Caries prevention in children: supporting a healthy microbiome with pre- and probiotics
This webinar will review the current evidence for the role of prebiotics and probiotic bacteria in the prevention and management of dental caries in children.The evolving understanding that most non-communicable oral diseases are preventable by modulation of the oral biofilm has paved the way for the use of pre- and probiotics in dentistry. Dental caries is a non-communicable disease initiated by an ecological shift from a health-associated commensal microbiota to a dysbiotic dental biofilm with overabundance of acid-tolerating bacteria. This webinar will review the current evidence for the role of prebiotics and probiotic bacteria in the prevention and management of dental caries in children. Multiple studies have shown that arginine in consumer products can boost fluoride and hamper the caries process by promote the growth and action of beneficial bacteria. There are also reliable evidence that probiotic lactobacilli can prevent caries in preschool children when added to milk or lozenges in daycare and school-based programs. Emerging clinical trials have also suggested that early enamel lesions can be reversed with aid of probiotic supplements. So far, no harmful adverse effects have been reported. In summary, pre- and probiotics strategies play an increasing role in the prevention and comprehensive management of caries in children, albeit more long-term studies, in particular with strains isolated from the oral cavity are needed. In addition, safety and health-economic aspects are warranted. The development oral synbiotic products, combining pre- and probiotics, is an area of interest for future research.
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