Smiles — the newest source of national pride.

Well done, America! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH) recently reported that tooth decay has decreased across the board, as efforts to prevent cavities and dental diseases are paying off.1

“The research shows that good things come to those who take care of their teeth, and more and more Americans are doing that,” said Dr. Doyle Williams, dental director for Delta Dental of Massachusetts.

Here are some toothy tidbits:

  • Tooth decay decreased 15% in the permanent teeth of children and adolescents ages 6-19
  • 20% reduction was seen in the percentage of adults who had lost all of their teeth
  • 10% drop in untreated tooth decay for those ages 6-19
  • 18% drop in untreated tooth decay for those 20 and older

Despite definite dental strides, the research still suggests that more effort is needed to improve the oral health of many Americans. Fifty percent of children ages 12- 15 years had tooth decay, as did two-thirds or 68% of adolescents ages 16-19 years.

So c’mon America, keep brushing!

1 “Surveillance for Dental Caries, Dental Sealants, Tooth Retention, Edentulism and Enamel Fluorosis – United States, 1988-1994 and 1999-2002,” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH); August 2005


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