A recent Canadian study published in the Pediatrics Journal came to some alarming conclusions about parents’ oral health care initiatives for their children (or lack thereof). The study found that less than 1% of healthy children receive dental care as recommended by health professionals by the time they are 1-year-old. Families participating in the study had their children’s’ dental habits surveyed between September 2011 and January 2013 . The Canadian Dental Association recommends children see the dentist within 6 months of growing their first tooth or by the age of one (whichever comes first).
Even more alarming: the same study found that less than 2% receive dental care by the time they are 2-years-old! Activities such as excessive bottle use and eating sugary foods as an infant are common factors that play a role in the formation infant cavities. The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and St. Michael’s Foundation, and there was a clear consensus: parents’ lack of attention to their infants’ oral heal can lead to painful and costly outcomes later in life. Along with suffering from cavities, a child can suffer oral infections, pain that leads to difficulty eating, poor sleeping and even poor behaviour. What is most surprising is that harmful oral health issues for infants are highly preventable if noticed early on enough. Don’t be a statistic: visit your dentist sooner rather than later to help your child—and your wallet! Prevention is key to reduce pain, save money, and to promote long-term oral well-being.