The Role of General Pediatrician in Children’s Oral Health: A Review
Kowash, Mawlood B.
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Abstract: Oral health is an essential part of overall health and, thus, pediatricians have a responsibility to factor in oral health as part of providing holistic general health services for children. Coordination of care for oral health requires a baseline level of knowledge to facilitate communication, referral, collaboration and ongoing follow up and care. Oral health issues are faced by a majority of children in the developed and developing world, therefore, pediatricians must be aware of these issues and be competent in addressing them. Dental disease is common in children with dental caries (tooth decay) being the most common chronic disease of childhood. Dental caries is highly prevalent and is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. Many dental problems, especially early childhood caries (ECC), are either preventable or can be intercepted effectively by early recognition and management. Primary prevention can and should begin in the pediatrician’s clinic, with subsequent coordination and collaboration with dental colleagues.