Cleaning Up America’s Favorite Sport

5058437912_65935eeef0We’re in the heart of baseball season! Big stadium stands and neighborhood benches are filling up with families eager to watch their favorite players– young and old.

But there is a dark side to our country’s favorite pastime– one that especially concerns dentists like Dr. Beadnell— chewing tobacco. While smoking tobacco has declined over recent decades, “chewing” tobacco (spit tobacco) retains relatively the same percentage of users– including young users who may start before the age of 18.

Oral Health America’s campaign

Dr. Beadnell and other dentists are not the only ones concerned about America’s habit of chewing tobacco– athletes in Little League Baseball are as well! And they’re working with Oral Health America on a public campaign called NSTEP (National Spit Tobacco Education Program). Yearly, NSTEP holds a national contest for a new campaign slogan that engages young people in the anti-spit-tobacco campaign.

This year Alex Smith, a 12-year-old hailing from Falls Church, Virginia, is the new winner of NSTEP’s slogan contest. The winning slogan? “Play with grit. Strive to hit. But never spit!” All upcoming Little League Baseball World Series games will be hosting Alex’s wise words.

Why does chew-tobacco concern Beadnell Family Dentistry?

Chewing tobacco concerns Dr. Beadnell for a slew of reasons. To begin with, chew or spit tobacco causes oral cancers: esophageal, tongue, cheek, and other cancers. Second, it causes long term damage to gums: gingivitis and receding gums. In general, this nasty habit makes trouble all over the mouth: bone loss around teeth, abrasions, tooth loss, bad breath and staining. Beadnell Family Dentistry supports education programs like NSTEP because we don’t want to see our patients suffer from these unnecessary afflictions!

“Play with grit” the winner

Alex Smith, with his winning words “Play with grit. Strive to hit. But never spit!” beat out 1500 other contests. As part of his prize, Alex will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, PA, as well as a cash prize. Additionally, Oral Health America will be donating $500 to Alex’s local Little League program in Falls Church, Virginia.

If you do chew, let us help!

Beadnell Family Dentistry strongly believes that quitting chewing tobacco is one of the most important decisions you can make for your oral health. If you chew spit tobacco, we welcome you to speak with Hillsdale dentist Dr. Beadnell today about a plan to quit, and how we can support your oral health in that process.

Photo Credit: rusteford via Compfight cc

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