December 19, 2013

Preschoolers Need Tooth Brushing

The number of preschoolers requiring extensive dental work suggests that many parents are not enforcing daily teeth brushing.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an increase, the first in 40 years, in the number of preschoolers with cavities.  Dentists nationwide are seeing, at all income levels, sometimes six to ten cavities or more.  The level of decay, they added, is so severe that they recommended using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake.  The growing problem is due to a combination of reasons:  endless snacking, juice or sweet drinks before bedtime, leaving a bottle of milk in the crib, parents who choose bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water, and lack of awareness that infants should, according to pediatric experts, visit a dentist by age 1 to be assessed for future cavity risk, even though they may have only a few teeth.  Lax parenting when it comes to brushing or pacifying kids by giving them a sippy cup all day are important causes.

Reported in the New York Times     

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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