William Eichler 15 April 2016

The UK is facing an ‘oral health crisis’, LGA warns

The UK is facing an ‘oral health crisis’, LGA warns image

New figures reveal hospitals are spending millions on dealing with children’s rotting teeth, forcing council leaders to urge the Government to take tough measures to curb the consumption of sugar.

In 2014/15, hospitals spent £35m on multiple teeth extraction in under 18s. This was a dramatic increase on the £21m spent in 2010/11. Overall, in the last five years, nearly £140m has been paid out dealing with rotting teeth.

More than 100 operations to remove teeth in children and teens are taking place each day in hospitals rather than dentists, due to the severity of the tooth decay.

Council’s argue excessive consumption of fizzy drinks and foods high in added sugar is behind the increase in tooth decay, and they warn more children will be forced to miss school to attend hospital for an operation.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing spokeswoman, said: ‘Our children’s teeth are rotting because they are consuming too much food and drink high in sugar far too often.

‘Nearly half of 11 to 15-year-olds have a sugary drink at least once a day. As these figures show, we don’t just have a child obesity crisis, but a children’s oral health crisis too.’

Youngsters in the UK consume more soft drinks than their peers in other European countries, with 40% of 11 to 15-year-olds drinking sugary drinks at least once a day. Poland is the second highest at 27%, and Germany third with 18.5%.

Under-10s get almost a fifth of their sugar intake from soft drinks and for 11 to 18-year-olds, that figure is nearly a third.

The LGA calls on the Government to tackle such high levels of sugar consumption with better labelling on soft drinks and a greater availability of water in nurseries, schools and colleges.

‘Poor oral health can affect children and young people’s ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with others,’ Cllr Seccombe said.

‘Having good oral health can help children learn at school, and improve their ability to thrive and develop, not least because it will prevent school absence.’

The LGA has previously called for children to have more access to tap water in schools and childcare settings to help limit the consumption of fizzy drinks.

Tackling mistrust about vaccines image

Tackling mistrust about vaccines

Dr Justin Varney looks at how Birmingham is working to tackle the ‘layers upon layers of mistrust’ among ethnic minority communities that is ‘now playing out in vaccine hesitancy’.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Greater Cambridge Partnership Head of Innovation

Cambridgeshire County Council
£70,026 - £75,644
The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is responsible for transforming Greater Cambridge through a City Deal.. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Residential Worker - The Maples, Harlow

Essex County Council
£20604 - £26801 per annum + + 6% allowance & Possible Ovetime
Residential Worker - The MaplesPermanent, Full Time£20,604 to £26,801 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Estate Services Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,556.79 per annum
The role of an estate services officer will provide candidates with an important role within... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Social Worker Level 1

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£34.884 - £37.722
You will be a social worker who has had experience or enthusiasm to work with older people with mental health needs. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Managed Stores Contract Coordinator

City of York Council
£27,614 to £30,602 per annum
An excellent opportunity has arisen with City of York Council for an experienced Contract Coordinator to help... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue