Pediatric dentistry, by the numbers
Pediatric dentists receive two to three years of additional training about children’s oral health, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
“Parents don’t realize how important baby teeth are,” says Dr. Lisa Abadeer, a pediatric dentist with highly rated Dentistry for Children & Adolescents near Minneapolis. “They think of them as disposable.”
But they set the tone for a lifetime of oral health. “If your baby teeth are cavity-free, then your risk for disease in your permanent teeth is lower," she says.
Sink your teeth into these numbers:
20 - Number of fully formed teeth in a newborn, hidden from view in the jawbone.
49 - Percentage of children aged 2 to 5 years who have never been to a dentist.
2 to 3 - Number of minutes kids should spend brushing their teeth.
8 - Typical child’s age when he or she has the dexterity to brush without supervision.
24 - Percentage of children aged 3 to 5 with untreated decay in at least one tooth.
6 - Maximum ounces of juice a day pediatric dentists recommend for children younger than 6 years old, and no juice before age 6 months. Juice combined with saliva creates enamel-eating acid.
14 months - Recommended maximum age for a child to use a bottle. This helps avoid prolonged exposure to cavity-causing sugars in milk, formula or juice.
1 - Recommended age for a child’s first dental exam, or emergence of first tooth, whichever comes first.
51,000,000 - School hours lost each year due to dental-related illness.
61 - Percentage of childhood tooth decay that can be prevented with dental sealants, a thin plastic coating painted on teeth, usually molars.
Sources: American Dental Association, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Institute of Medicine, Healthy People 2020, American Academy of Family Physicians, The Nemours Foundation