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    Baby Teeth Cavities on the Rise

    Cavities Becoming More Common for Kids Aged 2 to 5
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    April 30, 2007 -- America's children are increasingly getting their first dental cavities before the tooth fairy arrives.

    The CDC today released its latest report card on the nation's oral health.

    The report shows that about 28% of U.S. children aged 2-5 have cavities in their baby teeth. That's up from about 24% nearly a decade ago.

    Data came from two national health studies that included interviews and oral health checkups.

    The first study, conducted from 1988 to 1994, included more than 26,000 U.S. civilians. The second study, conducted from 1999 to 2004, included more than 25,000 U.S. civilians.

    The CDC compared the two studies, looking for oral health trends.

    Overall, the CDC's report shows that oral health improved for most Americans between 1988 and 2004.

    For instance, dental cavities declined for every age group except children aged 2-5, and the number of seniors losing all of their teeth continues to decline.

    The statistics don't explain why dental cavities are rising in baby teeth. But the study shows that boys, non-Hispanic whites, and youths living in poverty were particularly affected.

    "This report shows that while we are continuing to make strides in prevention of tooth decay, this disease clearly remains a problem for some racial and ethnic groups, many of whom have more treated and untreated tooth decay compared to other groups," the CDC's Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH, says in a CDC news release.

    Dye was among the researchers who worked on the CDC's report.

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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    You are currently

    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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