Unfortunately, children’s dental health does not always receive the attention it deserves. In fact, cavities are one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. Today, one in five children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Advantage Care Health Centers’ Dr. Meredith Jaffe has seen the consequences of childhood dental neglect — pain, infections and even problems with eating and speaking — first-hand. To help raise awareness during National Children’s Dental Health Month, Dr. Jaffe has a few words of wisdom for parents.
According to the CDC, children ages 5 to 19 who come from low-income families are twice as likely to have cavities than those from higher-income households.
Dr. Jaffe, a graduate of the New York University College of Dentistry, says that children’s dental health may be neglected for a variety of reasons, including:
On Long Island and throughout the country, the dental health of children is also often impacted by a lack of education. For example, some parents have never learned about the benefits of fluoride toothpaste or the harmful effects of sugary liquids.
Dr. Jaffe says the earlier that parents place a priority on children’s dental health, the better.
For instance, if it’s a pediatrician who catches a black spot on a child’s tooth, significant damage might already have been done.
Dr. Jaffe says that childhood dental care is an important part of preventive medicine, because it can prevent small issues from escalating into a situation that could require a trip to the emergency room.
According to Dr. Jaffe, beginning proper dental care at an early age is the best recipe for success. It encourages them to practice healthy habits and develop a relationship with a dental professional.
Regular dental visits also allow a child to get acclimated to these types of appointments before potential major procedures might be necessary.
By making a habit of taking your child to the dentist, you will give them the best shot at having a healthy mouth and gums.
This February, join Advantage Care Health Centers in recognizing National Children’s Dental Health Month. During February and every month, pediatric dental care is available to your family at Advantage Care Health Centers. Dr. Jaffe and the rest of our team of professionals are available to treat your child, regardless of your income or insurance status.
Contact us today to request an appointment.