Almost half of under four-year-old Australian children suffer from untreated tooth decay while thousands of dollars are spent to treat the problem, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has reported.

ADA president Dr Neil Hewsen noted that while there was a steady decline in childhood dental problems over the last 20 years, the most recent figures show an upwards spike. The jump in tooth decay in children has been largely blamed on sugary and acidic drinks and sugary snacks being marketed towards children.

ADA Oral Health chair Dr Philippa Sawyer described the situation. “If that many children had some other sort of disease, and remember that tooth decay is a disease, then it would be called an epidemic.”


Writer Tristan Boyd, Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.