The Increase in Cavities Among Children
By J. Brent Gorrell on May 08, 2012
A recent article in The New York Times reported on the rise in the number of preschool-age children who require extensive dental work. The article cited one case involving a 2-year-old boy from Washington state who required the extraction of two incisors, a root canal, and fillings on 11 of his 20 baby teeth. Dentists treating the boy blamed his poor dental condition on a lack of proper brushing habits.
A 2007 study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the first increase in 40 years in the number of preschoolers with cavities, according to the article. The degree of tooth decay being seen in preschool-age children nationwide is so severe that dentists often must resort to using general anesthesia to sedate the children for the required extensive dental work.
Our Mountain View cosmetic dentist is a skilled pediatrics dentist and experienced in working on children with serious dental problems. Our entire office staff is dedicated to explaining the importance of proper brushing and other dental health to children and their parents. If you live in or around Mountain View, dental crowns may be part of the solution to improving your dental health. Our dental practice works to stop the sharp rise in serious dental problems among children.
Dental Problems in Young Children: Causes
The New York Times article cited a variety of reasons why so many children suffer from serious dental decay, including:
- Sugary juices and snacks consumed at bedtime
- Drinking bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water
- A lack of dental visits before age 1, when children can assessed for future cavity risks
- Parents and caretakers failing to enforce healthy eating and brushing habits in children
Dental Surgery Risks Among Children
Children are particularly at risk from anesthesia and more likely to suffer from nausea, vomiting, and other side effects. In the most serious cases, children suffer brain damage and even death as side effects from anesthesia administered during surgery. That makes the fact that more children are being placed under general anesthesia for complicated dental surgeries more alarming. Even the use of anti-anxiety drugs to relax a child before administering local anesthesia for pain carries risks of overdose that could affect breathing.
Parents are to Blame
The article lays most of the blame for the increase in cavities among children squarely on parents. Parents and other caretakers who give in to children and do not insist on brushing teeth are largely to blame for the rise in cavities and other issues. Dentists quoted in the article say they’d rather have a child crying about having to use a soft tooth brush before bedtime than having to drill and remove a cavity.
Contact Our Mountain View Cosmetic Dentist
If you are concerned about your child’s dental health or the rise in cavities among children, we encourage you to contact our office. Our cosmetic dentist and team of dental professionals are dedicated to helping you and your child achieve better oral health and prevent cavities. We look forward to hearing from you.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.