Vhi DeCare Dental has announced the results of research into children’s dental health habits and found that children are not going to the dentist early enough. More than half of parents polled stated their child’s first dental visit was by age four. The European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends that a child be seen by a dentist in the first year of life (EAPD November 2008).
The survey also found that approximately 85 percent of parents surveyed stated their children receive a dental exam once a year, which is much higher than the national average of 30 % found in the National Survey of Children’s Dental Health.
Over 90% stated their children brush their teeth at least twice a day compared with 58% of 8 year olds in the National Survey of Children’s Dental Health.
More than half of children surveyed change his/her toothbrush every three months and almost 70% of parents polled indicated their children consume on average not more than two sugar drinks and/or treats per day.
Ger Gavin, Dental Director for Vhi DeCare Dental, Ireland’s premier commercial dental insurer said: “It is imperative that children develop healthy dental habits from an early age. The survey results are positive in that they reflect a high level of awareness amongst parents and children of the need to brush at least twice a day, change toothbrushes regularly and to keep sugar consumption low.
“Secrets to a healthy mouth for life include regular brushing, a healthy diet and regular visits to your dentist,” continued Gavin. “And studies show that families with dental cover are far more likely to take their children to the dentist for checkups than families without cover.”
Vhi DeCare Dental is the first and leading commercial dental benefit provider in Ireland, covering more Irish individuals, families and members of employer groups than any other brand. Hallmarks of Vhi DeCare Dental plans include affordability, freedom to see any dentist and friendly, accessible customer service.
Its dental plans cover the spectrum of dental care needs from regular cleanings and exams, through fillings, root canals and crowns. Visit www.vhi.ie for more information.
The survey also found that 90% of respondents have not experienced any reduction in Tooth Fairy Deposits since the start of the recession. Indeed, when compared with international figures, children in Ireland fare better on average than their US counterparts: the average Irish gift is €3.70 per tooth, which is almost double the average gift that U.S. children received this year.