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Cavities in Children: How to Prevent It?

Cavities is an Oral Health Problem that Usually Affects Children. We Tell you How to Prevent its Appearance.

Boy with a toothbrush and a tooth figure

Photo: Freepik

LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: Caries en los niños: ¿Cómo prevenirla?

Although it can affect any age, it is during childhood that cavities is most suffered due to poor oral hygiene. Therefore, in this article it is important to point out what cavities or caries are, what causes them and how they should be prevented. In this last section, parents have a responsibility on this matter, since they must be attentive to the care of their children and the health issues that affect them.

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What are cavities and how do they originate?

Most people in their childhood and other stages of life have suffered from tooth decay. Some are easy to solve, others can complicate the nervous tissues of the mouth. But what are they? In medical terms, it is an infectious oral pathology that progressively destroys the tissue of the teeth and, in turn, slows down the development of the mouth of children. Its appearance is due to the acids derived from the metabolization of sugar by the bacteria that are deposited on the teeth, this is known as bacterial plaque.

The problem with this is that cavities reproduce silently, which, in the long run, will destroy the tooth and make it more difficult to chew food. Consequently, this problem complicates the final placement of the new tooth. However, the causes of cavities are many, but the most common reason is neglect of oral hygiene.

What does the World Health Organization think about tooth decay?

In the WHO Application Manual "Putting an end to dental caries in childhood", the international organization states that the ages of 5 and 6 years are the most affected by this pathology throughout the world. At the same time, the manual analyzes this problem and classifies it as a non-communicable disease (NCD) that can be prevented and whose origin is closely related to socio-behavioral, economic, environmental and social factors.

In general, the prevalence of this oral disease in children has increased in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, it is important to note that economic and social pressures have been a determining factor influencing the behaviors of children and families, leading to poor oral health.

How to prevent cavities in children?

Here comes the gist and what parents should focus their attention on. It has been normalized that cavities in early childhood do not have greater relevance because the first teeth are baby teeth and then the definitive ones are born, which are the ones that matter. However, the previous idea must be eradicated because, although the point is true, hygiene and health behavior is essential to develop from childhood.

So, although the first teeth that begin to appear at six are temporary, families must encourage efficient oral health in children and thus, when they reach adulthood, they do not suffer from other dental pathologies.

Recommendations:

  • Start oral hygiene in babies even before the first teeth come in, cleaning their gums with a moistened gauze pad.

  • Use toothbrushes. These are special thiitbrushes with an amount of fluorideand  they have and will greatly help children's hygiene.

  • Limit sugar intake in children.

  • If children consume sugar, brush their teeth after doing so.

  • Take children to the dentist frequently