Cavity Rates Declining For Young People In The United States



For years, at least one in five Americans had at least one or more untreated cavities and children were the main contributors to these high cavity rates. But that might not be the case anymore.

According to CNN, though young people historically have more dental problems, there are fewer dental cavities found in American youth. A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the percentage of children with dental cavities in the U.S. has dropped from 50% in 2012 to just over 43% in 2016.

The report also found a correlation between childhood dental cavities and family income levels.

“The prevalence of total dental (cavities) decreased as family income levels increased, from 51.8% for youth from families living below the federal poverty level to 34.2% for youth families with income levels greater than 300% of the federal poverty level,” the CDC’s study states.

WebMD reports that the study’s findings, released by the CDC on April 13, stem from an ongoing study of Americans’ health and nutrition habits conducted through physical exams at mobile health clinics and in-home interviews.

“It’s encouraging to see this decline happening,” said Dr. Rosie Roldan, director of pediatric dentistry at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.

Additionally, the youngest children involved in the study, those between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, had the lowest rates of cavities and untreated cavities.

“We’re making progress, but there’s still work to be done,” said lead researcher Dr. Eleanor Fleming, of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

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