Supertooth STEM Project 2
Tooth decay is still the most common global disease, affecting almost everyone where acid demineralisation of teeth exceeds remineralisation, mostly where food is trapped on teeth and brushing can’t reach.
More than 530 million children (1/4 of all children) and 2.8 billion people (35% of the global population), suffer from untreated dental cavities, almost everyone else has had sealants, fillings or extractions and even dentures or bridges to replace missing teeth.
Over 80% of cavities occur deep inside pit and fissure faults in back teeth where food is trapped, brushing can't reach and resident plaque bacteria change sugars to acid.
Dentists prevent these cavities by placing costly sealants over chewing surfaces to block food being trapped there, but can’t help everyone, not even a third of children.
This indicates that simple personal sealant technology to block food being trapped or left on teeth should be the major focus of tooth care advice in all oral health promotion with pre school and STEM school projects with the potential to prevent decay for everyone.
Also, Oral Health STEM education should be in all schools with glass models of a fissure that replicate how chewing forces the first bite of most food inside these faults, including cheese that blocks access for more food like chocolate and has the potential to prevent most decay for everyone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpRtLx3WEiA
Sealant quality is enhanced and extended by adding insoluble salt particles like calcium carbonate that bond together and to tooth, neutralise acid and aid remineralisation, replicated in STEM education by demineralizing eggshells in vinegar and remineralisation that bonds the shells together. https://youtu.be/Sigos79DGJg
The lack of adequate quality oral health data for all age groups and real time access to a national database of standardized dental records with annual surveys that can compare with the many small and occasional larger surveys, currently result in poor policy and tooth care advice resulting in the need to spend more on treatment.
We hope every country implements a national database for dental heath records like the one we are developing on www.supertooth.org/data-collection which helps individuals understand how dentists record oral health and can ask their dentists for a printout or an email with the dental chart that helps improve their dental health literacy and interest in maintaining their oral health.
Maurice White BDSc