Our Priorities in Preventing Cavities

Preschool_in_a_CircleWe agree about the need to prevent cavities, but how much more important is it to prevent cavities in children? Perhaps one of the most important groups to target with prevention are children with disabilities – those with compromised health or physical disabilities. Included in this group should be kids who are adopted and or who live in foster care. These children often have special social needs and should not have to endure additional burdens from painful cavities.

About half a million children in America live in foster care and a recent report indicates many of these children do not visit a doctor or dentist regularly. The error of the report is that it equates a lack of visiting to resultant health problems. The conclusion of the report is that health care providers must refer more children for dental and medical care. This will not end their problems – since no dentist in the world can stop dental disease.

Far more important, but less politically correct, is the idea of teaching families who welcome adopted or foster children into their homes, how to prevent cavities with xylitol. If they simply wipe erupting teeth with xylitol granules or eat a few delicious mints or gum each day at the end of meals, they can reduce the incidence of cavities by 98%.

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Turku sugar studies. V. Final report on the effect of sucrose, fructose and xylitol diets on the caries incidence in man. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/795260

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