January 18, 2016
My Belleville dental patients and people across the country hear this message time and time again: children face a high risk for cavities. It’s a message that we replay here at our office on a daily basis, but studies show that we STILL have problems keeping our children cavity free.
Cavities are the number one chronic disease in children across the world, even though every year we dentists implement new technology and techniques that help us fight off tooth decay.
That’s why I was shocked to find a recent study that found about two-thirds of children are not getting the preventive care they need! That means millions of children in our country are developing dental problems at an early age, setting the stage for serious oral health issues.
This was no small percentage of people, either. The study, performed by insurance provider Delta Dental Plans Association, reviewed nearly 100 million dental claims.
What Kind of Care is Your Child REALLY Getting?
Is it possible that we are failing our children when it comes to dental care and setting them up for a hard road ahead? The facts sure do point in that direction. Here’s a small spinet of information that caught my eye while I was reading through the Delta Dental study:
– About 25 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 18 don’t visit the dentist every year.
– About 71 percent of children 3 and younger have never visited the dentist. We recommend that children visit the dentist once their first tooth appears or before the age of 2 years old.
– About 65 percent of children who are at a higher risk of cavities (based on genetics, tooth development, etc.) are not receiving fluoride treatments during their regular cleanings
– Children in America miss about 51 million hours of class instruction because of dental problems. Likewise, parents are forced to take time off work to help resolve those dental issues.
So, what gives? Why are so many children not getting the care they need?
It all falls back on our ability to educate the public – and the parents to get their children into the dental office. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that your children do not develop serious dental issues. Preventive care, of course, is the best way we can help your children avoid cavities. With great preventive care, we can hunt down cavities and resolve small issues before they become huge problems.
Tips for Great Children’s Dentistry Care
What can you do to keep your children’s teeth healthy? Our office works with parents and kids every day to develop successful oral health routines. There are the obvious tips like brushing twice a day and flossing daily, but I have a few other tips parents may not know about:
– Consider preventive treatments like fluoride. Most municipalities have fluoride in their drinking water, but additional fluoride treatments prevent tooth decay.
– Reduce sugar intake. Sugar breaks down in your mouth to develop plaque, which causes decay.
– Schedule two appointments every year. As you saw above, parents can sometimes forget to schedule two dental trips for their child every year. This is extremely important, because in addition to checking for oral health issues, we also check to make sure the teeth are developing correctly.
As a dentist, I’d like to see every child in my community get the dental care they deserve. Let’s work together to decrease the number of children walking around with dental decay. Call my office today at 618-219-1412 to schedule a visit.