REVIEW PAPER
Prevention of caries in children and adolescents and oral health promotion – the role of health care professionals
 
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Zakład Pediatrii Społecznej, Katedra Pielęgniarstwa Pediatrycznego UM we Wrocławiu
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Anna Stodolak   

Zakład Pediatrii Społecznej, Katedra Pielęgniarstwa Pediatrycznego AM we Wrocławiu, Poland
 
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2014;20(1):76–81
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objectives:
Dental caries (tooth decay) is a common disease of the oral cavity, usually followed by serious outcomes and generating considerable costs, especially when it concerns children and adolescents. If permanent teeth are affected, prompt diagnosis and intensive treatment are indispensable, which may be difficult because of considerable limitations in access to public dental care, and is additionally burdened by a continuous decrease of life standards and impoverishment of families and communities. Moreover, dental caries is detected in children at an increasingly younger age, as early as in preschool period and deciduous teeth. The objectives of the presented study are as follows: • presentation of the latest data concerning pathogenesis, detection and prevention of dental caries; • concepts of dental home and health-promoting schools; • description of health care professionals’ role at each stage of prophylaxis and education; • anti-caries preventive recommendations for parents and adolescents.

Brief presentation of current knowledge:
According to available literature, some current data concerning pathogenesis, diagnosis and prevention of dental caries are presented. In addition, concepts of dental home and health-promoting schools are mentioned, together with recommendations for parents and adolescents, normally provided by health care staff

Summary:
Correct and adequate prevention of dental caries, if implemented early (preferably even before the child’s birth), exerts highly beneficial effects upon the lives of children, their oral health and general health status. Long-lasting changes in attitude and life-style, as well as decreasing barriers in access to dental care, are supposed to decrease the prevalence of this common disease, with obvious benefits for patients and the whole of society

 
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