Wickford dental practice backs new scheme to encourage parents to take their children to the dentist

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Recently, figures revealed a significant decrease in the proportion of children attending dental appointments in the Brentford and Basildon areas, and a local practice is determined to play its part in improving standards of oral health.

Cygnet Dental Practice, which is based in nearby Wickford, is offering local schools and nurseries the chance to organise visits from dental professionals to encourage parents to take their children to the dentist more frequently and to educate kids about the importance of dental hygiene. NHS dental care is available free of charge for children, yet statistics show that the number of local children visiting the dentist has fallen from 41,000 to 32,500 in the last four years.

Emma Gunner, a dental nurse at the practice, attributed low attendance rates to a “lack of education” and added that parents are taking their children to the dentist too late because they don’t know that children should be attending appointments from the age of 12 months. The Cygnet Dental team is hoping to raise awareness of the benefits of frequent checks and to educate parents about the dental services that are available to children.

The Cygnet team is backing a national initiative, which was launched by the NHS in conjunction with Public Health England, to encourage parents to take their child to the dentist by the age of 1. It is hoped that this will promote prevention, and reduce rates of decay. Tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions among children in the UK.

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