271871 Attack of the S. Mutans

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 5:15 PM - 5:18 PM

Kim Herremans, RDH, MS , Hillsborough County Health Department, Community Dental Health Program, Florida Department of Health, Tampa, FL
Research has shown that there is a higher evidence of untreated dental caries in lower socioeconomic and minority children than children in living a higher income home. It has also been shown that having tooth decay in early childhood dramatically increases a child's risk of having tooth decay in the future. Some studies have found that educating women about decreasing various caries risk factors in their children can decrease the chance of their child developing dental caries.

The cariogenic bacteria that cause decay can be transmitted from a parent or other caregiver to an infant or child through saliva. Therefore, it is important that parents and other caregivers practice good oral hygiene and avoid behaviors that could transmit S. mutans to an infant or child.

The target audience for this PSA is young parents or caregivers in various minority populations. This PSA provides an overview of tooth decay and the role of Streptococcus mutans' (S. mutans') in the caries process. The PSA further explains how a parent or other caregiver can “infect” an infant or child with the S. mutan bacteria through saliva sharing activities such as licking a spoon or pacifier before using on the child. The PSA gives a brief overview of how the bacteria reacts with certain foods and becomes acidic causing cavities or “holes” in the teeth, which can become painful if left untreated. The PSA then goes on to explain how brushing and flossing twice daily can help reduce the chance of a caries infection.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the bacteria that causes tooth decay. 2. Describe how cariogenic bacteria can be transmitted from parent or caregiver to a child. 3. Explain specific methods that can be utilized to reduce the incidence of cariogenic bacteria in a child

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a Dental Health Consultant for the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, focusing on coordination of dental serves and education for underserved, vulnerable populations. My community dental health programs concentrate on early caries intervention with WIC clients and children in Head Start.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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