As a parent, you do your best to stay in the know and educate yourself on the issues facing your kids. But unless you're constantly scanning the news and searching the Internet, it's impossible to stay updated on every piece of information out there. One area in which you can easily educate yourself is oral health. In fact, some of the oral health facts concerning your kids might surprise you, but they can also serve as a way for you to plan and enforce better oral care in your home.
The Most Common Childhood Disease
Type 2 diabetes, asthma and obesity are all fairly common childhood conditions, but tooth decay tops them all as the most prevalent, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Twenty times more common than diabetes and five times more common than childhood asthma, tooth decay (dental cavities) should be an important focus of your attention as you look to maintain your children's health.
Cavities Often Go Untreated
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 19 percent of adolescents aged 2 to 19 have untreated dental caries; and 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 have had caries in their primary teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Make dental hygiene and regular dentist visits a priority for your family; the sooner a cavity is detected, the less damage it does to the teeth.
Sports Can Cause Dental Injuries
Little league is adorable to watch, but a sports-driven child can also have a higher risk of dental injuries. The AAPD notes that 10 to 39 percent of dental injuries in children are caused by sports, particularly chipped and broken teeth. Make sure your little athlete has the right sports gear, including a mouth guard if necessary.
Dental Issues Can be Educational Issues
Taking an afternoon off of school for dental work isn't as easy on your kid's school schedule as you might think. The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools warns that 51 million school hours are lost each year due to a dental related illness. Semiannual checkups may not seem to contribute to this much, but the time taken for more extensive dental work such as filling cavities can add up, especially if your child misses important school work. Look to schedule regular appointments during school vacation, and try to fit more serious work around classes. Of course, addressing oral hygiene at home can help prevent these more serious dental problems. Help make oral care a fun habit by brushing twice daily with kid-themed products such as Colgate® SpongeBob™ Anticavity Fluoride toothpaste.
Remember: Oral health facts are a perfect means to understanding the importance of personal dental hygiene and regular checkups. By establishing healthy habits today, your child can have a healthy mouth for life.