Organization encouraging kids as young as 1 to see dentist

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CHICAGO -- When you’re just a kid a trip to the dentist can be okay, and maybe not as okay for others.

On Saturday, more than 120 kids,  all of them five years or younger, got a chance to bite off a big part of what it is to be a big kid by getting their teeth checked and cleaned.

“It’s so critical to take their kids to the dentist by the age of one,” Nancy Cozzi, a dentist, said.

Doctor Nancy Cozzi is one of the many volunteering their time for the Dentist by 1 event to help get to the root of any dental issues early on.

“Not nearly enough children see a dentist by the time they’re one so we’re trying to encourage families to see a dentist to just properly take care of their children's teeth,” Lora Vitek, Delta Dental Foundation, said.

It’s the fifth year Delta Dental Foundation has sponsored the checks that have taken place throughout the state.

This is the first year it’s been in Chicago pairing up dentists with their young patients and their parents.

“If they’re told by a dentist what causes tooth decay, how to properly brush, we can take care of these problems. They’ll have fewer infections, fewer restorations and fewer days of missed school,” Cozzi said.

For parents, it’s something welcomed with a smile.

“She explained everything and the whole check up process is very professional and it was very quick,” Sevara Ziyautdinkhodjaeva, a mom, said.

It’s a quick check to head off any issues in the future.

Parents were also given referrals for reduced rate or free care for follow up visits.

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