Virginia Health Catalyst Strongly Supports Water Fluoridation
A recent study in JAMA Pediatrics examined prenatal fluoride exposure in Canadian mothers for a possible link to their child’s IQ score. While the study raises important questions, it does not demonstrate a causal link between fluoride and IQ, and it is counter to over 70 years of research and experience that underline the safety and efficacy of fluoride use to prevent tooth decay and help relieve income-related oral health disparities. Moreover, several studies from the last few years demonstrate an opposite result – no link between IQ over time and fluoride exposure.
In the wake of this publication, national organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association for Dental Research, and the American Dental Association released statements of continued support for fluoride use and community water fluoridation and researchers like Dr. F. Perry Wilson highlighted limitations in the study. We echo these messages and believe in the safety and effectiveness of fluoride; our recent white paper on water fluoridation highlights the trust and safety of community water fluoridation in Virginia, and our statement on the study conveys our continued support.
Virginia Health Catalyst is dedicated to protecting community water fluoridation and building awareness around the safety and effectiveness of fluoridated drinking water. Learn more about water fluoridation and its important role in improving health outcomes.
Would you like to sponsor the Virginia Oral Health Summit? Learn more on our website.
Regional Oral Health Alliance Meetings
Northern Virginia Alliance Children’s Oral Health Workgroup Meeting
School-Based Health Committee Meeting This is a new statewide committee to identify and spread best practices for school-based health care, including sealants.
Coalition Wide Events
2019 Oral Health Summit
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Oral Health News & Resources
New Resource Guide Provides Tools and Information on Improving Oral Health at School
In time for back to school season, the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center launched the fourth edition of its “Promoting Oral Health in Schools” resource guide. This guide provides materials for health professionals who work in or with schools to promote oral health on topics like dental sealants and fluoride.
Download the full guide here.
Survey Highlights Importance of Health Equity
In a recent survey, 75% of respondents who were a racial or ethnic minority or had a low socioeconomic status reported they did not receive an oral cancer screening during their dental visit. Oral cancer screenings are a crucial part of preventive care and can help improve health outcomes now and in the future. Virginia Health Catalyst provides resources, tools, and events that help care providers address health equity challenges and ensure all Virginians get the care they need.
American Dental Association Shares Resources on Improving Oral Health Care for Older Adults
This year the American Dental Association hosted its first Elder Care Symposium to help providers raise awareness among older adults about the importance of oral health and its impact on overall health. Speakers also shared tips and resources for dentists and their teams to integrate care and improve the oral and overall health of patients. Presentations are available for download until September 15.
Opportunity to Improve Employee Oral Health Through Wellness Programs
A recent survey by the National Association for Dental Plans found that only 39% of consumers surveyed knew the links between oral health and overall health, down from 52% in the same survey in 2015. In an article summarizing the survey findings, Employee Benefits Advisor shares ways employers can improve awareness of the importance of oral health, from integrating oral health into wellness programs to raising awareness about available benefits. Learn more about the survey and ways to improve employee awareness of oral health here.