An American mother living abroad in Denmark gave people an inside look at the country’s free paediatric dentistry system inside elementary schools.
Annie Samples, 37, also known as Annie In Eventyrland to her TikTok followers, moved to Denmark four years ago with her family for her husband’s work. In October of last year, she shared a video on the platform that received 5.9m views at the time and has recently gone viral on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In the video, she chronicled a free checkup her six-year-old son underwent at a Danish elementary school, half a mile from his own. After she takes him out of school, they walk to the other school that has a dental office in the basement.
Her son scans his health identification card and waits to be called, according to the clip. In the video, Samples said, “Almost all paediatric healthcare after age five is handled through the school system. Apparently, this is to ensure kids from all socioeconomic brackets get proper healthcare.”
She explained that children typically have dental appointments every 18 months, although if there are any issues spotted, parents can make additional appointments, schedule more frequent visits, or request more testing. “Of course, we left without paying anything, and won’t receive any bills in the mail,” she concluded.
Viewers were stunned at the stark contrast between the American and Danish dentistry systems.
“Why is this so hard for the US to implement,” one viewer commented on TikTok. “It’s brilliant!” Someone else added, “It seems like such as simple concept yet impossible for America.”
Another person joked, “Yeah, a dentist in a basement in the u.s. would probably mean he keeps his teeth and more.”
Meanwhile, others noted that the clean, efficient and free dentistry was able to exist in Denmark due to public services like free healthcare being funded by high taxes, of which the country has some of the highest in the world.
“Denmark taxes are as high as 56%,” someone commented. “Nothing is free guys. So again. You did pay, just through your taxes.” Another wrote, “Oh you paid… through your taxes. I like this though.”
Many were interested in the concept of an easy “no frills” approach to dentistry rather than an overwhelmingly privatised and fragmented industry in the US. As the daughter of a paediatric dentist, Samples told Insider that she felt motivated to share Denmark’s system to show how “starkly different” the European country’s system functioned, working less like a “commercial experience” eager to sell you on products and more like a “standard-issue” affair.
As for her taxpayer dollars going directly into public programmes like these, Samples explained to the outlet, “I love paying my taxes here. They’re the best and most efficient way to care for your neighbor, and I’m thankful for it.”
Like other Denmark residents, the content creator’s taxpayer dollars not only go to public dentistry programmes, but also funds free general healthcare as well as free higher education, parks and recreation programmes, and more.