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Children's oral health issues addressed at University of Washington conference
Updated: 8/8/2011 3:00:29 PM

Children In late July, dentists and pediatricians congregated at a University of Washington conference to cover matters of oral health and dental hygiene most pertinent to children, according to the Seattle-based National Public Radio station KPLU.

The news source reported that this gathering of dental and pediatric professionals emphasized the crucial importance of regular dental checkups. Children are typically advised to visit a dentist as soon as they are a year old.

However, regular visits are not always the reality among economically disadvantaged families. Less than half of the children in such situations have seen a dentist by age six. As a result, some dentists are teaching pediatricians and family practitioners methods of examining for tooth decay.

Dental issues affecting youngsters are on the rise, according to the news provider. Joel Berg, a University of Washington dentistry professor and Seattle-based pediatric dentist confirmed this fact.

"There are more cavities, there are more kids coming into emergency rooms with swollen faces, because they have an infection that's gone beyond the tooth," Berg told the news source.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that between 1999 and 2004, a total of 42 percent of U.S. children from ages 2 to 11 had experienced dental cavities, and that those living with lower-income families were more likely to have tooth decay.

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