According to Healthwatch England research in 2016, close to half of 18 – 24 year olds do not think it is necessary to go to the dentist, indicating a potential lack of interest and engagement by this age group. Having just moved away from home, most students tend to start neglecting their oral health and don’t find out where the local dentist is until later.
We were invited to take part in the Middlesex University ‘Fresher’s Fair’ event, where we raised awareness of the local health services available to the students as many of them are not familiar with these, and took the opportunity to find out how many had registered with a GP and how many had been for dental check up.
Overall 93 students took part in the survey 69% said they were currently registered with a GP and 31% were not. 66% said they had been to see a dentist in the last 3 years and 34% had not.
- On the whole, most of the students understood the importance of registering with a GP and those that had not registered, planned to do it soon.
- Clearly the expense of seeing a dentist, and getting regular dental care was of the highest concern for the students. Several students who were not currently registered with a dentist wanted to know how much it would cost them to register and get a check-up. Others were interested in finding out whether they would get a student’s discount.
- We talked to 10 international students, who were not too sure about how the GP system worked but will be given some advice and guidance from the university on this and other healthcare matters. Prevention.
- Even though a significant amount of students had not been to the dentist lately, they all valued and understood the importance of oral healthcare especially at this stage of their life.