Among the many survival skills one needs as a parent is a feel for what battles to pick. That's what was going through my head as I read this story about dental hygiene in kids today. This passage in particular stood out to me:
"The same things contributing to the obesity epidemic can also contribute to tooth decay," said Dr. Gary Rozier, a dentist who teaches public health policy at the University of North Carolina.
Inadequate dental care may also play a role. Cavities in young children can form very quickly, and parents should begin bringing their children to the dentist at age 1, said Dr. Joel Berg, chairman of the University of Washington's Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
Parents also must help their young children brush properly. "Preschoolers don't have the dexterity to really clean their teeth," Berg said.
Baby teeth naturally fall out as children age, but dentists say untreated decay can spread and is too dangerous to go untreated.
Rotten baby teeth are treated with fillings or -- if the decay is extensive -- extraction. But baby teeth fill certain spaces in the mouth, so their early removal may lead to crowding when adult teeth come in.