Thursday, July 12, 2012

About cavities: my aha moment

My interest in obesity control really started as an interest for cavity control sparked by Catherine Saint Louis article in the NYT on March 6.
I remember I had a similar aha moment for tobacco control when I read in France in 1986 an article that was explaining the risks of secondhand smoke for non-smokers. What Catherine Saint Louis wrote about, young children having to have surgery with complete anesthesia because they had too many cavities to be taken care of, was for me so shocking I felt compelled to "do something" about it. After a few months of researching I am still very surprised that the cavity angle looks very much understated and underestimated when it should -in my opinion- be at the very front of the obesity-control advocacy initiatives and campaigns. Why? Because it focuses on young children (and their parents, grand-parents) and targets very effectively the soft/juice drinks. Frankly I cannot imagine a worst case scenario for the industry so I think obesity-control advocates should systematically use this angle and stories about it. Catherine Saint Louis article should be available in any dentist waiting room and I think many dentists would disseminate it. I know my personal dentist had read it and he was not surprised as -unfortunately- his personal experience was very similar.
Strangely, this article was not republished in the local Seattle Times despite the fact the main story was taking place in Seattle.
Advocacy wise we/you should never forget the dentist network and stories about cavities. Never.
Look at this call by Irish dentists for health warnings on soft drinks. Baby Tooth Decay!

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