A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Oral Health

Dental Coverage Critical to Decreasing ER Visits

A recent report on data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) found that people without dental coverage were significantly more likely to use the emergency department (ED) for preventable dental conditions such as untreated cavities, dental abscesses, and periodontal disease. Click here for the full report (.pdf). Among the findings: People without private insurance are at least seven times more likely to visit the ED, controlling for other demographic characteristics People living in rural areas are more likely to visit the ED. Statewide, the ED... Read more »

Tobacco Free Mass Coalition Kick Butts!

Our friends at Tobacco Free Massachusetts (TFM) recently proposed a tobacco tax bill (HD 2773) to close loopholes on other tobacco products (OTP) sponsored by Representative Jonathan Hecht and Senator Jamie Eldridge. This bill is supported by Health Care For All and the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce. On March 25th, TFM released the findings on a poll of 500 Commonwealth voters to gauge their support on increasing excise tax for smokeless tobacco products. Findings from the poll show that: Read more »

Oral Health and Homeless Kids

A key issue affecting oral health for kids is homelessness. Last week, The National Center on Family Homelessness released a report called “America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness” to provide a comprehensive snapshot of child homelessness in America today. Homelessness puts children at risk for many things- including poor health outcomes. Because oral health is a crucial part of overall health and a successful future, the report contained some new information about homeless children and oral disease. Read more »

What’s In Store for Oral Health?

Oral health is a critical part of overall health. And tomorrow night, Watch Your Mouth Spokesperson Frank Robinson will be on CBS making sure that even more people understand this crucial link. Frank Robinson was recently interviewed on What’s in Store, which will air on TV38 this Wednesday (3/18/09) at 9:30PM and Sunday (3/15/09) at 11:00AM. On the show, Dr. Robinson talks about the importance of oral health, the impact dental disease can have on kids’ health and school success, and what you can do to speak up for kid’s oral health! So please tune in tomorrow or Sunday to learn more about... Read more »

New York Times: “Short of Dentists, Maine Adds Teeth to Doctors’ Training”

Physicians in Maine have had a new task added to their list. According to a recent article in the New York Times primary care doctors trained in Maine are learning to lance abscesses, pull teeth and perform other basic dental skills. Because Maine has about twice as many people per dentist as the national average, it has become necessary for physicians to step in and help treat oral health issues. Because oral health is an integral part of overall health, without treatment, children may have difficulty concentrating in school, eating, and speaking. Dental disease also increases the risk in... Read more »

Children's Dental Health Month Garners Statewide Coverage

We know that children’s oral health is an integral part of overall health. In fact, there are serious consequences for ignoring this important part of a child’s healthy development. To ensure that our voices are heard, the Watch Your Mouth campaign along with coalition partners across the state celebrated Children’s Dental Health month this past February. To wrap up this important month, we would like to share the extensive media coverage of the Campaign and our coalition partners during the months of January and February. The Watch Your Mouth campaign commends our coalition partners and... Read more »

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties come together to address the region’s most common chronic disease: dental decay

Dental decay remains the most common, chronic disease on Cape Cod. The latest study by the Tri-County Collaborative for Oral Health Excellence finds that 62,000 Cape and Islands residents suffer from untreated dental decay. Read more »

Making the Grade for Children’s Oral Health

HCFA’s Watch Your Mouth Campaign kicked off its 2009 media effort today with an advertorial in the Boston Globe. Two Massachusetts school principals collaborated to celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month and highlight the critical links between good oral health and school success. They also asked others to speak out about the importance of oral health in order to ensure the healthy futures of our children. To read the full text of today’s advertorial, click here (html) or here (pdf).Christine Keeves Read more »

Not All Heroes are Make Believe

This week, Health Care For All hosted the fourth annual Watch Your Mouth Oral Health Heroes event at Nurses Hall at the State House. The hall was overflowing with supporters of oral health, who were treated to inspirational remarks by a variety of speakers and to honor four very special Oral Health Heroes: Senate President Therese Murray, Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, Medicaid Director Tom Dehner, and Dr. Joel Pearlman, Associate Chief Dentist with Tufts Dental Facilities. Read more »

Watch Your Mouth Celebrates Dr. Joel Pearlman, Our 2009 Community Hero!

Dr. Joel Pearlman has been working continuously with the Tufts Dental Facilities serving Persons with Special Needs since the late 1970’s. He has dedicated his career to improving the oral health of patients with developmental disabilities, where he ensures that his patients and their families are treated with the dignity and compassion that they deserve. In that time, in addition to the thousands of patients he has seen, he has served as a mentor to numerous post graduate dental students and 4th year dental students alike. Read more »


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