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Your Healthy Family: Delta Dental Foundation aims to reduce tooth decay in kids

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The Delta Dental Foundation, a local nonprofit is on a mission to spread the word in Colorado of the importance of protecting your kids teeth.  Especially when it comes to those sugary juice drinks.  Wyatt Hornsby the Campaign Manager with the Delta Dental Foundation says in Colorado 40% of kindergarteners and 55% of 3rd graders have tooth decay.  It’s a problem that has to be addressed because the problem that can stay with kids into their adult lives.

Hornsby adds, "Oral Poor oral health has been termed a silent epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General.  This is a real problem because cavities can and will spread from baby teeth to adult teeth and the reason is, it's a disease."

One of the biggest causes of tooth decay in kids is sugar.  Hornsby says, "Sugar hides in many many places, including juice, that is marketed as healthy.  However, a lot of times it's just as sugary as soda.  The problem isn't necessarily that children drink juice at breakfast, the problem is when children sip on juice all day long and the teeth are constantly hit with the sugar.  That all day sugar creates an acid attack (on the teeth) that leads to decay."

As a dentist, Doctor Fred Guerra in Colorado Springs is on the front lines of fighting tooth decay and adds, "We know the juice has 2 components a lot of sugar a lot of acid you add those two together and there are starting to cause tooth decay, demineralization the enamel."

Hornsby points out taking the right steps can make a big difference.  "The good news is, it's very simple, tooth decay in children can be prevented nearly in every case.  One of the best things parents can dos to make sure their children drink only water between meals and especially at bed time, that is a great way to ensure that your child has a healthy smile for life."

Dr Guerra says lunchtime at school can be a problem that is easily solved.  "When the child does not have the chance to  brush right after lunch you want to think about what can you give them to is most healthy, I would say a bottle of water would be better than the daily fruit juice in there, and maybe an apple or something that can help them self cleanse their teeth."

Water not only rinses your teeth when you can't brush, but in many communities tap water contains fluoride that will also strengthen the enamel of teeth.  If you have any questions follow up with your dentist and if you want more information on Delta Dental's campaign you can visit their webpage at http://cavitiesgetaround.com

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