South Asian children least likely to visit dentist
New research by the Department of Health reveals children of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani descent are less likely to have visited a dentist than any other ethnic group in the UK.
This is despite the fact that figures released last month revealed that 75% of under 16s in England have visited a dentist in the past 12 months.
However, only 45% of boys and 46% of girls of Bangladeshi descent have visited a dentist in the same timespan.
The rate of Bangladeshi children having ever visited a dentist is around half the rate of the general population.
Health Minister, Ann Keen said: ‘We are aware that South Asian children are less likely to have visited a dentist than any other ethnic group and we are keen to educate parents about their right to free NHS dental services for all children under 18 years.’
The Department of Health is currently producing guidance notes for all Primary Care Trusts across the country.
This will provide ideas about how they can promote the issue to local South Asian communities in their region.
The aim is to raise awareness of the problem and help to support more ‘vulnerable and socially deprived’ sections of the Asian community.
They hope to publish these documents later this summer.
Added to this, the Department of Health say more Asian students are applying to attend dental school than ever before.