Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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Dentistchair200

If you feel queasy at the thought of visiting the dentist, you're not alone. 

According to a recent poll by Delta Dental of Washington, 58 percent of people have some anxiety about seeing the dentist. And almost as many are afraid of the costs (50 percent) as they are of the pain (51 percent).  

Fear of the dentist often starts during childhood and continues into adulthood. Whether it’s you or your child who is concerned about visiting the dentist, here are a few tips from Delta Dental to making your next visit less painful on your emotions and your pocketbook:

Dr. Inge200In honor of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, we sat down with Dr. Ron Inge, Vice President and Dental Director of Delta Dental of Washington, to learn more about oral health. Before joining Delta Dental of Washington, Dr. Inge had more than 15 years of private practice experience as a family dentist in San Jose, California. He has been working with Delta Dental for eight years and currently resides in Fall City, Washington, about 25 miles east of Seattle.

Professor Wellbody: What motivated you to have a career in dentistry?

Dr. Inge: When I was in high school in California, I was an athlete. As a sophomore I began getting recruited by colleges. Each recruiter would ask me, “What do you want to study when you come to our university?” I always knew I wanted to go into the health field in one way or another. My mother was a nurse, but I knew I didn’t want to deal with life and death issues. So I had to take a step back and look at the individuals in my life. One of my mother’s associates was married to a dentist, and I was able to get a view into his career, his practice, how he provided for people, how he took care of others and provided for his family. So I started telling people at an early age I wanted to go to dental school. I was only 16 years old, so luckily I had the ability to visit dental schools at an early age. It turned out to be something I was very passionate about.

PW: How would you say your role at Delta Dental of Washington impacts patients?

Gumdisease200February, the month of love, is the perfect time to focus on the heart.

The heart is a vital, muscular organ that pumps blood to various parts of the body. A sick heart can spell disaster for overall health; heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the U.S.

Surprisingly, one of the keys to a healthy heart is a healthy mouth. That’s because gum disease roughly doubles the risk of heart disease.

How are the heart and mouth are connected? And what can we do to prevent gum disease? 

It’s never too late to improve your dental health. Until, that is, it’s too late.

tooth200Death by dental abscess is rare in the developed world, yet it happens. And severe dental decay can trigger dental infections which, untreated, lead to sinus infections, brain abscesses and blocked airways. 

(Guess which group is bigger: the percentage of people who resolve to floss daily? Or the percentage who say they never make New Year's resolutions?  Click here to find out and  keep reading for healthy tooth tips.)

peppermint‘Tis the season of decadent sweets and visions of sugar plums! But sugar-laden holiday treats are especially hard on teeth.

That's because sugar mixes with bacteria to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel. Even worse, sticky plaque constantly forming on teeth makes those harmful acids cling to the teeth, causing even more decay. (Maybe those sweets don’t sound so sweet after all!) 

To get you and your pearly whites through this time of year, Delta Dental of Washington shares a few tooth-healthy tips: