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Prevention of Dental Caries Blog

U.S. Lowers Recommended Fluoride Levels in Drinking Water

Posted 27 Apr 2015 by

MONDAY, April 27, 2015 – The U.S. government has decreased its recommended level of fluoride in drinking water for the first time in a half-century, to prevent staining of tooth enamel caused by overexposure to fluoride. The optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay should be 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday. The new level falls at the bottom end of the previously recommended fluoridation range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter, which was issued in 1962. Health experts recommended the change because Americans now have access to more sources of fluoride, including toothpaste and mouth rinses, than they did when municipal officials first began adding the mineral to water supplies across the United States, according to the HHS. As a result, more people are exposed to too much ... Read more

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Health Tip: Five Steps to Prevent Cavities in Kids

Posted 9 Apr 2015 by

-- To protect children's dental health, experts recommend five simple steps that extend beyond just brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends: Never sharing utensils with children, or putting a child's pacifier in your mouth to clean it. Both practices can transmit germs. Making sure your child eats a nutritious diet and drinks water that contains fluoride. Scheduling your child's first dental visit no later than the age of 1. Brushing your young child's teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste. Talking to a dentist about applying sealants to protect your child's teeth. Read more

Related support groups: Oral and Dental Conditions, Prevention of Dental Caries

Health Tip: Teach Children About Dental Hygiene

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by

-- Since tooth brushing and flossing are lifelong necessities, teach children properly at a young age and make brushing and flossing a positive experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests you: Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles designed for young children. Look for one with a thick handle to make it easier for your child to grip. Explain how to brush teeth in a series of small steps, or place your hand over your child's hand and show the child how to brush. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste in a flavor that the child likes. Find a position that is comfortable for your child while brushing. Keep your child entertained by singing a song, playing a counting game or using a fun timer while the child is flossing and brushing. Read more

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Beavers Offer Tips on Cavity Prevention

Posted 18 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – Beavers don't need to brush or floss because the presence of iron in their tooth enamel gives them superior protection against tooth decay, researchers report. Beavers' enamel is harder and more resistant to acid than regular enamel, including enamel treated with fluoride, according to the Northwestern University researchers. They said their imaging study of tooth enamel at the nanoscale could help improve understanding of cavities in people, and perhaps lead to earlier detection of tooth decay and improved fluoride treatments. "A beaver's teeth are chemically different from our teeth, not structurally different," study author Derk Joester, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, said in a university news release. "Biology has shown us a way to improve on our enamel," he added. The study was published Feb. 13 in the journal Science. ... Read more

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Dentists Offer Tips to Keep Young Children Cavity-Free

Posted 15 Feb 2015 by

SUNDAY, Feb. 15, 2015 – Good dental habits begin at an early age, but many parents fall short when it comes to the health of their children's teeth, experts say. "Parents who would not dream of letting their toddler bathe alone give the same child total responsibility for brushing," Dr. Gretchen Henson, a dentist at Interfaith Medical Center in New York City said in a center news release. "Misinformation abounds, and it has become common for children to spend the entire day snacking and drinking beverages that can lead to serious tooth decay," added Henson, the hospital's program director of advanced education in pediatric dentistry. Prevention of tooth decay and other problems can begin in children as young as 6 months, Henson said. Dr. Jessica Marn, assistant program director, pointed out that "many people are surprised that we encourage infant well visits before a child even has ... Read more

Related support groups: Oral and Dental Conditions, Prevention of Dental Caries

Dentists' Group Expands Recommended Use of Fluoride Toothpaste for Kids

Posted 11 Feb 2014 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2014 – Children should begin using toothpaste with fluoride as soon as they get their first tooth, according to updated American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines. To help prevent cavities, parents should use a smear (an amount about the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-sized dab for those aged 3 to 6, the association recommends. Previous guidelines recommended using water to brush the teeth of children younger than age 2 and brushing the teeth of children aged 2 to 6 with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. "For half a century, the ADA has recommended that patients use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities, and a review of scientific research shows that this holds true for all ages," Dr. Edmond Truelove, chairman of the ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs, said in an association news release. ... Read more

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Fluoride Treatments May Help Fight Cavities

Posted 1 Nov 2013 by

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 – Applying prescription-strength fluoride directly to the teeth can benefit patients at increased risk for cavities, a new expert panel concludes. This fluoride can be applied by patients at home or by a dentist in the office, said the new evidence-based clinical recommendations from the American Dental Association. "Topical fluoride therapy is the use of fluorides in tooth pastes, gels or varnishes that come in contact with the tooth surfaces in the mouth," explained one expert, Dr. Ronald Burakoff, chairman of the department of dental medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "These therapies can either be professionally applied in higher concentrations or used at home in lower concentrations," said Burakoff, who was not on the ADA panel. In its report, appearing in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, the ... Read more

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4 Billion People Worldwide Have Untreated Cavities: Study

Posted 5 Jun 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, June 5 – Billions of people around the world have untreated tooth decay, a new study has found. Researchers from the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London, discovered that dental problems affect up to 3.9 billion people – more than half of the world's population. "There are close to 4 billion people in the world who suffer from untreated oral health conditions that cause toothache and prevent them from eating and possibly sleeping properly, which is a disability," study leader Wagner Marcenes said in a university news release. "This total does not even include small cavities or mild gum diseases, so we are facing serious problems in the population's oral health." As part of a systematic assessment of global data on 291 major diseases and injuries in 2010, the researchers found untreated tooth decay or cavities in permanent teeth were the most common, ... Read more

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1 in 5 Americans Has Untreated Cavities: CDC

Posted 31 May 2012 by

THURSDAY, May 31 – More than one in every five Americans has untreated cavities, a new government report shows. "Untreated tooth decay is prevalent in the U.S." said report co-author Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. "It appears that we haven't been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities." One expert was not surprised by the findings. "This is information that has been known for a while," said Dr. Lindsay Robinson, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. "More people are on Medicaid and more and more states, in an attempt to balance their budgets, have eliminated dental benefits." There needs to be more investment in dental care to cover those who rely on Medicaid, Robinson said. "Only about 2 percent of Medicaid dollars go to ... Read more

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No Evidence That Asthma Leads to Tooth Decay: Study

Posted 19 Sep 2010 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 17 – There's no link between asthma and tooth decay in children, according to a new analysis of studies on the issue. The findings challenge some previous research suggesting that children with asthma may be more likely to develop cavities. For this new study, researchers analyzed 27 studies in papers published between 1976 and March 2010. "We found little evidence to suggest that asthma causes tooth decay. In fact, the two largest studies we reviewed found that children with asthma appear to have fewer cavities than others. This may be because their parents are used to taking them to health-care providers, and routinely bring them to the dentist," study author Gerardo Maupome, a professor of preventive and community dentistry at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, said in a university news release. The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of the ... Read more

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Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth

Posted 22 Dec 2009 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 – Scientists have identified the way a simple amino acid makes human teeth strong and resilient. Proline is repeated in the center of proteins found in tooth enamel. When the repeats are long, such as in humans, they contract groups of molecules that help enamel crystals grow. When the repeats are short, such as in frogs, teeth don't have the enamel prisms that provide strength, the researchers explained. The research offers clues on how to engineer tooth enamel. "We hope that one day, these findings will help people replace lost parts of the tooth with a healthy layer of new enamel," lead researcher Tom Diekwisch, professor and head of oral biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, said in a news release. But the benefits may extend well beyond teeth. "Proline repeats are amazing. They hold the key to understanding the structure and ... Read more

Related support groups: Oral and Dental Conditions, Prevention of Dental Caries

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