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Parents contributing to strain on dental services

New research has shown that parents can have a significant impact on their children’s oral health.

The study from My Dentist found that parental knowledge has a significant and costly impact on dental practices. According to the findings, based on more than 2,000 parents in the UK, not passing on the right information about oral hygiene costs the NHS around £22 million a year.

My Dentist’s report estimates that around one million children aged 8 and under have never been to the dentist, with more than 700,000 children having least one filling during a visit.

It found that barely a quarter (26 per cent) of children brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. 

On a more positive note, half of parents surveyed had no problems taking their children to the dentist early, with 57 per cent not being taken to the dentist until they turn one.

My Dentist believes the findings highlight the urgency for more initiatives to engage parents and their children on oral health and the importance of looking after their teeth properly from a young age.

Barry Cockcroft, former chief dental officer and current non-executive director at My Dentist, said early dental care can be confusing and daunting for many parents, with better education needed to support the improved access.

“As an industry we must work harder to ensure the best and most appropriate resources are available.” 

He said My Dentist want to be at the forefront of this evolution, with the launch of its Kids Club initiative being a crucial first step as it will deliver innovation to patients and change “outdated perceptions of the sector”.

By providing a service that has the hallmarks of professional expertise, trust and long-term relationships offered nationwide through modern, transparent, convenient patient delivery, Mr Cockcroft concluded.


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