This quote seems apt today when applied to children living in the State of New Jersey, according to researchers. The latter found that in 2009 one in 20 children (aged 3 – 18) living in the State received no dental treatment whatsoever. While this statistic is an improvement on previous research in 2001, which found one-third of children had no dental treatment, nevertheless it does raise questions as to what the authorities are doing to improve access.
Seemingly, it is children who have no insurance cover or are born outside of the US who are at the most risk of dental problems.
Although the American Dental Association recommends regular trips to the dentist for either check ups or treatment, the cost can be prohibitive for many families. As such, they tend to forego these visits, spending money on other things instead.
Yet, as is now known, ensuring teeth are checked regularly can in fact help prevent more serious problems from developing later in life.
Speaking with reporters, José Nova, research project coordinator and lead author of the study said: “Tooth decay remains one of the most preventable common chronic diseases among children.”
It seems in the USA generally, tooth decay affects over a quarter of children aged 2 to 5 and a massive 50% of children aged 12 to 15.
Many dentists are trying to address this massive problem by offering free surgeries every now and again. But it is still clear that dental health in the USA has a long way to go before it improves.