Many under 5s are at risk from tooth decay, according to a survey published by charity Action for Children.
Two in five parents (42 per cent) in the South East give their children sugary drinks like squash and cordial at least once a day, exceeding the maximum recommended daily allowance of five sugar cubes for children of that age.
A statement from Action for Children said: “The polling of 2,000 parents across the UK also found that although only 7 per cent of parents in the region allow their children to have fizzy drinks every day, one in five think it’s okay to give them ‘healthy’ snacks such as raisins daily without taking into account how much sugar they contain.
“When asked how many times a year parents take their children to the dentist 23 per cent responded that under 5s are too young to be visiting the dentist, despite the fact that baby teeth need as much care as adult teeth in order to avoid a lifetime of poor oral health.”
The charity aims to launch educational sessions and provide take-home packs for ten thousand children across the UK from August 2016 to August 2017 to raise awareness of the importance of oral health and help children develop an effective oral hygiene routine.
Action for Children managing director Carol Iddon said: “Too many children continue to be badly affected by poor oral health – but being able to smile with confidence is important for a child’s self-esteem and lifelong physical health. We need to provide the opportunity for children and families to develop a better understanding of the importance of oral health. Prevention can help avoid unnecessary pain for children and save parents and the healthcare system money.
“Our fun and informative workshops will aim to provide the opportunity for children and families to develop a better understanding of the importance of oral health and the practical skills they need to maintain it.”
For tips on how to get children into a brushing routine visit https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/how-you-can-help/smile-back/
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