Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Defending Your Children’s Teeth (and Dentists): The Value of Sealants

Applying sealant treatment to a patient’s tooth. CreditCyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post, via Getty Images

Your dentist has probably offered dental sealants for your child. Mine has. Without knowing whether they work, I’ve always accepted them. Turns out, this was a good move.
Introduced in the 1960s, dental sealants are plastic coatings applied to the surfaces of teeth. They fill in and seal pits and grooves of teeth, making them more resistant to bacteria that can cause cavities. Because molars are more cavity-prone, sealants are usually applied there. Dental sealants are most often recommended when children’s first, permanent molars come in — between ages 5 and 7 — and again when their “12-year molars” arrive — usually between ages 11 and 14. Dentists may also offer sealants for older children and for adults prone to cavities.
In 2013, The Cochrane Collaboration published a systematic review of the evidence on sealants. It assessed the results of 34 studies involving 6,529 children and adolescents. Some studies compared one sealant material to another, but 12 of the studies, with 2,575 total participants, compared outcomes of sealants versus no sealants. From these, the review concluded that sealants are effective in reducing cavities for at least four years after each application.
For example, one randomized trial followed children with and without sealants for nine years. At the beginning of the study, study participants were between 6 and 8. By the time they were in their mid- to late teens, 77 percent of their teeth without sealant treatment had cavities, compared with 27 percent with sealants. Another randomized trialstudied 8-to-10-year-olds over two years. It found that cavity rates were more than twice as high for those without sealants than for those with.
The Cochrane review compiled results from all such studies and concluded that sealants’ cavity-fighting abilities are considerable. The review estimated that in a population of cavity-free children with a 40 percent chance of getting a first cavity over the next two years without sealants, application of sealants would reduce the rate to just 6 percent.Another systematic review of sealant clinical trials, published in August, came to similar conclusions. And the American Dental Association encourages sealant application.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 percent of children between 6 and 11 and 58 percent of adolescents have had cavities in permanent teeth. Yet fewer than one-third of those between 6 and 8 have sealants, and fewer than half of older ones do.
Children from poorer families are less likely to receive dental treatment and sealants. To expand application of sealants, some states have initiated sealant programs through schools.
However, a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts found that 39 states and the District of Columbia lack sealant programs in more than half of schools serving high numbers of low-income students. And 10 states require examination by a dentist for sealant application even though the process can be effectively completed by a less costly hygienist. This further reduces access.
This is unfortunate, because sealants aren’t just effective, but also cost-effective. When sealant programs are introduced in schools with children at higher risk for cavities, they can be cost-saving. Though prices vary, filling a cavity can cost about $100, while sealant application costs only about $30 to $40 per tooth.
There are different types. Resin-based are the most common, but glass ionomer sealants are also widely applied. Though studies indicate that resin-based sealants last longer, clinical trials conclude that neither is more effective than the other in cavity reduction. Similarly, more recent studies have generally not found a cavity-reducing performance difference between materials.
But some parents may be concerned that resin-based sealants contain derivatives of bisphenol A, which is thought to play a role in early-onset puberty, infertility and breast and prostate cancer.*
B.P.A., as it’s known, has been detected in patients’ saliva just after sealant treatment, though none has been detected a day later and never in their blood. To date there is no evidence that sealants lead to patient harm, while there is considerable evidence of benefits. The American Dental Association, citing analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration, does not believe that B.P.A. exposure from sealants poses risks to patients.

But when your dentist offers sealants for your children, it’s not an upsell, but a deal you should accept.
This article was written by Austin Frakt and the original article can be found here.
*The sealants provided by Dr. Leaf, Dr. Nuger and their staff are BPA-free. We know this is a concern for many parents so we strive to keep your children's teeth and body healthy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

6 Healthy Tips for Your Child's Smile

 In an effort to keep children’s smiles healthy and bright all summer long, dentists from the Richmond Kool Smiles office are sharing dental health tips for families.
With the school year officially over in Richmond, local dentists have an important message for parents: Don’t take a break from dental health this summer!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay affects children in the U.S. more than any other chronic, infectious disease.
“Good dental health is especially important during the summer, when kids tend to eat and drink a lot more sugar,” said Dr. Medrina Gilliam, Area Dental Director for Kool Smiles.
Children are especially prone to cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and even learning.
To combat tooth decay and keep kids’ teeth healthy all summer long, Kool Smiles dentists in Richmond have the following suggestions for families:
  1. Plan healthy breakfasts. Schedules ease up in the summer with kids getting up later in the morning and tending to their own breakfasts. Make sure there is fresh seasonal fruit available for kids to choose over sugary cereals. Hard boiled eggs make a great snack and good source of protein without the sugars so many breakfast meals contain.
  2. Watch the soda intake. Hot summer months and enticing soda
    commercials can trigger a campaign by kids to get you to bring home the cola. Try to resist and encourage ice water with a lemon slice or other infused fruit to sweeten the deal. Soda is the worst nightmare for your child’s dental health. Do your best to keep it out of the house.
  3. Going on a trip? Pack healthy snacks and drinks. Whether you are going on a day trip to the pool or a longer vacation, it can be difficult to find healthy food options on the go. Vending machines, the ice cream man and the food hut rarely offer non-greasy foods or low-sugar snacks that are good for the body and teeth. Bring the good stuff with you. Fresh strawberries can satisfy the sweet cravings and
    while there is natural sugar in those as well – you are better off with a berry over a snow cone.
  4. Brush, brush, brush. Summer nights may also come with later bed times. Active days outside in the sun tire us all out and parents need to make sure their sleepy heads tend to their teeth before drifting off at night. Make sure your kids brush after dinner. If they have a snack before bedtime, the last thing in their mouths should be their tooth brushes. Sugar has a field day overnight in a mouth and it’s important for kids to brush and rinse out the day’s meals and snacks before hitting the pillow.
  5. Practice the 3-2-1 rule. Eat 3 healthy meals, brush 2 times and floss 1 time every day.
  6. Schedule a dental checkup. Take advantage of this time when your child won’t have to miss school to get that necessary dental check-up. During your child’s summer check-up, the dental team will likely perform a cleaning, check for any cavities or other oral health problems, and take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of good brushing and flossing habits. Children should get a dental checkup every six months.

    Originally posted by WTVR.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hands On: Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected
Philips has the latest in Bluetooth-connected oral hygiene technology: The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected.
For $199, you can use the high-tech brush's motion sensors to track your brushing technique and sync it with an app to immediately identify problem areas. Missed a spot? The Sonicare will let you know, complete with a 3D representation of your own set of choppers.
Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum ConnectedThough I didn't get to actually clean my pearly whites with the new brush, I did get to handle a prototype and take a peek at the app at an event here in New York City. The brush itself is about what you'd expect from an electric toothbrush. The brush head is, according to Philips, "the only power toothbrush head with flexible rubberized sides and bristles that uniquely conform to the shape of teeth and gums," which I imagine is a claim every toothbrush company makes. As far as the brush head goes, you know what to expect: Some rotating bristles.
The rest of the brush is a little more complicated. A big Power button sits near the middle, while a series of Bluetooth LED indicators are located below. Below those is a rubbery rocker for vibration intensity—press the Plus icon for a stronger shake and the Minus icon for a lesser flutter; there are three levels of intensity.
Below that, there are indicators for the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum's three brushing modes: Clean is the default mode; White is meant to remove surface stains to polish up teeth; and DeepClean is for, well, really deep cleans. I don't know if there's a tangible difference between any of these modes yet, though you would think one "mode" would be all you need for any of those objectives. Finally, there's a button to switch between modes, and a battery life indicator. Philips claims the battery lasts up to two weeks between charges.
Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum ConnectedAs for the app, it shows you exactly where you need to brush in real time. That means you can hold a smartphone or tablet with the app open, with your brush in the other hand, and follow a 3D model of your bicuspids, incisors, and molars to make sure you don't miss any problem areas. Though that sounds kind of uncomfortable (maybe even unnecessary), the app also times your brushing sessions so it ensures you hit (and don't exceed) the dentist-recommended two minutes of brushing for your gums and teeth to remain healthy. The sensors inside the brush also alert you when you're scrubbing too hard or too softly, which could be useful for anyone worried about their gum health.
To make sure you keep brushing, Philips has included a coaching aspect into the app. I only saw a few snippets of advice, but it was fairly obvious stuff like "Be sure to floss daily" and "Use mouthwash." Hopefully there are more detailed suggestions or insights available in the final version. For instance, it would be great to receive warnings from the app about coffee staining followed by a message like "Perhaps you should skip the latte for the next 3 days."
Philips promises the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected will improve your brushing technique, or your money back, which is a nice promise to keep considering this is a $200 toothbrush. There will also be an optional UV sanitizer that claims to kill the bacteria on your brush head. We'll have a full review when the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected comes out in July.

Originally Posted by PC Mag.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Caring For Your Teeth During Pregnancy

By Diana Kohnle, HealthDay Reporter
(HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy means taking better care of yourself -- including your teeth.
The American Dental Association suggests:
  • Brush and floss teeth regularly, and rinse each night with a fluoride mouth wash. See your dentist for checkups, and tell him or her that you're pregnant.
  • Look for any changes in your mouth. Ask your dentist if you need more frequent cleanings.
  • Get plenty of calcium, protein, phosphorous and vitamins A, C and D to help baby develop strong teeth.
  • Rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda diluted in water if you're vomiting frequently. This will help get rid of acid on your teeth.
  • Keep caring for your teeth and baby's after delivery.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sink your Teeth into Dental History

Vadodara: Chewable toothbrush, pre-pasted toothbrush, gold toothbrush, lipstick toothbrush, three-sided toothbrush, solar-powered toothbrush - this collection has every kind of toothbrush you can imagine and more. From ancient dentistry set-ups to toothbrushes playing pop songs, a father-son duo is set to change the dreadful trip to a dentist to a unique experience.

Nation's first dental museum will be launched in the city on Sunday. The museum has over 1,000 artifacts from across the globe chronicling the evolution of dentistry. It exhibits the collections of Dr Yogesh Chandrana that he found over the past four decades during his numerous trips.

"I would find statuettes and other artifacts about dentistry and started buying them purely because they caught my attention. Over the years, my collection grew and putting them together as a museum became the prime objective," said Yogesh. The father-son duo has been working on the design and display of the museum for the past five years.

Apart from various toothbrushes made from bones and ivory used centuries ago, the museum is home to stamps, postcards and rare literature dedicated to dentistry. The museum also includes many interactive sections for children and adults.

"We understand that people expect museum to be a serious affair per se. But, we have decisively kept the museum interactive, dynamic and easy to understand so that patients can relax while waiting at the clinic," said his son and orthodontist Dr Pranav Chandarana.

The museum also includes the various mythological stories from across global cultures on teeth. From tooth temple of Sri Lanka, ancient dental instruments, currencies recognizing prominent dentists and post cards from British India announcing the visit of the nation's only female dentist to check women in purdah to the first ever electronic tooth brush - the museum successfully brings the complete journey of dental care from ancient civilizations to modern technologies under one roof.

If India is too far away, try checking out the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, MD.

Monday, April 25, 2016

World's fittest 96-year-old, Charles Eugster, shares diet and exercise tips

If you ask Charles Eugster, 96, "retirement" is a dirty word.
A bodybuilder and sprinter who has set multiple world records in his age group in races ranging from 60 meters to 400 meters, Eugster is basically the fittest 96-year-old on the planet. While nutrition and exercise are certainly integral in his tips for healthy living for the aging population, there is one other factor above all.
At 96 years old, Charles Eugster is a champion sprinter in his age group and regularly works out with weights to maintain a body closer to that of a 30-year-old.
"Retirement is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself,'' Eugster told TODAY from his home in Zurich, Switzerland.
"If you refer to the queen of England, who just turned 90, she has a terrific schedule. She is not somebody who jogs in the park of Buckingham Palace, but she does an enormous amount of standing. She is not someone who sits, and sitting is not healthy. The most important thing is that she has a job."
Eugster didn't pick up running until he was 95 years old and has since set several records for his age group in outdoor and indoor races.
Eugster, who was born in London in 1919 and has dual British-Swiss citizenship, was a dentist for much of his adult life after earning degrees from four different universities. A twice-married father of two, he then produced a dental newsletter from when he was 75 until he was 82. Single since the death of his second wife in a car accident 14 years ago, one of his goals for when he turns 97 in July is to write a book.
"We must do everything in our power to see that older people are healthy and productive because if we don't do that we are facing enormous problems between pension liabilities and our health costs,'' he said. "We should have retraining facilities for older people. You are throwing away the skills and expertise of people at 65, and that is absolutely ridiculous.
Eugster believes that the aging population can be a great asset to the world if the notion of retirement is changed.
"After retirement age, depression doubles every five years. I personally think that has a lot to do with retirement. It's an enormous strain if you're not making a contribution to society."
Eugster also stresses that you're never too old to get in shape. He didn't start doing any serious weight training until he was 87, and he didn't start running until he turned 95.
Eugster believes that 'vanity is an asset to older people' because it forces them to focus on staying healthy and maintaining their appearance.
He began working out three days a week in a gym with a former Mr. Universe to put on muscle and also lost 24 pounds before he turned 88. Eugster is currently working with a trainer to get his "beach body" ready for summer despite a hamstring pull at a race on April 13.
"At 87 I began to notice that in spite of rowing six days a week that my body was deteriorating, and being an extremely vain person I didn't like the way that I looked and I needed more muscle,'' he said. "I think being vain for an older person is an asset."
Building muscle mass is crucial as you age, according to Eugster, because muscle naturally begins to deteriorate after 40.
"By the time you get to 85 you may have lost about 50 percent of your muscle mass and power, so I think it's extremely important in your older age to do everything you can to build muscle."
Eugster offered TODAY some exercise and diet tips for those looking to jump-start their fitness later in life.
  • Employ high-intensity interval training: "It takes less time to do and can be good for your heart."
  • Train less if you have an aggressive regimen: "I was rowing six days a week, but now I only train three days a week because you need to have a day of recovery, which is when the muscles are built."
  • Trim that waist: "In old age, you have to be far more careful of having a fat belly. It's the visceral fat that engulfs your organs, and that is the fat that is extremely dangerous especially in old age because it causes inflammation. It's one of the first stages of chronic disease."
  • Try something new: "Learning a completely new sport is something extremely beneficial for your body and your mind. You have to develop new synapses in your mind in order to do completely new movements under pressure."
  • Use protein supplements: "If you want to build muscle in old age, you have to take protein supplements, usually in the form of whey protein and leucine. A Vitamin D supplement is also very important because deficiency is very common in older people."
  • Maintain a diet with variety. "I don't think it's a right idea to have a fixed diet where you're eating the same thing. You should eat all sorts of different things. An interesting thing I have now discovered is that if you consume a lot of protein, it's advisable that you start consuming fat, which is something that is a bit difficult to do because everything in the grocery store is low-fat or no-fat now."
Eugster's hope is to change the way the aging population is valued while also helping anyone getting up there in years know that life can be even better as you get older.
"In my opinion, you can rebuild your body at any age,'' he said. "You can learn something new or start a new life at any age."

This article was originally posted on Today.