Dental caries is one of the most widespread diseases of in school children and youth. Tooth decay is caused by food stuffs and drinks which contain carbohydrates, meaning sugar and starch. Bacteria which live in the dental cavity also feed on these carbohydrates, whose decomposition form acids which result in deterioration of the tooth enamel. Damage of the enamel of the tooth results in the loss of minerals such as calcium and phosphorous which are the two most important minerals from which the teeth are formed. This is how teeth start to decay. The danger of tooth decay is greater in so much as one regularly consumes sweets, sugary beverages and foods which stick to the teeth easily and especially if one snacks between meals.
It is a common occurrence that the parents of preschool children call on a dentist because their children are suffering considerable pain and are prematurely losing their teeth: “He had brown layers in the shape of horizontal lines and then the teeth just crumbled”.
The characteristic picture of baby bottle caries occurs after the consumption of sugary drinks prior to the child’s bedtime or during the night. It is actually brought about by a number of factors. A high concentration of sugar, insufficient salivation which is normal during the night and less self cleaning due to the tongue functioning less during the night.
The problem is not the bottle itself, but the fluid with which the baby is lulled to sleep with. It is recommended that after consuming fluids of any kind to brush the child’s teeth and to attempt to lull it to sleep in another way.
The most important thing for the growth and development of strong and beautiful teeth is a proper and varying diet with a lot of tooth building minerals such calcium, phosphorous and fluoride. Milk in dairy products contains the most calcium and phosphorous.
Fluoride helps in the strengthening of tooth enamel and the regeneration of teeth due to the restoration of calcium and phosphorous.
Since we do not generally get enough fluoride through our food and water intake, we must supplement this in another way such as the administration of fluoride to school children through fluoride solutions and brushing ones teeth with tooth pastes containing fluoride.