‘School-age children’ refers to children aged 6-12 years in primary school; they are at a key stage of their physical and mental development and sound personality. During this stage, their oral cavity belongs to the mixed dentition stage (coexistence of baby teeth and permanent teeth) and tooth decay often occurs, which makes their oral care more difficult. Correct tooth brushing habit and method is the most important cornerstone of oral health, which together with regular examination and timely treatment, can help maintain oral health. Lin Hui-juan, dentist in Yangming Branch of Taipei City Hospital, says that fluoride can reinforce the ability of the tooth surface to resist acid etching, facilitate the remineralization of early tooth decay and inhibit the activity of bacterial enzyme inside the dental plaque. The application approaches include polyfluoroprene, fluoride tablets, fluoride toothpaste, fluoride mouth rinse, and so on. Generally speaking, fluoride can reduce about 40 to 50% of baby tooth decay and 50 to 60% of permanent tooth decay. Therefore, the use of fluoride can help children to prevent tooth decay excellently, but careful evaluation should be made on the appropriateness of the demand and uptake of the fluoride. The fluoride can work on the smooth surface of the teeth, while some deeper pits and fissures on the dental face will rely on the use of sealants, which will remove any shelter for dirt. The dental fissure sealant is a kind of effective method for preventing tooth decay, which is suggested when the teeth have just come out and before the occurrence of any tooth decay. Complete sealing has an 80 to 100% success rate of preventing tooth decay within one year. Dr. Lin emphasizes that it is essential to receive oral examination periodically regardless of prevention or treatment. Regular examination every three months can not only help you know the growth condition of the teeth, but also observe whether the growth time and sequence of permanent teeth is normal, in addition to identifying and treating tooth decay as early as possible.
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