1 in 5 Parents in East Anglia Have Never Taken Their Children to a Dentist

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New data from Mydentist has revealed that one in five parents in East Anglia have never taken their child to a dentist, despite advice from dentists urging parents to take children for six-monthly check-ups from an early age.

The research suggests that rates of avoiding the dentist among parents in the region are the highest in England.

The main reasons parents who participated in the survey gave include the child being afraid of the dentist, dental fees being too high, inconvenient opening hours and struggling to get time off work.

Around 8 million children nationwide have not been to see a dentist and this is contributing to excessive NHS spending on hospital dental care for children. More than 46,000 children a year are undergoing extraction under general anaesthetic for decay.

Measures have already been introduced in Suffolk to improve standards of oral health. One example is the Keep Suffolk Smiling scheme, which is designed to encourage parents of small children to start introducing oral care from an early age. Parents receive an oral health pack at their child’s 12 month review and are encouraged to register with a dentist and take their child for dental checks every 6-12 months.

Tony Goldson, from the county council, said that oral health is a priority and parents should be aware of the importance of taking children to the dentist and ensuring that they look after their teeth and gums at home.

Dental treatment is available free of charge for children on the NHS.

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