Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Dental Download: December 5, 2014

This week we learned that  kids  from lower income families are getting preventive dental care but less treatment, we discussed the importance of South Carolina’s decision to expand its Medicaid adult dental plan, and found out that 100 percent fruit juice does not promote cavities in infant teeth. Don’t forget to check out our new blog series, Why it Matters to Me. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1. HHS report: Poor kids getting more preventive dental care, less treatment: According to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), poor children received more preventive dental care but less overall treatment in 2013. All children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP (about 45 million children in 2013) have coverage for dental and oral health services. Despite considerable progress in pediatric oral healthcare in recent years, tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic diseases among children. The rate for preventive dental services increased from 45 percent to 48 percent, compared with 2011, but the rate for dental treatment services decreased slightly from 24 percent to 23 percent in the same period.

2. New study: Pure fruit juice does not promote caries in infant teeth: It is widely believed that unrestricted consumption of acidic beverages, such as juices and soft drinks, can cause dental caries (tooth decay). However, a new study conducted by dental researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has suggested that consumption of 100 percent fruit juice is not associated with early childhood caries in preschool-age children.

3. APHA 2014: Educating parents about dental care improved kids’ toothbrushing rates: Preventing tooth decay requires more than just regular dental care – it requires active management at home. Researchers from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Louisiana State University Shreveport studied the effectiveness of in-depth parental dental education and its influence on their knowledge and dental health practices of their children. The study found that educating parents about oral hygiene does have a positive effect on their children's oral hygiene practices.

4. Matthews: Medicaid’s new dental plan will improve overall health: DentaQuest South Carolina’s dental director, Rebekah Mathews wrote an editorial that was featured in The State. This week South Carolina began its expanded Medicaid adult dental plan. Mathews explains, “South Carolina’s Medicaid adult dental program now emphasizes prevention. That’s important because dental problems — cavities and gum disease — are largely preventable if caught early. Eligible adults can receive up to $750 per fiscal year in dental services to get the restorative care they need and the prevention services they previously lacked. Having dental benefits is a key factor in an individual’s ability to live a healthy, successful life.”