Here are some notable facts and statistics regarding children and dental health and hygiene.
Facts About Children & Dental Health
Fact #1: Dental health involves more than just teeth
Dental disease can affect kids as young as 18 months old, and dentists report seeing 2- or 3-year-olds hospitalized for facial infections that could have been prevented with early intervention.
Fact #2: Proper dental hygiene saves money
Since a single filling can cost up to $300, preventing dental problems through good hygiene can save your family money later.
Fact #3: Dental hygiene seems to be worsening among U.S. children
Recent data shows that cavities are increasing among U.S. preschoolers, as are rates of dental erosion. Too much soda and a poor diet is seen as driving these trends. (Painter, 2008)
Fact #4: Tooth decay is actually reversible
Although most dentists drill a filling when they spot tooth decay, a recent 7 year study by Wendell Evans found threat you can revers the problem by changing habits. Those who limited their sugar intake, had regular checkups, brushed twice a day for at least 2 minutes using a soft bristled brush with a fluoride toothpaste, and had a dentist apply fluoride to problem spots, people could reverse tooth decay before cavities developed.
Child dental health statistics
Statistic #1: Rates of tooth erosion among children
In a 2008 study that examined 900 children ages 10 to 14, Bennett Amaechi, a dental researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and his colleagues found signs of tooth erosion in 30% of kids. (ibid)
Statistic #2: Number of children with cavities
According to the CDC, 11% of 2-year-olds, 21% of 3-year-olds, and 44% of 5-year-olds have cavities. (Sheehan, 2015)
Statistic #3: Tooth decay among children
The CDC also says that cavities in young children are on the rise, and that around one in seven 3- 5-year-olds have untreated tooth decay. (ibid)
Statistic #4: Kids & poor tooth enamel
The number of children with defective tooth enamel has been rising over the last two decades. Fifteen to 20% of 6- to 9-year-olds now have defective tooth enamel, (Science News, 4-17-2016, page 28) Chemical exposures might be to blame: Researchers have found exposure to BPA can trigger such problems. (See our chemicals and toxins section)