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How is tooth decay in children prevented ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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Hi, My 3.5 year son has tooth decay problem only in upper jaw,totally 4 tooth half decay.. is there any good solution ..without an operation.If operation is the only solution,how helpful it is ( any future problem will arise after operation?).
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later

Your son is still young, and most of his tooth are milk teeth.

Proper treatment of a decayed milk teeth, is necessary so as to prevent extensive damage to the inner teeth pulp, from which the permanent teeth arise. Hence if the tooth is decayed, removal of the infected teeth or filling of the dental caries is very important.

Once the procedure is done properly, there are no issues at all. The secondary or permanent teeth arise properly at the appropriate time. There is no need to worry that the procedure may harm the growth and development of the remaining teeth.

Decay of the primary (milk) teeth indicates that the child is susceptible to tooth decay and requires proper attention to maintain a healthy dentition. It does not mean that the permanent teeth will also get decayed.

If a milk tooth is lost much earlier than the scheduled time of eruption of the permanent successor, it is likely that space created by loss of the milk tooth will reduce or even close due to drifting of near by teeth. When the permanent tooth erupts it may not have enough space and grow in crooked.

For your information: I have provided additional information about the development of teeth and prevention of tooth decay.

All the milk teeth erupt by 3 years of age. The milk teeth are shed from 6 years onwards till about 10 years of age. The permanent teeth appear by 6 years of age. Between the ages of 6 - 9 years the child has some milk teeth as well as some permanent teeth This period is called the mixed dentition period. By about 12 years all the milk teeth should be shed off and replaced by the permanent teeth.

Teeth get decayed due to a combination of causes that include bad oral hygiene, stagnation of food on or around the teeth, presence of plaque on the tooth structure and the presence of caries causing microorganisms. Food particles and microorganisms tend to stagnate in the XXXXXXX pits and fissures found on the grinding surface of the teeth thereby predisposing to dental decay. In addition plaque and tartar may contribute to retention of particles and microbes close to the tooth structure.

Prevention is always better than cure.

The following factors help in prevention of caries.
1. Maintenance of good oral hygiene by regular brushing and use of interdental aids.
2. Diet is a very important consideration in dental decay. Sticky food and refined sugars are important factors predisposing to caries. Thus such foodstuff should be avoided. Children are advised to brush immediately after they consume such foodstuff.
3. The use of fluoridated toothpaste markedly reduces the occurrence of dental decay.
4. In some children the grinding surface of the teeth tend to have very XXXXXXX pits and grooves which predispose to stagnation of food and microbes. For such teeth the dentist may use appropriate sealants to reduce their depth. They are called pit and fissure sealants.
5. Regular check up by the dentist to arrest caries that have just begun and for professional fluoride application.

I hope the above information helps to answer your questions effectively.

Please feel free to forward any additional queries, which I will be glad to answer.


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