Two of the big issues dentistry has to face at the moment are regions where oral healthcare is much poorer than average and the shockingly high rate of tooth decay in children. Two of these have combined recently, as a local dentist has highlighted the state of children’s teeth in the region of Bradford.
In a recent meeting of Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care scrutiny committee, local dentist Tony Kilcoyne said the state of children’s teeth in Bradford is a “tragedy”. As reported in the Telegraph and Argus, Mr Kilcoyne warned council members that something needed to be done.
“In this country the number one medical reason for children under 10 going to hospital is rotten teeth,” he said. “That is a national statistic – in Yorkshire it is even worse and Bradford is worse still than the Yorkshire average. It is like dentists are putting out huge bush fires, when we should be preventing the fire from starting in the first place.”
This sort of thing is an issue across the UK. In certain areas, access to dental care is incredibly poor, which then leads to these areas suffering the most from diseases like tooth decay and even oral cancer. However, the solution is not entirely clear.
For example, many people think it is an issue of public spending. However, Bradford already has £33 million a year spent on dental care. Potentially, the answer could be in using more of this money to raise awareness of things such as the importance of brushing your teeth and visiting the dentist.
Dentists can do their part by improving their dental marketing. If one of the problems is that people aren’t aware of the importance of regular checkups, your marketing should reflect this. Impress on people the importance of regular visits, as well as the consequences of not making sure their children’s teeth are in good condition.