19 Shocking Facts About Children’s Oral Health and Hygiene

child oral health

February is National Children’s Dental Health month. If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to make sure your child’s oral health is the best it can be. If you believe that oral health doesn’t become important until adulthood, the following shocking facts about your child’s oral health may surprise you. However, it’s never too late to start taking steps to ensure your child’s teeth and gums are looked after by a dentist.

  1. The CDC estimates that 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old have at least one decayed tooth that has not been treated. Regular dental visits would prevent this from happening.
  2. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that before age 5, over 50% of children will experience tooth decay.
  3. The Surgeon General reports that over 51 million school hours are lost annually due to dental-related issues.
  4. Children should see a pediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth appears.
  5. Children under the age of 4 should have an adult to brush their teeth for them. Between the ages of 4 and 7, children should still be supervised during teeth brushing, even if they are physically able to perform the task.
  6. Before teeth appear in infants, the gums should be cleaned with a clean wet gauze pad or lint-free cloth.
  7. Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic issues affecting children in the U.S. alone.
  8. Children from lower-income families have twice as much untreated tooth decay as children from higher income families.
  9. Even if no teeth have emerged by the age of one-year-old, your child should have their first visit to a pediatric dentist.
  10. Dental sealants are not just for adults. Sealants are appropriate and safe for children’s teeth.
  11. Age six years old is when the first baby teeth will start to become loose and fall out.
  12. Sedation dentistry is available for children and can help with preventing the start of a fear of the dentist.
  13. Tooth decay in children is five times more common than childhood asthma.
  14. Left untreated, early childhood tooth decay can result in the need for general anesthesia surgery in children as young as 22 months old.
  15. Childhood poor oral health can result in a lifetime of poor overall health.
  16. Children between two and five years old who have not visited a pediatric dentist in the last year are more likely to have caries in primary teeth.
  17. Poor oral health in children can cause problems with speech, learning, nutrition, sleeping habits, social interactions and overall health.
  18. The cost for restorative dental treatments for children can range between $1500 and $2,000 annually.
  19. Children between the ages of two and five years old who eat less than five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day have a higher risk of getting cavities in primary teeth.

Has your child been to see the dentist yet? Many of these shocking facts about children’s oral health could be prevented by maintaining a regular schedule of dental visits, as well as following the recommended guidelines regarding diet and oral hygiene. Call today to schedule an appointment with your child.

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