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Protecting All Children's Teeth (PACT): A Pediatric Oral Health Training Program
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Dental Caries, continued

Anticipatory guidance in caries prevention for adolescents is similar to that of young children:

  • Encourage fluoridated water intake. 
  • Recommend fluoride supplementation for high risk teens not having access to fluoridated water (up to age 16). 
  • Encourage fluoridated toothpaste use twice a day.  
  • Encourage daily flossing.

Encourage and assist in referrals for dental visits that can provide preventive strategies such as dental sealants, topical fluoride, plaque and calculus removal, and restorative measures.

Promote a healthy diet with rare snacking on sugary or acidic foods and liquids. Counsel on risk of vending machine options as these are often placed in locations that teens frequent.

Encourage and empower parental assistance in oral hygiene for adolescents with special health care needs.

Fast Facts
Nearly 80% of 17-year-olds have had at least one cavity in their lifetime.
Frequent snacking and regular exposure to acidic drinks such as soda are common risks for caries in adolescents.
A review of oral hygiene practices, diet, and fluoride intake is important at all routine visits.
Fluoride supplementation should continue until age 16 for all eligible children.
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