1 in 4 kids has decaying teeth!

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

smiling boy
Nothing to fear from the dentist!

Have you ever forgotten to brush your teeth before hitting the hay? Or, been in too much of a hurry in the morning to wash your mouth? I suggest you buckle down and get to cleaning those chompers, because a new study from the Public Health England found that 1 in 4 five-year-olds are suffering from tooth decay in Britain.

Yuck, tooth decay! Is that what I think it is? Probably, because it’s exactly what it sounds like. Tooth decay happens when bacteria in our mouths feed on the food crammed between our teeth! Wait, then that means they’re getting rid of the bad stuff, so how’s that harmful? Well, after bacteria have filled their tiny little bellies, they produce an acid that decays pearly whites.

It’s a real shame that 25% of British kids suffer from rotting teeth, and it’s not just one tooth either. On average, children had between 3 and 4 decaying chompers. However, as terrible as that sounds, the numbers have actually improved since the last study. Prof Kevin Fenton, director of health and well-being at Public Health England said, “This latest survey shows the numbers of five-year-olds free from tooth decay have improved but there is still much to do, dental decay is preventable.”

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but there are some easy steps to prevent tooth decay. One simple way includes brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes (sing the ABCs twice if you don’t have a stopwatch). Also, cut down on drinks like fruit juice and soda; the sugar inside these beverages are a feast for the microorganisms in your mouth. Lastly, don’t eat so much candy! It may seem difficult to do at first, but before you know it, these helpful habits will have toothpaste commercials begging for your smile!

Featured image courtesy of Official U.S. Navy Imagery on Flickr. Image of smiling boy courtesy of John Dillweed on Flickr.