Water Fluoridation Myths and Facts

August 6th, 2013

MYTH: “Fluoride doesn’t belong in drinking water.”

FACT: Fluoride occurs naturally in water, though rarely at the optimal level to protect teeth.

  • It’s already there. Fluoride exists naturally in virtually all water supplies and even in various brands of bottled water. If the people making this statement truly believed it, they would no longer drink water or grape juice – or eat shellfish, meat, cheese or other foods that contain trace levels of fluoride.
  • What’s at issue is the amount of fluoride in water. There are proven benefits for public health that come from having the optimal level of fluoride in the water – just enough to protect our teeth. In 2011, federal health officials offered a new recommended optimal level for water fluoridation: 0.7 parts per million. That’s our goal: getting just enough to help all of us keep our teeth... (read more...)

Oral Health Facts for Happy Hartford Teeth

June 29th, 2013

Nearly 1 in 5 kids in VT
haven’t seen a dentist — even for a checkup— because they can’t afford it.

FACT # 2
Fluoride Mouth Rinse Program has been available to Hartford children through schools for over 30 years.

FACT # 3
34% of all Vermont children in grades 1-3 have a history of dental decay.

Vermont’s School-Linked Tooth Tutor Program connects children to a full range of dental care through local Dental Homes.

There are about 35 hygienists working as tooth tutors in 120 elementary schools throughout the state as well as all Vermont head start programs.

344 children in grades K-3 were screened through the Upper Valley... (read more...)

News From Vt. State Dental Society

October 11th, 2012

Thanks to member, Toby Kravitz, DDS, Upper Valley Oral Health Coalition is please to post this release from the Vermont State Dental Society on our website.

Subject: The Importance of Oral Health during Pregnancy and Early Childhood
Dear Vermont State Dental Society Members:
Below is the web link to Dr. Steve Arthur’s May 24th Vermont Department of Health’s Public Health Grand Rounds presentation, “Two is Too Late”, which is about the importance of oral health during pregnancy and early childhood.
It does not include an audio recording, but does include a link to the video portion of the presentation.  A link to the presentation is listed under Presentation Recordings and Slides, near the bottom of the page.
The take away... (read more...)

Fluoridation Update from the ADA

August 6th, 2012

July 16, 2012
The state of fluoridation
After 67 years, challenges continue across nation
By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff
For 67 years, community water fluoridation has been part of the landscape in the United States public health arena. Hundreds of studies have confirmed its safety and effectiveness in reducing caries rates since 1945, when Grand Rapids, Mich., became the first community to adjust the fluoride levels in its water supply to lower tooth decay rates in children.

 According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fluoridated water now reaches more than 204 million U.S. residents—just under 74 percent of the population on public water systems. In 1999, the CDC proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Dental professionals might think policymakers and the public understand that community water fluoridation... (read more...)

PBS – FRONTLINE June 26, 2012

June 18th, 2012

On June 26, 2012, Frontline and the Center for Public Integrity investigates the Dental Care Crisis in the US.

“Dental care can be a matter of life or death. Yet more than 100 million Americans either
don’t have dental insurance or simply can’t afford to see a dentist. The result? Severe pain, preventable disease, humiliation, bankruptcy and sometimes even death. In Dollars and Dentists, airing Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 10 P.M ET on PBS (check local listings) a joint investigation by FRONTLINE and the Center for Public Integrity, correspondent Miles
O’Brien uncovers the shocking consequences of a broken dental care system.”


 Read More →

Dartmouth Students Simple Design for Big Impact – Improving Oral Health during Pregnancy

June 1st, 2012

This year a group of Dartmouth College undergraduates including Lucas Yamamura, Karl Schutz, Melissa Saphier, Winnie Yoe, Hannah Kim worked with Tom Roberts and Good Beginnings to improve oral health for pregnant mothers.  They are part of the group Design for America (www.designforamerica.com), a national organization from Chicago that has established studios at colleges in the US to use design thinking as a way to solve local social issues.  Lucas and his colleagues learned that gum disease is a common problem for pregnant women, and poor dental health is usually correlated to negative birth outcomes.  Brushing teeth twice a day is the recommendation of most dentists – a simple strategy for healthy teeth and gum.  In order to tackle this... (read more...)

Free Dental Care for Adults – May 5, 2012

April 30th, 2012

Free Dental Care. The Vermont State Dental Society is sponsoring  statewide free dental care on May 5, 2012.  Vermont is the first state to offer this event with dentists across the state participating.  Here in the Upper Valley, Drs. Kraitz, Gold and Blicher have reach across the river and enlisted New Hampshire dentists to make this an Upper Valley event.     The participating dentists are Drs. Baker, Blicher, Denk, Gold, Governo, Kravitz, Meyers, Petrescu-Boboc, Santavicca and Willette.  Along with these dentists, hygienists and dental assistants are also voluntering their time for patient care.  In preparation for May 5th, 46 patients have had oral health screenings and xrays at the Red Logan Clinic in White River Junction, and will have follow up care at Red Logan, as needed, after May 5th.  The range of services include hygiene, restoration, root canals and extractions.   Partners in the Upper Valley include the... (read more...)

A Personal Story: Insurance Issues – Melinda & Dave, Orford

April 4th, 2012

Melinda and Dave live in Orford, New Hampshire and have four children. Dave’s job offers dental insurance, but the rates are high. “We do have dental insurance available to us but. . . the family rate is so much higher than the individual rate, that unless you are going to have a lot of work done it doesn’t make sense financially to have the insurance for your kids. It’s cheaper to pay for expensive stuff out of pocket than to pay the higher rate for kids to be on our plan. . . We also have a dentist who we love that is not on the preferred provider list, and so it’s more expensive than if we had found somebody else. We’ve chosen to stay with her because we like her, we think she does good quality work, and we have a connection there. But it costs us more money.” Melinda explains that although the recommendation for cleanings is every six months,... (read more...)

A Personal Story: NH Medicaid is Crippling – Jason, Lebanon

April 2nd, 2012

Jason is 34, with four children, and lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Jason’s daughter was born with Spina Bifida, which means, among other things, that her teeth are softer than most people’s and they are more susceptible to decay. At four or five years old she needed some extensive work done. Jason explains: “We had a dentist in Claremont, and with a busy schedule (my wife and I both work) and we have four kids we’re chasing around and bringing back and forth to different appointments. One of the appointments slipped our mind. When we realized we had missed the appointment, we called in to reschedule, and they told us that we couldn’t be seen there ever again.”

Jason couldn’t find any other dentist in the Upper Valley who would accept his NH State Medicaid. After looking around, Jason was referred to a pediatric dentist in Concord,... (read more...)

A Personal Story: No Need to Pull Teeth – Nathan, Woodstock

March 30th, 2012

Nathan lives in Woodstock, Vermont. This is his story:

Twenty-five years ago I went to a local dentist. He stated I needed to have all my teeth pulled and replace with dentures. I was only in my 50′s; this was not an acceptable treatment plan, regardless of my financial situation. I obtained a second opinion. The second dentist told me that most of my teeth would be lost within five years. The most cost-effective treatment would be to pull all the teeth and be fitted for dentures. I was outraged.

Instead, I went to Boston for treatment. It was successful. I have only had to have one tooth pulled in these last twenty-five years.

Why would a dentist’s first course of action be to pull all the teeth? Was income a factor?

Illustration by Dennis Pacheco ((read more...)