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The Cavity Crisis

Did your tot brush this morning? Hmmm…you were in a rush. Maybe he missed last night, too, as you battled over bedtime. These scenarios may be behind the first rise in preschool cavities in 40 years. More than a quarter of kids under 5 now have tooth decay.  Rhea Haugseth, D.M.D., immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tells how to keep the drill at bay:

BRUSH TOGETHER

Monitor tooth brushing until about 8 years of age for when your kiddo will have the motor skills to really get the job done.

HIT THE TAP

Many parents think bottled water is healthy, but it may not contain the all-important decay-preventing fluoride that’s in your tap.

CURB SUGARY SNACKS

Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, producing an acid that attacks your teeth for 20 minutes after your last bite or sip, says Dr. Haugseth.  Keep snacks to a minimum, and wash them down with water.

USE THE RIGHT PASTE

The under-2 set should brush with a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). Bigger kiddos can have a pea-size squirt.

GET CHECKED

Your child should begin seeing a dentist around his first birthday.

 

Article from Parenting.com-October 2012 Issue