Is Your Child One Of The 40%?

Reports suggest that too many children don’t see a dentist. Our Wickford team looks closer.

We wrote a lot about early years dental care in a relatively recent blog and many of you may also have seen recent reports (1) stating that around 40% of children in the UK did not see a NHS dentist in the past year.

This is such an important subject that we felt it was worth looking at some of the information contained in the report.

Irregular dental appointments

Although some have argued that six monthly appointments are unnecessary, we believe that these are still important for all patients, but especially for children. Given their preference, generally, for foods and sweets that are high in sugar, they are at a high risk of dental problems such as tooth decay. If you think that your child does not eat too much sugar, it is worth noting that, in the report, it states that the average 5 year old eats its own body weight in sugar each year!

At The Cygnet Dental Practice, we provide NHS dentistry for Downham, Shotgate and Wickford patients of all ages, and especially encourage parents to ensure that their child receives regular dental care. It is worth noting that regular dental care may also have an impact on children’s education and general well being too.

Missing school

As many of us will know from experience, toothache can be incredibly debilitating, and can feel like it is overwhelming us completely, despite the fact that the pain is localised. When children suffer from toothache, they are likely to become more irritable and unable to sleep well. This means that they are less likely to pay attention at school, and, if it is a low level pain that lasts for a week or so, may cause them to fall behind in their work. Severe toothache is also likely to mean that the child is not well enough to go to school, causing them to miss at least a day there, as well as parental time from their workplace.

Hospital extractions

Due to their age, young children may struggle to have a major filling or extraction using just a local anaesthetic. Obviously, it is not practical, or safe, for a dentist to try to extract a tooth from a child who is ‘fighting’ off the dentist, however understandable this may be. Sometimes this means that the extraction(s) has to be referred to the local hospital which adds further inconvenience and distress to an already unpleasant process.

As always, dental prevention is the answer and parents are advised to keep a closer eye on what their children eat, avoiding, or at least significantly reducing, the amount of sugar that they consume. Bringing your child to the Cygnet Dental Practice every six months (or more if recommended) is also an excellent way of preventing problems from reaching this stage. Preventative care and advice can help your child have healthy teeth into their adult years and beyond to old age.

If you, or your child, have not seen a dentist in the last six months, or are not registered with a dentist, please call our Wickford dental practice today on 01268 733078.

1.    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/23/nhs-dentist-visits-decline-children-england