5 million children not seeing a dentist

  • Tooth decay prevention impossible without check-ups

  • Tooth decay epidemic message not getting through

  • Book in for a same-day appointment with a hygienist

Effective prevention of tooth decay and other oral problems in children is impossible without regular dental check-ups.

And yet we read in the Mail Online nearly half of parents in the UK are failing to take their children to the dentists, despite what is claimed to be a ‘tooth decay epidemic’.

The woeful statistics reveal that some 42 per cent of under-18s, almost five million children, did not visit a dentist in 2015/16, up from 40 per cent the year before.

children not seeing a dentist

5 million children not seeing a dentist

Tooth decay a worrying statistic

Official NHS guidelines advise children should visit a dentist at least once a year.

Experts said the figures display a worrying trend at a time when children are overeating sugar.

In the 21st century, tooth decay remains the most common reason why children aged five to nine are admitted to hospital. We struggle to understand neglect on such a massive scale.

In some cases, these children undergo multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic – even though tooth decay is almost entirely preventable.

The data, published by NHS Digital, also shows that 48 per cent of adults did not visit a dentist over two years from 2014 to 2016.

sugar in fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks still a problem

For younger children, aged four to ten, sweet drinks made up 27 per cent of sugar intake in the latest data collection, down from 30 per cent previously.

Additional facts, published earlier this month, showed people are feeding under-10s an average of 14 teaspoons of sugar a day – nearly three times the limit.

Older children and teenagers are getting more than 18 teaspoons, much of it from fizzy drinks and fruit juice.

We have blogged previously on the hidden sugars in drinks. Please be watchful what your children are drinking.

Soft drinks are still the most significant source of sugar in the diet of children and teenagers, Public Health England numbers reveal.

In six years, children’s consumption of sweet drinks has dropped little, despite dire warnings of the health dangers.

For 11-to 18-year-olds fruit juice, smoothies and fizzy drinks still make 38 per cent of sugar intake – only a small reduction on the 41 per cent recorded when the data was first recorded in 2008.

our dental hygienist at work

Hygiene therapist Sophie giving some brushing tips

Child-friendly oral advice

Somehow, we are failing to get the message across, and even hard-hitting TV documentaries don’t appear to be educating parents.

Recently we reported that hospitals spent £35 million removing teeth in under 18s in 2014/15 – a 61 per cent increase over five years.

If you want some advice on maintaining healthy teeth for children, book a same-day appointment with our hygiene therapist, Sophie, She’ll show you how your children should clean their teeth, give them an excellent oral check-over and if needed, refer you to our friendly dentist, Owain.