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In brief: Basic hygiene advice, deconstructed

March 20, 2023
Learn what dental peers have to say about the most common advice given to patients; the connection between diabetes, toothlessness, and cognitive function; and more.
Elizabeth S. Leaver, Digital content manager

Breaking down everyday hygiene advice

NPR consulted with hygiene professionals on an in-depth article on five basic questions about how to care for teeth and keep them healthy, such as how often people should really brush their teeth, the ideal time of day to brush, and yes, if people really need to floss. Learn what your dental peers have to say, and whether you give your patients similar advice.

Diabetes, toothlessness, and cognitive function

A new study of almost 10,000 older adults indicates a growing connection between diabetes and tooth loss in relation to worsening cognitive function and faster cognitive decline. While both diabetes and missing teeth are risk factors for dementia, little research had been done on the cognitive-decline-related effects of having both. The new findings “underscore the importance of dental care and diabetes management for older adults in reducing the devastating personal and societal costs of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias,” said the study’s lead author.

Therapy dogs: One dental office’s approach

Across the country, a growing number of dental practices are bringing therapy pets to reduce stress for both children and adults — typically at no additional cost to patients. MDLinx reports on the experience of a Las Vegas-based dental office with its in-office pet, as well as on the pros and cons for practices considering onboarding a four-legged staff member.

Soft gingiva more prone to inflammation

It has long been known that individuals with thick or stiff gingiva are less susceptible to gingival recessions. But for the first time, scientists are attributing that stiffness to influencing the properties of gingival fibroblasts, which in turn affects whether inflammation is likely to happen: "We discovered that soft gingiva results in inflammation and hinders the development of gingival fibers," says Associate Professor Masahiro Yamada from Tohoku University's Graduate School of Dentistry, which conducted the study.

FAQ on MATE Act compliance

To help dentists comply with the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, a new law requiring them to complete eight hours of training before receiving or renewing a Drug Enforcement Administration registration, the ADA has created an FAQ addressing common questions. Access it here.

About the Author

Elizabeth S. Leaver | Digital content manager

Elizabeth S. Leaver was the digital content manager for Endeavor Business Media's dental group from 2021-2024. She has a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston and many years of experience working in niche industries specializing in creating content, editing, content marketing, and publishing digital and magazine content. She lives in the Boston area.