Oral health is an important aspect of health for all people. However, it is also more overlooked than many other areas of self-care. It can be especially neglected in children, as they often do not understand how serious and important oral health is.
In fact, tooth decay is one of the most common health problems for children in the United States.
This article will outline some facts and details about children’s oral health and how parents and professionals can try to avoid this issue.
There are many studies about oral health for children and adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 11 has at least one decayed tooth that has gone untreated. One in seven adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 has an untreated cavity.
Additionally, there is a large gap between the percentage of children from low-income families who have untreated tooth decay and the percentage of children in higher-income based households. Around 25% of children in low-income families have an untreated cavity and about 11% of children from higher-income households have an untreated cavity.
Oral health is a serious issue, but you can take steps to prevent your children from suffering from serious oral health issues. Fluoride varnish can prevent about 33% of decay in baby teeth. Once a child’s first tooth appears, talk to your dentist or doctor about whether you should start using fluoride varnish or not. Fluoride toothpaste can help children of most ages.
If your child is younger than 6, dentists recommend that you watch them brush their teeth, so that you can make sure they are using the proper amount of toothpaste and brushing effectively. Children under the age of 2, while able to use fluoride varnish, should not use fluoride toothpaste unless a medical professional recommends it specifically.
Some drinking water has fluoride in it, which helps prevent children from developing tooth decay. If you live in a community that does not have fluoridated water, talk to your dentist or doctor about whether your child should be taking fluoride supplements.
Be sure your child visits a dentist by 1 year. It is also important that you bring children to the dentist regularly from then on to reduce the likelihood of developing cavities that go untreated.