Dental marketing campaigns may consider advising parents of the importance of taking their children to the dentist for regular check ups.
This comes as a new survey conducted by YouGov of more than 3,000 adults in the UK has shown that almost 80 per cent of parents in the country only consider taking their child to see a dental practitioner once they are over one year old, dentistry.co.uk reports.
Regular oral health check ups of children’s teeth are recommended to begin when they are around six months old, but many parents are failing to take this into consideration.
“The potential impact of this on the oral health of many children in this country could be enormous, not just in the short term, but leading to long-term health problems such as severe disease and consequently unnecessary fillings and extractions,” said Dr Henry Clover, deputy chief dental officer at Denplan.
About five per cent of those interviewed said they had waited until their child was five years old to take them to the dentist, while ten per cent stated they had not taken their child to the dentist at all.
Younger parents in particular fail to take their children for oral health check ups – only 47 per cent of 18 to 34-year-old mothers and fathers interviewed said they go to the dentist every six months. This is in comparison to 75 per cent of participants aged over 45 who take their children twice a year.
These statistics indicate that older parents are perhaps more aware of the importance of oral health. If this is the case, more has to be done to inform younger mothers and fathers about the significance of monitoring their child’s oral health on a regular basis.
The British Dental Health Foundation recommends taking children to the dentist as soon as possible after they develop their first baby tooth and as often after that as the dentist recommends.
Through regular visits, the child will become used to the noises, smells and surroundings of the dental setting. This will reduce fear of the dentist and reduce the risk of dental diseases significantly.