The number of children visiting an
Fall in number of children visiting NHS dentist
The findings revealed that a total of 29.2 million patients were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24 months to June 2011, an increase of one million people compared to the 24 months to March 2006.
Although the number of children attending an NHS dentist appointment has risen each quarter since June 2008, during the 24 months to June 2011, 7.8 million children were seen by an NHS dentist, a decrease of 26,000 compared to the 24 months to March 2006.
Abby Bowman from health insurance firm Simplyhealth says: "Our Annual Dental Survey 2011 released in May reflects the NHS Information Centre findings that more adults are accessing an NHS dentist.
"It's vital that parents take their children for regular check-ups to ensure good oral health into adulthood.
"Guidance states that children should be taken to the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear, yet our research found that almost half of parents in the UK are taking their children for their first dental visit too late."
Although children under the age of 18 or under the age of 19 and in fulltime education are entitled to free NHS dentistry, additional private dental cover can be taken out for a child to have private treatment.
Not only can this help to meet the costs of regular dental visits, but it also provides medical insurance for emergency treatments.