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Monthly Archives: May 2013

To flouride or not to flouride. That is the question

Gavin LeSueur - May 22, 2013

There is currently a draft recommendation under consideration by the US Preventative services Task Force. The recommendation is that primary care clinicians prescribe oral fluoride supplementation starting at age 6 months for children whose water supply is deficient in fluoride, and apply fluoride varnish to the primary teeth of infants and children starting at the age of primary tooth eruption.

Fluoride is a hot topic in many areas. To help you understand the topic here are a few facts.

Fluoride is a mineral found in food, water, plants and toothpaste. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water helps to protect teeth against decay.
Fluoride is a natural substance. Fluoride is not a medication. It is a mineral found naturally in rock, air, soil, plants and water. All fresh and sea water contains some fluoride.

Many foods and drinks naturally contain fluoride. It is also added to:

  • Drinking water, where fluoride is added to the local water supply
  • Fluoride toothpastes, gels and mouth rinses
  • Fluoride products painted on the teeth by a dental professional.

Water fluoridation helps protect teeth against decayTooth decay occurs when acid attacks the surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps repair any damage before it becomes serious. A constant low-level supply of fluoride is best for this. Fluoride in your drinking water is like a constant ‘repair kit’ for your teeth.

Fluoride is helpful because it:

  • Helps protect against tooth decay in children and adults
  • Repairs weak spots that could become cavities (holes in teeth) on the surface of the tooth
  • Reduces the amount of money people need to spend on dental treatment
  • Saves the community money and time (away from work and school)
  • Reduces discomfort and pain caused by tooth decay
  • Provides a benefit to all people, especially individuals from low socioeconomic communities, who have less access to other forms of fluoride treatments.

I ensured my children had access to either a fluoridated water supply, and when we did not we provided fluoride supplementation. The science is definitely on the side of tougher teeth!

Ice it or heat it?

Gavin LeSueur - May 10, 2013

Everyone suffers from aches and pains. Some aches are from overloading muscles and joints, some are from over use and some are from just growing older. After an injury is is important to recognize that pain is an indicator of damage and needs to be managed to get you back up and into action!

When do we warm our bodies up or cool them down?

Knowing the difference can be of great benefit … and not knowing can cause potential harm.

The kind of injury is key to understanding whether heat or cold is better. For a recent injury – one that happened within seconds, minutes or a couple of hours – ice is much better.

Ice immediately decreases the swelling that an injury causes and makes the risks of bruising lessen because icing slows down the flow of blood. Icing also provides instant relief from pain because it numbs the area.

It is recommended to only apply ice for 10 minutes every hour..

Not over-icing is important. The temptation to over-ice is there because it provides such an instant relief for pain. It’s easy to forget that an arm has been iced for 45 minutes to an hour, something that is very risky for human tissue.

Then heat: Start using heat after pain and swelling have decreased, usually two to three days after the injury. Heat relaxes tightened and sore muscles and reduces pain. Heat is usually better than cold for chronic pain — such as from arthritis — or for muscle relaxation.

Apply heat to the injured areas for 20 minutes up to three times a day. Traditional methods include using a heat lamp, hot water bottle, warm compress or taking a warm bath or hot shower.

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