Did you know that 51 million school hours are lost annually nationwide due to dental disease?
A new report shows that First Things First and its early childhood partners are taking a bite out of school absences by funding preventive screenings and application of fluoride varnishes for kids 5 and younger.
The percentage of kindergarteners with untreated tooth decay has decreased by 8% since 2003, surpassing FTF’s stated 2020 goal by 5% — five years early!
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, early childhood caries (ECC) — a rapid form of tooth decay — is the most common chronic early childhood disease in the United States. ECC can cause lasting harm to a child’s health and impact their cognitive and social development. As a child enters school, it can lead to missed school days, inability to focus, anxiety and other factors that affect academic success.
Fortunately — as this report shows — tooth decay is highly preventable.
Read more good news about the impact of FTF’s oral health investments, and learn more about the challenges that remain in getting young children smiling all the way to school!