Initiating preventive dental care right from childhood can go a long way in reducing the instances of early childhood cavities among children from low income groups, a new report published in the journal, Pediatrics reveals.
A group of American researchers analyzed the effect of North Carolina's dental program, "Into the Mouths of Babes" which requires babies to be given fluoride treatments and dental exams by pediatricians and family doctors for the last 11 years. The program was funded by the government health insurance program, Medicaid.
The researchers found that those who underwent the program during the period between 2000 and 2006 were 17 percent less likely to have cavities by the age of 6 years compared to those who had no visits.
The spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, Dr. Mary Hayes said that the study showed prevention worked for children. "This speaks to the fact that prevention does work. Now we know that prevention needs to begin when the first teeth come in. We should involve the medical community. It makes sense that pediatricians be trained to look at the teeth", she said.