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Health Q&A

Posted October 24, 2012 in Advice Column, Boone

Q: Why do I need dental radiographs or X-rays during dental appointments?

A: Dental X-rays are needed to help the dentist and/or hygienists find certain dental problems or anatomy. The dental hygienists use the radiographs to help with bone loss problems also known as periodontal disease. Hygienists also use the radiographs to see if a patient has sub gingival calculus, (tartar that accumulates below the gum line.)

The dentist uses the S-rays to diagnose the above diseases. Dentists also use radiographs to diagnose cavities that often develop between the teeth. This is one of the most important uses of X-rays because we can’t see between the teeth with the naked eye. X-rays can be used to find hidden dental structures and to help find malignant or benign masses.

There are different types of X-rays that the dental professional takes. The bite-wing is one of the most common. This is the X-ray that diagnoses cavities, bone loss and tartar build-up. There is a periapical radiograph that is used to examine the root of the tooth for anomalies or infections. The panoramic film is used to examine the bone of both jaws, developmental progress and most commonly where wisdom teeth are located. So, as you can see, dental radiographs are very important to the diagnosis of your overall oral health.

Information provided by Swanson Dental, Jody Peters RDH, 1212 Duff Ave., Ames, 515-233-2174.

Q: What are the benefits of volunteering?

A: There are many reasons for volunteering. I like people. I like to give back to the community. It gives my life meaning. I enjoy caring. I feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel needed. I like being there for others. I make new friends. It’s a good experience. It gets me out of the house. It’s fulfilling. It’s satisfying. I’ve got the time. Volunteers make people feel special. It keeps me feeling younger. Volunteers live longer.

As a volunteer, you can often choose your own hours, enjoy the company of others, support your community, learn new skills and make an impact on the life of someone or many.

A great place to volunteer would be your local hospital. Your smile, your touch, your supportive words can make all the difference in the world to a patient or family member. Whether you have a lot of time or a little, there is a place for you. Many volunteer opportunities are available Monday through Friday at varying times, and the volunteer opportunity can be matched to your skills and interests.

If you are looking for a rewarding experience, volunteering may be for you. Reap the benefits of being a volunteer. Make a difference.

Information provided by Lisa Schmidt, Boone County Hospital Public Relations and Marketing Director, 1015 Union St., Boone, (515)-433-8475, www.boonehospital.com.

Q: How can I keep my young athlete in top shape?

A: While competing in sports is great for a child’s physical and mental development, it can also pose a threat for injury. Those injuries may not only cause short-term discomfort, but have potential to cause lingering issues for the rest of your child’s life. It is imperative that young athletes take preventive measures to reduce the chance of injury. A few of those include:

 • Proper warm-up and stretching routine before activity. Doing so will increase flexibility and prepare your muscles for increased activity, reducing the likelihood of strain/sprain injuries.

    • Proper weight-lifting exercises. It is important to strengthen muscles of your limbs to stabilize your knees, ankles, shoulders and other joints, thereby reducing chances of injury. Also, strengthening your back and core musculature will decrease the chance of spinal injury.

    • Well-balanced diet. Your body relies on what you eat for fuel, therefore it is important to provide enough carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins for your body to use during competition. Cut out the high fat and sugar-loaded snacks and replace with fruits and vegetables.

   • Finally, chiropractic care improves joint flexibility, mobility and muscle function. By minimizing nerve irritation, the body is allowed to function at its highest ability. Studies have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic in improving performance and preventing injury. Also, if you do suffer a sports injury, chiropractic care and kinesio taping techniques can help reduce your recovery time and get you back in the game.

Information provided by Dr. Chris Tigges of Boone Family Chiropractic, 1320 S. Marshall St., 432-9525.

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