Maintaining and improving the oral health of young children.
Oral health is an integral part of the overall health of children. Dental caries is a common and chronic disease process with significant short- and long-term consequences. The prevalence of dental caries for the youngest of children has not decreased over the past decade, despite improvements for older children. As health care professionals responsible for the overall health of children, pediatricians frequently confront morbidity associated with dental caries. Because the youngest children visit the pediatrician more often than they visit the dentist, it is important that pediatricians be knowledgeable about the disease process of dental caries, prevention of the disease, and interventions available to the pediatrician and the family to maintain and restore health.
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