When Toothbrushing is Not Enough To Prevent Decay

The Culprit: Too Much Sugar Intake

We were told that tooth brushing with toothpaste is one of the cornerstones of proper oral hygiene, complimented by interdental cleaning or flossing, enables the removal of plaque-forming debris. Towards the aim of preventing decay and caries, it is a widely accepted hygiene practice. So comes this latest research from the UK claiming that toothbrushing is not enough to protect children’s teeth from damage?

Published in the Journal of Public Health, a UK study found that the snacking habits of children under five years of age have the most impact on their oral health, even as parents rely on toothbrushing it does not suffice to prevent decay. Toothbrushing alone cannot protect children’s teeth from the damage caused by sugary food and drink snacks.

The research supports that snacking is unhealthy and confirms that snacking on sugary foods and drinks is the key contributing factor. Child and teenager tooth extractions reached record highs last year, equating to 170 hospital operations a day. The Local Government Association found that there were a little less than 43,000 hospital extractions in England for those under 18 years of age during 2016/17, almost a fifth over the last four years. The cost of extractions are a staggering £36 million every year. This is how severe the incidence of tooth decay is in England.

There is an urgent need to introduce measures to curb children’s sugar addiction. There must be innovative oral health education so that parents and children understand the impact of sugar on teeth and the importance of a good oral hygiene regimen. The British Dental Association is critical of the situation. It condemned ministers for a ‘short-sighted’ approach towards tooth decay when it should be reaching millions of patients. It pointed to the lack of a national oral health programme for children, unlike in Wales and Scotland.

The government is set to reduce the number of children having teeth extracted because of tooth decay and plans to implement a sugar tax by April on soft drinks with the most added sugar. Their world-class NHS dentists are also playing a vital role to improve dental hygiene in the child population.

Concern About Children’s Sugar Intake in Bellingham

Bellingham dentistry is just as concern with our pediatric cases, seeing the rise of tooth decay incidence. We strongly advocate sugary food and drinks reduction among kids for a healthier future adult population.