Doncster parents still finding difficulty in registering their toddler with a dentist
Doncaster parents are still finding difficulty in getting their toddlers registered with a dentist.
Adwick & Carcroft Coun Rachel Hodson told council bosses she experienced this trying to register her own 18-month-old child and was even warned this could happen by her health visitor.
National guidance suggest parents should take their children to the dentist by the age of one.
Latest figures which have been previously reported shows the borough has the highest levels of child tooth extractions due to decay in the country.
Public health bosses also said poor oral health in children is directly related with deprivation. Children living in poorer areas are said to be experiencing worse oral health than those in more affluent parts of the borough.
Coun Hodson said: “My youngest is almost 18-months-old and the health worker came round and gave the usual advice of not giving them sugary drinks and gave me a toothbrush and toothpaste for them.
“I was interested when they gave me a word of warning about dental practices pushing back when trying to register a young child because they’re apparently not ready.
“I ended up having that exact experience when I tried to do it and he should be able to be registered because he has teeth.
“I’m lucky, relatively privileged and quite pushy so I thought this is a massive barrier for many parents who come across this.
“We might be getting children into a dentist until they’re two and a half and by that time it could be too late if they’re already drinking loads of sugary drinks – I think that’s appalling.”
Carrie Wardle, public health specialist at Doncaster Council, said: “It is a problem but my understanding is it isn’t as much as an issue as it was some years ago.
“Dentists should take on a child when there teeth come through but we know this doesn’t happen in some cases.
“Parents can always ask for what they’re entitled to like the fluoride varnishing for children but the difficulty is the dentist may not believe they need it.
“We will definitely feed this back because it is still concerning that this is happening.”