THE number of three-year-old children in Bradford with rotten teeth is higher than the regional and national average, a survey suggests.

Public Health England (PHE) data shows that 16.1 per cent of children surveyed in Bradford over the last two school years had experienced some form of dental decay.

And, where decay was reported, the youngsters had an average of three rotten teeth.

Figures show the oral health of pre-schoolers in Bradford has improved very little since the survey was first carried out by PHE in 2013.

That year, 17.1 per cent of children had tooth decay.

Those surveyed in 2019 and 2020 were among 1,500 three-year-olds across Yorkshire and The Humber to be examined, where 14.7 per cent of children had rotten teeth on average.

Across England as a whole, 10.7 per cent of three-year-olds had reportedly experienced tooth decay, the report revealed.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said a number of oral health campaigns have been rolled out across the district

“A total of 45 schools have now enrolled on the tooth brushing programme, in priority wards, which will see the supervised tooth brushing of children as well as a fluoride varnish programme which is being delivered in nurseries and schools again in priority wards for children aged 2-4 years,” they said.

“A brushing for life programme has also been commissioned in collaboration with health colleagues making home visits.”

The Council said it is working with organisations like Better Start Bradford and Born in Bradford, this includes on a pilot project in private day nurseries which is a supervised tooth brushing programme.

“A suite of training is now available on oral health as well as a key stage 3, oral health promotional video,” they added.

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins, who backed the Telegraph & Argus’s ‘Stop the Rot’ campaign, met with Jo Churchill MP, the Minister responsible for dentistry, yesterday, to call for more to be done at a national level.

She: “I will be raising the lack of progress the Government has had in improving the dental health of Bradford’s children. I will also be raising my wider fears for the future of NHS dentistry in Bradford and across England.”

The British Dental Association says tooth decay is the number one reason for child hospital admissions nationally.

Chairman Eddie Crouch said: “In a wealthy 21st century nation there’s no reason why decay and deprivation still go hand in hand. Sadly, millions of missed appointments, lockdown diets and the suspension of public health programmes mean things are set to go from bad to worse when it comes to health inequality.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the Government is “committed” to improving children’s oral health.

They said they would be consulting on supervised tooth brushing and removing barriers around water fluoridation and that “significant action” had been taken to reduce sugar content in food and drink.

The spokesperson added that a new NHS rule requiring dental practices to hit 60 per cent of their pre-Covid activity until October “is expected to improve access to vital dental services and target groups with the highest needs”.