How can we prevent tooth decay in the first year of life?

Tooth decay in young children, especially poor children, is very common. It affects billions of children worldwide. Tooth decay can have long‐lasting effects on health and it can cost a lot to treat it. Dental plaque is bacteria in the mouth, and it is well known that it causes tooth decay, along with sugar. The attitudes, beliefs, and habits of pregnant women, mothers and other people looking after children can influence the dental health of their children. Continue reading

Fluorides for preventing early tooth decay during fixed brace treatment

Wearing a fixed brace makes it harder for people to keep their teeth clean and may also cause pain. Pain can make it more difficult for people to brush their teeth. This can lead to a build-up of dental plaque around the brackets that attach the fixed brace to the teeth. If the plaque stays on the tooth for long enough, it will cause early tooth decay, which looks like white or brown marks (demineralised lesions, also known as white spot lesions). People often wear braces for 18 months or longer and if the decay is left to progress, it can cause holes, which are sometimes bad enough to need fillings to be done in the teeth.

Fluoride helps the tooth to heal, reducing tooth decay in people who are at risk of developing it. People receiving fixed brace treatment may be given different forms of fluoride treatment. It is important to think about how the fluoride gets to the teeth. Does the fluoride need to be placed by a dentist or dental nurse, or can people having treatment with braces apply the fluoride to their own teeth? Continue reading

Open wide! Managing gagging in dental patients

0302 Gagging.jpgThe gag reflex is a normal process to protect the throat and airway from foreign objects and prevent choking. Many people have an exaggerated gag reflex that causes distress during dental treatment. This can make it difficult or even impossible to perform the treatment. The interventions used to manage gagging include anti-nausea medicines, sedatives, local and general anaesthetics, herbal remedies, behaviour therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, lasers and prosthetic devices.

We wanted to know how effective and safe these interventions are in helping people to complete their dental treatment with less gagging. We compared them to no intervention or a placebo or to other interventions. Continue reading

Join us in Vancouver at IADR!

Heading to Vancouver next week for the IADR General Session?

Do you get frustrated seeing oral health organisations working in silos, duplicating work done by others, spending time and money answering questions no-one is asking?

Or learning there is ‘insufficient evidence’ or results are misinterpreted at the same time as good research languishes for years, or even decades, before being put into practice?

If so, meet with other like-minded individuals to hear about and discuss the best ways of working collaboratively to promote priority research, minimise duplication, share resources and data, support implementation, and improve oral health. Please join us at a symposium of the Global Evidence Ecosystem in Oral Health network on Wednesday 19 June at 10.15am (to 11.45 am) in Room 110 of the Vancouver Conference Centre.

We look forward to seeing you there and hearing your ideas for generating new solutions to old problems.

Please also plan to attend our GEEOH Business Meeting on Thursday 20 June at 10.45am (till 12.30pm) in Room 104 of the Vancouver Conference Centre.

Unclear evidence on the effectiveness of oral hygiene measures for those with intellectual disabilities

The removal of dental plaque by daily toothbrushing plays a major role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, the two main causes of tooth loss. Toothbrushing is a skill that can be difficult for people with intellectual disabilities; they may require help and people who care for them may need training in how to help them. For this research, we used the World Health Organization’s definition of intellectual disability which is: “a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to learn and apply new skills. This results in a reduced ability to cope independently, and begins before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development.” Continue reading