MANY more children in York visit a dentist compared to the average for the rest of England, new figures have shown.

Some 81.2 per cent of children in the city have been to the dentist in the last two years compared to 69.2 nationally.

Meanwhile, 56. 4 per cent of adults in York have been to the dentist in the last couple of years compared to the 52.3 per cent average for England.

But while the figures released by the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) showed rising numbers of people in Yorkshire are seeing an NHS dentist - people in the East Riding and North Yorkshire have below average attendance levels.

Only 45 per cent of adults in the East Riding and 51 per cent in North Yorkshire - compared to a 52.3 per cent national average - had seen the dentist in the two years before June.

And only 60.5 per cent of children and 67.8 per cent in North Yorkshire saw the dentist compared to the national average of 69.2 per cent.

Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer for NHS England, said it was committed to improving access to NHS dentistry.

He pointed to “very significant increases” in courses of care, including the provision of fluoride varnish which was given to children in 2.7m treatments in the last two years, making it the most common therapy for youngsters.

He said it showed the message “‘prevention is better than cure’ is getting through”.

“This is very encouraging and means that as a nation our oral health should continue to improve,” he added.

Nearly 30 million adult and child patients in England saw an NHS dentist in the two years before this June.

The figure is is 1.8 million more than in the 24 months to March 2006, when the reporting series began, and equates to 55.9 per cent of the population being seen in the 24 months to June 2014.

A rising number of adult and child patients see an NHS dentist, but only the North of England has recorded an increase in the percentage of the child population seen compared to eight years ago, new figures show.

Kingsley Manning, HSCIC chairman, said: “This report shows one impact of a growing population on NHS dentistry. While more and more people are taking a turn in the dentist’s chair, the proportion of the population seen is increasing slightly for adults but dipping slightly for children compared to eight years ago.

“Both the national and regional picture will be of interest to the public but also provides a basis for further exploration for health professionals. The report also highlights dental workforce statistics, which show an 18 per cent rise in the number of dentists performing NHS activity since 2006/07, will help to build a fuller picture of the state of NHS dentistry in England.”