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Get ready for NCDHM 2015

Dentists nationwide can help their young patients “defeat monster mouth” by participating in the ADA’s 2015 National Children’s Dental Health Month.

For the 66th year, the NCDHM campaign brings thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and others together to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, adults, caregivers and teachers.

Defeat Monster This year’s two-sided poster features the NCDHM campaign slogan “Defeat Monster Mouth.” The free posters are available in English and Spanish thanks to a grant from the ADA Foundation.

Information regarding how to order or download posters can be found at ADA.org/ncdhm.

Also available on the website is the NCDHM Program Planning Guide, which provides program coordinators, dental societies, teachers and parents with resources to promote the benefits of good oral health to children.

The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample NCDHM proclamation and more. Other free campaign materials, including publicity resources and activity sheets — many in both English and Spanish — can also be downloaded.

For answers to questions regarding NCDHM, email ncdhm@ada.org.

A variety of brochures, videos, activity and coloring books for children are also available from the ADA Catalog. Visit adacatalog.org or call 1-800-947-4746 for more information.

Volunteers sought for Navy humanitarian missions

According to ADA News, the University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society nongovernmental organization seeks civilian volunteers for U.S. Navy hospital ship humanitarian mission trips from April through September 2015.

The USNS Mercy will travel to Southeast Asia and the Oceania Islands, with stops in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Philippines, Micronesia and Vietnam. A smaller ship will make stops in Kiribati, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Philippines and Vietnam. The USNS Comfort will travel to the Caribbean, Central and South America with stops planned stops in Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Haiti. This is the first time both hospital ships will be on humanitarian missions at the same time, and the first U.S. Navy mission trip since 2012.

“These missions change the lives of participants from our nation, partner nations and host nations,” said Dr. Irvin B. Silverstein, UCSD Pre-Dental Society director. “Our participants have been able to help with and see some amazing things and bring friendship, understanding and build closer relationships with different people in the world. These are not just humanitarian missions. They help forge diplomatic ties and help create friendships.”

UCSD Pre-Dental Society seeks dentists, physicians, pharmacists, optometrists, nurses, dental hygienists, dental assistants, medical assistants, medical and dental lab technicians, pharmacy techs, physical therapists, biomedical repair technicians, sonographers, translators, educators, engineers and all other health-related professionals.

Both ships will leave about April 1. The pre-dental society NGO will serve as a civilian partner in the Navy’s humanitarian missions.

Volunteers can choose the length of time and countries in which they will serve. Professionals must serve at least two weeks; technicians and assistants must serve at least four weeks. Preference will go to those who can volunteer for longer periods. Volunteers must pay for their transportation to and from the ship. Once aboard the ship, the Navy will cover volunteer expenses, including food and lodging.

Request an application via e-mail at ucsdpds.missions@gmail.com or dsilverstein22@cox.net as soon as possible to begin the credentialing process.

Did Hermey inspire you to be a dentist?

He didn’t want to build toys. He dreamed of becoming a dentist.

According to ADA News, Hermey the Elf continues to do his part in increasing oral health literacy among children and adults — 50 years after the animated classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” first aired on national television.

Hermey the Elf

Hermey the Elf

The ADA is featuring Hermey the Elf in an online campaign to help promote oral health literacy, stressing nutrition, dental hygiene and dental visits as key factors in preventing cavities.

Through the campaign, the ADA’s MouthHealthyKids.org will feature free downloadable educational coloring book pages featuring Hermey along with the ADA’s tips for maintaining good oral health. The coloring pages will be available for download through the end of December.

MouthHealthy.org will also include a fun dental health quiz for families and a separate sweepstakes drawing to receive a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer prize package.

In addition, Hermey was designated a DDG, or Dental Do Gooder, by Dr. Maxine Feinberg, ADA president, for promoting good dental health to his friend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and everyone in the North Pole.

“Hermey’s passion for dentistry, coupled with his devotion to helping others feel good about themselves inside and out deserves recognition,” said Dr. Feinberg. “I know Hermey the Elf, DDG, will continue to inspire young people and those who are young at heart to follow their dreams.”

The animated special, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” tells the tale of how Rudolph and Hermey were initially rejected by their peers for being different, yet they go on to triumph when they show that their differences make them unique and helpful to their community. The program airs Dec. 9 on CBS.

In its third year, Veterans’ Smile Day expands its reach

To honor and thank those who served the United States in the military, new dentists and their colleagues in at least five states provided free dental care to veterans during this year’s Veterans’ Smile Day, Nov. 7-8 — an annual event that continues to grow.

“I hope to turn this into a nationwide yearly event,” said Dr. Deryck Pham, a Navy veteran and founder of the event. His dental office in Mays Landing, New Jersey opened its doors to veterans who needed dental care in 2012, treating 33 patients. Last year, with the help of social media and word-of-mouth, about 20 practices participated.

Dr. Irani

Dr. Irani

This year, dentists from about 50 offices in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and Florida saw about 600 veterans during Veterans’ Smile Day — held during the Veterans Day weekend.

Dr. Pham, a member of the Institute for Diversity in Leadership (IDL) class of 2014-15, has chosen to expand the program nationwide — similar to Give Kids A Smile — as his Institute leadership project.

“Not many people think of veterans as an underserved population,” Dr. Pham said. “But they face issues of homelessness, unemployment and health-related problems.”

When it comes to dental care, many veterans simply fall through the cracks. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans have to meet certain eligibility factors to receive dental care, such as service-related dental disability or condition, or if they are a former prisoner of war.

In addition, Dr. Pham said, some veterans who quality for dental benefits still don’t receive the care they need.

Dr. Pham

Dr. Pham

“Some of them have to travel hours away from the nearest VA hospital, and then wait many more hours to receive dental care,” he said. “Some just choose to forego the benefit.”

During Veterans’ Smile Day, participating dental clinics provided free dental care such as examinations, X-rays, oral cancer screening, cleanings, fillings, extractions and other preventative and restorative dental care.

Dr. Pham said he plans to continue to utilize social networking, reaching out to friends and colleagues in organized dentistry to ensure veterans have a nearby dental practice to go to during Veterans’ Smile Day.

This year, the program expanded largely with the help of Dr. Karin Irani, who organized the event in Southern California.

Dr. Irani, a 2009-10 graduate of the IDL, spearheaded organizing the event after she received a Facebook message from Dr. Pham, her friend and University of Southern California School of Dentistry classmate.

“He asked me, because of my experience with the Institute, if I can take his idea and runaway with it,” Dr. Irani said. “It was a great idea. I said, ‘Why not? Let’s do it.’”

During the ADA’s 2013 annual meeting in New Orleans, Dr. Irani shared the idea of providing free dental care to veterans to fellow Institute graduates who agreed to participate. Overall, about 15 dentists in the Los Angeles area participated in the first Veterans’ Smile Day for the first time this year.

“It’s amazing how many veterans, young and old, don’t have access to dental services. I knew I’d get a lot of veterans who are in the older generation, but I didn’t expect to also get a lot of younger veterans who finished their service 3-4 years ago. Some of them are going to college and can’t afford dental care,” said Dr. Irani. “I’m hoping next year, if the word get outs, more doctors want to help out.”

For more information on the event and how to participate next year, contact Dr. Pham at deryckp@hotmail.com or Dr. Irani at ddsusc03@gmail.com.

Register now for 2015 Give Kids A Smile Day

Registration is open for the 2014 Give Kids A Smile Day. The national celebration is set for Feb. 6, 2015.

Give Kids A SmileRegister online by Nov. 10 to be considered for free product donation. The ADA will post a list of product recipients on the website in December, and recipients will receive their products the week of Jan. 19, 2015.

Give Kids A Smile is made possible through the generous support of corporate sponsors, Henry Schein, Colgate and DEXIS; dentists; and other oral health care professionals who volunteer their time and services to provide needed oral health care to underserved children.

For more information, email gkas@ada.org or call 312.440.4600.

Have you participated in Give Kids A Smile programs in the past? What was your experience like? Share in the comments.

2014 New Dentist Reception

New dentists around the country connected with their peers and enjoyed the big and bold Texas ambiance during the New Dentist Reception at the ADA 2014 – America’s Dental Meeting in San Antonio. The event was a time and place for new dentists and dental students to network, exchange ideas and enjoy the fun atmosphere, which included food, drinks and music.

Here are some photos from the event:

New Dentist Reception New Dentist Reception New Dentist Reception New Dentist Reception New Dentist Reception New Dentist Reception

Check out the new PSAs for the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign

Building on its highly successful 2min2x campaign, the Ad Council and The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives unveiled their new Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign public service announcements Oct. 9 in San Antonio at ADA 2014 — America’s Dental Meeting.

The new English- and Spanish-language PSAs playfully explore how much a parent can teach a child in two minutes. The new spots are posted here.

The ADA is one of the more than 35 leading dental health organizations in The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, a coalition that believes every child deserves a healthy smile (healthymouthshealthylives.org).

Since the launch of 2min2x in 2012, more than 1.7 million people have visited 2min2x.org, and the English and Spanish-language PSAs have received more than $64 million in donated media across TV, radio, print, web and outdoor outlets.

A 2013 Ad Council survey showed that in one year, both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking parents reported that their children were significantly more likely to brush twice a day and significantly more likely to brush for two minutes each time.

For more information about the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign, visit 2min2x.org and follow the campaign’s social media communities on Facebook (facebook.com/kidshealthymouths) and Twitter (@brush2min2x).

What do you think of the new 30-second ads?

9 essential habits of remarkably effective people

According to an Inc.com article, there’s a difference between being efficient and being effective. Efficient people are well organized, competent and get stuff done.

“Effective people do all that…but they check the right things off their to-do list. They complete the right projects. They get the right stuff done,” according to Jeff Haden, contributing editor for Inc., in his piece, “9 Essential Habits of Remarkably Effective People.”

Here are nine traits of remarkably effective people, and why they’re so successful:

  • They always start with goals.
  • Then they create systems.
  • They believe in themselves.
  • They believe they are in control of their lives.
  • They also embrace “random.”
  • They find happiness in the success of others.
  • They use their goals to make decisions automatic.
  • They don’t multitask.
  • They freely ask for help.

As new dentists seeking success, do you have any or all of these traits of remarkably effective people?

In Zambia, new dentist volunteers to treat patients in a truck

Dr. Rachel Hymes poses with a group of children from Kafue, Zambia where she treated residents through International Caring Hands.

Dr. Rachel Hymes poses with a group of children from Kafue, Zambia where she treated residents through International Caring Hands.

Dr. Rachel Hymes had all the dental equipment she needed — two dental chairs, an air compressor, anesthesia and tools to perform extractions safely — inside a trailer on the back of a truck.

She’d park the vehicle, the size of a large U-Haul truck, on the grounds of the Riverside Farm Institute in Kafue, Zambia and open the mobile mini-clinic every morning. Each day, for nearly week, she saw about 40 patients seeking relief from their dental problems — ranging from large cavities to years old broken teeth.

“I decided to only do extractions,” Dr. Hymes said. “I had to make a decision. I can either serve one person in an hour, or several for one hour. The need was just tremendous.”

Since graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2010, Dr. Hymes has volunteered her dentistry skills for a mission trip every year. This year, she went to Zambia with the group International Caring Hands.

Dr. Hymes found the organization through the ADA International Volunteer website. She chose the group because the mobile clinics are equipped with necessary materials and tools. All she had to do was pay for her flight.

Dr. Hymes, of Mountain City, Tennessee, and her husband, flew out of Charlotte, North Carolina to New York City on June 7. From there, they flew to Dubai and then to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. There was another two-hour car ride before they arrived in Kafue — 28 hours later.

“It was quite a journey,” she said. They arrived on a Sunday afternoon and began working in the mobile clinic at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Most of the people she saw lived in a village close to the Institute.

Along with a local assistant and a translator, Dr. Hymes opened the clinic until 5:30 p.m. for four days, treating about 150 people of all ages.

Dr. Hymes and her dental assistant Lucas pose with the International Caring Hands' mobile dental clinic.

Dr. Hymes and her dental assistant Lucas pose with the International Caring Hands’ mobile dental clinic.

“Some people were scared. Others didn’t get the idea of being numb,” she said. “But when they were done, they would thank us and give us a hug.”

By the end of my mission, word had started to spread about the clinic and they had to turn a lot of people away.

“That was the hardest part of the trip,” she said. “We had to close even though there was still a line 20 people deep.”

Because of the need, Dr. Hymes said she hopes other dentists, especially new dentists like her, seek out ways to volunteer and use their skills to treat those in need — whether internationally or locally.

“If dentists are available to go, they should do it,” Dr. Hymes said. “(International Caring Hands) had everything a dentist needs to treat patients, all they need are people to do it.”

Dr. Hymes said International Caring Hands provided the food and a place to stay. Meanwhile, their dental equipment was in great condition.

“I enjoy getting to know people and just helping others get some relief from pain,” Dr. Hymes said. “I think as a human being, as a Christian, I feel the responsibility to help those in need. Volunteering is something I hope I can do for the rest of my life.”

At the end of her trip, Dr. Hymes said, they parked the truck in a garage where the mobile clinic will stay until another dentist comes along to volunteer.

For more information on international volunteering, visit the ADA International Volunteer website here.

9 habits of people who are always on time

Pocket watches in a bunchCan’t make it to the office on time? Always late for the next appointment? Struggling to juggle family and a career?

According to Real Simple magazine, here are nine simple habits from people who are always punctual that you can tweak or adopt to help you stay on time:

  • When it’s time to get up, they get up.
  • They plan breakfast at dinner.
  • The end tasks on time.
  • The recognize patterns, and correct them.
  • They embrace downtime.
  • They’re immune to “Just one more thing” syndrome.
  • They schedule built-in overflow time.
  • They’ve mastered the skill of calculation.
  • They know when they do their best work.

To read the full article, click here.