Your children’s oral health should be a priority in your home. Cavities, better known as caries or tooth decay, are at the top of chronic childhood diseases in the United States. Left untreated they can cause oral pain and infections that can lead to problems with activities of daily living like, eating, speaking, learning and even playing. It is proven that children with poor oral health tend to miss more school and receive lower grades than children with good oral health. Which makes sense when you think about how horrible the pain or infections can be when trying to concentrate.
But don’t fret! There is good news! Cavities are preventable! With innovations in oral health care like fluoride varnishes and fluoridated water, children’s oral health is not difficult to master. Varnish can prevent close to 33% of caries in primary or baby teeth. Children who brush daily with fluoride toothpaste and those living in communities with fluoridated water will have fewer cavities as well. Even dental sealants can prevent cavities for many years. Applying these sealants to the chewing surfaces on the backs of teeth can prevent up to 80% of caries.
Here’s the Numbers:
- About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
- 1 of 7 (13%) adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
- Children aged 5 to 19 years from low-income families are twice as likely (25%) to have cavities, compared with children from higher-income households (11%).
Stayed tuned next week for things you can do as a parent to ensure your children’s oral health is optimal condition.
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog