Cavity Risk Assessment

Cigna Dental Cavity Risk Assessment Tool


Tooth decay (often referred to as cavities) is the most common chronic disease of children and adolescents.1 In fact, it's four times more common than asthma in adolescent-age children.1 Also, many adults have tooth decay (e.g., with 9 out of 10 over the age of 20 having some degree of tooth-root decay).1


This risk assessment tool is designed to help you and your dentist identify factors that might increase your risk for cavities. Take the quiz by clicking on the link below and share the results with your dentist at your next dental check-up.


Please note that this tool serves to provide a guideline as to your risk for cavities. It is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis and discuss your oral health.


Take the Quiz



1Hygiene Related Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, December 2014

References:

"Guideline on Caries-risk Assessment and Management for Infants, Children, and Adolescents," American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Council on Clinical Affairs. Adopted 2002; revised 2014. Assessing patients' caries risk." Journal of the American Dental Association. Margherita Fontana, DDS, Phd; Domenick T. Zero, DDS, MS. September 2006, Vol. 137, pgs. 1231-1239.

The American Dental Association Caries Classification System for Clinical Practice: A report of the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs, Douglas A. Young, Brian B. Nový, Gregory G. Zeller, Robert Hale, Thomas C. Hart, Edmond L. Truelove, and others. The Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol. 146, Issue 2, p. 79-86 Published in issue: February 2015.


 


Patient Name: Age: Date:



Question and Facts about Dental Health

 

For Adults and Children:


How often do you visit your dentist ?
Regular dental visits allow the dentist to help prevent and/or treat tooth decay at an earlier stage

How often do you brush your teeth each day ?
Frequent tooth brushing is an important part of protecting your teeth from cavities. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste3

How often do you floss between your teeth ?
Use of dental floss or other special types of cleaners between your teeth also helps to prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day.

Do you use fluoride toothpaste ?
Using toothpaste that contains fluoride helps to reduce the risk for cavities.

Have you had cavities in the past ?
Patients who have had cavities in the past are more likely to have them in the future.

How long has it been since your last cavity ?
Development of new or recent cavities indicates active disease and potential for more cavities.

How many times daily do you eat sugary foods (such as candy, soda, cookies, cake, or juice) between meals ?
Sugary foods and drinks increase acid production by bacteria that causes cavities. That doesn't mean that you can never enjoy these types of foods; but you should limit sugary foods and drinks between meals to reduce additional acid exposure to your teeth.

Do you wear braces, orthodontic appliances, or partial dentures ?
Wearing braces, appliances, and/or partial dentures may trap plaque on your teeth and also makes it difficult to brush and floss which increases your risk for tooth decay.

Does your mouth often feel dry (not enough saliva) ?
A dry mouth makes a person more prone to cavities. If you have a dry mouth, please ask your dentist about ways to increase the moisture in your mouth.

Do you have special health care needs, especially, any which limit your ability to care for your teeth and gums ?
People with special health care needs may require assistance to maintain their oral health.

Do you use chewing gum, mints, or other products that contain Xylitol ?
Clinical studies have shown that regular use of products containing Xylitol, a natural sweetener may actually help to reduce cavities.

Have you had sealants placed on your teeth ?
Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep grooves and pits to prevent decay. Consult with your dentist to see if sealants are appropriate for you or your child.

2Oral Health Mouth Healthy, accessed November 2015





Additional Questions for Children Under the age of 12.


Does the child's parent, primary caregiver, or siblings have cavities ?
Children have an increased risk for cavities if their parents, caregiver, and/or siblings have them.

Does the child sleep with a baby bottle that contains milk or juice ?
Baby bottle syndrome occurs when a baby is allowed to sleep with a bottle filled with any liquid that contains any form of sugar. Milk, fruit juice, and soda contain sugar that can cause a baby's teeth to decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends avoiding nursing children to sleep with anything other than water in their bedtime bottle.

Does the child live in a community that has fluoridated water ?
Drinking water that contains fluoride helps to protect teeth from tooth decay.

Does the child take fluoride supplements or use fluoride rinses ?
Fluoride supplements may be prescribed for children living in areas with little or no water fluoridation to prevent cavities.



please print this page and share it with your dentist at your next dental check-up


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Patient Name: Age: Date: Score:
 
Low Risk
-10 to 0
Low to Moderate Risk
1 to 5
Moderate Risk
6 to 10
High Risk
11 or greater
 
How often do you visit your dentist ?
Regular dental visits allow the dentist to help prevent and/or treat tooth decay at an earlier stage
How often do you brush your teeth each day ?
Frequent tooth brushing is an important part of protecting your teeth from cavities. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste2
How often do you floss between your teeth ?
Use of dental floss or other special types of cleaners between your teeth also helps to prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day.
Do you use fluoride toothpaste ?
Using toothpaste that contains fluoride helps to reduce the risk for cavities.
Have you had cavities in the past ?
Patients who have had cavities in the past are more likely to have them in the future.
How long has it been since your last cavity ?
Development of new or recent cavities indicates active disease and potential for more cavities.
How many times daily do you eat sugary foods (such as candy, soda, cookies, cake, or juice) between meals ?
Sugary foods and drinks increase acid production by bacteria that causes cavities. That does not mean that you can never eat these types of foods; but you should limit eating sugary foods and drinks particularly between meals to reduce additional acid exposure to your teeth.
Do you wear braces, orthodontic appliances, or partial dentures ?
Wearing braces, appliances, and/or partial dentures may trap plaque on your teeth and also makes it difficult to brush and floss which increases your risk for tooth decay.
Does your mouth often feel dry (not enough saliva) ?
A dry mouth makes a person more prone to cavities. If you have a dry mouth, please ask your dentist about ways to increase the moisture in your mouth.
Do you have special health care needs, especially, any which limit your ability to care for your teeth and gums ?
People with special health care needs may require assistance to maintain their oral health.
Do you use chewing gum, mints, or other products that contain Xylitol ?
Clinical studies have shown that regular use of products containing Xylitol, a natural sweetener may actually help to reduce cavities.
Have you had sealants placed on your teeth ?
Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep grooves and pits to prevent decay. Consult with your dentist to see if sealants are appropriate for you or your child.

Does the child's parent, primary caregiver, or siblings have cavities ?
Children have an increased risk for cavities if their parents, caregiver, and/or siblings have them.
Does the child sleep with a baby bottle that contains milk or juice ?
Baby bottle syndrome occurs when a baby is allowed to sleep with a bottle filled with any liquid that contains any form of sugar. Milk, fruit juice, and soda contain sugar that can cause a baby's teeth to decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends avoiding nursing children to sleep with anything other than water in their bedtime bottle4.
Does the child live in a community that has fluoridated water ?
Drinking water that contains fluoride helps to protect teeth from tooth decay.
Does the child take fluoride supplements or use fluoride rinses ?
Fluoride supplements may be prescribed for children living in areas with little or no water fluoridation to prevent cavities.
 

Source:
2 Oral Health Mouth Healthy, accessed November 2015;

 

This tool is for informational purposes only and intended to promote consumer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper dental care provided by a dentist. Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied in this document. Always consult with your doctor or dentist for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations.

All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna HealthCare of Connecticut, Inc., and Cigna Dental Health, Inc. and its subsidiaries. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc.