5-speed listening (Level 3)

Bad teeth top reason for children in hospital



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Tooth decay is the biggest reason for children in the UK going to hospital. Britain's National Health Service (NHS) just reported that 500 children a week end up in hospital because of sugary drinks and poor dental hygiene. The NHS said fruit juice and fizzy drinks (sodas) are the biggest reason why so many kids end up in hospital. Researchers found that more than 25,000 children needed to have teeth extracted last year. More worrying is the fact that some children had all 20 of their milk teeth removed because of tooth decay. Most kids needed four to eight teeth removed. Researchers say the sugary drinks and fruit juices are also leading to higher levels of obesity in kids.

The report is from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. It found that the number of children aged between zero and four going to hospital to have teeth out has increased from 8,060 in 2011 to 8,758 last year. Children's dentist Kathryn Harley said that children are going to hospital for several reasons. One is that their teeth are very painful. Another reason is that the tooth is too decayed for dentists to save it. A final reason is the child has too many decayed teeth that need to be removed. In all of these cases, children need a general anaesthetic – an injection that puts them to sleep. A health expert told parents to ban fruit juice and fizzy drinks and just give water to their children.

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