Dentistry, Covid-19 & Food Insecurity
Colony Square has been our dental home for over 35 years. Located in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta, we’ve seen a small diner, Gorin’s, on the corner of 14th and Peachtree become the Proscenium, the National Service Industries building is now King & Spalding and the neighborhood is home to countless residents, changing the landscape from predominately commercial, to one with enough residential to warrant the largest Whole Foods in the Southeast! And throughout this time, looking out of our office windows, we’ve seen Midtown’s growth and we are thankful. Thankful to have been able to provide quality oral healthcare to so many who work and live in the area and to those that drive from the suburbs, valuing the care and services we provide. And with so many years under our belts and the many ups and downs in our economy, we’ve weathered those storms and are appreciative of all who have continued to seek us out for their dental needs. It continues to be our honor to care for generations of patients’ families … who’ve become our friends.
And though we are a small business, we take the responsibility of being a part of the fabric of Midtown, seriously. Annually, we stop discussing hygiene visits, dental crowns & bridges, dental implants, Zoom teeth whitening, and Invisalign and put aside the world of dentistry to, in our way, give back to the community. Be it food shopping for the Atlanta Food Bank or clothes shopping for Dress for Success, buying coats and books for children, or donating to the
Ben Massell Dental Clinic, it’s important to us that we share our good fortune with others. Though our annual ‘give back’ event is typically around the holidays, with Covid-19, we are beginning our yearly event now; there has never been a time in Colony Square Dental Associate’s history that we’ve seen the need be greater.
So, how does Covid-19, with job losses and salary reductions, relate to this year’s campaign? We’ve written many times about the importance of maintaining one’s oral health and its correlation with overall health. And those who read our blogs know we strive to educate our patients about the ‘how and why’ our diets, both what we eat and what we drink, impact the health of our teeth and supporting structures. At every visit, our dental hygienists stress the importance of brushing and flossing properly, not only keeping our teeth healthy but also critical to our periodontal (gum) and supporting bone health.
But, exacerbated by Covid-19, many do not have the luxury of selecting the foods that are recommended for dental and overall wellbeing; these foods are typically more expensive. Lack of abundance of healthy choices especially impacts our youth whose teeth and bones are developing. Food insecurity has been a longstanding problem with an estimated 1 in 5 children unable to partake in meals balanced with the whole fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fishes, and sugar-free foods that comprise a balanced diet. And during the pandemic, with many schools closed to in-person learning, there are children who participate in school lunch programs missing out on breakfasts and lunches designed by dieticians to be nutrient-rich. Often, the items less costly include prepared foods, full of sodium, preservatives, and sugar additives as well as fast foods and sugary drinks and snacks. Most of these items not only do not provide the important vitamins and minerals a child needs to develop and thrive or an adult to be able to eat comfortably and smile with confidence, they contain sugars – a main contributor to dental disease. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “dental carries is the number one disease worldwide”, often caused by poor diets. And, while there is a combination of factors that impacts oral health, there have been countless studies showing the relationship between a poor diet and dental decay. And equally, there are years of research showing a correlation between oral health and overall health.
The pandemic has worsened the crisis of food insecurity. With lines at food banks throughout our country and in our home city of Atlanta, continuing, we are jump-starting the holiday season with another Facebook challenge. Our goal is to ask our patients to challenge us to remember those who need assistance. If we all do a little, when added together, we can do a lot! How can you help? Every time you see our Facebook Challenge Thermometer, sitting on an apple, on a post, push us forward with a Like or Share. For every Like we pledge $1.00; for every Share, we pledge $3.00 to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Our campaign begins on September 1st and continues until December 1st. At the end of each month, we will empty our piggy bank and present a donation to the director of ACFB. So all you need to do is click the Facebook icon on our website (colonysquaredental.com) or visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/colonysquaredental. Every dollar donated to ACFB purchases $9.00 worth of groceries. When we do a little; we will do a lot!
We appreciate our patient families who have helped Colony Square Dental Associates be successful in our past campaigns. And Drs. Hochberg and Diora, along with the CSDA treatment team, are hopeful for even more bountiful support this year.
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