Research conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons has shown that there is still work to be done around children’s oral health in the UK.
More than two in five children did not go for a check-up at the dentist in the twelve months between June 2017/18, as parents do not realise the future problems that can be caused by decaying baby teeth.
The highest figures cover children aged 0-4, where over 65% of children had not visited a dentist. The next grouping of 5-9 year olds had a much lower figure of over 31%, and the figure decreases again for 10-14 year olds at just over 26%. 15-17 year olds increases again to over 39%.
These statistics are highly alarming, and more work must be done to continue educating people around oral health and hygiene. In the cases of children up to 15, many of them will rely on a parent or adult to ensure they are attending the dentist, and this is something that parents and guardians should take seriously to ensure the health of the child for many years to come.
Milk teeth are generally assumed to vacate the mouth at some point, and the adult teeth can be damaged by uncared for milk teeth, causing problems further down the line. It should be stated that milk teeth matter, and should be cared for from day one.
Ways to ensure your child has the best dental care:
- Always make sure that your child is brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Arrange dental appointments every six months for check ups
- Decrease the amount of sugary, acidic foods and drinks that your child eats
- Provide a diet of fruit, vegetables and meat
- Ensure your child cleans their teeth before bed, and do not allow any further food or drinks other than water until breakfast
Dental care for the under 16’s is free on the NHS, and for children up to 18 in further education so there is no real cost to keeping your children’s teeth healthy, whether milk teeth or adult teeth. Missing appointments only means that the child will have further problems in the future, more than likely when they have to pay for any treatment, so in this case prevention is certainly better than a cure.
There have been calls for the money raised through the levy on the soft drinks industry, to so called Sugar Tax, to be used to further education for parents and guardians around the imperative of dental care in children.
There really is no excuse to allow your children’s oral health to be compromised, and the risk is not worth taking, so make sure you book an appointment with the dentist and take your child to ensure the risk is lowered.
For more information about Mark Tangri Dental Practice, or to book an appointment please contact us here.