Candy Hearts Guessing Contest

TODAY: Toothbrushes Among Household Items That Need Replacing.

Today Show Online (1/17) discusses how often “six common household items,” including toothbrushes, need to be replaced. TODAY states that “old and frayed” toothbrushes do not clean teeth as well, noting the ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months. TODAY adds “the ADA also advises that children’s toothbrushes typically need to be replaced more often than adult brushes,” encouraging people to “keep a regular eye” on their toothbrush bristles and “update accordingly.”

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on toothbrush care for patients and for dental professionals. In addition, the ADA provides a list of toothbrushes with theADA Seal of Acceptance.

JADA Editor Discusses Role Of Genetics In Dental Caries.

The Wall Street Journal (1/13, Mitchell, Subscription Publication) reported that DNA may be one of the factors contributing to dental caries, according to Dr. Michael Glick, editor of The Journal of the American Dental Association. Dr. Glick says some studies suggest genetics could increase the chances of having primary-tooth caries by up to 64 percent, although it is unclear which part of the cavity-forming process genetics affects. Dr. Glick says genetics may impact the way tooth enamel is formed. Some studies also suggest people may inherit having a sweet tooth. However, separating out the impact on cavity development from a high-sugar diet versus a genetic predisposition is difficult, Dr. Glick says. Even if a person has a cavity gene, evidence shows it is not possible to get cavities without sugar. To prevent dental caries, Dr. Glick recommends reducing sugar consumption, practicing good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, and using sealants.

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

UK Dentists: Prevent Health Problems By Ending Office “Cake Culture.”

CNBC (1/3, Reid) reports that UK dentists are calling for an end to the office “cake culture,” saying sugary sweets contribute to health problems, such as tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity. In a statement released Tuesday, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in London identified the workplace as one of the primary places where people consume sugar each day. “We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits,” said Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The Daily Mail (1/3) reports that Professor Hunt said, “Managers want to reward staff for their efforts, colleagues want to celebrate special occasions and workers want to bring back a gift from their holidays.” However, “while these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” said Professor Hunt.

The Independent (UK) (1/3, Sharman) reports the Faculty of Dental Surgery provided several tips to help reduce sugar intake in the workplace, such as limiting portion sizes, opting for low-sugar alternatives, and placing sweet treats in a location where they are less accessible and visible.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on how food affects dental health.