An increasing number of babies are being admitted to South Australian hospitals for preventable tooth decay with sugary drinks, non-fluoridated bottled water and poor dental hygiene being blamed.
In the last year 24 babies less than 12-months-old were admitted to hospital for extractions and tooth fillings with some requiring general anaesthetic, Health Minister Jack Snelling said.
"There really is no excuse for parents not to be taking care of the dental care of the children when we are lucky enough to have access to the free school dental clinic," Mr Snelling said.
In the same period, 2500 children under the age of eight required dental treatment under general anaesthetic - a 55 per cent increase over the last decade.
"SA Dental Service remains concerned about the increasing numbers of young children with dental decay. Hospitalisations due to tooth decay are preventable and early treatment in children is vital," a health official said.