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Friday Dental Download: March 14, 2014

This week, we learn how fruit smoothies may not be good for your teeth, discuss how risk assessment tools can improve oral health (especially for children) and get some pointers on caring for an infant’s teeth and gums. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

DentaQuest Foundationhas renewed funding for seven state organizations participating in its Oral Health 2014 Initiative (OH2014) as part of their mission to improve the oral health of all. The organizations have each spent the last year determining the greatest oral health needs in their communities and creating a comprehensive plan to meet those needs. With this new round of funding, the organizations will put their plans into action. Read more about the OH2014 initiative here.

Some habits that you may think are improving your health may be doing some serious damage to your teeth. For example, did you know that brushing right after a meal that is high in acid can push the acid deeper into the tooth enamel, causing more damage? The ever-popular smoothie trend is another cause of cavities, since you’re essentially coating your teeth in liquid sugar when enjoying a fruit-filled concoction. Make it a habit to drink water after eating acidic foods and drinking smoothies to help rid your mouth of the harmful acids and sugars.

When it comes to dentistry, prevention is key (think Preventistry). According to research presented at the 2014 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference in Boston, instituting a risk-assessment model to identify dental caries (cavities) can improve oral health care for children. The study used the Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) model, in which pediatric doctors and dentists identify dental caries indicators with a clinical exam, then offer guidance on how to prevent the caries from worsening.

This article highlights the fact that good oral health is important during infancy, as dental caries can develop in a baby’s mouth at as early as nine months. The article offers tips on how to care for your infant’s teeth, and we’ve got you covered as well. Check out this article written by Dr. Douglas Manning, dental director for DentaQuest in Florida, which has information about caring for teeth at all ages.