Module 3: Prevention of Tooth Decay
- Children should visit a dentist within 6 months of the
eruption of the first primary tooth, and no later than
age 12 months.
- As soon as the first tooth erupts, parents should brush their infant's teeth using fluoridated toothpaste twice daily. Encourage parents to use a soft toothbrush that is appropriate for their infant's age.
- Tooth decay can be reduced by 50 to 70 percent with exposure
to proper amounts of fluoride.
- All infants and children who drink fluoridated water
benefit from systemic ingestion by incorporating fluoride
into their developing teeth, as well as from important
- Topical fluoride is probably the most important method
for preventing tooth decay.
- Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride-containing lacquer
that is easily “painted” onto the susceptible
surfaces of a child’s teeth.
- Xylitol, a low-calorie sugar substitute used in certain
chewing gums and other food products, has been shown to reduce the incidence
of tooth decay in mothers and children.