"To ensure children’s overall health, we’ll have to start with the place where the most common
chronic childhood disease lives: the mouth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have created two free-to-order handouts for parents can help them protect their children’s oral health “Think Teeth” handouts for parents — one that focuses on oral health tips for young children and another with tips for kids of all ages. Click here
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of early childhood — 5 times more common than asthma. Nearly one-quarter of preschool-age children have experienced
tooth decay, and 50% of kids have had at least one cavity by the time they reach adolescence. Given these facts, the CMS handouts should come in handy for dental clinics, community health centers, and children’s advocates.
Dental health in children is vital, especially when research points to long-term, pervasive ways tooth decay can impact a child’s life. Children with poor oral health were nearly 3 times more likely to miss school, according to a North Carolina study
. Children who reported recent toothaches were 4 times more likely
to earn a lower grade-point average than peers reporting no dental pain. Overall, tooth decay can negatively impact a child’s physical and social development.
Luckily, the most common chronic childhood disease is also the most preventable. We have identified many cost-effective ways to reduce tooth decay. The cost
of applying a decay-preventing dental sealant to a child’s permanent teeth is much less than the cost of filling a cavity. In addition, for most cities, every $1 spent on water fluoridation saves $38
in dental costs.
Parents have a key role to play. If you, or your organization works with families, share these materials
to emphasize why it’s important for parents to 'think teeth.' "
And don't forget to see our very own free TeethFirst! materials here!