Dental health among our youth is slowly improving in the Southern Trust, however, thousands of children’s teeth are being surgically removed each year.
According to statistics furnished to the ‘MAIL’, 6,122 teeth were removed from children under 18 in the southern region with only the South Eastern Trust with a higher number. It involved 1,365 cases in 2012.
This compares to 6,025 teeth surgically removed in the trust area during the previous year and involving 1,339 young people.
However, the peak year was 2010 when 7,061 teeth were removed from 1,585 cases.
The Southern Trust was only surpassed by the South Eastern Trust who had 6,604 teeth removals in 2012 involving 1,711 young people.
A Trust Spokesperson said: “A poor diet high in sugary foods and drinks is the main cause of tooth decay. Parents, families, schools, food and drink manufacturers, health care providers, government agencies (and others) all have a role to play in improving children’s oral health.
“The Trust is committed to working in partnership with schools and others to improve children’s oral health.
“We run programmes to provide free fluoride toothpaste and toothbrushes to children in pre-school playgroups and primary schools and provide training for staff to carry out daily toothbrushing programmes with the children attending. We also work with Health Visitors on a separate programme funded by the local commissioning group to distribute toothbrushes and toothpaste to children and families attended by health visitors in the Trust.
“We also participate in programmes to ensure that prevention of tooth decay is included in initiatives about: healthy eating, obesity prevention, food labelling, diabetes management, training for other health professionals and many more.”