Someone who doesn’t live in Hawaii may assume that oral health among Hawaiian children is great.
Some may even assume oral health in Hawaii is comparably higher than the U.S. mainland.
Especially considering Hawaii is often assumed as a rich, relaxed state filled with many fresh, tropical fruits, people often tie these things will good overall health.
However, you’ll be surprised when you hear of the true oral health state of Hawaii’s children.
In fact, Hawaii’s children have very poor oral health, believe it or not.
Tooth decay is approximately a hundred percent higher in Hawaiian children than from children living in the rest of the U.S. Poor Hawaiian children suffer from about twice as many cavities as a wealthier Hawaiian child.
Here are some other shocking facts regarding oral health in Hawaiian children:
- About 15% of five-year-olds in Hawaii suffer from baby bottle tooth decay. Only 5% suffer on U.S. mainland in comparison. Native Hawaiians, in general, suffer around 20%.
- One out of every five Hawaiian children has never attended the dentist by age nine. The recommended time to visit the dental office is before one’s first birthday or by the time their first tooth erupts, whichever comes first.
- In the year 1999 alone, a little over half of Hawaiian children never went to the dentist before their twelfth birthday.
- Hawaiian children ages five to nine have approximately four cavities on average.
- About 72% of Hawaiian children ages six to eight suffer from at least one cavity. However, only about 35% of the rest of the U.S. has statistics under this category.
- About 18% of Hawaiian children at age six have all their teeth cavity-free in comparison to over 94% of U.S. mainland children.
- In 1997, about 41% of uninsured dental patients accounted for Hawaiian children.
So, what should Hawaiians do regarding these statistics?
To say the least, these statistics regarding Hawaiian children are quite scary. Being apart of a country that is rich and developed, all of the U.S. should have substantial statistics. However, that, unfortunately, isn’t the case.
Fortunately, there are solutions. Hawaiians can receive dental insurance or a dental savings plan for more affordable dental care. Hawaiian children can attend their first dental exam when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
This way, oral health-related problems can be caught quickly. All residents in Hawaii should also visit the dentist once or twice a year to ensure their oral health is where it needs to be. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day are also vital components of upkeeping oral health.
Children (and adults) of all around the world should be partaking in dental examinations and the proper dental routines to ensure the best oral health possible. Neglecting your oral health will only lead to worsened health problems in the future guaranteed.