Children are missing out on preventive dental care, including teeth brushing and checkups during the pandemic, according to new study. Covid-19 impedes the dental care that children need to have, said a third of parents responding to the survey released by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Nationwide Poll on Children’s Health. Since the pandemic began, 40 percent of parents have avoided seeking care at all, reporting fears about sickness, workplace closures, and costs. That is not safe, says Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, the American Dental Association’s pediatric dentist and spokesperson.

Despite concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in dental offices, Shenkin said disease control strategies have shown progress in protecting patients and employees. Though a November study stated in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that parents can book pediatric dental appointments with confidence, Shenkin said. The U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes dentists as a very high risk for Covid-19 exposure. However, actual infection rates among dentists have remained low. Many who seek treatment face delays, however. Nearly a quarter of those parents who have tried to book pediatric dental care since the pandemic reported waiting times longer than average, the C.S. Documented survey from Mott.