The cost of removing decayed teeth in young children has soared by 66 per cent in the last five years, leading to fears that young children’s ‘sugar addiction is spiralling out of control’, according to new research.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils, is demanding tougher action to tackle sugar addiction and urges the Government to address the issue in its forthcoming childhood obesity strategy.
This includes a reduction of sugar content and teaspoon labelling of sugar content in soft drinks, and greater availability of water in nurseries and schools as an alternative to soft drinks.
Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's community well-being spokeswoman, said: “Our children's teeth are rotting because they are consuming too much food and drink high in sugar far too often. Nearly half of 11 to 15-year-olds have a sugary drink at least once a day. As these figures show, we don't just have a child obesity crisis, but a children's oral health crisis too.
“What makes these numbers doubly alarming is the fact so many teeth extractions are taking place in hospitals rather than dentists. This means the level of tooth decay is so severe that removal is the only option. It goes to show that a good oral hygiene routine is essential, as well as how regular dentist trips can ensure tooth decay is tackled at an early stage.
“Poor oral health can affect children and young people's ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with others. Having good oral health can help children learn at school, and improve their ability to thrive and develop, not least because it will prevent school absence.”
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