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Children who do not have access to adequate dental care may develop tooth decay, a disease that can affect their learning and concentration due to high discomfort.
This dental health problem is an issue that some dental groups in Eastern Kentucky are trying to combat, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Many of the children who visit free dental clinics do not have dental insurance and have never visited a dentist - and it shows. They often have several cavities by an early age, with some 4-year-olds sporting cavities in all 20 teeth.
"We're finding lots of disease, little treatment," Dr Raynor Mullins of the Center for Oral Health Research at the University of Kentucky told the news provider. "And we're beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem."
Some parents think that if their child has a dental health problem in their baby teeth, it is not important because those teeth fall out anyway.
However, dentists warn that tooth decay can transfer from baby teeth to adult teeth and affect future dental health. Meanwhile, the pain from untreated cavities can make it difficult for children to do well at school.
Discount dental plans, an alternative to dental insurance, provide discounts of 10 to 60 percent on most dental procedures.
For more information on discount dental plans, call 1-888-632-5353.
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