Most children ages five and younger do not see a dentist and not surprisingly, tooth decay is on the rise in this age group.
To help reverse this trend, new recommendations now suggest primary care doctors apply fluoride treatments to the teeth of all children six months to age five.
Doctors should also prescribe oral fluoride supplementation to patients who are not getting fluoride in their water.
The thinking is that children are more likely to see a doctor early in life than a dentist.
These new guidelines were put out by the U.S. preventive services task force.
Tooth decay is four times more common than childhood asthma and seven times more common than hay fever, according to the report.
About one in five children with cavities don’t get treatment.
This is not only painful, but can lead to loss of teeth, slower weight gain, speech issues and problems with self-esteem.
Dental experts recommend that little ones start seeing a dentist no later than their first birthday, that they brush their teeth at least twice a day, and get a check-up every six months.