New Year, New Oral Health Goals


2016 is here and we want to help our patients and families start the new year off right! With the start of a new year, many folks like to set goals and start afresh. We would like to share just a few factoids to help ensure that our awesome parents and patients are starting 2016 off on the right foot.

As we move through the year, we will dig a little deeper into how we can help impact some of these things.

Did you know…?

-Dental caries or cavities is the most common chronic disease of childhood in the United States.

-Cavity causing bacteria (Mutans Streptococci or MS) can be transferred between individuals. The likelihood of transmission can be greatly decreased by reducing parent’s or sibling’s MS levels. One great way to decrease the rate of transfer of cavity causing bacteria is to avoid saliva-sharing activities such as sharing utensils or a parent placing a pacifier in his or her mouth in an attempt to “clean” it.

-Dental related illnesses account for over 50,000,000 school hours lost each year. Untreated dental disease may affect a child’s ability to eat, sleep, and concentrate.

-Approximately 10-39% of all dental injuries in children are sports-related. The highest incidence occurs between the ages of 7-17 with baseball and basketball being the leading activities with sports-related injuries. Custom fitted mouthguards, which can be fabricated by your dentist, are statistically proven to reduce orofacial injuries during sports.

-It is encouraged to have infants weaned from the bottle between 12-18 months. Parents are also advised to have infants drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday.

-Ad libitum breast-feeding after the first primary tooth erupts and after other sources of carbohydrates are introduced into the diet can increase the risk of cavities.

-Children 3 years old and younger should have their teeth brushed with a smear or rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste (approx 0.1mg of fluoride). Children aged 3-6 years should use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste (approx 0.25mg of fluoride). Rinsing after brushing should be kept to a minimum or completely eliminated to gain the most beneficial effect of fluoride.

-Consumption of milk by adolescent girls decreased by 40% as girls have increased consumption of soft drinks; increasing risk for fractures and future osteoporosis. Try to encourage adolescents and teens to choose healthier options or send them to school and sporting events with nutrient dense choices to make it a bit easier to avoid temptation from vending machines or concession stands. For example, encourage water consumption versus sweetened sports drinks.


American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Reference Manual 2015/2016

-Policy on Early Childhood Caries (ECC): Classifications, Consequences, and Preventive Strategies

-Policy on Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries

-Policy on School Absences for Dental Appointments