Archive for February 2016

Continuing Coverage: Many Baby Boomers Unaware Medicare Does Not Cover Most Routine Dental Care.

USA Today (2/27) carried the CNBC article stating many people age 50 to 64 are unaware that Medicare does not cover most routine dental care, according to a recent survey by advocacy group Oral Health America (OHA). OHA president and CEO Beth Truett says only 10 percent of seniors have dental coverage when they retire. As a result, “many retirees are opting to avoid going to the dentist altogether, with 40 percent saying they haven’t been to the dentist in the last year.” Given this, the article provided four tips to help save on dental costs, including looking up prices, taking advantage of group discounts, using veterans’ benefits, and receiving care at dental schools.

Delta Dental Supports Program Providing Dental Screenings, Treatments To Children Around Colorado.

5280 Denver Magazine (2/23, Gresko) reported that in partnership with Delta Dental and Colorado schools, the Kids in Need of Dentistry’s Chopper Topper program is providing dental screenings and treatments to students at “more than 90 elementary schools in 11 districts” around the state. The mobile dentistry program delivers the care “at no cost to the child’s family.” Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation has provided a $100,000 grant to support this year’s Chopper Topper program.

Poll Shows Dental Hygiene Highly Correlated With Americans’ Well-Being.

The Washington Post (2/23, Chokshi) reports the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which “ranks 190 metropolitan areas by the well-being of their residents based on a survey of more than a quarter-million Americans,” was released Tuesday and found the most satisfied Americans “share at least one unintuitive characteristic: good dental hygiene.” The Post says “places where people have good dental health also tend to be places where they report being generally fulfilled.” The article goes on to list cities and states that rank highly in terms of well-being. At the top of the list for cities are Naples, FL, Salinas, CA, and Sarasota, FL. Florida, California, Colorado, and Texas were “home to many of the communities with the highest well-being scores.” Dan Witters, research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, said dental care habits are a “surrogate” for well-being, adding, “People who take good care of their teeth generally think they have higher well-being lives.”

Periodontal Disease Warned Against.

Kaieteur News (GUY) (2/20, Fagu) reported the number one cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease, according to the ADA. In addition, “three out of four persons will experience some form of gum disease in their lifetime and the disease can affect anyone at any age.” The article listed the warning signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, and highlighted plaque as the “main cause of gum disease.”

Severe Gum Disease May Increase Risk Of Death In Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease.

HealthDay (2/18, Preidt) reports that research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology suggests “severe gum disease increases the risk of death in chronic kidney disease patients.” Investigators looked at data on approximately “13,700 Americans who took part in a federal government health survey.” The data indicated that “the 10-year death rate among chronic kidney disease patients was 41 percent for those with severe gum disease, compared with 32 percent for those without severe gum disease.”

Calgary Study Finds Fluoridation Cessation Has Negative Impact On Dental Health.

The Globe and Mail (CAN) (2/17) reports that a study published Wednesday in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology suggests the City of Calgary’s decision in 2011 to stop community water fluoridation has negatively impacted children’s dental health in the city. The study found that “Calgary children have more than twice as many cavities as their counterparts in Edmonton, where fluoridation continues.” In addition, researchers “found that Calgary kids have more health issues with their baby teeth than those in the provincial capital.” The study’s lead author, Dr. Lindsay McLaren at the University of Calgary, said, “This study points to the conclusion that tooth decay has worsened following removal of fluoride from drinking water, especially in primary teeth, and it will be important to continue monitoring these trends.”

        MarketWired (CAN) (2/17) hosts a University of Calgary release stating the study examined Grade 2 students in Calgary and Edmonton, finding “the number of tooth surfaces with decay per child increased by 3.8 surfaces in Calgary during the time frame of the study, as compared to only 2.1 in Edmonton.” Steven Patterson, a professor at University of Alberta School of Dentistry, said, “The early effects of fluoridation cessation found in this study support the role of water fluoridation in contributing to improved oral health of children and that it is a public health measure worth maintaining.” provides additional information on community water fluoridation.

Researchers Use Living Cells, Special Gel To Print Human Body Parts.

According to Reuters (2/15, Boggs), researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have developed a method of 3D printing which can produce bone, muscle, and cartilage templates which can then be implanted and survive in living tissue. The team said that five months after being implanted in mice, the templates appeared similar to normal human tissue. The findings were published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

        NBC News (2/15, Fox) reported that researchers “used a combination of living cells and a special gel to print out living human body parts – including ears, muscles and jawbones.” Their “approach mixes live cells with a gel that starts out as a liquid but quickly hardens to the consistency of living tissue, and layers them in with tiny tunnels that serve as passages for nutrients to feed the cells until blood vessels can grow in and do the job naturally.”

        BBC News (UK) (2/16, Gallagher) reports that the process is called the Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System (ITOP).

        Also providing coverage are the Independent (UK) (2/15, Gallagher), Popular Mechanics (2/15, Herkewitz), Gizmodo (2/15, Dvorsky), the Chicago Tribune (2/15, Graham), and HealthDay (2/15, Norton).

Oral Health Tips Provided In Honor Of National Children’s Dental Health Month.

With National Children’s Dental Health Month underway, several sources continue to discuss the importance of preventive dental care, providing tips to promote children’s oral health.

        In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Foster’s Daily Democrat (NH) (2/10) shared oral health tips from the New Hampshire Dental Society, pointing readers to the ADA’s site for “tips and other fun ways to help children learn about oral health.”

        The Finger Lakes (NY) Times (2/10) reported that Seneca County Public Health is joining the American Dental Association and the ADA Foundation to help promote National Children’s Dental Health Month by distributing “free dental health kits for children and adults” and setting up donation boxes for the upcoming local “Smile Drive” effort. The article provided oral health tips, recommending brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes and daily flossing, among other tips.

        In an article in the Alamogordo (NM) Daily News (2/10), Capt. Russell Stephens, 49th Aeromedical Dental Squadron, provided oral health advice in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, discussing how diet affects dental health. “By choosing better snacks, being aware of what children drink and being involved in their daily brushing routines, you can set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles,” writes Capt. Stephens.

        Westchester (NY) Magazine (2/11, Caffin) states that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and “the American Dental Association (ADA), as well as thousands of dental health professionals and educators are using the observance to declare war on sugar and to educate and inform people of the importance of proper dental hygiene, particularly in little ones.” The article shares four tips from a New York dentist on caring for children’s teeth.

        Additional information and resources for National Children’s Dental Health Month are available at

Difference Between Dental Discount Plans, Dental Benefits Plans Explained.

In an article on the AARP (2/10) website, journalist Tamara E. Holmes states that dental discount plans and dental benefits plans “differ in several ways,” including that dental plans “generally cost less” than traditional dental coverage.

Enrolling In Dental Coverage From Other Memberships Listed Among Ways To Save On Dental Costs.

Parade Magazine (2/9, Ingram) provides a list of five ways to save on dental costs, recommending, for example, people consider enrolling in dental coverage from other memberships, such as Costco. Among several other suggestions for saving on dental costs, the article encourages brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental visits, stating that preventive dental care helps “avoid costly problems in the future.”

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