Child afraid of the dentist

Kids Dental Health is Getting Worse in Kentucky

Despite having more families with dental insurance than 15 years ago, kids dental health is getting worse in Kentucky. The 2016 study of 2,109 Kentucky families determined that Kentucky meets only half of eight benchmarks addressing children’s dental health needs. This is a huge problem because tooth decay or dental pain can lead to trouble with concentration in school and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer later in life.

Although Kentucky ranks first in the country in the percentage of people served by fluoridated water systems, the Bluegrass state is struggling to improve the dental health of its youngest inhabitants. Here are the key findings.

The percentage of students who need dental care is increasing.

The percentage of 3rd & 6th graders in Kentucky in need of early or urgent dental care was 32% in 2001. That number has now ballooned to 49%, meaning almost half of students in Kentucky are living with toothaches, tooth decay, infections or cavities. Eastern Kentucky is seeing the least improvement of any region.

Two out of five students have untreated cavities.

Tooth decay remains the most prevalent chronic disease in children, and impacts too many Kentucky children. And when students have poor dental health, it can affect their schoolwork. “We know in a very pragmatic way that a person with a toothache is probably not paying attention to their multiplication tables at school, so oral health is a significant issue for children in Kentucky,” Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates Dr. Terry Brooks said.

Over half of students do not have sealants.

There was a 14% increase in the number of children observed with dental sealants on at least one permanent molar. However, even with that gain, more than half of the children did not have any sealants, which are clear plastic coatings that protect the chewing surface of a tooth. Sealants are usually one-third the cost of filling a cavity.

Socioeconomic status is a significant factor in students’ oral health. 

What’s most troubling is that 88% of these students have dental insurance that pays for some or all of their dental care, parents report, but only 5% reported there was a time when their child needed dental care but couldn’t access it. So if access is not preventing parents from seeing a dentist for their children, is it education? According to the Kentucky Department of Education, more than 70% of public school students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. And unsurprisingly students on free or reduced lunch are more likely to have recently experienced a toothache, have visited a dentist more than a year ago, have untreated decay or be in need of urgent dental care.

“What leaps out in the report are two big issues,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. “One is the paradox that more kids have coverage and yet outcomes are worse and the second is that we have factors that kids can’t control — where they live, the color of their skin, how much money their parents make — and those are real determinants on the state of kids mouths. None of those are easily solved, but they are challenges that we have to tackle.”

In 2001, only 871 of 2,169 licensed dentists in Kentucky reported seeing Medicaid patients – and low imbursement rates, which have not changed in years, were among reasons cited.

We proudly accept Medicaid patients of all ages. 

Many of our offices accept Medicaid and Medicaid type plans. If you would like to find a pediatric dentist near you that accepts your plan or talk about general kids dental health with a professional, please give any of our Kentucky locations a call. We’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction and ensure your children have access to the dental care they need.


Digital Map of Kentucky with Percentages for regions shown - meaning percentage of 3rd and 6th grades with untreated tooth decay

Show your support. Share this image on Instagram for Children’s Dental Health Month and help raise awareness for kids dental health in Kentucky.

Portrait of a young girl showing thumbs up while in the dentist chair

Keeping Your Family Safer with Dentapure

For over 35 years, Mortenson Family Dental’s priority has been the health of you and your family. So as soon as we heard reports of children getting sick from the water at dental offices, we began working on a solution. As of today, we are proud to announce that the Dental Unit Waterlines at every Mortenson Family Dental office in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio are being treated with DentaPure® Cartridges.

Why treat waterlines with DentaPure®?

Last year in Georgia, nine children were hospitalized with Mycobacterium abscessus infections after undergoing pulpotomies (root canals) at a common clinic. An investigation found that the outbreak was caused by contaminated water that introduced the bacterium during irrigation and drilling. We decided that it was in the best interest of our patients’ health to not only revisit our waterline cleaning procedures, but also seek a long-term solution. DentaPure is a safe, reliable and effective EPA-approved cartridge that attaches to dental waterlines to prevent biofilm buildup in Dental Unit Waterlines (DUWL’s). When untreated, or improperly maintained, the water flowing through these contaminated DUWL’s and out through the air/water syringe or high-speed handpieces can carry pieces of biofilm that have broken off the waterline wall — potentially harming your patients, your staff and your practice’s reputation. Learn more by watching the video below.

 

National Children’s Dental Health Month

What better way to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month than ensuring the health and safety of your children? If you have any additional questions about DentaPure or improving your child’s dental health, feel free to ask any of our team members at your next visit! For more children’s dental health tips and tricks, check out our #NCDHM blog post here.

The tooth fiary stands behind a table surrounded with school-age children and the candy they collected to donate

De Paul students overcome fire, help homeless

If you follow Mortenson Family Dental on Facebook or keep up with our blog, you already know that we love giving back to the communities we serve. In addition to the Mortenson Charitable Foundation, we love organizing events and promotions for good causes. One of our favorites is our Swap Your Sweets promotion, which collects candy for Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to troops abroad.

This last week, one of our team leaders sent out a heartwarming story about the 4th grade class at DePaul Elementary school — who not only overcame a school fire to swap their sweets, but pooled their resources to help Louisville’s homeless population and teach us all a lesson in compassion, kindness and the spirit of the holiday season. Her story is reprinted below, with names removed to preserve their privacy.

One of our young patients is a student at DePaul Elementary School around the corner from the Highlands office. She found out about our Swap Your Sweets program and told her teachers and class about it. It turns out that this 4th grade team selected a project this year to “Help Those Who Protect Us.” Our program fit right in. The entire class brought in and bagged their candy. They even recruited other kids in the school to do the same and parents brought in brand new bags of candy to share with the troops. I had organized with their teacher to come in and speak to the class with the assistance of one of our EDDAs who was graciously willing to play the part of “tooth fairy.”

The day before we were supposed to come in, the teacher called and said there was a fire at the school and we would have to postpone. Everyone was safe. The school was fine. But the candy did not survive and the kids were staying home from school for a couple days while classrooms were repaired.

Upon the kids’ return to school, they scurried to gather more candy. They really wanted to participate in our program. Parents and students of the school rallied and came up with another bounty of candy and homemade cards for our troops. We went to their classroom yesterday to deliver the gift cards and some dental goodies, talk to them about service in the community and, of course, dental health. It was simply delightful. The kids were confident, inquisitive and completely aware of how our project brings a smile to “Those Who Protect Us.” It doesn’t stop there. They have plans to take lunch to the fire fighters who helped save their school. AND they are gathering items for the homeless. During our presentation, it came up that they could combine their $5 gift cards from the Swap Your Sweets program and purchase items for the shelter. I was almost moved to tears.

One of our young patients brought us and her elementary school together and we were able to give them small means to contribute to a local shelter (don’t forget that lunch for the firefighters, too!). If this isn’t an example of community coming together to take care of each other, I don’t know what is.

We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. Thank you, DePaul Elementary school students, for helping us all remember what it means to serve the community. We are so proud of you, and thankful for the kindness you showed.

SWAP YOUR SWEETS! written in candy corn letters

Swap Your Sweets 2016

Halloween is right around the corner! No, we’re not going to tell you or your kiddos not to enjoy any candy, BUT we do want to let you know about a fun way to enjoy some of your candy and send the rest to our troops overseas!

Now through November 15th you are invited to Swap Your Sweets! You can bring in your extra or unwanted Halloween candy to any Mortenson Family Dental, BracesBracesBraces or Kid’s Dentistree location (in Kentucky or Indiana) during that office’s regular hours to get a $5 gift card!

Here are the rules and details:

Each person may swap one bag of candy.

You must have at least one full, sandwich-size bag of candy.

No chocolate! (It melts in the mail when shipped overseas.)

All of the candy that we collect will go to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

Have a safe and fun Halloween and remember, you have until November 15th to swap!

Three people stand next to a Ronald McDonald statue sitting on a bench with boxes at his feet

Build-A-Bears for Ronald McDonald House

A woman holds a small sweater for a build-a-bear

A few weeks ago, our leadership team committed to coming together to learn together and do good together. The event was called the Inspire Leadership Academy, hosted by our Learning and Development team. What a great experience it was! Not only did we learn how to be better leaders for teams, but we got the chance to do a community service project as well. The local Build-A-Bear Workshop joined us at Creative Spaces, and we built teddy bears together, filled them with warm wishes, love and dressed them in t-shirts we decorated for the bears. Our intent was for these bears to find a home where they could bring fun, joy and encouragement to their new owner. After giving it a lot of thought, we decided the best home for our bears was the Ronald McDonald Houseof Kentuckiana. The Ronald McDonald House provides a nice place to stay for families who have traveled from outside the Louisville area with children who are being treated at the hospitals. The bears will find a new home with a family and child experiencing a serious illness. It is our sincere hope that these bears can bring a little light to the lives of these families. Thank you, Ronald McDonald House, for letting us partner with you!

Seven women sit around a table with a green tablecloth and smile as they hold build-a-bears

 

 

Eagle U - Youth Success

Eagle University 2016

The fourth annual Eagle University kicks off today at UofL in Louisville, Kentucky! Eagle U is a week-long event where about 200 students stay on campus and learn from world-renowned speakers about life experiences and how to set themselves apart from their peers. At the end of the week, the students get to meet with and interview successful community members for an opportunity to learn from their success. The Mortenson Charitable Foundation is proud to sponsor this event and help the children of our team members and patients learn the skills they need to become future leaders.

What is Eagle U?

During the Eagle U program, participants get a 7 year jump-start on life. Students entering high school through college age build self-confidence, motivation, and direction. Participants will find mentors that give them inspiration, wisdom, and new ways to develop a direction in life and be successful. Participants will also learn life lessons at the hands of those who have actually proven, by their performance, the success of the principles that they teach. At Eagle U, participants will define their goals and discover the tools to reach them.

The eagle has always symbolized independence, strength and focused direction. When you emerge from Eagle U, you’ll have the opportunity to be all of these things as you follow the systems you will be given. They are common sense systems, but not commonly practiced. To be extraordinary, you don’t do ordinary things that ordinary people do.

Why We Choose Eagle U

“It is critical to success to think and to plan ahead,” says Jacque Ramsey, Mortenson Fmaily Dental’s marketing director, “It is also critical to our company culture that we provide opportunities such as Eagle U to our team members’ children and our patients. Eagle U has been an extraordinary experience for the students that have been able to attend over the last three years. We are proud to partner with Eagle U and to support it so that others in the community can benefit from it too.”

Mortenson Family Dental participates by donating to Eagle U so that our team members’ children and our patients can experience the program at a significantly reduced rate. We are committed to helping not only our team members achieve success, but their families and our patients as well. By sending our young people to Eagle U, we are helping them create pathways to success.

Stay tuned to all our social channels this week to follow the students’ activities. And if you’re posting about Eagle U on Twitter or Facebook, be sure to tag #EagleU!

Louisville Slugger Field at nighttime

Louisville Slugger Field Voted Best Triple-A Ballpark

Louisville Slugger Field — home of the Louisville Bats — has been voted the #1 Triple-A Ballpark in the country, according to BallPark Digest’s “Best of the Ballparks 2016”. The contest started with 30 stadiums going head-to-head in a tournament-style bracket, and ended with Louisville Slugger Field narrowly beating the Indianapolis Indians’ Victory Field with 51% of the vote. Over 14,000 fans voted during the contest.

In a private release, Louisville Bats’ Senior Vice President Greg Galiette said:

I’d like to thank everyone who voted for Louisville Slugger Field.  Without your support this nationwide recognition would not have been possible. I hope to see you at the Ball Park soon. And again thank you for your support of Louisville Slugger Field and the Louisville Bats it’s greatly appreciated by our entire organization.

As partners and fans of the Louisville Bats, Mortenson Family Dental would like to extend a huge congratulations to our friends. It is a well-deserved victory for one of our favorite local spots to spend an evening or weekend night with our families. Go Bats!

Bracket

Dr. Wayne Mortenson presents an over-sized check to Crusade for Children

Dr. Wayne presents $10,000 to Crusade for Children

What a great feeling it is to give back to the communities we love! After collecting donations from our patients at Mortenson Family Dental, Kid’s Dentistree and Braces Braces Braces over the past three months, we were able to raise $10,000 for the 63rd annual WHAS Crusade for Children. The Crusade is an organization that raises money for agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children, and has raised over $165 million since it began in 1954. WHAS11 was so impressed with the amount we raised that they invited our founder, Dr. Wayne, on the news to present the check in person.


“Over the years, we have been very involved with the community and have helped many causes. Jacque Ramsey, our director of marketing really felt like this would be a great cause – that would involve our patients and team members and so we decided that it would be a great cause to support.”

– Dr. Wayne Mortenson


The WHAS Crusade for Children is coming up the weekend of June 4 and June 5. Find out more at www.crusadeforchildren.org or donate by clicking here. And be sure to follow the Crusade for Children on social by clicking the links below:

Follow Crusade for Children on Facebook

Follow Crusade for Children on Twitter Follow Crusade for Children on YouTubeFollow Crusade for Children on Instagram

 

Mortenson Family Dental staff at the Shelby Touched Twice Clinic

Touched Twice – Day of Dentistry

On Saturday, March 12, our Mortenson Family Dental team donated a free day of dentistry to the 7th Annual Shelby Touched Twice Clinic, an event aimed at giving back to Kentucky’s communities. This yearly event coordinates with dozens of churches across our state to provide food, toiletries, spa visits, makeup, manicures, pedicures, haircuts, clothing, medical exams and screenings, vision care and dental treatment to local families in need of assistance. It was the 6th year that Mortenson Family Dental has participated in Touched Twice, which is part of a nationwide initiative to heal struggling communities holistically: both those serving and those being served.

Our team was able to see a total of 83 patients on Saturday, and provide 60 cleanings and 43 extractions. It was all in a day’s work for Beth Whitehouse, a team leader in Shelbyville, who says the reason she participates every year is “because it’s important for Mortenson to give back to a community that has given us so much in return.” She says, “This day stands for more than just the dentistry provided; it stands for an entire community donating their time and talents for its members who could use a helping hand.” According to Touched Twice, nearly 15% of Americans are uninsured. This means that for over 42 million people, there is basically a crisis happening in their own backyards. This day of donations and volunteer service proves that you don’t have to travel thousands of miles or spend thousands of dollars to help. All it costs is a few hours of your time to change the lives of the people in your community.

For Zachary Stevenson, who works in Patient Services, experiencing the clinic for the first time was “truly amazing and humbling.” He notes that everyone he helped was extremely grateful, but also that he was impacted greatly by the atmosphere of the day. This is where Touched Twice gets its name: both the people being helped and the people helping are “touched” by the experience.

 

If you’d like to donate items or volunteer your time for next year’s event, you can sign up on their website

Or to stay up to date on all that Shelby Touched Twice is doing throughout the year, follow them on Facebook.

 


Additional Stats:

591 Volunteers

80 Churches

29 Cities

402 Guests

107 Vision Exams

121 Medical Exams

92 Haircuts

75 Nails

144 Photos

43 Blood Glucose Screenings


Learn more about Touched Twice:

ARVE Error: Not a valid thumbnail URL or Media ID given

Mortenson Family Dental Valley Station Team and KristyLove

KristyLove Foundation Day of Dentistry

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou

Today our Valley Station office teamed up with the KristyLove Foundation to donate a free day of dentistry to all of the program’s participants. Cleaning, dentures, crowns, fillings and bridges ­– you name it­. The team volunteered their time and talents to provide a valuable service to some very deserving patients. “It was important for us to show others love and compassion that they’ve never been given,” said Team Leader Sarah, “We are fortunate to enjoy what we do, so it’s a great way for us to give.”

The KristyLove Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for women who are recovering from addiction and dangerous environments. They provide shelter and case management to help lead women to better health care, education and employment. And their focus on small intimate housing creates an uplifting and comfortable atmosphere for their members to work their way back to a clean life. Kristy Love founder Angela R. attributes the program’s success to the dedication of its participants and a focus on compassion, saying that when women come into the house, “they have to commit to being clean, getting a job and must learn to have a charitable heart.”

Several women who received care today were surprised that the Valley Station office would open its doors and volunteer their expertise so freely. But for the Valley Station team, who have been serving southwest Jefferson County for over 4 years, the Day of Dentistry was just an opportunity to give back to the community they love to serve. “Everyone has value and a purpose,” says Dr. Heather Walker, “and if we can do one small thing to make others feel loved and valued, we want to do that.”

If you are interested in helping the KristyLove Foundation too, they are always accepting monetary donations in addition to household items, linens, appliances, school supplies, beauty products, transportation and gift cards. You can even donate your time and expertise by helping to repair, paint or renovate the housing they provide their members. If you’re unable to volunteer or donate, you can ‘like’ and ‘share’ KristyLove Foundation on Facebook to help spread their mission.

Phone: 502-295-6437

Email: info@thekristylovefoundation.org

Mail: KristyLove Foundation

PO BOX 11793

Louisville, KY 40251

Call (502) 244-9595
to make an appointment

Online appointments are down for scheduled maintenance.

Please call one of our offices to make an appointment.