Excuse My Mess!
2017 has been BUSY! I’m sure you will agree. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to expand my office, because there are many days when we have a tough time fitting everyone in. To serve you better, we are adding another treatment room. The contractors hammers are already swinging, but luckily the framing is done so we can hear again at the office. The new room won’t be finished until February, but it will allow us to make our service to you and our availability even better.
In the meantime, pardon the dust. For a few more weeks it may take a bit longer to answer the phone or get you seated at your appointment. It’s noisy, dusty and gets a bit in the way, but we are still functioning at near-full capacity. The crew is doing a great job and is working as quickly as possible. THANK YOU for your understanding!
Sniffle, Cough, Sniffle: How To Defend Yourself From Flu Season
It’s flu season. Peak sickness time. This year is rough so far. The CDC is reporting up to an 8-fold increase in flu outbreaks compared to last December, and 12 states are already at a high point. This week it has been running through my family, so I’m (anxiously!) awaiting my turn. Our 6 year old, Myla, threw up for the first time in her life. She was traumatized at the experience! I’ve had 3 colds since Halloween, so I hope my antibodies are stocked up for the winter. Here are a few tips to help keep those annoying coughs away:
- Use a tongue scraper. One study found hospital patients were less likely to get influenza when they used a tongue scraper (not just brushing your tongue with your toothbrush). If you need one call my office and we’ll send one your way. Tongues are a sponge for bacteria, bad breath and toxins. You’ll be amazed, and maybe addicted, at what you’ll clean out with a scraper.
- Drink lots of water. Heaters dry out our lips and noses. Hydration makes us healthier in many ways.
- Wash your hands frequently. You don’t need harsh soap or constant hand sanitizer for most situations. Simple warm water and soap does the trick.
- Take Probiotics. Some studies are showing oral probiotics may be the future for better dental care — improving teeth and gum health. A probiotic digestive supplement or plain Greek yogurt can help your stomach and digestive system stay healthy, and it will improve your breath! It may be placebo, but when stomach viruses are going around, I eat Greek yogurt daily.
- Use nasal sprays. My favorite is a grapefruit and xylitol nasal spray. These have been shown to have safe and effective effects on clearing out our sinuses and stuffy noses. I use one every time I have a head cold. Studies have shown them to naturally reduce bacteria in our sinus cavities. There are even kid versions now available.
- Take a Zinc supplement. I don’t do this one as often, but I should. There’s some research showing it has benefits. Many people swear by it.
What Have We Been Looking For?
Google reported the top 4 searches for 2017. Here they are, in this order: 1) Hurricane Irma, 2) Matt Lauer of the Today Show, 3) Death of rock icon Tom Petty, and 4) the Super Bowl. What will we “search” for in 2018?
And We Were Complaining?
Remember how “hot” we complained it was this summer? Well that’s gone for now. In fact 2 sharks were found stranded off the coast of Massachusetts in “cold shock,” and a dog in Toledo, Ohio found frozen dead on a front porch (protect your pets). Everything is relative. When it’s hot, we want it to cool down, and when it’s dark and icy in the winter, we long for the summer. I always say that’s why we live in Utah, for the variety. That’s what makes us appreciate what we have.
Your Spit As The Future Of Criminal Justice: Too Invasive?
Case closed. It started when Police in Qianwei, China interrupted school children to collect their saliva through spitting into a container. Before too long, a nine-year old unsettled murder of two shopkeepers was solved. Saliva collection is being used to expand the DNA database of citizens in China, similar to how we use fingerprints, but with even more information. This will be an ongoing controversy, for sure. Could this be the future of locating criminals, our spit?
I know of oral DNA labs that are working on tests to administer in the dental office, to screen for diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Research is showing the dental office may be a great setting for some of these simple tests and even vaccines, since we see most of our patients at least twice a year. Similar tests are already in use; we have oral tests now that are administered painlessly to determine an individual’s risk for tooth decay or gum disease. I’ve also successfully used oral cytology tests (a brush test, similar to a pap smear) to send to our lab for ruling out cancerous or precancerous lesions of the mouth. (Oh and to be sure the test worked, I tried it out on myself. We used it on some dry skin on one of my eyelids and sent it in to our pathologist — sure enough we got an answer and I was just fine!)
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the rest of 2017. I’m excited to hear what 2018 will bring to you, and your friends or family. Before we know it winter will be over and we’ll be on to another Spring season.
Happy New Year!
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