Parents failing to take young children to dentist

PARENTS are not taking their children to the dentist when recommended, according to a new survey.

Research by Yougov shows 79 per cent are waiting until their children are over a year old before taking them to the dentist, while five per cent wait until their child is five. Parents are encouraged to take children to the dentist as soon as possible, with baby teeth developing at around six months.

The Consumer Attitudes Towards Dentistry Survey found younger parents were more likely to avoid check-ups – less than half (47 per cent) of 18-34 year-olds with children under 16 take their children to the dentist every six months. This is compared to 75 per cent of parents over 45.

Of those parents who say they have not taken their children to the dentist (10 per cent), 15 per cent lived in the south of England, 14 per cent in the east and 11 per cent in London.

Dr Henry Clover, deputy chief dental officer of Denplan who commissioned the research, said: “The development and importance of the baby teeth should not be overlooked as they not only serve the basic functions, but also form a basis for their adult teeth.

“These statistics perhaps show that the older people have a dental routine instilled in them, but the younger generation are more clued up on looking after their oral health.

“The potential impact of this could be enormous on the oral health of so many children in this country, not just in the short term but leading to longer term health problems such as severe disease and consequently unnecessary fillings and extractions.”