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Experts: Dental care starts during first year of life
Updated: 1/14/2010 5:00:08 PM

Experts: Dental care starts during first year of life Newspapers have recently been filled with stories about adults who have lost their jobs, and with them their health and dental benefits. While adults are making their voices heard and continually urging Congress to meet their needs, the American Dental Association has advised that children begin seeing a dentist no later than their first birthday.

However, according to the Healthy People 2010 oral health update, only 48 percent of children entering kindergarten have seen a dentist within the past year and 52 percent of children ages six to eight have tooth decay.

"It used to be that you'd wait until you have a problem and then fix it," Dr J.B. Skibinski, a family dentist, told

He added, "With home care and prevention, you can now cut back on the vast, vast majority of problems today and in the future."

According to South Dakota dentist Dr Pat Colbert, parents can maintain the dental care of their infants by wiping the gums with a moist washcloth after feeding, and applying a small amount of fluoride toothpaste twice a day after the first teeth come in.

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