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TOOTH DECAY

An estimated 90 per cent of all 6 year old children living in the slums of Buenos Aires suffer from tooth decay and a huge percentage of the 6 –12 year olds typically have 4 or 5 rotten teeth by the time they reach us.

In Argentina traditional treatment of oral diseases is costly and families of low income have little access to dental care. Although Argentina offers free health services the absence of government investment in restorative dental care and oral hygiene together with poor nutrition (often high in sugar content) is leading to serious oral health complications within the slum communities, often with irreversible effects.

Families from the slums are often under educated and have little or no knowledge of oral hygiene. Under-funded public health services in low-income areas offer only the possibility of extractions. Restorative care, even for children, is not an option. Cavities, tooth loss, tooth decay, abscesses, pain and infection are commonplace even among the youngest of children.

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