Covidies or cavities Children’s teeth need attention / Public News Service

A pandemic doesn’t stop tooth decay, and dentists are reminding parents to bring their kids back on a regular schedule before the fallout from COVID-19 does more damage.

In her practice in Houston, Rita Cammarata said it was clear Americans were postponing checkups and cleanings during the height of the pandemic, and that includes their children’s dental health.

“We noticed a slight increase in cavities,” Cammarata said. “So that year or two that we started going to the dentist with our kids, it really had an impact on their dental health.”

She noted that cavities can get significantly worse over time and reminds parents that tooth decay is irreversible.

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, and it’s estimated that one in four Texas children does not have “excellent” or even very “good” dental health.

Cammarata – a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry who has been recognized by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry – said children tend to get cavities faster than adults, and these cavities are often larger .

At the same time, children may have a tooth infection but not realize anything is wrong until their face is swollen and the pain is overwhelming.

“And it’s usually the swelling that gets people’s attention,” Cammarata said. “And then, boom – they’ll go to the emergency room or they’ll become an emergency visit to a dental office.”

At his office, Cammarata said visits are finally returning to pre-COVID numbers, with children showing up for checkups every six months. She said regular visits are generally easier on a parent’s wallet and can prevent unforeseen dental emergencies.

“And that always happens on a Saturday night,” Cammarata said, “when nobody’s available, you have big plans to have dinner with friends and now what do you do? If those things had been dealt with earlier, those things could have probably been handled a lot easier – especially for the child.”

Some dentists have noted stress-related dental issues over the past couple of years and encourage “night watchman” evaluation to prevent teeth grinding and clenching which can damage teeth and promote gum recession and tooth decay. loss of teeth.

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