DENTAL CARIES RISK ASSESSMENT
WHAT IS A CARIES RISK ASSESSMENT AND HOW DO I PREVENT DECAY IN MY CHILD’S TEETH?
Tooth decay or dental caries is by far the most common oral health problem in children of all ages, from pre-schoolers to adolescents. Caries is caused by oral bacteria (i.e. Streps Mutans) that have been transmitted to your child when young.
These bacteria feed on the sugars your child consumes, producing acid that dissolves the tooth surface to cause cavities. Prevention of dental caries is successful when protective factors out-weigh risk factors, as seen in this simplified caries balance concept.
Because every child is unique, an individual Caries Risk Assessment is performed by a paedodontist at the first dental examination. This is mainly to assess how factors such as diet, fluoride exposure, general health and oral hygiene interact with social, cultural and behavioral elements to predispose your child to caries.
Then, a detailed preventive plan can be advised to teach you how to care for your child’s oral health and minimize the risk of caries spread. Generally, prevention entails optimizing the following factors: diet, oral hygiene, fluoride, sealants and remineralising agents.