Dental experts: Tooth decay in children has reached “epidemic” proportions

ToothAccording to a report in the Daily Telegraph, tooth decay has reached "epidemic" proportions in NSW, with dental experts saying that teeth deterioration is forcing an increasing number of toddlers, as young as 18 months, to undergo dental work which entails expenditure in thousands of dollars.

Going by the information forwarded by dental experts, parents are spending up to $5,000 on crowns for their children whose teeth start showing signs of deterioration even before they start going to preschool.

Noting that untreated tooth decay affects nearly 50 percent of Australian children below four years, Dr Philippa Sawyer - Chairwoman of the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Oral Health Committee - said: "If that many children had some other sort of disease, and remember that tooth decay is a disease, then it would be called an epidemic."

With the NSW Health figures revealing that 40 percent of the under-5 children suffer from untreated decay, an NSW Health spokeswoman said that tooth decay in many children begins even before their first birthday.

Commenting on the rather disquieting statistics, the ADA president Dr Neil Hewsen said the main cause for the tooth decay in toddlers is the spread of sugary, acidic drinks and snacks. Hewsen added that the ominous situation warrants the need of 'shock advertising campaigns,' like those about smoking and skin cancer, for creating awareness about the problem.