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Little Shifts, Big Changes: The Key to Children’s Health is in Our Hands

Prevention is key to maintaining a healthy, happy smile. Whether a soon-to-be, new or experienced parent, it is never too early to talk to a dentist about our family’s oral health. 

According to research done by Birgitta Kohler, Ingrid Andréen and Berit Jonsson, Faculty of Odontology at the University of Göteborg, in Sweden, one in four children under the age of 5 have undiagnosed dental disease: bacteria that actively causes tooth decay. Dental disease is the most common chronic, preventable childhood disease. By taking the time to speak with a dentist about raising healthy smiles, parents may prevent their children from becoming part of that 25 percent. 

Oral health, just like overall health, is a combination of habits at home and visits to health providers. Discussing with a dentist about healthy home habits will provide the foundation for a healthy smile. Children should have their first dental visit by 12 months of age, and then every six months for a check-up and cleaning, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Routine dental care allows for early detection and intervention of any abnormal oral growth or development. 

Bumps, bruises and tummy aches are a part of life. Tooth decay and dental disease can be prevented. Parents can teach healthy dental habits at home and develop the habit of routine dental check-ups for the whole family so that each family member can stay happy, healthy and smiling. 



Dr. Baillee Fahey is a general dentist with a passion for public education. Connect with her by email at

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