MORE than 50,000 children in Oxfordshire have not seen an NHS dentist in the last year, according to recently released figures.

The British Dental Association said the rate of check ups for children is 'national disgrace' and put it down to a lack of information to engage hard-to-reach families.

NHS data shows that 36 per cent of children in Oxfordshire have not had a dental check-up in the 12 months to September 2018 , compared with the 41 per cent average across England.

It means 51,028 children in the area have not been for their check-up over the period, despite NHS guidelines saying they should be seen at least once a year.

The remaining 64 per cent did see a dentist during the period.

NHS dental care for children is free.

The BDA’s chair of general dental practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said: "The fact nearly five million children are missing out on free dental care is nothing short of a national disgrace, but is the logical result of policies from successive governments.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We want every single child and adult to have access to NHS care, whatever their background or location.

Last year a record 6.9 million children were seen by a dentist with numbers rising every year.”