A research conducted by My Dentist Careers has revealed that 20% of 2-year-olds have never been taken to the dentist…reports Asian Lite news.
The survey, which sought the views of 2,000 parents, found that many parents ignored national advice that suggests children should see a dentist when their milk teeth first appear. This generally happens between 5-7 months.
With so much contradictory advice floating around on parenting blogs, it’s clear that awareness is lacking when it comes to the oral health of children. Unsurprisingly, 43.10% of parents admitted they would take their child to the dentist if they were better informed about oral health care.
However, the research also uncovered some other common barriers parents face when taking their children to the dentist, which included:
- Opening times – 48% of parents stated the opening hours of their local practice formed a barrier for taking their children for appointments
- Out of work/school hours – Almost half of the parents said they take their children to the dentist outside of work hours, heightening demand for these convenient peak hours and making appointment slots harder to come by.
- Fear – 14% of parents stated their child’s own fear put a halt on dentist appointments, raising questions as to whether parents are passing their own complexes on to their children.
- Tantrums – 11% faced a battle against their own child’s will when trying to get them to attend a dentist appointment.
Whilst it can be a struggle for many parents, it is extremely important for you to take your child to the dentist and get them into the routine of regular oral health checks from a young age. A separate Health and Social Care Information Centre report found that 31% of 5-year-old children already suffer from decay in their primary teeth, highlighting the seriousness of this issue. This figure rises to 41% among 5-year-olds who are eligible for free school meals.
Raising oral health awareness and good practice at an early age will promote better oral care practices in later years.
Steve Williams, Clinical Services Director at mydentist, suggested: “These figures are concerning, as dental disease is preventable. It is Crucial parents are given the advice needed to help look after their children’s teeth as early as possible.
“The process of getting your children accustomed to dental hygiene can start from an early stage. When they begin eating solid foods you shouldn’t brush their gums, but you can wipe them with a damp cloth to get them used to the routine of cleaning their teeth.
“You can also bring them along to your own appointments in order for them to experience the dentist long before their own appointments. Feed their curiosity by introducing them to the surgery staff and teaching them about what a dentist does. It is thought that many young children will take on their own parent’s fears, so don’t disclose with them if you’re worried or nervous about your own appointment.”