Archive | December, 2013

Donation Drive collects nearly 10K oral health care items (via @TheGTInsider)

4 Dec
TRAVERSE CITY – All the boxes are collected from around the community and

Traverse Health Clinic has announced the final tally of “Save a Smile 2013.” The total of

9,975 items included 5,480 toothbrushes, 3,314 tooth pastes and 1,180 floss packets were donated by community members throughout the month of September at Tom’s Food Markets, Northwestern Bank and Traverse Dental Associates.

“Community response to dental needs among the many families served by the Traverse Health

Clinic was overwhelming,” stated Sherri Fenton, director of development and marketing at Traverse Health Clinic.

“We more than doubled our previous high number of 4,183 items donated. This was no doubt due to the generosity of our new media partners, 97.5 – The Rock Station – KLT, 94.3 – Music Radio, The FOX FM and 106.7 and 105.5 – ESPN Radio – Northern Michigan. These stations together donated 720, 30-second spot radio ads promoting the donation drive. This was in addition to one full month of television ads run by five-year partner, TV 9&10 News Helping Hands.”

Additional generous sponsors were Northwestern Bank, Tom’s Food Markets and Traverse Dental Associates who provided promotional support as well as donation drop sites around town.

All of these toothbrushes translate to more preventive oral health care in our community. Fenton said the items collected are allowing Traverse Health Clinic to stock its six exam rooms with oral health supplies for patients.

The Clinic’s dental hygienist, who sees patients two days per week, will give toothbrushes, paste and floss to patients and their families to help encourage healthy preventive oral health habits.

The Clinic also provides outreach care serving the region’s homeless population, and will share items with Goodwill Inn and the Safe Harbor locations.

Traverse Health Clinic thanks the community and business partners for tremendous support of their safety-net programs which provide health services to 3,000 people each year.

The Clinic exists to provide affordable healthcare to those in need throughout northern Michigan. The organization began in 1975, when a small group of area doctors and nurses came together to provide free healthcare to the region.

Today, providers ensure that all in the region get the health care they need at an affordable cost.




Junk Food, Poor Oral Health Increase Risk of Premature Heart Disease (via @ScienceDaily)

4 Dec


The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Poor oral hygiene and excess sugar consumption can lead to periodontal disease where the supporting bone around the teeth is destroyed. It is thought that chronic infection from gum disease can trigger an inflammatory response that leads to heart disease through a process called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Despite convincing evidence linking poor oral health to premature heart disease, the most recent UK national guidance on the prevention of CVD at population level mentions the reduction of sugar only indirectly.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: “As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD.” He added: “Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals.”

The authors refer to the well-publicized New York ‘soda ban’ controversy which has brought the issue to the attention of many. Yet, they point out, in the UK fizzy drinks remain commonly available in public areas ranging from hospitals to schools. Dr Rashid said: “The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life.”



#Michigan receives $1.3 Million for Oral Health Programs (Via @HeritageNews)

4 Dec



LANSING — The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Oral Health Program has received a three-year $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

According to a release, the grant will be used to expand and enrich the oral health workforce through programs in Mecosta and Genesee counties.

“The Michigan Department of Community Health is committed to building a stronger workforce with the ability to provide oral health services within a community-based system of care,” said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. “This grant will help two of Michigan’s rural counties expand services and improve system operations.”

Oral health workforce expansion and enrichment are significant issues in Mecosta County and Genesee County. Only 12 dentists in Mecosta County participate in Medicaid, while Genesee County experienced a 50 percent increase in community need from 2010 to 2011.

Funds will be used to fight tooth decay in Mecosta County through the expansion of SEAL! Michigan, a school-based dental sealant program. In Genessee County, funding will support efforts to measure the operational effectiveness of an interprofessional team training program for health professionals and students. To implement these initiatives, MDCH will partner with Ferris State University, University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry and Medical School, Michigan Health Council, and School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan.

The SEAL! Michigan program’s objectives are to establish practice settings in elementary and middle schools for dental hygiene students to screen, assess, and educate youth on the importance of oral health, while also providing dental sealants. On the operations side, the University of Michigan interprofessional goal is to develop a multi-professional health care team model. This program will also measure team member perceptions, patient quality of life/care, and clinical/financial efficiency.

For more information about oral health in Michigan, visit