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Tooth decay in children: Unchecked and rampant


Date :14/05/2015

IF your kids are plump as children, chances are they won’t outgrow that fat, as they get older unless you help them eat right and exercise sufficiently. According to a new study from Wright State University, children with a high body-mass index (BMI) during their earliest years are 20 per cent more likely to remain obese in adulthood than children with lower BMIs. Looks like chubby cheeks do not indicate the pink of health any more!

Much before the monitoring of your child’s food and fitness routines come his dental care; which begin as early as when he is six months old! Check what you can do to preserve dental health in your dear one so that he doesn’t cry even before he learns to smile!

Nursing caries

When the child has been put to bed with a bottle of milk or sugar containing beverage, the liquid pools around the upper teeth (lower teeth are relatively unaffected as the tongue acts as a barrier). As the salivary flow is decreased during sleep, clearance of the liquid from the mouth is slow and the carbohydrate-containing medium provides an excellent environment for bacteria to grow. Te lactose content of human milk as well as that of bovine milk can be cariogenic (potential to cause decay), if allowed to stagnate of the teeth.

What can be done

1.Child’s first dental check-up should be between 6-12 months of age along with counseling for parents.

2.Infant should be held while feeding; if the baby falls asleep while nursing, it should be burped and then put to bed. Never allow the child to sleep with a bottle in the mouth

3.Parent should start brushing the child’s teeth as soon as the child can start drinking from a cup (approximately 12 moths of age).

Rampant caries Decay of sudden onset, widespread and rapidly burrowing usually involving the lower teeth has been termed rampant caries. There are generally 10 or more new lesions per year occurring in teeth that have been relatively immune to decay so far and affect children of all ages. There is considerable evidence that emotional disturbances could be the cause besides poor oral hygiene and requent consumption of sticky carbohydrates. Stressful situations, repressed emotions and fears, undue academic pressure, dissatisfaction with achievement etc, have been shown to be associated with decreased salivary flow and decreased decay resistance leading to rampant caries.

What can be done

1. A visit to the dentist once in six months will keep situations under control.

2. Diet counseling to eliminate wrong foods and timings helps a great deal.

3. Psychological counseling is of utmost importance. Parents should find out if the child is under stress and take measures to relieve him of it.

The author is dental surgeon and can be contacted at ALL SMILES DENTAL CLINIC, 26673439, 9845085230.

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