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61 Rumbridge Street, Totton, Southampton, SO40 9DT

023 8086 8833


Is your Child in the 3% Who Have Seen the Dentist?

During my shameless lunchtime scrolling of the light-hearted nonsense “news” on the Daily Mail website, I came across something actually quite important… an article published on the 17th May in the Health section, highlighting the failure of young patients visiting a dentist, based on the annual Dental Health Statistics report from Public Health England.


The article discusses that only 3% of under-one’s have seen a dentist, only rising to 12% by age two. The study reveals that it seems to be the more affluent parts of the country with the lowest attendance figures, and there are a few reasons why that may be:


Parents in more affluent parts of the UK are more likely to attend a private rather than an NHS dentist. The study is based on NHS figures only, and although some private dentists may have been asked about attendance figures, there is no strict requirement to reply. I know that at Bridgeways Dental we have never received such a questionnaire about our own figures. It is also more likely that even in today’s society, children from lower socio-economic groups have poorer diets, perhaps less education on the causes of and prevention of tooth decay, and therefore may have developed dental issues at a younger age, forcing their first visit.  It’s not ideal for a child’s first dental visit to be an emergency, or when they have pain, but sometimes it is unavoidable. If so, we will do everything we can to treat them in a calm and relaxing manner.

Prevention is key: Bring your child to the dentist from a young age, before they have any problems. Your dentist will talk to you and your child about healthy brushing and diet habits so that they can grow up enjoying their dental visits.

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So when should a child first visit the dentist?

As soon as the first tooth erupts, which is normally around 6 months.


How often should a child visit the dentist?

Your child’s mouth is growing, developing and changing rapidly. We advise that your child has a dental examination every 6 months, to monitor their development, spot any issues early on, and get them used to the sights, sounds and smells of the dental practice.


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But I don’t think they will be very well behaved?

That’s okay… The best thing to do is to bring them along with you to your examination. It’s a completely new environment for your little one, and if they can see you happy, comfortable and relaxed they will be more likely to be so as they grow. We can talk about health habits with their diet and brushing, and examine them as soon as they will let us.


Under-3s receive free examinations at Bridgeways Dental, so there is no reason not to start them on a happy, healthy dental journey from a young age.


Read the original article here

If you have any questions about children’s dentistry at Bridgeways Dental, don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you want to book in your child for an examination, call us today: 02380868833