The report showed that children from low income families are more vulnerable to early childhood caries (ECC) than their affluent counterparts. Other important findings:
- Children ages 2 to 9 living in poverty are twice as likely to suffer tooth decay
- 36.8% of these cases will go untreated (versus 17.3% of non-poor)
- Tooth decay rate is 5 times more common in children below the poverty line.
The ?State of the Little Teeth Report? went on to discuss the social impact of untreated ECC. Children experiencing ECC were more likely to miss class, less likely to complete assignments, and have behavioral problems as a result of teasing experienced because of their teeth.
The AAPD expressed frustration at the rapidly increasing rate of ECC because, ?most tooth decay is preventable?.
In response to their findings, the AAPD has launched an educational campaign to ?arm parents and caregivers with important tools and information to help fight tooth decay?.
For dentists and orthodontists, the influx of educated parents and caregivers may be what is needed to raise pediatric treatment acceptance rates, increase early dental visits, and close the gap between parental knowledge and action. As early dental visits increase, make sure your office is prepared with the best pediatric dental products available.
About the Author:
Dr. Felipe Moreno practices pediatric dentistry in Norwood, MA at Epic Lifetime Dental Care.