Tooth decay prevention is achieved through a proper oral hygiene (consisting of dental brushing, use of dental floss and mouthwash), food hygiene (including the replacement of unhealthy foods with fruits and vegetables, avoid drinking acidic juices and eating sweets between meals and before bedtime) and specific methods performed by the dentist (teeth fluoridation, sealing the cracks and pits). A twice–yearly visit to the dentist office is required in order to perform dental prophylaxis from a younger age.
Toothbrushing using a toothpaste is the most important element of a correct oral hygiene. Proper dental brushing should take at least two minutes in the morning and in the evening. Soft bristled toothbrush may help reduce the risk of gingival injury and it is recommended to change it every three months.
Dental floss can be used before or after brushing. After two and a half years of age, the child can use it at least twice a week.
In case of children, mouthwash should be used only when recommended by a dentist.
Dental prophylaxis, performed in the dental office, consists of professional brushing, teeth fluoridation, sealing. Teeth fluoridation plays a role in: protecting teeth against caries; reducing dental sensitivity; remineralization of caries–affected areas; development of a healthy permanent dentition.
Tooth sealing is the safest method for preventing dental caries in children. It is recommended to be performed for children between 3 and 14 years of age, along dental brushing and dental fluoridation. It consists in applying on the occlusal side of the tooth of a fluorine-based sealant which can remain for a long time on teeth if a proper hygiene and oral prophylaxis are performed. The procedure is painless, simple and fast. It is used for both temporary and definitive teeth (6-year molar, 12-year molar-tooth eruption period), which should be sealed in the first year after the arcade eruption.
Dr. Cristina Tanase
Dentist, Smilemed Clinic
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