A debate has opened over the use of graphic health warnings on sugary drinks and sodas. Some dentists and health professionals are recommending that stark images, similar to those used on cigarette packs, are needed to address a pediatric dental crisis of rotten teeth in kids.
Tooth decay is the #1 childhood illness. Research shows that in the U.S. alone, more than 25% of children aged 2-5 years and 50% of those aged 12-15 years suffer from tooth decay. Worldwide, the condition affects 60-90% of school aged children.
Just like images showing the impact of smoking, pictures of dental decay on sugary foods and drinks could warn parents of the dangers of poor oral health.
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ dental faculty says, “In the same way as we have with smoking, that smoking can cause lung cancer and so on, we should be saying high levels of sugar will lead to not only poor oral health and decay but the impact on general health.”
“Pictures always have a greater impact” he adds.
When left untreated, childhood tooth decay can have devastating consequences. Rampant decay can negatively impact a child’s overall quality of life, inhibit their cognitive and social development and compromise their growth, function and self esteem.
Other facts about tooth decay in kids:
- Pediatric dental disease is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
- Left untreated, pediatric dental disease can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, required emergency surgery and even death.
- Pain and infection caused by tooth decay can lead to problems in eating, speaking and learning.
The good news? Rotten teeth in kids is preventable. Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today for a complete pediatric dental exam for your child today.