New research conducted in line with National Smile Month reveals the cost of baby teeth has risen by over 43 per cent
If you think the price of a cup of coffee in London is too expensive, spare a thought for the Tooth Fairy, who currently shelling out an average of £1.58 per tooth to the nation’s children in exchange for clean and healthy gnashers.
With roughly 15million baby teeth falling out of kids’ mouths each year, this amounts to approximately £23.7million annually, a whopping 43.6 per cent more since 2011 (£16.5million).
The survey, which was conducted by the Oral Health Foundation, spoke to more than 2,000 parents across the UK as part of the charity campaign National Smile Month, which is working to promote good oral health in children.
“The Tooth Fairy business is increasingly lucrative and has seen major inflation in recent years, but it is really important that children are mindful of just how precious the baby teeth they are placing under their pillows are,” says Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation.
“The health of children’s baby teeth and their oral health in adulthood are closely linked, so it is vital that a child’s mouth is kept clean and healthy. We want to see children’s milk teeth fall out naturally and healthily, free from signs of decay.”
Are children brushing their teeth properly?
Statistics from the Local Government Association revealed earlier this year that there were nearly 43,000 tooth extractions in the last 12 months, an increase of nearly a fifth compared with four years ago.
“The main culprit in the UK for baby teeth needing to be extracted under general anaesthesia is tooth decay, caused by poor diet and oral health routines,” adds Dr Carter. “Diet plays a huge part when it comes to oral health and unfortunately many children are consuming too much sugar, too often, which results in rotten teeth that have to come out.”
Dr Ben Atkins, a Manchester-based dentist and Trustee of the Oral Health Foundation advises: “It is essential that good oral health starts from when the very first baby tooth emerges and continues throughout childhood and into adult life.
“Try your best to limit children’s snacking and replace unhealthy sugary snacks with healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables. The Change4Life mobile app is a fantastic tool you can use to achieve this.
“Children should understand the value of looking after their teeth and have fun doing it. If you struggle to get your children involved or enthusiastic about brushing with a fluoride toothpaste then consider using songs, games or mobile apps which they can brush along to.
“Don’t hesitate to take you children to the dentist at a very young age, even if they accompany you on one of your appointments, regular visits will help you to gain information, advice and are essential throughout childhood and beyond.”