Friday, February 8, 2008
Medical Reports: Kids' Teeth
Doctors say kids should make that trek to the dentist once they get their first tooth. However, only three out of five kids have seen a dentist by the time they reach kindergarten. In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us some surprising tips on how to keep your kids' teeth picture perfect.
WSVN -- As a daycare provider, Mary Williams knows a lot about kids, but there's one thing she didn't know. Kids should see a dentist by their first birthday.
Mary Williams: "Being a daycare provider and all the training to keep my license up and still I had no idea."
That's not uncommon, but, parents, you need to know a new report shows tooth decay in 2 to 5-year-olds is on the rise. Twenty-eight percent of toddlers have it.
Dr. Robert Berkowitz: "It is a problem. That's a high prevalence for little people to have cavities."
Doctor Robert Berkowitz says grazing is a part of the problem. The effects of sugary foods harm teeth for at least 20 minutes after eating them.
Dr. Robert Berkowitz: "Putting the child in the crib with a nursing bottle that has things like apple juice or Hawaiian Punch, where they can suckle on the bottle all night, is a real problem."
He says start weaning kids off bottles and sippy cups by age one.
Dr. Robert Berkowitz: "And, if a child really needs one, that the only thing that goes in there is water."
Another common bacteria source comes from you. Don't use your mouth to clean bottle tops or pacifiers, and, another tip, as soon as the first tooth comes in ...
Dr. Robert Berkowitz: "Clean your child's teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste, but only use enough the size of a pea."
And, finally, kids should not brush their own teeth until age six.
Dr. Robert Berkowitz: "Clean teeth don't decay."
Mary says she'll put the tips to the test, and that may mean no more of this.
Christine Cruz: "And, parents, practice what you teach. The Center For Disease Control recommends the use of fluoride in either toothpaste or drinking water to prevent tooth decay for all age groups, except infants."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Eastman Dental Center
University of Rochester Medical Center