A local dental expert has reacted strongly to new data that shows an increase in the number of children having teeth removed in hospital.
The analysis, published by the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, shows a 24 per cent increase in the number of under-fives having teeth extracted under anaesthetic, from 7,444 in 2006/7 to 9,206 in 2015/16.
Dr. Robert Witton is Director of Social Engagement and Community-based Dentistry at Peninsula Dental (PDSE), a social enterprise with a mission to improve oral health across the South West.
He says: “It’s a very sad fact that more and more children are being admitted to hospital with dental problems – 848 in Plymouth alone in 2015-16. Too much sugar in diets and poor oral health habits are contributing to these shocking results. Tooth decay in children is largely preventable by reducing sugar intake, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and routine dental visits.”
PDSE is proactively working with families to support them in achieving good oral health through dedicated children’s clinics at its Dental Education Facilities (DEFs), where students from Plymouth University’s Peninsula Dental School treat NHS patients under the supervision of qualified and experienced dental health professionals.
The award-winning social enterprise aims to ensure access to dental care for all, especially those groups who may feel excluded from mainstream dentistry.
Recognised nationally and internationally for its groundbreaking work in oral health, PDSE spearheads initiatives to tackle the growing problem of childhood tooth decay, such as brushing clubs in local schools and the ‘Open Wide and Step Inside’ campaign.
Further information about children’s clinics is available by phoning 0345 155 8109, weekdays from 9am until 4.30pm.