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Your Healthy Family: Cavities get around campaign making progress with kids oral health

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The cavities get around campaign began in 2014 and Dr. Lerner says it’s made significant strides. The cavities get around campaign began in 2014 and Dr. Lerner says it’s made significant strides.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

When it comes to the dental health of infants and their developing teeth Dr Fred Guerra with Guerra Dental in Colorado Springs says there are many issues to be aware of for parents.  “We certainly want to be aware and warn parents who send a crying child to bed with apple juice in a bottle continuously, that it can rot baby teeth."

The message of the dangers of sugar and kids teeth is the theme of the Cavities Get Around campaign, from Delta Dental Colorado and the Delta Dental Foundation.  

Dr. Cheryl Lerner is the Vice President of Network and Clinical Management with Delta Dental.   

"People have a misnomer about juices they think juices are healthy because they come from fruit.  Fruit is healthy by itself with the included fibers, but the fruit juices don’t have the fiber and have so much sugar in it you can't believe it."

There are also new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics about sugary fruit juices says Dr. Lerner.  "In the past about sixteen years ago the A.P.A. suggested no fruit juice before 6 months of age for infants.  Now they have extended that recommendation to a year because they see the detrimental effect of that amount of sugar in children as the teeth are erupting and developing.”

The cavities get around campaign began in 2014 and Dr. Lerner says it’s made significant strides.  “We have statistics from our study in 2015 that show the improvement we're getting from raising the awareness.  We found the perception of juice as a healthy beverage for young children has declined dramatically, it was listed at 43% and that was down 29 point from 2014.  

The actual juice consumption for children from 2014 to 2015 is down 13 points from 60% to 47%.  We feel we're getting juice out of the equation in the best of ways, and still using fruit juice where it makes sense."

While the campaign has been successful, Dr. Lerner says there is still plenty of work to be done.  "We have gotten the groundswell going and we will just keep going and going and keep getting the messages out there reminding people and making sure kids as well as parents understand that message.  Sometime it’s kids that can educate their parents.  Our goal is to eradicate childhood decay and sugar is one of the biggest proponents of keeping bacteria alive on teeth and we're trying to squash it."

Dr. Lerner also points out there is more at risk than just those baby teeth and parents need to start early with their child’s dental health.  “You want to make sure that ideally you take the kids to the dentist when you go, so they can get a sense of what it's like to be in the dental office.  For their exam you want to have them seen by a dentist or even their pediatrician by age one, to take a look in their mouth and at their teeth because things are going on in there and by age one we can have a bunch of teeth that need to be cleaned and taken care of.”

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