Oral hygiene: early childhood tooth decay is increasing
For years, health experts have been pointing out that tooth decay is increasing in toddlers. Across Germany, 15 percent of those under the age of three are now affected. Dentists explain how you can strengthen the health of milk teeth.
How important milk teeth are for a child's development
Proper dental hygiene is the best protection against tooth decay and other dental problems. Even milk teeth need a lot of care. Unfortunately, however, it is still underestimated how important this is for the healthy development of a child. Healthy deciduous teeth decide, among other things, whether a child is gaining weight in line with age, whether he is learning to speak properly and whether he or she is experiencing marginalization due to its appearance, the Federal Dental Association explains in a communication on Dental Health Day 2017.
Sugary drinks damage teeth
"It is a sad fact that 15 percent of children under the age of three in Germany have caries," said Prof. Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the Federal Dental Association.
He added: "Early childhood tooth decay affects all population groups, but especially families in socially difficult situations."
In particular, sugary drinks are harmful to the teeth.
"Causes of early childhood tooth decay are excessive drinking of sugary and acidic drinks, e.g. from suction bottles in combination with too little oral hygiene in early childhood. In order to be able to change that, we need multidisciplinary concepts, ”said Austria.
Early childhood tooth decay is common
Dr. Michael Kleinebrinker, Head of Unit at the GKV umbrella association, agreed: "Unfortunately, early childhood tooth decay is still an issue for toddlers and preschoolers."
He explained that the statutory health insurance "is committed to early and systematic dental care from the breakthrough of the first milk tooth" so that the diseased milk teeth do not become a permanent problem.
“The legal requirement to start dental screening examinations in the statutory health insurance system much sooner than is the case today is therefore welcomed,” explained Kleinebrinker.
This is how milk teeth are made strong
Prof. Christian H. Splieth, Head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry & Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Greifswald, explained what can make milk teeth strong:
“The fluoride content of children's toothpaste is low in Germany compared to many other countries. That should change. "
And further: "In addition, we need group prophylaxis that reaches even the smallest with daily teeth brushing - and finally prophylaxis services from the first tooth that are reimbursed in the regular dental care."
"Many extractions can only be avoided in young children if we take the same care with the deciduous teeth as with the permanent teeth," says Splieth.
Dental Health Day
Nutrition also plays an important role in protecting against tooth decay. So the little ones should avoid getting sugary drinks like sweetened tea or fruit juice.
Milk also damages milk teeth if it is constantly in the mouth.
In addition, you strengthen the health of milk teeth by continuously informing children, parents, educators and others who can influence the health of milk teeth about topics such as dental care or check-ups.
The day of dental health on September 25 under the motto "Healthy starts in the mouth - together for strong milk teeth" should contribute to this. (ad)