Toddlers With Tooth Decay: Why Do So Many Preschoolers Have Cavities?

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Cavities appear to be on the rise among the preschool set, as an alarming number of young children are showing up for dentist appointments with a mouthful of tooth decay. 

Dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with six to 10 cavities or more, according to the New York Times.

“The level of decay is so severe that they often recommend using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake.”

In fact, one toddler profiled in the article had cavities in 11 of his 20 baby teeth and had to have two teeth extractions and a root canal as well as fillings and crowns.

So why is this happening?

Dentists blamed an array of culprits including endless snacking and juice or other sweet drinks at bedtime, parents who choose bottled water rather than fluoridated tap water for their children and parents not making their toddlers to brush their teeth. 

Besides the standard recommendation to brush twice a day, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, appeared on the Today show with the following advice for parents worried about little teeth:

"If you want to limit your child's problems, limit the number of cavities, well, guess what? Sit down, cut down on the snacks, all the sweet stuff -- raisins, which parents pack have a lot of sugar in them. And tap water is a great natural source of fluoride. We have turned to bottled water increasingly, good old-fashioned tap water is great."

Do you make sure that your little one is practicing good oral hygiene?

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