A million UK children reach the age of 8 without seeing a dentist

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A new poll has revealed that a million children in the UK reach the age of 8 years old without seeing a dentist.

The survey, which involved 2,000 families, found that 1 in 7 children haven’t seen a dentist by the age of 8 years old, despite advice from dentists recommending 6-monthly check-ups for children from the age of 12-18 months.

The results of the poll come at the same time as the British Medical Association calls for more to be done to reduce sugar consumption, in a bid to tackle soaring rates of obesity and alarming rates of tooth decay. The BMA has called for the Government to introduce a 20% added tax on sugary drinks.

Statistics show that many children are already consuming far too much sugar compared to recommended levels and the BMA believes that plans to introduce new guidelines to educate parents and children are not sufficient to tackle serious public health issues. Obesity rates among children are increasing and hospitals all over England are already working overtime to get through extraction procedures for children suffering with severe decay due to the growing demand for hospital treatment.

Sugary drinks are one of the main problems contributing to weight gain and poor oral health in children, with some admitting to drinking at least 4 cans of fizzy pop or cartons of energy drinks per day.

In response to the survey, which was carried out by MyDentist, Dr Barry Cockcroft, former chief dental officer for England, said that in this day and age it was “unacceptable” for parents not to take their children to the dentist for regular check-ups, especially as the NHS provides dental care for children free of charge. The findings revealed that getting time off work was the most commonly cited reason for failing to take children to the dentist.

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