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    Cavitiy Rates in Young Children Are Rising

    New reports are spreading across the country that state the cavity rates in children are steadily climbing. In one case, a 2 1/2 year old child was examined by a pediatric dentist who discovered that 11 out of 20 of the child's teeth had cavities. According to the report, "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there was an increase five years ago in the number of preschool children with cavities, for the first time in 40 years." ("") A similar report in the New York Times stated that, "... dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with 6 to 10 cavities or more." (Saint Louis)

    When young children arrive at the dentist with multiple cavities or severe tooth decay, they are usually subjected to invasive treatments and may be placed under general anesthesia. There appears to be a growing concern that the dental health of children is taken more seriously, yet the the reports state that many parents are not properly caring for their children's teeth.

    Why are there so many children facing such severe dental health issues? According to the reports, the blame for tooth decay in children is mainly placed on children not having routine visits to the dentist and not drinking fluoridated water. They also place partial blame on snacking and the amount of sugary foods that children are consuming, especially pop and juice. In addition, they mention that young children do not often brush their teeth properly and parent's do not enforce tooth brushing.

    "Dentists offer a number of reasons so many preschoolers suffer from such extensive dental decay. Though they are not necessarily new, they have combined to create a growing problem: endless snacking and juice or other sweet drinks at bedtime, parents who choose bottled water rather than fluoridated tap water for their children, and a lack of awareness that infants should, according to pediatric experts, visit a dentist by age 1 to be assessed for future cavity risk, even though they may have only a few teeth." (Saint Louis)

    While many dental professionals place only partial blame on the types of foods a person consumes, it is actually the main factor in having optimum dental health. Fluoridated water is ineffective and even causes dental fluorosis, which is a discoloration of the teeth. Lack of fluoride is not related to the high rate of cavities. While tooth brushing and visiting a dentist are important, they are not the main factors that contribute to poor dental health.

    If we examine the types of foods that children are consuming, we can discover why so many children are now facing cavities and tooth decay. Many children are allowed to consume pop on a regular basis, and some are given juice to drink daily and at bedtime. They are also given sugary or processed foods that offer little nutritional value. The problem with these types of foods is that they alter the natural body chemistry and cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels in the body. When the internal body chemistry is disrupted, it results in the body pulling essential minerals, such as calcium, from the the teeth and bones. What a child's body needs to be healthy is a diet that is rich in nutrients, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals. If the family adopted a nutrient-rich whole foods diet, many of these dental problems could be prevented and even corrected in young children.



    Dell'Antonia, KJ. "The Preschool Cavity Epidemic." New York Times. New York Times, 06 March 2012. Web. 7 Mar 2012. < >.

    Saint Louis, Catherine. "Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities." New York Times. New York Times, 06 March 2012. Web. 7 Mar 2012. < >.

    "Aggressive tooth decay strikes toddlers." N.p., 06 March 2012. Web. 7 Mar 2012. < >.

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