Taking care of your teeth in Taco City (San Antonio).

Taking care of your teeth in Taco City (San Antonio).


Q. Why did I go to a Hispanic Dental Association reception at a hotel ballroom?

A. Because I enjoy too many amazing San Antonio foods and drinks and I need to protect my teeth if I want to keep it up!


Thanks to P & G, OralB and Crest, I recently attended a reception for the 25th Annual Hispanic Dental Association Conference where they announced the winners of the 2015 Orgullo Crest program, an annual competition to showcase Outreach and Education, at the Marriott Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio.

It was really exciting to see a room full of college students and dental hopefuls so passionate about educating the Hispanic community about good dental hygiene. I got to speak with Dr. Ivan Lugo, Manager for North American and Puerto Rico at P&G, about his involvement in the conference and the program.

Dr. Ivan Lugo

Like many of our new social networks como Snapchat y Instagram, the program decided to try entry submissions via video. Dr. Lugo explained, “Two years ago we said ‘Why don’t we try video?’ So they began campaigning with videos and it was so, so exciting. This year they’ve stepped it up a notch. We hope to continue that. I’m looking at some of these and some of these are looking like PSA’s or things we could put in waiting rooms for moms to listen to.”

The video entries were super cute and catered to mostly young, Hispanic families- showing that educating our children on good dental health is the best preventative action we can take and that they will be sure to thank us for it in the future.

Stills from the video entries.

But I was also interested in a few other (eh hem selfish) reasons considering I’m a 30 something year old and so are many of Puro Pinche’s followers. I explained to Dr. Lugo what my role was in the San Antonio community and asked him how we, as food and drink lovers, might be able to take better care of our teeth and pass this on as well.

Puro Pinche: In a community like San Antonio, home of festivals like the Big Red and Barbacoa Festival, what can we do about our teeth?

IL: You can’t change a culture over night. The things that you can do is to start making people conscious that after you eat this much sugar, you might want to cleanse your mouth with water.

PP: Simple enough, right? But when your only drink options are sugary sodas and crafty beers, what can you do?

IL: At festivals, begin to pass out things to educate people to say, “We celebrate our culture. We celebrate our food but this is how our food is affecting our children and it’s affecting our health.”

I think that particular piece will be probably one of the first steps in building a consciousness around keeping your mouth clean and healthy particularly when you wake up and when you go to bed. Those are critical things.

Perhaps find ways that the community can embrace rather than say, “You know what? I’m not going to stop eating this

We know you’re going to eat it! Once you eat it, think about drinking a little bit of water. Swishing so that you can remove that sugar and then you can continue on. If you can brush, that’s great. If you can swish with water at least to remove the sugar, that’s probably number one in creating a consciousness around not having sugar stay in your mouth so that it destroys your teeth.

PP: If you’re wondering about the scientific part of this…

What happens – just quickly – when there’s carbohydrates (sugar) that remain in your mouth and then there’s the bacteria that’s accumulating, the bacteria will eat the carbohydrates and then they will secrete an acid that will eat your enamel. That’s why it’s critical to remove that bacteria so that if there’s sugar, there’s not bacteria there to eat it and create an acid that will eat away your teeth.

Then if it gets under the gums, you get gingivitis and that can lead to periodontitis where you begin to lose the bone.

For our (hispanic) community where we have a lot of hypertension and diabetes which affects the immune system. You have to make sure that a diabetic person has good eating habits but also has good oral health fitness so they can remove the bacteria because their immune system is not going to be able to fight the infection or inflammation in the mouth as well as somebody who has an intact immune system.

PP: Something I hadn’t heard before (I’m not a diabetic but yes, members of my family are)…

If you are diabetic, go to the dentist more often. Get cleanings every three months. Get a check up every three months to make sure you don’t let it accumulate. You need more check ups if you are diabetic.

PP: You are very right you know. After all, we can save ourselves lots of feria today and in the future if we stop and think about how the things we eat and drink now will affect us later when we’re viejitos.

For our community, we don’t have extra money to be going to the dentist to get the teeth fixed. So why not build some prevention in your daily routine and save a lot of money later on throughout life.


Congratulations to all the #OrgulloCrest 2015 scholarship winners! Hopefully next year we will see some Texas universities at the top!

University of Michigan School of Dentistry Winners!

University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry Winners!

University of Washington School of Dentistry Winners!

Que Means What interviewing #OrgulloCrest winners.

Thank you so much to P&G, Crest and OralB for sponsoring my attendance on this fun night. The DJ was playing all my favorite salsa and cumbia tunes (Selena tambien) and the Tres Leches Shooters were fun (and yes, I brushed my teeth right after).

My swag bag! Whitening strips, toothpaste, and a cute Orgullosa shirt and bracelet.

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August 31st, 2015

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