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The good dental news in this recent New York Times article would be much better if dental sealants were more widely used. If you and your family do not yet enjoy the protective benefits of dental sealants, please phone TLC Dental Group today at (315) 637-7684 for a gentle, quick, and affordable dental sealant treatment. Think of it as an umbrella protecting your teeth from the rain of dental decay.
Cavities in preschoolers appear to be declining and fewer young children have untreated dental decay, federal health authorities reported on Thursday….. The agency found that 23 percent of children ages 2 to 5 had cavities from 2011 to 2012, down from 28 percent from 1999 to 2004. “It’s encouraging to see a five-point reduction among kids 2 to 5,” said Patrice Pascual, the executive director of the Children’s Dental Health Project, a nonprofit group, though nearly a quarter of young children still had an “infection that puts them at risk for having holes in their teeth.”
More very young children are getting their cavities filled… however, repairing a cavity does not stop the underlying progressive bacterial infection that caused the hole in the first place. Stopping such preventable disease requires not only regular dental care but also changing behaviors, like limiting sugar-sweetened beverages or limiting snacks to 15-minute periods. All-day grazing on Cheerios leaves teeth in a harmful acidic bath longer….
The new C.D.C. data shows that tooth decay is “marching through teenhood,” Ms. Pascual said. From 2011 to 2012, 56 percent of 6- to 8-year-olds had cavities on baby teeth, while half of 12- to 15-year-olds did on permanent ones. An even larger percentage of 16- to 19-years-old — 67 percent — had decay….
“The million-dollar question is why haven’t we seen much change with adolescents with caries experience?” said Dr. Dye, who is now a dental epidemiology officer for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research….Dr. Man Wai Ng, the chief of the dentistry department at Boston Children’s Hospital, noted that teenagers skip brushing at night because “they are falling asleep while texting,” and they report “drinking sugary beverages at all hours to stay awake.”
After assessing risk, Dr. Ng, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, works with families to establish a self-care plan to help keep children cavity-free….Teeth are dynamic. If they demineralize at a quicker rate than they remineralize, you get a cavity, said Dr. Burton Edelstein, a professor of dentistry and health policy at Columbia University. Conversely, it is possible to remineralize a decaying tooth by arresting the disease process, he said.
[ Abridged and edited from the New York Times article of 5/5/15 entitled “Untreated Dental Decay is Falling Among Children”