Health Minister tells the House of Commons he hopes to get the number of Brummie kids getting their teeth extracted down
Health Ministers say they want fewer Birmingham children to have teeth removed, after it emerged the number of extractions has shot up.
Birmingham Cross City Community Commissioning Group (CCG) – just one of three health authorities in the city – commissioned 1,464 hospital admissions for teeth extractions for children in 2015/16,.
This up from 795 in 2014/15. And the numbers have increased SEVENFOLD since 2010/11, when there were 208 hospital admissions for tooth extraction.
Concern about the huge increase was raised by Birmingham MP Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak), who demanded Ministers take action.
He asked Health Minister David Mowat: “There were 1,464 hospital admissions for children for teeth extractions across one clinical commissioning area of Birmingham last year, the highest figure since 2010-11.
“How does the Minister account for this, and what is he going to do about it?”
Mr Mowat highlighted the Government’s “sugar tax”, which is charged on sugar-heavy drinks.
And he said more Birmingham children were receiving fluoride varnishing, in which a gel containing fluoride, which can prevent decay, is applied to their teeth.
He said: “The figures for child extractions are clearly disappointing and two key actions need to take place: less sugar, which we expect the soft drinks levy to help with; and getting more fluoride on to teeth, particularly through fluoride varnishing.
“That has increased across the NHS over the last year, and by 12% in Birmingham. We hope that that will make a difference.”
Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, the number of hospital admissions for teeth extractions has also hit a six year high, at 141 in 2015/16, up from 33 in 2014/15.
Across England, the number of times children had full dental clearances, where all their teeth are removed, was at its highest level since at least 2005/06, with 86 hospital admissions in 2015/16.
Of these, 42 cases involved children aged one to four, and 29 were children aged five to nine.
There were also 13 cases involving children aged 10 to 14, and one each for 15 and 16-year-olds – cases that are likely to involve the removal of adult teeth.