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DENTAL REPORT CARD

September 13th, 2012

With all the advances in prevention and all the education provided to our children and their parents, all the fluoride in toothpastes and municipal water supplies, and all of the emphasis on healthy foods and snacks, you would think that we should be winning the battle with dental disease.  Well you might be interested in the facts.
According to United States Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher (Retired), oral disease in this country is a silent epidemic, an infectious disease that affects almost half of all second graders, and almost 80 percent of 17 year olds.  He described it as the number one unmet health care need among children in the United States.  School children miss over 52 million hours and adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental related illness.  Poor oral health affects proper nutrition, sleep and overall health.
Organized dentistry continues to try to make dental care available to all who are in need.  It is now well recognized that oral health contributes significantly to overall health.  While it is critical for dentistry to provide services in the most efficient and best way possible, it is also incumbent on our population to be involved in their own health care and to take an active part in the prevention of disease.
It’s important to start your kids out early on a healthy path.  That means water to drink for between meals and at sports events.  Remember, your kids are watching you too.  If they see you consuming soft drinks, they’ll want to do the same.  You need to lead by example.
The same is true of snacks and diet in general.  We often hear patients tell us that they have “bad teeth” just as their parents did.  In reality, they often have the same bad habits in diet and oral hygiene that led their parents to problems.  Prevention can be taught and learned.

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