Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Honor of Black History Month


1765Native-born African American Peter Hawkins, an itinerant preacher in Richmond, Virginia, practiced rudimentary exodontia for parishioners.
1792Caesar, a slave in South Carolina, used roots and herbs as medical and dental cures.
1851John S. Rock won a silver medal for making artificial teeth; examples of his work were exhibited by the Benjamin Franklin Institute.
1859Dr. Roderick Badger of Atlanta, Georgia, was the focus of a petition to the Atlanta Council that required all free black persons to pay $200 to the council.
1869Robert Tanner Freeman was the first black dentist to receive the D.M.D. degree from Harvard University, the first institution to include dentistry as a university discipline.
1878George Franklin Grant, the second black to graduate (1870) from Harvard's School of Dental Medicine, was the first black dentist appointed to Harvard's dental faculty.
1883The first dental class of Howard University College of Dentistry was listed in the 16th annual announcement and catalog of the medical department.
1886The dental department was organized as a unit of Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee.
1888Charles Edwin Bentley, D.D.S., a founder of the Niagara Movement, was appointed professor of oral surgery at Harvey Medical College in Chicago, Illinois.
1890Ida Gray Nelson Rollins was the first black woman to graduate from the University of Michigan dental school; she practiced dentistry in Chicago.
1895National Negro Medical Association (NMA) of physicians, dentists and pharmacists was organized in Atlanta, Georgia, with Robert F. Boyd, M.D., D.D.S., as the first president.
1900The first organization of black dentists was the Washington Society of Colored Dentists, founded November 14 in the District of Columbia.
1913Los Angeles, California, branch of NAACP was organized at the home of Dr. John A. Somerville, first black dental graduate of the University of Southern California.First meeting of Tri-State Dental Association, predecessor to NDA, was held in Buckroe Beach, Virginia.
1918Dr. David A. Ferguson became the first dentist elected president of the National Medical Association.Tri-State Dental Association changed its name to Interstate Dental Association.
1924Dr. Stephen J. Lewis published the first article on the Negro in dentistry in Opportunity Magazine, official organ of the Urban League.
1927Members of Interstate Dental Association met at Howard University, Washington, D.C., and changed its name to National Dental Association.
1929Arnold Donowa, D.D.S., was the first black appointed full-time dean of Howard University College of Dentistry.
1930U.S. Census listed 1,773 black dentists; 98 percent male.
1932Roscoe C. Brown, D.D.S., directed the National Negro Health Week Movement, sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service.
1943Meharry Medical College applied for a chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, national dental honor society.Bulletin of the National Dental Association established in magazine format by its first editor, Dr. Stephen J. Lewis.
1944Meharry OKU application rejected because "Meharry was a school for Negro students."
1945Following full approval by ADA Council on Dental Education, Meharry's School of Dentistry was the first minority school affiliate of OKU and was awarded Omicron Chapter of the national dental honor society.
1946Dr. Roscoe F. Lee became the first black dentist certified as Diplomate, American Board of Oral Surgery.Members of R.T. Freeman Dental Society protested being barred from dental supply house instructional course in Washington, D.C., resulting in segregation policy change.
1948Howard University College of Dentistry granted full approval by ADA Council on Dental Education; Pi Pi Chapter of OKU established.In reply to a survey of white U.S. dental schools regarding black faculty members, 15 Southern schools stated that there were none, and "regardless of qualifications none would be considered in any teaching capacity."
1951St. Louis Dental Society of Missouri voted to "invite professionally and ethically qualified Negro dentists" to become fully accredited members.
1952NDA sponsored publication of The Growth and Development of the Negro in Dentistry in the U.S., the first book devoted to the status and achievements of black American dentists.The internationally acclaimed First Public Health Institute In The South, an interracial health conference arranged by V.A. Hospital Tuskegee dentists, was convened March 15-20 at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama.
1960January issue of EBONY magazine featured the faculty, staff and structures of the new $3 million College of Dentistry at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
1961In Atlanta, Georgia, eight black dentists led by Dr. Roy Bell picketed the annual Thomas P. Hinman dental meeting attended by 1,500 white dentists, but closed to black dentists.
1963Andrew Z. Kellar, D.D.S., M.P.H., presented "The epidemiology of lip, oral and pharyngeal cancers" at the International Association of Dental Research annual meeting. His paper was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
1964American Dental Association (ADA) President James P. Hollers announced formation of ADA/NDA Liaison Committee, and the ADA Board of Trustees established it as a permanent committee.
1965Jointly sponsored by the National Dental Association, American Dental Association and American Association of Dental Schools, the first National Conference on Dental Research and Education, underwritten by Procter & Gamble Co., was held in Washington, D.C.
1966At the dedication of the ADA building in Chicago, Illinois, on February 27, HEW Secretary John Gardner said that equality is impossible as long as discrimination exists. He declared, "The pace of integration must be speeded up. If moral suasion does not do the job, it must be backed by legal action."
1967Dr. Van E. Collins was the first black dentist in regular military service to be promoted to the rank of colonel.
1969National Medical and National Dental associations formed the NMA/NDA Liaison Committee on August 11 in order to pool resources and work for mutual advantages.
1972On February 28, NDA Board of Trustees approved initiation of an NDA Foundation first proposed on October 22, 1971 by the NDA editor, who was the dental representative on the Board of Directors of the National Medical Association Foundation.
1973Konnetta Putman was installed as president of the American Dental Hygienists Association at its Golden Anniversary in Houston, Texas. She was the first black American elected to the organization's top office.
1974Celebrated activist Dr. H. Claude Hudson, one of the oldest NAACP officers, was featured in an article titled "Son of Slave Still Marching in Civil Rights War" that was published in the May 28 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
1983Only 7,856 candidates took the DAT (Dental Admissions Test), compared to 20,226 in 1975. The greatest decline occurred among African American candidates.
1986The American College of Dentists published The Hillenbrand Era: Organized Dentistry's Glanzperiode, by Dr. Clifton O. Dummett and Lois D. Dummett. Dr. Dummett was president of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry.
1989On July 1, Raymond J. Fonseca was appointed dental dean at the University of Pennsylvania.
1990Joseph L. Henry, D.D.S., Ph.D., dean emeritus, College of Dentistry, Howard University, was appointed interim dean at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine.
1991Having Our Say: the Delaney Sisters' First Hundred Yearswas published and catapulted Bessie Delaney, D.D.S., into national celebrity.
1992Dental Education at Meharry Medical College: Origin and Odyssey was published by Meharry Medical College.
1994John Maupin, D.D.S., M.B.A., past president of NDA, was appointed president of Meharry Medical College, becoming the first African American dentist to head the institution.Juliann Bluitt, D.D.S., became the first woman dentist elected president of the American College of Dentists.
Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H., was the first African American dentist elected president of the American Public Health Association.
1996NDA formed the Corporate Round Table to increase corporate sponsorship of its professional programs.Ronald Johnson, D.M.D., was named dental dean at University of Texas Health Science in Houston, Texas.
1997The August issue of EBONY magazine publicized NDA/Colgate partnership programs; NDA Foundation involvement with "Bright Smiles-Bright Futures" program; and NDA Foundation scholarship, research and training programs.
1998NDA Foundation took occupancy of NDA headquarters building in Washington, D.C., on May 1 and sponsored its official opening with a Dental Symposium on November 7.
2000NDA Foundation, supported by Colgate-Palmolive Co., published NDA II: The Story of America's Second National Dental Association.
2002On September 27, the National Museum of Dentistry, affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, presented an exhibit, "The Future Is Now," based on NDA II: The Story of America's Second National Dental Association.

I welcome your comments.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fluoride free toothpaste

Why do we put fluoride in toothpaste?
Fluoride has shown effectiveness in reducing tooth decay in many studies.
Fluoride also kills some bacteria.
Fluoride reduces tooth sensitivity.

Why Fluoride Free?
Fluoride is a poison at a high enough dose.
Fluoride does accumulate in the bones.
Fluoride, in excess, can lad to dental fluorosis (pitting and discoloration) of the teeth.
Some studies indicate that fluoride has no effect on tooth decay.

You have the right to choose. 
Though I still believe fluoride benefits outweigh its risks in the right dose and when used properly, I feel people who think otherwise should have a choice.
Many health conscious people prefer to have fluoride free toothpaste.

Who are the major toothpaste manufacturers? 
The major players in the toothpaste market are Crest, Colgate, Aquafresh, and Sensodyne. None had adult toothpaste without fluoride. These toothpastes took up 80% of the space with some having over 20 different varieties. 

What fluoride free toothpaste choices are out there? 
I recently set out to see what was available locally for those individuals. Surprising results revealed that most of the major chain stores do not offer much of a selection for people wanting fluoride free toothpaste. In fact the local Jewel, Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, and CVS Pharmacy  stores only had a children's fluoride free toothpaste made by OraJel, (and one had a Colgate fluoride free children's toothpaste). So I tried a few more stores to see what they had. Happily, I found fluoride free adult toothpaste at Meijer, Woodman’s, and Trader Joe’s. Woodmans offered the most variety with 4 different ones.
By far the best variety was to be found at Whole Foods followed by your local health food stores. The largest variety of all will be the internet.

What else is in that tube?
My concerns about some of the fluoride free toothpastes available are similar to my concerns with the Major players like Crest. They put a lot of stuff in many of these tubes that you cannot be sure of their purity, and safety. It is easy to make claims that this ingredient does something or other. It is another thing to have proof that it does not do something else, or cause harm over time.

 Though you are not supposed to swallow toothpaste, it is impossible to not swallow some.

The basics

What is the purpose of tooth brushing? 
Clean your teeth and gums.
Dry brushing will do that if you take the time and do it properly.

What can toothpaste do? 
Freshen your breath with mint flavorings and baking soda.
Strengthen your teeth with calcium and phosphorus.
Prevent cavities with fluoride and xylitol.
Kill germs with fluoride and a multitude of herbs and other chemicals.
Whiten your teeth, with abrasives and enzymes.
Reduce sensitivity with potassium nitrate, or strontium chloride.
Taste good with foaming agents and flavorings.
Help clean with sodium laurel sulfate and similar compounds.
Reduce gingivitis with chemicals and herbs.

Though many of the claims may be somewhat true, many may be hard to prove. In the case of “natural”, “holistic”, or “organic realms”, claims could be anecdotal at best.

The product now needs other chemicals, colorings, and additives to stabilize it give it a nice look, longer shelf life, and consistency. 
So now you have your toothpaste, a literal chemistry lab that you put in your mouth every day. Take out the fluoride and you can still have a chemistry lab without fluoride. Just because it says "all natural" or "organic" does not mean that it is safe in my opinion. 

What other problems could toothpaste cause? 
It can cause you to shorten the time you brush. The flavoring and bubbles can make you think you are done sooner as your mouth feels fresh and minty. 

How much toothpaste should you use? 
A pea sized amount, and the younger or smaller the child the less you should use. In fact, if you are concerned, don’t use any toothpaste at all.

What fluoride free toothpastes would I recommend?

Carifree Gel…available online or through our office (no abrasives or SLS*)

Spry Sugar-free, fluoride free, Available online or at Whole foods or health food stores.

Toms of Maine clean and gentle… fluoride free with no SLS* (check online for availability)

Burt’ Bees natural toothpaste Whitening…SLS* free and fluoride free.
 SLS is Sodium Laurel Sulfate ( and similar compounds) that are foaming agents and tend to lead to canker sores for some people. 

If you cannot locate these, try to choose one that has the least ingredients.

Make your own. 
If you want safe and free of additives, make your own.
Here is a simple recipe.
3 scoops of stevia (undiluted)
3 teaspoons of xylitol
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3 drops of Peppermint oil
Stir up and dip a moist brush in it and brush for 2 minutes adding more if needed.

It tastes good, will reduce breath odors, kill germs, and prevent cavities. if you want to do some whitening also rinse with 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water for 1 minute twice a day.
If you want it to be more like a gel, mix in some glycerin.
You can vary the ingredients to your particular taste and substitute Spearmint oil for Peppermint oil, or use both.
Spit it out when done.
 If you have issues with your blood pressure, you can skip the baking soda, and you will need less to no stevia to counter the saltiness.

I welcome your comments.

About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

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