The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., reported that dental hygienists are in short supply throughout the state, partly due to the pandemic. A survey by the Washington State Dental Hygienists' Association and the Washington State Dental Association from February found about 220 hygienists were looking for a job, while there were more than 900 openings statewide. Hygienist jobs remain open, on average, for four months.
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Arkansas-based dental hygienist Lacey Inman says the pause in oral care in the US because of the COVID-19 pandemic left many dental issues unaddressed, and some problems that could have been fixed easily if caught early now are more serious, according to KTHV-TV of Little Rock. Inman and dentists say people should make appointments for cleanings and exams to avoid serious oral and systemic health issues.
Trish Keena was appointed director of dental hygiene at dental service organization Elite Dental Partners, based in Chicago, Becker's Dental + DSO Review reports. Keena previously was an executive account manager at OraPharma, a branch of Bausch Health US, and also served as regional coordinator for The Oral Cancer Foundation.
The American Dental Association has reached out to new Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to share policy priorities for the dental profession, according to ADA News. ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O'Loughlin, D.M.D., said in an April 15 letter that they look forward to working with HHS on allowing selection of stand-alone dental plans during the Affordable Care Act special enrollment period, naming a chief dental officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, expanding coverage of and reimbursement for dental care under Medicaid, ensuring dentists have continued access to the Provider Relief Fund if it is reopened and incentivizing dentists to work in underserved areas.
Postponed dental appointments, neglect of oral care routines at home and consumption of more sugary food and drinks are just some of the ways the pandemic has affected people's oral health, according a survey by the American Association of Endodontists, and Indiana dental practices are seeing the consequences. There are more cases of damaged teeth and temporomandibular joint discomfort caused by stress-related clenching and grinding, The Times of Northwest Indiana reports. Dental professionals advise patients to seek treatment before problems worsen, and they note that protocols outlined by the American Dental Association and CDC are being followed to keep dental care safe.
Michael Riccobene, D.D.S., owner of a North Carolina dental practice, and his staff are helping the state's COVID-19 vaccination program by offering the Moderna vaccine during patient appointments, according to WRAL-TV of Raleigh. Dr. Riccobene says he has received authorization from the CDC to administer vaccines, and his team has received the necessary training on vaccine handling. He said dental professionals' experience with disease control and use of personal protective equipment make dental practices "a very comfortable environment to get the vaccine."
The Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services of the Delaware Division of Public Health has indefinitely closed its Public Health Dental Clinics, which were temporarily closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Delaware Public Media and Delaware Business Times. Director Nick Conte, D.M.D., said the bureau is shifting its focus to mobile programs, such as the Delaware Smile Check initiative, that have enabled greater reach into underserved communities.
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A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association documented just over 73,000 new pediatric COVID-19 cases for the week ending April 8, a 14.6% increase from the previous week's new reported cases, according to Medscape. There have been nearly 3.54 million pediatric cases of COVID-19 in 49 states (excluding New York), Washington, D.C., New York City, Puerto Rico and Guam since the start of the pandemic.
Researchers surveyed 911 teens and young adults in October 2020 and found that 76% reported a willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but 33% said their final decision would depend on additional information and 20% said they were not willing to get vaccinated, HealthDay News reports. A repeat survey in late March 2021 found that the percentage of teens and young adults who had been vaccinated or were willing to get vaccinated increased to 84%, while the percentage of youths who reported no intention to be vaccinated dropped to 15%, according to the report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
A meta-analysis in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that the risk for ischemic heart disease mortality was lower among those who followed a vegetarian diet, compared with those who followed a nonvegetarian diet. However, the findings, based on data from eight studies encompassing 131,869 individuals, found no associations between a vegetarian diet and cerebrovascular mortality or all-cause mortality, Healio reports.
A study published in PLOS ONE found that pandemic-related stress and anxiety may be linked to a lower likelihood of getting adequate physical activity, even though that exercise could help maintain mental wellness, according to Medical News Today. Lead study author Jennifer Heisz, Ph.D., said that while exercising can help mitigate depression, respondents who felt more depressed actually had less motivation to be active, further emphasizing the importance of psychological support during difficult times.
Well-being experts say some ways to fight COVID-19 pandemic fatigue include eating more bright-colored vegetables and fruits that can help improve mood and overall health, breaking up big tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed and listening to calming music or mindfulness apps before bed, according to a report at Livestrong.com. Personal trainer Maillard Howell, CPT, said going for a walk outside in the sun also can help, along with setting and achieving a personal goal for walking steps.