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As Cavities Increase So Does The Number Of Dental Surgeries For Children
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As Cavities Increase So Does the Number Of Dental Surgeries for Children

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the number of preschool aged children with one or more cavities increased for the first time in over four decades. But, even more troubling is the dramatic amount of the increase and what it means for dentists who are faced with treating the teeth of these children. In an informal survey of dentists from across the United States, researchers found that in many cases preschoolers are coming to the dentist with six to ten cavities and sometimes more, a number that is not only hard to imagine but very hard to treat under normal conditions. In these extreme cases, the dentist often recommends using general anesthesia to ensure that the work can be done with as little pain and trauma for the child as possible.

Although there is a slightly higher rate of dental issues among children in the lower socio-economic areas, the problem cuts across all levels. Dentists say that there are a number of factors that relate to this dramatic increase in dental decay, including a lack of parental effort and education. Children should see their family dentist by the time they are one year old, for instance, so that the dentist can assess how the teeth are coming in and can recognize any potential problems that might already be forming. In addition, the dentist can educate the parent about the right way to care for baby's new teeth and gets the child used to seeing him or her from the very start. However, this is often not done with some parents delaying dental treatment until there is actually a problem already in place.

Unlike the children from forty years ago, today's children are constantly snacking and rarely brushing their teeth. While they get to have sugar sweetened sodas and juices, candy and other treats, most kids are not even getting the minimally recommended two brushing sessions per day even once they are old enough to handle the task themselves. And, most moms are afraid to force their child into something they don't like, especially if they will fight and cry about it. Additionally, many children are drinking only bottled water to reduce their exposure to chemicals in tap water, but unfortunately that also reduces their fluoride levels as well.

To deal with the more serious and advanced decay, most dentists are sending their young patients to dental surgery units which uses general anesthesia to totally sedate the children for the work. The cost is more than double a typical dental visit and carries a significant number of health risks to consider.


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