MORE than 120,000 children across Hampshire have not seen a dentist in a year, the Daily Echo can reveal.

According to new figures, more than 100,000 across the county have not seen an NHS dentist in the last year.

Data from the NHS shows that just 61% of children in Hampshire saw an NHS dentist in the 12 months to June 2018, with 110,710 children missing out on their check-up.

This means 23,423 children in the area have not been for their check-up over the period, despite NHS guidelines saying they should be seen every 12 months.

NHS dental care for children is free.

The British Dental Association (BDA) is urging authorities in England to follow the example of the devolved Scottish and Welsh governments, who have set up programmes reaching out to children in schools.

Cllr Dave Shields, cabinet member for health and community safety at the city council, said the authority will work with NHS bosses to look into the best action to take.

And added: “We do have serious concerns about worsening dental health and clearly something needs to be done. One in four children in Southampton is living in poverty. That’s terrible and that is the main issue we need to address because poor dental health seems to affect children from low-income families more than others.”