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Cavity Prevention Programs Could Soon Be Commonplace Within U.S. Schools

Currently, there are at least 20% of Americans with one or more untreated cavities. Though dental issues certainly progress as an individual ages, childhood cavities are the most prevalent.

Luckily, thanks to some New York University researchers, there could soon be cavity prevention programs implemented across U.S. schools that will help quell some youth dental concerns.

According to NYU, school-based prevention problems have been shown to substantially reduce youth cavity rates, and certain treatments have been found to be far more effective than others.

NYU’s College of Dentistry published a new study in BMC Oral Health suggesting that cavity prevention problems involving a combination of prevention strategies works the best in order to prevent tooth decay and cavities compared to one specific form of treatment.

“Given the high variability in school-based programs to prevent cavities, comparing the effectiveness of different prevention agents, frequency of care, or intensity of treatment can lead to optimal program design,” said Ryan Richard Ruff, MPH, PhD, and assistant professor of Epidemiology and Health Promotion at NYU Dentistry and lead author of the new study.

In October of last year, the NYU College of Dentistry received $2.8 million (as part of a $9.8 million grant) in order to stop the progression of cavities in children.

“Early childhood cavities are preventable, yet once they are established and left untreated they can have severe consequences on the health and wellness of both the affected children and the families that care for them,” added Amr M. Moursi, DDS, PhD, and chair of the NYU’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

The school-based cavity prevention research was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The cavity prevention programs will begin in schools during the fall of 2018.