Dental health for young children

by Administrator 8. November 2011 09:42

Action for Children North Carolina director of research and data Laila A. Bell is featured as a guest columnist in today’s News & Observer.  Her column, Treating children to healthier teeth,” helps direct our attention to the importance of oral health for young children.

Some of Laila’s key points:

  • Most dental decay is preventable, yet dental decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood.
  • In North Carolina, 63 percent of children begin their school career in poor oral health.
  • Children with untreated dental decay face greater risk of debilitating medical conditions later in life including health disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
  • According to the 2011 Child Health Report Card, more than half of all Medicaid-enrolled children accessed dental services last year – but budget cuts threaten children’s access to care.

From the 2011 Kids Count Data Book
“Establishing a sturdy foundation for children’s healthy growth and development begins before birth and continues into the early elementary school years. With a strong foundation in place, it is much easier to keep children on track to stay in school and graduate, pursue post-secondary education and training, and successfully transition to young adulthood.”

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