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BBC: Number of children needing dental care high
Updated: 4/13/2009 1:00:25 PM

BBC: Number of children needing dental care high New data released last week has found what some may describe as a startling dental health statistic in the U.K.

Since 1997, approximately 30,000 children have had dental care at various hospitals for either tooth decay or to have teeth pulled, BBC reports. According to the study, the peak age for children needing teeth removed was age 5.

Professor David Moles, who led the study at Plymouth's Peninsula Dental School, said the increase in dental care hospitalizations occurred "despite rates of tooth decay and infection remaining steady," according to the article.

One of the reasons given for the increase in hospitalization was what some health officials called a "lack of access" to dentists, forcing some families to go to the hospital.

The poor dental health trend in the U.K. may serve as a reminder to parents in the U.S. to get their children to administer routine teeth cleanings and to schedule dental checkups at least twice a year.

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, according to the American Dental Association. If left untreated, it can lead to other serious health problems in the future, such as heart disease and diabetes.

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