Prophylaxis: Protect children against tooth decay

Brush your teeth regularly and drink refreshing water instead of soda: Even daycare children and elementary school students can learn what is part of good dental care and oral hygiene. Current studies from various professional societies show how important early information and preventive measures are for dental health. According to this, ten to 15 percent of children under the age of three nationwide live with caries in early childhood. The suffering is enormous for many children. In addition to pain and difficulty biting and chewing, teeth affected by caries can also cause bad breath and visible changes perceived as an optical defect.

If the teeth that fall out by themselves, usually from the age of 6, are already caries, there is a high probability that the teeth that grow back and at best last forever will also be affected by caries . The bacteria responsible for this are in the oral cavity, explains Alexandra Demand, dentist in the pediatric and adolescent dental care in the district of Oldenburg: “Caries can already damage the permanent teeth before they are visible in the oral cavity.”

Dental diseases, which develop chronically without adequate protection and countermeasures, can trigger or promote numerous other health problems, because caries bacteria can also damage organs in the worst case. The team from Børn- og Ungetandplejen will, with their work, help prevent things from getting to this point.

Explain in a child-friendly way

Dentist for children and young people Alexandra Demand visits kindergartens and primary schools almost every day to check children’s dental health and to teach them in child-friendly language how good dental care works. What makes sense and is necessary may be different for each child.

“Some look forward to the conversation and already know a lot about how to protect their teeth from cavities.” Thanks to the team’s empathy, children who are initially quite anxious can participate in the examinations without being forced and often become proud afterwards, says Alexandra Demand: “Our goal is for the children to internalize early on that dental care is important to them and should be a normal part of everyday life.”

Information about tooth killer

Dental prophylaxis examinations are carried out once a year in kindergartens and primary schools in the district of Oldenburg. In addition, there are regular, always announced visits by specially trained prophylaxis specialists who, among other things, use mannequins to demonstrate how, for example, a toothbrush is used correctly and which drinks and foods contain dangerous tooth killers. In addition, age-appropriate teaching units are held in the grades. The children are then examined.

For this purpose, a declaration of consent is obtained in advance from the parents of the kindergarten children from the responsible educators on site, as a child or daycare visit including a dental examination is voluntary. It is different in primary school. Since the beginning of the year, children’s attendance has again been compulsory according to the Lower Saxony School Act.

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