Dental decay a big problem in the Valley

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DANVILLE — A local dentist says dental decay is a huge problem for kids in the Valley.  Lance Kisby, Chief of Pediatric Dentistry and Program Director of the Pediatric Dentistry Residency at Geisinger Medical Center, said parents need to protect their children’s teeth. While he was in the operating room one day a month in 2007, he is now there 8-11 days a month.

Part of this decay issue, he said, is due to poor diet.  Things like fruit roll-ups, gummy bears, soda, Hi-C, Gatorade, Hawaiian Punch, chocolate milk and apple juice are bad for teeth.  Kisby said, “When you bite into a fruit roll-up, these little pieces of fruit roll-up get at the bottom of the grooves on your teeth.  The bristles of your toothbrush are too big, and you cannot brush them out.  Studies have shown that when you eat fruit roll-ups, at the end of 24 hours all that fruit roll-up is still stuck in your teeth.  You can’t brush them out.”

The other problem is that parents are waiting too long to bring their children in.  Kisby said, “Kids are coming in for their first visit too late.  In 1976, the first dental visit was recommended at age 3.  In 1978, it was age 2.  Then the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry dropped it to age 6-12 months.”

Some more tips Kisby gave include; cleaning teeth as soon as they come in, not propping your kid to sleep with a bottle, only letting your kid have a sippy cup during meals, and starting fluoride at 6 months.  (Codi Jade)

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