Every year, children across America develop infections and die from illnesses related to tooth decay, says Dr. McHenry "Mac" Lee. Dr. Oz talks with Dr. Lee, a third generation dentist, about educating parents and children on the dangers of tooth decay and how to prevent it.
Dr. Lee says tooth decay should be a public health enemy because many children are suffering from the problem. "Children with decay, they can't eat, they can't sleep, and socially they are laughed at," he says. "We believe that dental disease should be on the same level as diabetes and obesity in the schools, as far as education is considered."
Dr. Lee suggests a few things any parent can do to improve their family's dental health.
Avoid foods with sugar and acid such as:
Check for these signs of dental health problems:
- Gum made with sugar
- Sports drinks
- Hard and sticky candy
- Bleeding gums, which could be a sign of gum disease.
- Black or brown areas on teeth, which could indicate tooth decay.
- Worn or flat spots on teeth, which usually mean your teeth no longer fit together properly.