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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the recognized leader in children’s oral health, continues to emphasize that the way to decrease children’s tooth decay is by visiting a dentist early on. The AAPD recommends that each child should have a dental home by his/her first birthday.
The results from the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report show that young children do not receive the proper oral care they need to promote optimal oral health. Tooth decay declined in every other age group, except for children aged two to five years which increased from 24 percent to 28 percent between 1988-1994 and 1999-2004. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, yet 90 percent of all tooth decay is preventable.
The AAPD recommends that parents adopt the following practices to help prevent tooth decay in young children:
“Proper preventive care, fluoridation use and a balanced diet are key to the oral and overall health of every child,” said AAPD President Dr. Phil H. Hunke, D.D.S., M.S.D. “When kids are exposed to sugar for extended periods, they are at a higher risk of tooth decay. If left untreated, this puts these young children at increased risk for pain and infection, which can lead to missed school, lost sleep and loss of appetite.”
For more information about how to keep children’s teeth healthy, visit www.aapd.org.