Half of Belgian six year olds have never been to a dentist
Half of all children six years old and younger have never been to the dentist, according to a study carried out by the socialist mutuality in West Flanders, published in the daily Het Nieuwsblad.
A dentist consultation is free of charge for children and youngsters up to the age of 18. The only condition is that they must visit the dentist annually.
"Many people are scared off by the fact that they have to fork out a considerable sum which is reimbursed later by health insurance," says Chris Van de Bossche of the Bond Moyson insurance mutuality.
Another problem is that many parents assume that taking care of baby teeth is not necessary. Specialists highlight that this is not the case because the condition of the baby teeth has bearing on the permanent teeth afterwards. Further by taking care of the baby teeth, children learn good habits that are essential for later on.
Fear of dentists also plays a role. Many adults do not go to the dentist enough either.
Dentists recommend a consultation 2 times per year.