(Salisbury, MD) Did you know that tooth decay (cavities) is the most common chronic disease found in children? It is five times as common as asthma and seven times as common as hay fever. Each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost due to dental problems. Untreated, tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Fortunately, with good oral health care habits, tooth decay can be prevented.
“It is important for parents to teach their children good dental health care habits, including proper brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing techniques, eating nutritious foods without sugar, and having regular visits to the dentist,” said Dr. Gary Womer, Clinical Director of the Village Dental Center at Wicomico County Health Department. Steps such as these will help ensure that children will have a healthy mouth, as well as a healthy body. Since children learn oral health care from their parents, it is important that parents serve as role models and practice good oral health care habits. Parents should supervise brushing until children are seven to eight years old.