July 5, 2019

Two faculty members at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health are part of the team behind a new educational video about improving oral health in children. The team is called “Brushing Is Fun, Start By Age 1” (BIF1), and their video is designed to inform parents, child care staff and health care providers about a new therapy called silver diamine fluoride (SDF).

Dr. Gary Rozier

Dr. Gary Rozier

Dr. Alex White

Dr. Alex White

“Silver diamine fluoride is an inexpensive, safe and effective way to stop tooth decay and protect teeth,” the team announced in a video press release. “Used internationally for decades, it has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry since 2017. Painless, convenient and affordable, SDF is painted on teeth with cavities in just minutes to stop the progression of tooth decay, thus avoiding dreaded and expensive restorative and surgical dental treatment in young children.”

According to Alex White, DDS, DrPH, associate professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School, it’s a video whose time has come.

“There’s not a lot of education — and definitely not many videos — about SDF,” he said. “This video educates parents, health care providers and dentists, in both English and Spanish, about a relatively new therapeutic tool for arresting the growth of cavities.”

For Richard Gary Rozier, DDS, emeritus professor of health policy and management, highlighting new therapeutics is an important part of the team’s multidimensional strategies to address dental disease in children, which is five times more common than asthma.

“Our mission is to develop resources and guidelines to promote access to oral health information and effective oral health services,”  he said. “This video is an important part of our message. Good oral health in children requires the integration of oral health into medical, dental and social services programs, with the end goal of everyone in the state of North Carolina practicing good self-care and having access to preventive oral health services.”

The video is available — both in English and Spanish — at toothtalk.org. Toothtalk.org is a clearinghouse of handy resources, up-to-date expert answers to frequently asked questions and short videos designed to help invested stakeholders support parents in protecting kids’ healthy smiles.

BIF1 is a collaboration of UNC-Chapel Hill and the N.C. Division of Public Health Oral Health Section. BIF1 and ToothTalk.org are funded by The Duke Endowment through the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation. A Gillings School alumna, Bhavna Pahel, DDS, PhD, is featured in the video as she applies silver diamine fluoride treatment to a young patient’s teeth.

Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@listserv.unc.edu.

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