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tooth decay affects more than 600 million children with baby teeth

Worldwide, tooth decay is the tenth most common condition in "baby teeth," as it is estimated to affect more than 600 million children, despite being a preventable problem, warned Fátima Aguilar, of the National School of Higher Studies (ENES) León unit of UNAM.

The prevention of this disease, he explained, requires simple actions such as cleaning, proper use of toothpaste, toothbrush and floss, as well as adequate nutrition and observation.

"This can prevent tooth decay and the loss of tooth structure or the entire tooth," said the academic from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in a statement.

In addition, he recommended eliminating habits such as the use of pacifiers or thumb sucking for prolonged periods, as they can distort the position of the teeth and the growth of the jaws, which could even affect the speech patterns of infants.

Inadequate attention in the primary dentition stage, he warned, leads to other alterations such as loss of space for permanent teeth, infections, pain, decreased ability to eat and school absenteeism.

Milk teeth, continued the university, are important for their multiple functions, because they help children to chew, to smile, to speak correctly, to position their tongue, also contribute to stimulate the growth of the bones of the face, specifically the jaws.

Their premature loss could lead to a delay in the eruption of permanent teeth, which would cause them to come out in a disordered and misaligned way. However, he insisted that proper care prevents these problems, which would represent economic outlays for corrective treatments.

Oral hygiene must begin at birth. Wet gauze is used to clean the baby's tongue and palate, daily or every third day, and when teething begins, care should be daily. Acids and sugars, he explained, "cause the destruction of tooth tissues and contribute to the development of cavities.

In order to have a good control and oral care, the specialist suggested visiting the dentist once the first tooth comes out, and the follow-up will depend on the attention that each patient requires.


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