ATLANTA (AP) -- Preschoolers are getting more cavities.
The largest government study of the nation's dental care in more than 25 years shows a rise in tooth decay in children's baby teeth. Experts are concerned that youngsters are eating too much sugar.
At the other end of the spectrum, more elderly people are retaining their teeth.
The study also notes a drop in the number of adults who visited a dentist in the past year, a possible indicator of declining health insurance.
The study's lead author is Doctor Bruce Dye of the National Center for Health Statistics. Some reasons he cites for the increase in children's tooth decay: parents are giving their children more processed snack foods than in the past, and children are getting more bottled water or other drinks instead of fluoridated tap water.
Tooth decay in young children had been decreasing for 40 years.