Local dentist aims to improve children's dental health

Dr. Pritts sits with a child during a dental exam

February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and it's a topic that one local dentist says is often overlooked and ignored by parents.

While it may not be one of your favorite things to do, regular check-ups from the dentist is crucial to your health, and even more so, with children.

Dr. Jennifer Pritts is passionate about children's dental health.

It's a topic she feels frequently is tossed aside by parents and caregivers.

"The biggest problem we run into with baby teeth, they're not taken care of and things run amok," said Pritts. "And then, there's just no guidance, and the baby teeth are that guidance. Adults don't take it that seriously, and the biggest problem is they don't take it seriously because they think they're disposable."

Poor brushing and nutrition are two contributors that lead to cavities, and infection in kids.

Children ages eight and under usually don't have manual dexterity to properly brush their teeth.

"Even if it's a fight, it's important to make sure that those kids get those teeth brushed by a parent at least once a day," Pritts said.

Check-ups are recommended to begin at six months old, and should continue at least once a year.

For Pritts, it's all about creating a safe environment for kids and adults to feel comfortable.

"Yes you have a cavity, yes we can fix it, now let's do it, but let's not be scary about it," said Pritts. "Let's make sure we can get it taken care of and to be compassionate, and to be caring, and non-judgmental."

Dr. Pritts will be taking part in Give Kids a Smile, which is an event where dentists come together in providing free services to under served children.

Last year the event served 168 children, and the next one will be taking place on Friday, February 7 at the Adams County Health Department .

Pritts is located at Quincy Dental Center at 332 South 36th Street, and can be reached at 217-224-0426.