Oral Health

Thanks to a generous grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota, Hearts Beat Back conducted a study to understand how dental providers in Brown County are addressing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and tobacco use among their patients. Given that oral health care providers often see patients every six months, dental practices are in a unique position to address these key health risks.

On Tuesday, September 23rd, 31 Brown County dental providers gathered at the New Ulm Country Club to learn about counseling strategies for improving their patients' cardiovascular and oral health. Merry Jo Thoele, Dental Director for the Minnesota Department of Health’s Oral Health Program, presented "Coaching Patients to a Brighter Smile and Healthier Heart." Her presentation outlined approaches for helping dental patients succeed with tobacco cessation and reducing their sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. A second presentation was conducted by Brianna Longeway, administrator of the Minnesota Department of Health's "Call it Quits Referral Program." Ms. Longeway provided an overview of the tobacco cessation referral programs offered in Minnesota, and demonstrated how providers can refer their patients. Overall, attendees were very satisfied with the educational event, with 93% agreeing that what they learned will improve their competence, performance and/or patient outcomes.

Watch the full recording now, on the right side of the page.

If you are a dental provider in Brown County and would like to learn more, please contact Derek Hersch at 612-863-6016 or dhersch@mhif.org

Click below for our Oral and Heart Health Resource Guide.