In the fall of 1977, a symposium was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In attendance were the world's greatest researchers in the field of dental disease. Instead of always fill, fill, fill, Dr. Leon M. Silver Stone1 of the University of Iowa said, "cavities can be arrested by remineralization."
Now, please think of a cavity in a tooth, or inflamed bleeding gums. . . no way for them to heal, right? But suppose that no infection existed in the saliva, or in and around the gums, then what? They heal without benefit of an expensive dentist.
This new knowledge of stopping the cause of cavities is actually quite simple. One just needs to lower the acid production within the mouth and take advantage of the natural calcium and phosphorus deposition that can take place when conditions are right.
Gum tissue problems also go away at the same time since the right conditions necessary to heal cavities also cause the gums to be perfectly healthy. When proper conditions are created the gum tissue heals. As the gum tissue heals, it also reattaches and can grow back over areas of severe recession. The underlying bone also grows back so teeth that are severely loosened can be made to tighten up and become firm and healthy again. It's all a matter of giving the body a chance to rejuvenate itself. Lowering the acid production in the mouth eliminates the causes of all these problems.
Cavities and gum problems are caused by acid and toxins trapped in and around the teeth and gums. These acids and toxins are produced by harmful bacteria along with the residue of various foods that we eat. It's very important that we have excellent nutrition to begin with, a very wholesome diet containing all of the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Then we must set out on a program to get rid of the harmiul bacteria that cause all of the problems. The methods necessary to do this vary from person to person depending on age and prior conditions.
Newborn babies, for example, should have their mouths "wiped out" either with a gauze square wrapped around a finger, or a "toothette." It's at this early age that all of the problems get started. The most critical year regarding dental health in one's liietime is the first year-- birth to age one. This is the year that the decay producing bacteria develop and grow to large numbers in the mouth.
Methods that keep the dental disease process from beginning in the first year of life are as follows:
While cleaning your child's teeth keep a constant lookout for anything that looks like decay (brown areas of defects In the enamel). If you detect anything that looks like early decay have the child's saliva tested.
- Feed baby a balanced diet. Restrict sweets.
- Avoid putting baby to bed with a bottle.
- Clean baby's mouth with a 2"x 2" gauze square each day-after meals and before bed.
- As teeth appear, clean teeth with a soft tooth brush (without any toothpaste) before bedtime each day.
- Use Clean Between daily. (Clean Between is a newly designed product similar to dental floss).
- Examine your child's teeth very carefully with a good light. If any holes can be seen, fill them with Cavit, a home filling material.
- Find a dentist to whom Oramedics is the most important phase of his practice.
Continue at least daily cleaning of your child's teeth until the child can begin to partly take over. Children are able to assume responsibility earlier than others. Those who have been exposed to this method from birth will be better able to begin taking care of themselves at an earlier age. When the child begins to use the brush and Clean Between himself, he will need careful supervision for quite some time. When the child is old enough to begin helping with his own cleaning, he should also be old enough to take a saliva test. This is important to establish a basis of good oral ecology.
The basic approach is supervision with the major ingredient being a whole lot of loving patience. Keeping a mouth clean is not an easy job and that is the main reason why most people do it so poorly. However, if taught at a young age in the right way, the apparent difficulties are readily over come. There is probably no other basic health message that can he taught at this age that has more liietime importance and significance. The correct efforts on the part of the parents during these years can mean a lifetime of freedorn from dental disease. There will be very few adult readers of this article who won't appreciate just how wonderfuI it would have been to have had such a message themselves and been able to avoid their own lifetime of problems.
By about the age of nine years, most children should be able to assume the day-to-day responsibilities of seeing to it that his or her mouth is scrupulously cleaned at least once every day. Routine cleaning alter every meal is highly advisable. But a thorough cleaning once each day is essential. If good oral ecology is to be maintained it is probably still advisable for the parent to spot-check the thoroughness of the child's cleaning habits on a weekly basis.
From ages four - twelve it is probably advisable to continue a program of periodic saliva testing. If the conditions of the oral ecology are favorable, yearly saliva testing is probably adequate. If conditions are not A-1, saliva testing on a more frequent basis is highly recommended (For more information on the saliva test see bio-note at end of article).
If you and your child have been working together using the right concepts and techniques, dental disease should be non-existent. We have strongly emphasized the importance of ideal oral hygiene. We have not overlooked the importance of nutrition and would like to emphasize here that throughout life, good nutrition is an extremely important factor in achieving dental and oral health, in general. Now is the time for you and your family to start enjoying the benefits of oral health.
1Proceedings of Symposium on Incipient Caries of Enamel, Nov. 11-12. 1977. The U. of MI School of Dentistry, edited by Nathaniel Rowe, Proceedings of Symposium on Diet, Nutrition, and Dental Caries, Nov. 17-18, 1978, U. of MI School of Dentistry edited by Nathaniel Rowe.
Raising Children with Healthy Teeth - From birth to adulthood,
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