Tag Archives: oral health

DHEC Helps S.C. Parents Brush Up on Good Oral Health Habits for Kids

Division of Oral Health Receives Over $500,000 in Federal Funding ​

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and DHEC is helping parents brush up on the importance of their child’s oral hygiene and the positive habits that lead to healthy smiles. As part of this effort, DHEC’s Division of Oral Health received $570,000 in federal funding from the CDC to support the oral health of South Carolina’s youngest children.​

“We’re trying to expand the recognition of oral health as an essential part of total health and well-being from the earliest age,” said Dr. Ray Lala, director of the Division of Oral Health at DHEC. “We want receiving a toothbrush at a DHEC regional office or from a pediatrician to be a common experience. Prevention is key, and we can all be messengers.”

The Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement Expansion Grant funding helps expand the public’s access to preventive oral health information through their local health departments and medical and dental settings.

In addition to the Division of Oral Health’s ongoing efforts to expand federal funding opportunities, the division is also proud to recognize its leader, Dr. Lala. 

_MG_8774 Lala Sept 2013.jpgDr. Lala has spent his professional career in Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Maryland. He is an alumnus of the University of New Orleans and the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. Upon completion of dental school, he entered private practice and maintains an active dental license from the State of Louisiana.​

After 15 years of private dental practice, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, assigned to the Indian Health Service in 1993. He was selected for a federal detail as the South Carolina State Oral Health Coordinator in 2000. Upon completion of this detail in 2004, Dr. Lala was reassigned to the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md. Upon retirement from the Indian Health Service and the Public Health Service in 2014, Dr. Lala assumed his current position as Director of the Division of Oral Health at DHEC.

Dr. Lala’s and his team’s commitment to increasing access to preventive oral health information in South Carolina aligns with our agency’s core value of Embracing Service and strategy of Education and Engagement.

For more information about you can help prevent tooth decay, click here to read our recent news release.

From Other Blogs: Celebrating America’s health centers, dealing with extreme heat, caring for a sinus infection

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Our Healthcare Heroes

I wouldn’t be here today if not for this health center. I didn’t realize all the help they offer and how many people use them until I became a patient … The staff has always treated me with the utmost respect. I can never thank them enough. I’ll have a place in my heart for these folks for the rest of my life.” -Phillip, a patient at a health center in Virginia

For Phillip and more than 27 million other adults and children across the country, health centers provide affordable, high-quality and patient-centered primary healthcare that would otherwise be out of their reach.

Health centers use a holistic approach to patient care, treating the entire person by integrating mental health, oral health, substance use disorder and primary medical care services. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funds nearly 1,400 health centers operating more than 11,000 service delivery sites in communities across the country.  — From the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) blog

CDC’s Tracking Network in Action: Extreme Heat

Extremely hot weather can make you sick. Stay cool and hydrated to protect yourself. The Tracking Network provides data and tools that you can use to see how extreme heat may affect your health. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health – Your Environment blog

When to seek care for a sinus infection

Most adults have experienced a sinus infection and know how annoying and painful they can be.

Acute sinus infections generally stem from the common cold. The pressure felt in the face, forehead and behind the eyes is caused by the inflammation of the sinus cavities and nasal passageway. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Collaborating to Make Stronger Emergency Managers

Building a “Culture of Preparedness” and readying a nation for disaster isn’t limited to the United States.

A three-day summit at the Emergency Management Institute that focused on emergency management training and education continues the collaboration between FEMA and Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention.

Supported by the U.S. Northern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Branch, the two agencies agreed to a six to 10 year project that will strengthen emergency management training and education in both countries. They committed to sharing knowledge in emergency management training, exercises, and education to support and enhance the capacities of the each nation. — From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) blog

A pain in the neck

Do you ever wake up with a stiffness in your neck? What about pain in your neck that gets worse after holding your head in one place for a long time? These are typical signs of neck pain. Other symptoms of neck pain include muscle tightness and spasms, headaches, decreased ability to move your head, and difficulty sleeping.

Approximately 10 to 25 percent of people complain about having a severe neck pain episode at least once in their lives. Aging and everyday damage contribute to the commonness of neck pain, and while these causes of neck pain cannot be avoided, there are many that can. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

National Children’s Dental Health Month: Protect Your Dental Health

“Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.” That’s this year’s slogan for National Children’s Dental Health Month, which runs throughout February.

It is important to practice good health in an effort to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Here are a few things you should do to protect your oral health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between your teeth daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease.

DHEC in the News: Flu, National Children’s Dental Health Month, treatment for babies born to drug-addicted mothers

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

South Carolina sees first child die from flu this season

A child who has died in the Midlands from complications associated with the flu is the first pediatric fatality reported to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control this flu season.

Health information privacy laws shield hospitals and agencies from revealing patients’ county of residence and age.

“We extend our condolences to this family and all families in South Carolina who have suffered a loss during this flu season,” said Lillian Peake, DHEC director of public health.

Local church bumping elbows during ‘sign of peace’ instead of shaking hands, hugging during flu season

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The flu continues to sweep the nation and now it’s causing some churches across the country to take precautions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is calling this flu season the worst it’s been in nearly a decade. As the numbers of flu related deaths continue to rise, churches across the country are altering their services to prevent passing the virus. One local church in Myrtle Beach is doing something unique. Surfside United Methodist Church encourages elbow bumping at the beginning of the service during the passing of the peace and at the end of service, all in an effort to prevent spreading germs.

S.C. dental health needs a brush-up

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – and South Carolina needs to take notice.

Reports show some children are missing hours of school each year because of oral health problems, causing them to lose out on critical instruction time. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging parents to turn their little ones into scholars by helping them improve their oral health habits.

Born addicted: Greenville hospital pioneers new way to treat babies in withdrawal

A baby born to a drug-addicted mom can suffer tremors, sleeplessness, muscle stiffness and other symptoms of withdrawal.

She might wail uncontrollably, be unable to relax or refuse to eat.

She might even have seizures.

And the traditional medical response has been to allow these infants to go into full withdrawal before treating them, said Dr. Jennifer Hudson, medical director of newborn services at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

DentalHealthMonthFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month and DHEC’s Division of Oral Health, is reminding  parents their children can avoid cavities by practicing good oral health.

Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth daily, eating a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks, and seeing your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease are the keys to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

This year’s slogan is “brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”

In support of a positive preventive message, DHEC’s Division of Oral Health and the South Carolina Dental Association, in collaboration with the Columbia Marionette Theatre, will provide free puppet shows to school-age children across the state during the month of February. Oral health-related events will also be taking place at EdVenture Children’s Museum as part of their annual Take Heart and Smile Month. To learn more, visit edventure.org.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Please go to the SC Dental Association website to find a dentist near you.