Leading Paediatric Dentist Concerned Over Spiralling Rates of Tooth Decay

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One of the UK’s leading paediatric dentists has shared her concerns for the future amidst a childhood decay crisis that is spiralling out of control.

Claire Stevens, an NHS dental consultant and spokesperson for the British Dental Association and the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry, described the current situation among the UK’s children as “heartbreaking”. Dr Stevens admitted that most weeks, she will see at least eight children who require multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic in hospital. In some cases, children as young as 2 years old need up to 20 teeth removed, all because of a preventable disease.

Dr Stevens attributes most cases of childhood decay to a sugary diet, with fizzy drinks and energy drinks being the main offenders. What many children and parents don’t realise is that every time you eat or drink something sugary, your tooth enamel comes under attack. Eating and drinking sugary items is particularly dangerous between meals. Dental problems are the leading cause of hospital admissions among children aged 5-9 years old and research suggests that many children have at least one fizzy drink a day.

Sadly, for many, grazing has become habitual and our modern diet is contributing to dental illnesses that could easily be prevented. The advice from experts is to stick to main meals and replace sugary cordial, fizzy pop and sports drinks with milk or water. Parents should also supervise teeth cleaning twice a day and ensure children attend regular dental visits.

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