Dentists share alarming data about child dental care in Mississippi

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Researchers from WalletHub say around 15% of children from two to 17 have not seen a dentist in a year.

The Centers For Disease Control reports that between 2017 and 2020 around 46% of children ages two to 19 years had untreated or restored tooth decay in one or more primary or permanent teeth.

Some studies like Express Dentist show that Mississippi is at the bottom of the list when it comes to child dental care.

While some people don’t like the experience of going to the dentist, for many it’s the expense that holds them back.

However, many dental issues start early in life, so getting an early start on oral exams is important.

Dr. David Curtis has been a dentist for more than 30 years.

He said the key is to get children to understand the importance of dental care at an early age.

“If you don’t understand the importance of good oral health if it hasn’t been explained to you, if you don’t have an understanding of it and how it is for your child to have good oral health then there’s nothing that has been change from the time that they are two years old to the time they are 17,” Curtis said. “You are still going to have the same mindset about it and usually carry on over into adulthood, it almost always does.”

Curtis said that low-risk patients should come in at least once a year while high-risk patients need to be seen at least every three to six months.

“It’s not placing a blame on anybody, it is what it is,” Curtis said. “Some people have a better understanding of the issue than others and it’s not like they don’t care about their kids. They care about their kids. They just haven’t been sat down and talked with about.”

Curtis said it only takes up to a couple of minutes to catch any dental issue for kids or adults.

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