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Parents say kids' oral health not making the grade observes Delta Dental survey

Posted on July 24, 2019 in Children’s Oral Health


smiling boy with family at picnicIt’s almost back to school time, which means report card time is right around the corner.  With this in mind, we wanted to share how parents across the country graded the status of their kids’ oral health as a part of the Children’s Oral Health Survey. Few parents (21%) nationwide would give their kids an excellent bill of oral health.

Views of their young ones’ oral health tend to diminish over time as parents relinquish control of kids’ brushing and flossing habits. For example, while 30% of parents score children under 3 years old with having excellent oral health, that number declines to 21% for 3-5 years old, 17% for 6-9 years old, and 14% for 10-12 years old.

Obstacles to children’s healthy smiles

So what contributes to kids’ oral health being less than it could be? Get your toothbrush ready … not brushing enough (50%) is the most popular response from parents, according to the Delta Dental national survey.

Other top responses include not flossing enough (46%), eating too many sweets (37%), and a family history of poor oral health (21%).

No vacation from oral hygiene

“Despite advances in oral health care, tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases, with more than half of children ages 5-9 having had at least one cavity,” said Dr. Sheila Strock, vice president, dental services and science officer at Delta Dental of Illinois.

Maintaining an oral hygiene regimen of brushing twice and flossing daily, along with preventive dental checkups, should be part of every child’s routine,” said Strock. “Parents can model this behavior to help kids establish healthy oral care habits at an early age.”

Parents can help keep their children’s oral health on track with the free Delta Dental mobile app featuring a toothbrush timer. Delta Dental Mobile is optimized for iOS and Android devices (smartphones and tablets) and is available for download in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android devices. To learn more, search for Delta Dental in the app store.

Healthy teeth and gums are vital to a child’s long-term overall health. Parents should practice good dental health habits and serve as a role model. For more information read our Child’s Oral Health flyer and ensure your family has healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

About the survey
The Children’s Oral Health Survey was conducted between December 31, 2018, and January 13, 2019, among a nationally representative sample of 1,481 parents of children ages 12 and under. The margin of error is +/- 3%.