Despite colorful toothbrushes, catchy songs and flavored toothpaste, tooth decay remains a serious issue among children. Nearly 1 in 5 children under the age of 5 have experienced tooth decay.
According to the “State of Little Teeth Report” published by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the overall prevalence of tooth decay has decreased, yet still nearly 1 in 5 children under the age of 5 has experienced dental decay. Can you believe that tooth decay is the No. 1 chronic infectious disease affecting children in the United States?
Each year, Kids Teeth takes advantage of National Children’s Dental Health Month to educate parents on the vital importance of early dental care. Tooth decay is largely preventable. Left unchecked, tooth decay leads to missed school/work days as well as complicated and expensive dental procedures.
“Tooth decay in children can have lasting effects on their overall health and development,” said Dr. Mike Myers. “It can hinder eating, sleeping, self-esteem, speech development and school performance. The good news is tooth decay is largely preventable with good dental hygiene and regular dental exams.”
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children have their first dental visit by 18 months of age. This not only prevents tooth decay and cavities, but helps children get used to visiting the dentist at an early age.
Additional tips to prevent tooth decay in children are:
- Brushing daily for at least 2 minutes.
- Flossing daily.
- Visiting the dentist twice a year.
- Limiting the frequency of carbohydrates. This includes sugary foods and drinks, such as candy and juice, along with snacks that are high in sugars or carbohydrates such as crackers and cereals.
- We also recommend white milk with meals, water between meals and always cleaning the teeth well prior to bedtime.
During the month of February, Kids Teeth visits schools and daycare centers around Mount Pleasant with a puppet show designed to help children learn about good dental hygiene. For information on bringing the puppet show to your school, email email@example.com.