Evidence Indicates Children Strongly Benefit From Sealants

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The ADA News (7/25, Manchir) reports that the August edition of The Journal of the American Dental Association contains a systematic review of the use of sealants as well as clinical practice guidelines that have been updated as a result of that review, which indicate the benefit of using sealants to prevent and manage occlusal caries in children and adolescents. “The guidelines show that sealants are more effective in managing pit and fissure caries than fluoride treatments, such as varnish,” said the article’s lead author, Dr. John Timothy Wright. “They also show that benefits are obtained by the variety of materials currently marketed in the United States for sealant use (e.g. resin based materials, glass ionomer materials, polyacid-modified resin, and resin-modified glass ionomers).” According to the article, the analysis indicated that children treated with sealants have about a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the incidence of occlusal caries compared with children that do not receive sealants.

The ADA Catalog offers three illustrated handouts to help explain sealant benefits to patients: the brochure “Dental Sealants: Protecting Teeth, Preventing Decay,” (W291); the mini-brochure “Seal Out Decay” (W191); and the “Sealants Quick Reference,” a two-sided card (W276).

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on sealants.

ADA Spokesperson Discusses Biggest Cavity Myth

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A consumer-directed video on the Business Insider (7/21) website features American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discussing dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires more extensive treatment at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. The best thing to do, Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on caries for dental professionals and for patients.

People Encouraged To Plan Ahead For Healthcare Expenses In Retirement

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US News & World Report (7/20, Reiss) states that mitigating potential health care expenses before retirement can make all the difference. In a list of six tips for future retirees to protect their retirement nest eggs from sky-high medical bills, the article recommends people start by understanding the system. For example, individuals can select Medicare Advantage, which allows companies regulated by Medicare to cover dental care, eye exams and other medical services.

The Jackson (TN) Sun (7/19, Thomas) added that one of the biggest questions for retirees is whether to sign up for the original Medicare plan or an Advantage Plan. According to the article, Medicare Advantage bundles services and costs and might offer some extra benefits like vision and dental coverage but include some restrictions.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on paying for dental care after retirement.