Educating your patients about dental products

Shelves and shelves full of toothpastes, mouth rinses, teeth whiteners and more — which one to buy? In addition to having to choose from a multitude of items, patients may also have questions about the chemicals that make up these products. Dental professionals field questions about toothpaste and whiteners with ingredients such as fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), triclosan, and hydrogen peroxide and/or carbamide peroxide. Some patients favor products free of these elements and move toward what are perceived as better, natural products. Dental professionals should know about research regarding chemicals in dental products that patients are likely to encounter.

What you need to know about silver diamine fluoride

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is the newest buzzword in dentistry. What can this new formulation do? As an oral health care provider, here’s what you need to know about it.

Although SDF has only recently started making headlines in the U.S., it has been approved for use in Japan for more than 80 years. Currently, it has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adults 21 and older.

Has the Flint, Michigan, water crisis hit a nerve in the fluoride debate?

flint water crisisWhen the water source of a small community in Michigan was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River due to financial issues, the devastating long term effects of this decision took the nation by storm. During the nearly two years that the city of Flint was using the toxic water source, its citizens cried out for help. But by the time the city reacted, the damage was irreversible in many ways. According to an article from NPR on April 20, 2016, a resident of Flint had her water tested for lead at 104,000 parts per billion in 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency’s limit for drinking water is 15,000 parts per billion.

Tea’s beneficial fluoride content

teaDental student life is full of stress with study and clinical work. Every time midterms or finals come, most of my classmates pound down coffee to avoid falling asleep on a textbook. Do you ever think about the cup of tea as a companion to your study? Or perhaps you’re a recovering coffee addict who has now turned to the soothing varieties of tea to get a decent caffeine fix without the jitters.

Tea is an essential beverage of sorts. It is a jolting liquid that staves away fatigue, headaches and lack of motivation. Not only does tea have health benefits, it also has fluoride and contains tannic that may keep plaque at bay. Here is a background on teas and the various types you can explore the next time you find yourself wanting a refreshing drink.

Breaking down barriers for improved oral health

17224128385_32bbb7f91c_zIn April, more than 380 dental students from across the country united in Washington. Students met with legislators and lobbied for the Action for Dental Health Act. H.R. 539 is a bipartisan supported bill introduced to Congress by Representative Robin Kelly from Illinois. If passed, the bill would allow nonprofit organizations to qualify for oral health grants administered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These grants could be used to support several programs outlined within the ADA Action for Dental Health initiative.