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Friday Dental Download: August 22, 2014

This week, we learn that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide if only licensed dentists should be allowed to whiten teeth, discover what Curt Schilling has to say about smokeless tobacco and discuss the Text2Floss initiative. Join in the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1. Text2Floss increases reach, adds new app: A little more than a year into the second phase of its development, Text2Floss, an initiative of the A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH), recently announced a new partnership and the release of an Apple products app. Now, researchers are looking at this innovative use of technology to reinforce preventive practices in oral healthcare. Text2Floss is an interactive educational tool that helps people develop positive oral hygiene habits using mobile technology. Brian Souza, managing director for the DentaQuest Foundation, an early partner with ATSU, told DrBicuspid.com that Text2Floss can help patients manage their oral healthcare.

2. The US Supreme Court to decide on teeth-whitening procedures: Teeth-whitening kits make a brighter smile readily available at any drug store. However, North Carolina’s Board of Dental Examiners has determined that teeth whitening is something only a professional dentist can handle. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether only licensed dentists should be allowed to use kits that typically include strips or trays that allow a peroxide gel to coat and whiten teeth. Visit our websiteto learn more about teeth whitening.

3. Technology helps dentistry leave painful past behind: The items at Dr. H. Martin Deranian’s dental museum at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, exhibit some of old dental tools that once struck terror into the hearts of patients. Today, thanks to technology like intra-oral computer cameras, digital X-ray imaging, air abrasion and dental lasers, treatments are more efficient and more comfortable. Dental visits are no longer scary, and the dental industry’s ‘painful ‘reputation is being replaced by its focus on prevention.

4. JADA study: Dentists and sealants: Sealants are an inexpensive and effective item in the dentist's toolkit. While dentists have the right attitude about sealants, many still have questions about how and when to use them. Read more in in a new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

5. Curt Schilling: Smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer: Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said that it was his use of smokeless tobacco for 30 years that caused his oral cancer which required both radiation and chemotherapy. Schilling, who looked weak and sounded hoarse, made the revelation on Boston Sports Radio WEEI during the station's annual Jimmy Fund broadcast. Click here for more information about the risk of smokeless tobacco on your oral health.