children for regular dental check-ups and have invested more than £2 million in dental services in the last two years.
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