Latex Glove Ban Proposed in the United States

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Latex Glove Ban Proposed - US

A ban on powdered latex gloves has been proposed by the United State’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency explained its stance, citing the powder used to make the gloves easier to pull on and off as causing: “an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to health-care providers, patients and other individuals who are exposed to them.”

Allergic reactions to latex can be severe, and there is currently no cure for this particular allergy. The dangers of latex gloves have been recorded by the FDS since 1997, with the recent announcement of the proposition for the ban being met with criticism of slow progress.

Use of powdered latex gloves has generally been on a decline in the US over recent years, with many practices voluntarily replacing them with allergen-free alternatives. In theUK, a similar migration away from latex can be seen in dental and GP surgeries, and institutions such as Great Ormond Street Hospital banning all latex products completely.

The FDA, for only the second time ever, wants to ban a medical device. Here’s why [via the Washington Post]

Reverse Tooth Damage with Preventative Oral Care

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Reverse Tooth Damage

A seven-year study undertaken by the University of Sydney has concluded that non-invasive and preventative oral care can help to reverse tooth damage.

The study discovered that dental decay can be stopped, reversed and prevented by “no-drill” techniques. Such dental care reduced the need for fillings by 30-50%.

Lead author of the study, Wendell Evans, Associate Professor Wendell Evans of the University of Sydney , said: “For a long time it was believed that tooth decay was a rapidly progressive phenomenon and the best way to manage it was to identify early decay and remove it immediately in order to prevent a tooth surface from breaking up into cavities. After removing the decay, the affected tooth is then restored with a filling material – this process is sometimes referred to as ‘drilling and filling’.”

Whilst the report is tailored towards Australian dentists, its findings are universal for dental practices and patients alike. Reversing tooth damage requires early discovery and treatment of decay before cavities form. Four major points have been highlighted:

  • Application of high concentration fluoride varnish by dentists to the sites of early decay
  • Attention to home tooth brushing skills
  • Restriction of between-meal snacks and beverages containing added sugar
  • Risk-specific monitoring

It may seem obvious, but the results are clear. Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, having a good oral care routine, and regular visits to the dentist can help to reverse tooth damage and prevent invasive procedures.

Professor Evans also highlighted the need for dental care by patients themselves in the report’s conclusion: “The reduced decay risk and reduced need for fillings was understandably welcomed by patients. However, patients play an important role in their treatment. This treatment will need a partnership between dentists and patients to be most successful.”

‘No-drill’ dentistry stops tooth decay, says research [via The University of Sydney]

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

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Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

Fear of visiting the dentist or dental procedures is a common phobia which can lead to poor oral health. As with many things in life – there are apps to help you with this particular problem. We’ve found some of the best to help you deal with dental phobia.

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Dental PhobiaDental Phobia (iOS) [download]

Designed to give people with dental phobia all the information that they need, Dental Phobia is a comprehensive trove of information which aims to help people overcome their fears through information, not gimmicks. Contents range from detailing dental phobia and providing coping strategies, to in-depth and approachable explanations of the process of sedation, oral procedures and intravenous (IV).

The app also provides the ability to contact qualified dental professionals to get answers to any questions that may arise. Most importantly, the app has very good reviews from its users, proving that knowledge can be a very powerful tool in overcoming their dental phobia.

 

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Dental ExpertDental Expert (iOS) [download]

Another comprehensive collection of information which aims to provide approachable information, Dental Expert is designed for patients and also children.

The variety and depth of the information, illustrations and diagrams serve a similar purpose as Dental Phobia by allowing people to use information to overcome their fears and anxieties.

The app features extensive information on all aspects of dental care, such as how to choose a dentist, guides to nutrition, and details of various dental procedures. It’s an excellent app for information which can help overcome dental phobia.

 

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Mouth and TeethMouth & Teeth (iOS) [download]

Whilst it is more functional in appearance than the previous two apps, Mouth & Teeth is just as packed with useful information which helps to inform patients and help them use information to overcome any anxiety from dental procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

For further reading, check out our own guide for how to overcome dental phobia and anxiety:

How to Overcome Dental Fear – Part One

How to Overcome Dental Fear – Part Two

How to Build Better Habits for Oral Health

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How to Build Better Habits for Oral Health

Sometimes you have to go back to basics, so we’ve put together a guide on how to build better habits for oral health. Whether you need to floss more regularly, make regular appointments with your dentist, or keep a schedule for daily brushing, we’ve got some handy tips and tricks to keep you on course to making a better routine a daily habit.

Set your goal(s), and set them up

Consider what it is about your oral care routine that you wish to improve, or what your dentist may have recommended you do. Do you need to improve the way you brush your teeth? Do you floss at least once a day? Are you drinking enough water? Do you get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals via food or supplements? Whatever your goals, the first action is to acknowledge them and then make the first steps to achieving them. Buy a new toothbrush, dental floss, or any other supplies you will need to make this crucial initial step.

Train your brain

The aim of establishing any good habit is to train your brain into making the new routine normal. There’s no magic number for making a new habit, despite many reports of it taking 21 to 66 days respectively. In order to do this, it may be worth setting reminders on your phone, or use an app to keep track of your habits. Other tricks include setting up everything you need before you need it – keeping floss and supplements where you will actually use them will give you less of a reason to break your new routine.

Keep going and reflect

Setting up reminders to occur daily, then weekly, then monthly can be a great way to keep yourself in check. Eventually,you shouldn’t need the reminders as your new habit becomes daily routine. If you are using reminders, set one up for yourself on a distant date to congratulate yourself on your progress!

Oral Cancer Communication Guide Developed

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Oral Cancer Communication Guide Developed

King’s College London’s Dental Institute has researched and piloted an oral cancer communication guide to help dentists talk to their patients about what can be a difficult subject.

Prior to the pilot of the oral cancer communication guide, researchers found that many dentists were low in confidence when it came to broaching the subject of oral cancer to their patients. Despite oral cancer checks being routinely carried out during regular dental appointments, many dentists avoided the topic altogether. King’s College developed the pilot program aimed to reverse this reluctance. 41 dentists were invited to the King’s College lecture theatre to take part in a training session which included: “a brief update on oral cancer, an introduction to the oral cancer communication guide, and learning activities and chances to practise using the guide through roleplay and feedback.”

The session has been deemed a success, with an increase from the dentists taking part reporting an increase in confidence. The number of dentists informing patients they were being checked for signs of oral cancer increased from 16% to 44% after the training.

“The guide includes key messages in an easy-to-follow format. It is not intended to be used as a script, but rather to be used as a guide for interactive discussions about symptoms, the importance of early detection, and when and where to seek help should symptoms occur,” explains Professor Tim Newton, co-author of the study.  “Highlighting the need for training in this area, this study has shown that the training sessions had a positive impact on the dentists’ self-reported behaviour and indicates a positive response to the guide as well.”

Study shows that specialist training guide for dentists can aid communications about oral cancer with patients [via King’s College London]

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