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Children’s tooth decay is the No.1 infectious disease

By: Stephanie Guadian 
EL PASO, Texas - Fighting a fear of dentists starts early. Kool smiles' Dr. Andre Singleton says the sooner the better when it comes to a child's first trip to the dentist.

I would love to see kids come in at six months. At six months they are not afraid of us. They haven't been stabbed or stuck by other doctors. So, we become their friend, said Singleton.

Maria Arroyo started bringing her 2-year-old daughter Yuliana to the dentist when she was just a baby.
Dr. Singleton says that's when many parents make their first mistake: leaving a bottle or Sippy cup in an infant's mouth while they sleep.

Take a wet rag and wipe off their teeth. Milk has a lot of acid. If it sits on the teeth it erodes the teeth. And that's when your have all the silver crowns that we don't want to put on but sometimes it's a necessity, said Singleton.

February is national Children's Dental Health month. There are three rules dentists say kids and their parents should be following.

The first rule is one Maria Arroyo follows on a daily basis watch what your child eats.

I try to limit her soda. If we go out she drinks water or tea. Something like that. Sodas maybe once a month, said Arroyo.

The second rule is make sure kids brush at least twice a day.

I do it in the morning and she follows me to the bathroom. She brings her toothbrush and her toothpaste. She will sit there and brush her teeth with me, said Arroyo.

And dont forget to floss.

In children, tooth decay is the No. 1 infectious disease, chronic in the U.S., said Singleton.

But, it's also almost entirely preventable.

The overall rate of tooth decay has decreased over the past four decades. But, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research -- decay has actually increased in preschool age children in recent years.



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