DENTISTS WARNED ABOUT INCREASE IN CARIES IN CHILDREN UNDER 6

THE EIGHTEENTH DENTISTRY ANNUAL MEETING FOCUSED ON CHILDREN'S ORAL HEALTH, WITH HIGH PARTICIPATION FROM ACADEMICS, PROFESSIONALS AND STUDENTS.



August 5, 2016

Early measures for the prevention of tooth decay, which can start even before birth, were proposed by dental researchers during the 18th Dentistry Annual Meeting, which took place in the Abate Molina Hall and organized by our University and the Chilean Society of Pediatric Dentistry (SCHOP), Maule Region chapter.

Patricia Jimenez, Director of the Department of Stomatological Pediatrics and of the Pediatric Dentistry Specialization Program of the Universidad de Talca, explained that the focus of the activity was put on the increase of caries in children of 6 years or less, a problem observed in all of Latin America. "Our idea is to work with the mothers when they are pregnant and with the children when they grow their first teeth. We also seek that the knowledge not only stays at the dental care and health environment level, but that it spreads at the community level; we want to let everyone know that the future lies in treating minors before cavities occur", she said.

On the situation in our country, Jimenez said that unfortunately there is still a high prevalence of this disease, specifically in early infancy. "There has been some progress in the reduction of caries at the level of permanent dentition, after 8 years of age, but there is an increase in caries in children under 6," she explained.

Educating

On the basis of the described problem, the professor commented the measures implemented by the Universidad de Talca in the search for solutions. "We have created the Cariology unit, which has been a very important measure, because we work across all areas, from children to the elderly (...) We are also acting, as an institution, to train the pre-kindergarten teachers as advisors of oral health, because we know that it is very important the relationship between children and their educators, and the fact that minors can also teach parents," she said. She also expressed that since two years ago, the University created the Clinic for the Baby, "which works at the Clinical Center, where we treat minors from 6 months old to two years old, and anyone can register".

The President of the SCHOP – Maule Region chapter and professor in the area of dental Pediatrics at the School of Dentistry, Paula Pino, said also that in our country there is a great problem of tooth decay, especially in children, which affects the lowest-income children. "Caries, in general, have been declining in the world. But there is an important group of the population where these measures do not reach them and they are the most vulnerable," she said, and she added that the focus should be "on the caries in early childhood, the risk factors, how to diagnose it, prevent it and treat it".

Sugar-free

The President of the SCHOP - Maule Region chapter explained that change should start with improving the education, food practices and dental hygiene in children and avoiding sugar, which "should not be introduced in the diet of children before the age of 2", so mothers should be accompanied from the early months of pregnancy.

One of the main speakers was Associate Professor of Dentistry from the Lutheran University of Brazil, Carlos Feldens, who talked about “Early Intervention in Cariology" and stressed the importance of such activities to address the solutions to the issues that matter to the discipline. "The participation of students is impressive to change dental practice, which in the 20th century was exclusively surgical, restorative and today is much more preventive, for the promotion of children's health," he said.

Along with highlighting the high attendance to the meeting, he added that the exchange with colleagues is transcendental because "you learn with others, we tell about experiences and research protocols for the future on a matter that is the main evil that affects children in Latin America".

"Balancing Clinic and Science of Caries in Children's Dentistry", was the name of the meeting which had among its speakers doctors Carlos Feldens, Rodrigo Giacaman, Susanne Krämer, Marcelo Valle and Vidal Pérez.



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