QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
February is Child Dental Health Month. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry the number one disease in children is tooth decay. It occurs four times as often as early childhood obesity and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one out of every five kids in the U.S. has untreated cavities.
Quincy Dentist Maria Connoyer says she sees pretty healthy teeth, that is until they take x-rays and see in between the teeth.
"Flossing in kids is a challenge," Connoyer says. "It seems like brushing gets done in the household fairly consistently, but when it comes to flossing that is a bit more of a battle. It takes more work with the parents cooperation to get that done."
Connoyer says having your child brush their teeth before they go to sleep is important because bacteria builds up during the night.
Connoyer says sports can also impact a child's dental health. According to Colgate 39 percent of dental injuries occur when a child plays a sport. Connoyer says they see dental injuries at her office about once every sports season. She recommends getting kids in the habit of wearing a mouth guard for sports and it doesn't matter the kind.
"I think just wearing one period," Connoyer said. "Wearing one that is comfortable and molded to your mouth will be the ones they will actually wear. If they are too big, if they are too bulky, or if the kids are choking on them they aren't going to wear them. So you will have to find one that fits their mouth and they can be custom made in the office, but I know the various stores carry a lot of mouth guards."
Connoyer says making the dentist office a good experience is key to their willingness to come back. She says bringing in a child early for preventative care will give the office a good experience rather than bringing a child in for a tooth ache or dental related injuries.