Thousands of Hartlepool children haven’t seen a dentist in the last year
New figures have revealed that over 10,000 children in Hartlepool didn’t see a dentist last year.
Statistics from the NHS suggested that 51% of children in the North East town didn’t go to the dentist in the 12-month period leading up to September 2018, despite the fact that dentists recommend 6-monthly visits for children. This figure is among the highest in England.
NHS dental care is available for children free of charge, but studies show that many parents are unaware that dental treatment is free for kids. Other factors that play a role in low attendance rates include access problems, which make it difficult for parents to find a surgery accepting new NHS patients in their local area.
Adult attendance was slightly higher in Hartlepool, with 53% seeing a dentist in the last year.
Regular routine checks are recommended for adults and children. Dentists advise children to have check-ups every 6 months from the age of 12-24 months, while adults should see their dentist every 6-12 months, depending on their oral health status. Frequent appointments can help to reduce the risk of decay and gum disease, as well as enabling dentists to spot warning signs of oral cancer.