Childhood, when permanent (“adult”) teeth began to grow, is the best time to teach youngsters good oral hygiene habits and how to make wise nutritional choices.
By learning how to prevent compromising the enamel, the hard substance that covers teeth, children can minimize and perhaps prevent the dental problems that plague many adults.
Pediatric tooth decay is on the rise. Some research suggests that systemic causes—including radiation exposure, hormonal abnormalities, and foreign proteins in food—are to blame.
Hypomineralization, caused mainly by a diet inadequate in minerals, increases a child’s susceptibility to decay.
The systemic theory of decay suggests that other factors become relevant only after hypomineralization has begun.
Tooth decay in children falls into distinct categories:
–Baby teeth versus adult teeth
–Anterior (front) vs. posterior (back) tooth patterns
–Contra-lateral tooth patterns
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