Parents and carers of children, including au pairs in London, have been reminded of the importance of making sure they are brushing their youngsters’ teeth properly after figures showed an alarming number of teeth were removed last year.
According to Public Health England (PHE), 14,545 tooth extractions took place between 2017 and 2018 among those under the age of five.
It also found that 12,783 of these extractions were the result of tooth decay, which could have been easily prevented if good oral hygiene had taken place.
Indeed, 90 per cent of all removal procedures are caused by tooth decay among zero to five year olds. What’s more, this disease resulted in at least 60,000 days missed off school due to surgery.
Dr Sandra White, dental lead for PHE, said excessive sugar intake, as well as poor dental hygiene, has a big impact on teeth.
Despite more people being aware of how much sugar their children should eat, kids are still typically having eight sugar cubes more than they should a day.
“Parents can help reduce their children’s sugar intake by making simple swaps when shopping and making sure their children’s teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste,” Dr White suggested.
The NHS recommends children aged four to six have no more than 19g of free sugars a day, which amounts to five sugar cubes. It does not offer guidelines for kids under the age of four, as carers should aim to avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and foods to babies and toddlers entirely.