Half of Australia’s 12-year-olds have tooth decay in their adult teeth, and more than half of 6-10 year-olds have decay in their baby teeth.
High rates of sugar in many of the processed foods are kids are eating are to blame, along with sugary drinks replacing water in lunchboxes.
More than 26,000 Australian children are hospitalised each year for problems related to dental decay. Dental disease is the single largest cause of preventable hospital stays among our kids, and is the single most common disease affecting our kids.
Reducing the amount of sugar kids consume is one of the simplest steps parents can take to set the next generation up with healthy teeth for life.
Here's what dentist and health advocate Dr Steven Lin has to say about tooth decay and children:
“In my experience I've found children who suffer from childhood decay not only suffer dental scars, but the mental scars to go along with it. There's nothing worse for a dental practitioner than to have to extract an abscessed tooth from a child. It's an experience that stays with a child for life and has long term consequences beyond their mouth.
The childhood mouth exists in a balanced equilibrium with the developing bones (jaw) and soft tissues. When a child loses a tooth due to decay, the space is often lost for the permanent which may affect the normal facial growth.”
Learn more about sugar-related diseases here.