Why Are So Many Young Children Getting Cavities?

Small Children Are Getting Cavities More Often

The number of children between the ages of 2-years-old and 5-years-old with cavities in their teeth are becoming more common in than ever before according to the CDC's report. 28% of the children between 2-years-old and 5-years-old have cavities. This percentage was just 22% a decade ago. 


This finding is based on the analysis of data from two national health studies in which the participants were interviewed and dental check up performed to assess the oral health. The first study on 26,000 U.S civilians was conducted from 1994-2004. The second study was conducted from 2004 to 2014 and included more than 25,000 participants. Data regarding the oral health from the two studies were compared to observe the pattern.

The report shows that the overall oral health of the Americans improved from 1994-2004. There was a notable decrease in the dental cavities for all age groups except the children between 2-years-old and 5-years-old. It also shows that there is a decrease in the number of seniors who are losing all their teeth. But the report does not explain the reason for the increase in dental cavities in children between 2-years-old and 5-years-old. It does mention that boys, non-Hispanic whites, and youths from low economic families are particularly affected.

“This study clearly shows that when the nation is trying to make improvements in the overall dental health, it still remains a cause of concern in some of the racial and ethnic groups, who have more tooth decay than other groups," says Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH from CDC.

Start teaching your children to brush their teeth as early as possible. At first, just wet the toothbrush. As soon as teeth start to come through, use the tiniest amount of toothpaste--no more than a dot.  By the time the child is three years old, increase to a size of a pea. Brush gently all around your child's baby teeth -- front and back. Brush baby's teeth yourself until they can hold the toothbrush fairly well. At about the age of 6, they can brush, spit and rinse on their own and may just require the reminder to brush their teeth twice a day.