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Glossary

  • anticipatory guidance: information given to children and families to promote health
  • bacteria: microorganisms commonly referred to as “germs” capable of producing disease under the right conditions
  • carbohydrates: sugars and starches found in many foods
  • caregiver: adult, other than the parent, responsible for the infant or child
  • cavity: hollow area or hole caused by bacterial acids that attack the enamel of the tooth
  • child: refers to the age range from 1 to 5 years
  • debris: soft foreign matter attached loosely to the tooth
  • decay: an infectious disease process of the tooth that destroys the tooth structure and produces a cavity
  • dental arch: the curve of the row of teeth in each jaw
  • enamel: the hard, glossy, white covering of the tooth crown
  • fissure: an anatomic groove in the chewing surface of a tooth
  • fluoride: a compound of fluorine with a more electropositive element or radical
  • fluoride varnish: a lacquer containing 5 percent sodium fluoride that is painted on teeth and that appears to stop bacterial activity and reduce dental plaque
  • fluorosis: an abnormal condition (as mottled enamel of human teeth) caused by fluorine or its compounds
  • infant: refers to the age range from birth to 12 months
  • infection: the state produced by the establishment of an infective agent in or on a suitable host
  • permanent teeth: the second set of teeth (32 in number) that come into the mouth after the loss of the primary teeth. Also commonly called “adult teeth”
  • pit: a small indentation in the crown of the tooth
  • plaque: a sticky patch of bacteria, saliva, food products, and tissue cells on the tooth that supports the growth of bacteria and bacterial acids and leads to tooth decay
  • primary teeth: the first set of teeth (20 in number) that come into the moth, usually when an infant is around 6 months old
  • risk assessment: a tool used to individualize health supervision and intervention
  • saliva: the watery secretions of the glands of the mouth
  • Streptococcus mutans: a type of bacteria found in the mouth that is primarily responsible for tooth decay
  • systemic: of, relating to, or common to a system; affecting the body generally
  • tooth decay: an active process of tooth destruction resulting from interactions between teeth, food, and bacteria
  • topical: designed for or involving local application to or action on a bodily part
  • xylitol: a low-calorie sugar substitute used in certain chewing gums and other food products