More than 27,000 Havering children did not visit their dentist last year

Figures show 27,000 Havering children did not have a dental check-up last year. Picture: PA

Figures show 27,000 Havering children did not have a dental check-up last year. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Shocking figures have shown that more than 27,00 children in Havering didn’t make a visit to the dentist last year.

Research carried out by NHS Digital shows that just over half of youngsters in the borough had an annual check up and this is putting alot of kids at the risk of rotten teeth and gum disease.

Perhaps what is more shocking is that this is an improvement on last year, as 492 more youngsters went to visit the dentist than they did last year.

The importance of regular trips to the dentist is highlighted by NHS figures that show in England the most common reason for under 18s to attend hospital is for multiple rotten teeth extractions.

This is where decay is so advanced dentists are unable to treat it at their surgeries.

The same stats show that adults in Havering aren’t setting a good example, as last year only 46.8 per cent of adults visited the dentist once in the last two years.

The numbers highlight the crisis with tooth decay, and the British Dental Association (BDA) has said that the low number of check ups could contribute to this.

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BDA chairman Mick Armstrong said: “These stubbornly low attendance figures offer real cause for concern.

“There is no room for complacency when tooth decay remains the number one reason for child hospital admissions.

“Getting kids brushing and seeing a dentist shouldn’t be optional extras.

“In Wales and Scotland we’re seeing record breaking improvements in decay, backed up by public information and outreach in schools and nurseries.

“England needs more than token efforts.

“Getting kids in the habit of attending is key to life-long oral health, and under 18s should be seeing their dentist at least every 12 months.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman commented: “We are determined to reduce the number of children having teeth extracted because of tooth decay, that’s why we’re introducing a sugar tax on soft drinks with the most added sugar, which comes into effect next month.

“Access to dental services continues to increase nationally - in 2017, 6.9 million children were seen by a dentist representing 58.2% of the child population.”