Grant Provides Dental Equipment Upgrade at Denny Murphy Clinic

Thank you so much to the Arcora Foundation for a grant helping us to purchase some much needed dental equipment! 

Denny Murphy Clinic’s existing dental equipment, some of which has been in service for 20+ years, has been well-maintained to maximize the full life of each piece. However, the equipment is coming to its end of life. Upgrading and modernizing the clinic’s equipment will ensure continuity in access to integrated medical and dental services for the underserved, high-risk patients in Spokane’s downtown core. Moreover, new technologies will greatly improve workflow efficiency.

New cutting-edge equipment will provide for earlier detection of tooth decay and significantly improved patient experience. It will enhance teamwork and make dental care easier for patients, dentists, and hygienists. Accordingly, it also will make it easier to recruit and retain dental staff. Above all, new technologies will greatly improve staff workflow efficiency, meaning more productive patient visits and increased oral health for patients.

Quick Tips to Keep Your Kiddos Teeth Happy!

Healthy teeth are an important part of a healthy body. Spending a few minutes each day taking care of your teeth keeps your smile beautiful and your body happy. Here are recommendations from our dental and pediatric team to keep you and your children’s dental health in check: 

Keep Those Pearly Whites Shining Bright

  • Clean teeth twice daily with a soft toothbrush
  • Brush for two minutes each time (sing the ABCs in your head three times!)
  • Start flossing once per day as soon as teeth begin to touch
  • Parents should supervise brushing until kids are able to tie their shoes

A word about fluoride:

  • Use fluoride-containing toothpaste for all children with teeth. For children less than three years, use an amount the size of a grain of rice.  For children over three, use an amount the size of a pea!
  • Most of the water in the Spokane area is non-fluoridated; consider a fluoride supplement. Ask your doctor!
  • Have fluoride painted on your teeth as often as recommended by your dentist or doctor

Watch What You Eat – Your Teeth Are Counting On It!

  • Frequent snacking and sugary beverages during the day may increase the risk of dental decay
    • If you plan on snacking on a sugar-containing beverage (soda/juice/sports drink), drink it within a limited time instead of slowly sipping during the day
    • Try to give your mouth a three-hour break between sugary foods/drinks
  • After sugary foods and beverages, rinse your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum
  • Watch out for: hard candy, gummy candy/vitamins, cough drops, and fruit leathers

Did you know?
Children who visit the dentist before they are four years old are less likely to need dental procedures (crown placement, restorations, tooth removal) compared with children who start seeing the dentist at a later age.

For the really young ones:
The first tooth usually appears around six months of age. Think about scheduling the first dental visit when your child turns one. Start a training cup (sippy cup) at six months.  Plan to ditch all bottles by one year.

Factors that increase the risk of developing dental decay: Bottle use beyond 12 months of age using a sippy cup throughout the day (especially for juice/sugary drinks)Exposure to secondhand smoke using a bottle at bedtime breastfeeding past 12 months if nursing overnight
Want to help spread the word about dental health? Share our posts on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter this month. 

What would you do if you got a cavity and didn’t have dental insurance?

Yesterday we shared about a local service group who created a Dr. Seuss-themed book nook for children at CHAS Maple Street Clinic. In sticking with the Dr. Seuss-theme, consider the following quote: “Only brush the teeth you want to keep.”

Image result for dr seuss only brush the teeth you want to keep"

While that advice seems simple enough, what would you do if you got a cavity and didn’t have dental insurance, like the 7,611 uninsured dental patients CHAS Health serves?

Many local partners have stepped up to help low-income and uninsured patients to access oral health services.

  • Providence and CHAS Health have partnered to bring a Dental Residency program to Spokane, targeted to serve low-income patients.
  • The City of Spokane awarded our organization a grant to help low-income, uninsured City of Spokane residents with their out-of-pocket cost for dental care.
  • The Washington State Legislature awarded capital funding to CHAS Health to open a dental clinic in Spokane Valley, and to expand our existing dental clinic in Clarkston.

Over the past five years, CHAS Health has constructed new dental facilities to add 45 dental chairs throughout the Inland Northwest. Fundraising efforts, including donations and grants, have been essential to achieve this expansion, as the equipment for each dental chair costs $60,000. If you are doing the math, that’s $2,700,000 for 45 dental chairs! And, that price tag doesn’t even include the cost to construct the facilities for those dental chairs.

In 2020, we will need to replace the failing dental equipment at our Denny Murphy Clinic, our main Health Care for the Homeless site, located in downtown Spokane. The equipment at this site has been well-maintained for the past 20 years, but is now at its end of life.

In short, our work is not done. We want to help everyone in our community to keep ALL of their teeth! We look forward to new and continued partnerships to continue improving access to oral health care in 2020 and beyond.

This blog post part of a special CHAS Health series for #GivingTuesday 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide. During the Thanksgiving season, it is easy to get swept up in the fervor of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, will kick off the giving season and inspire people to collaborate and give back. Follow CHAS Health on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

Let’s Talk About Teeth!

Healthy teeth are an important part of a healthy body.  Spending a few minutes each day taking care of your teeth keeps your smile beautiful and your body happy.

Did you know?

Children who visit the dentist before they are four years old are less likely to need dental procedures (crown placement, restorations, tooth removal) compared with children who start seeing the dentist at a later age.

 

Keep Those Pearly Whites Shining Bright

  • Clean teeth twice daily with a soft toothbrush
  • Brush for two minutes each time (sing the ABCs in your head three times!)
  • Start flossing once per day as soon as teeth begin to touch
  • Parents should supervise brushing until at least kids are able to tie their shoes

A word about fluoride:

  • Use fluoride-containing toothpaste for all children with teeth – For children less than three years, use an amount the size of a grain of rice. For children over three, use an amount the size of a pea!
  • Most of the water in the Spokane area is non-fluoridated, consider a fluoride supplement – ask your doctor!
  • Have fluoride painted on your teeth as often as recommended by your dentist or doctor

Watch What You Eat – Your Teeth Are Counting On It!

  • Frequent snacking and sugary beverages during the day may increase the risk of dental decay
    • If you plan on snacking on sugar-containing drink (soda/juice/sports drink), drink it within a limited time instead of slowly sipping during the day
    • Try to give your mouth a three hour break between sugary foods/drinks
  • After sugary foods and beverages try rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum
  • Watch out for: hard candy, gummy candy/vitamins, cough drops, fruit leathers

A Moment for the Young Ones:

  • The first tooth usually appears around six months of age
  • Think about scheduling the first dental visit at the one year birthday
  • Start a training cup (sippy cup) at six months. Plan to ditch all bottles by one year

Factors that increase the risk of developing dental decay:

  • Bottle use beyond 12 months of age
  • Using a sippy cup throughout the day (especially for juice/sugary drinks)
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Using a bottle at bed time
  • Breastfeeding past 12 months if nursing overnight

By Dr. Baca, MD

Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Health Care Heroes

National Health Center Week (August 12th- 18th) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.

Health centers serve 27 million patients a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable primary care. In addition to their long history as health care homes to millions, health centers produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities and reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the social determinants of health affecting special patient populations.

This year, the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Health Center Advocacy Network invites you to celebrate the incredible health care heroes– individuals who live and breathe the health center mission and exceed the call of duty to support health centers in providing quality health care for patients in the community.

At CHAS Health, we are celebrating by hosting 2 community celebrations! Open House at Cheney Health Center and Ribbon Cutting and Reception at our BRAND NEW East Mission Dental Clinic. Join us August 15th and 16th! Both events will feature a lot of fun and FREE food!

Idaho Enhanced Medicaid Benefits Now Available!

The state of Idaho has recently reinstated Enhanced dental benefits for all Medicaid eligible adults, meaning that patients can access important preventive dental services like exams, cleanings, and fillings. Keep your smile healthy by calling CHAS for a dental appointment today!

 

Sealants! What are they and why does your dentist recommend them?

Our molars are big, round teeth designed for grinding and chewing.  If you feel your teeth with your tongue, you will feel bumps on them.  These are called cusps, they are like the mountain tops of your teeth—they are sharp and pointy.

In between the cusps or mountains, there are grooves.  These grooves are very deep for some people, and they trap bacteria and sugars, causing cavities.  Sometimes, the grooves are so deep and skinny that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach into them.  For these teeth, dentists recommend sealants.

Sealants coat the teeth and fill in the grooves.  Imagine painting a molar with white fingernail polish.  Sealants coat the teeth for several years, preventing tooth bugs from hiding in the deep grooves and causing cavities.

 

Here are a few common questions parents ask:

  • What age children need sealants?
    1. We recommend sealants on permanent molars. At 6 years of age, children’s first permanent molars start coming in.  At age 12, the second set of permanent molars come in.  So, starting at age 6 and again at 11 or 12 years, your dentist or dental hygienist will check to see if your child needs sealants.
  • My child doesn’t eat candy or drink pop. Does she still need sealants?
    1. Even healthy foods like dried fruit can cause cavities in children with deep grooves. We still recommend sealants, as they last for years.  Sometimes, children’s diet changes at school—they start sharing treats with friends, or drinking juice or pop.
  • Do sealants hurt? Will my son have to get numb?
    1. Sealants are painless, no need for numbing! We will clean the surfaces of the teeth, then use a type of “tooth shampoo” to prepare the tooth for the sealant, then place the sealant.  If your child is very sensitive to taste, we even have products that don’t have any flavors and that minimize rinsing with water.  There are lots of options for sealants, and we highly recommend them.
  • Are sealants the same thing as fluoride?
    1. Sealants are a coating for your teeth, they do not contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral found in toothpaste, some mouthrinse and some water supplies.

by Dr. LaVonne Hammelman

 

 

National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, so what a perfect time to review the best way to care for your child’s teeth!  Make sure you bring your little one in by 12 months of age, if you also want to bring them in when the first tooth erupts, that is great too.  This early first visit is important for several reasons.  First, any dental problems that may be developing can be detected early, and this may reduce the need for costly, extensive care in the future.  In addition, the first dental visit is a great time to talk about behaviors that can affect the dental health of your child.

As your child grows, it is important that they come to the clinic every six months to repeat this process. Small procedures such as a toothbrush cleaning, and later a rubber cup cleaning, as well as dental radiographs will be added at the subsequent appointments.  The developing dentition will be monitored and your child will be assessed for orthodontic care.   Sealants are placed on first and second molars around the age of six and 12 to prevent dental decay.  Some tips for lasting dental health:

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • The ADA recommends that for children younger than three years, begin brushing with a “smear” of fluoridated tooth paste no bigger than a grain rice
  • For children between the ages of 3 and 6, use a pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste
  • Parents or caregivers should be actively involved in this process, remember that until your child can tie their own shoes, they do not have the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth.
  • Any teeth that touch should be flossed
  • A diet that is good for your body will be good for your teeth
  • Avoid sugary drinks and chewy, sticky foods.
  • In the teenage years it is important to help your child maintain a healthy diet also as during the school years candy, soda are more readily available outside the home.
  • Do not let your child get an intraoral piercing as this can be responsible for chipped teeth, soft tissue trauma and occasional tooth loss

 

Try to have patience and keep at it, some children have an easier time than others but patience and persistence will pay off.

Hello November! Tips for a festively healthy fall.

Gobble, Gobble!

The turkey has spoken and November is in!

Turkey

  1. Brr, It’s Cold Out There

As colder weather approaches, remember to layer up and keep warm. Use earmuffs to protect your ears, and gloves or mittens to protect your hands as flu season is very much upon us. If you haven’t already received your flu shot, stop by your local retail pharmacy or doctor’s office and keep those germs at bay by continuing to wash your hands throughout the day. No one likes a sick turkey!

  1. Be Thankful

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We all love a holiday meal with our families – a warm turkey or ham just out of the oven, mashed potatoes covered in creamy gravy, stuffing and don’t forget those veggies – just remember to show your thanks to your body by maintaining a healthy diet through the holidays.

  1. Friendship Never Gets Old

As the days get shorter with the new season, it’s important to remember to use the buddy system when walking or biking to and from places. Carpooling is also a great way to save on gas and help keep the environment healthy! Make new friends, and keep the old.

  1. Get Up and Get Out

Stay healthy by getting regular exercise and spending time with family. Go outside during half-times and toss the ball around; do a little jig when your team makes a touchdown; or even join your family on a stroll through the park while you pick out your favorite leaves. Whatever it may be, doing 30 minutes of regular exercise will keep your mind, body and heart happy and strong!

  1. Take Care of Your Teeth

As you just spent weeks eating all of your Halloween candy, your teeth are certainly feeling it. Be sure to brush and floss at least twice daily, and especially after eating that delicious kettle corn you’ve been looking forward to. Avoid chewing on kernels as they can get stuck in your gums and cause discomfort, tooth breakage, and sometimes even infection.

Author: Katiah Peterson

Got Coverage?

As we near the 10,000 mark of those we’ve helped get coverage since October, we’re excited to offer a day of enrollment fun! This Saturday, we will have In-Person Assisters available to help get you enrolled in a health plan. Whether it’s Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) or a Qualified Health Plan, we can help! And why not have some fun while doing it?!

We’ll have games, prizes, a photo booth and lots of food. Bring your family, bring a friend, bring a neighbor – and have some fun!

Some important things to bring with you include (be sure to bring for your entire household):

  • date(s) of birth, address(es), and contact information
  • social security number(s)
  • income information for 2012, 2013 and 2014 for all adults and minors age 14 or older
  • tax returns and estimated tax status for 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • information about health insurance available to your family (including employer-sponsored health insurance, Medicare, TriCare, etc.)
  • passport, alien, or other immigration number(s) for any legal immigrants being enrolled

Please join us! Let’s have some enrollment fun!

CHAS Maple St. Clinic
3919 N. Maple St., Spokane
Saturday, March 29th
10am-2pm

Click here for more details.