The NHS has recently reported that over 40 per cent of English children did not visit a dentist in 2015, when guidelines suggest that they should have a check-up at least once a year.
By breaking down the figures, a north south divide was revealed, with 62 per cent of children in the north seeing a dentist, compared with just 48 per cent in London. There are many ways to juggle statistics, but the bottom line is that for children aged five to nine, tooth extraction due to decay is the most common reason for children to be admitted to hospital. In support of this statement, statistics from 2014 to 2015 show just below a 10 per cent increase in children requiring tooth extractions compare with records from 2011 to 2012.
So, despite free dentistry for youngsters, around one in three children are not having regular check-ups. This is a worrying situation and is perhaps a reflection of the dental industry being left to fend for itself amid the chaos in the current NHS. Experts suggest that there is need for a concerted effort to engage parents, health professionals and the government to come up with a plan.
Once your permanent teeth have replaced your baby teeth, that’s all you get for the rest of your life! Education about early dental hygiene and care is essential to establish a lifetime plan for the care of your teeth. If badly maintained, teeth may need to be removed during adulthood along with the provision of costly implants, bridges or other items of cosmetic surgery. For more information, your nearest NHS dentist can be sourced from a quick Google search using NHS and your nearest town, for example Dumfries and Galloway.
A common excuse for children not going to the dentist is because they fear the pain, and this may be justified if the dentist does not have sympathetic bedside manner. Some modern dental practices now pride themselves in pain-free dentistry, dealing with nervous patients and providing high-quality patient focused dental care – for example, a Dublin dentist such as Docklands Dental www.docklandsdental.ie among others.
If teeth are meticulously cared for through effective brushing, flossing and regular visits to the hygienist, then they should last you for life, and best of all, be pain free.