Do you help combat the increase in preschool cavities?
Across all income levels, there are more kids today with mouths full of cavities than in the last several decades.
Some are calling it an epidemic—the number of preschoolers
with six to ten cavities or more.
In a study it completed five years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found an increase in cavities in preschoolers, for the
first time in 40 years. It's not just a cavity or two, but so many and so much decay that, in some cases, kids have to go under anesthetic to have
their teeth extracted or repaired, says a New York Times article.
The causes are several—busy parents, too much snacking and drinking of sweetened beverages, and drinking bottled water instead of fluoridated tap
Another problem, it seems, is that parents just don't know when they should start brushing their little tykes' teeth or when they should take them to
the dentist—or they don't want to battle a kid squabbling over brushing his or her teeth.
But Dr. Jed Best, a pediatric dentist in Manhattan, says "'I'd much rather have a kid cry with a soft toothbrush than when I have to drill a cavity."
As health care communicators, we all have the opportunity to help turn this trend around. Check out these pointers for parents and share them with your
The American Academy of Pediatrics' healthychildren.org website has one of the
most comprehensive and easy-to-follow guides for early dental care we found, but resources are also available on these sites:
What dental health warnings, tips and resources do you share with parents of young children?