CINCINNATI - Across the country, dentists are warning parents about the future of their children's pearly whites.
A new report in Cleveland's The Plain Dealer is saying that for the first time in 40 years, the number of pre-schoolers with cavities is increasing. Dentists are reporting preschoolers at all income levels are coming in with six to 10 cavities, or more, according to the report.
What's to blame for the increase? Dentists are saying you need to watch your child's intake of acidic food and drinks. You're kids may get some bad news while they're at the dentists if they are fans of popular energy drinks like Gatorade and Powerade, and candy that sticks to your kids teeth, like Dots and Sour Patch Kids.
Cavities can cause children to lose their baby teeth prematurely. At times, this can make their permanent teeth come in incorrectly. Another major concern is that in order to drill and fill your children's teeth, dentists often have to use general anesthesia, which carries an element of risk.
So what else can you do to make sure you keep your kid's teeth healthy?
The Center for Disease Control recommends cutting your child's consumption of sugar and making sure the toothpaste they are using daily has fluoride, which seals and protects teeth from cavities.
Nearly every dentist will tell you to get your child an electric-powered toothbrush. Research has shown these brushes' vibrations help to reduce more plaque than regular toothbrushes.
As always, brush after meals, floss once a day, and schedule a visit for your child with their dentist for a cleaning twice a year, or more if it's in your budget.
To read the full Plain Dealer report, go to http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2012/07/cavities_on_the_rise_again_in.html .
For more information about cavity prevention from the CDC, go to http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/doh.htm .
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