It’s back to school time – which means that a fast breakfast of cold cereal before a mad dash to the bus stop will return to many of your patients’ routines.
They might be interested to know that a glass of milk after eating sugary cereals may prevent cavities, according to new research from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. The research is published in the July issue of the Journal of The American Dental Association.
Dry ready-to-eat, sugar-added cereals combine refined sugar and starch. When those carbohydrates are consumed, bacteria in the dental plaque on tooth surfaces produce acids, said Christine Wu, professor of pediatric dentistry and director of cariology, who served as principal investigator of the study. Reports have shown that eating carbohydrates four times daily, or in quantities greater than 60 grams per person per day, increases the risk of cavities.
The new study involved 20 adults eating 20 grams of dry Froot Loops cereal, then drinking different beverages: whole milk, 100 percent apple juice, or tap water.
"Our study results show that only milk was able to reduce acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary Froot Loops," the researchers reported. "We believe that milk helped mitigate the damaging effect of fermentable carbohydrate and overcome the previously lowered plaque pH."
Dr. Wu said many consumers think that since milk is considered to be cavity-fighting, acid production by plaque bacteria can be minimized by mixing it with cereal. However, in an unpublished study in her lab, it was discovered that the combination of Froot Loops and milk became syrupy. Eating cereal combined with milk lowered plaque acidity to levels similar to that obtained after rinsing with a 10 percent sugar solution.
If your patients are fans of Dr. Oz, be prepared for their questions about the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. The Dr. Oz Show will focus today on the question, “Are your silver fillings making you sick?”
The American Dental Association has long argued that dental amalgam is a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. The Chicago Dental Society supports that position, as it is based on scientific reviews by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Life Sciences Research Office, the American Medical Association and other respected organizations.
Read more about the ADA’s position online.
As in all cases, patients are encouraged to talk to their dentists about their oral health concerns – including those regarding the use of amalgam fillings.
Here are a few more resources to consider when patients come to you with questions about amalgam:
If you’re thinking about National Children’s Dental Health Month, you’re not alone. The Chicago Dental Society Foundation has plans, too, for the Healthy Kids Brush Up! program – and they need your help.
This campaign puts toothbrushes, toothpaste and volunteer dentists in local classrooms to encourage better oral hygiene habits among students. Nearly 200 schools will receive more than 56,000 toothbrushes next month — paid for in part by donations from our CDS members and other friends of the CDS Foundation.
Help us extend the program through your donation today. Your $15 gift will provide a whole classroom with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and educational materials to make them meaningful.
Please donate now. And share the link on your Facebook Page and Twitter feed to further our fundraising efforts.
(The fundraising page also has buttons in the upper right hand corner to help you share the page via email to your friends and associates or on your Pinterest page, but we don't want to be greedy...)
access to care
The American Dental Association and dentists across the country have long encouraged patients to stop smoking. The reasons why are many:
- stained teeth and tongue
- dulled sense of taste and smell
- slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
- difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
- gum disease
- oral cancer.
But today, Nov. 15, it's a much bigger deal. This is the day that the American Cancer Society celebrates the Great American Smokeout to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking today.
By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life.
Need another reason to encourage your patients to quit? Share with them this Confession of an Ex-Smoker, originally published by the Northbrook-based American College of Chest Physicians.
On Friday, September 21, about fifty oral health advocates from the metro Chicago area gathered to attend an oral health summit organized by the Chicago Community Oral Health Forum (CCOHF).
Representatives from the Chicago Dental Society and its foundation were in attendance, including
- Dr. Gary Alder, Government Affairs Committee member
- Dr. Gerry Ciebien, Government Affairs Committee member
- Randy Grove, CDS executive director
- Rodney Watt, CDS Foundation executive director
- Joanna Brown, Access to Care liaison and senior staff writer
- Keri Kramer, communications director
The reason for this summit was to review the Chicago Oral Health Plan (PDF), spearheaded by CCOHF. I had the opportunity to unveil the enhanced search tool for dental clinics in Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties and discuss more generally the society and foundation's longstanding commitment to improving access to dental care. (You can view the short slideshow here or read more about the clinic tool in our press release.)
Dr. Bechara Choucair, health commissioner for the city of Chicago, provided an update on the city's efforts to improve oral health, noting that one of the Healthy Chicago priorities is access to health care.
Dr. Choucair described how the now-closed clinics in the city had once served 4,500 patients annually. By moving resources to a school-based model of dental care that involved public-private partnerships, the city increased access to dental care among schoolchildren to 100,000 children served annually at 633 schools.
The department plans to expand the program to reach every Chicago public school and include high schools. They are also incorporating oral health education into the treatment provided.
The Chicago Dental Society Foundation, which, together with CDS, donates 100,000 dental supplies to schoolchildren each year, is partnering with Chicago Public Schools to provide educational resources. CCOHF as well is providing curriculum materials and instruction to schools participating in the dental program.
Drs. Alejandra Valencia Mona Van Kanegan, both on staff at CCOHF, provided a background on the group, which was cofounded in 2008. They described its three goals as:
- Monitoring use of health care system
- Expanding oral health infrastructure
- Developing and expand oral health promotion
Dr. Van Kanegan explained how dental visit within the last 12 months was a leading health indicator, according to Healthy People 2020, and CCOHF was collecting baseline data on patients 2 and up who have received dental care in the past year.
Ms. Megan Erskine, student health specialist for the Chicago Public Schools, told the group "health is academic" and how CPS was investing in ways to remove health-related barriers to learning.
Dr. Caswell Evans, executive committee member of CCOHF, gave the closing address, calling the conference "a momentous occasion" capitalizing on public interest in oral health. He pointed to the Surgeon General's report on oral health and how public-private partnerships are critical in addressing address issues of oral health. Dr. Evans urged to be prepared to deliver on the plan as it holds the potential to be a model for the country.
access to care