Tooth decay and other common dental health problems may be prevented with the proper dental care, the Academy of General Dentistry has urged.
The AGD was responding to the most recent figures on national tooth decay, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the data, more than four million kids suffer from tooth decay - a number which has risen over the past 10 years.
In order to help reduce this figure, the group recommends that parents bring their children to the dentist for a checkup before they are one year old.
In addition, parents can monitor their children's diets to try and reduce the amount of sugary and starchy foods they consume.
AGD spokesperson Dr Howard S. Glazer explained that bacteria can erode tooth enamel very quickly after a child eats these types of foods. This process may lead to cavities.
"If cavities are left untreated, [they] can result in pain, the tooth can decay down to the pulp - which will result in a root canal [or] the tooth might even need to be extracted," he added.
The American Dental Association also suggests that parents may ask dentists about sealants, which can help protect children's teeth against cavities.
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