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Dental Care for Babies and Children

Dental Health Of Teenagers Depends On Their Mom’s Emotional Health

dental health of teenagersAll moms pay a lot of attention to their kids’ health. They watch very carefully for the signs of various diseases and possible health problems, and as soon as they see something suspicious, they try to consult a specialist and do everything possible to prevent their kids from being sick. The same can be said about dental health of teenagers or young children, and moms are always asking their kids about how they feel when brushing or chewing foods. It is interesting that there are certain links between mom’s emotional health or her educational level and dental health of her teenage children. Those are the findings of a recent study by a group of American researchers published in August 2012 in some online media.

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, carried out an extensive analysis of dental health information on about 224 adults collected for many years, since the times the participants were teenagers. The main objective of the study was to find out the factors influence dental health of teenagers the most, and the experts used available data collected in a long-term perspective in order to rule out other possible issues. The participants’ life, habits or life experiences were traced even back to their early childhood, including the information about  being born as a normal birth weight baby, or the one with too low birth weight.

At that, dental health of teenagers was analyzed by monitoring the number of decayed teeth, missing teeth or tooth fillings, as well as evaluated the levels of dental plague. 14 was chosen to be the basic age for scientific evaluations. The researchers found out that even in cases of dental insurance availability, special fluoride treatments and plenty of other preventive measures, a great deal of children below 14 could not prevent tooth decay and cavities by that age. The experts are convinced that bad eating habits, availability of plenty of sugary drinks and sweet treats, along with failure of the kids’ parents develop proper dental care habits and make their children understand the importance of daily dental care.

Fortunately, years ago moms of the teenagers were also asked to fill in questionnaires, not only about dental habits and oral health attitude in the family, frequency of dental visits, and so on, but also about other aspects of their life. Therefore, the scientists used statistical modelling tools to do extensive analysis and tried to correlate dental health of teenagers with various factors related to their mom’s life. It turned out that such two factors as emotional health and educational levels of the moms played the most significant role, and if moms are struggling in these two areas, this in most cases led to very high risks of having dental problems in teenage kids.

The findings were recently published in the Journal of Dental Research as report entitled as  Early Maternal Psychosocial Factors are Predictors for Adolescent Caries. According to Suchitra Nelson, one of the study leaders and the author of the report, the findings have obvious practical importance. “We can’t ignore the environments of these children. It isn’t enough to tell children to brush and floss, they need more – and particularly from their caregivers,” she said. She also said that moms with high education, with healthy emotional life and good knowledge of proper eating habits had teenage children with the healthiest teeth.


Dental Fillings Cause Behavior Problems In Kids

dental fillingsDental procedures are not only quite stressful and costing, they can also have an impact on our psychology and behavior. It turned out that children are especially sensitive, even to such easy dental treatment as dental fillings. According to the findings of a recent study by an expert group at the New England Research Institutes, teenagers aged between 11 and 16 can be very much affected by dental fillings. As the study has shown, those young kids and teenagers who underwent the dental procedure are reported to demonstrate slightly worse social behavior and be more problematic in their daily life, compared to those their peers who have excellent dental health and have never went through any serious dental treatment.

The experts attribute this interesting tendency to one of the components used for dental fillings. “The composites that were associated with these problems include a chemical called bisGMA,” says Nancy Maserejian, ScD, one of the study leaders and an expert at the New England Research Institute. For producing this artificial compound, the chemical bisphenol A or BPA is used which is considered controversial and even banned in some of the countries. A number of researches have demonstrated that this chemical compound acts similarly to female hormone estrogen. Therefore, it can affect certain functions in human body, including the function of reproductive system, as well as the development and psychological condition of children. That is why some scientists recommend banning using this compound in any kind of products for youngsters.

During the research, the scientists analyzed the extensive data collected by other scientists during the New England Children’s Amalgam Trial (NECAT) in 2006. For five years the study followed five hundred children, who undergo dental filling procedure. Mainly, the specialists looked very closely at the effects of amalgam used for dental fillings on the function of brain, kidney, and other body organs. It was found out that amalgam, first of all, affects psychological condition of children. Basing on their parents’ report, it was found out that those kids with dental fillings containing bisphenol A were more likely to display the symptoms like anxiety, increased irritability, psychological instability and social stresses, followed by behavior problems and inability to achieve socially compared to kids with no dental fillings.

At that, the links tended to be stronger for those kids whose dental fillings with bisphenol A were located close to the chewing surface of teeth. The scientists reported that when the filling is located close to the chewing surface, the child is more likely to demonstrate serious behavior problems. Paul Casamassimo, DDS, the chief executive of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center, said the more researches are needed to establish clear cause-and-effect connection. “We need to be constantly vigilant with kids and look at what we do and find out if these are valid findings over the long term,”  he underlined. Other dental specialists, in response to the findings of the study, pointed to the increased importance of observing easy rules of dental care in young children and do everything possible to prevent dental cavities.


Bad Milk Teeth In Babies Can Lead To Dental Problems In Their Adulthood

Milk Teeth In BabiesMost of modern parents understand the importance of planting the basics of good dental care habits in their kids since the very early age. Knowing and observing the rules of daily dental care and dental hygiene are the key skills for all kids and teenagers of our times, essential for creating a proper environment for healthy teeth development and reducing risks of dental problems in the future. However, some parents are convinced that since milk teeth in babies and children will eventually fall out, it is not too important to take a proper care about them. Thus, such moms and dads do not take their kids to regular dental check-ups, do not teach them brushing their teeth on a daily basis, and do not encourage such kids to learn the basics of dental care.

Undoubtedly, this is not a good approach at all. Our Mother Nature gave us a great gift by giving children a chance to totally renew most of their teeth and learn to take care about their teeth properly. The truth is, milk teeth in babies and children are very vulnerable, they have thinner and more sensitive tooth enamel that leads to much faster decay compared to the teeth of adults. Recently, the UK Government released the findings of a survey, revealing the fact that above 40 per cent of today’s kids in the UK aged below 5 have tooth decay, and 12 per cent of those kids had to go through the procedure of placing tooth filling (some even have more than one filling).

Dr Janet Clarke, an NHS dental care specialist and a spokeswoman for the British Dental Association, recommend all today’s parents pay more attention and make much more efforts on teaching their children cleaning and taking a proper care about their teeth. Usually, the first teeth emerges between the sixth and the ninth months, sometimes a little earlier or later, and it is necessary to start taking a good care about baby’s teeth since the days the teeth started to cut through. ‘At this stage it’s all about getting the child used to the idea and establishing a habit very early on so that it becomes a part of the getting-up and going-to-bed routine,’ Dr. Clarke underlines.

The expert suggests modern parents to start cleaning their milk teeth in babies with the little finger first, and then when more teeth emerge, it is possible to start using special toothpastes with various pleasant tastes and special soft tooth brushes for young children. A parent should closely supervise his or her child brushing teeth, teaching the kid using proper amount of tooth paste (smaller than pea-size for those below 3). For toddlers and young children, Dr. Clarke recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes, but she recommends the parents to pay more attention to more systematic brushing rather than to the duration of each brushing session. Dr Clarke suggests taking the child for the first dental check-up at the age of 2 – 2.5 (by that time, most of the kids already have at least 20 milk teeth) and after that such check-ups should turn into every 6 or 12-months routine.