Child Tooth Decay Becomes Common Illness - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Child Tooth Decay Becomes Common Illness

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According to the National Children's Oral Health Foundation, tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness. Pediatric dental disease is five times more common than asthma. But, there are ways to prevent sugar bugs from taking over.

Brayden Hanrion just turned four in November, which meant it was finally time for his first trip to the dentist.

"I didn't want to take him too early," says Jennifer Hanrion, mother of two. "I thought it would be good to wait until he was ready and excited to go."

Unfortunately, not all children start going to the dentist at a young age. The National Children's Oral Health Foundation reports an estimated 17 million children in the United States go without dental care each year. But, the longer a parent waits to take their child in, the more problems they could develop.  

"When they come in at 6 or 7 sometimes they might already have some adult teeth in there, and they haven't been educated on the proper oral health, they might have cavities and those are going to be in there forever," says Dakota Kids Dentistry hygienist Reeann Magandy.

One of the main things in keeping good overall hygiene is starting to brush your child's teeth at a young age.

"I grew up with needing braces and what not, so I learned from an early age how important it is to take good care of your teeth and floss and brush them. So, we really try to teach him the same skills," says Hanrion. 

Dakota Kids Dentistry recommends brushing twice a day. That's once in the morning and once at night, as well as flossing and using a fluoride rinse.

"I think it's important to make it fun for them, so that they're excited to take part and brush their teeth," says Hanrion.

While a child may be taking good care of their teeth by brushing and flossing, they can still develop cavities if they're not careful.

"If a kid has those healthy habits, and is constantly just eating junk food or candy and starchy products that can cause the cavities," says Magandy.  "They might still be getting cavities even though they are doing a good job taking care of their teeth, but they are putting things into their mouth."

To prevent cavities, parents are encouraged to limit the amount of pop, sugary beverages, cookies and candy they give to their kids.

As Brayden finishes up his first visit to the dentist, he's all smiles and for a good reason, he's cavity free.

During the month of February, Dakota Kids Dentistry travels around to area schools, teaching kids about the importance of good oral hygiene. 

 

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