The Importance of Oral Health
Tooth decay is the most common childhood infection in the U.S., more common than asthma or hay fever. Over half of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 have at least one cavity or filling. By age seventeen, that number jumps to 78% with 7% having lost one permanent tooth to decay.
Dental cavities are painful and may lead to infection and abscess. In addition, they may cause difficulties with eating (not chewing well or comfortably) and speaking. Distractions from learning and playing are other possible consequences due to the pain and discomfort from tooth decay.
Dental cavities are preventable through the use of sealants and fluoride. Here are some suggestions you can use to help prevent cavities.
- Eat regular nutritious meals
- Avoid frequent between meal snacks
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste – children under 7 years old should use only a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste
- Have regular dental visits (every 6 months)
- Talk to your dentist about sealants
Loss of a tooth is traumatic. You can help prevent accidental tooth loss by:
- Wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle
- Using a mouth guard and protective headgear when playing sports.