One in six children leave primary school with rotten teeth after gorging on sugary treats and not brushing properly, figures reveal.
A survey of 53,073 10- and 11-year-old children found that 16 per cent had signs of cavities, and affected pupils had two rotten teeth on average.
The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities found stark disparities between deprived and wealthy areas, with deterioration rates of almost one in four (23 percent) in the poorest area, more than double the one in ten (10 percent) in the richest. .
About 3 percent of schoolchildren reported that they “often” or “very often” had pain in their teeth or mouth and 2 percent regularly had difficulty biting or chewing firm foods.
Wolverhampton has the highest percentage of children with decayed, missing or filled teeth – 42.7 per cent, compared to 12 per cent in the south west.
A survey of 53,073 children found that 16 percent had signs of cavities and on average two rotten teeth (file photo)
The British Dental Association accused ministers of “dragging” on policies that could reduce the “huge oral health gap” between children.
President Eddie Crouch said they “have failed to understand that decline and deprivation go hand in hand”, adding: “This government likes to talk about prevention but has offered nothing.” “He has promised access for all, but appears willing to spend money on specific seats in rural England.”
Labor health spokesperson Preet Kaur Gill said: “The Conservatives have let NHS dentistry rot, and now our children’s teeth are rotting too.”
He said Labor has an “all-cost plan to rescue NHS dentistry… paid for by abolishing non-dom tax status”.
Wolverhampton has the highest percentage of children with decayed, missing or filled teeth, at 42.7 per cent, the survey found (file photo)
Dr Helen Stewart, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, described the figures as “nothing short of appalling”, adding: “If we are ever to make real, sustainable change then we must get serious about putting end child poverty once and for all. .’
The Department of Health and Social Care said it invests £3 billion a year in NHS dentistry and that around 800,000 more children visited an NHS dentist last year.
It is also “taking preventive measures,” such as expanding water fluoridation to reduce cavities.