AAPD Reminds Parents to Brush Children’s Teeth Two Minutes

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the authority on children’s oral health, is encouraging parents and caregivers to enjoy a happy Halloween by simply brushing their children’s teeth for two minutes, twice a day.

In time for back-to-school season, the AAPD joined with the Ad Council, as part of the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Health Lives, to launch a historic nationwide campaign designed to encourage parents and caregivers to modify their children’s oral health behaviors through low-cost, preventive strategies. Campaign media partners include Sesame Workshop, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, My Kazoo! and many others.

According to AAPD President Dr. Joel H. Berg, “This first-of-its-kind campaign unifies dozens of dental organizations around a common message and raises the awareness of children and their parents about the importance of oral health, which is critical, and desperately needs attention on Halloween, and every single day of the year.”

In order to properly prepare for the Halloween holiday, AAPD urges parents and caregivers to visit the campaign’s website for key recommendations and tips on maintaining healthy teeth on this holiday and throughout the year:

  • Keep Kids’ Mouths Healthy: Parents and caregivers should help or watch over their kids’ tooth brushing abilities until they’re at least 8-years-old.
  • The Right Toothbrush: Kids should use a soft toothbrush that allows them to reach all areas of their mouth.  Remember to replace toothbrushes every three-four months and even sooner if the bristles are worn out, or if your children have been sick.
  • Attack Plaque: Plaque is a sticky film of germs that forms on teeth and gums after eating. Plaque that’s not removed by brushing twice a day can lead to cavities.
  • Visit a Dentist: It’s important to visit your dentist regularly your whole life, starting no later than age one. Seeing a dentist regularly is important for good oral health as dentists can detect small problems before they become bigger and more painful problems.
  • Floss Your Teeth: Kids should clean between their teeth once a day, every day, with floss or flossers to remove plaque and food where a toothbrush can’t reach. Children’s teeth can be flossed as soon as two of their teeth touch each other.
  • Use Fluoride: Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and occurs naturally in water and some foods. To help protect teeth from cavities, fluoride is added to dental products like toothpaste. Children two years of age or older should always use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Baby Tooth Decay Is Real: As soon as teeth appear in your baby’s mouth, it’s possible for your baby to develop cavities. It is important to keep your baby’s gums and teeth clean to prevent tooth decay, even in baby teeth.
  • Prevent Kids’ Tooth Decay: You can prevent tooth decay for your kids by lowering the risk of your baby getting the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Make sure you take good care of your baby’s teeth – this reduces the number of bacteria in your baby’s mouth.
  • Nutrition: A balanced diet helps your children’s teeth and gums to be healthy. A diet high in natural or added sugars may place your child at extra risk for tooth decay
    • A sugary or starchy food with sugar is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Chewing during a meal helps produce saliva which helps wash away sugar and starch.
    • Sticky food’s, like potato chips, raisins and other dried fruit and candy are not easily washed away from your kid’s teeth by saliva, water or milk, so they have more cavity-causing potential.
    • Talk to your dentist about serving foods that protect your kid’s dental health.

In fact, AAPD has revised its Policy on Dietary Recommendations for Infants, Children, and Adolescents, which can be located at

For more helpful tips to ensure that your family enjoys a fun and healthy Halloween, please visit

Dentists Face Challenging Conditions on Their Mission to Deliver Care

Three dentists and two hygienists from Aspen Dental offices volunteered their time and talents in Haiti earlier this month (Nov. 4-9), providing free dental care in a country where there is just a single dentist for every 100,000 people.

The team – – based in the town of Jacmel, three hours from Haiti’s capital of Port au Prince – – provided vital oral care in a neighborhood clinic in conjunction with Restore Haiti.

Operating daily in a cinder block structure amidst a shortage of water and unstable power supply, the volunteers provided nearly 500 Haitians with free care and oral care education.

Leading the team of clinicians was Dr. Chedly Schatzie Vincent, owner of the Aspen Dental practices in Fairfield and Norwalk, CT.

“The island is vibrant and beautiful, but Haitians do not have access to the same resources that people may have in other developing countries,” Dr. Vincent said in her blog post. “In fact, 80% of Haiti is considered poor, with a majority of the population living below the poverty line. It is very difficult for Haitians to have access to the proper health care.”

Dr. Vincent traveled with four colleagues from several Aspen Dental practices: Dr. Jennifer Check of Monroeville, PA; Dr. Ekta Sagar of Hanover, PA; and hygienists Marissa Leach, RDH of Manchester, NH and Marilyn Bartley, RDH, of Norwalk, CT.

Making Do With Limited Resources

With more than a dozen boxes of supplies, the team had everything it needed for general hygiene care and preventative dentistry, including kits for tooth extractions and fillings, portable X-Ray machines, gauze, needles, sutures, and antibiotics.

But working conditions made practicing dentistry a challenge.

“Purified water from five–gallon jugs was set up for procedures and to help sterilize instruments,rdeg; Dr. Check noted in her most recent blog update. “Patient after patient, we began seeing a trend in multiple teeth and gum infections – the majority of which were cases of extreme decay and abscess. In the most extreme cases, when a patient’s teeth were examined we would notice such extreme decay that the tooth had already begun falling apart in their mouth.”

The team received support from Henry Schein, the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners.

Photos, videos and daily accounts of the team’s experiences may be found on the Aspen Dental blog, YouTube channel and Facebook page

ZocDoc is Helping Patients Find Doctors and Book Appointments Online

ZOCDOC LOGOZocDoc arrives in the Las Vegas area today, helping residents and visitors alike effortlessly secure faster access to local medical care. ZocDoc is a free service that allows patients to find a doctor nearby who accepts their insurance, view the doctor’s real-time availability, and instantly book an appointment online. The typical ZocDoc patient sees a doctor in 24 to 72 hours – a vast improvement from the weeks-long wait time average that Las Vegas patients currently experience.

At present, patients can use ZocDoc to book appointments with participating Las Vegas primary care doctors, obstetrician-gynecologists, and eye doctors. Other specialists, including dentists, dermatologists and many more will soon be added to the service.

To use this free tool, patients simply visit the ZocDoc website ( or the free ZocDoc mobile app (iPhone, Android, and Blackberry) and enter their location, insurance, and the type of doctor they would like to see. ZocDoc then shows local doctors’ real-time availability, qualifications, and verified patient reviews to help patients choose the Las Vegas physician who best fits their needs. Patients then select an available appointment time and complete a brief confirmation process. With ZocDoc, patients can book anytime, anywhere – whether the doctor’s office is open or closed.

ZocDoc helps Las Vegas patients get faster care by revealing a hidden supply of doctor appointments (including many last-minute cancellations) and making them instantly available online. This transparency reduces patients’ long wait times and increases efficiency for local medical practices – a vital service given the country’s current doctor shortage, which only stands to become worse with 32 million new patients entering the system under the Affordable Care Act.

“Many patients and doctors in the Las Vegas area are reporting a six month wait to see primary care doctors for a routine check-up, and they’re reporting even longer wait times for more serious matters,” said ZocDoc founder and CEO Cyrus Massoumi. “We look forward to making that wait dramatically shorter and helping local residents secure fast access to the quality care they need and deserve.”

In the coming months, Las Vegas patients will also be able to use ZocDoc Check-In – the #1 most requested new feature to date by patients using ZocDoc. After booking an appointment, ZocDoc Check-In allows patients to fill out their medical forms online, at their convenience, prior to their visit. ZocDoc securely saves this information and will pre-fill forms when a patient books with a participating ZocDoc physician again in the future.

ZocDoc currently offers appointments with healthcare providers in 33 major metropolitan markets across the US, including Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Long Island, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Northern Virginia, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Gabriel Valley, San Jose, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington, DC, and West Palm Beach. ZocDoc is available in over 1,500 US cities, and covers over 40 percent of the US population.

ZocDoc also offers a Spanish-language version of its free service called ZocDoc en Espanol (; iPhone and Android) that helps Hispanic patients effortlessly find Spanish-speaking doctors and book appointments with them.

To learn more about ZocDoc, please visit the ZocDoc press room. Follow the latest ZocDoc news on the ZocDoc blog, via Twitter, or on Facebook.