Opinion: Pediatric dental health crucial to long-term success

Opinion: Pediatric dental health crucial to long-term success

By Sarah Mapes

Colorado ranks 38th in the country for kids who see a dentist regularly. One quarter of all Coloradans are children and only about 3 percent of these 1.2 million children have seen a dentist by age 1. Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and four times more common than early childhood obesity.

Research shows that good oral health is critical to a childs long-term success in life. Unfortunately, the data are not promising for Colorado kids. Tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, and yet around half of our Kindergartners suffer from it. Oral health affects our childrens speech, nutrition, growth, social development, and much more; furthermore, the pain associated with poor oral health is causing our kids to miss millions of school hours every year. If we care about a bright future for children, then we must care about the health of their teeth.

Together, we can ensure kids get the dental care they need for a healthy start in life.