Summer vacation is upon us. You and other parents are scheduling summertime fun, family time, and family getaways. Fairfield Dental Associates wants you to know one other item should be on the list - your child's dental checkup. Why? Your child may already have a cavity.
A study conducted in New York shows children tend to develop more cavities in the spring and late winter than any other seasons of the year. Certainly, some of the increase in dental decay could be blamed on more fast food as people rush around to extra-curricular activities during school. Processed foods can be very bad for our teeth. A decrease in sunlight during the winter months may be another contributing factor, since people absorb less Vitamin D from the sun. That being said, spring and summer are good times to catch decay. You are more likely to stop a cavity your child may have developed if you schedule a checkup now. Why not head it off early with a summer checkup? You'll have more time to schedule it and can stamp out decay in the earliest stages when it is much simpler to treat. That is easier on your child and your budget.
Cavities - Number 1 Health Problem in Children
The incidence of dental caries or cavities in children in North America and other parts of the world is disturbing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that after 40 years of decline, dental decay is the number one chronic disease among U.S. children. It is seen fives times more often than asthma. Preschoolers of all income levels have six to 10 times the cavities they did in just the past few years. A study in Canada showed 58% of children ages six to 11 have cavities. With the rise in popularity of high energy drinks, college students are also reporting more dental decay. These beverages contain a lot of acid which eats through enamel and dentin, leaving teeth prone to dental caries.
How Fast Cavities Develop
This should be the mantra of every parent - "Catch cavities early. Prevent cavities before they start." Sometimes dental decay develops in just a couple months. The rate of progression depends on the number of dietary sugars your child consumes and how many times demineralization has occurred. Demineralization happens when dental plaque and bacteria build up and erode the structure of the tooth. It takes many episodes of demineralization to weaken the tooth. Once this happens, decay is imminent. Dental cleanings are the only way to remove plaque and stop dental decay in its tracks. A dental checkup detects cavities while they are too small to notice and easy to remedy.
Fairfield Dental Associates specializes in preventive and pediatric dental care. Dr. Katherine Finkel can show you proper ways to care for your teeth and offer suggestions on diet and lifestyle to make cavities a thing of the past.
Do your kids a favor this summer. While you are scheduling them for camp, contact our office and get them set up for a checkup and thorough cleaning.