The number of children having rotting teeth surgically removed has doubled in the past 10 years, costing the taxpayer $4000 a pop. Many dentists say it's all down to sugar, especially sugary drinks. Calls for a tax on sugary drinks are mounting, but the previous government wouldn't entertain the idea. New health minister David Clark says he wants better access to more affordable dental care, less sugar in food and better labelling. Dental Association spokesman Dr Rob Beaglehole sees the effects of sugary drinks every day, having to extract whole sets of teeth from children as young as 18 months.