January/February   2018
In This Issue
Partner Spotlight: 

The Association of Mexicans in NC, Inc. (AMEXCAN) is a transnational leadership and civic engagement nonprofit and an active community partner of NCOHC.

AMEXCAN's mission is to "encourage the active participation of Mexicans and Latinas in our communities of destination and origin, to promote the appreciation, understanding and prosperity of the community through actions; Cultural, Educational, Health, Advocacy and Leadership in a transnational manner." 

AMEXCAN works to build alliances with diverse actors and civil society organizations in Mexico and Latin America, in order to promote the necessary changes in public policies that make possible dignifies and sustainable living conditions for our communities both the the countries of origin and in the U.S.A.

Want to be our next Partner Spotlight?
We want to share the great work you are doing in our new "Partner Spotlight" section of our newsletters!

Please share your organization's oral health advocacy efforts and any others relevant activities so we can share with the NCOHC network.

Click this link for our Partner Spotlight form.
The NCOHC is a proud partner of The Oral Health (OH) 2020 Network, which is a national network of individuals and organizations that believe oral health is essential to overall health and well-being.

The OH 2020 Network defined a set of goals with specific and measurable targets to hit be the year 2020, and they are guiding the work of the oral health movement in our country.

Join the diverse OH 2020 Network of individuals and organizations at the local, state, and national level to ensure policy, financing, care, and community are aligned to promote oral health as an essential part of overall health and well-being.

Join OH 2020 Network
Director's Update
"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?"
~ John Green

The first month of 2018 brought with it a significant amount of snow, school closures, meeting cancellations and that cold/flu bug that just kept going around and around!  Now as we look through the lens of clear skies and vibrant health we have another opportunity (as we do with every sunrise) to start anew, think about the year head, declare our aspirations and commit to bring our best selves to every challenge.  Because, truly:  what else is there but our commitment to do something good with this one precious life?

And that's precisely what we're trying to do within the NCOHC:  something good in the sphere of oral health for all North Carolinians.  In early January twelve key stakeholders from NC embarked on an interstate learning journey to Colorado.  The purpose of this trip was to learn from Colorado's experiences in implementing two key programs focused on increasing access to care for the most vulnerable members of their community:   Virtual Dental Home (teledentistry: S.M.I.L.E.S Dental Project)  and  Colorado Medical Dental Integration Project (CO MDI) .

The whole journey took less than 3 days, but what we learned during our time there will influence our work for months/years to come.  Participants were inspired, invigorated, and provoked to explore new frontiers in our work to eliminate oral health disparities, getting us a few steps closer to health equity.  We were invited to step outside of our own paradigms, our own silos, our own heads -- and truly contemplate the opportunity that lies before us.  And the opportunity that lies before us is a beautiful one -- where we get to design a future for NC where the most vulnerable members of our community have access to the preventive oral health care that they need in a timely manner provided in community settings by compassionate providers.

Most importantly this journey reminded us that the most efficient way for us to seize this opportunity and live into a brighter future is to work together.  Not sacrificing our deeply held values, but in service of them.  Not to protect my interests, or your interests ----but because the people of our state deserve more from our oral health care system.  Our children deserve more.  Our elders deserve more.  With this new year, may we recommit ourselves to doing something remarkable. Together.

"I was one of the oral health policy stakeholder attendees at the January 10-12, 2018 North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative sponsored site visit to Denver, CO to learn more about that state's innovative oral health policy and program reforms. In my 11+ years at the Division of Medical Assistance's Dental Program, I am pleased to say that this site visit was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had the pleasure to participate in from the perspective of someone who seeks to learn more about best practices in oral health policy. It was great to see an example of how much good can be done when diverse stakeholders work together to improve access to and the delivery of oral health services for the disadvantaged."    
--Mark W. Casey DDS, MPH, Dental Officer, 
Division of Medical Assistance, NC DHHS
Reframing Oral Health: A Communications Toolkit for Advancing Oral Health Reform

A healthy mouth is essential to overall health, but this understanding isn't reflected in either public thinking or public policy.  A communications toolkit from the FrameWorks Institute, commissioned by the DentaQuest Foundation, offers evidence-based recommendations and sample communications for shirting thinking and building understanding.  

You can access the complete Communications Toolkit here.
Rural Oral Health Summit - Campbell University's Public Health Department
February 10, 2018

The Rural Oral Health Summit , hosted by Campbell University's Public Health Department,  will feature professionals from North Carolina, Louisiana, West Virginia and Alaska speaking on the integration of primary care and oral health, prevention, school-based oral health, community-integrated oral health and more.   Mary Otto, author of  "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America" will serve as the keynote speaker.

Time is approaching and space is limited so click here to REGISTER NOW .
February, National Children's Dental Health Month: ADA's Guide
The February 2018 National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM)  is brought to you by the American Dental Association (ADA) and Crest + Oral B.  This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.
The ADA has created an   NCDHM Program Planning Guide   which includes FREE posters and download materials as well as easy-to-do activities.This year's NCDHM campaign slogan, "Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile".  
AAP's Campaign for Dental Health Oral Health Advocacy Toolkit
Early childhood dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood, yet access to oral health care continues to be a problem for many children and families.  There are many ways for pediatricians and dental professionals to improve oral health access by advocating for kids' oral health in their practice, community, and at the state and federal levels.

Click here to view the toolkit and find ideas and tools to engage as an oral health advocate or simply help you weave oral health into your existing advocacy efforts.
March 20th - World Oral Health Day

World Oral Health Day (WOHD), created by FDI World Dental Federation, is celebrated every year on 20 March. It is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene to looking after everyone old and young.
A new method of treating tooth decay using silver nitrate may make the pain, and expense, of traditional treatments obsolete. Special correspondent Cat Wise has the story.   Click here to watch the video .
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) 
Fact Sheet March 2017 - ASTDD
amended July 2017
What is SDF? Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has been used extensively outside the U.S. for many years for caries (cavity/dental disease)  control.  SDF is a colorless liquid containing silver particles and 38% fluoride ion that, at pH 10, is 25% silver, 8% ammonia, 5% fluoride, and 62% water.  This is referred to as 38% SDF.   The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors' (ASTDD) SDF Fact Sheet can be found here.
NC Oral Health Profile Data & Wake Co. Dentist Rate Comparison
There is a strong connection between oral health and overall health.  Oftentimes, poor oral health indicates other health risks, such as poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and preterm birth.  This report highlights oral health indicators from the CDC for North Carolina, along with local data on the number of practicing dentists in Wake County and its neighboring counties in our state.  See the full report here.