Health Good health later in life starts with baby teeth

Good health later in life starts with baby teeth

Looking after your children’s baby teeth could prevent broader health problems later in life.

Around 2,700 Victorian children aged 0-­6 years are hospitalised each year for preventable dental conditions — most requiring treatment of tooth decay under general anaesthetic.

That finding was presented at a recent Early Childhood Oral Health Research Symposium by the University of Melbourne and the Oral Health CRC (Co-operative Research Centre).

Presentations came from a range of fields including molecular science, genetics, paediatric dentistry, tele-­medicine and epidemiology.

One study, from microbiologist Professor Stuart Dashper found babies who do not develop a healthy mix of oral bacteria are more susceptible to decay in three or four years’ time.

Professor Eric Reynolds, CEO of the Oral Health CRC, said most oral disease in young children is preventable.

“We need to continue investigating new ways of reducing oral disease for this group, using the latest scientific evidence to inform prevention and education programs, clinical practices and the development of new treatments,” Professor Reynolds said.

“Poor health in first teeth can affect the health of adult teeth and may lead to a life­‐time of dental problems that can have an impact on diet and general health,” said Professor Mike Morgan, head of the Melbourne Dental School.

You can read more about the symposium here. [Story credit Melbourne University newsroom]

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