Children have their rotting teeth removed in hospital

Children aged 10 and under in the East Riding of Yorkshire had teeth removed in hospital 35 times.
Children aged 10 and under in the East Riding of Yorkshire had teeth removed in hospital 35 times.

Young children in the East Riding of Yorkshire had rotting teeth removed in hospital dozens of times last year, figures show.

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) called the figures “horrifying”, while health experts are urging parents to cut down their children’s sugar intake.

Children aged 10 and under in the East Riding of Yorkshire had teeth removed in hospital 35 times between April 2017 and March 2018, according to the latest NHS data.

Of those, seven out of 10 were to remove teeth rotted by preventable decay - 25 in all.

That gives a rate of 67 such procedures per 100,000 population. Across England, the rate is 425 per 100,000.

Children in parts of Yorkshire and the North West were the worst affected, according to the British Dental Association, with Doncaster having the highest extraction rate at five times the national average.

The BDA also said the official numbers are likely to underestimate the true scale of the problem.

BDA chairman Mick Armstrong said: “Children’s oral health shouldn’t be a postcode lottery, but these figures show just how wide the oral health gap between rich and poor has become.”

Most children are consuming more than double the daily recommended sugar intake of five cubes, according to Public Health England (PHE), which can have a serious impact on oral health.

PHE dental lead, Dr Sandra White, advised parents to “make a swap when you next shop”, replacing sugary drinks, yoghurts and breakfast cereals with low-sugar alternatives.