Debunking dental home-remedy myths

Many are familiar with the adage: “Cheap, fast or good … you can only pick two.” However, a fourth term is creeping into the conversation: natural. From juice cleanses to raw water, many American products are being marketed as chemical-free, untreated or pure. Dentistry, of course, has not been immune to these influences. Two of the most popular trends among patients are charcoal toothpaste and oil pulling. While it is easy to jump to conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of these techniques, one must consider whether there is science supporting their use.

The benefits of using a rubber dam

The use of rubber dams in dentistry is often a topic of debate. Dental schools teach us that rubber dams are the standard of care for all restorative procedures. In the profession, they are considered the standard of care in endodontics. Instead of a dam, many restorative dentists use cotton rolls or other isolation systems. However, studies have shown that dental restorations have more predictable results as well as better durability and longevity with the use of rubber dams.

Poetry in motion

Anacristina Chapa is more than just a dental student. She is also a poet — and a well-recognized one at that. She was named the 2016 Poetry Slam Champ of Laredo BorderSlam and has competed in various regional competitions. Last year, she was a member of Houston’s Write About Now poetry team and competed in the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver. She has received media attention for her work illustrating modern life, especially for college-age students and Latinos.

‘Tri-ing’ something new

January is often a time for new beginnings. Ideas are drafted, goals are set and plans are made. Oftentimes, these goals involve fitness, weight loss or dieting. While these are important factors of health and wellness, they can get old quickly, leaving you feeling bad about falling off the wagon. I am by no means an expert, but I have found that training for something — anything — has made it easier to stick to a resolution.

Call to action: Reflecting on a year of community service

This year, ASDA focused its efforts on community service and highlighting underserved populations. The first special population we focused on was patients with special needs, which we highlighted over the summer. In addition, we shared posts on ASDA’s Facebook page as well as Mouthing Off. We heard a personal story from an ASDA member with family members who have autism and learned tips on treating patients from an IDD hygienist.

Combining education with service: Dental residency with the VA

If you are considering pursuing a residency after dental school, you may feel overwhelmed by the options. Residency programs are small, and reliable information can be hard to find. Every one will have its own unique advantages and drawbacks, and it will be up to you to network and find information on the individual programs that interest you. I am currently halfway through my 12-month AEGD residency at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, Texas. 

Dentistry in the Community Grant recipients share outreach successes

To kick off ASDA’s Week of Service, we are highlighting the achievements of the 2017 Dentistry in the Community grant recipients. In February 2017, five chapters were awarded $500 each to develop and implement a program or event that focuses on the prevention of dental disease and/or the promotion of oral health for any underserved population within their community. Here, we’re highlighting each of those events.