Surdu S, Dall T, Langelier M, Forte G, Chakrabarti R, Reynolds R. The pediatric dental workforce in 2016 and beyond. JADA. July 2019; 150(7):609-617.
Trends in the prevalence of early childhood caries among young children in the United States support recommendations for early and regular use of oral health care services. Caries remains the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting nearly one-fifth of children aged 5 years or younger and one-half of children aged 6 through 10 years. Untreated dental disease can cause pain, functional impairments, and poor school performance, and it can lead to loss of teeth or expensive restorative interventions. Caries also makes a child more vulnerable to various systemic infections, which threaten not only oral health but also overall health and quality of life.