Did you know that cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States? In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about 20% of children ages 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated, decaying tooth. Leaving issues such as cavities untreated can lead to pain, infections, and may even lead to problems with speaking, chewing, playing and much more.
Here are some more important facts about cavities in children from the CDC:
- 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
- Children who have poor oral hygiene are more likely to miss more school and receive lower grades than those who don’t
- 1 of 7 (13%) adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth
Did any of these facts shock you? The good news is that cavities in children are preventable! Here are some ways you can help prevent your children from getting cavities by age group:
- Wipe their gums twice daily with a soft, clean cloth
- We recommend wiping in the morning after their first feeding and at night before bed
- When their teeth start to come in, swap that cloth for a small bristled toothbrush and water — no toothpaste just yet
- Schedule their first dental appointment by their first birthday
- Ask your dentist about putting fluoride varnish on their teeth as soon as your child’s first few teeth appear
- Brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- If your child is younger than six years-old, we recommend watching them brush their teeth to ensure they are using proper techniques
- Drink tap water that contains fluoride
- Schedule regular dental checkups each year, at least once every six months
Ready to schedule a cleaning or checkup for your child? Contact us today!