Tooth decay in young children's baby teeth is on the rise, a worrying trend that signals the preschool crowd is eating too much sugar, according to the largest government study of the nation's dental health in more than 25 years.
Experts are concerned about the prevalence of cavities in baby teeth of children ages 2 to 5. It increased to 28 percent in 1999-2004, from 24 percent in 1988-1994, according to the report.
Tooth decay in young children had been decreasing for 40 years. Some studies have suggested the trend might have ended, but the new report contains the first statistically significant proof the trend has reversed, dental experts said.
One reason is that parents are giving their children more processed snack foods than in the past, and more bottled water or other drinks instead of fluoridated tap water, Dye said.
"They're relying more on fruit snacks, juice boxes, candy and soda" for the sustenance of preschoolers, he said.
The results are being reported Monday at a meeting of the American Association for Public Health Dentistry in Denver.
Steve - the comment about kids drinking more bottled water instead of tap water being a possible reason for the increase is a joke. Most bottled water comes from public water sources anyway. It sounds to me like they are trying to cover up the fact that fluoridating our public water source has had no effect on reducing tooth decay. The diet part we agree with, however.