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Posts for tag: children

CDC Wants More Kids to Get Dental Sealants

Fox News Health Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged U.S. schools Tuesday to bring in dental specialists to apply sealants on kids’ molars to help reduce cavities.

Research suggests dental sealants, which are quick and easy to apply, could prevent up to 80 percent of cavities among children, yet a CDC Vital Signs report suggested about 60 percent of kids ages 6 to 11 do not get them, according to a news release. The CDC encouraged schools to implement more school-based sealant programs (SBSPs) to target low-income school-age kids especially, as these children may not have access to regular preventive care.

“Many children with untreated cavities will have difficulty eating, speaking and learning,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in the release. “Dental sealants can be an effective and inexpensive way to prevent cavities, yet only one in three low-income children currently receive them. School-based sealant programs are an effective way to get sealants to children.”

The Vital Signs report found that while 43 percent of school-age kids ages 6 to 11 had a dental sealant, low-income children were 20 percent less likely to have sealants than higher-income children.

Other studies have suggested dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities two years after application and prevent 50 percent of cavities for up to four years after placement, according to the release. Dental sealants can remain in the mouth for up to nine years before they need to be reapplied.

Kids without sealants have nearly three times as many cavities as children with them, the Vital Signs report suggested.

By targeting schools with a high percentage of children eligible for free or reduced-cost meal programs with SBSPs, officials can help improve low-income students’ dental care, according to the CDC. In the release, the CDC urged officials to target schools in need in their state, track the number of schools and children participating in SBSPs, implement policies that deliver the programs with cost effectiveness, and help connect schools with health departments and specialists in the community. The CDC currently provides funding to 21 state public health departments to implement SBSPs for low-income students who live in rural parts of the United States.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/10/19/cdc-wants-more-kids-to-get-dental-sealants.html

 

 

Study Explores How Secondhand Smoke May Affect Children's Teeth

A possible link exists between secondhand smoke and caries—or cavities—in children, according to a scientific article published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Authors reviewed 15 high-quality observational studies and discovered that 10 of the studies showed a weak to moderate link between cavities in primary teeth and secondhand smoke. The five other studies showed a weak link between secondhand smoke and permanent teeth.

According to the JADA article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regards cavities as the most prevalent chronic disease in children ages 6 to 11 years and in teens ages 12 to 19 years. A cavity is tooth decay that has destroyed tooth enamel, which is the hard, outer layer of teeth.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aims to reduce the prevalence of cavities in children by 10 percent by 2020. The prevalence of cavities in American children ages 3 to 5 years in 1999–2004 was 33.3 percent, according to Healthy People 2020--an initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health of all Americans. Healthy People determined that the prevalence of cavities in children ages 6 to 9 years was 54.4 percent and 53.7 percent in children 13 to 15 years.

Dentists want to understand the link between human behaviors and the development of cavities, especially as dentistry moves from surgical treatment of caries to prevention and medical management that accounts for a person’s risks toward the disease. Factors for high-cavities risk include low socioeconomic status, a diet high in refined carbohydrates, low fluoride exposure and poor or infrequent oral hygiene.

Secondhand smoke also may prove to be a risk factor, though more research is needed to affirm it as causing cavities.

The American Dental Association has valuable information about cavities on its consumer website, MouthHealthy.org. Click the A-Z Topics section from the home page to access individual topics by alphabet.

 © 2015 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.



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