•      According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, tooth decay is five times more common than asthma in kids, making it the most chronic childhood disease.  More than half of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 have at least one cavity or filling, and by the age of 17, the incidence increases to 78%.
     
        Parents are the role models for good dental health.  If they do not practice good dental health, their children will not learn this healthy habit.  Good dental health and hygiene must be introduced at a very early age, that is in infancy. Parents must brush their children's teeth once tooth eruption occurs preferably twice a day, especially at night.  Tooth decay can occur at any age.  Poor dental practices that are not initiated by a parent in a child's early years can cause the cavities, dental infections, pain, and swelling, and possibly missed school days in their later childhood years.
     
        Early prevention is the key is the key to good dental and physical health.  A health child is a happy child with a good sense of self esteem.  A child should see a dentist by the age of 1 when most of the primary teeth have erupted. The dentist , as well as the dental hygienist will  educate the parents in the need for good dental hygiene and regular checkups.
     
       The keys to good dental health are regular dental checkups, a balanced diet, fluoride, injury prevention, habit control, and brushing and flossing.  If you, as a parent have poor dental habits, change them in order to be a good role model for your child.
     
        Please contact your family dentist for your regular dental exams or contact the Altoona Regional's Partnership for a Healthy Community Partnering for Dental Services.   The Partnership operates two dental clinics that are dedicated to improving the dental health of patients with medical Assistance and for low-income families who meet the clinics' criteria and financial guidelines.
     
                          Family Dental Clinics  Partnership for Dental Services
                          501 Howard Ave.  Suite D103
                          Altoona, PA
                          889-6420
                          8:00AM to 4:00PM, Monday through Friday
                          * For Blair County Residents Only
     
                          Chlidren's Dental Clinic Partnering for Dental Services
                          1500 4th Avenue
                          Altoona, PA
                          946-8929
                          8:00AM to 4:00PM  Monday through Friday