More than two out of five children in the UK did not visit an NHS dentist in the last year, figures have shown. The damming report comes against the backdrop of official health advice urging regular check-ups.
Commenting on the report, Prof Nigel Hunt, dean of the faculty of dental surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons said:
“There is nothing to smile about in these woeful statistics. With the average five-year-old now eating their own body weight in sugar each year, it is alarming that 42.1% of children failed to visit an NHS dentist in the last year,”
Separate statistics are not available for Northern Ireland, but we certainly find these reports to be highly alarming. Not only is it important that childrens teeth are checked on a regular basis, but we also believe it is important for the child to learn that going to the dentist is a regular part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If the child’s only visit to a dentist is when there is a ‘problem’, then the child is more likely to associate the dental visit as a negative experience and will be less likely to continue regular visits as they grow up into adulthood.
We would encourage all parents to bring their children to the dentist on a regular basis to ensure they have the best chances of having a problem-free dental experience.