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Parents should supervise children brushing teeth for longer

Dentists are calling for parents to watch their children brushing their teeth until they are aged eight


The recommendation is included in a new report about the state of youngsters’ teeth in Britain.

Nearly 26,000 children between five and nine needed hospital treatment in 2013-14.

Worringly, that is a 14 per cent rise since 2010 – 11.

The Royal College of Surgeons said that teeth-brushing should last for two minutes twice a day.

Rotten teeth are the main cause for a visit to hospital for under-nines.

The State of Children’s Oral Health in England report points various factors for the decline.

Children not visiting a dentist until it is too late and decay has already started.

And not brushing them properly when they do.

Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ dental faculty, said: “It is absolutely intolerable that in this day and age, in a civilised country, children are having so many teeth out for decay, which is over 90 per cent preventable. 

“We need to stop talking and have action to bring several bodies together – the Royal College of Surgeons, Public Health England, NHS England, government and industry – to make sure we improve all aspects of oral health”.

The thousands of cases of bad oral health among children is having a knock on effect on hospitals.

Removing teeth of youngsters under 18 cost £30 million in hospitals in 2012-13.

Further recommendations from the report were adding fluoride to more water supplies, and schemes in school where children are shown how to brush teeth; something which has already been in operation in Scotland and Wales.

A Department of Health spokesman said overall dental health in children had improved in the past ten years.

He continued and urged parents to take up free NHS dentistry for children and regular check-ups.

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