Ilfracombe dentist shares heart-breaking tales as under 2’s undergo dental treatment in hospital

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A dentist from Ilfracombe, Devon, has shared her heartbreak over the state of children’s dental health. Vicki Jephcote sees children with extensive decay on a daily basis and has sent children younger than 2 years old for treatment under general anaesthetic in hospital.

Vicki, from Torrs Park Dental Practice, said that it’s not uncommon to see children crying because they’re in pain due to abscesses and infections. Children are also needing hospital treatment at an increasingly young age, with babies as young as 18 months old going in for procedures under general anaesthetic.

In England, approximately 170 children have teeth removed in hospital every single day, and this is a problem that is getting worse.

To combat decay, Vicki is urging parents to start taking care of their child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear, and to stick to regular dental checks from an early age. She also recommends using bottles for water only and providing children over 12 months old with a cup, rather than a bottle. Other tips include supervised brushing, using fluoride toothpaste that is suitable for children and asking dentists about preventative treatments, such as fluoride varnish and fissure sealant treatment. Diet is also incredibly important, and dentists like Vicki are encouraging parents to check food labels and moderate the daily intake of sugar. Many children are consuming the recommended intake from snacks alone, and this is contributing to soaring rates of decay.

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