By ASHLEY WEIGEL
Capital News Service
LANSING – One of the greatest health risks for Michigan children is right under their noses. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children, said Angela Minicuci, public information officer of the Michigan Department of Community Health. More than half of all third graders—58 percent—have some tooth decay, according to the Department of Community Health, and 25 percent of those problems are left untreated. Dentists are distributing toothbrushes and educational materials in schools to students and teachers during February, said Tom Kochheiser, director of public affairs for the Michigan Dental Association, because it is National Children’s Oral Health month. Tooth decay is a big issue afflicting children, even though it is preventable through regular brushing, flossing and a healthy diet, Kochheiser said.