Berkeley, CA–(HISPANIC RP WIRE)–August 17, 2005–Cavities are the single most prevalent chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever(1). More than 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten(2) and over half of California children ages 6 to 8 have untreated cavities(3). Fortunately, there are easy steps that parents can take to prevent cavities in children, including one that may be as easy as opening the fridge.
A newly released clinical research summary authored at the UCLA School of Dentistry on milk and oral health finds what many dentists have known for years: that milk helps build strong teeth and may help to prevent tooth decay(4). “Milk has the right ingredients for promoting dental health,” stresses Dr. Dennis W. Hobby, president-elect of the California Dental Association (CDA). “Besides calcium, milk contains multiple proteins critical for oral health, like casein which prevents cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to the tooth surface, as well as antibacterials that promote oral health overall.”
Not everything eaten is created equal when it comes to preventing cavities, say dentists. Consumption of soft drinks, like sodas and popular energy drinks, especially the prolonged contact of these substances with teeth, are major risk factors in the development of cavities.
“Parents need to mandate milk” says Jeff Manning, executive director, California Milk Processor Board (CMPB). “Substitute milk for that soda or sports drink and you’ll be a lot happier at check up time.”
While drinking the recommended daily servings of milk may help to prevent cavities, it is not a substitute for regular dental check-ups. And, infants should not drink cow’s milk before 12 months of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that every child receive an infant oral exam when their first tooth erupts which is around 6 months of age and have established routine dental care by 12 months of age. “Milk is a great drink for teeth,” continues Dr. Hobby. “Along with brushing and flossing, drinking milk is an easy way of maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.”
About the CMPB
The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of GOT MILK? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. GOT MILK? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. GOT MILK? gifts and recipes can be viewed at http://www.gotmilk.com. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
About the CDA
The California Dental Association (CDA) is the nonprofit organization representing the dental profession in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is the largest and highest profile constituent of the American Dental Association. CDA contributes to the dental health of consumers in California through various, comprehensive programs aimed at improving dental health. CDA’s membership consists of more than 20,000 dentists and is the trusted source for dental information. For more information, visit http://www.cda.org.
1. US Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health; 2000
2. Pierce KM, Rozier RG, Vann WF Jr. Accuracy of pediatric primary care providers’ screening and referral for early childhood caries. Pediatrics. 2002; 109(5). Available at: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/109/5/e82
3. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), CDC, NCHS; Oral Health (http://www.healthypeople.gov/document/html/volume2/21oral.htm)
4. Milk and Oral Health White Paper. Dr. Justin Merritt, Research Scientist, Oral Biology, UCLA School of Dentistry, Dr. Fengxia Qi, Assistant Professor, Oral Biology, UCLA School of Dentistry and Dr. Wenyuan Shi, Professor and Chair, Oral Biology, UCLA School of Dentistry
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