Simplyhealth Professionals’ survey shows Brits’ dental health in jeopardy as one in 20 admit they never visit the dentist
The Simplyhealth Professionals’ Annual Oral Health Survey shows up to three million could be putting their dental health in danger as fear of the dentist and money worries lead to dental avoidance.
Britain could be reclaiming its reputation as the nation of bad teeth as a new survey from dental payment plan specialists Denplan by Simplyhealth Professionals reveals over one in 20 admit to never visiting the dentist. Even more shockingly, 1% admit they never brush their teeth, which could represent over 500,000 of the population.
For those who avoided the dental chair and visit the dentist less often than once every two years, 39% said they were too scared of the dentist or pain, and the same number claimed they couldn’t afford check-ups.
In a worrying socio-economic trend, over half of UK adults said they’d cancel a routine dental appointment if they had financial worries, despite check-ups costing as little as £20. Young people aged 18-24 were the age group most likely to cancel.
14% of those that don’t regularly visit the dentist said they couldn’t access an NHS dentist, while one in five were worried they’d uncover further issues that needed treatment. In contrast, 91% of those with a dental payment plan went to the dentist every six months.
Despite rumours from across the pond that Britain’s teeth are some of the worst in the world, according to University College London and Harvard University, Britons dental health is no worse than our American counterparts, in fact, the average person in Britain is missing 6.97 teeth, while in America the average is 7.31.
But these emerging bad habits could spell bad news for future generations, with almost one in 20 parents of children aged 18 or under saying their child never brushed their teeth and 7% admitting they never took their child to the dentist.
43% of parents of children with a filling said their child had their first one aged seven or younger. Almost a quarter of parents of children aged 18 or under whose child had a filling said they had been given their first filling at five years or younger.
The findings from Denplan by Simplyhealth Professionals correspond with a report by the Royal College of Surgeons which showed record numbers of under-fives having rotten teeth removed. Findings also revealed that hospital extractions among pre-school children have soared by 24% in just ten years.
Even babies are affected — last year alone, 47 children under the age of one had newly grown milk teeth taken out.
Commenting on the figures, Henry Clover, Director of Dental Policy, Simplyhealth Professionals said “It’s clear from these findings that more work needs to be done to properly educate the British public on the importance of good dental health. Seeing your dentist regularly means that any potential dental problems can be spotted early on, reducing the need for invasive or expensive treatment. If you are worried about the cost of dental care, it is always worth talking to your practice to find out if they have options available, such as a dental payment plan or subscription plan, which can help you budget or spread the cost throughout the year.”