One in seven toddlers have tooth decay because parents don't realise they need to clean brush them


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New parents are being warned to clean their baby’s milk teeth after it emerged one in seven young children are suffering from tooth decay.

A new study found 14 per cent of three-year-old children had a decayed, missing or filled tooth.

Dental health experts say parents are unaware they need to brush from the first day their tot’s teeth emerge.

Maria Morgan, senior lecturer in dental health at Cardiff University , said: “People don’t realise that you should start that early.

“No book can prepare you for life when you have a baby.

And dental health experts say even milk teeth need to be brushed twice a day (Image: Getty Images)

“When that lands on your plate - with all the different things you have to do and fit in - brushing teeth might not be the highest priority in the day.

“Sometimes it can get left. The messages might not be getting to everybody.”

Cardiff University carried out a study of 1400 sets of parents. This revealed that only 75 per cent brushed their children’s teeth twice a day.

Mrs Morgan added that even milk teeth should be brushed morning and night.

She added: “We are having some children at five, six or seven who are having five, six, seven, eight, nine teeth removed in one go.

“There are some children who are having teeth extracted under general anaesthetic, that’s approximately 8,000 children a year.

“It shouldn’t be that great a number.”

Mother Leah Ennis, 29, of Bridgend, south Wales said she was given no instructions on how to keep her children’s teeth healthy when she first became a mum.


She said: “Growing up I was shown good dental hygiene that I can pass onto my children but not everyone is.


“ Pregnant women could be given this information through pregnancy.

“I didn’t see anything up on the wall in hospital waiting rooms - that would be a good place to start. I had no information from midwives.

“If parents aren’t told they’re not going to go and look for the information.”