Gomez S. M.

Are you prepared for an emergency?

March 18th, 2013

Emergency preparedness is something that we all value. It’s a safeguard against the unthinkable. Emergency responders, especially, bear much responsibility for keeping the community safe and lending support during times of need.

Recently, dental responder legislation is awaiting presidential signature and enactment since its being approved by the House of Representatives, gained consent from the Senate, and approval by Congress. This means, dentists, dental schools, and dental facilities may be included in state public emergency plans!

In Wellesley, the Health Department has always valued dentists and their medical training. They have included dentists in their preparedness events, including the outbreaks of the norovirus and flu. The Wellesley Health Department also includes dentists in their Volunteer Reserve Corps, advanced CPR training and other wonderful events that benefit the community in such tangible and essential ways.

Drs. Ali & Ali are actively involved with the Wellesley Health Department and enjoy being the Smile Ambassadors for oral health. Urging dentists to play a more prominent role in public health and safety is a very positive change, and at Wellesley Dental Group, we will continue to serve our community gladly.

As it happens, Dr. Femina Ali attended an Emergency Preparedness event at the Wellesley Health Department in March, which discusses the importance of beginning safety measures at home. Some of the discussions that resonated with her were that emergency preparedness lies within the small measures one takes on a regular basis. Some tips she wants to share is that:

  • Stock emergency supplies, which can include 3 days worth of food and water in airtight containers, medicines and medical records for both you and your pets, and a photo of you and your pet together in case you are separated. Visit the American Red Cross for more ideas.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt, which involves taking a closer look at ordinary items in your home that can cause injury. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
  • Determine 2 escape routes out of every room and be sure you install smoke detectors on every floor, especially near bedrooms. Check batteries every 6 months.
  • Learn CPR.
  • ICE your cell phone so emergency responders know whom to contact.
  • Know your emergency phone numbers and keep them by the phone. Know the Mass 211 phone number, which is an information hotline for times of emergency. Visit their website for more information.

If you would like to learn more about the Wellesley Health Department and emergency preparedness, please visit their website here, or call them at: (781) 235-0135. Their office can be found at the Annie F. Warren Building on the Second Floor on 90 Washington Street, in Wellesley, MA. Check them out for more events so you, too, can be prepared!

Their next event is a workshop on Perimenopause and Menopause with women's health expert Dr. Ronee Skornik from Women’s Health Associates in Wellesley. The event will be held at the Wellesley Free Library from 6:30-8:39 pm on Thursday, March 21.

Resources:

ADA

Wellesley Health Department

American Red Cross

Mass 211

Wellesley Free Library

MA Health and Human Services

Is Tongue Brushing Necessary?

March 12th, 2013

 

Most people know that brushing and flossing teeth is necessary to maintain healthy teeth, preventing cavities and tooth decay. Often times tongue brushing is discounted. However, tongue brushing is just as important for your overall dental hygiene.

Taking a step into history, many eastern cultures have paid close attention to tongue hygiene. In Chinese medicine, tongue inspection was thought to be a critical aspect of making medical diagnoses and determining prognosis. It has also been recorded that Native Americans took part in a daily ritual that not only involved teeth brushing, but also tongue scraping, followed by a mouth rinse of concoctions of various herbs. Rudimentary tortoise shell and bone inscriptions have been able to reveal thoughts on tongue hygiene that even date back to the 16th century BC!

There must be a reason why tongue hygiene has been integral in terms of determining health in various cultures. Studies have shown that keeping your tongue clean and healthy is, indeed, essential. Many microorganisms have been found to reside on the dorsum of the tongue. Scientists have found that tongue brushing can lead to the decrease in bacterial counts on the tongue. Bacteria have been found to colonize the tongue and periodontal packets, which influence the generation of sulfur compounds in periodontal health and disease. These are the very compounds that cause patients to have halitosis, or simply known as bad breath.

It is very easy to forget about brushing your tongue, but it gets easier when practiced on a daily basis. People also tend to shy away from tongue brushing because their gag reflex starts right up. Doctors recommend that the best time for tongue cleaning is in the morning on an empty stomach, to reduce the possibility of vomiting and gagging. It has also been suggested that gag reflex becomes more controlled with the continual cleaning of the tongue.

Here are a couple steps to get you on your way to tongue bushing!

1. Place the tongue as far out of the mouth as possible

2. Look for the locations where there is debris accumulation; unfortunately, this is usual towards the back of your tongue.

3. Place the tongue cleaner as far as possible and make contact with the flattened tongue.

4. Pull the tongue cleaner forward slowly to the front of the mouth, making sure to cover as much surface area as possible.

5. Rinse the tongue cleaner and repeat!

Tongue brushing can be a hassle in the beginning, but once it becomes routine, the difference in your oral health will be so noticeable. Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions about oral health and tongue brushing. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

 

References:

Christensen G. Why clean your tongue? J Am Dent Assoc 1998; 129: 1605–07.

Danser M. M., Gomez S. M., Van der Wejden, G. A. (2003). Tongue coating and tongue brushing: a literature review. 3:151-8.

 

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