The oral cavity has a highly diverse ecosystem, with up to 600 different microbial species that colonize different habitats. The oral biofilm (plaque) is a complex and organized community of microorganisms that can cooperate with each other and lead to the creation of conditions conducive to the survival of the toughest bacterial species. These pathogenic bacteria found in the oral biofilm are responsible for the etiology of the two major oral diseases: decay and periodontitis.
Tooth decay in children causes a short-term series of sequels, as malocclusions, and long-term, such as infections, aesthetic problems, feeding difficulties, besides the medical, emotional and financial implications. According to a WHO report in 2004, tooth decay affects between 60% and 90% of the school population.
Children with early childhood caries have higher risk of new caries in permanent teeth, so it is very important to establish habits of good oral hygiene, and thus lay a foundation of interproximal caries decline in adolescents.
Periodontal disease is prevented by removing the oral biofilm with careful brushing and also detecting and controlling dental malocclusion, whether congenital (caused by an alteration in the number, size or shape of the teeth and deformities of the jaws) and acquired (resulting harmful habits such as prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle, thumb sucking, nail biting or other objects, mouth breathing). Prevention consists essentially stop these bad habits and make regular visits to the dentist (twice a year) to assess risk factors and not only detect an injury or wait for the child to feel pain.