Eye on Health: Children's Dental Health Month - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye on Health: Children's Dental Health Month

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From video games to playing in the tree house to watching movies, this is about a lot more than just fun and games.

"What we try to do is set up an atmosphere where kids enjoy coming to the dentist," says Dr. Chad Eslinger from Pediatric Dentistry of Ooltewah.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children start coming by the age of one.

"We see kids that come in and are taking a drink to be at night," says Dr. Eslinger.

That can lead to a number of problems such as decay.

"The issue is the drink is in contact with the teeth all night long," says Dr. Chad Eslinger.
 
A national oral health survey found that 38% of children, ages 2 through 9, had decay,  and early childhood problems such as severe decay is also a leading cause of operating room admissions for children requiring dental restorations and extractions.  A problem likely to continue with 25 percent of children having received no dental care in the last year.

 The work continues for dentists. Dr. Eslinger says lots of strides have been made, but as studies show, there is still a long ways to go.

"Sealants reduce the amount of decay by 50 percent that we saw before use of sealants but we still have a lot of dental decay," says Dr. Eslinger.
   
And as kids get older and start drinking more sugar filled drinks, the problem gets worse.

"We have a lot of teenager that drink sodas that are carbonated, lots of sugar and those things are bad on the teeth," says Dr. Eslinger.

And if those problems go untreated it can not only lead to serious issues with the teeth, but also other health related problems, that's why prevention, along with regular check-ups is key.

Pediatric dentists say that first check up is so important because babies can start developing decay as early as four months.  And it's important to not only treat that situation,  but also educate  parents about taking care of their child's teeth, and making sure they understand the importance of how what they eat and drink affects their teeth.

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