Is It Inevitable?

Preventive strategies enhance protective factors and reduce pathologic factors to balance risk. Disease can be halted and early lesions remineralized.

Remineralization & Demineralization

  • Caries is a dynamic process involving protective and pathological factors.
  • Teeth are subjected to an ongoing cycle of demineralization and remineralization.
  • To help prevent or reverse the caries process and tip the balance towards "no caries", we can:
    • Decrease the likelihood of the child being colonized by acid-producing bacteria through preventive care and treatment for mothers.
    • Limit the number of times the teeth are subjected to acid attacks by decreasing the frequency of consumption of dietary carbohydrates.
    • Make teeth more resistant to acid through the use of fluoride.
    • Enhance remineralization through the use of fluoride.
Figure courtesy of JD Featherstone JD. Caries management by risk assessment.
J Calif Dent Assoc. 2003.


Featherstone JD, Adair SM, Anderson MH et al., Caries management by risk assessment: Consensus statement, April 2002. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2003;31(3);257-69.

Tinanoff N, Reisine S. Update on early childhood caries since the Surgeon General's Report. Acad Pediatr. 2009; 9(6):396-403.