It is essential to our oral health that children are taught and encouraged to develop healthy dental habits as they grow and develop. If healthy habits are developed when they are young, they are more likely to maintain those healthy habits when they are adults. Each person only gets one set of adult teeth, and those teeth need to last from early childhood through senior years.
Sadly, not all children are set to develop healthy dental habits. According to the CDC, roughly one in five children in the United States have untreated cavities. The current statistics on this issue are over 19% of children ages 2 to 5 have untreated cavities and almost 23% of children ages 6 to 19 so. Untreated cavities are dangerous because they can quickly lead to tooth decay, which can result in the loss of the tooth.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay is the number one leading chronic childhood disease in the United States. Many people believe that asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity are the most common chronic illnesses in children. However, tooth decay is 20% more prevalent in children than diabetes. Unfortunately, tooth decay does not get the media coverage and level of concern as other chronic conditions.
Only 22% of people state they floss daily and 75% of people claim they do not replace their toothbrushes regularly. Additionally, most people wait for an average of three years between dentist appointments. As a result of poor dental habits, almost 80% of people have a cavity by the time they are 17 years old. The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools has reported that students lose over 51 million schools hours as a result of dental issues.
Another common dental problem is sports-related injuries. According to a study was done by Colgate, almost 40% of dental injuries happen while playing sports. Additionally, roughly 80% of those injuries are to the front teeth. While accidents can happen regardless of precautions, the majority of sports-related dental injuries can be avoided.
Helmets and mouth guards are designed to help protect the athlete’s teeth from significant injury if they fall or get hit in the mouth. Mouth guards create a protective barrier in case the athlete is hit directly in the mouth by a ball or another player. Helmets create distance between the athletes face and other surfaces. If an athlete falls to the ground, the helmet prevents the athlete?s face from directly hitting the ground full force.
The best way to help children achieve good oral health is to teach and encourage them to brush their teeth thoroughly, at least, two times a day, to floss daily, and to always wear protection when playing sports or riding a bike, scooter, or skate board. Children should also be taken to the dentist every six months to have their teeth checked and cleaned. These are all good habits, and it is essential to develop healthy dental habits over the course of a lifetime.
Good dental health is essential to overall health and proper digestion. Digestion starts with chewing, so children need strong healthy teeth for good digestion. Also, dental surgeries and correcting cavities can be painful and give a lot of people a high level of anxiety. It is important that trips to the dentist are as positive as possible and that will happen with strong health teeth.