Oral health: prevention of dental disease.

Good oral health is integral to optimum overall health. Unfortunately, almost one-fourth of the US population has untreated dental caries, and most individuals do not seek or have access to regular dental care. Untreated dental disease can cause or exacerbate chronic medical conditions, lead to unnecessary pain, and increase costs to the medical system. Risk factors for poor dental health include diets high in sugar, inappropriate bottle feeding of infants, and low fluoride levels in the community's water supply. Regular and thorough tooth brushing with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice daily can help keep teeth healthy. Routine use of fluoride varnishes on primary teeth, along with fluoride supplementation when concentrations in the primary water supply are inadequate, can help prevent caries. Dental care visits at professionally determined risk-based intervals can lead to improved oral health by preventing new and mitigating existing dental disease. Avoidance or cessation of tobacco use also is recommended.
AuthorsAndrea Ildiko Martonffy
JournalFP essentials (FP Essent) Vol. 428 Pg. 11-5 (Jan 2015) ISSN: 2159-3000 [Print] United States
PMID25594449 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
CopyrightWritten permission from the American Academy of Family Physicians is required for reproduction of this material in whole or in part in any form or medium.

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