Fluoride Isn’t The Answer Sugar IsThe Problem

fluorideMany people use fluoride to help keep their teeth healthy and strong.  While fluoride may help strengthen teeth, what you eat is more important to the health of your teeth. An article from Dr. Mercola suggests that fluoride isn’t the answer, sugar is the problem.

Cavities are caused by the demineralization of your teeth because of acids formed by fermentation of sugars. Studies have shown that the more sugar you eat, the more chance of getting cavities, regardless of fluoride use.

In order to minimize your risk of cavities, sugar should make up no more than 3 percent of your total calorie intake. Read the full article from Dr. Mercola here: Fluoride Isn’t the Answer, Sugar Is the Problem.

Xylitol

xylitolXylitol works as a good replacement for sugar because it causes less damage to teeth and is even said to prevent tooth decay. But some new research states that there really isn’t a whole lot of evidence that it can fight tooth decay.

The Cochrane Library ran this study. They analyzed 5,903 people in 10 studies. One study determined 4,200 children had 13 percent lower levels of tooth decay if they used fluoride toothpaste with xylitol compared to children who used fluoride only toothpaste.

Some of the other studies that focused on xylitol did not provide enough information to conclude that it aids against tooth decay. Gum and some other xylitol products didn’t The research team determined that of the more than 4,200 children in two Costa Rican studies, the levels of tooth decay were 13 percent lower for children who used fluoride toothpaste with xylitol compared to children who use fluoride-only toothpaste. Other products containing xylitol did not provide and tangible benefit.

Gum, among other products, didn’t expose any benefits with their use.   Also, there are some documented side effects of xylitol including bloating and/or diarrhea.

Xylitol’s Impact on Tooth Decay Still Uncertain|Dentistry Today

Toddlers Should Be Given Fluoride Treatments By Doctors: U.S. Task Force

fluoride treatmentsNew recommendations from the highly influential U.S. Preventive Service Task Force state that primary care doctors need to start playing more important roles in the dental care of children.

The task force specifically suggested that primary care physicians need to start prescribing oral fluoride treatments including drops, tablets and/or lozenges for children who are 6 months and older, whose water supply does not have sufficient fluoride.

The Task Force chairman, Dr Michael LeFevre, said “We are also recommending that children, including infants, should have a fluoride varnish applied to their teeth during teething, and that is something primary care clinicians are able to do,” adding, “This needs to be a part of routine well-child-care.”

Dr LeFevre also said that while there are some primary care doctors engaging in these practises, the vast majority however, does not. He said “This isn’t something that is expected by most parents during a well-child visit, and it isn’t something that most primary care providers include in the well-child visits.”

The other concern is that most doctors assume incorrectly that the child is seeing a dentist, Dr LeFevre said, and added “The main issue is that three of 4 pre-school aged children do not have regular visits with the dentist,” but noted that most of the children do visit a primary care doctor. “So, in terms of the prevention and decrease in tooth decay, there is a lost opportunity here for a significant number of the children.”

Dr LeFavre also said that the fluoride varnish should be applied irrespective of whether or not the local supply had sufficient fluoride quantities or not, saying “ Studies have shown that the application of the varnish helps in prevention of tooth decay, even when the water is sufficiently fluorinated.” He also mentioned his belief; that every child’s parent needs to ask their primary care doctors to coat the child’s teeth with fluoride, as even very young children could develop tooth decay; according to the task force.

Nearly half the children between the ages of 2 to 11 showed cavities in their baby teeth, the task force noted. This task force is an independent panel comprising of experts who research extensively before making recommendations in preventive health care. Their latest recommendations have been published in Pediatrics on the 5th of May, and are in line with the strictures and guidelines laid out by the American Dental Association in February last year.

The updated ADA guidelines recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste by children as soon as the first tooth appears, with water being used to brush the teeth of children under 2, and with a pea-sized drop of paste being used for children between the ages of 2-6. The director of the Pediatric Dental Center in the Miami Children’s Hospital, Dr Rosie Roldan, also said that these instructions were fine, as long as they are made part of a regular overall dental care that included referrals and visits to a dentist. She also noted that parents look for guidance from the doctor, but the doctors need to be referring them to a dentist.

Dr Roldan added “The application of fluoride only for the sake of doing it doesn’t do anyone good. Application of fluoride is only a good idea when the pediatrician understands the process of getting a child to the dentist. This can provide preventive care to the child until they can get to a dentist.”

Currently, as per the task force, there isn’t sufficient evidence to show if regular screening for tooth decay in children of ages 5 and under, will improve future health. Hence the task force is not able to recommend against or for such a screening.

Your Mouthwash Does Much More Than Freshen Your Breath

mouthwashMost people gargle mouthwash each day to keep their mouth and breath fresh and minty. But mouthwash does much more than freshen your breath.  Dentists say mouthwash and other rinses can be beneficial to overall oral health and an important part of daily oral hygiene. People gargle mouthwash thinking it will get rid of bad breath, but that is the minty liquid’s least effective function.

There are two types of mouthwashes, cosmetic and therapeutic.  Cosmetic rinses reduce and help control bad breath, but don’t really kill the bacteria that can cause bad breath.  Therapeutic rinses are made to reduce tooth plaque, inflammation of the gums and they neutralize the acidity of the mouth.  Fluoride and xylitol rinses also help to prevent cavities.

Therapeutic rinses neutralize the pH of the mouth that can lead to tooth decay.  When the bacteria in our mouth consume carbohydrates and sugars, their metabolic waste is acid and this can result in tooth decay.

When purchasing mouthwash, look for rinses that contain xylitol.  This is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol which certain bacteria are unable to metabolize, so it helps to neutralize the acidity. Dentists also recommend looking for rinses that do not contain alcohol as these can dry out the mouth.  A dry mouth can cause bad breath.

Above all, if you have to use excessive amounts of mouthwash to freshen your breath, you probably have an underlying problem.  Be sure to discuss this with your dentist so that you can take care of the situation.

There Is More To Your Mouthwash Than A Minty Taste|Wall Street Journal

Drinking Tap Water Helps To Avoid Tooth Decay

tap waterTooth decay is the leading chronic infectious disease among children in the United States according to the CDC. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections, and speaking and learning. Studies have shown that the controlled addition of fluoride to tap water is one of the most cost effective ways to prevent cavities and fight tooth decay.

Fluoride helps to re-mineralize tooth enamel and helps make the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay.  More than 144 million residents of the United States drink fluoridated tap water.  This provides an automatic defense against oral health disease.

There has been some controversy surrounding fluoride and its benefits.  You can read about that here. But in the mean time, consider saving some money, and instead of buying that bottled water, drink it straight from the tap.

Drinking Tap Water May Help You Avoid Dentists Drill|Dentistry In World