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Friday Dental Download: Friday September 12, 2014

This week, we discover that coffee might not be bad for your teeth, learn that parents believe healthy smiles impacts kids success in school and discuss why millions of children are not getting preventive care. Join in the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1. New Colgate Survey Finds Nearly 70 Percent Of Parents Believe A Healthy Smile Can Impact Success In School: According to the recent Colgate study, a majority of parents believe a healthy smile can contribute to academic success – 83 percent recognize that maintaining good oral health can keep a child from missing school, while 43 percent report that a dental related illness has kept their child home from school. Several studies have demonstrated a connection between poor dental health and low grade point averages and in some cases, children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss days at school than their peers. This study shows importance of improving access to care for children, which is why we supported the inclusion of a pediatric benefit under the Affordable Care Act and have prioritized incorporating oral health into school-based health.

2. Press Pass: Gov. McAuliffe unveils health care plan: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced this week a new 10-point health care plan, “A healthy Virginia.” Part of this plan offers dental coverage for pregnant women. McAuliffe plans to authorize an emergency regulation adding dental coverage to the benefits offered to pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid or FAMIS Moms. Pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease can be up to eight times more likely to go into premature labor, according to the state. For more information on healthy moms and healthy children click here.

3. CDA Presents: How will ACA affect dental insurance, dentists, patients?: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have far-reaching impact on dental insurance, dentists, and patients, according to a presentation at the California Dental Association's “CDA Presents” conference. More low-income children and adults will be covered, and insurers will scrutinize claims to see if dentists are following established protocols for improved outcomes. One of the law's main benefits allows consumers, for the first time, to compare the prices and coverage among insurance companies.

4. Millions of children not getting recommended preventive care: Millions of infants, children and adolescents in the United States did not receive key clinical preventive services, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These services prevent and detect conditions and diseases in their earlier, more treatable stages, significantly reducing the risk of illness, disability, early death, and expensive medical care. The Affordable Care Act expands insurance coverage, access and consumer protections for the U.S. population and places a greater emphasis on prevention. Read more about preventive care here.

5. Tall, grande, denti: Boston University researchers find coffee can benefit oral health: Researchers at Boston University's Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine have recently found that there are oral health benefits to drinking coffee. Researchers found that coffee, which contains antioxidants, can help fight gum disease. The study also found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a small but significant reduction in number of teeth with periodontal bone loss.