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Oral Care for the Developmentally Disabled can be Better

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Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found that of the ?808 caregivers who were polled in Massachusetts, 85% of the developmentally disabled received some kind of assistance with cleaning their teeth. The data showed 79% brushed twice daily. But only 22% flossed daily and 45% never flossed.?

The study also found that 63% of caregivers said, ?behavioral issues adversely affected their ability to provide oral care.?

"Oral health disparities among people with developmental disabilities are a significant public health issue," said senior author Aviva Must, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine to Medical News Today.  "We were surprised to find that, while 71.6% of paid caregivers who participated in our study reported having received formal group training in oral health care, only 6.4% of family caregivers reported the same. Given the vital role that caregivers play in promoting good oral health in this population, we need to ensure that all receive the guidance and support they need to be effective."

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