The latest Consumer Attitudes Towards Dentistry Survey conducted by Yougov for Denplan, reveals that 79% are waiting until their children are over a year old before taking them to the dentist and 5% wait until their children turn five.
Of the different age groups surveyed, less than half of the 18-34 year olds with children under 16 (47%) take their children to the dentist every six months, compared with 75% of the over 45 age group.
Of those parents who say they have not taken their children to the dentist (10%), the survey’s regional breakdown revealed that the highest statistic comes from the South with an alarming 15% of parents, followed closely by the East at 14% and London at 11%.
Deputy chief dental officer, Dr Henry Clover, said: ‘The average age a child gains their first tooth is around 6 months old. Despite this being their first set of teeth, the development and importance of the baby teeth should not be overlooked as they not only serve the basic functions, but also it also forms a basis for their adult teeth.
‘These statistics perhaps show that the older people have a dental routine installed in them, but the younger generation are more clued up on looking after their oral health. The potential impact of this could be enormous on the oral health of so many children in this country, not just in the short term but leading to longer term health problems such as severe disease and consequently unnecessary fillings and extractions.’
He added: ‘It is recommended that you take your child to the dentist as soon as they develop their first baby tooth, with regular check-ups recommended by your dental team thereafter.’
In response to these latest findings and with continuous studies revealing how tooth decay is still rife amongst children in the UK, Denplan has released guidelines on how to look the teeth of babies and children. They can be found at www.miteeth.co.uk.