Pet Dental Health

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Yuliia Sonsedska

 

I’m sure the majority of you are well aware about the importance of good dental health, but have you ever thought how important good dental health is in your pets?  Just as in humans, the mouths of your pets are teeming with bacteria, and some of those bacteria can enter the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and bloodstream, and cause disease, particularly in the heart, lung, and kidneys.

Another factor to consider in our pets is the fact that we have domesticated these animals over the millenia, and as a result, they no longer depend on hunting to procure their food.  This means that the natural form of teeth cleaning, in essence, gnawing and tearing at the flesh of their prey, has, for the most part, been eliminated, and replaced with dry kibble and canned foods.  Eighty percent of pet dogs and cats who have had no dental cleaning or intervention show signs of oral disease by the time they are 3 years old.

I take all of this very seriously with my pets, and I am diligent about taking them in every six months for non-anesthetic dental cleaning.  It’s worth the financial expense, even though I struggle to pay for their dental care twice a year.  The way I see it, I’d rather take them in for regular dental cleaning than to put them at risk for a myriad of diseases, and have them suffer needlessly as a result.  I’ve been taking them in for regular cleanings from the time they were young adults, and they have had mild issues with no need for a more aggressive cleaning with anesthetic.  I realize that they may at some point need cleaning under anesthesia, but until we cross that bridge, I will continue to take them in for the anesthesia-free option.

There are definitely some limitations with non-anesthetic teeth cleaning for pets, such as the fact that only the plaque above the gum line can be removed.  The veterinarian examines the pet’s teeth and gums to determine if there is any inflammation or sign of infection, and if there are any findings which are beyond the scope of the non-anesthetic cleaning crew, the pet is referred for cleaning with anesthesia.

Overall, if you aren’t paying attention to your pet’s teeth and gums, you should.  It’s a good idea to ask your veterinarian at your next visit what he or she recommends in the way of dental care.  There are dental chews which help to clean the teeth, and some very brave pet owners actually brush their pet’s teeth.  Your vet will help determine the best care regimen for your beloved pet.

 

6 Interesting Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Photo credit: Rawpixel

 

By Karen Weeks

Karen Weeks – Elderwellness.net

karen@elderwellness.net

Yoga can be practiced by anyone at any point in their life. Participation in yoga has nearly doubled in just a couple of years as people have realized the powerful health benefits that it provides. If you’re a senior who is considering getting started in yoga, here are some benefits you may enjoy from your practice.

 

  1. Better dental health

 

There is a well-defined link between mental health problems, like stress and depression, and poor dental health. When you’re stressed out, your immune system is weakened and your gums are more prone to bacterial invasion. Antidepressants can also dry out your mouth, which can make it harder to wash food away from your teeth and gums. If you tend to grind your teeth when you’re stressed out, you can also have problems with your jaw. 

 

Yoga is an excellent activity to help relax you. You learn better breathing patterns as well as how to soothe your mind and body. These are good stress-reducing activities that have long-term effects. Despite yoga’s benefits for oral health, you should still find a dentist to visit if you have problems with tooth or jaw pain.

 

  1. Improved gut health

 

Changing diet and age can reduce the overall diversity of microbes in the gut, and this lack of diversity can make the body less healthy and responsive. Hyperbiotics explains that exercise can boost gut health by improving the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the collection of microbes that naturally live in our bodies and help us digest. Yoga is one easy exercise you can start, even if you haven’t exercised in a while. This physical activity will help you achieve a happier gut, which will help you feel happier overall.

 

  1. Healthier joints

 

Yoga can improve flexibility and joint health. When it’s paired with meditation, it can reduce stiffness. Part of this comes from learning proper alignment of the body, as well as learning how to modify poses that can help minimize pain in your body. Meditation helps you develop a greater awareness of the stiffness in your body and work on relaxing whatever might get stiff.

 

  1. Reduced blood pressure

 

Research has suggested that yoga and meditation as a possible way to alleviate mild problems with blood pressure. Yoga can be a light-intensity activity, which is great if you’re a beginner. Physical activity is recommended for people who have high blood pressure, and yoga can be a big part of that. It can also help your stress response which can impact your blood pressure. Yoga is a good combination of getting your heart rate up while also relaxing your body and mind.

 

  1. Better balance

 

Research has demonstrated that yoga can be a powerful way to improve balance and mobility in older populations. This is especially important in arming you against potential falls and bone breaks. Yoga has all sorts of poses that can help you gain strength and balance within yourself, such as “tree pose.” It will also help you improve your core strength, which helps your balance as well.

 

  1. Strong bones

 

A critical part of bone health is getting physical activity. Some activities are better than others when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones. Yoga is one of these activities, as you build greater strength in your muscles and bones, and you can do it all in a low-impact way. However, if you have low bone density, make sure you do alternatives to specific poses or avoid them outright, such as forward folds and spinal twists. Listen to your body, and avoid any pose that feels painful.

 

Where to Do Yoga

 

Now that you’ve learned all about yoga’s benefits, you may be interested in how to get started on your own yoga practice. The beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced in the comfort of your own home. You can access fitness apps on a fitness tracker or other device to learn yoga poses, or refer to YouTube exercise videos that are geared toward seniors. You may also find that during your at-home practice, you’ll want to enhance your yoga routine with additional exercises like stretches, chair exercises, and resistance training. Mixing up your exercises can help you stay motivated and improve workout performance.

 

If you’d prefer to practice yoga outside of the home, you can learn from a professional yoga instructor who can teach you how to do each pose properly. You can check out some yoga studios in your neighborhood; some may even offer classes specially suited for seniors. 

 

An important part of starting your yoga practice is modifying it to fit your individual circumstances. Start slowly, and focus on poses that you’re comfortable with. As long as you’re careful and comfortable with your progress, yoga is worth giving a try in your senior years.

Why Some Millennials Aren’t Smiling: Bad Teeth Hinder 28% In Job Search

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Image ID: 110903258
Copyright: Dean Drobot

I am sharing this very interesting article written by Diana Hembree which explores the issue of tooth decay in the millennial population.  What in the world is happening with the millennial generation?  It seems the focus is changing, from quality care, to what is more convenient for the consumer.   What a shame.

The other issue I see here is a glaring lack of motivation on the part of millennials to correct issues which may interfere with their ability to secure gainful employment.  I can’t help but think of descriptors for this crop of young adults such as lazy, entitled, and doomed.

Here is the link to the original article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianahembree/2017/03/28/why-some-millennials-arent-smiling-bad-teeth-hinder-28-in-job-search/#4db0d74c59c6

by Diana Hembree

Decaying teeth and gum problems make one in three young adults aged 18 to 34 (33%) reluctant to smile, the ADA found. About one in five have cut back on socializing as a result of dental problems. And 28% say the appearance of their teeth and mouth undermines their ability to interview for a job.

The ADA study also found that:

— More than 30% of young adults have untreated tooth decay (the highest of any age group)

— 35% have trouble biting and chewing

— Some 38% of this age group find life in general “less satisfying” due to teeth and mouth problems.

— They are three times more likely than children to lack dental care due to financial reasons, with only 30% of millennials visiting the dentist each year.

The dental system is going to have to change to appeal to millennials “who are all about convenience,” periodontist and consultant to dental practitioners Marc Cooper writes on his website, masterycompany.com.

Millennials aren’t tied to the idea of a personal relationship with one dental practitioner; they are used to comparing service and costs and ordering on their smart phones — rather like calling up an Uber or Lyft — and they likely won’t tolerate inefficiency or long waits for appointments, Cooper added.

This may mean some major changes for dental providers. Today, approximately 92% of professionally active dentists work in a private practice, according to the ADA. In 2016, the ADA’s Health Policy Institute researchers surveyed millennials to gauge their interest in getting dental care in a retail setting, such as a CVS, Target or Walmart store. Overall, nearly 4 in 10 indicated that they were somewhat or very interested, including nearly half of Hispanics (47%) and African Americans (45%) surveyed.

“Millennials are not the same type of patient as a baby boomer,” says Vujicic. “We know millennials demand transparent cost and quality information when it comes to health care services. We know they place a premium on convenience.

“Health care is slow to adjust,” he added, “but the dental care system in particular is just starting to feel this wave of intensified consumerism.”

Change is already brewing: Beam Dental, a young tech company operating in about eight states with 100,000 dentists, focuses on prevention and online tools for “tech-savvy clients.” It offers coverage discounted by about 10 to 25% based partly on how well you practice good dental hygiene – which the company can monitor, with permission, through an internet-connected toothbrush that reports how often and how well you brush.

So far Beam Dental is available only through small and medium sized businesses who pay all or part of employee premiums, with a strong following among startups and millennial-oriented organizations, says Alex Frommeyer, co-founder and CEO.

“We knew that the dental industry was broken because there were over 100 million Americans without coverage,” Frommeyer says. He adds that he wants to offer affordable dental care while using online-based services “to incentivize people to invest in their own dental health.”

In the meantime, if you’re a cash-strapped millennial who needs dental care and lacks dental insurance, you may want to:

  • Check out dental schools in your area, where dental care costs much less than services from private dentists
  • Check out community college dental hygienist training programs for free or low-cost preventive care
  • Ask your dentist about a payment plan for more expensive treatments such as fillings and crowns
  • Charge your treatment to a low- or zero-interest credit card and pay it off before the interest rate goes up
  • Apply for a healthcare financing credit card from CareCredit
  • Look for a dental health fair in your area in which practitioners provide free dental screenings and care
  • See whether your community health care center offers free or low-cost dental care
  • Get treatment at the first sign of tooth pain, before it turns into something requiring a crown, root canal or emergency dental care.

MoneyGeek writer Judith Horstman contributed to this report. Horstman is a former Washington correspondent for Gannett and has written four books for Scientific American.

YouTube Review Of Spry Sugarfree Gum

Many people who know me well know that I won’t touch any products which contain aspartame, and I am also not a huge fan of sucralose. It is such a relief to know that great natural products like Spry Sugarfree Gum are available to consumers. Spry is sweetened with xylitol and is all natural, plus the flavors are very tasty and long-lasting. You can watch my unbiased review of Spry Gum here:

Flossing

No, I’m not talking about the urban meaning, i.e., showing off. I’m talking about flossing your pearly whites.

I’m willing to bet that many of you neglect to perform this important task on a regular basis. I am not lying when I tell you that I floss NIGHTLY, and have been doing so for the last two years. Yes, that’s right, not for the last several decades like you might have thought. I got lazy, as many people do, and my gum health suffered as a result. So when my dentist implored me to floss regularly during one visit in June of 2015, I actually heeded his advice and forced myself to re-learn the habit which my mother had gotten me into when I was a child, one which I would follow somewhat erratically as an adult.

Now, before you go thinking that I never flossed, let me just set the record straight by saying that though I wasn’t good about doing it every single day, I still flossed. I would typically be diligent about flossing daily about a week before each dental visit, and for about a month after those visits, but then I’d slack off, perhaps flossing once or twice a week when I remembered to do so. So it wasn’t a surprise that my gums would bleed every time I had my teeth professionally cleaned, and that my dentist would berate me.

Now I will not allow myself to go to sleep before flossing. I won’t even allow myself to brush my teeth at night before grabbing a pre-threaded flosser and going to town on those dental crevices. According to the American Dental Association, we all should clean between our teeth once a day. Why? Because interdental cleaning removes plaque, which is the main causative agent for formation of cavities and development of gum disease.

I personally can’t stand the idea of winding floss around my fingers. The thought of food-laden floss wrapped around my digits makes me squirm. In addition, I contend with forearm tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis in my dominant (left) hand, and as a result find it very challenging to wield a rope of dental floss. My solution is to purchase the pre-threaded flossers which are available. They’re easy to use and just as effective, provided you use them correctly. When flossing between teeth, gently arc around the column of the tooth to remove any plaque which has built up there.

Happy flossing! Your teeth and gums will thank you for it.