Rotten state of our dental health
ALMOST 30,000 Queenslanders ended up in hospital because of dental problems - two thirds of which were children - new Queensland Health data shows.
There were on average about 4150 hospital admissions per year for dental decay in children aged up to nine years.
The shocking state of dental health in Queensland children was laid bare in the Chief Health Officer's report that showed a massive 43 per cent of kids aged five to six already had tooth decay.
That number rose to 55 per cent of kids when looking at those aged between five to 15.
The main cause of tooth decay in children and adults is the consumption of sugary food and drink.
In 2015-16 $1.52 billion was spent in Queensland on dental services.
The regions with the highest number of hospitalisations were northwest and the Torres and Cape regions.
The report also revealed that the number of Queenslanders getting access to fluoridated water has dropped by 15 per cent following law changes that allowed councils to stop fluoridating their water.
In 2012, 87 per cent of the state had access to fluoridated drinking water but it has since dropped to 72 per cent.
Fluoride plays a crucial role in reducing tooth decay and community water fluoridation is a cost-effective and equitable means of increasing exposure to the protective effects of fluoride.