Teeth play a very vital role in the maintenance of overall health, says Sasidhar Nalluru, Endodonist and Managing Director of Duhita Multispeciality Dental Centre.

Addressing children of Nirmala High School at a programme held in association with The Hindu on Friday, Dr. Sasidhar said that the sole purpose of the temporary milk teeth that give way to permanent teeth was to enable the children eat a balanced diet and be healthy.

Giving tips on how to maintain healthy teeth that were in turn needed for maintaining a healthy body, Dr. Sasidhar said that the milk teeth which were small helped in the proper formation of the jaws and face. They fall away naturally to make space for the large permanent teeth.

Explaining the formation of dental plaque, he said that it started off as dental pellicle. Pellicle was a protein film that formed on the surface of enamel. The pellicle initially protects the teeth, but subsequently becomes the base for bacteria to cause damage. It eventually becomes calcified to form tartar or calculus mostly at the point the tooth goes into the gums.

With the help of slides he explained dental caries (tooth decay) and ways to prevent it. Bits of food that got stuck in the teeth if not washed within an hour were attacked by bacteria that produced acids to digest it. The acid produced damaged the teeth.

Dr. Sasidhar said that the best way to keep the teeth healthy was to periodically check for calculus and caries, if possible daily, and take action to prevent it. Children could either use the mirror or ask family members or friends to check for calculus and caries.

He told the children the number of times to brush their teeth and also the way to do it. It was necessary to change the tooth brush at least once in three months so that the bristles do not damage the gums, he said.

Healthy diet

He explained the impact of healthy diet and bad habits like thumb-sucking on the teeth and different therapies available for correcting teeth deformities.

Nirmala High School principal Sr.Biji Phillip thanked The Hindu and Duhita Multi-speciality Dental Centre for the two-day awareness and dental health camp held for the school students and exhorted the children to give due importance to dental hygiene.

A team of doctors from the dental centre examined every student in the school during the two-day camp. The children were also given dental health cards that allowed them to visit the dental centre once in every six months.

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