Oral Health Care Statistics

by SKHC Editor on April 23, 2009

Did you know that over 51 million school hours are lost each year because of dental-related illness?

Brushing your teeth seems like a simple step that is part of everyday life. Flossing and brushing daily is just part of basic dental care. Eating regular nutritious meals and avoiding frequent between-meal snacking also aides in oral health.

So, what else is missing? Good dental hygiene also means seeing a dentist and/or dental hygienist every six months for regular checkups. However, children and adolescents don’t always receive the professional dental care they need.

Let’s take a look at some statistics:

Children from families without medical insurance are 2.5x less likely than insured children to receive dental care. Children from families without dental insurance are 3x more likely than insured children to have unmet dental needs.

Does your child have a cavity so big that the school nurse could find it with a flashlight? More than half of children ages 5 – 9 have had at least one cavity or filling.

What childhood disease is 5x as common as asthma and 7xs as common as hay fever? If you guessed tooth decay you’re right. 78% of 17 year olds have experienced tooth decay and more than 7% have lost at least one permanent tooth to decay.

Children with untreated oral disease often deal daily with pain and not being able to eat comfortably or chew well. Aside from physical pain there is also the possibility of mental anxiety due to embarrassment of discolored and/or damaged teeth.

What is being done at your school to educate children about good dental practices? Are there oral hygiene curriculum guides that you, as a school nurse or teacher, follow? Are there local dentists or health clinics that come to your school as part of a dental health education day?

Check out HealthyTeeth.org for kid-friendly oral health facts and quizzes.

Source: CDC

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: