Almost any parent can attest that one of their biggest battles is fighting to prevent cavities and tooth decay in their children. Considering how much most children love sugar and sweets and how little they care for brushing their teeth, the battle can be a ferocious one. However, the fight against tooth decay is taking some steps forward over in New Zealand.
A new study by the researchers at the University of Auckland and AUT aims to arm parents against cavities. The researchers followed approximately 260 children from the time they were in the womb until 6 months old, in order to determine whether those given regular doses of Vitamin D had better dental health. In order to rule out any outside variables, the mothers will be asked about their children’s dietary habits.
The researchers have based their study on those conducted in the 1930’s and 1940’s indicating Vitamin D had helped prevent and fight cavities. The study aims to bring the research into a modern age to see if it’s still applicable. Supporting the research is a recent study conducted in Canada that found that individuals with lower Vitamin D levels tending to have more cavities.
Further assisting the fight against cavities is another study conducted by Otago University researchers. The Otago researchers are aiming to discover whether the Hall method of cavity treatment is more erective than the current widely used practice. Currently, cavities are generally treated by removing the decayed portion of the tooth by drilling it out and then filling the void. The Hall technique changes this up by simply placing a crown or stainless cap on the tooth in order to seal the decay in. Whereas filling often need to be replaced, no further treatment is required once a cap is placed.
The study will be conducted amongst approximately 776 children, half of which will be given a traditional filling and the other half of which will be given caps to treat cavities. A feasibility study conducted over the past year determined that the suggested Hall method was well-received by children and practical for dentists to use.
Each of these studies is being given a $100,000 grant by CureKids in order to push the research along. The goal of CureKids is to help fund projects and medical studies that they believe can help children.
These two studies can provide valuable insight into what it takes to keep kids free of cavities. In the meanwhile, regular tooth brushing, a healthy diet, and regular dental check-ups can go a long way in maintaining optimal oral health.