Council leaders call for ‘radical action’ on sugar as new figures show there were more than 40,000 hospital operations to remove rotting teeth in children and teenagers last year.
Latest annual data on NHS spending in 2015/16 has revealed there were 40,800 extractions of multiple teeth in under 18s in England – the equivalent of more than 160 a day – at a cost of more than £35.6m.
This is a 10.7% rise in the number of operations from 36,833 in 2012/13, which from 2012 to 2016 has cost the NHS a total of £129m.
The Local Government Association (LGA) warned excessive consumption of sugary food and drink and poor oral hygiene is likely to be a major cause behind the high number of cases.
They have called on Whitehall to tackle this by reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks and introducing teaspoon labelling on the front of products.
The LGA also said councils should be given a say in deciding how and where the revenue from the soft drinks levy is spent.
‘These figures are a stark reminder of the damage excessive sugar consumption is doing to our children’s teeth,’ said the chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe.
‘The fact there are more than 160 operations taking place each day to remove rotting teeth in children and teenagers should be a wake-up call to the urgent need to take radical action on our nation’s addiction to sugar.’

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