‘Inadequate’ health response leaves 3.5bn with poor dental care

By: Sarah Boseley, The Guardian

⚠️ Scientists are calling for radical reform of dental care, tighter regulation of the sugar industry and greater transparency around conflict of interests in dental research to tackle the high and rising toll of oral disease such as mouth cancers.

Will this approach help in the state of crisis in the global health community? The Oral Surgery DC Team

In a challenge to the global health community, a series in the Lancet medical journal argues that 3.5 billion people suffering from the oral disease have been let down.

The oral disease includes tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer and affects almost half of the global population. Untreated dental decay is the most common health condition worldwide. Lip and oral cavity cancers are among the top 15 most common cancers in the world, say researchers.

“Dentistry is in a state of crisis,” said Prof Richard Watt, chair and honorary consultant in dental public health at University College London and the lead author of the series. “Current dental care and public health responses have been largely inadequate, inequitable and costly, leaving billions of people without access to even basic oral health care.

“While this breakdown in the delivery of oral healthcare is not the fault of individual dental clinicians committed to caring for their patients, a fundamentally different approach is required to effectively tackle to the global burden of oral diseases.”

The high-tech treatment has taken priority over prevention in wealthy countries such as the UK, say the researchers. Around the world, the heavy marketing of sugary drinks is causing increasing damage to dental health, they argue.

By 2020 Coca-Cola intends to spend $12bn (£9.5bn) on marketing its products across Africa, in contrast to WHO’s total annual budget in 2017 of $4.4bn, they write.

Watt said: “Sugar consumption is the primary cause of tooth decay. The UK population is consuming far too much sugar – considerably higher than the Department of Health and WHO recommends.

“A particular concern is the high levels of sugar in processed commercial baby foods and drinks which encourage babies and toddlers to develop a preference for sweetness in early life. We need tighter regulation and legislation to restrict the marketing and promotion of sugary foods and drinks if we are to tackle the root causes of oral conditions.”

Cristin Kearns, of the University of California, San Francisco, and Prof Lisa Bero, of the University of Sydney, warn in a linked commentary of financial links between dental research organizations and the processed food and drink industries.

“Emerging evidence of industry influence on research agendas contributes to the plausibility that major food and beverage brands could view financial relationships with dental research organizations as an opportunity to ensure a focus on commercial applications for dental caries interventions – such as xylitol, oral hygiene instruction, fluoridated toothpaste, and sugar-free chewing gum – while deflecting attention from harm caused by their sugary products,” they write.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/18/inadequate-health-response-leaves-35bn-with-poor-dental-care

Dental Hygiene for Infants to Preteens

By: Bingham Healthcare, Post Register

👶 Your child’s well-being is your biggest concern and their oral hygiene is an important part of their overall health. The care of your child’s teeth and gums begins with you. You can set them on the right path for a lifetime of excellent oral hygiene by using these tips from Post Register! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Oral Hygiene for Infants

Babies are born with all their teeth but you can’t see them because they are hidden in the gums. Baby teeth start to break through the gums around 6 months but it is important to start good oral care for infants even before the first tooth comes in. From healthy gums come healthy teeth.

– Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth after feeding. This helps remove the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

– Once they begin to erupt, brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear the size of a grain of rice — use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

– Take the bottle away after your child finishes drinking to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay can happen when babies drink milk, formula, or juice from bottles over long periods of time or fall asleep with the bottle.

– Schedule your child’s first dental appointment before their first birthday or after his or her first baby tooth is visible, whichever comes first. This visit is like a well-baby visit with your pediatrician.

Oral Hygiene for Children

As kids grow up, their oral hygiene habits should grow with them.

Kids have all their baby teeth by the age of 3. These are called primary teeth. Baby teeth start falling out around age 6; that’s when the permanent, or adult, teeth start coming in. Gaps between baby teeth are normal. They make room for the permanent teeth. Most permanent teeth come in by age 13.

Here are some tips to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong starting at age 3:

– Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out after brushing.

– Be sure your child brushes for at least two minutes twice a day.

– Start flossing as soon as teeth touch, or even earlier to help build good habits.

– Help your child brush and floss, and remind him or her to pay attention to the back teeth.

– Visit the dentist every six months.

Oral Hygiene for Preteens

As children grow older and more of their permanent teeth come in, a rigorous daily dental hygiene routine is crucial to keeping teeth and gums healthy. However, it can be difficult to keep preteens interested in oral care.

Try these tips to keep your child on track:

– As preteens become more conscious of their appearance, it can be helpful to remind them that good oral care can help them look and feel better.

– Remind your child to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for a full two minutes, which not only fights cavities and strengthens teeth, but also gives older kids the confidence of having fresh breath. A power toothbrush might make brushing more fun for preteens.

– Flossing is extremely important at this point as most permanent teeth have erupted and cleaning between them will help prevent cavities and keep their mouth fresh.

– Encourage children who play sports to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injuries.

– Make sure kids who wear braces use a power brush and floss very thoroughly to avoid white spots on teeth when braces come off.

Source: https://www.postregister.com/chronicle/news/dental-hygiene-for-infants-to-preteens/article_c5919642-2274-527a-bcad-81b484d6330b.html

How Did People Clean Their Teeth in the Olden Days?

By: The Conversation, AP News, Snopes

🦷 [FUN FACT] Dental hygiene has come a long way since the days of wine-soaked toothpicks and the urine mouthwash once thought to disinfect mouths and whiten teeth.

Let’s explore the ways our ancestors clean their teeth in the olden days via snopes.com. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Dental hygiene has come a long way since the days of wine-soaked toothpicks and the urine mouthwash once thought to disinfect mouths and whiten teeth.

Some of the earliest tooth-cleaning artifacts archaeologists have found are ancient toothpicks, dental tools, and written tooth care descriptions dating back more than 2,500 years. The famous Greek doctor Hippocrates was one of the first to recommend cleaning teeth with what was basically a dry toothpaste, called a dentifrice powder.

Ancient Chinese and Egyptian texts advised cleaning teeth and removing decay to help maintain health. Some of the early techniques in these cultures included chewing on bark or sticks with frayed ends, feathers, fish bones and porcupine quills. They used materials like silver, jade, and gold to repair or decorate their teeth.

People in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent traditionally cleaned their teeth with chew sticks made from the Salvadora persica tree. They’re called miswak. Europeans cleaned their teeth with rags rolled in salt or soot.

Believe it or not, in the early 1700s a French doctor named Pierre Fauchard told people not to brush. And he’s considered the father of modern dentistry! Instead, he encouraged cleaning teeth with a toothpick or sponge soaked in water or brandy.

In the late 1700s, Englishman William Addis was the first to sell toothbrushes on a large scale. He got the idea after making a toothbrush from bone and animal bristles while in prison.

Before modern-day toothpaste was created, pharmacists mixed and sold tooth cream or powder. Early tooth powders were made from something abrasive, like talc or crushed seashells, mixed with essential oils, such as eucalyptus or camphor, thought to fight germs. Their flavors came from oils of cinnamon, clove, rose or peppermint. Many contain other chemicals such as ammonia, chlorophyll, and penicillin. These ingredients fight the acid-producing bacteria that can cause tooth decay and bad breath.

By the 1900s, children of immigrants to the U.S. were taught oral hygiene as a way to help “Americanize” them and their families. Factories examined and cleaned their workers’ teeth to keep them from missing work due to toothaches.

Daily tooth brushing became more common thanks to World War II when the American army required soldiers to brush their teeth as part of their daily hygiene practices. The first nylon toothbrush was made in 1938, followed by the electric toothbrush in the 1960s.

Nowadays, there are dozens of kinds of tools and potions to help keep your mouth healthy. As a professor of dental hygiene, I believe it’s most important to clean your mouth daily, no matter how you choose to do so. Well, maybe stay away from the urine mouthwash.

Source: https://www.snopes.com/ap/2019/07/27/how-did-people-clean-their-teeth-in-the-olden-days/