Professor Russell Viner, officer for health promotion at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “Having a tooth extracted is very serious.”There’s the operation itself to consider, the aesthetic along with its associated risks as well as the anxiety operations cause children and their families.”As many of these operations are due to the food and drink children consume, they are completely preventable and pose an unnecessary financial burden on our overstretched NHS.”At a time when we are faced with reports of chronic bed shortages and cancelled operations, these latest startling statistics should act as a wake-up call to policy makers and act as the catalyst for change.”An NHS England spokeswoman said: “NHS dental care for children is free, and tooth decay is preventable, but eating sugary food and drinks is driving this unfortunate and unnecessary epidemic of extractions.”NHS England is working with the dental profession, local authorities and health providers and has developed Starting Well – a campaign targeted at high-need communities to help children under five see their dentist earlier and improve their dental health. The findings were also condemned by the British Dental Association, which accused the Government of indifference to the problem.Chairman Mick Armstrong said: “These statistics are a badge of dishonour for health ministers, who have failed to confront a wholly preventable disease.”Tooth decay is the number one reason for child hospital admissions, but communities across England have been left hamstrung without resources or leadership. “This short-sightedness means just a few thousand children stand to benefit from policies that need to be reaching millions.” Show more A debate on children’s dental examinations and treatment is due to take place in the House of Lords on January 18. With the majority of procedures taking place during the week, this would mean roughly 170 such operations have happened on each working day during last year, the Local Government Association’s (LGA) analysis of the data said.The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, called for a crackdown on unhealthy foods and soft drinks to combat spiralling cases of tooth decay.Limiting the amount of sugar in soft drinks and putting a teaspoon labels on food to indicate sugar it contains would help slash consumption, the LGA said.Local authorities have a responsibility to help protect public health. This concerning trend shows there is an urgent need to introduce measures to curb our sugar addiction which is causing children’s teeth to rotIzzi Seccombe Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the LGA’s community well-being board, said: “These figures, which have risen sharply, show that we have an oral health crisis and highlight the damage that excessive sugar intake is doing to young people’s teeth.”The fact that, due to the severity of the decay, 170 operations a day to remove teeth in children and teenagers have to be done in a hospital is alarming and also adds to current pressures on the NHS.”This concerning trend shows there is an urgent need to introduce measures to curb our sugar addiction which is causing children’s teeth to rot.” “In supporting the ‘dental check by one’ campaign, NHS England is working with the dental profession to help an additional 70,000 more children see a dentist before they reach their second birthday.” Britain’s tooth decay epidemic saw around 170 youngsters have teeth extracted in hospital every day last year, with sugar blamed for creating an “oral health crisis”.New NHS spending data shows there were 42,911 hospital procedures to remove multiple teeth from patients aged 18 and under in 2016-17 at a cost of more than £36 million.It marks a jump of almost a fifth (17 per cent) in the number of extractions performed on young people over the past four years, up from 36,833 in 2012-13.Hospital teeth removals take place when a patient requires general anaesthetic, which cannot be given by a dentist. The NHS has spent £165 million on such treatment since 2012, past data reveals.Council chiefs said the spike represented a crisis in dental health, brought on by excessive sugar intake among young people.