Just like in every field of medicine today, protective medicine has become important in dentistry as well, which can be defined as stopping the problem before it occurs.
Protective dentistry is particularly important for children. Since it is effortless, inexpensive, and painless, it is preferred that children’s first encounter with a dentist is related to protective dentistry.
Proper oral care can only be achieved with complete knowledge. Hygiene education, which includes teaching toothbrushing and flossing, reviewing dietary habits, and emphasizing the importance of oral and dental health, is important not only for children but also for adults.
2- FLUORIDE APPLICATION
Fluoride is an element that prevents tooth decay and strengthens the structure of teeth, which can be found in plants, seafood, water, and various tissues of our body. Fluoride is found in toothpaste as well as some food sources. However, children often do not receive enough fluoride since they cannot perform regular tooth brushing.
Topical fluoride application is particularly applied to children who are prone to dental caries. In this way, an adequate amount of fluoride is stored on the teeth, strengthening their structure and making them resistant to decay. Surface fluoride applications are a procedure that can be started from the age of 3 and should be repeated every 6 months in order to be effective.
3- FISSURE SEALANT APPLICATION
Tooth decay usually starts in the pits and fissures, which are small grooves and peaks on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. These areas are quite narrow, and due to the accumulation of food particles and bacteria, they are usually the starting point of decay. To prevent decay that may occur due to the accumulation of food and microorganisms in these areas, a special flowing filling material is used. The period when the first permanent teeth erupt in the mouth is ideal for this application. It can also be applied to other premolars during their eruption time.
4- SPACE MAINTAINERS
Baby teeth are not lost early for various reasons. Until the eruption of permanent teeth, the adjacent teeth move towards the extraction space and can cover the space that needs to be protected for the permanent tooth. In such cases, the adjacent teeth can tilt or rotate, closing the space that needs to be protected for the permanent tooth. If the development is left to its own after the early loss of a baby tooth, these movements can cause no space for the permanent tooth or the permanent tooth to be in an abnormal position. Space maintainers can be prepared as fixed or removable depending on the number of missing teeth.