Monday, May 07, 2007

Good news/bad news on the dental front

…Good news: Fewer people over 65 are losing their teeth, down 7% to 34%.

…Good news: Moderate to severe gum disease in adults has been cut in half to 5% for
ages 20 to 64. In seniors, it’s down 10% to 27%.

…Good news. Tooth decay in permanent teeth of children from 6 to 11 dropped to 21% from 25%, In teenagers it’s down from 68% to 59%.

…Now for the sad face.

…Bad news: Fewer non-elderly adults visited a dentist in the past year (it went down from 66% to 60%, and HA guiltily raises her hand). This is seen as a factor of declining dental insurance. HA is also in dread of those high-ticket “treatment plans” dentists whip out these days.

…Bad news: Little kids have more cavities in their baby teeth, up to 28% from 24% in 1988-94.

…Less fluoride from drinking bottled water? More processed snack foods like juice and fruit leather? (HA’s daughter used to PLEAD for that leather stuff when she was little, but HA always felt the name spoke for itself.)
…Cavities develop fast in little kids, dentists point out. They should start seeing the dentist at age 1.

…And brush their little teeth. Sugar is not so much the culprit as is leaving it on their little choppers.

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