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KET’s Health Three60 explores role of oral health on overall well-being


KET’s Health Three60 explores role of oral health on overall well-being

For Release: 06/20/16 10:09 AM

As a society, we tend to treat oral health care as if it is somehow separate from medical care for the rest of our body. This segregated system – in which dental practices have separate offices with different insurance coverage requirements – often leads Kentuckians to avoid seeking out any oral care at all, to the detriment of their overall well-being.

Health Three60 “The Hidden Life of Your Mouth,premiering Monday, July 11 at 9/8 pm on KET, looks at the connection between oral health and three key domains of general well-being: physical health, educational performance, and mental health and work-force participation.

During the program, host Renee Shaw talks with a panel of oral health experts, who share innovative strategies underway in Kentucky that aim to eliminate barriers to oral health care.

First, Julie McKee, DMD, Kentucky’s state dental director, and A. Stevens Wrightson, MD, medical director at the Bluegrass Community Health Center, join Shaw to discuss how poor oral health can lead to physical health conditions such as cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Through a video clip, the program then highlights a cooperative outreach initiative between the Bluegrass Community Health Center and the New Life Day Center in Lexington, which provides preventive health care – including oral health care – to the homeless.

Then, the program addresses the ways that oral health problems can affect children’s school performance, while underscoring the benefits of school-based oral health services. In addition to Dr. McKee, guests for this portion of the program include Stacy Trowbridge, PHRDH, dental services director for the Barren River District Health Department, and Nikki Stone, DMD, mobile dental outreach director for the UK North Fork Valley Community Dental Outreach Program. During this segment, Dr. Stone discusses her new “drink pyramid,” which she designed to help children reduce their unhealthy attachment to sugary drinks.

In the final segment, Shaw and her guests examine how oral health issues impact mental health, self-esteem and the ability to progress in the workforce. Guests include Dr. McKee and Lee Mayer, DMD, associate professor and director of community dental health at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.

Health Three60 “The Hidden Life of Your Mouth” is a KET production, produced by Laura Krueger. The program is part of KET’s Inside Oral Health Care initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and and at


Todd Piccirilli
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications