The latest and most-notable news for November 2004
New Website Promotes Healthy Smiles to Kids
The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry and the American Dental Association (ADA) introduce a new interactive website—www.mouthpower.org—to encourage better oral health. The site offers an educational program that illustrates the importance of healthy smiles. Users can create a personalized tooth timeline, learn about healthy meals, make posters about the dangers of tobacco use, and gain information about careers in dentistry. The site is designed to appeal to children and features a mascot for healthy smiles—Mouthie.
Mental Health Medications Can Cause Dental Side Effects
Mental conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorder, affect approximately 37% of American adults at some point during their lives, according to a study published in the September/October 2004 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry. Pharmaceuticals prescribed to treat these types of disorders can have dental side effects, particularly xerostomia, dental caries, and periodontal disease. Adding questions to dental medical history forms about lifestyle topics, overall general health, and medications currently taken, can help alert dental health professionals to watch for these complications.
Publisher of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Celebrates Second Anniversary
Belmont Publications, Inc., publisher of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, The Journal of Professional Excellence recently celebrated its second anniversary. The journal was founded by Lorene G. Kent, RDH, BA, a dental hygienist in private practice for more than 25 years. She turned her own desire to learn about the latest research in an easily accessible format into the journal. The mission behind Dimensions of Dental Hygiene is to reconnect the leading educators and researchers throughout the world with dental hygienists who once learned from them. Through the expertise of Editor In Chief, Anna M. Pattison, RDH, MS, and Editorial Director, Jill Rethman, RDH, BA, Dimensions continues to provide our readers with cutting edge information that can be used in day-to-day practice. With the recent expansion of the website to include a career center, job listings, a continuing education schedule, product information, and interactive forums, Dimensions is dedicated to providing an expanding community for dental hygienists to support both their personal and professional lives.
Letters to the Editor
Living In the Moment
What a wonderful editorial “Second Chances” is by Anna M. Pattison, RDH, MS, that appeared in the September issue. I often think as I hear young dental hygienists comment on their lives and their professional struggles, that the real story is found when we look back. As important as it is to make scientific strides, it will always be the personal extensions of ourselves with patients that will ultimately be the deciding factor in their and our quality of life. Her editorial was an excellent reminder—life is today.
—Fran Santoro Chuba, RDH, BS, Alamo, Calif
Back to School
I just read the article on graduate education (“Opening the Door to Opportunity” by Michele L. Darby, BSDH, MS) in the September issue and really enjoyed it. The timing is perfect—I start this week on an online-based Master of Education degree program in Instructional Design. I have also started a new position as a clinical instructor at a local dental hygiene associate degree program. As a continuing education presenter, author, and now instructor, I see the importance of furthering your education beyond the associate and bachelor programs. Dental hygienists need to expand beyond the traditional aspects of clinical practice so, hopefully, we will be recognized as a true profession in the not too distant future.
—Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, BS, Stoneham, Mass