Archive for January, 2011

DENTAL CARE: GIVING YOUR TEETH A GOOD, LONG LIFE

Prevention. That’s the keyword in dental care — taking care of your teeth now to avoid future problems. Since teeth are living organisms, they are subject to damage from the foods we eat, especially those containing sugar. Bacteria that are not removed from the teeth by brushing or flossing become a sticky, colorless film called plaque. Food particles, especially sugar, stick to plaque and produce acid. This acid damages tooth enamel. When this damage, or decay, spreads down the root canal to the nerve, it causes pain and inflammation. In other words: a toothache.
Another problem caused by an accumulation of plaque is gum disease, or gingivitis. It is an inflammation of the gums that can cause redness, discomfort, swelling, watery discharge and bleeding when you brush or chew. Gingivitis also causes the gums to become deformed, with the crevice between the gums and teeth deepening and forming pockets. In severe cases, this can result in tooth loss.
Prevention
Most dental problems can be prevented by good self-care and regular visits to the dentist. With proper care and injury prevention, we can expect to keep our teeth for life, unlike our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Here are some ways to keep teeth and gums healthy.
REGULAR CHECKUPS
Have teeth professionally cleaned every six to 12 months, beginning at about age 3. Regular dental checkups can provide early detection of gingivitis, cavities and other problems, making treatment easier.
BRUSHING
Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day, especially after eating when possible. The goal is to remove plaque from all surfaces of the teeth. Children over 3 years old and adults should use a soft-bristle toothbrush with rounded tips, and replace it every three to four months. Use a small amount (pea size) of fluoride toothpaste.
Water piks and electric toothbrushes may help some people clean hard-to-reach areas. Check with your dentist regarding what’s best for you.
The formation of tartar, mineral deposits that get trapped on the teeth by plaque, can be slowed by tartar-control toothpastes.
Be sure to brush the tongue as well as the teeth. Plaque on the tongue can cause bad breath. Also, since you can actually harm your gums by brushing too hard or in the wrong direction, consult your dentist on the best brushing procedures.
FLOSSING
Daily flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease between teeth. The purpose is to scrape off the plaque that forms between the teeth and just under the gum line.
The various types of dental floss (waxed, unwaxed, extra fine, flossing tape and flossing ribbons) each have advantages. Select the type that works best on your teeth.
The most important aspect of flossing is to curve the floss around the tooth being cleaned and slide it under the gum line. With both fingers holding the floss against the tooth, move the floss up and down several times to scrape off the plaque.
Flossing should be started with children as soon as they have teeth that touch each other. A child usually can’t floss their own teeth until around the age of 8. Using a flossing tool can be helpful in doing a good job in a small mouth.
DISCLOSING TABLETS
Disclosing tablets are small, chewable tablets that can be found at most drugstores. Chew the tablet and swish with water. The tablet will color any plaque that remains on the teeth. By using a flashlight and dental mirror, you can see where you’ve been missing the plaque with your regular brushing and flossing routines. This is especially helpful (and fun) for children in reinforcing good dental habits.
FLUORIDE
Fluoride is a mineral found in most food and water supplies that strengthens tooth enamel and lowers the risk of tooth decay. In many areas of the country, fluoride is added to the water because the natural levels of fluoride are too low to protect teeth.
Infants and children in low-fluoride areas can be given fluoride supplements in the form of tablets or drops. Fluoride toothpastes, rinses or topical applications are also beneficial.
SEALANTS
Sealants are a plastic coating usually applied to children’s back teeth. They protect the molars (the larger chewing teeth at the back of the mouth) from developing decay. By using sealants and fluoride, it is possible for children to grow up without cavities.
What you can do
If you have a toothache, taking aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may lessen the pain while a dental appointment is being made. NEVER give aspirin to children/teenagers. It can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but often fatal condition.
Final notes
Do not put infants or young children to bed with a bottle filled with juice,     sugar water, milk or formula. These liquids pool around teeth and can cause serious tooth decay called bottle mouth.
*68\303\2*

DENTAL CARE: GIVING YOUR TEETH A GOOD, LONG LIFEPrevention. That’s the keyword in dental care — taking care of your teeth now to avoid future problems. Since teeth are living organisms, they are subject to damage from the foods we eat, especially those containing sugar. Bacteria that are not removed from the teeth by brushing or flossing become a sticky, colorless film called plaque. Food particles, especially sugar, stick to plaque and produce acid. This acid damages tooth enamel. When this damage, or decay, spreads down the root canal to the nerve, it causes pain and inflammation. In other words: a toothache.Another problem caused by an accumulation of plaque is gum disease, or gingivitis. It is an inflammation of the gums that can cause redness, discomfort, swelling, watery discharge and bleeding when you brush or chew. Gingivitis also causes the gums to become deformed, with the crevice between the gums and teeth deepening and forming pockets. In severe cases, this can result in tooth loss.
Prevention Most dental problems can be prevented by good self-care and regular visits to the dentist. With proper care and injury prevention, we can expect to keep our teeth for life, unlike our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Here are some ways to keep teeth and gums healthy.
REGULAR CHECKUPSHave teeth professionally cleaned every six to 12 months, beginning at about age 3. Regular dental checkups can provide early detection of gingivitis, cavities and other problems, making treatment easier.
BRUSHINGBrush teeth thoroughly twice a day, especially after eating when possible. The goal is to remove plaque from all surfaces of the teeth. Children over 3 years old and adults should use a soft-bristle toothbrush with rounded tips, and replace it every three to four months. Use a small amount (pea size) of fluoride toothpaste.Water piks and electric toothbrushes may help some people clean hard-to-reach areas. Check with your dentist regarding what’s best for you.The formation of tartar, mineral deposits that get trapped on the teeth by plaque, can be slowed by tartar-control toothpastes.Be sure to brush the tongue as well as the teeth. Plaque on the tongue can cause bad breath. Also, since you can actually harm your gums by brushing too hard or in the wrong direction, consult your dentist on the best brushing procedures.
FLOSSINGDaily flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease between teeth. The purpose is to scrape off the plaque that forms between the teeth and just under the gum line.The various types of dental floss (waxed, unwaxed, extra fine, flossing tape and flossing ribbons) each have advantages. Select the type that works best on your teeth.The most important aspect of flossing is to curve the floss around the tooth being cleaned and slide it under the gum line. With both fingers holding the floss against the tooth, move the floss up and down several times to scrape off the plaque.Flossing should be started with children as soon as they have teeth that touch each other. A child usually can’t floss their own teeth until around the age of 8. Using a flossing tool can be helpful in doing a good job in a small mouth.
DISCLOSING TABLETSDisclosing tablets are small, chewable tablets that can be found at most drugstores. Chew the tablet and swish with water. The tablet will color any plaque that remains on the teeth. By using a flashlight and dental mirror, you can see where you’ve been missing the plaque with your regular brushing and flossing routines. This is especially helpful (and fun) for children in reinforcing good dental habits.FLUORIDEFluoride is a mineral found in most food and water supplies that strengthens tooth enamel and lowers the risk of tooth decay. In many areas of the country, fluoride is added to the water because the natural levels of fluoride are too low to protect teeth.Infants and children in low-fluoride areas can be given fluoride supplements in the form of tablets or drops. Fluoride toothpastes, rinses or topical applications are also beneficial.
SEALANTSSealants are a plastic coating usually applied to children’s back teeth. They protect the molars (the larger chewing teeth at the back of the mouth) from developing decay. By using sealants and fluoride, it is possible for children to grow up without cavities.What you can do If you have a toothache, taking aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may lessen the pain while a dental appointment is being made. NEVER give aspirin to children/teenagers. It can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but often fatal condition.Final notes Do not put infants or young children to bed with a bottle filled with juice,     sugar water, milk or formula. These liquids pool around teeth and can cause serious tooth decay called bottle mouth.*68\303\2*

HOW BDD AFFECTS LIVES – SOCIAL CONCEQUENCES – OTHER PROBLEMS: BRIGHT LIGHTS AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES

Harry rarely went to movies, and when he did he tried to avoid being seen. “I always sit in the back row so people can’t sit behind me and laugh at the shape of my head,” he told me. Curt walked behind people and sat in the back of the class so no one could see the slight hair thinning on the back of his head. He also always waited for an empty elevator. Jesse avoided dancing, which he loved, because he thought everyone would laugh at his supposedly bowed legs.
Many people, especially those concerned about facial defects, avoid bright lights, which could illuminate the perceived defect. “At parties, I’m very uncomfortable hanging out in the kitchen with bright lights,” a 26-year-old computer programmer told me. “I prefer a darker room.” Others avoid restaurants with bright lighting, or find a dark booth in the back, so they can’t be seen. Some people quit their jobs, or never accept one in the first place, if they have to work under fluorescent lights. In BDD-treatment groups I ran, the group members tried to avoid sitting next to the window, because they feared their defects would be more visible in brighter light. Several men have told me that they know everything about lighting. As one said, “I’m an expert on lights. I’d be a darn good lighting salesman!” will be more exposed—large hips or thighs, small breasts, small body build, thinning hair, skin defects, or cellulite. In addition, wind and water can easily ruin camouflage and painstaking grooming: makeup runs, bronzers streak, and hair styles are destroyed.
Some people avoid the things they love most. Greg avoided sports, even though he’d been an excellent athlete and had played on several varsity teams in high school. Although he was muscular and in excellent physical shape, he feared that people would see his “small and puny” body build, and stopped playing altogether. Loni didn’t play on her high school field hockey team because it would mess up her hair. “I missed a very important thing,” she told me. “I loved playing team sports—it was what I liked best of all in high school.”
*129\204\8*

HOW BDD AFFECTS LIVES – SOCIAL CONCEQUENCES – OTHER PROBLEMS: BRIGHT LIGHTS AND LEISURE ACTIVITIESHarry rarely went to movies, and when he did he tried to avoid being seen. “I always sit in the back row so people can’t sit behind me and laugh at the shape of my head,” he told me. Curt walked behind people and sat in the back of the class so no one could see the slight hair thinning on the back of his head. He also always waited for an empty elevator. Jesse avoided dancing, which he loved, because he thought everyone would laugh at his supposedly bowed legs.Many people, especially those concerned about facial defects, avoid bright lights, which could illuminate the perceived defect. “At parties, I’m very uncomfortable hanging out in the kitchen with bright lights,” a 26-year-old computer programmer told me. “I prefer a darker room.” Others avoid restaurants with bright lighting, or find a dark booth in the back, so they can’t be seen. Some people quit their jobs, or never accept one in the first place, if they have to work under fluorescent lights. In BDD-treatment groups I ran, the group members tried to avoid sitting next to the window, because they feared their defects would be more visible in brighter light. Several men have told me that they know everything about lighting. As one said, “I’m an expert on lights. I’d be a darn good lighting salesman!” will be more exposed—large hips or thighs, small breasts, small body build, thinning hair, skin defects, or cellulite. In addition, wind and water can easily ruin camouflage and painstaking grooming: makeup runs, bronzers streak, and hair styles are destroyed.Some people avoid the things they love most. Greg avoided sports, even though he’d been an excellent athlete and had played on several varsity teams in high school. Although he was muscular and in excellent physical shape, he feared that people would see his “small and puny” body build, and stopped playing altogether. Loni didn’t play on her high school field hockey team because it would mess up her hair. “I missed a very important thing,” she told me. “I loved playing team sports—it was what I liked best of all in high school.”*129\204\8*

HOW TO ASCERTAIN ASTHMA: THE DIAGNOSTIC TESTS – BREATH TESTS OR LUNG FUNCTION TESTS

Breathing tests measure lung capacity or lung volume, and the rate of air flow. During a breathing test, the child breathes into a closed tube connected to a machine that measures how fast and how much air is expelled from the lungs in a single breath. These machines determine the amount of air the lung can hold (lung volume) and the speed at which air can be exhaled out of the airway or bronchial tubes.
Spirometry. Spirometry refers to measuring the air capacity of the lungs with the help of inexpensive instruments called Spirometers. It is particularly useful in the follow-up management of an asthmatic child. It is well known that history and physical examination alone do not provide enough information to manage asthma without some additional information to assess lung function. Spirometric devices are used to help in the diagnosis and to evaluate the response to therapy. During acute episodes of asthma, spirometric measurements indicate the severity of an attack, and allow the doctor to assess the success of the treatment in managing the attack.
*53\260\8*

HOW TO ASCERTAIN ASTHMA: THE DIAGNOSTIC TESTS – BREATH TESTS OR LUNG FUNCTION TESTSBreathing tests measure lung capacity or lung volume, and the rate of air flow. During a breathing test, the child breathes into a closed tube connected to a machine that measures how fast and how much air is expelled from the lungs in a single breath. These machines determine the amount of air the lung can hold (lung volume) and the speed at which air can be exhaled out of the airway or bronchial tubes.Spirometry. Spirometry refers to measuring the air capacity of the lungs with the help of inexpensive instruments called Spirometers. It is particularly useful in the follow-up management of an asthmatic child. It is well known that history and physical examination alone do not provide enough information to manage asthma without some additional information to assess lung function. Spirometric devices are used to help in the diagnosis and to evaluate the response to therapy. During acute episodes of asthma, spirometric measurements indicate the severity of an attack, and allow the doctor to assess the success of the treatment in managing the attack.*53\260\8*