Child afraid of the dentist

Kids Dental Health is Getting Worse in Kentucky

Despite having more families with dental insurance than 15 years ago, kids dental health is getting worse in Kentucky. The 2016 study of 2,109 Kentucky families determined that Kentucky meets only half of eight benchmarks addressing children’s dental health needs. This is a huge problem because tooth decay or dental pain can lead to trouble with concentration in school and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer later in life.

Although Kentucky ranks first in the country in the percentage of people served by fluoridated water systems, the Bluegrass state is struggling to improve the dental health of its youngest inhabitants. Here are the key findings.

The percentage of students who need dental care is increasing.

The percentage of 3rd & 6th graders in Kentucky in need of early or urgent dental care was 32% in 2001. That number has now ballooned to 49%, meaning almost half of students in Kentucky are living with toothaches, tooth decay, infections or cavities. Eastern Kentucky is seeing the least improvement of any region.

Two out of five students have untreated cavities.

Tooth decay remains the most prevalent chronic disease in children, and impacts too many Kentucky children. And when students have poor dental health, it can affect their schoolwork. “We know in a very pragmatic way that a person with a toothache is probably not paying attention to their multiplication tables at school, so oral health is a significant issue for children in Kentucky,” Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates Dr. Terry Brooks said.

Over half of students do not have sealants.

There was a 14% increase in the number of children observed with dental sealants on at least one permanent molar. However, even with that gain, more than half of the children did not have any sealants, which are clear plastic coatings that protect the chewing surface of a tooth. Sealants are usually one-third the cost of filling a cavity.

Socioeconomic status is a significant factor in students’ oral health. 

What’s most troubling is that 88% of these students have dental insurance that pays for some or all of their dental care, parents report, but only 5% reported there was a time when their child needed dental care but couldn’t access it. So if access is not preventing parents from seeing a dentist for their children, is it education? According to the Kentucky Department of Education, more than 70% of public school students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. And unsurprisingly students on free or reduced lunch are more likely to have recently experienced a toothache, have visited a dentist more than a year ago, have untreated decay or be in need of urgent dental care.

“What leaps out in the report are two big issues,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. “One is the paradox that more kids have coverage and yet outcomes are worse and the second is that we have factors that kids can’t control — where they live, the color of their skin, how much money their parents make — and those are real determinants on the state of kids mouths. None of those are easily solved, but they are challenges that we have to tackle.”

In 2001, only 871 of 2,169 licensed dentists in Kentucky reported seeing Medicaid patients – and low imbursement rates, which have not changed in years, were among reasons cited.

We proudly accept Medicaid patients of all ages. 

Many of our offices accept Medicaid and Medicaid type plans. If you would like to find a pediatric dentist near you that accepts your plan or talk about general kids dental health with a professional, please give any of our Kentucky locations a call. We’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction and ensure your children have access to the dental care they need.


 

Digital Map of Kentucky with Percentages for regions shown - meaning percentage of 3rd and 6th grades with untreated tooth decay

Show your support. Share this image on Instagram for Children’s Dental Health Month and help raise awareness for kids dental health in Kentucky.

Portrait of a young girl showing thumbs up while in the dentist chair

Keeping Your Family Safer with Dentapure

For over 35 years, our priority has been the health of you and your family. So as soon as we heard reports of children getting sick from the water at dental offices, we began working on a solution. As of today, we are proud to announce that the Dental Unit Waterlines at every Kid’s Dentistree office in Kentucky, Indiana and Georgia are being treated with DentaPure® Cartridges.

Why treat waterlines with DentaPure®?

Last year in Georgia, nine children were hospitalized with Mycobacterium abscessus infections after undergoing pulpotomies (root canals) at a common clinic. An investigation found that the outbreak was caused by contaminated water that introduced the bacterium during irrigation and drilling. We decided that it was in the best interest of our patients’ health to not only revisit our waterline cleaning procedures, but also seek a long-term solution. DentaPure is a safe, reliable and effective EPA-approved cartridge that attaches to dental waterlines to prevent biofilm buildup in Dental Unit Waterlines (DUWL’s). When untreated, or improperly maintained, the water flowing through these contaminated DUWL’s and out through the air/water syringe or high-speed handpieces can carry pieces of biofilm that have broken off the waterline wall — potentially harming your patients, your staff and your practice’s reputation. Learn more by watching the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7CYIycR2Qo&feature=youtu.be

 

National Children’s Dental Health Month

What better way to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month than ensuring the health and safety of your children? If you have any additional questions about DentaPure or improving your child’s dental health, feel free to ask any of our team members at your next visit! For more children’s dental health tips and tricks, check out our #NCDHM blog post here.

Santa Claus is in mid-air as he runs down the sidewalk, pixelated letters overlaid read "SANTA'S COMING"

Santa’s coming to Kid’s Dentistree

Your family is invited to meet the one and only Santa Claus this holiday season at Kid’s Dentistree! Snap photos, tell him what you want for Christmas … maybe even find out if you’re on his Naughty or Nice list. Santa will be at the following locations on the days listed. Click on any location name for directions and phone number.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

10:00-11:00 a.m. – Jeffersonville, Indiana
11:30-12:30 p.m. – New Albany, Indiana
2:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. – Corydon, Indiana

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

9:00-10:00 a.m. – Middletown (Louisville, Kentucky)
10:30-11:30 p.m. – Westport Village (Louisville, Kentucky)
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – LaGrange, Kentucky

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

9:00-10:00 a.m. – Dixie Highway (Louisville, Kentucky)
10:45-11:45 – Outer Loop (Louisville, Kentucky)
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Shepherdsville, Kentucky

SWAP YOUR SWEETS WITH CANDY CORN EVERYWHERE

Swap Your Sweets 2016

Halloween is right around the corner! No, we’re not going to tell you or your kiddos not to enjoy any candy, BUT we do want to let you know about a fun way to enjoy some of your candy and send the rest to our troops overseas!

Now through November 15th you are invited to Swap Your Sweets! You can bring in your extra or unwanted Halloween candy to any Mortenson Family Dental, BracesBracesBraces or Kid’s Dentistree location (in Kentucky or Indiana) during that office’s regular hours to get a $5 gift card!

Here are the rules and details:

Each person may swap one bag of candy.

You must have at least one full, sandwich-size bag of candy.

No chocolate! (It melts in the mail when shipped overseas.)

All of the candy that we collect will go to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

Have a safe and fun Halloween and remember, you have until November 15th to swap!

Blond-haired boy with Superman costume

April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the United States. In 2014, the CDC identified 1 in 68 children in the U.S. as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but today that number might be a staggering 1 in 45. That means one child affected in every two classrooms, 2 million in the United States alone, and tens of millions of families worldwide. Without any widely accepted diagnosis method, treatment plan or cure, families are spending on average $60,000 per year to treat and manage the symptoms of their family members. And although research efforts have increased over the last five years, we still have a long way to go before finding a cure.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a serious developmental disorder that impacts the nervous system and impairs the ability to communicate and interact. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely. Common symptoms include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Early recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning. Research has identified more than a hundred autism risk genes. In around 15 percent of cases, a specific genetic cause of a person’s autism can be identified. However, most cases involve a complex and variable combination of genetic risk and environmental factors that influence early brain development. Read more.

Team Elijah

With Autism Spectrum Disorder rising in prevalence, you probably know a family who is living with the disorder already. Kid’s Dentistree’s very own Dr. Lydia has a son named Elijah with ASD. She tells tell her story below:

If you’d like to help families in our community who are affected by Autism, there’s a lot you can do to help! The easiest way to show your support is by wearing blue and tagging #LIUB (Light it Up Blue) or changing your Facebook cover photo to the “Shine a Light on Autism” image at the end of this post. But if you’d like to make a real difference in our community, consider donating or participating in the events listed below. Every donation, big or small, can help make a difference in the lives of families just like Dr. Lydia and Elijah.

 

Light It Up Blue for AUtism - Facebook Cover Photo

Childrens dental month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association (ADA) established National Children’s Dental Health Month over thirty years ago to promote the benefits starting young to achieve good oral health.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the country.  Tooth decay affects more children than asthma or hay fever. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of children will have some tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. The good news for parents is that tooth decay is preventable!

The following recommendations will get your child off to a great start with good dental health.

  • Brush and floss twice each day

The best weapons available to a parent are a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The ADA recommends that parents teach their children to brush for two minutes two times a day—morning and evening at bedtime. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child to avoid swallowing toothpaste.  Parents should provide help and supervision until a child is about seven or eight years old.

  • Limit sugary treats and drinks

This includes avoiding juice between meals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends limiting juice to four to six ounces per day. Parents can also replace sugary treats with healthy snacks such as cheese, yogurt, and fruit.

  • Schedule a dental checkup

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their child’s first visit to the dentist when the child turns one year of age. First birthday equals first checkup.  However, if a parent detects discoloration or staining, they should schedule an appointment right away.

  • Make sure your water has fluoride

Fluoride helps teeth resist acid attacks by strengthening tooth enamel. If your local water supply does not have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride drops or tablets.

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder that it’s never too early to start your child on the path of good dental health. Habits developed early tend to become lifelong habits.

Dental Awareness Month

Join us for a FREE day of dental health education in Lubbock

Join our Lubbock, Texas location in celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month this Saturday at the Barnes and Noble book fair.

Kid’s Dentistree and Braces Braces Braces will host the Youth Tooth Bookfair on Saturday from 11AM-1PM. See flyer for details.

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