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The New York Times had an eye-opening article about the rise in cavities amongst preschoolers that require general anesthesia for treatment.
[D]entists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with 6 to 10 cavities or more. The level of decay, they added, is so severe that they often recommend using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake.
Cavities have been on the rise because of:
[E]ndless 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.
And because some toddlers dislike tooth-brushing, some parents do not enforce it.
After reading this article and thinking about the prospect of Charlie going under general anesthesia, we became extremely diligent about brushing his teeth. It’s embarrassing to admit, but we hadn’t been as strict as we should have been. Luckily Charlie likes brushing his teeth, and we’ll often do it 3-4 times a day now. We also switched to Tom’s of Maine Children’s Toothpaste with fluoride, over the nonfluoridated Earth’s Best toothpaste we had been using now that Charlie is able to rinse and spit. Since we never give Charlie juice and he’s been drinking boiled tap water since he was 6 months old, at least we’d been doing something right!
Has your child been to the dentist? How diligent are you about your child’s dental care?