The 2021 Oral Health Barometer, carried out by the QSP consultant for the OMD, shows that 73.4% of children under six never go to a dental appointment, a percentage that rose from the previous edition of the barometer, in 2019.

Analysing these data, the chairman of the OMD, Miguel Pavão, told Lusa agency that this data from the barometer is the one that raises the “greatest concern” to professionals.

"This means that there is work upstream to be done", he defended, explaining that the OMD has called for the dental check to include children "from an early age".

According to Miguel Pavão, monitoring during childhood ends up having "behavioural changes for a better oral health of the population".

The data compiled by the barometer indicate that children aged between 10 and 12 years old are the ones who use dental checks the most, while children aged 16 and over are the ones who use the least, followed by children up to 6 years old.

As for oral hygiene, 76.2% of respondents say they brush their teeth frequently, at least twice a day, a percentage similar to that recorded in the previous edition of the barometer.

According to the study, the percentage of Portuguese people who wash their teeth three or more times a day increased, the same being true for cleaning their dentures/dentures.

Compared to the 2019 barometer, there are more Portuguese (seven percentage points more) going to the dentist for routine cleaning, check-up or orthodontic appointments.

The barometer also indicates that 60.5% of the Portuguese consider Dental Medicine to be “a medical area that is more expensive than the others”, a situation that increased compared to 2019 (53.8%).