Four year old boy loses teeth even before starting pre-school

ONE of the most distressing things I see as a dental hygiene therapist are young children whose teeth are in such poor condition that extraction is the only option.

This happened only recently at the practice where a new patient, a four-year-old boy, had to have several decaying teeth removed. His poor mum was wracked with guilt because she thought she had made the right choices for him, but was forced to concede that she should really have known better.

It’s an all-too familiar experience and is deeply upsetting for all concerned. But where should the blame lie for incidents like this and what can be done to minimize the chances of generations of children requiring such drastic dental treatment?

In my view, it is too simplistic to lay the responsibility at parents who are often as tempted as the rest of us by clever marketing campaigns and eye-catching supermarket promotions which encourage us to eat and drink the wrong things. What is important to me is to promote healthy choices and take action swiftly before it really is too late.

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The British Dental Association (BDA) is certainly taking all this very seriously indeed and has recently launched a new campaign to name and shame those food outlets which promote cheap sweets and fizzy drinks to young children.

Called ‘Make a Meal of It’ the campaign proposes restrictions on the availability of such advertising in a bid to slash the excessive amount of sugar that youngsters in the UK consume.

It includes a BDA web link to a supermarket ‘wall of shame’ which lists key offenders and gives dentists access to a templated letter to send out food outlets spelling out their concerns.

Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the BDA, even goes so far as to accuse some retailers of putting profits before health and disregarding the ill effects of their products by dangling temptation in front of children.

If you feel just as strongly about this issue, you can add your name to a government e-petition launched by the BDA which calls for urgent action to tackle the problem.

We know that as a parent, the health of your children’s teeth will be of paramount concern to you, but there are lots of ways to ensure you are making the right choices for them as they grow and develop.

Avoid unnecessary extractions for you children and to ensure healthy teeth for life, call in today to Synergy Dental Clinic or free help and advice.

Remember, we are all only given one set of adult teeth. It’s our duty and responsibility to look after them!

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