Dental Health in Children: Get the Facts

By Lyn Hughes, dental hygienist, DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

parent and doctor showing child how to brush teeth

Originally published at District Medical Group on October 21, 2020


October is Dental Hygiene Month, which is somewhat ironic as Halloween, the day of the year where children probably get more candy than ever, is also in October.  So, why not take this month to talk to your children about the importance of taking care of their teeth?

Getting your children into healthy dental habits now can save them time and pain and give them advantages throughout their lives.  According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than children who don’t.

Did you know cavities are one of the most common childhood diseases in the United States?

When untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections which can lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

The CDC also shares these facts about cavities in children:

  • 20 percent of children ages 5-11 and 13 percent of adolescents have at least one untreated cavity.
  • Children ages 5-19 from low income households are more than twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay.
  • About one-third of cavities in baby teeth can be prevented by a fluoride varnish.
  • Dental sealants applied to the surfaces of back teeth can prevent 80 percent of cavities.

Beginning dental care when your child is a baby is a great first step towards optimal dental health.  Schedule your child’s first pediatric dental care appointment at the age of one to spot signs of early problems.  We’ll help you identify good at-home dental habits to engage your child in taking care of his or her pearly whites for a lifetime.