Tooth decay remains the most prevalent chronic health problem of children in the United States. Since the late 1980s, roughly one in four U.S. children have had tooth decay, a rate that has remained relatively stable over the decades, according to a new study based on extensive federal data.
While the study reveals recent progress in reducing and treating disease among preschool children, the prevalence of decay in the permanent teeth of older children and adolescents has remained static. Continue reading
Three-year old Daleyza Hernandez-Avila died on June 12 after being placed under general anesthesia at a Stockton, Calif., dental surgery center.
The child was scheduled to undergo routine treatment, including the placement of dental crowns and a possible tooth extraction during her appointment, Veronica Rocha reported for the Los Angeles Times. Continue reading
Professionally applied dental sealants offer effective protection against tooth decay. Moreover, progress has been made over recent decades in getting these useful treatments to kids.
Still, the work is far from done. Overall, fewer than half of American children have received the thin plastic coatings applied to the biting surfaces of newly-erupted molars. Particularly concerning to health officials and oral health advocates is the shortage of sealants among low-income children, who face an elevated risk of disease and suffer from higher rates of untreated decay. Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJSt. Petersburg-based pediatric psychiatrist Mark Cavitt said that the effects of chronic stress are more likely for those exposed to a greater number of adverse childhood events.
Science is increasingly clear that constant exposure to stress in youth affects their bodies in ways that alters their brains and changes their response systems, especially younger children exposed more challenges, experts told attendees of a Health Journalism 2017 panel in Orlando.
Panelists noted that stress, even in young children, can be good. It helps spark protective reactions to protect the body from harm – say, crossing a busy street. But studies have shown the constant bombardment of stressful situations in kids can have a serious, cumulative impact. Continue reading
Laura Klivans/KQEDDentist Richard Choi volunteers his time screening students at San Francisco’s public schools for overall oral health. He grew up in the Chinatown and North Beach communities and likes revisiting schools he once attended.
Oral health has improved for the children of San Francisco in recent years. The decay rate among kindergarteners has fallen nearly 10 percent since 2008, city health officials report.
The news is great, but there is a hitch. Not all children are sharing equally in reduced decay.
As is true across the United States, San Francisco’s children of color continue to bear a disproportionate burden of disease. Continue reading