The UK's teeth are now worse than ever

Modern-day Brits may have the worst teeth of all time after scientists discovered that our 17th-century predecessors had better gnashers.

Fewer missing teeth and less decay was discovered in skulls from the early-modern period.

Researchers suggest that this is down to sugar being too expensive for commoners meaning they were better at keeping their teeth rot-free.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London looked at the skulls of 224 adults that were predominately from the 17th century - examining a total of 5,195 teeth.

An average of nine missing or rotting teeth were found.

Scientists compared this number to the 13.5 missing or rotting teeth found in 2,013 modern-day Londoners.

Dentist and researcher Joseph Smith told The Sunday Times: 'Despite the lack of dental care in post-medieval times, the sampled population experienced less decay than the modern-day sample.'

He added: 'Over the past 300 years sugar consumption in the UK has increased from 1.8kg to 23kg per person per year, with low-income groups [now] consuming the most.'

Public Health England figures released earlier this year showed that the problem is not exclusive to adults.

Dentists are pulling out rotten teeth from 1,000 children a month who have yet to reach their sixth birthday.

Huge overconsumption of sugar means nine in every 10 tooth extractions for under-fives are for tooth decay.

Experts said the numbers were 'horrifying' and blamed the fact youngsters eat nearly three times the recommended daily limit of sugar.

Children aged five and under accounted for 14,545 tooth extractions in 2017/18 in England, with most of those - 12,783 - being for tooth decay.