Many individuals don't mind their mouth health until there's an issue. That's really too bad. People often notice your teeth before anything else about you. Keep reading to learn some ways that you can take care of your teeth and have a beautiful, white smile.
Some foods are more harmful to your teeth. You should always try to avoid eating food that is rich in sugar. Don't drink very cold or hot beverages, and avoid coffee for white teeth. You can drink using a straw to help minimize damage to your teeth.
Many prescription medicines can cause dry mouth. If you aren't producing enough saliva, then discomfort and cavities can occur. Check with your physician to find out i
2 months ago
Hidden America: Medicaid's Youngest Face Dental Crisis With Few Dentists Accepting Program
With more than 16 million low-income U.S. children on Medicaid not receiving dental care -- or even a routine exam -- in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States, dentists and ERs say they are treating very young patients with teeth blackened from decay and bacteria and multiple cavities.
"I see it in their eyes before they tell me it's that way," Dr. Gregory Folse told ABC News. "We are able to intervene and take the pain away from their teeth and it brings the spark back. And that's my goal."
For more on the "Hidden America" series, watch "World News with Diane Sawyer" Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Folse's Outreach Dentistry mobile clinic travels to schools around Louisiana, filling cavities and teaching children and parents about the importance of oral hygiene.
In 2007, Congress held a hearing on the issue of children's dental health after Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Maryland boy, died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. His mother, Alyce Driver, had been unable to find a dentist to treat him on Medicaid and could not afford to pay out of pocket.
At the time, Leslie Norwalk, then-acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called his death "a failure on many levels."
And although she said that these types of dental services were covered, many dentists said that Medicaid reimbursement rates are too low.
A study published in May 2011 demonstrated that despite efforts to boost the number of patients and providers in the Medicaid system, low-income families still had limited access to dental care -- except when they were able to pay cash.
The state of Florida got an F in children's dental health in a 2011 report from the Pew Center on the States. In 2009, according to Pew, only 25.7 percent of Florida children on Medicaid saw a dentist.
"The Medicaid rates are so low that dentists are not willing to participate in the Medicaid program," said Dr. Frank Catalanotto of the University of Florida, Gainesville, Community Dentistry. "You can't blame the dentists, really, because the cost of delivering the service is more than the reimbursement they receive."
Florida has some of the lowest rates. Ten pediatric dentists in four counties said they would not accept Medicaid -- even for a child whose face hurt. And more than half of Florida's counties -- 36 -- do not have one pediatric dentist who takes Medicaid, according to Pew.
Dentists say that ignoring teeth can mean life or death. An infection can kill or promote heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis. Children who do not receive dental care can suffer root canals and extractions before they reach 10 years old.
At the http://www.smileusa.com/ Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, Fla., Falguni Patel, a first-year resident in pediatric dentistry, said it made her sad that there were certain groups of children who suffered more than others.
"People think just because you have insurance that you're going to have access to care -- which is not the whole story," she said. "They're very few pediatric dentists that accept Medicaid in this area, so these children have nowhere to go even if they do have insurance. ... It's a big problem."
How to Help
Oral Health America
The American Dental Association
2 months ago
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3 months ago
Get Those Molars - Photos Of The Day - Pictures
An evacuee from Lebanon holds her U.S. passport as she scratches her head while she waits in a line prior to her departure to the airport, at the international fairground of Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, July 20, 2006. Some 900 U.S. citizens, many of them of Lebanese origin, arrived on the cruise liner Orient Queen earlier Thursday, completing the first trip in a massive evacuation operation from Lebanon.
Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis
A man inspects the destroyed buildings in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, July 20, 2006, after Israeli warplanes launched more air strikes. Hezbollah guerrillas clashed with Israeli troops on the Lebanese side of the border for the s
3 months ago
Top 6 Health Insurance Options for College Students
Each year, college students face a critical test that they probably don't hear about in any classroom: having the right health insurance to cover the costs of ailments and emergencies that may arise while they're in school.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the health reform legislation more often known by the moniker "Obamacare," students now have at least a half-dozen health care choices.
"Five years ago, a student had very few options," says Jenny Haubenreiser, immediate past president of the American College Health Association. "Now, they have many options."
Poor health may be the last thing on the minds of young, vibrant college students. But it pays to think about
5 months ago
Oral cancers in women rising, HPV sometimes a factor
"How could this be?" asks oral cancer patient Pat Folsom, who never smoked or drank heavily.
About 34,000 new U.S. cases of oral cancer diagnosed annually; numbers are rising
Chief factors are excessive smoking and drinking
Human papillomavirus also sometimes a cause
When found early, oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate
Watch for Health Minute on HLN, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET weekdays.
(CNN) -- Pat Folsom, 54, knows the importance of preventive medicine. As a health care worker, she goes for scheduled checkups. So when she went in for a routine dental exam last year, she didn't expect more than a cleaning
5 months ago
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