April 10, 2017

DentaQuest Honors Dentists For Removing
Barriers to Dental Care

January 10, 2017

By: Michelle Manchir

DentaQuest in December named seven health leaders 2016 Health Equity Heroes, including ICD Fellow Dr. Barry Hopper.

The awards are given to people who have "made significant contributions toward removing barriers to health services advocating for the underserved and addressing health disparities."

Dr. Barry Hopper

Dr. Hopper, of Bristol, Tennessee, achieved this by developing and funding the mass production of disposable toothbrushes with preapplied xylitol toothpaste that children in public schools in his home county can use to brush their teeth in a school classroom or hallway without water.

He has distributed 40,000 of the toothbrushes to underserved populations since 2011, according to DentaQuest, and he developed a curriculum and brushing regimen for children in Tennessee through an after-lunch brushing program.

"Providing education, opportunity and implementation on a consistent basis in the school setting is a viable means of reducing caries and improving oral health," Dr. Hopper told the ADA News.  "The program that I conceived has shown to be both accepted and appreciated in the school environment. For school children, it is as important to brush after lunch as it is to wash their hands before lunch."

Dr. Hopper said he'd like to expand his program. He said interested school officials or dental professionals could contact him by email at barrylhopper@gmail.com or learn more about his work at ZyloOralCare.com.

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