Cordial diet rots child's teeth

Anthony Reginato

AN Ipswich girl had 12 teeth extracted after her mother gave her only cordial to drink and failed to take her to a dentist for more than three years.

The girl came to the attention of a school dental worker when she was aged six, who advised her mother to take her to a dentist.

But repeated calls and letters went unanswered and the girl had 12 teeth removed this year when she was taken into child safety custody, aged nine.

Ipswich District Court heard that in November 2006 the girl had a gum abscess which was draining pus.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said as well as a poor diet, the girl’s toothbrush was kept on a hard-to-reach bench.

The girl found eating painful and was very embarrassed about her 15 badly decaying teeth.

Mr Wallis said two of the molars removed were adult teeth and her two front teeth, also adult teeth, were not removed but had a “poor prognosis”.

“This is a very serious incident of cruelty to children,” he said.

The girl and her baby brother were put in a foster home earlier this year.

The 39-year-old woman also has two adult children and another two young children who are also in foster care.

The court heard the woman, a drug addict, admitted regularly using amphetamines and cannabis but hoped to get her children back after doing a parenting course.

The mother, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to a charge of child cruelty.

She was sentenced to 12 months jail but released immediately on parole.

Judge Sarah Bradley told the mother she failed significantly in her duty as a parent.

“It would’ve caused your daughter great social and emotional difficulties as well as physical pain,” Judge Bradley said.

Defence barrister David Gardiner said his client was advised it would be best to wait until the baby teeth fell out.

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