One of the most common diseases which effects the dental health of children is caries. 50% of US and UK children have caries.80% have dental cavity. Caries or dental decay is an Infectious, Communicable, Dynamic disease caused by a bacteria “STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS” which acts on sugary drinks and foods. The combination of this bacteria and sugar forms an acid which acts on the enamel (Calcium Phosphate) of tooth, resulting in dissolution of tooth. Early diagnosis can result in Filling but if diagnosed later it can result in removal of tooth.It is basically the balance between the pathological and protective factors within the mouth which decide the profession or reversal of DENTAL CARIES.
PREVENTION OF CARIES
Proper brushing is not only important for children but for adults as well.This should start as soon as the first tooth erupts. Initially the first few teeth can be cleaned or wiped off with a gauge or a damp cloth, later the brushing can be introduced as a game and should be supervised daily. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for children.
Children should be made aware and educated of healthy food habits. Junk foods should be avoided such as candies, smoothies,aerated drinks. Sugar free medicines should be administered.
Fluoride has been known to prevent caries, that is why it is recommended for children to have fluoride toothpaste. Naturally it is present in water but fluoride drops can be given orally if the concentration of fluoride is less in water in the area where you live.
Regular dental checkups are a must and should begin at 6-12 months of age. Doctor may recommend sealants which have been known to prevent caries.