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Childhood dental care habits may affect long-term health
Updated: 12/30/2009 7:00:31 PM

Childhood dental care habits may affect long-term health Most dental experts agree that sound dental care begins during childhood and have sought to identify the areas where children can improve their dental health habits and carry them into adulthood.

While the causes of tooth decay have been well-documented, dentists have indicated that another condition, dental erosion, has become more prevalent in recent years. A survey of more than 10,000 children found a notable increase in enamel erosion between 1993 and 2003 and suggested that the problem follows many throughout their lives, the Independent reports.

"When a patient suffers from erosion, there is a gradual loss of enamel, exposing the dentine," said London dentist Keith Cohen. He added, "Consequently, there is less protection of the nerve tissue, resulting in sensitivity to various stimuli such as cold and hot, brushing and foods that are erosive or sweet."

According to the news source, dietary acids and physical abrasion from grinding teeth or vigorous brushing are the most common causes of the condition, sometimes called tooth-surface loss.

The American Dental Association reports that veneers, or artificial coatings tailored by dentists to cover a tooth's surface, may be used to ease the pain associated with sensitive teeth.

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