Parents urged to get children to dentist

PARENTS are being urged to get their children to the dentist today, after figures showed thousands of youngsters have not had their teeth checked in two years.

PARENTS are being urged to get their children to the dentist today, after figures showed thousands of youngsters have not had their teeth checked in two years.

A new report shows that in the two years leading up to June, 28.1pc of under 18s and 46.8pc of adults failed to see an NHS dentist in the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area.

Today Richard Ward, consultant in dental public health for the SHA and Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT), said visiting the dentist from a young age was vital to help stop diseases in later life.

He highlighted that children who do not regularly visit the dentist often suffer disproportionately from dental problems, with 20pc of five year olds in the East suffering from 80pc of the region's tooth decay.

Mr Ward said: “That is often because the parents don't have a regular pattern of attendance and they are a group that is quite hard to persuade otherwise.

“Dental habits that start in childhood tend to follow into adulthood and we are trying to break that.

Most Read

“The aim would be for every child to attend.”

Mr Ward stressed that dental diseases such a dental decay, caused by sugar, and gum disease, caused by poor oral hygiene, were avoidable if people regularly attended the dentist for check-ups.

He said the SHA was trying to encourage more children visit dentists by making the experience less painful.

He added: “It is important that when children visit the dentist they have a pleasant experience.

“We say the first time should be as soon as possible, certainly before two, to have a ride in the chair and have their teeth counted.

“A lot this is down to the dentist themselves.”

Do you avoid the dentist? If so, why? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter