Pediatric Dentistry is the field of Dentistry that deals with the prevention and treatment of oral diseases in children and adolescents.
The goal of a preventive program for children is to prevent caries first in primary teeth and then in permanent teeth, as well as to prevent gingivitis. If either disease is already established, the aim of the preventive program is to control and eradicate it.
The tools we have at our disposal are regular fluoride, preventive fillings, the control of eating habits and of course the act of teaching the child proper oral hygiene.
Fluoride helps to increase the resistance at tooth decay so it is used as a tool to prevent and reduce tooth decay at children.
Other sources of fluoride intake are:
- Through drinking water
- Through milk
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Through fluoride-containing mouthwashes
- Through special tablets or drops etc.
Fluoride is indicated immediately after the eruption of the first permanent tooth in the jaw, at the age of 6 years old. It is usually recommended to do this every 6 months in the clinic. With topical application of fluoride we succeed in recalculating the teeth, we help to repair some minor tooth decay at a very early stage without the need of drilling, as well as strengthen the material of the tooth’s outer surface against the caries. If the damage progresses to the next stage, a filling is needed to stop the caries.
The fluoride process is very simple, painless and harmless. We use sterile plastic trays with a special fluorescent gel for the upper and lower jaw for around 3 minutes.
Preventive fillings or sealants
The first permanent molars appear in the mouth of children at the age of 6 and do not change again. For this reason it is recommended to protect these important teeth with a thin layer of composite resin (the material of the “white” fillings), which covers the fissures (grooves) of the tooth, the surface where food is trapped and caries begins.
The reduction rate of caries can reach up to 75%.
It is a simple, fast and painless procedure for the child that provides significant protection to permanent teeth.
Their placement requires only one visit. The dentist prepares the surface to receive preventive coverage and then places the material without having to drill the tooth and without anesthesia.
Since they can sometimes be detached from the tooth, they should be checked by the dentist every 6-8 months and re-installed if necessary. Preventive coatings should be part of an integrated preventive program and combined with regular fluoride applications to achieve even greater protection against caries.