June 2015 Update


June is Men's Health Month!

June is Men's Health Month. Health is a wide topic, it covers so much, yet sometimes people fail to realize how the health of one part of you may affect the health for the rest of you! Oral health status has been shown to indicate other health problems, and current health conditions and even medications can affect oral health. For example saliva flow can be reduced by the following classes of  medications: decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers and diuretics. Saliva is essential for good oral health because it has cleansing properties that neutralize acid formed from sugar eating bacteria, and also help wash away food after eating.

Some examples of oral health contributing to other parts of health include: Endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, happens when bacteria from other parts of the body (including the mouth) enter the blood stream. Tooth loss before the age of 35 could be an indicator of Alzheimer's disease. Amongst all  the health outcomes from poor oral hygiene, diabetes may have the highest correlation in that gum disease is more frequent and severe with those who have diabetes; they also have a more difficult time in controlling their blood sugar levels. Some may even go as far as to say oral health effects social and mental health, as a new survey by Wakefield Research, indicated that 1 out of 3 men avoid smiling because of what their teeth look like, luckily this can be prevented by good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

Not only can oral health affect current health status but current ailments can also affect your oral health.  Some studies show other health conditions such as Diabetes or HIV/AID's can lower the body's immunity making oral health problems more likely and more severe. Looking at Men's oral health stats specifically, they are at higher risk for caries and gum disease than women. If you or anyone you know suffer from any of the above health conditions, than it is essential that you take care in practicing good oral hygiene by brushing after every meal, flossing at least once a day and eating a healthy low sugar diet.


Clinic Spotlight: Infant Welfare Society (IWS) Children's Clinic Sponsored by the Oak Park River Forest

The Children’s Clinic, sponsored by the Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society, is a private not for profit founded in 1916 located in west suburban Cook County and the City of Chicago. The Clinic is unique from other clinics in that it provides holistic healthcare to the child. The three main services performed at the Children's clinic is  medical, dental and behavioral health. They are also huge advocates of prevention and provide oral hygiene instruction and nutritional services to children during their visits.

About the Dental Clinic:
The clinic provides full preventive and restorative care in a 5-chair office, including oral exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, extractions, cavity repair, and root canal treatment. They have an excellent partnership with the UIC Dental School and also have volunteers from other parts of the community.
In 2014, the Clinic provided in-clinic dental care to 3,229 children in 9,996 visits. That's 3, 000 more visits than in year 2012!  Many of their patients are referrals from the schools or from friends of current patients. They also have a unique Portable Dentistry Program which provides preventive dental care in the school setting to hundreds of preschool and elementary school children who would not otherwise have access to dental care in 46 school's around the neighboring area, reaching as far west as Melrose Park.

In addition, they reached over 5,200 students through oral and nutritional outreach with their classroom curriculum.   The Children's Clinic Health Education Outreach Coordinator provides age-appropriate Oral Health and Nutrition Education Workshops in the classroom to preschoolers, elementary school children and their parents each year. This program has also grown tremendously from seeing 3,000 students in 2012, to over 5,000 in 2014.

IWS attended The Oral Health Forum's Healthy Smiles and Healthy Growth Report release in Spring and was proud to say they've seen some similar successes in their program.  Current goals include increasing the number of sealants and reducing childhood caries. In addition the Clinic see's over 80% African American and Hispanic patients, which are the two groups with the highest needs in the Chicagoland area, according to the report
The satisfaction of the Children's Clinic is outstanding! 91% of Parents' of the patients will refer the clinic at the Children's Clinic.  For more information on the clinic please visit their website here:

The Clinic is always looking for additional support as well. One third of the cost of a dental visit is through private donations, if you'd like to donate please click here. The clinic is also looking for partners in Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, and Endodontics. If interested please email And for more information on the clinic itself visit their website at

Welcoming Smiles at IWS's Children's Clinic!

Case Management and Oral Health Education Update
The Chicago Public Schools school year ended June 19th and our Oral Health Education team is ecstatic to have reached nearly 22,000 students with oral health education. The feedback from the teachers and staff has been over 95% positive and we hope to hit the ground running as we plan for the 2015-2016 School year.

We'd  like to thank our Oral Health Education supporters: The Wrigley Foundation, for all their help in making this outreach possible. In mid July their staff also volunteered to help us making oral hygiene kits for all the children we will be seeing this summer!

The OHE team has already started outreach in the Chicago Park District Day Camps.  We are scheduled to attend 15 camps in the South Park District Region and are working on getting into the North and Central region camps too. It should be an exciting summer!

The Oral Health Case Management team has successfully conducted outreach to the families of 429 students (and counting!) within the 60629 and 60632 zip codes of Chicago. The team has been educating families of children with urgent dental care needs about the importance of their children’s oral health and providing dental resources and referrals to them in an attempt to decrease the amount of children with high carries within these areas.


And We Are Asking....
Please share what you have been doing to move oral health forward in your community. Drop us a line at The Oral Health Forum Newsletter.

The Oral Health Forum (OHF) is made possible by the generous support from the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, DentaQuest Foundation, Wm. Wrigley Jr.Company Foundation, Oral Health America and, UIC College of Dentistry. OHF is housed within Heartland Health Outreach (HHO), the health care partner of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, an established leader in providing affordable, high-quality health care to children and adults who would otherwise struggle to obtain basic health needs.

About The Oral Health Forum
The work of OHF has been to promote cooperation, communication, and concerted action among organizations dedicated to eliminating oral health disparities. The first Oral Health Summit in January 2012 was based on this Framework (Appendix B & C/pp. 29, 30- in viewer) Three initial strategies to improve oral health in the Chicago Area were suggested during that Summit:

  1. Increase public/private partnerships through volunteerism to expand oral health system capacity, better utilize oral health resources, and advocate for county, city and regional public health leadership dedicated to moving oral health objectives forward.
  2. Expand system wide strategies that integrate oral health into general health & prevention and educate the general public.
  3. Work towards a focused education strategy for non-oral health professionals that is centered on oral health promotion, prevention and referral for proper care.
A report on progress & updates of The Oral Health Forum and stakeholders’ dedicated work in three Framework (Appendix B & C/pp. 29, 30- in viewer) categories: Use of the Oral Health Care System, Oral Health Infrastructure and Oral Health Promotion can be seen here Framework

The American Dental Association is looking for a DDS/DMD  or PhD to fill their Director of Evidence Based Dentistry. Apply here

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Annual Meeting
September 28th-October 3rd, 2015
Washington DC

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