A new study of children prone to caries reports that regular oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) was insufficient to manage oral health. The study found that diet had to be changed for these high risk children to get better.

The Prevora controlled studies of high risk adults found a similar situation. The vast majority of study participants had daily brushing habits with fluoride toothpaste, yet they also had high levels of tooth decay. In one study, it was because of medication-induced xerostomia (other chronic diseases), and in the other study, it was because they had deep-seated dysbiosis (as evidenced by a high level of recurrent decay).

In this regard, I wonder if the dental team needs to move beyond the singular messaging around oral hygiene, as reported repeatedly on Twitter. The drum beat of brushing and flossing ignores the reality of why groups in our community have poor oral health.

In our Facebook campaign in Hamilton, I am often struck by how much the community really wants to know what causes cavities and gum disease, and what can be done about it. This social media campaign avoids the (tiresome) brushing and flossing message. Most everyone knows about it, and indeed, most everyone practices it.

 

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