Dentists are urging parents to rethink what they put inside their children's lunch boxesA huge number of Aussies are skipping dental appointments and not for the reason you think. Picture: iStockSource:SuppliedBEING scared of the dentist can be understandable, especially when you are young. There is frightening looking tool that a stranger uses to prod and poke the inside of your mouth, what kid wouldn't be afraid?For some people, that fear sticks around even into adulthood, but there is a much bigger reason millions of Aussies are skipping out on their regular dental check up.Finder.com.au surveyed over 2000 Australians and found that the equivalent of 12.6 million people have purposefully avoided the dentist, with and the biggest reason having to do with money.The research found that a massive 41 per cent of people listed high costs as their main reason for not visiting the dentist.READ: Man's horror $20k dentist visitFear was the second most cited reason, with 20 per cent scared of needles, pain or just the dentist office itself. Laziness headed up third place, with 13 per cent of people claiming they just "never get around to it".The reasons why Aussies are skipping out on the dentist. Picture: Finder.com.au/SuppliedSource:SuppliedThe study found that women are more likely to avoid a trip to the dentist, with 47 per cent of women saying it is too expensive compared to 36 per cent of men.Whatever your reason might be for skipping out on visit to the dental chair, it could be doing more harm than you realise, with dental complications being the third biggest cause of preventable hospitalisations in the country.Only one in three Australians said they keep up to date with their dental visits, which is why more than 63,000 Australians are hospitalised each year for preventable dental conditions, according to the National Oral Health Plan.Health insurance expert at Finder.com.au, Bessie Hassan, said it was astounding that dental issues were so common in Australia."It's hard to believe that oral health is a problem for a first-world country like Australia," she said."Oral disease is among the most common and costly health problems experienced by Australians yet many can just not afford to see a dentist."Over 63,000 Australians are hospitalised each year for preventable dental issues. Picture: iStockSource:SuppliedAnother reason respondents said they were putting off a dentist visit was that they knew they needed major dental work and instead of dealing with it they were avoiding it all together.A shocking 25 per cent of Australian adults are living with untreated tooth decay and in 2016 the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that there were 846 oral cancer deaths in the country.Government figures show Australians are three times more likely to delay seeing a dentist than a GP but Ms Hassan says we shouldn't be so complacent."As a nation we are well practised at justifying avoiding the dentist but the consequences could be major," Ms Hassan said.Insurance was another reason Aussies say they aren't paying attention to oral health, with Ms Hassan saying it was important to know exactly what you were covered for."Even the most basic extras cover usually has generous general dental inclusions," she said."If you are paying for it, you might as well use it."Ms Hassan added that if you couldn't afford a private dentist but had a concession card then you should visit a public dental service."These services are provided free to eligible people and in every state and territory in Australia," she said.