Toronto, May 6 IANS | 8 months ago

Babies, who are most susceptible to cavities in the early years of their lives, are least likely to get dental care even though they need it the most, a study has found.

Prolonged bottle use, especially at night, and sweetened drinks are suspected risk factors for cavities because the carbohydrates in the beverages promote the growth of the bacteria that causes cavities, said Jonathon Maguire, a paediatrician at St Michael's Hospital in Canada.

Of the 2,505 children around four years of age who were surveyed from 2011-13 for the study, 39 percent had never been to a dentist, the findings showed.

Barriers to dental care for families with young children may include financial cost, access to transportation, school absence policies and a belief that dental health may not be important to overall well-being, Maguire noted.

He said previous studies had shown that that children who receive preventive dental care in the first year of life have less dental disease, are less likely to require restorative or emergency treatment and have lower dental-related health care costs - particularly among high-risk populations.

The study appeared in the journal Pediatrics.

(Posted on 06-05-2014)

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