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Factors in Development, continued
Teeth
Enamel is a physical barrier to bacterial invasion of the tooth's root. The acid produced by bacteria on the teeth demineralizes the enamel, so when the enamel is weakened or less able to remineralize, a child’s risk for caries is increased.

One risk for the development of caries is
Enamel: Intensely hard calcareous substance that forms a thin layer partly covering the teeth; the hardest substance of the animal body; consists of minute prisms arranged at right angles to the surface and bound together by a cement substance.
enamel
Hypoplasia: A condition of arrested development in which an organ or part of an organ remains below the normal size or in an immature state.
hypoplasia, which is quite common in children, especially among premature infants. In addition, some chronic conditions can weaken enamel, including Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and bulimia nervosa. In both of these disorders, gastric acid erodes the enamel.

Children tend to have teeth similar to their parents, primarily because they follow their parents' eating and oral hygiene patterns. Fortunately, the health and strength of the enamel is modifiable by changing such health behaviors. (See Chapter 4: Caries > Prevention.)

Outside the ECC age range, the vast majority of caries develop on grooved surfaces of teeth, or the pits and fissures of the molars. This is the reason that dental sealants are an effective method of caries prevention. (See Chapter 5: Preventive Care > Dental Sealants.)
 
 
Enamel serves as a physical barrier to bacterial invasion of the root.
 
The acid produced by bacteria demineralizes the tooth's enamel, increasing a child's risk for caries.
 
Children tend to have teeth similar to their parents because they learn their parent's eating and oral hygiene patterns.
 
The health and strength of the enamel can be modified by changing health behaviors.
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