January 28, 2020
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month: Dentists Are Celebrating Water Fluoridation
As One of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements of the 20th Century
Bala Cynwyd, PA – The year of 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation and dental professionals are celebrating this occasion during National Children’s Dental Health month starting February 1st. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water. The American Dental Association (ADA) and Bala Kids Dentistry remain committed to fluoridation of public water supplies as the single most effective public health measure to help prevent tooth decay. More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named community water fluoridation one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. “Before water fluoridation, children had about three times as many cavities,” according to the ADA. The recommended level of fluoride in community water is 0.7mg/L or 0.7 parts per million (0.7 ppm is equivalent to 1 inch in 23 miles, 1 minute in 1000 days and 1 cent in $14,000).
Despite water fluoridation, dental cavities (tooth decay) is still the single most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. According to the CDC, one in five children ages 6 to 11 years and one in four adults have untreated cavities. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems eating, speaking, learning and more serious health issues. Pediatric dentists are specialists dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through young adulthood. “As pediatric dentists, we are committed to prevention and education of families early to provide optimal oral health”, according to Dr. Sheedeh Madani, a prominent board certified pediatric dentist in Philadelphia and the main line area. “The research shows that an estimated 34 million school hours and over $45 billion are lost in productivity each year due to unplanned (emergency) dental care,” adds Dr. Madani citing the CDC.
One in every seven U.S. children ages 2 to 8 years have untreated dental cavities in primary teeth, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. Dr. Sheedeh Madani recommends preventative visits and early intervention treatments such as dental sealants and in some cases, silver diamine fluoride to prevent or slow the progression of dental decay. “To prevent dental issues, children should have their first dental visit as soon as their first tooth appears or by their first birthday,” says Dr. Madani who is the director of Bala Kids Dentistry in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
“We would like to remind parents that cavities can be avoided. Brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride containing toothpaste, eating a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks, and seeing their dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease are the keys to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums,” says Dr. Madani.
For more information on Bala Kids Dentistry, visit www.balakidsdentistry.com or call us at 610-DENTIST (610-336-8478).
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