13 Oct 2017
"Record teeth extractions in under-4s"
A record number of children are having teeth removed before the age of four because of decay, according to the Irish Dental Association (IDA).
IDA vice president Dr Anne Twomey, who said the HSE caters for the oral wellbeing of children "very poorly", believes the situation could be even worse than in England, where baby teeth removals are up 24% in a decade.
She said: "Having teeth extracted can cause so many problems. After they’ve been pulled, the holes close up and when the permanent teeth come down, they can do so in bizarre ways, even through the palate, and often they need significant orthodontistry later in life."
The HSE says 8,601 inpatient dental procedures were carried out on children under 15 in 2012, not counting minor surgical procedures under local anaesthetic and procedures at private dental practices like Pembroke Dental.
The IDA therefore believes the real figure is much higher. Dr Twomey said children should see a dentist when they turn one, when problems can be picked up and prevented from the beginning.
She said: "Often children are only brought to the dentist when they are in pain, as an afterthought, when they’re fighting dreadful infections and going through such pain.
"I had a one-and-a-half-year-old come in to us and all of his teeth, which he had had for less than six months, were decayed and had to be extracted."
In the past decade the HSE has introduced initiatives aimed at improving children’s oral health, including a commitment to fluoridated water, which strengthens the enamel in teeth.
It says it is working on a code of practice for food advertising, and liaising with the food industry to reform and reduce sugar content in processed foods.
However, Dr Twomey said not enough is being done. She told Independent.ie: "Our diet in Ireland has changed beyond recognition since a few decades ago. We consume so much sugar now and often hidden sugars. Many parents don't realise just how much sugar is in their diluted drinks, their children's apple juice and orange juice.
"Follow-on-milks and sugary yoghurts marketed specifically towards children are also large culprits in the increased number of very young kids, sometimes at young as one-and-a-half, having to have their teeth extracted because of decay."
- Beautiful teeth on the big day
- Tips from our skincare expert: Protecting your skin from the sun
- Five minutes with our hygienist, Lina Ziliene
- What does GDPR mean to me?
- Why should I go for a hygiene appointment?
- Prosecco and teeth - what’s the deal?
- Caring for your feet
- Invisalign - the nearly invisible alternative to braces
- Planning a summer holiday this year? Don’t forget your teeth
- The Mouth is the Mirror of the Body
- New website focuses on patient needs
- Five-minutes with our Periodontist, Dr Phillip Christie
- Understanding costs
- What is a smile makeover?
- Five minutes with Rachel Murphy
- The social media generation
- Getting them off to the right start
- Five minutes with Dr Davina Graham
- Keeping kids teeth healthy!
- Fastbraces in Leinster
- Five minutes with Dr Lisa Doyle
- Double award win for Pembroke!
- Braces aren’t just for kids
- Getting greener with your dental health
- Ultherapy, the facelift without needles
- We’re having babies later than ever
- The world’s oldest dentist is a Neanderthal
- The Celtic roots of Halloween
- Need a mouthguard for the Schools Fitness Challenge?
- Poor diet behind one in five deaths
- Scientists: smiling makes you better
- How to stay safe with Botox and dermal fillers
- Carlow men urged to get checked for high blood pressure
- We’re getting wiser about sugar
- We think our kids deserve better
- How dogs domesticated humans
- Men, remember to service your chassis once a year
- Proud end to Carlow’s All-Ireland campaign
- Handle mail order braces with care
- Nine weeks left for our Invisalign girl Natasha
- How our new scanner makes your life better
- Welcome to our new Bunclody dental practice
- Meet Karen. You can ask her anything
- Into the future with an Intero Digital Scanner
- Meet our new treatment co ordinator
- Invisalign Open Evenings in March
- Rejuve moves to Pembroke
- Best Child Friendly Practice!
- Making the shortlist
- Double Celebration
- Open Evening at The Granby Clinic
- Our travelling dentists
- Spooky Halloween snack ideas
- Teen Week
- Specialist Hearing Aid services now at The Granby Clinic
- What would we do without you?
- Invisalign Open Day
- Braces on a Saturday!
- Best Practice 2016
- Five Pembroke Dental entries shortlisted for 2016 Irish Dentistry Awards
- Physical therapist joins Granby clinic
- Team Spirit
- If you've got it covered, so have we!
- Elisa and Naoimi pass with flying colours!
- Thank you Carlow!
- A new face in town
- Foot care now available @Granby
- Pembroke Dental's new baby @Granby Dental
- Pembroke Dental Laboratory offers Valplast
- Periodontist and Implant Specialist joins Pembroke
- Congratulations to Kayla!
- Second Practice of the Year Award