ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - If pictures of decaying teeth don't disturb you, then the message should.
Dental decay is the number one chronic disease among children. Experts say it is five times more common than asthma
Dr. Sonja Jarmoszuk has been a pediatric dentist for more than a decade. She says she has plenty of patients who walk into her Rocky River office with good dental hygiene, but she also has patients whose teeth are rotting.
"Gross decay neglect and having the child taken to the hospital and general anesthesia done to take care of all the dental needs," Dr. Jarmoszuk explained.
Dr. Jarmoszuk says part of the problem is what the kids are eating and drinking.
Beverages loaded with sugar can be harmful to teeth.
She says healthy choices add up to better dental hygiene.
"Real fruit. An apple, a banana versus the prepackaged, processed fruit snacks or the fruit chews. Real is better, and water would be a better choice than the juice,"
Betsy Boetger sent that message to her kids early.
"Are cavities good? No. How do you get cavities? You eat too much sugary stuff," said 6-year-old Jensen Boetger.
Dr. Jarmoszuk says by educating parents, their kids will have something to smile about.
"Skittles, Starburst, Airheads, Laffy Taffy, Now or Later, Gummy Bears, worms, fish, swedish fish, sticky, you get it," says Dr. Jarmoszuk.
Another tip: if you breastfeed or give your child bottled milk make sure to rinse their mouth with water to prevent decay.
Start taking them to the dentist at 12-months-old.