COVID bringing more kids to the dentist with cavities

Lack of structure and being home from school more led to more cavities in children

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives in many ways, but one way some people may not think about is dental health.

The American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says over the past year they’ve seen the number of kids coming in with cavities spike.

Here in Lincoln, dentists are seeing similar issues.  Dr. Heidi Stark of Lincoln Pediatric Dentistry believes a lack of structure and children being at home instead of school means kids are snacking on unhealthy foods.

“Just make sure you’re not snacking differently or more often on things like carbohydrates, candies, juices, pops, Gatorades, things that are going to raise your cavity risk. Basically, your mouth gets acidic and therefore if your mouth is always acidic then your teeth break down,” said Dr. Stark.

The AAPD also says people are canceling their appointments and not going to see the dentist routinely can cause problems, especially in children.

Stark says if children begin to experience tooth decay, it may be a small cavity. People at home may not notice it, but at a dentist’s office the dentist can see that and fix it.

Problems can get more severe if nothing is done. If parents are waiting a year or more their kids could end up with an abscessed tooth which would result in the tooth needing to be pulled.

She recommends children see a dentist every six to eight months. She also wants to remind people dentists don’t just clean the teeth, but they also look for anything else that may be wrong in the mouth.

As always she says it is vital to maintain good brushing habits and brush at least twice a day.

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