According to the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC's) Division of Health, more than half of children aged five to nine years old have had at least one cavity or filling and 78 percent of 17-year-olds have experienced some kind of tooth decay.
Dr. Deborah Studen-Pavlovich, professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine said that condition is "five times more common than asthma" in children.
"Prevention is better than treatment," she said. "It's cheaper. Examine early. You want the first dental at one."
The CDC also reported that children and adolescents living in poverty, with an annual income of $17,000 for a family of four, were more likely to "suffer twice as much tooth decay as their more affluent peers, and their disease is more likely to go untreated".
Ms. Studen-Pavlovich also warned against children who receive too much of a good thing.
Parents who give their children flavored products with fluoride could lead to fluorosis, which mottles the surface of developing teeth that are waiting to erupt through the gum.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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