Author(s): Paddy Fleming
Dental caries in young children remains a public health problem particularly for children whose families are socioeconomically deprived. A child's first dental visit should be at approximately 12 months of age and this should facilitate the provision of anticipatory guidance concerning oral health and dental development to the child's parents/guardians. Compliance with dietary advice is of key importance and motivational interviewing shows promise in relation to parents adopting good oral health practices for their children. Twice daily toothbrushing using toothpaste that contains in the range of 1000- 1500ppmF is a most important preventive measure. It is important to use a minimal amount of toothpaste, insure that it is not swallowed, have parental or adult supervision during toothbrushing and avoid rinsing with water following brushing with toothpaste. The professional application of topical fluoride varnish twice yearly is a proven caries preventative measure. The application of pit and fissure sealants to teeth with deep pits and fissures is recommended.