Growing number of children fighting cavities, dentists say - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Growing number of children fighting cavities, dentists say

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A new study finds tooth decay affects 1 in 4 children under the age of five and half of those between 12 and 15 years old.

And dentists say the growing number of cavities could be caused by what your kids are drinking and what they're not drinking.

Parents, you remember the day when you got your drinking water from the sink, right? Well kids these days are drinking bottled water, and the lack of fluoride in bottles could lead to your child's teeth decaying.

(Click here for more research on oral health indicators from the CDC website.)

Fluoride treatments help children fight cavities that are seen every day in Dr. Sturhahn's office.

"The fluoride that's in the city water has done amazing things to help decrease the incidents of decay over the past couple generations, but now you are correct with bottled water the intake of fluoride is significantly less and that's certainly a problem and we see that for sure," said KJ, Sturhahn with Buffalo Prairie Dental Care.

Dr. Sturhahn says sugar also plays a big role in causing tooth decay, and limiting the amount of sugar your child takes in can help save their teeth.

Something mothers like Nicole Hesse take very seriously.

"My kids they don't usually get soda, special occasion maybe. Water, we drink bottled water but of course you know it's better to drink the tap water because it does have the fluoride in it," said Hesse

New school lunch regulations are also cutting down on kids' sugar intake.

"Their school doesn't allow them to have like soda, they don't like them to bring it to school in their lunch, they don't have soda machines, they have juice and water machines available, they've changed a lot of their menu for the state," said Hesse.

Dr. Sturhahn says if you don't take good care of your teeth, it could cost you.

"It can vary greatly it can go from a bare minimum of probably $140 a tooth up to if it's a grown up tooth and it decays into the nerve and it needs a root canal, you can be talking several thousand dollars to fix a tooth," said Dr. Sturhahn.

Dr. Sturhahn says if you can't get fluoride in your child's regimen naturally through tap water, use a toothpaste or a mouth rinse that has fluoride listed on the label.

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