New report ranks kids' dental health in U.S. states
Healthcare for children is necessary today, but not everyone has the same amount of access, and costs and quality also vary. WalletHub has conducted a study revealing what you need to know about health care for your kids in the different states as well as their dental health.
Each state was ranked according to 30 different factors for healthcare for children aged 0 to 17. The factors included the average health of children in each state, the number of pediatricians and family doctors per capita.
The Best States
The top state for the general health of children is Vermont. This little state ranked the highest in terms of children's nutrition, physical activity and obesity, and access to health care, but ranked #9 in terms of oral health.
The District of Columbia ranked second in the category of the kid's general health and access to medical care. The District ranked #14 in terms of their nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, but at #8 on oral health, which puts them one rank higher than Vermont.
Other states that ranked the highest in terms having the healthiest children include Maryland, Alaska, Michigan, and Connecticut. Five states that have the most children with the poorest health include Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana.
Researchers and medical professionals know that there is a big correlation between the health of an individual and their oral care. When there is a poor level of dental health it will clearly impact the general health.
The study revealed this correlation. The children with the best teeth (New Hampshire, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and Iowa) were also among those states with the best health. The states with the lowest number of children having healthy teeth and gums include Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri, and Mississippi.
Good dental health partly depends on regular visits to the dentist. This again is seen in that the states with the most number of recent visits to the dentist also have the most children with the best oral health. These states are in the northeast and include Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The states with the fewest number of recent visits to the dentist include California, South Dakota, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
Another factor that affects your oral health is how you eat. Eating and drinking a lot of calories every day – especially sweet foods and drinks – will very likely lead to children being overweight and obese, and will often lead to poor dental health.
The connection is clear. The bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities and gum disease feed on sugar. Whenever these bacteria consume sugar, they produce the acid that causes the problems. The more sugar you consume, the more acid there will be. It is the acid that erodes the enamel on your teeth and eventually produces sensitive teeth and cavities.
Soda contains as many as nine teaspoons and of sugar. When you add sugary desserts and candy to the list a child eats every day – and soda adds even more acid – it is easy to see why so many kids are developing cavities – and extra weight.
The survey reveals that there is a strong relationship between the states with the most overweight and obese children and those with the poorest teeth. The states with the most overweight and obese children include Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, and Mississippi.
Eating healthy also plays a big factor in the health of teeth – whether that of a child or an adult. The acid in your mouth is constantly demineralizing the important minerals in your teeth. In essence, it leaches them out and leaves the enamel weak. Your saliva provides a fresh supply of the right minerals – but only if you eat right. Calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and D, and fluoride are needed to remineralize the enamel to keep them strong.
The best way to improve your child's overall oral health is to start ensuring that they brush and floss every day. They need to brush twice a day for about two minutes each time. Brushing and flossing will help to keep the bacteria, acid, and food particles off their teeth. Consuming less sugar and sweets will help protect teeth, too, as well as drinking water after eating or drinking sweet foods.
The Importance of Regular Dental Care
Making regular dental visits is a good way to keep your children's oral health in great shape. Dentists can spot problems early and treat them – when it is much cheaper.
If your kid's dental health is poor and he or she needs treatment for dental problems, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist can provide the needed dental treatment. He provides a wide range of dental services for all ages and accepts most dental health plans. His dental offices are located in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.