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Monday, February 15th, 2010 -- 10:29 AM

An area dentist is reminding parents to keep their kids' teeth healthy.

Tooth problems are a real problem in our area. And, Dr. Tom Gelhaus says those problems can lead to other health difficulties down the road.

The worst thing parents can do is let their kids drink acidy sodas all the time. If kids drink soda, root beer is by the safest for their teeth.

Gelhaus says there is a new sweetener on the market that has shown some promising benefits.

"There's a new sweetener called Xylitol. It reduces the bacteria count in your mouth for the bacteria that cause decay," he says.

It?s a natural product and Gelhaus says it can be very beneficial for kids and others.

"If you chew gum with Xylitol in it, if you don't have time to brush, it's a great thing to do. It stimulates your saliva and the Xylitol will reduce the bacteria count," Gelhaus says.

February is National Children?s Dental Health Month. Dr. Gelhaus will be our guest on In Depth Tuesday morning.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.