The Weekly Wednesday Update is our newsletter which we email every Wednesday with oral health, health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

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July 8, 2020
Volume 11, Issue 27



Conference On Oral Health Dates Announced

The Conference Planning Committee have finalized the dates for the virtual Conference on Oral Health! A survey was sent out to our email list serve, past conference attendees and on social media to ask what days everyone prefers for a virtual conference. Mark your calendars for Friday, October 30 and Friday, November 6! Both days will be from 9am-12pm. As we continue to plan, watch for more information!



Dental Offices During A Pandemic

Dental offices were one of the many health care providers that were advised to provide only emergency care during the height of COVID-19 pandemic in March and April. In May, Kansas dental clinics began opening with new safety precautions in place. In a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), about half of adults reported they or a family member skipped dental and medical visits due to COVID-19. In the poll, 52% of adults said they or a family member in their household skipped or delayed dental or medical care due to COVID-19 during recent months; that figure is 4% higher than it was in May. The KFF Health Tracking Poll - June 2020 was released on June 26 and included responses from about 1,300 people.

National Public Radio shared a story this week highlighting the precautions dental offices have in place to protect patients and staff. For example, dental offices may have patients wait in their cars until their appointment and check patient’s temperature and ask a series of screening questions.

This week the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute unveiled a new tool to show the extent to which dental practices in each state have re-opened. According to this data, all practices in Kansas have re-opened, but about half are seeing a lower patient volume than usual.

Dental care is an important part of health care. Oral Health Kansas wants to help keep people safe and informed. We have several resources on our website to keep professionals and patients informed. Patients can get an idea about what to expect when they make an appointment with their dental office thanks to a new Oral Health Kansas video. Two Kansas clinics showed us what changes they have made in their clinic during the pandemic in this video. We also created a guide with recommendations about how to safely seek dental care. The guide is in English and Spanish.




Celebrating 75 Years of Water Fluoridation

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of community water fluoridation in the United States. Water fluoridation began in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and within just 11 years the rate of cavities among kids in Grand Rapids had decreased by 60%. The practice remains one of the most important public health achievements over the last century.

The chair of the American Dental Association's Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention's National Fluoridation Advisory Committee, Dr. Leon Stanislav, said, "Perhaps, more important than ever, in this time of a pandemic crisis and the limitations that have been imposed on all of health care, is the basic need for prevention. What better and more universal method can there be to reach millions of people and help them avoid the preventable oral disease of tooth decay?”

The American Dental Association is presenting a series of webinars this month about community water fluoridation. Upcoming topics will include a mom’s guide to fluoride. Learn more at the ADA’s website.




You Are What You Eat Contest

Kids Need 2 Eat is having a video contest! Their mission is to assist communities in understanding and overcoming barriers to all children having daily access to the nutritious food needed for their brains and bodies to develop into successful adults. They’re having a video contest for youth ages 13-25. The videos must promote healthy eating by children and youth using our “You are what you eat!” contest theme, or a theme closely related to it. There will be three cash prize winners! Download the flyer here and start working on your video!




This week we are happy to celebrate anniversaries for two Oral Health Kansas staff members. Sonia Olmos is marking five years with the organization, and Christi Wells has been with us for three years. Sonia and Christi are invaluable parts of our team, and both work tirelessly to promote good oral health and to keep this organization thriving. Congratulations to Sonia and Christi! We hope this is just the beginning.




Sugary Drink Display Sanitation

During this time, hand washing and social distancing is on everyone’s mind. We want everyone to have the comfort of knowing we sanitize our sugary drink displays. They are wiped down and cleaned off after they have been returned.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending use of the Sugary Drink Display until further notice.




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