As your children get ready to go back to school, it’s important to make sure that their mouths are healthy and cavity-free. According to a survey by Trident, more than 80% of parents don’t realize that tooth decay is America’s most common chronic disease. Parents must introduce healthy dental habits into the lives of their children at an early age to ensure better prevention of oral disease in the future.
By the Numbers
You may not be aware of these disturbing statistics regarding children and dental health:
- The most unaddressed health service among children is dental care (Pew Center on the States).
- Afflicting almost 60% of kids, dental decay is the most common disease in children (Pew Center on the States).
- In the past eight years, tooth decay in children has gone up 28% (Centers for Disease Control).
- At least 20% of U.S children lack annual oral health care, according to a 2010 study, and not many states have policies to help make it more affordable (Pew Center on the States).
- Approximately 52% of American children ages 6-8 have tooth decay. When they enter kindergarten, only 48% have seen a dentist within the past year (U.S. Centers for Disease Control).
- Oral health problems cause American children to lose more than 51 million school hours each year (Academy of General Dentistry).
- Tooth decay is the most common and yet most preventable disease among U.S. children. The disease is seven times more common than hay fever and five times more common than asthma (Academy of General Dentistry).
- State dental policies fail in 1 in 5 children. 17 million children per year go without dental care in the US (DentaQuest Foundation, Pew Center on the States).
- Financial burdens caused more than 50% of uninsured and 30% of insured Americans to skip necessary oral care visits during the last year (2009 Harris Interactive/HealthDay Poll).
Showing your children how to brush and floss can help teach them the importance of oral health. Taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings ensures that nothing slips by and becomes a more serious dental problem. Get them ready for the new school year by taking care of their oral health, and give them something to really smile about.