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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Wellbody Tips: Fatal Abscess v. Healthy Smile--You Choose

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.)

An autumn analysis in the Journal of Endododontics found that serious dental problems account for hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits each year in America and a 40 percent increase in hospitalizations over the past decade.

While the Affordable Care Act will help improve access to dental coverage for some, the key for all of us is to prevent serious dental problems.

Many people change their habits for the healthier in January. This year, how ‘bout a little love for your teeth? Healthy teeth and gums can vastly improve your overall health and well-being.

Here are five tips from Delta Dental of Washington for a healthier smile in 2014: 

1. Brush/floss regularly: The daily ritual of brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily is still the foundation for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The sooner you brush following a meal, the better. The longer food stays stuck to your teeth, the more acid is produced that erodes tooth enamel.

2. Visit your dentist in 2014: Don’t delay making an appointment for a checkup. Dentists do more than just check and clean teeth. They can also check for signs of serious oral health problems like oral cancer and gum disease, answer questions and provide advice for adults and children and alert patients to signs of potential medical conditions.

3. Eat sweets in moderation: Tooth decay occurs when candy, cookies, sodas and other sweets, or simple carbohydrates like those in chips or crackers, mix with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on teeth to produce acid, which can destroy tooth enamel. Whenever possible, stick to having sweets with dinner and brush afterward if possible. Limit sugary snacks because the more times during the day that your teeth are exposed, the longer the acids attack.

4. Avoid tobacco products: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of the cases of severe gum disease in U.S. adults can be attributed to cigarette smoking, and the prevalence of gum disease is three times higher among smokers than non-smokers. Consuming products like cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco is arguably the single most destructive oral health habit.

5. Wear a mouth guard during contact sports: It’s not just kids who play contact sports these days. Millions of adults participate in competitive sports leagues in which there can be significant risk of contact. Mouth guards absorb and distribute the forces that impact the mouth, teeth, face and jaw when an athlete takes a shot to the face. Wearing a mouth guard can prevent chipped, fractured, displaced or dislodged teeth, fractured or displaced jaws and lacerations to the lips and mouth that result from the edges of the teeth.

 

For more information and resources on oral health, visit www.deltadentalwablog.com.

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Guest Monday, 01 September 2014