Health Tips

General Dental Care
By Yulinda Rhodes, D.D.S.

Good dental care is necessary to have a longer, better life. Taking good care of your mouth and teeth results in:

1. Better eating – We need to eat to live, but pain free, strong teeth and gums allow us more food choices and more enjoyable eating. This keeps the body strong and all of its parts working well.

2. A better smile – Most often this is the first thing people notice about us. Whether we like it or not, other people notice if we don’t smile, if we hide our teeth, if we have black holes, missing or broken teeth, or bad breath. Unfortunately an unhealthy mouth can keep you from getting a job, getting a date or making a friend.

3. No pain – Mouth pain can rule your life. Preventing problems is much easier than having to deal with them later. Life is better, there’s no pain and it’s a lot less expensive.

4. No infection – We now know that the germs in an unhealthy mouth can cause heart disease, damage to unborn babies, infections in other places of the body, especially for diabetics and people who are medically weak and compromised, and can cause infections in other people. Who needs any of this?

So, how do you have good oral health? It’s very easy, eat a healthy diet, clean your teeth, gums and tongue well and wash your hands before you put them near your mouth or before eating. A healthy diet gives your body the fuel and building blocks it needs to fight off all the regular germs and the damage it deals with every day. Washing your hands helps to keep away the germs and viruses that don’t belong in your mouth and that can make you sick.

Cleaning your mouth is very easy. There are germs that normally live in your mouth, eat the food you eat, and give off acid when they are finished. The germs don’t make the holes in your teeth, the acid does. If you brush the germs off your teeth and out of your mouth you will have less acid and no cavities. The saliva in your mouth washes then away, too, but can’t remove the germs between your teeth as well as a toothbrush or dental floss can. You always have new germs growing in your mouth, but if you remove their lunch and brush most of them away regularly you will have little acid building up and no cavities. Remember to brush your tongue as well; it cleans off the odor producing germs that give you bad breath. Germs and tooth decay both cause very bad breath.

If you don’t get rid of the germs that grow on and around your teeth, minerals (like calcium) in your saliva wash over them and build up a coating called tartar or calculus. This is a hard deposit, which usually must be removed by the dentist or hygienist. When this hard deposit forms under the gum line the germs that live on the surface give off acid and other harmful things like toxins, which can infect the gums and bone around the teeth. This can result in redness, bleeding, loose teeth and can destroy the gums and bone so your teeth eventually fall out. This is called periodontal disease. These germs can also get into your blood and find their way to other organs like your heart, lungs or kidneys resulting in infection and disease. You can have a heart attack because of the germs that come from an unhealthy mouth! Most people think that getting their teeth cleaned at the dental office is to prevent cavities, but preventing cavities is what YOU do at home every time you brush and floss. The real purpose of a dental cleaning is to help you to keep your teeth for a lifetime, and help you keep your life.

Good dental care pays off. It may be boring, but it’s a lot less exciting than having costly fillings, root canals and extractions after there is a problem. It is a painless, easy and cheap way to stay healthy, happy and pain free. We recommend it!

Nutrition
By Valerie Muehleman
A healthy body is necessary to have a full and happy life. If you are sick or have many unhealthy behaviors eventually your quality of life is less or diminished. Good nutrition starts with the Food Guide Pyramid.
 

 

2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese
2-3 servings of lean meats = 6-9 ounces of protein per day
3-5 servings of vegetables = ½ cup servings
2-4 servings of fruit = med fruit of ½ cup of juice
6-11 servings of starch or breads and cereals = ½ cup servings
Water is a very important to transport out wastes in the body. Water instead of sodas will decrease calorie intake. Another benefit of water is that it helps hydrate the body. Sugar beverages dehydrate the body by requiring more water to digest. Get a water bottle today and fill it two to three times a day to meet the 64 fluid ounces of water recommended each day.
Below are tips to help maintain a healthy weight. Overweight people are more prone to diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, back pain, breathing problems, reflux and etc. To maintain a healthy weight follow these guidelines:
· Follow a consistent meal plan and schedule.
· Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat, poultry, fish or meat alternatives. This will help keep your blood sugar levels steady.
· Choose lower fat options and limit saturated fats.
· Use sugar in moderation. Consider lower sugar options if available.
· Check nutrition labels.
· Get your fiber. The American Dietetic Association recommends that all people eat 20-35 grams of fiber per day. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain foods are good sources of fiber.
· Drink plenty of water.
· Use less salt.

In order to check your goal weight, please refer to the chart below.

 

Don’t forget to exercise 20 minutes everyday. Work doesn’t count. Make sure the exercise challenges your body for twenty minutes without stopping. Some people just starting a program may need to start out with 5 minutes and build to twenty minutes per day. People who are active have less problems with weight, arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension, cholesterol and etc. People Just do it for yourself and wash the car, mow the lawn, or garden. Don’t be a couch potato.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions about Pediatrics…
By Faith Polkey, MD, Staff Pediatrician

1. Why should I bring my child into the doctor? She isn’t sick and is up to date on her shots.
Preventive care is the key to keeping children healthy and well-child check ups provide an opportunity for the pediatrician and parents to monitor a child’s progress. Regular physical examinations are important in order to monitor a child’s growth and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has guidelines for when these visits should occur. Even though a child may appear healthy and have all of their required immunizations, they can have subtle problems that can be prevented from progressing.

The AAP recommends the following schedule for well-child care:
Prenatal Visit
Birth
2-4 weeks (depending upon your child’s health after delivery)
2 months
4 months
6 months
9 months
12 months
15 months
18 months
2 years
Every year until age 21

2. My child gets frequent ear infections. Is there anything I can do to prevent them?
Ear infections are caused by build up of fluid in the middle ear canal. When a child gets a cold or upper respiratory tract infection, fluid can sometimes build up and become infected with viruses or bacteria. Some children have a dysfunctional Eustachian tube (the tube that drains fluid from the middle ear down to the throat) that does not allow proper drainage. The fluid builds up and causes pain and discomfort. Many ear infections will get better with time; however, some require antibiotics to treat bacteria that have multiplied. Your doctor will decide if antibiotics are necessary after a history of the illness and a physical exam.

Some children have too many ear infections that are resistant to the use of antibiotics. In those cases they are referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who decides if they need ear tubes to drain the fluid. Persistent ear fluid can cause hearing loss and speech delay by blocking the sound waves from entering the ear.

Since they are caused by Eustachian tube dysfunction, ear infections cannot be prevented by a single measure. However, there are some things that can help cut down on their occurrence.
1. Do not smoke around your children.
2. Breastfeed.
3. Do not allow your child to lie flat while drinking a bottle.
4. Avoid early placement in daycare, if possible.
5. Take your child to the doctor for an exam if you suspect an ear infection.
6. Give your child the full course of medication prescribed by their doctor.

3. My family just moved to the area. How do we decide on a pediatrician?
The choice of a physician is a personal decision. Generally, the personality fit between the doctor and the family is most important. Other factors may include the location of the facility and proximity to the home, the services offered by the office, and the proximity of hospital and emergency services. Sometimes suggestions from family, friends, or co-workers are helpful; however the ultimate decision is yours. Stop by the office during busy hours and watch the flow of patients. Ask to meet with the physician to discuss your child’s needs. Talk to office personnel about the type of insurance accepted and sliding scale fees if no insurance is available. Above all, the choice should be up to you and your family.

Prenatal Care
By Claude Tolbert, M.D.

The major objective of prenatal care is to assure that every pregnancy culminates in the delivery of a healthy baby, while ensuring the well being of the mother.

Today, however, emphasis is being placed on the time period immediately before conception. This is a critical window of intervention, which can help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. For example, several studies have shown that taking folic acid in the time period before conception can reduce the incidence of several major birth defects.

Therefore, prenatal care is the cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy, and its importance cannot be over emphasized.