Friday, March 7, 2014
This week, students receive free dental care and preventive tips from the DentaQuest Oral Health Center, we learn about how the mouth is the window to overall health, find out what kind of bacteria gave our ancestors gum disease and learn how much the Tooth Fairy gives to Heidi Klum’s kids. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.
The DentaQuest Oral Health Center in Massachusetts hosted an event to provide local students free dental exams as part of the “Give Kids a Smile” program sponsored by the American Dental Association. Students at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School visited the DentaQuest team to receive dental exams, cleanings, x-rays and fluoride treatments from seven members of the DentaQuest Oral Health Center team, who also taught the students valuable preventive techniques to help them avoid dental diseases in the future.
This article reminds us that problems with your teeth, gums and breath can be warning signs for other health issues. For example, some of the plaque that is found on teeth is the same that is found in arteries, which can cause cardiovascular disease and lead to heart attacks. The mouth is truly the gateway to the body, so it’s important to recognize key warning signs early on, and to see your dentist immediately if you experience abnormalities in your teeth and gums.
Researchers found plaque on the teeth of 1,000-year-old skeletons that helped them determine health and dietary information of the person. According to the researchers, plaque deteriorates even slower than bones and teeth, proving how detrimental it is to our teeth. The most interesting thing the researchers found was that gum disease was caused by the same bacteria 1,000 years ago as it is today. Check out our website for more information on gum disease and how to prevent it.
This week, researchers found that there is a link between a mother’s oral health and that of her child. In a study published in The Journal of Dental Research, children aged 0-2 years whose mothers had high levels of a bacteria called salivary mutans streptococci (MS) in their mouths were more likely to also have high levels of MS at 3 years of age. High levels of MS often lead to Early Childhood Caries (ECC), or aggressive dental disease, which is the most common chronic childhood disease. To prevent ECC, it’s important to practice good oral health habits and receive regular dental checkups.
A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says that a part of hop leaves, which gives beer its bitterness and smell, may contain a molecule that could be used to fight tooth decay. The researchers found that a specific part of the leaves, called bracts, contain a healthy antioxidant that prevents bacteria from sticking to surfaces and releasing bacterial toxins to cause cavities and gum disease.
Heidi Klum told People Magazine this week that she gave her oldest child $20 when her first tooth fell out, but now that she has four kids losing baby teeth, keeping up with the precedent of $20 per tooth is costing her a “small fortune.”
Monday, March 3, 2014
February was National Children’s Dental Health Month so we have taken the time to reflect upon and advocate for the importance of practicing good oral health habits from an early age. We’ve put together a roundup of some of the activity we saw in the dental industry last month to support children’s oral health:
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) released its first ever “State of Little Teeth Report,” which describes the rising number of cavities among today’s children as an epidemic and warns that children who don’t see a dentist for regular preventative care are much more likely to develop dental disease than those who receive regular dental checkups biannually.
- DentaQuest’s dental director in Florida sat down with Southwest Florida Parent & Child magazine to discuss how exactly to care for your child’s teeth at any age. You can read Dr. Manning’s full article here.
- The AAPD created a fun, interactive way for parents to educate their children about good oral health habits: The Monster-Free Mouths Movement. The campaign helps parents explain what “monsters,” or dental disease, can do to teeth and gums. For example, “Ginger Bite-us,” also known as Gingivitis or gum disease, can cause gums to swell and bleed if children do not practice good oral hygiene. The website also offers award certificates for getting dental checkups and tip sheets for parents.
- Students all over the country learned about good oral health habits at events like the Blythe-Bower Elementary School health fair in Cleveland, Tennessee, where the DentaQuest team handed out toothbrushes and two-minute sand timers to encourage kids to brush for two minutes twice a day. The Greenwich Department of Health held a similar event for students at the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club, which they dedicated to “the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth” and educated children about how nutrition effects teeth.
Even though February is almost over, let’s continue the momentum by making it a priority to put our children’s oral health first not just during Children’s Dental Health Month, but throughout the entire year. Schedule a dental check-up and make it a point to practice good oral health habits by encouraging your child to brush two times a day for two minutes.
Friday, February 28, 2014
This week, the FDA proposes new nutrition labels, the Florida Public Health Institute reports that dental-related ER visits are on the rise and a new standard for sharing dental data has been created to more effectively identify missing persons. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.
The number of Floridians treated in hospital emergency rooms for dental problems rose to more than 139,000 in 2012, according to a study by the Florida Public Health Institute. Many of these issues could have been treated in a dental office or clinic, or even prevented with regular dental exams. The study, funded by DentaQuest Foundation, found that the total charges for dental-related ER visits in Florida exceeded $141 million.
For the first time in twenty years, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing several big changes to the nutrition labels that appear on 700,000 products. On the new labels, serving sizes will better reflect how much food Americans are actually consuming, the calorie count will be more prominent and the amount of Vitamin D and potassium in a product will be included. Most important to your dental health, the new label will distinguish between the amount of natural sugar and added sugars in the product. Added sugars are the artificial sugars and syrups added to processed foods that can be more detrimental to teeth than natural sugars. Keep in mind that natural sugars, like those in milk and fruit, can linger in the mouth and cause cavities. Be sure to clean your teeth after consuming them.
We’ve all heard that dental records are used to help identify missing persons after a disaster. Now, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has officially added “dental data” to its existing list of what can be used to identify deceased individuals. Now that there is a standard protocol, organizations can more easily obtain dental data from dental offices for forensic purposes, the same way they would contact police stations and hospitals for fingerprints and DNA.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
By Palmer Corson, Senior Manager Programs and Operations, DentaQuest Institute
For some time now, Medical care has had to come to terms with pay for performance, accountable care organizations, and value-based care. Dentistry is just entering this new "Era of Accountability” with managed care, pay for performance, diagnosis codes, transparency in cost, and a focus on outcomes.
Dr. Paul Glassman* framed the issues that the oral health community needs to consider in a 2012 report, Developing a Vision for Oral Health Quality Improvement in an Era of Accountability, funded by the DentaQuest Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Driving this change is the dramatic escalation in total healthcare spending with poor health outcomes in the U.S. compared to other countries, wide variability in cost and care, capacity of the care delivery workforce, and large disparities in health outcomes experienced by various populations.
To encourage dialogue and action on the challenges and opportunities identified in the report, the DentaQuest Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation hosted leaders across the dental profession, dental education, medicine, government, financing, philanthropy, quality improvement, and consumer advocacy to consider what a quality improvement framework that ensured all people have access to quality oral health care would look like. What resulted was a National Oral Health Quality Improvement Committee which has been meeting quarterly to develop a roadmap for an oral health care system that uses the tools of quality and accountability.
Since the first meeting in 2012, the Committee has developed both a vision for the future of oral health and strategies for achieving that vision.
The steering committee of Dr. Paul Glassman, Dr. Marty Liebermann, Dr. Burt Edelstein and Dr. Man Wai Ng, met in Boston on February 14, 2014, to incorporate feedback on the plan and finalize strategies for approval by the full committee.
With an endorsed set of strategies and vision, the group will turn to the next big question of implementation and engaging stakeholders. The committee is thinking about the following questions as they move into the action period:
- How does the oral health care system make this vision come to life?
- What are the next steps for collective action across the systems that impact oral health?
- What steps can participants on this committee take to bring these ideas to their colleagues and constituents?
Friday, February 21, 2014
This week, California announces a new law that could help lower rates of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, Maryland reports that more kids are getting dental care and even the seals at the New England Aquarium are celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month! Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.
In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the seals at the New England Aquarium have been brushing their pearly whites to remind visitors how important good oral health really is- even for seals.
A new law could make California the first state to require warnings on the front of all beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories per 12 ounces. The label would read: "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay." It’s important to educate people about the effects excess sugar can have on oral health, as well as their overall health.
The Defense Department recently started the procurement process for a dental electronic health record (EHR) capable of managing 17,000 patient appointments per day. According to NextGov.com, the Defense Department Health Management Systems Modernization program managed by the Defense Health Agency aims to start the process with a test site at Ft. Lewis, WA, in late 2016 and complete installation in 57 hospitals, 364 medical clinics, 225 veteran’s clinics, and 282 dental clinics by 2019.
According to a new state report by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, the number of children in Maryland with untreated tooth decay dropped 41 percent from 2001 to 2011. According to an announcement in the Washington Post the Maryland Department of Health, approximately 14 percent of children had untreated dental caries, a drop from 23 percent in 2000 and 2001. We are thrilled to hear that the number of children with untreated dental issues is decreasing. It’s important that parents remain vigilant that their children brush, floss and receive regular dental checkups.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently launched the “Monster-Free Mouths Movement” to help parents educate children about the importance of practicing good oral health habits and the not-so-fun “monsters” that will attack teeth if they don’t, like “Tartar the Terrible,” who breaks down tooth enamel and causes cavities. The website contains fun activities for parents and their children, like certificates of achievement for getting a dental checkup.
Friday, February 14, 2014
This week, DentaQuest shares oral health tips with a Tennessee elementary school, CNN reports that dental-related ER visits are on the rise and we discuss what you should do if you chip or bruise a tooth. Have thoughts on today’s news? Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.
DentaQuest participated in the Blythe-Bower Elementary community health and safety expo to teach children at the school about good oral health habits. Ashley Hathaway from DentaQuest employed “Mojo the monkey,” who shoots toothpaste from his mouth to entertain and educate the kids. She also passed out goodie bags with toothbrushes and two-minute sand timers to encourage children to brush for two minutes, twice a day.
Every day, thousands of people without access to a dentist go to their local emergency room to receive care. Yet most of these facilities do not provide the dental care these patients need. In 2010, more than 2.1 million people, the vast majority of them adults, went to ERs with dental pain, which is double the number just a decade prior, according to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. This CNN story demonstrate show important it is for people receive proper preventative care in in an effort to reduce reliance on emergency care, which can be extremely costly. All Americans deserve dental care, which is why DentaQuest’s mission is to improve the oral health of all.
While watching the Olympics, one can’t help but notice how incredibly dangerous some of the winter events are, especially for teeth! From hockey to skeleton, Olympians put their hearts, souls and teeth on the line for their country. This Wall Street Journal article on what to do if you chip or bruise a tooth is a great resource for anyone- Olympians or mere citizens- who find themselves in that situation.
The American Dental Association has released new guidelines on caring for babies’ teeth; parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt instead of waiting until children are older. The reason? Since cavities among American children are on the rise, it’s important for parents to get a jump start on preventive oral care. Remember, only the tiniest dab of fluoride toothpaste is enough for your baby.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Learn about the link between oral health and heart health here.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine recently published a study that found periodontal disease is associated with thickening of the arterial wall. This results in a greater risk of Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries through the build-up of plaque, which is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and death.
According to the American Heart Association, problems in the mouth can be a warning sign for heart disease. People with periodontaldisease often have risk factors that not only affect their mouths but also their heart and blood vessels.
Follow the Million Hearts initiative on Twitter to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Take these free risk assessment quizzes to find your personal risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and diabetes and learn what you can do to keep your heart healthy.