Tooth Decay Is Up in Young Children
Decay in children’s baby teeth is on the rise. The number of 2- to 5-year-olds with such decay increased from 24 to 28 percent from 1988 to 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On the plus side, decay in permanent teeth fell in the same years. For children ages 6 to 11, it dropped from 25 to 21 percent. Among teens ages 12 to 19, it decreased from 68 to 59 percent.
About 30 percent of children ages 6 to 11 and 30 percent of teens ages 12 to 19 have had dental sealants. This plastic coating protects teeth against decay. Preventive measures such as dental sealants have been widely available for years. The CDC’s Division of Oral Health reports that their efforts need to focus on reaching children living in poverty, who would benefit most from sealants.1,2
1 “Oral Health Improving for Most Americans, But Tooth Decay Among Preschool Children on the Rise.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 30, 2007. www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2007/r070430.htm?s_cid=mediarel_r070430_x Accessed 2010.
2 “Trends in Oral Health Status: United States, 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 2007, series 11, no. 248. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17633507 Accessed 2010.
Henry (Hank) Bernstein, D.O.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Eakle, Stephan W., DDS
Date Last Reviewed:
Date Last Modified:
The views represented by this article are that of the author and not of Delta Dental. This article is provided for information only. Please consult with a licensed dentist to discuss the best way for you to improve or maintain your oral health.
In all cases, specific group contract provisions, benefits, limitations and exclusions take precedence over oral health recommendations given here. We recommend that you contact your dental benefits carrier to determine the specific limitations and exclusions for your group.