Dentists are urging parents to watch the amount of sugar children are consuming, as data shows a health crisis on the horizon.
The latest figures from NSW hospitalisation data shows that more than 100 children are having several teeth extracted, filled and capped under general anaesthetic each week, according to smh.com.au.
"It's absolutely a crisis when you also consider the amount of suffering, the amount of time parents have to take off work, and the cost to the government and to the parents," Australian Dental Association NSW's paediatric dentist Dr Sarah Raphael said.
Largely, the issue stems from the high consumption of sugary drinks and over-processed foods.
Such is the extent of tooth decay, some children as young as 18 months are showing signs, while the peak range for decay is in three to six year olds.
Some easy ways to reduce the amount of sugar in lunchboxes include swapping juices and soft drinks for water and limiting snacks that contain a large amount of sugar or saturated fats (such as cakes or cookies).