LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- According to the CDC, one in five elementary age children have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Dentists are warning parents children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades.
Getting those teeth cleaned is more important than ever as babies, children and teens develop and grow, a local dentist said.
“Tooth decay is actually the most common chronic disease of childhood, but the good news is it’s 100 percent preventable,” pediatric dentist Adrienne Reviere said.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Reviere says tooth decay leads to a decreased quality of life.
According to CDC guidelines for babies wipe gums twice a day with a clean cloth after first feeding and before bed to wipe away any bacteria.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you bring in your child to the dentist before their first birthday.
“That gives us a chance to talk to parents and then educate them about why baby teeth are important, how to care for their child’s mouth so they’re set up with a good plan before there becomes a problem,” Reviere said.
Dr. Reviere says it’s not just candy kids should stay away from to avoid cavities.
She says sugary drinks like juice, soda and chocolate milk are also
known to cause cavities.
The American Dental Association says water fluoridation prevents 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults.
but dentists say it’s crucial children are still brushing their teeth twice a day.
“If a kid has a toothache it can interfere with their ability to pay attention and focus at school, to have a good nights rest, to eat well and get adequate nutrition,” Reviere said. “Infections can develop and potentially damage permanent teeth that are still growing.”