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September 2, 2010 at 10:39 PM Leave a comment

Back to School Check-up

Millions of children soon will head off to a new school year.  It is important to ensure that students are in good health before school begins.  When scheduling health care appointments, don’t overlook a dental check-up for your child.  A dental examination is as important as booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations.

Regular dental check-ups and preventive dental care,k sucha s cleanings and fluoride treatment, provide children with “smile” insurance.  Routine dental examinations uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations may be small.  This helps prevent painful, chronic conditions and saves money.  Schedule an appointment for your child before the busy school year begins.  A bright, healthy smile is a great way to start the first day of school.

August 3, 2010 at 8:31 PM Leave a comment

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart

More and more research shows that oral health is linked to heart health.
Around 700 different types of bacteria can be found in the mouth.  If you fail to use your toothbrush and floss enough you may suffer from poor dental hygiene.  If you have bad dental hygiene, you could end up with bleeding gums, gingivitis and other oral diseases which are caused by the bacteria in your mouth. 

Plaque that is not removed causes an increase in bacterial count in your mouth.  That bacteria then goes into the blood stream and contributes to heart disease.

People that regularly visit their dentist and take good care of their teeth are less likely to have heart problems like cardiovascular disease.

Until a cure is found, it is recommended you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing them regularly.

July 25, 2010 at 9:33 PM Leave a comment

Soda Attack: Soft Drinks, Especially Non-colas and Iced Tea, Hurt Hard Enamel

As summer temperatures rise so will people’s thirst. Unfortunately, many people will grab a pop or iced tea instead of water. It isn’t just cola’s empty calories – about 150 per 12-ounce can – you should worry about. Many of these beverages harm enamel, the protective shell around teeth.
A pilot study of the effects some of these beverages had on enamel, appearing in the July/August 2004 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal, found that over time, exposing dental enamel to carbonated beverages and non-carbonated canned iced tea weakens and permanently destroys enamel.

Results from the study, which exposed healthy dental enamel to a variety of popular beverages over a period of 14 days, found that non-colas and canned iced tea were especially harmful. They contain flavor additives, such as malic, tartaric and other organic acids, which are more aggressive at eroding teeth. Root beer, which contains the least amount of flavor additives, was found to be the “safest soft drink to safeguard dental enamel.”

About 27 percent of the beverages consumed by Americans are soft drinks, the study notes. Overall soft drink consumption has steadily increased over the years and remains on the rise, contributing to an increase in oral health problems, namely cavities. In 1977, 12- to 19-year-olds drank 16 ounces of soda a day. In 1996, this same age group consumed an average of 28 ounces a day.

Soda consumption has increased from approximately 20 gallons per person per year in 1970 to more than 50 gallons per person per year in 2004. The American Beverage Association has stated that soft drinks account for 28 percent of overall beverage consumption.

Soft drinks and canned beverages are constant features of daily life, and the approximately $50 billion the industry rakes in each year suggests it won’t go away anytime soon. However, soda can be enjoyed in limited quantities. J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, MS, PhD, FADM, FRSC, lead author of the study, says that soda consumed “at meal times is less injurious than when consumed alone and continuous sipping is more harmful than the whole drink taken at one time.”

According to AGD spokesperson Cynthia Sherwood, DDS, soda’s combination of sugar and acidity can be damaging to teeth. Though the level of risk varies from person to person, Dr. Sherwood says, “Repeated exposure of soda through sipping over a long period of time increases the risk of getting a cavity.”

Dr. Sherwood adds that drinking soda through a straw may help reduce the amount of soda that comes into direct contact with the teeth. She also recommends that soda drinkers rinse their mouths out with water after drinking and use toothpaste that contains fluoride.

A typical 12-once can of regular soda contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar.

February 2007 InfoBites Academy of General Dentistry

June 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM Leave a comment

Reds Dread the Dentist

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio found that reheads were twice as likely to avoid visiting the dentist compared to brunettes.
The study looked at 144 people between the ages of 18 and 41, 67 of whom were natural redheads and 77 of whom had dark hair. Participants were asked to complete a survey, ranking their fear of dental pain and how likely they were to avoid dental work.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (July 2009), drew on previous research that found that people with red hair are more sensitive to dental pain due to a gene which contributes to their hair color.  Experts also believe that reheads require larger doses of anesthetics to numb their sensation of pain than people with other hair colors.

AGD Impact October 2009

Redheads, have no fear, there are stronger anesthetics out there now.  We can keep you comfortable. 

June 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM Leave a comment

Uganda Mission 2010 Video / Slideshow

Here is a video slideshow of the highlights of Bonnie and my trip to Uganda. We have about 1000 photos so it was hard to choose which would make the cut on this video. Stay tuned for a photo gallery. In the meantime, turn up your volume and enjoy…and consider sponsoring a child.

March 15, 2010 at 11:46 AM Leave a comment

Assimilating Back into American Culture

The past week has been more difficult than I expected it to be.  Both Bonnie and I have seemed to struggle with resuming life as usual.  We’re not sure life will ever be the same after what we’ve seen.

We notice how much we (us Americans) are distracted by “things” and not focused on people or our relationships with them.  We seem to be in such a hurry.  Perhaps that is what makes life go by so fast.

We seem to have our priorities out of balance.  What are we choosing to spend our money on?  Is it more important than using that money to educate a child and give them a chance at life?

Bonnie and I miss the lingering handshake that is customary in Uganda.  We miss the way Ugandans speak without contractions.  It’s not “You’re welcome”, it’s “You are welcome” – and it is charming and endearing.

We miss our team, all very diverse people, personalities, backgrounds, economic statuses and ages. But all people who easily got along with everyone out of love and compassion for humanity.

While we don’t know if we will every return to Uganda, one thing is for sure.  Uganda will forever remain in us. I pray that we will never resume to life as usual, at least not mentally or spiritually.  For we can’t effect change in our communities if we don’t have another perspective to consider.

If you have ever had the inkling to travel abroad or participate in some kind of humanitarian effort, I strongly encourage you to do it.  With all that has gone on in Haiti and Chile, the opportunities are not scarce.  It is worth every vaccine, all the paperwork and travel arrangements.  It is worth making arrangements for your children and household.  It is worth the mental calesthenics of packing creatively.

What makes it worth it?  The smile of relief and appreciation on the face of the person whose needs you have met.  And that, is priceless.

March 13, 2010 at 9:09 AM Leave a comment

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