Today's Dental News

Parents Should be Warned: Fluoridated Water is Not Recommended for Infants

A new study confirms infants fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water are at greater risk of developing discolored teeth (dental fluorosis). The American Dental Association (ADA) warned dentists about this in 2006 but has done little or nothing to inform the nearly 200 million Americans who live in communities with fluoridated drinking water.

The study by Levy et al. confirms Levy’s earlier studies, which show “[F]luoride intakes during each of the first 4 years were individually significantly related to fluorosis on maxillary central incisors, with the first year most important,” and that “[I]nfant formulas reconstituted with higher fluoride water can provide 100 to 200 times more fluoride than breastmilk, or cow’s milk.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 32% of American children have dental fluorosis, an increase of 23% from the 1980s. Black and Hispanic populations have even higher rates. Dental fluorosis is a visible sign that a child was overexposed to fluoride.

Read more: Parents Should be Warned: Fluoridated Water is Not Recommended for Infants


Maine Residents Will Vote on Dental Bond Issue

Residents of Maine will soon be voting on a $5 million bond issue that would help build dental clinics throughout the state.

A group of dentists, patients and healthcare providers are pushing for the vote to pass.

The proposal also wants to create a community-based teaching dental clinic and improve community-based healthcare and dental care clinics.

The proposal is necessary because there is currently a shortage of dentists in the state and state officials are trying to recruit newly qualified dentists. In order to get the dentists to stay in Maine, a dental school must be created because students have a better chance of staying in an area if they train there.

The problems that result from the shortage are patients must wait or travel far distances to visit a dentist.

Read more: Maine Residents Will Vote on Dental Bond Issue


Medicaid Program Cuts Back on Idaho Dentists

Roughly 150 dentists have been cut from the Idaho program that provides dental services to Medicaid patients, and the dentists said that will make it harder for those people to get dental care.

Boise pediatric dentist Roy Rogers said he’ll lose more than half his patients when the new Idaho Smiles network goes into effect next month. The Idaho Dental Association said DentaQuest, the subcontractor that administers the provider network, is trying to control costs by cutting the biggest providers of Medicaid dental services.

Rogers said he already represented a bargain for the network—providing some services, like sealant and upgrading to white fillings instead of amalgam fillings—for free to Medicaid patients. The work was more about providing a service than it was about money, he said.

Read more: Medicaid Program Cuts Back on Idaho Dentists


Study Says Oral Hygiene Impacts One’s Attractiveness

If you’re thinking about being romantic tonight, you might want to make sure your oral hygiene is in check. Based on a new survey, oral hygiene is significantly preferred over the traditional romantic overtures to set the mood, such as dimming the lights, lighting candles, wearing perfume or playing romantic music.

The national survey, which was fielded by Kelton Research, examined Americans’ views on oral healthcare and revealed that a clean mouth was most important in maintaining a healthy relationship. Close to six in 10, or 59 percent, would be most disturbed by their partner not brushing or flossing his or her teeth for a week, as compared to only 24 percent who would be most perturbed if their significant other passed on wearing deodorant. Far fewer were bothered by their partner skipping shaving, hair combing or trimming toe nails for a week, at 9 percent, 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Read more: Study Says Oral Hygiene Impacts One’s Attractiveness


Women Who Receive Dental Care Lower Risk of Heart Disease

A new study led by a University of California, Berkeley, researcher could give women a little extra motivation to visit their dentist more regularly. The study suggests that women who get dental care reduce their risk of heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems by at least one third.

The analysis, which used data from nearly 7,000 people ages 44 to 88 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, did not find a similar benefit for men.

Published online Sept. 29 in the journal Health Economics, the study compared people who went to the dentist during the previous two years with those who did not. The findings add to a growing body of research linking oral and cardiovascular health.

“Many studies have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but our study is the first to show that general dental care leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a causal way,” said study lead author Timothy Brown, assistant adjunct professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.

Read more: Women Who Receive Dental Care Lower Risk of Heart Disease


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