Sara Hurley, Chief Dental officer for England, has recommended that infants should visit the dentist when their first teeth emerge, which can be at around at six months. These early appointments should be routine pleasant experiences in which the dentist checks the milk teeth are coming through properly as well as giving advice on diet and brushing teeth. The report is part of a drive by the NHS to try and reduce high rates of tooth extractions among pre-school children.
The recommendations have been backed by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry and NHS England which have launched the ‘Dental Check by One‘ campaign, however, there will be no extra funding made available to pay for the proposed improvements.
The Report findings include:
- A quarter of five-year-olds have tooth decay
- Hurley is asking England’s 22,000 NHS dentists to see an additional four children under the age of two over the next year
- Part of the NHS England and Department of Health campaign will be interventions in 13 local authority areas considered to be of high priority for childhood tooth decay
- Only 3% of babies were taken to the dentist before their first birthday and less than 12% of children attend before their second birthday
- A separate analysis by the Royal College of Surgeons Faculty of Dental Surgery found that 80% of children aged between one and two had not visited an NHS dentist in the past year
Free Child Checkups at WeLoveTeeth
At WeLoveTeeth, we offer free checkups to children aged under 12 when an adult also books an appointment. These appointments will allow your children to get familiar with the surroundings of a dental practice and in our experience, the vast majority of children will not require any treatment at all. These sessions are an opportunity for us to educate and provide advice for parents on brushing, nutrition and oral hygiene as well as providing tactics to help your children brush effectively.
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Whether you’re an existing patient and would like to book an appointment or a new patient interested in our services, please get in touch and we would be delighted to hear from you 🙂