Cavities in children on the rise
7 Healthcast: Cavities in children on the rise
UNDATED (WHDH) -- Cavities have always been one of the sore spots of childhood, but for a growing number of kids, cavities and tooth decay are posing a problem well before kindergarten.
Tooth decay in 2-to-5 year olds is on the rise. According to a recent New York Times article, dentists are regularly seeing preschoolers with as many as six to 10 cavities.
Dentists say the reasons for the increase aren’t hard to find.
“Every time a child has a snack with a sugary item, their mouth becomes acidic,” said Dr. Jed Best, a dentist. “It’s the number in frequency of exposures in that acidic environment that can cause tooth decay.”
Brushing twice a day has long been the prescription for healthy teeth, but it’s a habit too many children aren’t developing because they don’t like to brush. Dentists say it’s worth the battle.
Some toddlers require such extensive dental work, including root canals, that general anesthesia is necessary. These procedures can cost parents anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on insurance coverage.
“It’s in their best interest to get the treatment done at one visit,” said Best. “That requires either sedation or general anesthesia.”
Over the last decade the number of pediatric dentists has risen more than 50 percent. Parents are advised to avoid sugary snacks, have their children brush their teeth twice daily and don’t forget to floss.
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