Is tooth decay in children down to mums giving too much sugary drinks, too much sweets or poor teeth hygiene?
More than one in 10 three-year-olds have tooth decay, the first survey of the age group shows.
Public Health England researchers checked the teeth of nearly 54,000 children at nurseries, children’s centres and playgroups.
They found 12% of children had evidence of tooth decay. These youngsters had an average of three teeth that were decayed, missing or filled.
Large variations were found from place to place in the study.
In one area – Leicester – 34% of children had tooth decay whereas in others it was only 2%.
Researchers also said that some children had a particular type of decay known as early childhood caries.
This affects the upper front teeth and spreads quickly to other teeth. It is linked to the consumption of sugary drinks in baby bottles or sipping cups.
What you have to say on tooth decay in children
Mum Sarah says: I have 3 happy healthy girls who have sweets at times but all brush their teeth morning and evening and yet I have 2 girls with perfect teeth but the middle daughter has wonky, odd teeth.
So I’d have to say it could just be in their genes. I’ve always encouraged good routines with brushing and flossing and mouthwash but it doesn’t always work.
My middle daughter is under the dentist and despite they can see she brushes regular they said “it’s one of them things” and needs extra dental appointments.
I’d hate to see a parent saying it’s down to the parents if kids have bad teeth and then their kids got a hole or wonky teeth to be honest.
I don’t even have to ask my kids to brush morning and night and yet I have 1 out of 3 with wonky uneven teeth despite the fact we all eat same foods and brush same amount of times.
Even a dentist will tell us sometimes teeth are different, just same as our kids are all different. Gum disease and tooth decay in children are just as hereditary as heart issues.
What do other mums say?
Is tooth decay in children the parent’s fault?
Gina – I think it’s a bit of everything, to be honest.
Linda – I think it’s down to poor hygiene, because if you have good teeth hygiene there’s no reason for it.
Jodie – If people eat too much sugar, including fruit, and then brush teeth straight away you are brushing acid straight into the enamel of the teeth.
Cathy – My younger brother never brushed his teeth ever, and goes to the dentist and his teeth are perfect, I brush every day and mine are awful.
Gina – It’s hard because my friend brushed her kid’s teeth 2 times a day but he drank coke every day and had sweets and his teeth went rotten.
Gemma – My kids have one sugar-free juice a day and milk or water and don’t eat a lot of sweets. They brush teeth twice a day and my little girl 6 has holes in her front teeth.
Louise – Not always as it’s too much fruit as well, there’s surprisingly a lot of natural sugars and acids in fruit. My little sister had a lot of tooth decay because of poor diet, she was very fussy and didn’t get the nutrients she needed.
Jessica – When they are younger then yes tooth decay in children is the parent’s fault but when older probably a bit of both.
Becca – I believe it’s the parent’s fault to be honest, especially if the children are young.
Chloe – It’s a bit of everything, as fresh fruit and fresh juice ruins teeth just as easily as coke, it is a no win situation.
Jeymia – I believe it’s down to both drinks and poor hygiene. Not brushing properly, not teaching children to brush properly, not ensuring that they are doing so. Diet does play a part, but good teeth hygiene is important.
Prolonged use of bottles and dummies, and offering juice in bottles. Even sports type bottles. Offering milk/juice in the night is also a huge part. Tooth decay in children can be avoided.
Samantha – Sugary drinks hidden sugars and poor oral hygiene (obviously tooth brushing with a young child can be challenging) will both cause decay. I’m sorry but poor oral hygiene is a factor in decay, there are also factors beyond control for example medication given to the child and there is an antibiotic that if given in pregnancy can cause problems with the unborn baby’s enamel.
Suzy – I disagree with this debate, tooth decay in children can not be blamed on the parents. My poor daughter has to have 10 teeth removed next Friday and it’s not due to sweets, as she hardly has them.
It’s also not due to poor hygiene as that child is forever brushing her teeth but due to being on antibiotics for so long as a child and it’s really ruined her teeth.
I was just stating it is not always down to poor hygiene and sweets, had an argument with one of the parents at school due to this as she used my daughter as an example of why her kids should brush their teeth and her little girl came and told me.
But like I said it isn’t always down to hygiene and sweets.
Tammy – It can be anything. I’ve always had good tooth hygiene but hasn’t stopped them falling apart due to crap diet and weak teeth on my mum’s side. My eldest I’ve always had trouble with his as he’s autistic and only does it once a day yet his are perfect. Can be a number of things.
Sarah – My almost 9-year-old is going to need braces and through no fault of hers nor her diet. It’s genes at end of day.
Is tooth decay in children down to mums giving too many sugary drinks, too many sweets or poor teeth hygiene?