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.”