Kids’ Dental Health Related to Mom’s

Mothers with untreated tooth decay are twice as likely to have children who do too.

That’s according to a new study that was published in the Journal of Dental Research. Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco looked at the oral health of 179 mothers and 389 children.

This highlights the role of parental dental health in pediatric dentistry. In addition, parents may be more likely to treat tooth decay and gum disease if they realize it may negatively impact their children’s dental health.

Read more: Mums who neglect teeth impact on kids’ oral health

Pediatric Dental Sedation Ruffles Feathers Among Dentists

Pediatric dental sedationDentists are divided over pediatric dental sedation. Our survey found that half of dentists approve of pediatric sedation dentistry (with proper training, of course), while one in three feels a general dentist should never sedate a child.

“Kids are a different breed from adults when it comes to sedation, and you REALLY have to have thorough training to sedate them,” said one dentist.

Among survey respondents, 54% say it’s a great treatment modality that requires proper training; 11% are still am not certain of its safety; and 35% think general dentists should not be performing pediatric sedation.

Here’s a sample of what dentists had to say about pediatric dental sedation:

  • “It is a great way to treat children. However, weekend courses do not give one adequate training to sedate children; one needs to be formally trained.” (Arizona pediatric dentist)
  • “Proper training and the use of modern equipment are the key.” (California dentist)
  • “This is the most delicate group of all patients, and the one that GP’s should be very cautious when treated. This also is the group that has the most incidents when sedation is performed.”(Florida dentist)
  • “It should be done more often.” (Orthodontist)
  • “Just ask an anesthesiologist. They all say NO!!! No one should!!!” (Massachusetts pediatric dentist)
  • “I am a pediatric dentist. I used to offer it in my practice. I have stopped since 2004. I recommend that it is used ONLY in a hospital setting.” (Massachusetts pediatric dentist)
  • “There are a small number of general dentists who will obtain the necessary training to SAFELY provide sedation services for children, but I can’t for the life of me understand why they would want to.” (California oral surgeon)
  • “There is no excuse for inadequate training. You must be on top of your game and realize it is not successful all the time. Still will need a source where pedodontics can be done under a general anesthetic.” (Oklahoma dentist)
  • “Pediatric sedation should be performed only in a hospital setting and only for special-needs children. The rest of children do great if you will only be patient with them and do ‘show and tell.’ The most difficult children always, and I mean always, do great and overcome their fear if you give them time and love and show them how trust works.” (California children’s dentist)

Read more: Pediatric Sedation Dentistry Causes Disagreement Among Dentists

Listen to what Dr. Michael Silverman has to say about DOCS Education’s evolving stance on the subject: Dental Continuing Education for Pediatric Sedation

Pediatric Sedation Dentistry (Survey Video)

Pediatric sedation dentistry dentist survey videoPediatric sedation dentistry can be a valuable part of children’s dentistry.

In this survey of dentists, 68% say they are in favor of children’s sedation dentistry. Note that when we asked the same question in 2010, only 52% were in favor.

“It requires extensive training and case selection is very important,” warned a pediatric dentist.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentists think about pediatric sedation dentistry:

“At our office, an MD anesthesiologist provides sedation while I perform the dentistry,” said a Missouri dentist.

“I have been doing all forms of sedation for over 30 years,” said a Texas periodontist. “Young children are very brittle and administration requires advanced training for the safest outcomes.”

“It’s the only way to treat some kids,” sighed a Georgia dentist. “I sure am thankful that I can refer to someone who does it as I would not want the liability and stress myself!”

It’s important to remember that kids are dental patients too! And sedation dentistry is a real boon to many dental patients.

Do you have any further thoughts on pediatric sedation dentistry?

Dentists: BPA is Back Making Front Page Dental News Again

BPA in Children is Making Front Page Dental NewsBisphenol A (also known as BPA), a chemical used in lightweight plastics, dental sealants and dental fillings is back making news headlines once again.

First, the federal government announced this month that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain BPA.

This was followed by reports from a new study stating that children getting dental fillings made with BPA are more likely to have behavior and emotional problems later in life.

The study, as reported in Pediatrics Online, “makes a strong case that in the short-term, use of BPA-containing dental materials should be minimized,” asserts Philip Landrigan, director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

The researchers in the study tracked 534 children with cavities from when each child received their first dental fillings. Over the following 5 years, the researchers noted that those children who had cavities filled with a composite material containing traces of BPA consistently scored 2 – 6 points less on 100-point behavior assessments than those who didn’t have fillings.

As reported in Science News, the researchers never administered clinical diagnostic behavioral tests to the children.

Instead, they periodically administered some widely used checklists to the children or their parents, allowing each to self-assess features such as a child’s attitudes toward teachers or others, depression, self-esteem, attention problems, delinquent behaviors, acting-out or problems with attentiveness.

Since the children were 6-12 years old at the time, these type of behaviors are not uncommon for children living with a variety of circumstances like divorce, bullying, and problems at home.

However researchers argue that the behavior problems being reported seemed to happen more with the children who had BPA fillings, causing them to believe that some dental fillings may start to break down over time, thus exposing these children to the chemical.

The U.S. government is currently spending $30 million on its own BPA research to determine the chemical’s health effects on humans.

As a dentist, what are your thoughts on the use of BPA?

For more on this story see: Putting BPA-based Dental Fillings in Perspective 

Science Friday: Will Dentists See The End to Cavities in Their Lifetime?

Science Friday: Will Dentists See The End to Cavities in Their Lifetime?Dentists may see the end to cavities in their lifetime.

At least this is what researchers José Córdoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile are hoping will happen.

These two researchers have uncovered a new molecule that kills the bacteria that causes cavities in just 60 seconds.

The new molecule is named Keep 32, after the 32 teeth in the human mouth.

Córdoba and Astudillo report that the molecule can be added to dental care products, telling Diario Financiero Online, “The molecule can not only be incorporated into a gum, but in products like toothpastes, mouthwashes, dental floss, candies, lollipops, dental night gel and others who items that can be kept inside the mouth for at least 60 seconds.”

The 60 second time frame is what’s needed to kill all the Streptococcus Mutans bacteria. The Strep-Mutans bacteria converts sugar in the mouth to lactic acid which eats away at tooth enamel.

Reasearchers remain optomistic, with having completed seven years of successful testing and are now set to start human trials. They further hope that products will be available on the consumer market in about 14 to 18 months if everything continues as planned.

Studies have revealed that more than 1/4 of U.S. children between ages 2 and 5 suffer from severe tooth decay with no end in sight for this trend, but if dentists can get these at-risk kids to at least chew a special gum after they eat, they may be able to reverse the cavity epidemic in pediatric dental care.

Dentists, do you think you will see the end to cavities in your lifetime?

For more on this story see: Can “Keep 32” Chemical Keep You Cavity-free?

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