Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Dental Download: March 28, 2014

This week, we learn how to get dental coverage under the ACA, discuss new findings on the number of adults with cavities, find out why getting your gum disease treated can reduce your overall medical bills and watch a creative way to pull a loose tooth in Ireland. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

Tequila Terry, DentaQuest regional vice president of client services, explains how to get dental coverage in Maryland under the ACA in this helpful Q&A. Dental insurance policies vary in each state and are confusing to many, causing some children to remain without dental care even though it is classified under the ACA as an essential health benefit for children. To see how dental is covered in your state, visit

Members of the DentaQuest team are volunteering their time and services to provide free dental care to an estimated 2,000 people at today’s Mission of Mercy event in Tampa, Florida. The event, sponsored by the Florida Dental Association, will take place today and tomorrow at the Florida State Fairgrounds and will provide attendees with cleanings fillings and extractions free of charge.

A study by the World Dental Federation found that oral cancer is among the ten most common cancers in the world. Nearly 100% of adults have dental caries and oral health and overall health are closely linked. The report also states that the majority of oral diseases are related to socio-economic factors, which is one of the reasons behind programs like DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions initiative, which works with safety net dental programs to provide high-quality clinical care to underserved populations to close the care gap.

According to the Florida Dental Association, there is a “mal-distribution” of dentists in the state, with many dental processionals wanting to work in privileged areas. To address this issue, the Larkin Community Hospital residency program was created, which will place dental students in one of four community health centers for their residency, to better help meet the needs of the underserved.

Losing a tooth has never been so exciting- a father in Ireland helped his eight-year-old son pull a loose tooth by tying it to a remote-control helicopter. Check out the video here.

Members DentaQuest team  traveled to Chicago where they built new bikes for children at the local YMCA and put together 250 dental kits to educate the kids about the importance of good oral health habits. Below, some of the DentaQuest leadership team smiles with the new bike for the YMCA.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Dental Download: March 21, 2014

This week, we learn about World Oral Health Day, discuss why you may be getting tested for diabetes in your dentist’s office and find out which celebrity practiced good oral health. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1.    President of Chattanooga Area Dental Society Urges Local Support of World Oral Health Day
Yesterday was World Oral Health Day, and dental professionals worldwide used the day as an opportunity to remind people to make good oral health habits a part of their daily routine. According to the World Dental Federation, 90 percent of people worldwide will suffer from dental disease, which is almost completely preventable, in their lifetime. Check your dental disease risk with our easy-to-use tool, and get tips from our dental experts on how to prevent future oral health problems here.

2.    What’s the Deal With Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling, the act of swishing oil in the mouth, was the most buzzed-about dental topic this week. The practice comes from an ancient Indian text, Aruyveda, and claims to have many health benefits, including improving oral health and preventing dental diseases such as gingivitis and dental caries. Sesame, sunflower or coconut oil is typically used for oil pulling, but most dentists agree that not enough research has been conducted to prove or disprove these benefits.

3.    Making diabetes screening more available at the dentist’s office
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8 million people have diabetes. Of these, 7 million have undiagnosed disease, which is why health care providers are working to make diabetes testing available in a variety of health care settings, including dental offices. Many people are unaware that that teeth and gums can show key warning signs of the disease. Talk to your dentist to find out what might be putting you at risk and go to for more information.

4.    Chew on This: 8 Foods for Healthy Teeth
This slideshow offers ideas on what foods are beneficial to your oral health. For example, foods containing calcium, such as cheese and almonds, and foods high in phosphorous, such as meat, eggs and fish, can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. If you must snack on sweets, check out these tips on the best and worst candy for your teeth.

5.    Rihanna’s Trip To The Dentist Is A Reminder that Good  Oral Heal this Important for Celebrities, Too posted a photo this week of pop-star Rihanna leaving her dentist’s office, reminding us that even celebrities should practice good oral health habits.  The article also states that “9 out of 10 dentists agree that brushing while listening to Rih makes you cavity-free,” and we agree, as long as that song is two minutes long “2min2x”!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Window Closing to Sign-up for Insurance through Marketplaces

The deadline to sign up for insurance through the online marketplaces, created by the Affordable Care Act, is only a few weeks away. People who have not yet purchased an insurance plan have until March 31 to do so.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 4 million people had signed up for a plan through the federal and state-based marketplaces at the end of February, and the number of uninsured individuals continues to fall.
After March 31, each individual who does not have health insurance will have to pay a penalty of $95, or 1 percent of their yearly household income (if that is higher). The amount of the fine will increase each year. Bear in mind that for families, each uninsured person will be assessed the penalty. So for a family of three – two parents and one adult child living at home, the amount can add up. More on that here: []
As you may remember, the ACA included pediatric dental care as one the 10 essential health benefits so all children under the age of 19 will have access to dental insurance. Although pediatric dental is not a requirement for those shopping through the insurance Marketplaces, many Marketplaces have made dental plans that cover children and adults available for purchase. It’s important to take the extra step to purchase a dental plan so that you and your family are covered. Dental disease is the single most common chronic childhood illness in the US, yet it is almost 100 percent preventable with regular dental care.
It is equally as important that adults are getting the proper oral care as well, since oral health is directly linked to your overall health. The Surgeon General’s report on oral health in America reminds us that oral health means more than sound teeth; oral health is integral to overall health. In fact, employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits.
Some state insurance Marketplaces have acknowledged the importance of dental coverage by making dental plans available to anyone, not just those shopping for medical coverage. Unfortunately, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) has not taken this important step. If you live in a state using the FFM, you must first purchase a medical plan before being allowed to shop for a dental plan. This unnecessary barrier to dental coverage can and should be removed so that all Americans can access critical oral health benefits.
Prevention is key when it comes to oral health. Visiting your dentist every year is one of the most important factors in maintaining good oral health. Without dental insurance, however, preventive checkups can be costly and those without dental coverage are 2.5 times less likely to visit a dentist than those who are covered.
Take charge of your health this month and make sure you sign up for coverage – medical and dental – before March 31.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Dental Download: March 14, 2014

This week, we learn how fruit smoothies may not be good for your teeth, discuss how risk assessment tools can improve oral health (especially for children) and get some pointers on caring for an infant’s teeth and gums. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

DentaQuest Foundation has renewed funding for seven state organizations participating in its Oral Health 2014 Initiative (OH2014) as part of their mission to improve the oral health of all. The organizations have each spent the last year determining the greatest oral health needs in their communities and creating a comprehensive plan to meet those needs. With this new round of funding, the organizations will put their plans into action. Read more about the OH2014 initiative here.

Some habits that you may think are improving your health may be doing some serious damage to your teeth. For example, did you know that brushing right after a meal that is high in acid can push the acid deeper into the tooth enamel, causing more damage? The ever-popular smoothie trend is another cause of cavities, since you’re essentially coating your teeth in liquid sugar when enjoying a fruit-filled concoction. Make it a habit to drink water after eating acidic foods and drinking smoothies to help rid your mouth of the harmful acids and sugars.

When it comes to dentistry, prevention is key (think Preventistry). According to research presented at the 2014 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference in Boston, instituting a risk-assessment model to identify dental caries (cavities) can improve oral health care for children. The study used the Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) model, in which pediatric doctors and dentists identify dental caries indicators with a clinical exam, then offer guidance on how to prevent the caries from worsening. 

This article highlights the fact that good oral health is important during infancy, as dental caries can develop in a baby’s mouth at as early as nine months. The article offers tips on how to care for your infant’s teeth, and we’ve got you covered as well. Check out this article written by Dr. Douglas Manning, dental director for DentaQuest in Florida, which has information about caring for teeth at all ages.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Dental Download: 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

Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month in February

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.