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The DMD Check-Up: Oral Hygiene Could Lower Risk of Head and Neck Cancers


Our weekly look at the top dentistry stories from around the web.

A new study suggests oral hygiene may have benefits far beyond a healthy smile. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: A shocking number of Americans say they never floss, and the world’s first dental school has its first black valedictorian.

Oral Hygiene Linked to Reduced Head and Neck Cancer (Reuters)

“Daily tooth brushing and annual dentist visits may reduce the risk of some head and neck cancers by a small margin,” according to a recent study in the Annals of Oncology. “These are common grooming habits that take very little time in the long-run and certainly couldn't hurt, whether one is at increased risk for head and neck cancer or not,” said the study leader.

One-Third of Americans Never Floss (CNN)

New data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey find that 32% of US adults report never flossing their teeth, 37% report less than daily flossing, and 30% report daily flossing in the past week. When it comes to proper flossing, "everything goes back to education,” said the study author.

Dentists Fire Back at Bad Online Reviews (The Washington Post)

Burned by negative reviews on rating sites like Yelp, some healthcare providers (including dentists) are casting their patients’ privacy aside and sharing intimate details online as they try to rebut criticism. Most poor reviews “aren’t about the actual healthcare delivered but rather their office wait, the front office staff, billing procedures or bedside manner.”

First Black Valedictorian at the World's First School of Dentistry (Mic)

“Established in 1840 as the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, the University of Maryland School of Dentistry is known as the first dental college in the world. This past week, the school again made history when it graduated the first black valedictorian in its 176-year existence. Congrats to Dr. Tera Poole.

From NFL player to Missionary Dentist (The Republic)

An uplifting story about Dr. Terry Schmidt, who went from Chicago Bears defensive back to chief of dental services at a Tennessee Veterans Administration hospital and now, “he and his wife have gone on more than 30 missionary trips, combining his dental skills with evangelism, sometimes seeing hundreds of patients in a short span.”

Dentist Admits to Offshore Laundering of Millions (Bloomberg.com)

Dr. Robert Bandfield, “who ran an incorporation services firm in Belize, has plead guilty to conspiring to launder $250 million in proceeds from securities fraud, marking the biggest conviction yet in a new wave of investigations into businesses that help hide money offshore.”

Groundbreaking HPI Report Details State of US Oral Health (ADA.org)

Low-income adults are 10 times more likely to rate the overall condition of their mouths as “poor,” and one-third of American adults consider their oral health “fair or poor,” according to a new report from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute.

Dentin Nanostructures: “Super-natural” Phenomenon (Science Daily)

“Dentin is one of the most durable biological materials in the human body. German researchers were able to show that the reason for this can be traced to its nanostructures and specifically to the interactions between the organic and inorganic components.”

Dr. William Ayer, Pioneering Dentist and Psychologist, RIP (Chicago Tribune)

Dentist and psychologist William Ayer, who conducted groundbreaking research to help dentists understand patient anxiety and was also a leader in helping dentists understand how to manage the risks of treating HIV/AIDS patients, has died at age 71. Interesting obit.

Rebranding Your Dental Office for the 21st Century (Dentistry iQ)

“Even as society begins to understand how oral health affects total wellness, many dental practices are stuck with 20th century branding. Are you ready to bring your practice into the 21st century with a total branding transformation? Here’s how to get started.”

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