Tooth decay and the oral surgery it leads to is on the rise among pre-schoolers in America, according to a recent report by The New York Times.
Despite years of warnings to parents by the Centers for Disease Control, a greater number of severe cavities are being found in young children, many having between ages 6 and 10.
"We have had a huge increase in kids going to the operating room," Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist and spokesman for the American Dental Association, told the Times.
"We're treating more kids more aggressively earlier," he said.
This is the first time in 40 years that the number of cavities in young kids has increased. Experts say snacking and sweet drinks at bedtime are likely to blame.
More parents are also opting for bottled water over tap water, witch contains fluoride.
But the biggest factor in increased cavities is a lack of teeth brushing enforcement.
Parents can take these preventative measures to keep their child's teeth healthy:
- Ensure twice-a-day brushing.
- Regular dentists visits, and make trips to the dentist fun.
- Reduce sugary drinks and sweets.
- Floss as soon as two teeth are touching.
- Be on the lookout for bleeding or receding gums, and bad breath even after brushing.