UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
WACO -- Dentist Dr. Aaron Blackwelder has seen his fair share of young patients and as his fair share of cavities in kids ages 2 through 5.
"Twenty-five percent of the population has 80 percent of the decay," he said.
But according to the CDC, for the first time in 40 years children across the nation have an average of 6 to 10 cavities each, costing between 2,000 to 5,000 dollars to fix.
So before you grab a snack for your child, think about this.
"Some of the bad foods are really not that bad, it's the frequency they're consuming them. Let's say apple juice for instance, if you have it too frequently, it can become something bad. Other things of course are like, sticky, gooey foods," Dr. Blackwelder said.
And when it comes to your toddler and fluoride...
"Fluoride toothpaste should be used starting at the age of 1, with a smear of toothpaste on the tooth bristles."
But the best thing for your little one?
"When you see the first tooth, bring them into the dentist, and you'll have zero cavities."
Dr. Blackwelder says children between 2 and 5 are in the prime time to develop healthy hygiene habits. So it's best to start now, to avoid a mouthful of problems.