California Opens Medi-Cal to All Children



A lack of access to quality healthcare coverage has been one of the most persistent causes of health inequity for many Latino families. Despite significant gains made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Latinos still remain the largest uninsured population in the country. In May 2016, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) of California (38.39% Latino population) implemented new legislation that allows for all children in the state under the age of 19 to be eligible for full Medi-Cal benefits. Previously, undocumented children would have only received emergency care benefits through Medi-Cal and would not have had access to dental or mental health care. From May through April of 2017, 189,434 undocumented children had been signed up for the “Medi-Cal for All Children” ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat on Valentine’s Day: I Love My Teeth!


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Untreated tooth decay is nearly twice as common among Latino school children as whites, and oral care habits at these young ages can impact oral care habits in adulthood. That's why Latinos and all children need good dental health behaviors as early as possible. Join with us and our partners and use #SaludTues on Feb. 14, 2017, to tweet ideas, solutions, and resources to improve dental health for Latino and all kids for Children’s Dental Health Month in February: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “I Love My Teeth: Latinos & Children’s Dental Health Month” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, February 14th 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludToday CO-HOSTS: Children's Dental Health Project (@Teeth_Matter), the Association‌ ...

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How Many of Us Really Brush Twice a Day?


dental health brushing teeth

SaludToday Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Care You've heard it before: Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are two of the best ways to keep your mouth healthy. But do Latinos and others follow this advice? Actually, 30% of Americans do not brush their teeth twice a day, according to figures from the American Dental Association. Skipping brushing can lead to tooth decay—which disproportionately occurs in Latino children—tooth loss and other serious health problems. “Poor oral health has been linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and many others,” said Dr. Leslie Renee Townsend, regional dental director for Jefferson Dental Care. “Moreover, at-home dental care is crucial to keeping plaque and tartar from building ...

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The Sad Reasons Latino Kids Delay Dentist Visits Until Age 16


Latina teen girl dentist oral health

SaludToday Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Clinics Most kids have their first dental visit by age 7. For Latinos, it's age 16. Why the big delay? About half of Latino families lack dental insurance. Latinos tend to not prioritize dental health, or they face barriers like high cost, lack of oral health knowledge, and lack of bilingual, dentists, surveys show. The result is Latino kids with twice as much untreated tooth decay and less preventative care than their peers. “Unfortunately this disparity is something that carries throughout life, since dental care starts at an early age and impacts the development of the teeth and gums,” says Dr. Leslie Townsend of Jefferson Dental Clinics. Negligence of dental care isn't just a "teeth" problem, either. It causes ...

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NIH Funds Latino Childhood Oral Health Disparities Research



The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will award 10 research grants of more than $7 million aimed at eliminating inequities in access to care and improving the oral health of children. These awards support the Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Research Consortium to Reduce Oral Health Disparities in Children an initiative of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). “By establishing this research consortium, NIDCR seeks to lead national efforts in reducing childhood oral health disparities,” said NIDCR Director Dr. Martha Somerman. “Among the projects awarded are those that test innovative health promotion and disease prevention strategies and evaluate and refine existing programs and policies.” It has been reported by the NIDCR that children ...

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4 Tips to Solve Problems in Your Gums


Dentist Demonstrating How To Brush Teeth To Female Patient

SaludToday Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Clinics Latino adults suffer 2.5-times as much gum disease as their white peers. Gum health is just as critical as teeth health; swollen or bleeding gums and gum recession all can signal a greater oral health issue that, if left unchecked, can cause severe infection or even tooth loss. What causes swollen gums? Swollen gums can be an early indicator of gum disease, which in its early stages is known as gingivitis. Inflamed gums can cause serious discomfort and pain, particularly while eating and drinking. Additional causes of gum inflammation are tobacco use, poor nutrition, diabetes, and certain medications. What causes bleeding gums? Healthy gums should not bleed during routine brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can cause gums ...

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#SaludTues TEETHchat 2/9/16: Why Dental Health is Critical for Latino Kids



Latino kids have the highest rates of dental cavities at certain age groups. This is bad news because poor dental health can not only lead to gum disease and early tooth loss, but it also can affect overall health, causing pain, influencing learning abilities, and producing low self-esteem. For February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, join the #SaludTues Tweetchat on Feb. 9, 2016, to tweet about tips, innovative strategies, and programs to improve dental health among Latinos and all kids to break down barriers and boost overall health: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Why Dental Health is Critical for Latino Kids?” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludToday CO-HOSTS: Jefferson ...

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5 Steps to End Dental Health Horrors among Latinos



SaludToday Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Clinics Cavities. Untreated, worsening tooth decay. Gums that pull away from teeth and form gaps, allowing infections and plaque to spread. This isn’t a horror story—it’s the reality of dental health in the Latino community. Latinos suffer high rates of tooth decay, and have high rates of periodontal disease (gums pulling away from teeth). Latino men are the least likely of all groups to seek dental care, and three-times as many older Latinos than whites will not receive treatment for tooth decay. Poor oral health leads to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which disproportionately impact Latinos. “The Latino community must take an active approach in monitoring and caring for their dental health, or prepare to face ...

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Latino Kids Experience 2x More Tooth Decay


dental health brushing teeth

SaludToday Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Clinics Did you know Latino kids have more cavities than other kids? Latino kids experience tooth decay at higher rates and are twice as likely as their White and African American peers to experience untreated tooth decay, the nation’s top chronic childhood illness, research indicates. “Our Latino youth are experiencing disproportionate levels of dental cavities,” says Dr. Leslie Renee Townsend, regional director of Texas-based Jefferson Dental Clinics. “It is clear that is time to intervene on advancing oral health initiatives aimed at creating good dental health habits from an early age.” The issue is more dire than cavities alone. Tooth decay in children has been correlated to problems with eating, difficulties with ...

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