Archive | July, 2013

America’s ToothFairy Welcomes Walmart as a Sponsor to Promote Healthy Smiles for America’s Children (via @DentistryToday)

31 Jul



(Charlotte, July 22, 2013) – National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy® (NCOHF) welcomes Walmart as a Proud Underwriter, as well as Crest and Oral-B Kids products, available in Walmart, to help expand access to vital oral health services for America’s at-risk children and their families.  America’s ToothFairy aggressively responds to the #1 chronic childhood disease, severe tooth decay, by supporting a national network of community-based non-profit clinics and outreach programs providing oral health education and services for children of vulnerable populations.  

“We are honored that Walmart has joined America’s ToothFairy as an Underwriter in support of our mission to eliminate this silent epidemic negatively impacting the ability of millions of our children to eat, sleep and learn.  The partnership with Crest and Oral-B Kids products at Walmart will help elevate awareness of the importance of oral health and preventive strategies for children and their families,” stated Fern Ingber, NCOHF President and CEO.  “Their laubable philanthropy makes it possible for America’s ToothFairy to respond to the growing number of children in desperate need of oral health services and give them the building blocks they need for happy, healthy futures.”

National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, known as America’s ToothFairy, was formed in 2006 as an aggressive response to eliminate pediatric dental disease.  Supporting the delivery of oral health education and care beginning at the prenatal level,America’s ToothFairy engages caring dental professionals and the general public in programs designed to promote children’s oral health.  The generosity of dedicated supporters including Walmart has enabled America’s ToothFairy to reach millions of children through its national non-profit clinical network and volunteer professional and student community service programs. 




Oral Health America organizes second Share and Learn conference #chicago (via @dentistryiq)

31 Jul


CHICAGO, July 31, 2013 — Oral Health America (OHA) organized a Share and Learn conference for its Smiles Across America® (SAA) partners July 23-24 in St. Paul, Minn., giving fifteen organizations from across the country the opportunity to network and learn from each other to improve access to care in their communities. SAA and its partners reach over 400,000 children annually by supporting programs that provide oral disease prevention and education services in school-based and school-linked settings.

OHA to launch Fall for Smiles campaign
The conference commenced with a welcome from Patterson Dental President Paul Guggenheim at Patterson’s St. Paul office. “We are excited to have everybody here this afternoon,” he said. “You picked a great time of year to visit Minnesota! We are extremely proud to support Smiles Across America and the amazing work you are doing in communities across the nation. Your dedication and energy are inspiring and we look forward to following your continued success – keep up the great work!”

NCOHF welcomes Walmart as a sponsor

Representatives from each program were asked to present their program models which allowed for discussion on best practices and building program capacity. “It’s been so inspirational to see presentations by all of the organizations that are out there making a difference,” said Dennis Young, President  & CEO, The Children’s Dental Center of Greater Los Angeles. “Sometimes you feel like you’re working in isolation when in reality so much is going on in communities across the nation. I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to learn from all of you these past two days, thank you OHA.”
Following the presentations, the group traveled to Children’s Dental Services (CDS), an SAA partner, to tour the dental clinic and learn how CDS provides prevention and education throughout the entire state of Minnesota.  “We are delighted to be your official host of the 2013 Share and Learn conference,” said Jeff Bartleson, Senior Manager, Children’s Dental Services. “I’m proud of the work we do here at CDS and it’s exciting to have so many experts at our clinic to offer insight on how to continue to improve access to care.” The evening concluded rolling eggrolls and spring rolls, grilling pork and fruit and chopping vegetables for turkey lettuce wraps at Cooks of Crocus Hill, a renowned cooking school in the twin cities were OHA Board Member, Kathy Zwieg, is an instructor.
Day two kicked off at the 3M Innovation Center where partners participated in “speed networking” on issues related to advocacy, grants, data collection and partnerships. Speaker, Diana Wavra addressed the group on Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Ann Lynch, the Director of Government Affairs for the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, and former State Senator, talked with the group about strategies for grass roots advocacy efforts in their communities.  
This valuable opportunity would not have been possible without the generous support of DENTSPLY International, 3M ESPE, and Patterson Dental and host Children’s Dental Services. “We are thankful to our Share and Learn sponsors for giving OHA the opportunity to fulfill our mission by bringing our Smiles Across America communities together,” said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett. “Our partners tell us on a consistent basis how much they value being able to interact with each other and how the insight they gain helps them improve their own programs and reach more children with needed oral health care. We look forward to organizing more Share and Learn conferences in the near future.”


Dental health: Our top 10 dental health tips (via @timesofindia)

31 Jul



A good set of teeth not only enhances our appearance, but they also helps us enjoy our food. So, it is essential to take good care of our teeth. Dr Ajay Kakkar – Dentist, Mumbai, shares his secrets to getting strong and sparkling white teeth.

Dental health tip # 1: Brush twice a day
Dr Ajay says that 70% of dental problems can be solved, if we brush our teeth thoroughly. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of 2-4minutes, to get rid of plaque.

Dental health tip # 2: Use good products
To get rid of all the food particles, invest in a good toothbrush. Choose a scientifically designed toothbrush, which will help you reach all corners in your mouth. Also, choose a good fluoride based toothpaste.

Dental health tip# 3: Rinse well
If you are a regular snacker, then Dr Ajay suggests that you rinse your mouth thoroughly after every snack. You can even gargle with a good mouthwash, if you want to keep tooth decay away.

Dental health tip# 4: Visit a dentist
To maintain good oral hygiene, visit your dentist at least once a year. Besides, this will help you maintain good strong healthy teeth.

Dental health tip# 5: No smoking
Smoking not only harms our body, but also deteriorates our teeth. The nicotine present in cigarettes causes tooth decay and bad breathe. So, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.

Dental health tip # 6: Change your toothbrush
If you have been using your toothbrush for a year, then replace it with a new one as soon as possible. As soon as you notice the bristles of your toothbrush getting frayed, it is time to replace your toothbrush.

Dental health tip# 7: Eat a healthy diet
Just practicing good dental habits is not good enough. For strong teeth, you need to eat a diet full of nutrients. Include loads of vitamin B food in your diet to make your teeth strong and healthy.

Dental health tip# 8: Include dairy in your diet for strong teeth
Dairy products decrease gum diseases and help develop and maintain the whiteness of our teeth. Along with protecting and strengthening the enamel, hard cheese like cheddar, is very effective for cleaning and whitening the teeth.

Dental health tip# 9: Avoid aerated drinks
Stay away from colas and other aerated drinks, because they cause stains on our teeth. If you wish to drink colas, try using a straw to minimise the stains on your teeth.

Dental health tip # 10: Floss
Flossing helps to maintain hygiene and remove plaque from teeth. So, floss your teeth at least twice a week.



Daily Dental Tip

31 Jul


The average adult should get a minimum of 500 milligrams of calcium per day to ensure healthy, strong teeth

Don’t let #senior residents throw their oral care under the bus (via @mcknightsltcn)

30 Jul



I hear it all the time: “I’m too old; I don’t want to fix my teeth.” Older patients easily give up on their oral health not realizing the importance of teeth to their overall health. Unfortunately, poor oral health has been linked to serious systemic illnesses, including diabetes, stroke, hypertension, myocardial infarction and aspiration pneumonia. 


Additionally, periodontitis (infection of soft oral tissues resulting in gingival and tooth loss) develops as a consequence of poor oral hygiene, which has been linked to an increased risk of ischemic stroke. Staying healthy, avoiding infections and maintaining one’s energy level is best achieved through chewing solid foods and giving the digestive tract a good workout.  Since an estimated third to one half of health problems of the elderly may be associated with their food intake, the importance of having a healthy mouth reaches its zenith in the later stages of life.   

The first order of business in a long-term care facility is establishing a standardized oral care system for residents. Everyone is familiar with the brush, floss and rinse mantra.  No need to repeat those instructions here. However, other suggestions include:

  • To make brushing easier for residents with their natural teeth who may have some physical disabilities, place a tennis ball or foam sleeve on their toothbrush.  This will make it easier to grip the handle.
  • Use an inexpensive battery toothbrush from the grocery or drug store.  This reduces the amount of effort necessary to clean the teeth. 
  • Get an egg timer (3 minutes) to make sure the resident brushes for a sufficiently long period of time. 
  • The perception of time in the elderly with cognitive issues can be skewed.  Brush teeth after breakfast, not when the residents first wake up in the morning.  

For edentulous residents, the nurse or resident should use a moist gauze or sponge on a stick to clean the gums. Also, clean the tongue with a tongue brush or toothbrush. This simple act will clean out a significant amount of bacteria. Rinse with a non-alcoholic mouth rinse or plain water.  A mouth rinse with alcohol will dry out the mouth and gum tissue even further.

Always, always supervise a resident’s daily oral care routine.

For residents with removable appliances (i.e. dentures, partials), you should be aware these must be taken out every night, cleaned and placed in a designated receptacle. The same reason you take your shoes off at night is the same reason appliances must be removed.  The gum tissue in the mouth must be allowed to breathe and oxygenate. If you suffocate these tissues with dentures or partials, the tissue and bone will pull back losing its retention and elasticity.  The result is loose or ill-fitted appliances. Denture stomatitis, epulis and other painful conditions can occur with ill-fitting appliances. All appliances must be cleaned before being placed in the designated receptacle. Appliances are loaded with bacteria, food and plaque.  They must be manually scrubbed clean. I recommend using a denture brush or toothbrush and toothpaste or denture cream. Dissolving tablets in water with the appliance will not remove the bacteria.  Placing the appliances back in a resident’s mouth without proper cleaning will re-introduce bacteria into the mouth. 

Another way to promote oral health is to keep a bag of sugarless hard candy at each nursing station. Why? These can help those who have dry mouth or Xerostomia. Dry mouth is common in the elderly and leads to rampant, quick decay of the remaining teeth. The decay is not only on the biting surface but circumferential around the whole tooth. Elderly people who are not producing a lot of saliva like hard candy to help with their saliva production. Unfortunately, they choose candies that contain a lot of sugar or acid. These additives eat away at the enamel which, of course, causes cavities. If these cavities are not addressed, these teeth literally rot out at the gum line and break off. Biotene® makes a line of products for oral dryness and chronic dry mouth or Xerostomia symptoms. However, these products must be used on a constant basis. Sugarless hard candies are a simple, affordable solution for residents who are not at risk for choking.

When feasible, encourage family members to take their loved ones to the dentist once or twice a year. Most dental offices are handicap accessible. It is very common in my practice to treat patients in their wheelchair. Make sure the resident has a familiar face accompany them to the dentist.  

Remember, oral health is important at every age, including for seniors.

 Joel Glicksman, DDS, is a dentist in Aventura and Pembroke Pines, FL, and has extensive experience with geriatric dentistry.



Oral care: Get basics right (via @httweets)

30 Jul



With the market full of toothpaste brands promising whiter teeth within a week, 12-hour protection from bad breath, gum protection and protection from hypersensitivity, choosing the right toothpaste is getting tougher each day. 

But contrary to the claims made by toothpaste 


commercials, rather than the brand of your toothpaste, how you brush your teeth is more important.


According to dental experts, the use of fancy and expensive toothpastes does not guarantee better oral hygiene, and no matter how tall claims the toothpaste companies make, the effectiveness of all major brands available in the market is more or less similar.

“Every second patient I see invariably has this parting question: Can you recommend me a good toothpaste? I try and tell them that as far as the composition is concerned, they all are roughly the same and it doesn’t make sense to buy more expensive products with the same composition,” said Dr Ashish Kakar, a Delhi-based dental senior consultant.

Just to bust the myth, a toothpaste is non-permeable and brushing teeth is fundamentally a surface phenomenon. Cleaning by and large is achieved by the mechanical action of the toothbrush, and not by the toothpaste.

“Toothpaste is basically like soap, which works as a cleaning agent. Flavours were added to it only later. Fluoride content in toothpaste gets stuck to the enamel but the amount that is found in Indian toothpastes is not adequate, hence, the effect is non-therapeutic,” said Kakar.

Indian toothpastes don’t have more than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, which is much less than toothpastes available in the European countries with the level as high as 1,450 ppm.

From being mere cleansers, toothpastes have come a long way. The second stage of innovation saw manufactures putting fluoride, which is a bicarbonate, for preventing dental caries (cavity) and to have antibacterial action. Later, another improvisation was made by adding a component called triclosan, which is used in products with anti-microbial function, and is known to prevent dental plaque.

Apart from toothpastes, it’s found in a variety of common household products, including soaps, mouthwashes, dish detergents, deodorants, and even anti-bacterial hand sanitisers.

Over a period, zinc was also added to remove tartar, and now the market has reached a level where manufacturers have started looking at hypersensitivity. Active salts and white shines are effective to an extent as they have sodium and calcium bicarbonates but they work only till one uses the product.

“If at all anything, the fluoride content of the toothpaste should be increased for it to be more effective. But the most important thing is the right brushing technique and the time taken to brush,” said Dr Mahesh Verma, principal, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences.

However, on an average, people don’t brush for more than 30 seconds and not more than 10% of the population uses dental floss. The use of mouthwash is also not very common.      

“Ideally, two minutes of proper brushing that covers all areas of mouth properly, followed by flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash twice a day is integral to an effective oral health routine. For those with braces or oral implants, flossing is recommended twice a day,” added Verma.

According to dental experts, one should rinse with a mouthwash not just after but before brushing also as it breaks down the plaque and then it becomes easier to remove the deposits.  

“The best mouthwash will be one with low alcohol content. If there is alcohol, cut it with equal amount of water to be able to rinse for 30 seconds without burning and damaging gums, and other soft tissues,” said Kakar.

Doctors even warn against the use of fancy toothbrushes that are battery operated as they can be harmful to gums. Any toothbrush with soft bristles and a tongue cleaner is a good choice.

However, the fast-paced lives we lead these days, people hardly have enough time and patience to brush properly. The result is increased cases of plaque and dental carries, especially among children.

“Children aged between four and nine years come with not one or two but at times more than 10 dental cavities. Junk food is solely to be blamed as there is no roughage in the food that can have cleansing effect. Certain food items such as pears are known good sources of fluoride and anti-oxidants,” said Kakar.

 As the children grow older, bleeding gums, damaged roots become common.

“We recommend visiting a dentist at least once in two years and if there is a problem then once in a year. For diabetics it’s once in six months, but half the clinic visits will come down if preventive measures are taken,” said Verma.



Bacteria in Brains Suggest Alzheimer’s-Gum Disease Link (via @BW)

30 Jul



Bacteria linked to gum disease traveled to the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that dental hygiene plays a role in the development of the memory-robbing illness, British researchers said.

Signs of the bacterium, known as Porphyromonas gingivalis, were found in four out of 10 samples of brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients, while no signs of the bug were found in 10 brains from people of similar age who never developed dementia, according to the results of the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The findings support a theory that bacteria in the mouth enter the bloodstream through chewing or tooth removal and end up in other parts of the body including the brain, StJohn Crean, the lead researcher, said in a telephone interview. Over time, the chemicals produced by the bacteria could build up and contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s, according to the theory.

“The results are very encouraging,” said Crean, the dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire in England. “We’ve shown an association, not causation. It does nothing more than to prove that these bacteria do get to the brain.”

While brushing and flossing can also cause bacteria to enter the blood, it’s important to frequently and effectively clean the teeth to decrease the number of bacteria and cut the chance that they will travel outside the mouth, he said.

Bacterial Assault

“The issue is to reduce the bacterial load that occupies our gum tissues, to reduce the bacterial assault if and when it happens,” Crean said.

The study was paid for by the university, Crean said. He and his colleagues are seeking funding for additional research to explore the potential connection between the bacteria and the development of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia mostly affect older people, and the number afflicted by the conditions is growing worldwide as populations age. The World Health Organization predicted dementia cases would triple to 115 million in 2050 from 36 million worldwide in 2010. The exact cause of the illness is unknown.

About 30 percent of people have had or will have gum disease, Crean said. Previous studies have shown links between gum disease and other illnesses including heart disease and some forms of cancer.