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Health Q&A

Posted October 03, 2012 in Advice Column, Johnston

Q: What should I do in a dental emergency?

A: Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can be very important. For all dental emergencies, it is important to go to your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible. Should a permanent (adult) tooth be knocked out, the first thing to do is remain calm. Find the tooth, pick it up by the crown (the white part) and avoid touching the root. If the tooth is dirty, briefly wash it for 10 seconds under cold running water, taking precautions to not drop it down a drain. If possible, try to put the tooth back in the socket and have the patient bite on a clean washcloth or towel to keep it in place while transit to the dentist.

If replanting the tooth is not possible, it is extremely important to put the tooth in a cold storage solution. You can use cold milk (preferably low fat), saline or Gatorade. Saliva and water can also be used but are less preferable. It is extremely important to get to your dentist immediately.

Wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreation activities is a great way to avoid injury to the teeth. Mouthguards can prevent broken teeth, absorb some force when hit in the chin or jaw and can prevent injury to the tongue, lips and cheeks. Ask your dentist about the different types of mouthguards that are available and which is best for you.

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

Q: How can I boost my child’s immune system?

A: Echinacea. This herb has been shown to enhance your immune system at the first sign of an infection. Use lozenges or liquid drops.

 Vitamin C. This vitamin can fight off invading germs. Kids up to age 6 take 250 mg /day, older kids and adults can take 500 mg/day.

    Fruits and vegetable supplement. The immune-boosting properties of nature’s food is remarkable. If your kids won’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, incorporate a super food smoothie.

 Zinc. This mineral is a safe and effective way to boost the immune system. Children up to age 6 can take 10 – 20 mg per day, older kids and adults can take 20- 40 mg per day.

    Probiotics. Healthy bacteria that lives in our intestines helps with the immune function also. The best species of probiotics are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria.

Avoid habits that weaken the immune system:
 Overdosing on sugar. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar (three pieces of candy) starts less than 30 minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.

 Too much fat. Obesity can lead to decreased ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies and rush to the site of an infection.

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

Q: What is positive behavior intervention support?

A: Many Johnston residents may be aware that the elementary schools and Summit Middle School are implementing positive behavior intervention support (PBIS) programs. For several years, ChildServe has been practicing PBIS, which helps us to build relationships that encourage a child’s independence, learning, and growth.

The foundation of PBIS is building positive relationships through which teachers and caregivers can identify skills that children need to learn. For instance, it is important to teach preschool children how to play and for adults to model appropriate play to build a child’s social skills.

Children thrive on routines and connections. Connections are made with an understanding relationship. They need consistency, support and choices. When a direction is given, children should be given two choices with the opportunity to respond — when they are engaged in their environment, they feel a sense of ownership. Children seek independence, and by giving them choices and positive directions, a child’s self-esteem will grow. With PBIS, relationships grow and an action plan can be developed that will foster a child’s spirit.

Information provided by Amanda Winslow, ChildServe Childcare Site Supervisor, ChildServe Childcare Center, 5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, 787-8750.

Q: Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome require surgery?

A: Do you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)? Check out this none surgical Intervention.

Who would have thought that tiny little wrist of yours could create so much pain and misery resulting in missing work and increasing your medical bills? According to the American Chiropractic Association the typical CTS patient loses close to $30,000 in medical bills and lost wages over the his or her lifetime. CTS is a problem of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand and occurs when this nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel, a tunnel at the wrist which is made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Compression of the median nerve in this tunnel can result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist, which radiates up into the forearm. Common symptoms of  CTS can include burning, tingling, itchingand/or numbness in the palm of the hand and thumb, index and middle fingers. Some people say that their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. Symptoms often first appear while sleeping and as they worsen may feel become present during the day. Weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects.

Convinced you’ve you have CTS? Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises and soft-tissue mobilization techniques can be helpful in correcting and eliminating CTS.  Better yet, relief can be found right here in Johnston. Call today.

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

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