GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease and if it's not treated in a timely manner, it could send your child to the hospital and even worse, it can be deadly.
Oral health is so important, Governor Hickenlooper is proclaiming February as Children's Dental Health Month. Dental care costs Coloradans one billion dollars a year, but the good news is most dental diseases are 100% preventable.
Dr. Jeremy Cox, is a local pediatric dentist at Pediatric Dental Specialists. He says taking your children to the dentist is vital for their health.
"We see kids every single day with large cavities. We see kids that we take to the operating room, just because the decay can be so extensive and it can be life-threatening," said Dr. Cox.
Protecting your child could be as simple as picking up their toothbrush.
"They want to brush at age two, they want to do it all by themselves, but they cannot do it well until at least age 10, they need help, we need to brush our kids teeth," said Dr. Cox.
The biggest reason for tooth decay can be found in the pantry.
"The liquid sugars, juices, sticky things like fruit snacks and this is basically what our kids eat everyday," said Dr. Cox.
Cavities in children can be alarming, but it's a disease the dentist says is preventable.
"We have lots of ways to fight that and it's easier to fight the bacteria than to go fix up everything that's been broken down in the past," said Dr. Cox.
Dr. Cox recommends children start seeing a dentist as early as 12 months of age. He says it's a common misconception that parents should wait until their child is five or six to see a dentist.
Oral Health Colorado is encouraging parents to take the 'Brush With Me Pledge.' The 'Brush With Me' web page is linked to this news article.