Tooth Decay in Preschoolers is On the Rise; Sugary Food and Drinks May Be the Culprits
Posted Dec 18 2008 7:35pm
The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics finds that the rate of tooth decay amongst kids aged 2 to 5 is on the rise, Will Dunham of Reuters and Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press report.
The CDC's report, "Trends in Oral Health Status-United States, 1988-1994 and 1999-2004," found that 24% of preschoolers had at least one cavity in the period 1988 to 1994. Then, the rate jumped by 4% so that 28% of 2- to 5-year-olds had the same problem from 1999 to 2004.
This is disappointing news, because, according to Stobbe's piece, which also ran on Salon.com, tooth decay had been declining for 40 years up until now.
So why are more little ones getting cavities these days?
Dr. Bruce Dye, a dentist and the lead author of the CDC's study, says that parents are causing this unfortunate trend by giving their children more sugary juices, sodas, and more prepackaged, processed foods, along with giving them more bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water.
"They're relying more on fruit snacks, juice boxes, candy and soda," to feed their youngsters, Dye tells the AP.
The good news is that the vast majority -- 72%, to be exact -- of preschoolers are cavity-free, which, I hope, means that their parents can keep their sugar intake under control. Maybe the parents of the 28% of kids with cavities need to read Connie's book SUGAR SHOCK for tips on how to wean their tots from the sweet stuff.