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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Snoring and Sleep Apnea: How Dentists can Save Marriages and Lives

It’s been estimated that approximately 90 million people in North America suffer from sleep disorders, including insomnia, snoring and sleep apnea. Patients visit their dentist on a more regular basis than other health care professionals, therefore dentists have an excellent opportunity to diagnose and treat their patients with oral appliances when that’s determined to be the treatment of choice.

Snoring is extremely common in our society as it has been estimated that 60 percent of men snore and 40 percent of women over age 50 snore. Snoring occurs when there is a partial obstruction of the airway, which causes the palatal tissues to vibrate. Snoring is a serious social problem for the bed partner and adversely affects many relationships.

Click here to read the rest of this article by Dr. Brock Rondeau in Dental Tribune, July 22, 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Staying Shipshape at Sea

Cruise Ship Cupcake
Photo by Clever Cupcakes
How can you best protect yourself from getting sick on a cruise ship? "Out of 20 tips for staying healthy, tips one through 10 are, 'Wash your hands,'" says Nick Hollander, senior doctor aboard Princess Cruises' Island Princess. Hand washing is the best way to prevent colds and flu, as well as norovirus. Hand-sanitizing gels will do in a pinch, adds Louise McClelland, Ruby Princess nursing officer, but "liquid soap and water are the No. 1 germ killers." Here are other tips to help ensure smooth sailing. --Roberta G. Wax
  • Pack medicine in your carry-on, not your checked luggage, and bring an updated medication list, including dosages. Bring extra pills in case you lose or forget your medicine, you'll need to see the ship's doctor for a prescription, which will usually be filled at the next port. Cardiac patients should bring a copy of their latest EKG, advises Dr. John Bradberry, medical director for Carnival Cruise Lines.
  • When strolling the promenade deck, wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. "With the cool ocean breeze, people don't realize the sun is so strong," McClelland says.
  • If you're prone to motion sickness, bring your medicine along. And request a cabin near midships and close to the waterline, Bradberry suggests, where the ride is typicallly most stable.
  • In port, avoid contact with stray animals, in case they have rabies.
From Orange County Westways Magazine, June 2010

Stay salon safe

Be on the lookout for these health hazards at your next pro pedicure appointment.

Bare walls. If you don't see a state license displayed, the nail technicians may not be properly trained, says Paul Betschart, D.P.M., a podiatrist in New York City. Ask if they're certified. If they can't show you a license, head to another salon.

Whirlpools. Because they're difficult to clean, whirlpools are a breeding ground for bacteria. "Buy a small jar of whirlpool sanitizing solution at a medical supply store and bring it with you," Dr. Betschart says. "Three drops in the water will eliminate most germs."

Cuticle clippers. The tough skin around your toenail keeps out germs, preventing infection, and shoul dnever be removed with cutters. Ask your manicurist to gently push cuticles back instead.

Pumice stones. These porous stones are germ carriers. Purchase your ow nand take them to the salon. Sanitize the stone after each use by cleaning them with soap and water and soaking them overnight in rubbing alcohol.

From Fitness magazine, June 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Join the Braces Brigade!

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is looking for current, former and future orthodontic patients, as well as parents of orthodontic patients, to join the Braces Brigade and blog about the unique, heartwarming and sometimes hilarious experiences that come with undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Visit the Braces Brigade website for more information!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Staying Connected on the Road--With No Hands

Adapted from an article By Neil Parmar, Smart Money Magazine

Texting while at the wheel
Photo by OregonDOT
These days, most people don't go anywhere without their cell phones--including behind the wheel. But with states cracking down on gabbing drivers (half have banned text nessaging while driving, and so far seven have outlawed the use of handsets, according to the Governers Highway Safety Association), a new cottage industry has sprung up, pitching drivers gadgets for communicating safely and legally. The latest tech for handling highway chatter:
  • Talk Hands-Free. Rather than fumbling around with a handset, some drivers have long been routing their calls through wireless Bluetooth devices. But a growing number of models in this $17 million market can now mount on a windshield or visor and recharge using sunlight. But while some believe Bluetooth devices are safer than handsts, others think they still pose a dangerous distraction to drivers, says Vinnie Mirchandani, president of tech advisory form Deal Architect.
  • Stop Teen Texters. Parents may cringe, but more than a third of teenagers say they have sent a text message while sitting in the driver's seat, according to the Pew Research Center. For $5 to $10 a month, concerned moms and dads can subscribe to software services, from Web sites like Getizup.com and tXtBlocker.com, that use GPS technology to block all incoming and outgoing texts, e-mails and calls once a car hits a predetermined speed, like, say 12 miles per hour. Both programs do allow drivers to make emergency calls to 911, but neither works on all handsets yet.
  • Text Out Loud. Watching the road while looking at the phone can be a tricky task, which is why some drivers have turned to free apps that translate text into spoken word via Bluetooth or car audio systems. Aha Radio, which only works on the iPhone, provides audio updates from Twitter and Facebook feeds, as well as traffic reports from nearby commuters. DriveSafe.ly works on a varity of devices, including Blackberry and Android phones, and reads text messages aloud--including shorthand like LOL. Some users, though, have complained that the app doesn't always pronounce words correctly. (The company says the program will get better over time, as the firm corrects mispronunciations.)