Dental caries develops slowly over time due to gradual loss of tooth substance (enamel and dentine) caused by acid production resulting from bacterial metabolism of sugars. Early stages are often without symptoms, but advanced stages of dental caries may lead to pain, infections and abscess or even sepsis.
Decreased levels of Fluoride in Diet and water supplies or inappropriate use of RO water filters further predisposes to Dental Caries. Fluoride forms a complex with the apatite crystals in dentin and strengthens the dental structure. Fluoride also promotes remineralization of carious lesions and exerts a bacteriostatic effect.
So, fluoridation of public water supplies has been found to be the single most cost-effective measure for reducing dental caries across populations.
In addition to fluoridated water, following practices can help prevent Dental Caries:
- Dietary counseling to reduce the ingestion of sugar-rich foods or beverages
- Brushing teeth two to three times daily with a fluoridated toothpaste (1000 ppm of Fluoride, usually as sodium fluoride 1.1% or stannous fluoride 0.4%) effectively delivers fluoride to the tooth-plaque surface
- Cleaning between teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaner
- Visiting a dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examination
- Application of Fluoride varnish on teeth every 6 monthly by a Pedo-dontist.
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