The Need for Oral Health Education

Although dental decay in early childhood is almost entirely preventable, it is the most common childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. Decay in the US has dropped for all age groups except preschoolers – rates of dental decay among young children continue to rise, with over 28% of preschoolers suffering from dental decay. The problem is more extreme amongst low-income children: they have three times the amount of decay.

Dental decay can affect the foods children choose, how they look, and the way they communicate. As children with severe dental decay grow into adults, dental decay can affect economic productivity and compromise an individual’s ability to concentrate at home, at school, or on the job.

Dentists know that severe decay in early childhood can affect an entire life – from not starting school ready to learn, to the impact of the permanent teeth coming in decayed or out of alignment, potentially causing jaw pain for the rest of their lives. Severe pediatric dental decay may prevent a a child from reaching their full potential.