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Dental Ed 101: To Caries and beyond---Starting them YOUNG!!!

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by , 08-16-2012 at 02:53 PM (22753 Views)
In my, I don't know, maybe more than 10 years of being a dentist (if that includes my CLINIC DUTIES when I was still in college ), I have observed that many Filipino's are still faced with the #1 painful health problem we often times dread... TOOTH ACHE!

And the most common reason for having this dreaded disease is POOR ORAL HYGIENE! In short,

  1. Dli mang TOOTHBRUSH.
  2. Kung mang TOOTHBRUSH man gani, ahw kung mkahinumdum lang.
  3. Mahilig mukaun ug FOOD (Alangan sad ug dli food diba? Hehhee ) Especially those which are rich in CARBOHYDRATES or simply put, SUGARY, SWEET & STARCHY foods.

As I have observed, the statement UP there really holds TRUE,

"Good Dental Health Is A Family Affair!"

In one of my brief encounters with my PEDO/PEDIATRIC (Child patients) who had a case of RAMPANT DENTAL CARIES on all TEMPORARY TEETH like this...

When I asked the GRANDMOTHER if the patient brushes her teeth regularly, the grandmother replied,

"No doc! Even I don't really brush regularly!"

And so there it is! From grandmother to grand daughter and who knows what the situation is with the parents of this kid.

And that is why I advice to all parents to START THEM YOUNG while you still can.

Here are some TIPS for all you PARENTS and soon-to-be parents out there.

(For kids)

  • ü If your child is still bottle or breast fed, ALWAYS have a spare bottle beside them filled with WATER. After feeding, ALWAYS let your child drink WATER before going to sleep after bottle/breast feeding. That way, the “Sugar” contained in the milk would be washed away and dental caries are prevented.
  • ü Start them BRUSHING as early as 6months old. This is the time when the FIRST TOOTH, which are the CENTRAL INCISORS, come out and erupt.
  • ü With the use of a KIDDIE TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHPASTE of their choice (Dora, Spongebob, Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse etc.), place just a small amount on your child’s toothbrush. How small? Just a wipe on the bristles enough to cover them a little would be enough. This ensures you that whatever toothpaste your child may ingest in the process, it won’t be that bad enough to cause harm to the PERMANENT TOOTH underneath.

NOTE: To make it FUN for YOU and your child, do it TOGETHER in front of a MIRROR where your child can see YOU doing it. Children are “great imitators” and usually, they follow “by example,” and as a PARENT, we should be their EXAMPLE! And as we always tell our patients, ORAL HEALTH is a FAMILY MATTER. Your KIDS are a reflection of how your ORAL HEALTH is! If your kids have beautiful smiles, then you do too.

Common question #1
"When should I start taking my child to the DENTIST?"

As soon as the TEMPORARY TEETH have already erupted, you can already start bringing them to the dentist just for exposure but it would be BEST to bring them when ALL TEMPORARY teeth have already erupted at approximately 22 to 33 months or roughly 1 year 2 months to 2 years 9 months of age! A routine ORAL PROPHYLAXIS or CLEANING can already be done to the Child to maintain their GOOD ORAL HEALTH provided that at home, they also practice brushing their teeth 2 to 3x a day!

Identifying Decay
(A quick guide for PARENTS)

A simple ‘Lift the Lip’ screening and referral tool is available to identify children (6months-5 years) with early signs of tooth decay.

Early signs of tooth decay are easy to identify as it usually starts in the outer surfaces of the top front teeth.

Screening for tooth decay involves simply lifting the top lip and checking the outer surfaces of the top front teeth.

Evidence shows that if identified early, preventive measures (such as the application of fluoride) are successful in preventing the progress of decay.

The 'Lift the Lip' Screening Tool
Simply lift the top lip and check the outer surfaces of the top front teeth


Early signs of TOOTH DECAY

White lines along the gum line
can be the beginning of tooth decay.
Please refer for a dental visit.

More Advanced Decay

Brown areas or decayed spots.
Please refer for a dental visit.

(For Kids)

1. Oral Prophylaxis (Cleaning)
This should be routinely done every 6 months to prevent plaque and calcular build up on teeth and prevent caries too.
2. Pit & Fissure Sealant
These are applied on PREMOLARS & MOLARS just like tooth fillings. These are applied to prevent further decay on tooth.
3. Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

NOTE: It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth come in.

by: Dr. Adhara Amie Aubrey C. Cornelio-Tan DMD (angel_brey)
Cebu Smile Studio Rm 430 4th Flr. Robinson's Cybergate
Fuente Osmena, Cebu City Philippines

Updated 08-16-2012 at 03:07 PM by angel_brey




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