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February 2012: National Children’s Dental Health Month
In 2002, the Urban Institute reported that one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses facing children in the United States today is tooth decay. It is astounding that oral health problems persist among children in spite the fact that tooth decay is largely preventable through regular dental cleanings and checkups. Still, 24 percent of children ages 5 to 17 account for 80 percent of the tooth decay disease in permanent teeth among this age group. Socioeconomic disparities are blamed for these oral health burdens and low-income children are disproportionately affected. Inadequate access to dental care can be cited as the problem. Please read the report: http://www.urban.org/publications/309527.html
It is with this problem in mind that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) offers Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Dental Services though a managed care model. Beginning March 1, 2012, HHSC will expand managed care dental services to include Medicaid. The goal of this expansion is to provide quality, comprehensive dental services to eligible recipients. HHSC will select two or more dental contractors to provide services to both Medicaid and CHIP Members. Please read the report:
It is good to remember also, that we can help protect our children’s teeth and diminish the growth of caries with various applications of dental sealants and with topical and systemic fluoride, but most importantly, a sound education and a good oral hygiene program will go a long way to help maintain healthy teeth and gums for a long, long time.
“Something Fun” from the American Dental Association in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month:
March is National Nutrition Month
We have a serious situation on our hands.
For the first time in the history of the world we are seeing great progress in the near complete eradication of hunger. While we have not solved the problem completely, it can be said that we are supplying food to at least most of the world. More of the poorer countries are learning agricultural techniques to insure a sustained food supply.
Why then, with such success, are we now facing a global epidemic of obesity? Perhaps nutrition cannot be defined merely as fuel for the body, but it must also include adequate work and exercise for the body. Nutritious foods can make us healthy, but food alone will not necessarily produce a total picture of health; we need also nutritious work and exercise to build good muscle, bone, blood and tissue.
Last year, a global study performed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD), on the health of the world in general, found that more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, were obese and that obesity was spilling over from the wealthy into poorer nations. It’s become an epidemic.
So, what can be done?
Most healthcare professionals agree that the most obvious and imminent causes for over-weight and obesity problems are consumption of excess calories, unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity among children and adults. Individuals in the medical sciences, are being called upon to be leaders in opening the eyes of our communities to see the inherent dangers that threaten us all.
Below is a collection of articles aimed at studying and addressing our complete nutritional problem. You may want to share some of these articles and videos with your clients, patients, students and caregivers. Together we can turn things around and help make lives better and healthier.
Texas-Mexican Border Study finds pesticides a BIG problem.
HARLINGEN,TX— Air samples from homes of Hispanic mothers-to-be along the Texas-Mexico border contained multiple pesticides in a majority of the houses, according to a study conducted by the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
Several studies have reported that pesticide exposure may adversely affect mental and motor development of the infants during infancy and childhood. The new report is in the summer issue of the Texas Public Health Journal .
Click Here to read the entire story as it appears in the HSC News Publication, and what suggestions are being made to remedy the situation. Story by Will Sansom and Sheila Hotchkin.