14 May Tooth Decay #1 Chronic Disease of Toddlers to Teens
What! Even with fluoride toothpaste, a brush and a healthy diet tooth decay is preventable! The problem with this is that toothpaste, and toothbrushes and healthy diets are often absent from low income homes in this country.
Pain makes it harder for children to eat, sleep, smile and earn good grades. The dental care for children represents 20% of health care costs in this country and this often leaves out good restorative care and takes in emergency care and extractions.
This is just tragic and has been the norm for decades. Often children don’t have enough to eat let alone toothpaste and a toothbrush, so it is difficult to be judgmental toward poor parents in this regard.
There are government programs and nonprofits that work toward helping this national disgrace but sometimes it is just not enough. One of these non-profits is Children’s Dental Health Project that is helping with this cause since 1997.
The rest of us in dentistry must take one child at a time with education and caring and being present to help and to educate and understand parents and caregivers of children. Giving to charities that help with this ongoing challenge is wonderful but helping in your real world is the best. Be aware of your own children and their friends and help any way you can as a dental professional to improve the health of our children’s dental health.