Feb 172014
 

It’s February, and the American Dental Association is sponsoring the annual National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about oral health.

Teaching children good oral hygiene habits early in life can lead to a healthy smile for decades to come.

Parents can visit the ADA website for free online resources from coloring and activity sheets to advice about concerns from thumbsucking to sealants. The website, MouthHealthy.org, has information on developing healthy habits for everyone, at all stages of life.

A balanced diet is important for a child’s growth and development and should include fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy and lean proteins.

Take the fact or fiction quiz on the website to test your knowledge on oral health. For example, diluting fruit juice with water doesn’t make it less sugary. A popular saying is “Snack and sip all day? Risk decay” Try and rinse your mouth with water after you eat something sweet. Water is better than juice for hydration and nutrition.

Another fact: A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. And the baby teeth that begin coming through the gums at about six months help prepare for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth. It’s important to keep the teeth strong, healthy and cavity-free.

The ADA reminds everyone that developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental check-ups helps children get a good start on healthy teeth and gums for life. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day.

If you don’t have a regular dentist, the ECU School of Dental Medicine is here to help.

The dental school in Greenville is accepting new patients for ECU’s pre-doctoral and resident clinics. Make an appointment for a screening by calling 252-737-7834 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The school’s Community Service Learning Centers in Ahoskie and Elizabeth City are also open. The Ahoskie clinic can be reached at 252-332-1904, and the Elizabeth City clinic is at 252-737-7250.  

 

 

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Sep 272013
 
Dr. Joseph V. Califano

Dr. Joseph Califano, professor and division director of periodontology in the Department of Surgical Sciences at the ECU School of Dental Medicine, has been elected to serve as one of nine directors of the American Board of Periodontology (ABP).

The ABP is one of nine specialty boards recognized by the American Dental Association. The board serves to advance the art and science of periodontics and elevate the quality of periodontal care through the examination, certification, and recertification of periodontists.

 The ABP develops and oversees the administration of the written and oral exams required to become a board certified periodontist or diplomate of the ABP. Califano was a board examiner for seven years prior to a national run this year for a directorship.

Califano will be installed as one of the ABP’s nine directors at the American Academy of Periodontology Annual Meeting this month. He will serve a six-year term.

 “Dr. Califano was elected a director by the membership of the American Academy of Periodontology, which says a great deal about his reputation in the profession. Directors are to represent the best of the best in periodontics. Our students are the recipients of his expertise, and we are fortunate to have him on our faculty,” said Dr. Grishondra Branch-Mays, chair, School of Dental Medicine Department of Surgical Sciences.

 A native of Bayshore, NY, Califano received a certificate in periodontology, a PhD in microbiology and immunology, and a D.D.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

 Prior to ECU, Califano was the director of post-graduate periodontics at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in Chicago. 

 Califano’s specific areas of research include pathogenesis and immunopathology of periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis, microbial genetics of periodontitis associated bacteria, and computer guided implant dentistry.

Along with his membership in American Board of Periodontology (ABP), Dr. Califano is also a member of the American Dental Education Association and the American Dental Association.

Feb 122013
 

Kids of all ages agree: candy is the best part about Valentine’s Day.

Believe it or not, even dentists eat candy and other sweet treats on occasion. In fact, we’d argue that the ability to enjoy candy hearts each February is one of the sweetest incentives to maintaining good oral health. Go ahead – tell your kids we said so!

While you’re at it, you might check out the fun, free resources available to you all month long, through the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Month. Every February, ADA sponsors the month to raise national awareness around oral health best practices for youth – a message that ECU School of Dental Medicine faculty and students would like to deliver to North Carolina’s many underserved dental patients. So while National Children’s Dental Health Month gives us yet another reason to love February, you might say it’s an occasion we at ECU commemorate year-round.

We want to inform kids (and grown-ups!) about dental care best practices that allow them to both continue eating the foods they love, and safeguard against a variety of health problems. And ever since we opened our doors in the fall of 2011, improving access to patient care has been our goal.

The path to better oral health in North Carolina starts with our kids. When we teach our children to care for their teeth at an early age, they’ll reap the benefits for a lifetime. Today, that cavity-free kid who remembers to brush twice a day can still enjoy a few candy hearts.  And down the road, the grown-up version of the same child will remember that flossing is part of the overall regimen in preventing heart disease.

Read more about how the School of Dental Medicine’s service-based curriculum delivers dental care to North Carolina kids and grown-ups who need it most: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/dentistry/About-Us.cfm.

Jan 102013
 

Your New Year’s resolutions may include lifestyle changes like weight control, exercise, and stress relief, but have you thought about resolving to improve your oral health?

Below are some resolutions to consider regarding oral health—not only for 2013 but for a lifetime. Over the next couple of months, we’ll discuss what the American Dental Association has to say about ways to improve your overall oral health. Consider these lifelong resolutions:

  1. Read about oral health and know the facts (not fiction)
  2. Brush and floss regularly
  3. Visit a dentist regularly
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Eat sweets in moderation

Regarding No.1, the American Dental Association has a “Mouth Healthy” website to answer questions on oral health throughout the life span, including pregnancy, babies and kids, preteens and teens, adults under 40, adults 40-60, and adults over 60. Check out the website here.

An example of what “Mouth Healthy” offers is a quiz on oral health care. Do you know if these statements are true or false? 

  • Aspirin placed next to a tooth is a good way to relieve a toothache.
  • A little bleeding of the gums after brushing or flossing is normal.
  • Sensitivity in teeth means you have decay.
  • Sugarless chewing gum can help keep teeth healthy.

Get the answers here.