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Sponge Metaphor, microbe's residence


The research population is purely based on the survey in Thailand. Referal cases from Dentistry Faculty, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Thailand

Parts of the results from the research has found that Child Dental Caries (from 6 months - 3 years old) are still one of the main problems. For instance, 61.37% of the children at the age of 3, when primary teeth (or baby teeth) rise completely, were found with dental caries. Of those who had dental caries, there were an average of 3.2 teeth with dental caries per child. The situation hasn't been improved since 10 years ago, which indicates that parents are still lacking of education as on how to take care their child(ren)'s dental health properly, despite the availability of resources.

Meanwhile, the results of the survey has also shown that the rate of dental caries of 9-month, 12-month and 18-month old has increased dramatically.

Psychological effects to the child(ren) when having dental caries 

Early Childhood Caries may affect child(ren)'s routines/psychology as follows: 
1. Direct impact from the tooth pain: Causing child(ren)'s eating habits. As a result, they may eat less which will eventually affect their growth.
2. Direct impact to their resting period: The tooth pain will cause direct impact to the quality of the child(ren)'s nap.
3. Impact to their growth: Should there be any chance that the mouth is affected by microbe, chance of having that affection expanded to other parts of the body is very high. Subsequently, this will affect the child(ren)'s growth potential compared to those without dental caries. (Refer: Acs, 1992)
4. Social Impact: The dental caries can directly impact the vocal, hence pronunciation capability. This might have led to the likes of the child(ren) losing his/her confidence with their peers.

Not only will the dental caries affect their health and psychology development, it will also lead to the more spending and efforts for the parents. Some of the parents will have to take leaves from their daily work prior to take care of their child(ren). And most of the case, restorative dental practices will be more expensive than that of preventive practices. (Refer: Jokovic and the team, 2003)

Understand Root Causes of Early Childhood Caries (ECC) 

To get yourself to understand the root cause of ECC, we'd like to present this as the Sponge behavioral metaphor. The stories are described as the mini stories below:

To sustain dental health, one should understand the root cause of dental caries an regularly look after the dental health, be it cleaning or meeting dentist on the regular basis. So that you don't have to worry about your child(ren) dental health from having too much of the delicious sweets, simply hard to resist.

Despite making a slow impact, Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is a dicease which parents are required to pay special attention. Normally the dicease is caused by the combination of these factors; the imbalance of number of microbe in biofilm (increasing), less of saliva circulation, and eating habits especially the sweets.

The ECC is commonly found in the form of shading area (mostly in white) close to the gum. The white shading area happens from the microbe acid which make chemical affect to the baby teeth (mostly upper incisors). We've observed that majority of the parents won't be able to observe at this stage. The shading area (or dental caries) will keep expanding really fast if the expanding situation hasn't been stopped.


To prevent and cure the dicease

Lucky enough that the most effective and simpliest way to prevent this from happening is to regularly brush the teeth for your child(ren) (Refer Chutima Triratworakul, 1998). Reason being is that the child(ren) are generally to young to look after their own dental health. For details, please see below table:

Composed by Wachiree Kimhasawad D.S.S.

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