A combination of the food we eat and our culture is drastically changing children’s oral health. We wish it was for the better!
Our society moves at a rapid pace, which means more meals and snacks are consumed on the go. Furthermore, because of our fast paced nature, we turn to fast food and unhealthy, sometimes sugary snacks rather than nutritious options. This results in an elevated number of cavities in children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement saying that “28 percent of preschoolers in the U.S. experience decay in primary or “baby teeth.” And for the first time in four decades the number is increasing. Currently, among children 2 to 5 years old, one in five has untreated cavities.”
Poor diet, drinking bottled water (no fluoride) versus tap, and going to bed with sippy cups are all culprits of the rise in pediatric cavities. Also, because many people are out of work in the recession, without dental insurance, visits to the dentist can’t be afforded.
The dental society states:
“A dentist should examine a child as soon as primary teeth begin to appear, usually during the first six months and no later than the first birthday. This is similar to a ‘well-baby’ checkup, and it will not only identify potential problems, it gets the child used to visiting the dentist at an early age.”
Some tips for preventing tooth decay in children are:
– Wipe a baby’s gums after feeding with a clean, moist cloth to ensure all residue is removed.
– When two teeth appear that are touching, gently floss between them.
– Avoid giving children sports drinks and soda.