How Tooth Decay Affects Children
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 40 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have suffered from tooth decay. Almost a fourth of all children in this age range have untreated cavities. The average child has some sort of decayed primary surfaces. The incidence is higher and more severe in low-income and minority groups, also. Children with tooth decay often suffer from pain, infection and tooth loss. With this in mind, they may have speech problems, and they may struggle to chew and eat efficiently.
According to a recent study performed by the University College London at the King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia, the consequences of tooth decay may be even more serious than previously believed. The study was published in the online journal Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed the extent of decayed, restored and lost teeth in a group of children between the ages of 6 and 8. The study determined that there was a strong correlation between severe tooth decay and poor growth in children.
Children who had more cavities and serious decay were significantly more likely to be short and underweight than children with no decay. The results remained even when researchers adjusted for socioeconomic and other risk factors, also.
Keeping your child’s dental health may be one of the best ways to ensure good general health and proper growth. Strong, healthy teeth enable your child to eat a varied, balanced diet and develop proper speech. Routine dental checkups should begin by the time your child is a year old and should continue every six months, or as recommended. Brush your child’s teeth until he or she is old enough to regularly demonstrate good dental habits for themselves. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your child’s next dental exam and cleaning.
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