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Factors in Development, continued

Enamel
Enamel is a physical barrier to bacterial invasion of the tooth.

Acid produced by bacteria on the teeth demineralizes the enamel.

When the enamel is weakened or less able to remineralize, the risk for caries is increased.

The health and strength of the enamel can be modified by changing health behaviors.

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.

Dental Sealants
Outside the ECC age range, the majority of caries develop on grooved surfaces of teeth—the pits and fissures of the molars.

This is why 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.
View the Chapter 4 Photo Gallery.