Dentists share alarming data about child dental care in Mississippi


GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Mississippi (WCBI) – About 15% of children ages 2 to 17 have not seen a dentist in a year, according to researchers at WalletHub.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that between 2017 and 2020, about 46% of children ages 2 to 19 had untreated or untreated cavities in one or more primary or permanent teeth.

Some studies, including Express Dentist , show Mississippi ranks near the bottom for dental care for children.

While some people dislike the experience of going to the dentist, for many people the cost is what prevents them from going to the dentist.

However, many dental problems begin early in life, so it is important to start an oral exam as early as possible.

Dr. David Curtis has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years.

The key, he said, is for children to understand the importance of dental care from an early age.

“If you don't understand the importance of good oral health, if it's not explained to you, if you don't understand it and how your child can have good oral health, then there's nothing you can do about it from the time they're two to 17. Something has changed,” Curtis said. “You still have the same mindset about it, and that usually carries over into adulthood, almost always.”

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, Curtis said.

“That's not blaming anyone, that's just the way it is,” Curtis said. “Some people understand this issue better than others, and it's not that they don't care about their kids. They care about their kids. They just haven't sat down to talk about it yet.

Curtis says it only takes a few minutes to spot any dental problem in a child or adult.

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