Parents: are you taking care of your toddler’s TEETH? Show Notes

Friday, March 30, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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If you have pre-schoolers at home, how often do you brush their teeth? 

Experts say many parents in the US are failing when it comes to their children’s dental hygeine, and it’s leading many kids to the operating room.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted an increase in the number of young children requiring extensive dental work.

According to an article in the New York Times, Dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with 6 to 10 cavities or more. The dentists say the level of decay, is so severe that they often recommend using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through extensive dental procedures while they’re awake.

Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a spokesman for the American Dental Association, says: “We have had a huge increase in kids going to the operating room,”

But Dr. Shenkin says such operations are largely preventable. He says that parents tell him all the time that no one told them when to go to the dentist, how often to brush their kids’ teeth or the importance of using fluoride toothpaste.  

There are a variety of reasons so many preschoolers suffer from such extensive dental decay. They include: endless snacking and juice at bedtime, parents who give their kids bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water, and a lack of awareness that infants should visit a dentist by age 1.

And because some kids don’t like to have their teeth brushed, their parents simply don’t do it—leading to a lot of drilling down the line. Ouch, it hurts just thinking about it! To learn more about your kids dental health visit the website of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry at

I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.


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