According to a recent study, children are losing out on preventative dental treatment, including teeth brushing and checkups during the pandemic. Covid-19 is an obstacle to having children the dental treatment they need, said a third of parents responding to the survey released by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. 40 percent of parents have stopped seeking treatment at all since the pandemic started, citing worries about illness, office closures, and costs. That’s not healthy, said Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist and spokesman for the American Dental Association.

According to him, delays in preventative care could result in kids acquiring more tooth decay and the dilemma with tooth decay is that when it begins in childhood, it’s the strongest indicator of risk into adulthood. Shenkin said infection control measures have proven successful in protecting patients and employees, despite concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in dental offices. While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes dentists as a very high risk for Covid-19 exposure, actual infection rates among dentists have remained low, a November study reported in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that parents can book pediatric dental appointments with confidence, Shenkin said. However, those who seek treatment face delays. Of those parents who have been trying to book pediatric dental treatment since the pandemic, almost a quarter have registered waiting times longer than the normal, the C.S. Survey from Mott reported.