The Conference starts on July 24
12:30 PM – 4:00 PM
SPEAKING UP FOR BETTER ORAL HEALTH
JOHNNY JOHNSON, DMD, MS; MATT JACOB, BA
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has praised community water fluoridation (CWF) as one of 10 “great public health achievements of the 20th century,” recognizing that this health practice reduces tooth decay by 25% over a person’s lifetime. Yet we cannot take CWF for granted. Although fluoridated water reaches most Texans, some communities have stopped adding fluoride in recent years. Research shows local residents will suffer because of these decisions to stop. Being an effective public advocate for CWF requires two proficiencies: 1) understanding the scientific evidence, and 2) using strategies that strengthen communication. This session will provide participants with both proficiencies. This session will conclude with a role-play exercise giving participants a chance to practice the skills they have learned.
Upon completion of this event, participants should be able to:
- Explain how topical fluoride (fluoridated toothpaste, mouth rinses, professionally applied varnish, and water fluoridation) and systemic fluoride (optimally fluoridated water, fluoride supplements) work in complementary ways to reduce dental caries.
- Communicate what recent research has concluded about the effectiveness and safety of fluoride at the concentration in fluoridated drinking water.
- Recognize the common claims that critics make against the practice of community water fluoridation and why these claims are not supported by evidence-based scientific research on optimally fluoridated water.
- Educate the public about community water fluoridation using best practices for communicating to audiences with limited health literacy.
Johnny Johnson, DMD, MS
Professional Experience and Expertise
- Pediatric Dentist, private practice, 1985-2014
- President, American Fluoridation Society
- Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) – Successfully reversed decision to cease CWF in home county, Pinellas, FL affecting >700,000 residents
- Local, National, and International collaboration and presentations on CWF retention, restarts, and initiation. Speaker, presenter, subject matter expert
- Local, State, and National speaker in educating teachers, advocates, and health related professions and coalitions in how to protect, preserve, and initiate CWF; Local and general health consequences of oral health; Teaching how to debunk claims made by opponents to CWF using evidence-based literature published in credibly recognized, peer-reviewed scientific journals. Speaker, presenter, panelist
- Local and State presentations to Water Operation’s Personnel on impact of CWF on their resident’s oral health and quality of life. Speaker, presenter, subject matter expert
- Local, State, National, and International testimony before CWF decision-makers on the health impact, evidence-based science, and debunking of opposition to CWF’s pseudoscientific presentations. Speaker, Presenter, Subject matter expert.
- Local, State, and National: American Fluoridation Society’s CWF Training Course: Educational course encompassing history of fluoride’s impact on teeth and general health; The evidence-based science which supports CWF as effective and safe; Debunking of claims by opponents to CWF; Political involvement of where Fluoride Science meets Political Science and how to proactively retain, restart, or initiate CWF
- 1. “The Fluoride Content of Infant Formulas Available in 1985”, Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, 9(1), 1987.
- 2. Florida Dental Association Today: “Grassroots Political Action by Pinellas County Dentists Gets Results”, January/February 2013
- 3. “Critique of the review of ‘Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries’ published by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2015”, British Dental Journal, 220(7), April 8, 2016, co-author
Matt Jacobs, BA
Professional Experience and Expertise
- I have provided training and technical assistance on fluoridation advocacy to local oral health advocates in more than 20 states, including guidance to state health advocates in Arkansas (enacted a 2011 fluoridation law) and Connecticut (amended their fluoridation law in 2016).
- Healthline named the “Teeth Matter” blog that I managed for the Children’s Dental Health Project as one of the best health blogs for 2016.
- The National Public Health Information Coalition presented multiple awards (2015) to the Children’s Dental Health Project for editorial content that I wrote.
- I conceptualized the issue brief for the Pew Center on the States (“A Costly Dental Destination”) that raised awareness of the number of Americans visiting hospital EDs for dental issues. I managed media outreach for this brief that generated more than 22 million media impressions, including coverage by ABC’s “World News Tonight,” the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Time magazine, and other major media.
- On behalf of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, I traveled to Poland and provided week-long training in advocacy communications to teacher-members of the Solidarity trade union (1991, 1995)
- I developed and managed communication/media campaigns in support of state and local education initiatives for the American Federation of Teachers, 1987-2000; 2003-2009
- Allukian M, Carter-Pokras OD, Gooch BF, Horowitz AM, Iida H, Jacob M, Kleinman DV, Kumar J, Maas WR, Pollick H, Rozier RG. Science, Politics, and Communication: The Case of Community Water Fluoridation in the US. Annals of Epidemiology 2018; 28(6):401-410.
- Barone L, Jacob M. Campaign for Dental Health: A National Effort to Increase the Visibility of Positive Information about Community Water Fluoridation. Pediatrics 2017; 140(1).
*The above information online at https://www.texasoralhealthconference.com/schedule.html