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Health Q&A

Posted August 08, 2012 in Advice Column, Johnston

Q: Why is soda bad for my teeth?

A: Soda can cause cavities — even on parts of our teeth that do not usually get cavities. That is because our teeth are covered with a sticky biofilm of bacteria and debris called dental plaque.

The bacteria in our dental plaque consume the sugar in the food we eat and drink and convert it into acid. This acid can soften and erode the protective outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, and promote tooth decay. Soda and other sugar containing drinks — sports drinks, juice, sweetened coffee or tea — are particularly harmful because each time we take a sip we bathe our teeth in sugar. These sugar baths can promote decay on all areas of our teeth. We recommend trading in the sugary drinks for more healthy options like water and milk. We also recommend limiting the number of sugary beverages consumed a day and shortening how long it takes to finish a beverage to about 30 minutes. Sipping on a sugary beverage for hours can even be more harmful to your teeth than drinking it in a shorter period of time. Always brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, and see a dentist regularly.

Information provided by Julie Smith, DDS, Johnston Dental, 5541 NW 86th St., Suite 100, Johnston, 276-2500

Q: How can chiropractic care help sports-related injuries?

A: Keeping athletes healthy, and helping those athletes perform at their peak potentials is a key component of chiropractic care and chiropractic rehabilitation of healthy, as well as injured athletes. Before deciding to participate in any sport or sporting event it is always a good idea, and required by schools in your child’s case, to get a sports physical. Below is an example of what a thorough sports physical or injury evaluation/assessment should include. And if it doesn’t, run, hobble, wheel, crutch or crawl away as fast as you can.
• History and observation.
• Physical examination (overall inspection, blood pressure, auscultation of the heart and lungs, deep tendon reflexes, pulse rate, temperature, height and weight measurements, hernia screening, aerobic capacity assessment, etc.)
• Neurological screen.
• SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment).
• Clinical testing (palpation, ranges of motion, muscle assessment, joint mobility/stability assessment and any special testing required.)

A functional orthopedic examination and physical examination should always be performed prior to any treatments or activities. The simple “you look OK, so go play your sport” or the “I think this is what you have without even examining your injury” physical is no longer acceptable, but often performed by many physicians. Staying and playing healthy is one of the keys to success in any sport, many injuries can be prevented with proper screening techniques performed by skilled and trained physicians. Your success is in your hands.

Information provided by Dr. Aaron Rector, Active Wellness, 8711 Windsor Parkway, Suite 7, 867-2900.

Q: How can I plan for a healthy pregnancy?

A: Pregnancy is a major event. If you plan for it, you can make wise choices that will benefit both your health and that of your baby. If you are planning to become pregnant, you should let your doctor know. Your doctor will ask about your medical history, diet and lifestyle, use of birth control methods, past pregnancies and family health. Your honest and open answers will help you increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

Immunizations. Are your immunizations up to date? Women in their reproductive years should have immunizations as a routine part of preventive care.

 Family history. Some conditions occur more often in families. If a close member of your family has a history of a disorder, you may be at greater risk of having it, too. Certain disorders can be inherited. These are called genetic disorders.

    Diet, nutrition and fitness. Your doctor will review your diet. He or she may suggest changes in areas such as your weight, your use of vitamins and other food supplements, your eating habits or any eating disorders you may have. Women who might get pregnant should have 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily. Pregnant women should have at least 0.4 milligrams each day during the first three months of pregnancy.

Keep fit, eat wisely, avoid things that could be harmful. This way you have done the most you can to prepare for a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Information provided by West Des Moines OBGYN, 4949 Westown Parkway, Suite 140, West Des Moines, 515-223-5466.

Q: What should I eat at the Iowa State Fair?

A: Did you know one meal that has fried fats stays in your body and cells for 90 days or longer? Yuck! That means for 90 days or longer your body will be in more pain due to inflammation, which promotes arthritis and joint degeneration, and tells your hormones to function abnormally and store more fat.

This year if you plan on eating at the fair, plan ahead. Check the website ahead of time to know where the healthy vendors are located and support them. Visit Feel better, lighter and energetic instead of weighed down, sluggish and tired.

If you do indulge at the fair, you can help your body by taking natural, effective anti-inflammatories such as Kaprex (THIAA) and EPA/DHA fish oils. They are high-quality nutrition supplements that lessen joint and muscle pain safely. They have been studied to be safe for the liver, stomach, kidneys and cardiovascular system in comparison to over the counter anti-inflammatories. Who wants side effects? NSAIDS (aka: Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen and Aleve) cause an array of side effects, some very serious to the kidneys, stomach and liver.

Eat to live, not live to eat. Your body will thank you.

Information provided by Dr. Juliet O’Donnell, DC, Heartland Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 515-252-8668, 5521 N.W. 86th St.

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