Oral Health America Slogan Contest Targets Youth Baseball and Smokeless Tobacco

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Photo courtesy of Matt McGee on Flickr

From the press release:

Attention all 2012 Little League baseball and softball players! Oral Health America’s (OHA) NSTEP® program (National Spit Tobacco Education Program) is teaming with Little League International to launch its eleventh annual slogan contest where players have a chance to win a trip to the Little League World Series! To enter, Little Leaguers ages 8-14 create a ten-word phrase that describes why spit tobacco is dangerous and deadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2003 there has been a 36 percent increase in the rate of smokeless tobacco use among high school boys. This alarming statistic is what led parents of the 2011 slogan contest winner, John and Julie Lafakis, to participate with their son Lou. “In addition to being thrilled and proud of Lou’s slogan,” said John Lafakis, “we are equally delighted that the NSTEP contest provided an opportunity for our family to discuss the harms of tobacco use.”

NSTEP works with Little League International to educate families about the risks of spit tobacco use, including oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction. “The health and well-being of children has been one of Little League’s guiding principles since its founding in 1939. We are proud to partner with NSTEP to educate young people about the dangers of smokeless tobacco,” said Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball.

NSTEP is also part of a coalition of organizations that influenced the limit on use of smokeless tobacco in Major League ballparks. For the first time in history, players are unable to use smokeless tobacco products on field and in front of fans and cameras. “The new limits are a positive step toward reducing the damaging influences of smokeless tobacco,” said Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America. “NSTEP is proud to have helped influence the ban and will continue to help educate Americans about the dangers of tobacco use.”

To enter the slogan contest, visit The most creative slogan participant will win an all-expenses paid trip to Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA plus a $500 cash prize. Oral Health America will also make a $500 donation to the player’s Little League organization.

There is no reason for baseball, America’s past time, to be any longer associated with spit or smokeless tobacco.

Programs like this that increase awareness of the dangers of tobacco use should be encouraged.


Beastie Boy’s Singer Adam Yauch Dies of Rare Salivary Gland Cancer

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The Beastie Boys (L-R) Mike Diamond, Adam Horowitz and Adam Yauch are photographed at the 2006 Sundance film festival in Park City, Utah, January 22, 2006

 Quite a shame, but this cancer is rare.

Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, died Friday after a long battle with salivary gland cancer, according to multiple reports.  He was 47 years old.

Yauch announced in 2009 that he had been diagnosed and was being treated for cancer of the parotid glands and lymph nodes.  There are three major pairs of salivary glands – sublingual, submandibular and parotid, the biggest of the glands.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, salivary gland cancer is very rare, only affecting two out of 100,000 adults each year in the U.S.

But, recognizing some warning signs is important.

Genden said that while Yauch’s case is tragic, it is still very uncommon.  However, he hopes for people to be aware of potential symptoms of salivary gland cancer, which include trouble swallowing, pain or numbness in the face, and most notably, a large lump in the neck.

“It’s not that it’s preventable, but this is the kind of thing that with careful screening and good examinations, you should be fine. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better chance for survival.”

So, if there are any doubts, discuss it with your dentist or physician.


Medicaid Does Not Improve Access to Dental Services for Poor Children

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According to a new study.

Abstract –  Background:  Data are lacking to support the contention that Medicaid services improve utilization of healthcare services and result in better health.

Objective:  To compare sociodemographic, utilization of healthcare services and health status characteristics among Medicaid-eligible children.

Methods:  The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey included 2821 children 2–16 years of age eligible for Medicaid. The main outcome measures are annual physician visit, annual dentist visit, general health status, oral health status, asthma (second most common childhood disease), dental caries (most common childhood disease), asthma treatment needs, and dental treatment needs. We quantified the association of these outcome measures with Medicaid insurance status and sociodemographic status using multiple logistic regression modeling, taking into account the complex survey design and sample weights.

Results:  Among Medicaid-eligible children, 27% were uninsured. Among uninsured Medicaid-eligible children, 62% had an annual physician visit, 32% had an annual dentist visit, 10% needed asthma treatment, and 57% needed dental treatment. Among insured Medicaid-eligible children, 81% had an annual physician visit, 39% had an annual dentist visit, 13% needed asthma treatment, and 42% needed dental treatment. After simultaneously taking into account other characteristics, uninsured Medicaid-eligible children were more likely to not have an annual physician visit (ORNoMDvisit = 2.21; 1.26–3.90), and to need dental treatment (ORDentalNeed = 1.57; 1.13–2.18).

Conclusions:  This USA population-based study found disparities exist within Medicaid’s services between utilization of dental and medical services. Medicaid insurance improved utilization of medical services, but did not improve the utilization of dental services. This suggests that Medicaid insurance does not improve access to dental services for poor children.

Once upon a time, when I treated California Denti-Cal (Medicaid) patients, the no show or broken appointment rate was astounding. These folks were getting “FREE” dental treatment and they continued to not show up.

I have to agree with the conclusions of this study.

If the patient or the parents of the child patient do not have any “skin” in the game, it doesn’t matter that much to them.


Christmas 2011

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Chapter 2

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Merry Christmas Everyone


Shopping for Dentistry on the Internet?

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View more videos at:

Patients can use online resources to shop around for the best price for dental services, but dentists say people shouldn’t pick a provider solely based on price.

Watch the video above and be very cautious.

I prefer patients obtain recommendations from their friends and family members. Be especially weary of corporate dentistry offices that want you to take large lines of credit to pay for “comprehensive” treatment.