Local dentist encouraging dental checkups amid pandemic

February is Children’s Dental Health month.
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 7:35 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - February is Children’s Dental Health month and a local dentist, Dr. Jackie Alford of Alford Pediatric and General Dentistry said patients are slowly returning to their appointments amid the pandemic. According to Dr. Alford there was an initial decline in appointments since the pandemic started.

She said it’s important for people to continue to get their teeth checked. The CDC said about 20% of children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.

“I think it’s very important to start early getting their teeth checked and cleaned for kids, that way we can stay cavity free young, we can stay in a preventative cycle and hopefully stay cavity free until adulthood.”

Dr. Alford said families should supervise kids brushing, flossing, and limit sugar intake while at home. She said regular checkups impact a child’s overall health.

“A cavity can lead to pain and infection in a kid. It can limit their ability to eat and sleep, that can in turn affect their ability to concentrate in class and may in turn miss some days in school.”

Dr. Alford said dentists aren’t just looking at teeth and oral hygiene, but the growth and development of children when they come in for their appointments. Once a child gets their first tooth, Dr. Alford said to make an appointment within six months.

“You’ll hear a lot of people say, well they are just baby teeth. They are important, they are going to be in there, some of them into their teen years, they do have a long span, we do need them in there and in good shape.”

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