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Health Fusion: A dentist, your questions and her push to get foster kids access to care they need

Going to the dentist may not top your kid's list of fun things to do, but routine dental care is essential for good oral and general health. Some kids -- those in foster care -- struggle to get the access they need. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a dentist who researched this dental care equity issue. Plus, she answers common questions about how to keep your teeth healthy.

My guest is Dr. Elise Sarvas, a pediatric dentist at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. First, she discusses her study about access to dental care issues for many kids in the foster system.

"We wanted to see how these kids view their oral health," says Sarvas. "So we asked them questions, such as do you like your teeth? Have you ever had any dental pain? Is it hard to get to a dentist? And we found it was hard for them to get to a dentist even when they were having a lot of dental pain."

Then Sarvas answers common questions about everyday dental care. How many times a day should you brush? Do I need an electric tooth brush? And who should take antibiotics before a trip to the dentist? Plus she weighs in on what she refers to as "Flossgate." Do you really need to floss?

Her study is published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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