Kids are getting more cavities these days

by beagooddad on May 2, 2007

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A report is out that shows that kids are getting more cavities than we did in the late 80s and 90s. I find that hard to believe based on the number of cavities I had as a kid but I guess I would fit more into the late 70s early 80s crowd anyway.

28 percent of kids between 2 and 5 have cavities compared to 24 percent in the 80s/90s.

There appear to be two big reasons for the increase, less fluoride and less parental supervision of diet and oral hygiene.

I already hear complaints from my daughter when I make her drink tap water instead of bottled. There is fluoride in the tap water. Unless you have reason to believe that your water is not safe, you and your kids should be drinking it. And by reason to believe, I mean you should have some test results telling you your water is bad or you should have well water that you know doesn’t have fluoride added. Only then should you abandon the tap.

As for the parental supervision of oral hygiene, brushing should be part of routines. For us it is right after breakfast during the getting dressed routine and before bed. We recently added a third session after lunch because we are working on making the kids brush their own teeth more often and figure that an extra session would be helpful.

The diet might be the trickier one. Kids like sugar. Parents like kids that aren’t sitting around yelling that they want sugar. So parents end up giving them sugar. Watch out for too much fruit drinks and too much pop. I can’t really think of a reason why a 2-5 year old would be drinking pop, but I’m always amazed at how many of them have their own 20+ ounce of Pepsi at a restaurant. Sugar in liquids is at least as bad as sugar in food.

Cavities in baby teeth are a real problem. You might thing, but they’ll just fall out and get replaced anyway. But if you don’t develop the habits to keep those teeth clean, what do you think is going to happen to the adult teeth when they come in? More cavities when they are in grade school and beyond.

I have the fillings to prove it.

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