How Tooth Decay Can Prohibit Growth in Children
Many people are surprised to learn that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in kids between the ages of two and eleven years old. Half of all California kindergarteners have tooth decay, and twenty percent have severe decay. By the time these children are nine years old, seven out of ten have had a cavity. Tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss, not to mention lost school days. A recent study shows that it can also affect a child’s growth.
The study, which was published online in “Pediatrics,” evaluated children between six and eight years old. Their dental health was rated based on the number of decayed, filled, and missing teeth. Based on the statistics the researchers gathered, children with more cavities were more likely to be short and underweight compared to their peers with better dental health. This correlation remained even after other aspects were considered, such as socioeconomic factors. While more research is needed to better understand this connection, this study underscores the importance of early dental care.
If you have kids, one of the best ways to protect their health is to protect their smiles. Dental health and general health are inextricably linked. You can start at birth by wiping your baby’s gums after each feed. You can graduate to a soft-bristled toothbrush and toddler toothpaste once those first teeth come in. Regular dental checkups should start around twelve months or when the first tooth appears, and we can give you crucial tips for keeping your child’s smile healthy and avoiding dental disease, root canal treatments, and other issues. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team.
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