CDC study finds tooth decay rising among preschoolers - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

CDC study finds tooth decay rising among preschoolers

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Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 4:28 pm | Updated: 7:25 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Tooth decay in children ages 2 through 5 is on the rise, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tooth decay in children ages 2 through 5 is on the rise, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, using data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, looked at oral health survey information from 1988 to 1994 and compared it with dental trends from 1999 to 2004.

The study found tooth decay in primary (baby) teeth among the preschool set increased from 24 percent to 28 percent. The report also noted racial, ethnic and income disparities. The study found that 31 percent of Mexican American children ages 6 to 11 experienced decay in their permanent teeth compared with 19 percent of non-Hispanic white children, while three times as many children 6-11 from families with incomes below the federal poverty level had untreated tooth decay compared with children from families above the poverty line.

The findings did not surprise Dr. Paul Varda of Valley Dental Care in Chandler.

“Diet and oral hygiene” says Varda, are key. He says a diet high in sugar — especially heavy consumption of soda — is adding to the problem.

Dr. Varda offers parents the following dental care tips:

Add fluoride. Make sure your children are getting enough fluoride by buying fluoride-enhanced toothpaste and mouth rinse. This is especially important for parents who opt to give their children bottled water rather than fluoridated tap water.

Brush and floss. “The same general guidelines still hold true today,” says Varda, stressing that brushing after every meal and flossing is essential, especially before bedtime.

Full disclosure. Varda also recommends having your child use plaque disclosing tablets, which are sold in supermarkets. The tablets, which contain a harmless colored dye — which washes off — will color your child’s teeth in the areas where plaque still remains.

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