Prevention of dental caries in teenagers

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Dental caries is an oral disease and a public health problem. Dental caries damage oral health, and even cause tooth loss in all age groups. However, dental caries can be prevented. The following article describes the history of dental caries and time to brush teeth in an effort to prevent cases of dental caries in teenagers. Childhood is one of the age groups at risk of experiencing dental caries. Research by Dewanti and Adriyani (2020) was conducted on 75 respondents consisting of junior high school students (teenagers aged 12-14 years) in Rembang in 2018 explained that, a history of dental caries and toothbrushing habit in childhood were related to cases of dental caries in adolescence.

The occurrence of dental caries in childhood is associated with the occurrence of dental caries in adolescence. If a person has a history of dental caries as a child, in his adolescence he will have a greater risk of developing caries in permanent teeth compared to adolescents who do not have a history of dental caries in childhood. Dental caries can be prevented by brushing your teeth regularly. This habit must be done from childhood. The right time to brush your teeth should be done after eating foods that are cariogenic or high in sugar, after breakfast, and before bed.

Brushing your teeth is important to minimize the possibility of food debris stuck to your teeth and mouth. If there is food left in the mouth and it is not cleaned, there will be microorganism activity which causes pH value of the saliva to drop and causes demineralization of enamel. Cariogenic foods are sticky and break easily when chewed, so they have the potential to enter through the crevices of the teeth. Gargling after eating, especially after eating sweet food which is cariogenic in nature, is recommended to prevent dental caries.

Adolescents aged 12 to 14 are still in their growth and development period, where parents are expected to supervise and guide their children in maintaining oral hygiene and health, such as by getting family members to brush their teeth at least after breakfast and before bed. For adolescents with a history of dental caries during childhood, parents should pay more attention to food consumption patterns, especially if these adolescents have high sugar or cariogenic eating habits.

Dental and oral health of children can be created with the involvement of parents. Parents who practice brushing their teeth after breakfast and before going to bed, gargling after eating, and maintaining food intake since childhood can play an important role in reducing the risk of developing dental caries in adolescence.

Penulis: Retno Adriyani

Journal link related to the article above: The Incidence of Dental Caries in 7th Grade Students in Rembang, Central Java https://dx.doi.org/10.20473/jbe.v8i22020.156-163 Link: https://e-journal.unair.ac.id/JBE/article/view/15055/10582

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