Health Education and Prevention

Prevention

Early Dental Visits

  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child be seen by their first birthday in order to prevent dental problems. For more information on children's teeth see: www.mychildrensteeth.org/education/faq/#19

Fluoride Supplements

  • Definition: Daily fluoride supplements (drops or tablets) are recommended for children between the ages of six months and sixteen years of age who reside in areas where the drinking water is fluoride-deficient (little or no fluoride in the water). A dentist or pediatrician will determine the appropriate dose based on the child's age and location they reside. Daily use of fluoride supplements is very effective in preventing cavities in children.
  • For more information about fluoride supplements, visit the My Waters Fluoride page on our website.
  • Water Fluoridation Levels Guideline.

Sealants

  • Sealants For Smiles 2009 Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Defintion: Sealants are thin, clear or shaded plastic coatings applied to the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the first (six year) and second (twelve year) permanent molars in order to prevent cavities. Sealants "seal out" food and bacteria-containing plaque that tend to accumulate in the crevices of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and cause cavities. It takes only one visit to apply sealants. Sealants are only one step in preventing cavities...brushing, flossing, limited snacking and regular visits to the dentist are all essential to good oral health. There is more information on the

Daily Home Care Information for ALL ages: www.mouthhealthy.org/en.aspx

Fluoride Varnish

  • Definition: Fluoride varnish is a thin coating of resin that is applied to tooth surfaces in order to prevent or stop decay. It has been proven effective in infants and children who have:
    1. Had cavities
    2. Breastfeed on demand at night
    3. Frequently use high sugar (syrup like) oral medications
    4. Frequently use of a bottle or Sippy cup containing liquids other than water
    5. Children with disabilities.
  • The initial application of fluoride varnish is followed by a second application in between three and six months.

General Dental Care Questions

Oral Health Terms

Periodontal Disease

Diabetes (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)

  • People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease. Gum disease (Periodontal Disease can lead to tooth loss)
  • From the ADHA (American Dental Hygienists' Association) website: Symptoms of diabetes disease often appear in the mouth, while almost one-third of people with diabetes have severe periodontal disease. This is believed to be a result of the diabetic patient's greater susceptibility to developing infections. Conversely, severe periodontal disease may increase the risk of developing diabetes, and may make it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels. However, studies have found that patients who receive treatment for periodontal disease may be able to control the condition with less insulin.
  • For more information visit www.adha.org/downloads/factsheets/diabetes.pdf
  • Diabetes Dental Tips PDF (English) or Diabetes Dental Tips PDF (Spanish)
  • www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Diabetes/DiabetesDentalTips.htm

Oral Cancer

Decay and Infections

  • Definiton: Have you ever considered how important it is to get your teeth checked regularly? Dentists recommend that if you sense any pain in your mouth they should be checked out as soon as possible. Tooth aches and other pain in your mouth can be early signs of infection or decay. If ignored, these symptoms overtime can turn into a more serious infection that can affect the other parts of your body, like the brain, lungs, and heart. Tooth infections can cause a person to become very sick and in rare cases, die.
  • Deamonte Driver: In 2000 Surgeon General David Satcher called dental disease the ‘silent epidemic’ as hundreds of thousands of children suffer from untreated disease. One extreme example happened March 2, 2007 when a 12-year-old boy Deamonte Driver from Maryland died from a tooth infection that spread to his brain.
  • Kyle's story: Another extreme example is Kyle Willis, a 24-year-old man from Cincinnati, OH who was a single father of a six year old daughter. He died August 2011 from a tooth infection. Being uninsured he waited until the pain was so severe and he had swelling in his face before he ended up in the emergency room. They gave him two prescriptions for pain and antibiotics. He could only afford to buy one, so he chose the pain medication because he was in so much pain. He later died when the infection spread to his brain.
  • Oral Health & Learning (PDF)

Early Childhood Carries

Childhood Schedule

Special Healthcare Needs

Pregnancy

My Fluoride levels

  • To learn about the fluoride levels in your area please visit the My Waters Fluoride page on our website.