November/December 2010
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Electronic EOB 

Electronic Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) are now available! Members can sign up for EEOBs by logging into their myODS account at Help us spread the word and conserve precious resources! A downloadable PDF is available for you to share with your employees.

Cavity Culprits

Article by Brenda Contreras courtesy of Dental Optimizer

Every year, candy companies conjure up a new storm of chewy, sticky, nut-filled, caramel-coated candies that wreak havoc on our teeth. But this doesn't have to be a dentist's worst nightmare. There are precautions parents and kids can take.

According to Gardner Beale, D.D.S., associate professor of clinical dentistry in USC School of Dentistry's Department of Pediatrics, cavities are caused by three factors-bacteria, carbohydrates and sugars. "If we can eliminate one of these factors, then we can prevent the formation of cavities," he says.

As you might expect, Beale suggests that the intake of sugar should be kept to a minimum. When children, or adults for that matter, have a high sugar exposure, the sugar is absorbed by the bacteria in the mouth and turned into acid, which then damages the teeth.

However, sugar is not the only one to blame for a mouth full of fillings. Carbohydrates and acids cause good teeth to go bad. Other foods, such as potato chips, dried fruits, acidic fruits and anything "that is chewy or sticks to your teeth," Beale says, can cause cavities, since the sugar and carbohydrates in the food are stored in your teeth for a long time.

Preferred Picks

For example, Beale says that if the choice for candy is between 10 Hershey's Kisses or a lollipop, one should choose the chocolate treat. "The Hershey's Kisses chocolate will dissolve quickly whereas the lollipop stays in your mouth continuously," he explains.

Sticky sweets like fruit rolls, gummy bears, Laffy Taffy and Starbursts, as well as hard candy like lollipops, jawbreakers and Sweet Tarts should be avoided as much as possible.

According to Beale, sticky candies can stay in between teeth for a long period of time and are not easily removed by saliva. This means that the longer those sweets stay in your mouth, the more prone you are to bacteria converting the sugars into acid and causing tooth decay. The same thing applies to hard candy, unless it's sugar free.

Candy such as chocolate, sugar-free gum or anything that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute, is not as harmful as hard and sticky sweets, and can actually aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Sugar-free gum or gum that contains xylitol, like Trident, are good to chew between meals because they produce more saliva, which helps your mouth rinse out the acid.

In addition, chocolate contains tannins, naturally occurring chemicals that prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

However it's not just a matter of knowing what types of candies are good and which are bad that will aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Beale points out that education in oral health plays a very important role as well.

Prevention Points

According to Julie Jenks, D.D.S., M.P.H., assistant professor of clinical dentistry in the Department of Pediatrics at the USC School of Dentistry, everyone is at risk for tooth decay if proper oral care is not practiced. And parents, she says, are responsible for their children's oral health habits and their daily diets.

"The key to tooth decay prevention is limiting the frequency and consistency of sugars and carbohydrates," says Jenks.

Jenks and Beale offer the following additional: 

  • Monitor your children's candy consumption.
  •  Don't allow children to eat candy throughout the day. Give candy after dinner and make them brush their teeth before going to bed.
  • Chew sugarless gum after a meal to reduce levels of bacteria on teeth.
Reprinted with permission from USC HealthNow
ODS website delivers better help

At ODS, we enjoy a little refreshment. That's why we are whipping our website into shape. Our new, more sophisticated website design offers better help than ever before, quickly and easily getting you to the resources you need. Besides a fresh look, our new website offers:

  • Clearer, more concise navigation
  • An easier way to search for providers with our "Find care" tool
  •  A convenient news scroll that gives you one-click access to news and relevant information

 Check out our new website today at

The Holidays are here. Life is busier than ever.

It is common for people to feel overwhelmed with daily work and family responsibilities. In fact, an estimated 19 million Americans suffer from clinical depression each year. The good news is that depression is highly treatable.

ODS Behavioral Health is here to help your employees get the support they need to care for their mental health. If ODS members are experiencing depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue, finding the right provider can make a big difference.  ODS has experts ready to assist ODS members, and they're only a phone call or e-mail away. With more than 2,000 behavioral health providers in the ODS Plus network, we make sure ODS members find a provider that is an ideal match based on:

  • Language
  • Ethnicity
  • More than 50 behavioral health sub-specialties


ODS members can also take a depression screening called the PHQ-9 evaluation by logging in to their myODS accounts under the Depression Care Program page.

If an ODS member has been diagnosed with depression and is already receiving treatment, they can enroll in the ODS Depression Care Health Coaching Program  for additional support in between office visits. As a participant in our Depression Care Program, health coaches will help members:

  • Work one-on-one with a trained health coach over the phone or via e-mail
  • Set goals and learn how to achieve those goals
  • Track progress to better health

Contact the Depression Care Program at:

Phone: 503-948-5548

Toll-free: 877-277-7281

TTY: 800-433-6313


Not all plans have access to all resources or tools referenced in this newsletter. Please refer to your member handbook, or call your ODS Marketing Representative for plan-specific information.

Issue: 7
In This Issue
Electronic EOBs Available Now!
Cavity Culprits
ODS delivers better help
Depression Care
Meals that Heal

Meals that Heal- Join us with a FREE Cooking Class

ODS is pleased to announce its co-sponsorship with Legacy Health in the upcoming Meals That Heal series. Learn to create healthy, delicious meals with Chef Nicole Sandleben and Dietitian Marci Reed. This is a FREE cooking class and food tasting focusing on cancer fighting foods. For more information check out the ODS My apple a day blog at

Anyone is welcome to attend and feel free to forward on this information. To register for each event, please call 503-335-3500.

Convert your Holiday Recipes

Thursday, December 16,2010

6 to 8 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

May the Best Recipe Win!  

  • Use your new skills to create a new recipe
  •  Enter our recipe contest
  •  Prizes and giveaways

Thursday, January 20, 2011

6 to 8 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

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