Tooth decay is the single most common, chronic childhood disease, five times as prevalent as asthma and 20 times as prevalent as early childhood obesity. Regular dental check-ups are critical to keep children’s teeth and gums healthy. Left untreated, tooth decay can have devastating effects on young children and has been connected to more serious health concerns later in life, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia and diabetes. Early dental problems can affect children's learning, how they interact with other kids and their ability to eat.
A major barrier for too many families is the lack of access to affordable dental care. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about half of all children from low-income families have had tooth decay and 19.9% of children in California live in poverty.