Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A New Way to Fight Childhood Tooth Decay

Try to answer this question correctly: What is the most common childhood disease in the U.S.?

  • a) childhood obesity 
  • b) diabetes 
  • c) tooth decay
  • d) asthma

If you chose c, then you are correct! Many are often surprised to learn that tooth decay or the prevalence of dental caries is still a huge problem. In fact, even though it is rarely in the news, it’s 20 times more common than childhood diabetes.

It seems that in spite of teaching our kids how to make healthy food choices and providing them with the right toothbrush, dental rinse and floss, we’re still falling short when it comes to preventing our kids from developing cavities. What often happens is that when our children reach a certain age, say around 4 to 6-depending on the child, their manual dexterity improves. Many master simple tasks such as dressing themselves and tying their shoelaces. As they reach those milestones, many parents incorrectly assume that their children have long ago grasped the concept of how to brush their teeth properly. We may even think our job from then on is to simply make sure they brush, stock them up on tooth brushing supplies and get them to the dentist for periodic checkups and cleanings.

However, that is just not enough! The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that tooth decay among children aged 2 to 5 years is on the rise. The technical term for this condition is ECC, which is “early childhood caries”. ECC is defined as, “the presence of one or more decayed teeth, missing teeth (as a result of caries), or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 6 years of age or younger”. This issue not only impacts a child’s overall health and self esteem, it can also affect speech, the ability to eat, sleep patterns and concentration.

Could the answer be as simple as a new type of toothbrush?

The designers from Philips, who created the Sonicare power toothbrush have come up with a new product that is specifically for kids between the ages of 4 to 10. Along with its patented mechanism that works to dislodge plaque between the teeth and in hard-to-reach areas, it also has a few unique, kid-friendly features.

A built-in timer increases brushing time a little each day over a 90-day period. When using the Sonicare for Kids, youngsters are taught that their mouth made up of four areas and the KidPacer in the toothbrush uses musical notes to let them know when to move from one area to the next. That way, they do not rush the process or miss any spots. Musical notes signal when an area is done and when all four areas (upper, lower, right and left) have all been brushed, another congratulatory note is a sign for parents that brushing was a success.

Other thoughtful features make this toothbrush one that kids will look forward to using. An anti-roll handle allows children to use both hands to hold and squeeze a tube of toothpaste. There are two brushing modes, large on/off buttons, replaceable brush heads, and stickers so the kids may customize their toothbrush.

The American Dental Association has reviewed the results of clinical studies that compared the Philips Sonicare to other battery operated and manual toothbrushes. The data showed that the Sonicare for Kids:

  • Removed up to 75% more plaque in hard-to-reach areas than a children’s manual toothbrush
  • Removed up to 90% more plaque overall than a leading children’s battery-powered toothbrush after a single use of each toothbrush
  • Removed significantly more plaque than a children’s manual toothbrush
  • Children ages 7 to 10 brushed significantly longer with Philips Sonicare For Kids than with a children’s manual toothbrush

As your dental professional, I take pride in offering you all of the most current information and means in which to achieve the optimum level of dental health for you and your family! If the Sonicare products are something you’d like to learn more about, I along with my staff would be happy to discuss this line of toothbrushes.

No comments:

Post a Comment