Back in balmy May of this year, we reported the news of the good work being done legislators, advocators and the AAPD for the 2017 federal budgets for oral health training and pediatric dentistry. Beautiful budgets for pediatric dentistry and oral health training programs for fiscal year 2018 will take a big bite out of the new Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill.

More Good News for Healthy Children’s Teeth

Here we are in the high heat of July, and we are happy to announce more good news for children’s oral health. (And you know at Dentistry for Children, we believe a healthy mouth is key to overall good health.

News From the Government: Dental Budgets are Secure.

News about the budget: Healthy habits now are investments in kid’s futures.

Here’s the far-underpublicized scoop:  The FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill passed on July 18 with a 28-22 vote.  This might not seem like earth-shattering news, but if you have kids, or if you love the kids of America, it should.

Many children will benefit from the Title VII oral health training programs as well as the general funding of pediatric dentistry. Likewise, the budget keeps on giving because of its commitment to a training program called the dental faculty loan repayment program.

News Break:  A Look at the Bottom Line in Appropriations

As we said in May, we all like to know where the government is putting our priorities as well as our dollars, especially in regards to our children’s health.  Let’s look at the bottom line, the dollars and cents involved in this bill:

1.      The government granted 10 million to pediatric dentistry, as well as 10 million to general dentistry, within the budget listed below.

2.      The committee reported the bill gives $237 million for the Title VII health professions training program.  That sounds good, but it is a deplorable 23.3 % cut in a valuable program for the general health.

3.      Likewise, the Title VIII nursing programs will suffer a cut of 8 %, bringing them down to $211 million. That’s $18.3 million (8%) cut.

News about Oral Health Training

The Committee recommends $36,673,000 for Oral Health Training programs, which is the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $36,673,000 above the fiscal year 2018 budget request . . .

The bill also encourages interprofressional training, as stated in the report.  The legislation stated that the Committee supports efforts by the Bureau of Health Workforce to include interprofessional education…Furthermore, they support interprofessional education “particularly with respect to programs that address student and faculty learning as well as clinical  sites readiness.”

Another Big News Update:  Brushing and Flossing or Flossing and Brushing?

News reports look good for 2018 dental programs.

News: Training in Oral Health Care Gets A Big Boost in 2018.

And now we bring you a different level of news, especially designed to share with your children.  The dental health magazine, Dear Doctor recently released a debate over whether you should brush or floss first. We know it is important to do both for good oral hygiene, but which one comes first?

First, let’s establish two important facts:

1.      When you brush, you clean the broad sides of your teeth and drench your mouth in cavity-clobbering minerals.

2.      When you floss, you eliminate the film of bacteria-infested plaque, as well as dislodge tiny particles of food from in between teeth.

In the News:  Dr. Ciancio, DDS, and the Brush First Faction

In the magazine, Dr. Sabastian G. Ciancio, DDS, Chair of the Department of Periodontics and Endodontics at SUNY in Buffalo, New York advocates brushing before flossing.  He states that most people like to brush before flossing because of the “yuck factor.”

Brush first and then floss or vice versa?

News about blush-floss debate makes kids smile!

A.      If you start with flossing first, you’re going to have to touch the sticky, “yucky” film of plaque still coating the teeth.

B.     So, brush first to scrape off the plaque, and you will enjoy flossing so much more you will more easily make it a habit.

In the News:  Dr. DelCastillo and the Floss First Faction

If you could see the magazine, you would see that Dr. DelCastillo’s article is shown directly beside Dr. Ciancio’s article on the facing page, like pro and con in a great forum.  It’s a brush-floss vs. floss-brush showdown.  Dr. Daniel A DelCastillo, DMD, a Florida general and cosmetic dentist,  says to floss first and then brush.

A.      In the first place, flossing loosens bits of food debris stuck between your teeth.

B.     Flossing first will clear the teeth so that the cavity fighting fluoride can get in all the little nooks and crannies of the teeth and do its job.  Plus you can find the most debris-filled areas where you should concentrate your brushing.

C.     The minty-fresh taste of the toothpaste should be a reward for a job well-done.

The Secret Solution to the Brushing and Flossing Debate:  A Good Game

Vector Illustration of a tooth mascot flossing. File saved in layers for easy editing.

Happy Flossing for Healthy Teeth.

So, which way is the correct way?  We challenge those of you who are parents to have your children experiment with each order before you reveal the answer.  Floss and then brush on one night.  Reverse it the next night.

By the way, the online version of the magazine Dear Doctor is packed with dental news and stories.  Check it out for more information on brushing and flossing.

Which way is right?  Pick a side, either side, and you will be right.  The professional dental answer is a lot like the answer to the chicken or the egg dilemma.  It does not matter which order you chose for brushing and flossing.  What matters is that you do it.  Happy Brushing!