Supertooth and Good Food Friends www.supertoothndk.org Maurice White BDSc Melb 87 Lewis Rd Food and Oral Hygiene Wantirna Sth 3152 Dental Research Ph: 03 9887 1933 Mob: 0403 0406 11 Dental health education, food and oral hygiene products need to be reviewed Even with the benefit of fluoridation, dental health education and a foreign owned $340 million oral hygiene industry in Australia, Tooth Decay is still the most common disease with the economic impact of heart disease and diabetes. The Rudd Government has allocated $780 million for dental treatment. Not prevention. Yet decay is easy to prevent. Over 11 million people suffer new decay each year Four-fold increase in decay between 12 and 21 Over 38% of Australians have untreated decay There is a need for better dental health education, convenient tooth friendly foods and oral hygiene products that decrease acid demineralization from cariogenic food left on teeth after eating and increase remineralisation. Plaque1. that changes carbohydrate like sugar to acid, is easy to see on tooth surfaces with red food dye. Even with poor oral hygiene few cavities occur here,2. where the brush, toothpaste and saliva have easy access to remove food, reduce resident plaque, neutralize acid and remineralise demineralised tooth. Most food is trapped between teeth, yet over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures3. in back teeth where acid demineralization results from food left trapped under chewing pressure. www.ndk.biz/red 1. 2. 3. 4. Dentists halt the progression of tooth decay and potential cavities with fillings and fissure sealants that prevent food being trapped and changed to acid demineralisation. Supertooth experiments include a simple glass model of a tooth 4. that replicates how chewing forces food between teeth and inside pits and fissures displacing previously trapped food where the brush cannot reach. Some foods like confection are hard to displace. Chewing special sugarless confection before eating can act like fissure sealants. Chewing the confection after eating can displace any trapped meal or snack that may be cariogenic. Chewing celery after eating helps saliva dilute trapped sugar, neutralize acid and remineralise tooth. A serious review of dental health education could develop a better new Australian owned oral hygiene industry with novel evidence based food and oral hygiene products that help reduce tooth decay and even gain a significant share of the $25 billion global oral hygiene market. Government should provide incentives for confection and fast food industries to develop a sugarless sealant confection to chew before and after eating especially with a project like Supertooth and Good Food Friends to help communities develop skills to prevent tooth decay. Also new chewy toothbrush design is needed to force fluoride toothpaste inside pits and fissures under chewing pressure before brushing. Supermarkets have home brand confection and oral hygiene products that can also be reformulated to work with Supertooth and promote fresh foods and healthy eating in store and at local schools so cariogenic food is not left on teeth after eating.