MILWAUKEE -- Tooth decay in children is more common than asthma, according to the National Children's Oral Health Foundation. But during the month of February, thousands of children in the Milwaukee area will learn how to take better care of their teeth.
Three and four year olds still have their baby teeth -- but caring for them is just as important as caring for adult teeth.
"When you lose those baby teeth early on, you are going to have issues with spacing. You can have issues with speech," said Sarah Aref, pediatric dentist at Dental Associates.
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"We always have to do that, otherwise we get holes -- cavities," said Scarlett Annen, student.
February is Children's Dental Health Month. Dental Associates teams will visit more than 100 schools.
"What a lot of parents don't realize is enamel on baby teeth is a lot thinner than it is on adult teeth, so kids are more prone to getting cavities," said Aref.
Dentists say parents often don't realize they should be brushing their child's teeth as soon as they get their first tooth, and they should also be seeing a dentist as soon as that happens -- somewhere between six months and one year of age.
"So we can take a look at the tooth, make sure that everything looks nice and healthy, and then monitor the child from that age onwards," said Aref.
The National Children's Oral Health Foundation estimates 17 million children go without dental care each year.