Minority children not receiving dental care in Netherlands: study

Many minority children don't visit the dentist in the Netherlands, according to dentistry professor Albert Feilzer of Acta. This could be reversed by paying more attention to prevention in dental care and adding adult dental care to the basic health insurance package, he said in an interview with newspaper Trouw.

Dental care is likely to be too expensive for people with low to average income. This group includes many minority families. Parents who stay away from the dentist because they can't afford it, often also deprive the children from coming along. The number of people without additional dental care insurance increased from 7 percent in 2006 to 16 percent this year.

Another study from Rotterdam's Erasmus MC showed that 60 percent of 6-year-olds in Moroccan and Turkish families have at least one cavity, three times more than their Dutch peers. Figures from Statistics Netherlands show that 40 percent of kids did not visit the dentist last year, despite the fact that it is covered by their health insurance.

"This is especially true for certain groups, such as people with a lower income and minorities", Karin van Nes, dentist at CBT Rijnmond and researcher for Acta, said to the newspaper. "Parents, Dutch and minority, often still thin that milk teeth need less attention. Wrongly."