GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- According to the National Children's Oral Health Foundation, tooth decay is the number one childhood illness.
Studies show more than 17 million children in this country do not receive proper dental care.
"At age 5, 60 percent of kids need a filling, have a cavity, they need some sort of treatment, so statistically, it's just hard to see that many children need help," said Amy Buelow, Dental Associates pediatric dental assistant.
Throughout February, which is Children's Dental Health Month, staff from Dental Associates are visiting classrooms in Green Bay and the Fox Valley to teach young ones about the importance of dental health.
"They say that over 50 million hours of school is lost for children due to having an infection, swelling, soreness, cavities,” said Buelow.
Today at Elmore Elementary in Green Bay, students are taught the basics of brushing and flossing and they watch a demonstration on the amount of sugar in different drinks.
During their school outreach program, Dental Associates will instruct 5,000 young students this month and provide each with a backpack full of dental goodies.
"Just so they have the tools, getting the information out there that we need to be brushing two times a day, morning and night, the parents still need to be helping the kids,” said Buelow.