Figures released last week show that the number of children aged 5 to 9 admitted to hospital due to tooth decay, has risen to more than 26,000 between 2017 and 2018. According to ‘NHS Digital’ this has been the second consecutive year of admission for this age group.
However, the number admitted for other age groups has decreased since earlier years. For individuals between the ages of 1-4, the number of admissions has dropped from 8,281 to 7,666 in a matter of two years. Another age category showing decreasing figures are those who are 10-14 years old, where the number fell from a 7,303 to 7.060 between 2016 to 2018.
During 2016, the total of children in hospital with tooth decay was 44,047 ranging between the ages of 0 and 19. Shockingly, the youngest person admitted was less than a year old. Research found that hospital admissions for tonsillitis for children aged 5 to 9 was far much lower than the admission for tooth decay in 2017 and 2018.
Last month ‘NHS Digital’ data showed almost one in three (31.5%) 5-9 year olds did not visit an NHS dentist in the 12 months leading up to 30 June 2018.
Good oral hygiene is vital and should be taken seriously, but what is tooth decay and what causes it?
Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth), it is often a problem for individuals of all age groups. Major causes of tooth decay are from sugary foods and drinks as well as foods that get stuck in between your teeth like sweets.
The more sugar you consume, the more acid. The acid and sugar combine with the bacteria in your mouth causing plaque. Plaque weakens the enamel of your teeth leaving you vulnerable to decay.
To ensure good oral health, it’s important you brush at least twice a day as well as using mouthwash and flossing (if necessary). This helps remove plaque from the surface of your teeth as well as removing any remnants of food and reducing bad breath (halitosis).
If you or your child are living with tooth decay, speak to Mark Tangri Dental today on 0333 1234 999, let us talk you through some options.