With the excitement and sugar overload of the Easter holiday period now behind us, it is good idea to remind ourselves just why the ‘sugar tax’ is being introduced. Public Health England has this month released statistics showing that a child in England has a rotten tooth in hospital every 10 minutes- about 141 children per day- and that doesn’t include those taken out every day in general dental practice.
The No.1 reason for a child to be admitted to hospital for a General Anaesthetic in England is tooth decay.
This is dreadful.We all know that having a ‘sweet tooth’ is part and parcel of childhood, but the ready availability of sweet, sugar laden snacks and drinks is leading to an epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, in addition to tooth problems. Sadly and shamefully we are amongst the worlds worst. In short, as a nation, we are failing our children.
The good news is that this is so easily preventable.
Here at Beckenham Dental Centre we run child orientated oral health sessions with the dental hygienist or therapist, helping educate local children from a young age in the importance of good food choices, and teaching them how to brush their teeth. We are also able to visit local schools to help educate and increase awareness amongst those children who may not yet have visited the dentist! Please contact us to arrange a session for your child.
Our team work with parents and children in order to prevent decay in the first place, and we stress the importance of regular 6 monthly check-ups for our child patients at this vulnerable stage of their development. We can advise on diet, as well as recommend supplemental fluoride and/or preventative fissure sealants where appropriate. We also reserve slots especially for school age children after school and in the holidays, and we advise you to book your next visit before you leave.
In order to reduce our sugar intake, parents and carers should limit children’ snacks to no more than 2 per day, and replace unhealthy sugary snacks with healthier foods. Parents are encouraged to visit the ‘Change4Life’ website launched by Public Health England, which has useful swops and tips and includes a downloadable scanner App to enable us to see the sugar, fat, salt and calories in many popular foods and drinks.
With a few changes we can make a healthier future for our children, free from the distress of tooth pain.