Awareness of public health issues important as spring commences
With the onset of spring, several public health issues come to the forefront of our attention. FOCUS Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, notes that April is National Facial Protection Month. She also reports on the results from the inaugural national report on fluoride by Britain’s health advisory body, as well as a system for detecting and monitoring natural buccal caries lesions.
April is National Facial Protection Month. The American Dental Association (ADA) has five tips to prevent facial injuries with simple sports safety precautions. Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports; wear a helmet; wear protective eyewear; wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin; make protective gear mandatory for all sports. National Facial Protection Month is sponsored annually during the month of April by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, and the American Dental Association.(1,2,3,4,5)
In world news, the conclusion of Britain’s health advisory body, Public Health England, as part of the first ever national report on fluoride in the National Health Service (NHS), is that children living in areas where water fluoridation is in place are far less likely to have tooth decay than those in other locations.(6,7) The report’s authors stated that there are significant benefits to adding fluoride to water. This issue, despite more than half a century of evidence to support it, has repeatedly sparked controversy over claims of connections to serious health problems.
The study stated that 14 out of England’s 152 local authorities add fluoride to public water, covering 6m people.(6) In these areas, five-year-olds with deciduous teeth are 15% less likely to have tooth decay than those living in locations where fluoride schemes are not in place, while 12-year-olds with adult teeth in fluoride areas are 11% less likely to have these problems.
When deprivation and ethnicity factors are taken into account, the research said the figures rise to 28% and 21%, respectively.(6,7)
The study further found the likelihood of developing kidney stones and bladder cancer are lower in fluoridated areas, with the rates 5.3% and 4.4% lower compared to other parts of the country. The conclusions are that the use of fluoride appears to be beneficial to the public.(6,7)
On a technology note, researchers based at Quantum Dental Technologies Inc., Canada, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA, have demonstrated that the remineralization of natural buccal caries lesions induced by Curodont Repair and the regression of those lesions can be detected and monitored by the Canary System and the Canary Lab. The data have been presented at the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) conference in Charlotte, USA.(8)
Curolox Technology is based on peptides self-assembling into a 3-dimensional matrix, triggering biomimetic mineralisation and repair. The core technology is the basis for all innovative credentis products.(9) The Canary System and Canary Lab are part of the product line developed by Quantum Dental Technologies, Inc. in Toronto, Canada. Powered by PTR-LUM energy conversion technology, these systems can detect and monitor changes in the crystal structure of a tooth caused by caries (tooth decay), erosion or cracks.(10)
And last, but not least, enjoy the inspirational story from Sherri L. Warshaw, RDH, CTTS, a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
Happy Easter to all!!
6. Public Health England. Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2014, Executive summary. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/295736/Water_fluoridation_health_monitor_for_Eng_2014_executive_summary.pdf.
7. Public Health England. Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/296329/Water_fluoridation_health_monitoring_for_England.pdf.
8. AADR abstract 925: Detection of remineralization of early caries with The Canary System. https://iadr.confex.com/iadr/43am/webprogram/Paper186306.html.