AAPD President Shares Insight into the Future of Oral Health Care

April 1, 2014 04:11 PM
On March 31, Mediaplanet announced the launch of "Oral Health Awareness," a cross-platform campaign distributed as an 8-page print publication within The San Francisco Chronicle, and digitally across a network of online platforms, reaching over 3 million readers.  "Oral Health Awareness" aims to educate readers about oral health as tantamount to general health and well-being, and to provide them with information about behaviors and preventive measures they can adopt to cultivate a healthy smile, which can be the gateway to a healthy life. The campaign featured the expertise of many professionals in the industry, including AAPD President Dr. Warren A. Brill and AAPD members Drs. Man Wai Ng, Zameera Fida, Burton Edelstein and more.

Mediaplanet sat down with Brill to talk about how starting young with your oral health care can result in living long. Excerpts from the article include the following:

What do you feel are some of the biggest misconceptions new parents may have about pediatric oral care?

Dr. Brill: There are two big misconceptions: one is that they are "baby" teeth and will fall out, so they don't require any treatment. The second is that a child need not be seen until all the primary teeth are in the mouth at about age 2. Research has shown that when a child is seen by age one or the eruption of the first tooth and a Dental Home is established, the information the parents get from the pediatric dentist and staff helps them to avoid or significantly minimize their child's decay experience.

Why do you think the statistics about pediatric oral health are so poor—with dental caries being the number 1 childhood disease?

Dr. Brill: Unfortunately, parents and caregivers don't know or follow the advice I gave above. Also, putting the child to sleep with a bottle, letting the toddler walk around with a sippy cup and giving the youngster candy and other sweets more than three times a day all contribute to tooth decay. For sweets, it is not how much, but how often.

The germs in the mouth use the sugars in foods to make acids that cause the enamel to dissolve, resulting in cavities. Therefore, a piece of taffy stuck in the grooves of the tooth can cause more damage than quickly drinking a sugar-containing soft drink. In all cases, after a sweet, if you cannot brush and floss, take a drink of water and swish it around, then swallow. Lastly, to reiterate what I said before, establish a Dental Home with a pediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts so that parents and caregivers know exactly what to do for their children.

To read the entire article, please go to: http://www.oralhealthawareness.com/pediatric-oral-care/start-young-live-long-the-importance-​of-oral-health#.Uzm7l4XHhyI


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