Advocating for Oral Health for All Americans
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Honoring a Life Dedicated to Oral Health
From left to right: Smiles Across America Program Manager Tina Montgomery, Children's Dental Services Executive Director Sarah Wovcha and Capella University Dean of Business, School of Business and Technology Dr. Barbara Butts Williams
Dr. John McKay Williams started his career as a professional football player and went on to become a tireless advocate for oral health in Minneapolis. After playing for the NFL for 12 years, he opened a dental practice in North Minneapolis, providing much needed dental care to an underserved community and often donating services to children who would otherwise not have access to dental care. He also advocated for greater awareness for those with special needs.

Dr. Williams passed away unexpectedly in 2012, and to honor his legacy, Children’s Dental Services (CDS), a Smiles Across America® (SAA) partner, recently opened a special needs dental clinic in Minneapolis in Dr. Williams’ memory. OHA toured the clinic this month as part of a celebration event for SAA’s tenth anniversary, recognizing the wonderful work CDS has done as a founding SAA partner.

We’re proud to partner with Trident, 3M ESPE, Patterson Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House Charities and Listerine to support bringing oral healthcare to vulnerable children in Minnesota and beyond.
Continuing to Advocate for Older Adults Thanks to DentaQuest Foundation
To fight the growing crisis facing older Americans when it comes to oral health, the DentaQuest Foundation has awarded OHA with a $299,450 grant to support new initiatives within the Wisdom Tooth Project® (WTP), OHA’s program that changes the lives of older adults especially vulnerable to oral disease. The grant will support new efforts by OHA to advocate for the inclusion of adult dental benefits in publicly funded health insurance. These efforts include expanding, hosting a symposium and releasing A State of Decay Vol. III to raise awareness about the need for adult dental coverage. Thank you to the DentaQuest Foundation for their continued support of OHA's work for older adults. 

New Grants Support Smiles Across America Expansion

To help OHA reach more children through Smiles Across America® (SAA) with needed oral healthcare and education, both the Patterson Foundation and NorthEast Delta Dental recently awarded the program new grant funding. The $60,000 grant from the Patterson Foundation will support the continued expansion of SAA partner CHRISTUS St. Francis Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, LA, and the launch of a new SAA site in Fresno, CA, with The Healthy Smiles Mobile Dental Foundation.

The $2,500 grant from NorthEast Delta Dental supports the Aroostook County Action Program in Maine, a long-time SAA partner who will use the funds to reach more underserved areas in the state. Thank you, Patterson Foundation and NorthEast Delta Dental, for your generous support and for recognizing the importance of oral healthcare for children.
OHA Celebrates the First Year of
Last October, OHA launched, a first-of-its-kind website dedicated to older adults and their oral health. The site connects older adults to local care and education around the oral health issues they face, the importance of continuing prevention as we age and the overall impact of oral health on overall health.

Over the past year has had more than 80,000 page visits and more than 67,000 users. There are now more than 200 content-rich pages, with new pages being added all the time. Thank you to all who have contributed to or used!
Dentists, Hygienists, Distributors and Legislators Spread Fall for Smiles Message
Dental offices across the country are supporting OHA’s Fall for Smiles campaign by utilizing campaign materials with their patients and going into their communities to emphasize the importance of oral health! Dr. Bernard Fialkoff (above) recently held an education event at the Ivy League Early Learning Academy of Bayside in New York City in honor of Fall for Smiles, teaching kids how to properly care for their mouths.

Sen. Tony Avella (D-NY) and Eric Schmitz of Patterson Dental were also in attendance, with Sen. Avella explaining to the students the importance of oral health and Mr. Schmitz donating toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. To learn more about how you can spread the message of the importance of oral health, visit the Fall for Smiles webpage
New Staffer to Focus Efforts on Advocacy
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Advocacy Coordinator Bianca Rogers met up at OHA's recent Advocacy Day event
We’re proud to welcome Bianca Rogers as OHA’s new Advocacy Coordinator. Bianca started with OHA as an intern and now is focusing on OHA’s advocacy efforts full-time, working with our Board Advocacy Committee and A.G. Kaffes and Associates to stay abreast of important oral health legislation in Washington D.C. and help determine OHA’s legislative and advocacy priorities. We’re excited for this opportunity to devote more resources toward advocating for prioritizing oral diseases along with other chronic health conditions.

Every gift made to OHA supports programs that bring needed oral healthcare and education to the country's most vulnerable populations. To support this important work, please click the Give Now button. Click here for a list of donors who gave to OHA between September 16, 2014 and October 14, 2014. If your name should have been included, please contact Brad McLaughlin, Development Director at 312-836-9900 or

From the President & CEO: The Need for Primary Care

With the 2015 open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace starting Nov. 15, the need for more primary care workers is especially great. Primary care workers include physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists and dentists. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is supporting this greater need by providing $295 million in funding to enable health centers to add staff, stay open longer hours and expand to include new services, such as oral health. OHA supports these efforts to expand the primary care workforce and the positive impact they have on the oral health of the country.

Beth Truett
President & CEO
Focus on Oral Health This Halloween
Halloween is right around the corner and Fall for Smiles can help your dental office encourage younger patients to make it a tooth-friendly holiday. Visit the Patient Activities webpage on for a downloadable poster to promote a candy drive, which encourages kids to turn in their candy in exchange for goodies that are healthier for their smiles. 
Win Sonicare Toothbrushes for Your Favorite Charity With Smiling Selfies!
In honor of National Brushing Day on Nov. 1, OHA is kicking off the "Reasons to Smile" Selfie contest on our Facebook page. Submit a selfie with something that makes you smile. The top 10 photo submissions will each receive a Philips Sonicare toothbrush. In addition, the ten winners each get to direct 100 additional Philips Sonicare toothbrushes to the charity of their choice. Visit our Facebook page for more details.
OHA Supports SAA Partners With Technical Assistance
OHA supports our Smiles Across America® (SAA) partners through educational conferences and webinars that provide opportunities for our partners to learn from each other and experts in oral and general health. Although the webinars are designed for our SAA partners, they are open to anyone interested in learning more about the topics at hand.  

Oct. 28: Clare Larkin, Prevention Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Health, will be sharing information on SEALS best-practices, how clinicians can use SEALS and the administrative benefits of capturing sealant data.

Oct. 29: Dental Innovation for Low-Income Children: April Lewallen, Senior Executive Director, Valley of The Sun YMCA will share how the local YMCA became a free provider of dental care for childrenImproving Access to Care in Rural Settings: Kathy Keiser, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Bismarck, ND and Kathy Mangskau, RDH, MPA, Consultant will discuss the challenges of operating a mobile dental program in a rural state.

Nov. 19: Tony Hashemian, Assistant Dean for Global Oral Health at A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health will share information on TEXT2FLOSS, the initiative to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and to introduce flossing as an important part of daily hygiene.

Get information about these webinars and more on the SAA technical assistance webpage. If you are interested in speaking or presenting a future webinar, please contact SAA Program Coordinator Teri Nnanabu.
Learn About Infection Control
The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) is offering an Infection Control Boot Camp Jan. 12-14 in Atlanta for dental professionals to learn infection control procedures to ensure the safety of patients and providers. Click here to learn more and register before Dec. 19.
OHA Hits the Road
OHA staff members look forward to seeing you at the following meetings and conferences across the country. Please find us and say hello!

November 4-7: Dental Trade Alliance Annual Meeting, Indian Wells, CA

November 15-19: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA

November 28-December 3: Greater New York Dental Meeting, New York, NY
Subscribe to the Wisdom Tooth Insider for monthly updates on our program for older adults.

Smiles Across America
®, Wisdom Tooth Project® and NSTEP® are all registered trademarks of Oral Health America.

Copyright © 2014 Oral Health America, All rights reserved.

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