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Is Early Preventive Dental Care Effective?

Reading a new report from the School of Public Health, it would seem that the jury is still out as to the merits of preventive dental care for young children. Dental problems for under-fives are still on the increase despite many parents now having their children’s teeth checked regularly by a dentist before even reaching the age of two.

It would be logical to assume that young children who had preventive dental care would have fewer problems as they grew older but this apparently is not the case according to the recent findings.

In fact what the study revealed was that:

– Children under five who had been treated by a dentist from an early age suffered more from tooth decay and cavities than those who had not.

– Visits to the dentist were more frequent for those who had preventive dental treatment

– Parents of children who had early dental care spent considerably more on dental treatment than parents of those who were untreated in early life.

The American Dental Association, and other professional bodies, recommend that young children should see a dentist at the first sign of baby teeth but the University of Alabama report sees little merit in this recommendation and states “what we find is that we cannot definitively say whether early preventive dental visits reduce tooth decay with the available data” and further research is required.

Further details of the report’s findings can be read at

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