Completely You Completely You en-us Copyright ©2016 Studio One Networks Mon, 1 Feb 2016 04:54:38 EST Mon, 1 Feb 2016 04:54:38 EST Health sonCOMAND 60 Completely You I floss before I brush, but my husband flosses afterward. Who’s right?
It also doesn’t matter which type of floss you use. Unwaxed floss may get teeth cleaner than the waxed kind because it tends to fray, which results in multiple tufts of twine polishing the teeth. But the very fact that it does shred -- and sometimes breaks -- can become an obstacle to flossing entirely, which clearly defeats the purpose. So just use the type of floss that you will use regularly.

In addition, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and always give your mouth a final rinse with clean water after brushing or flossing -- whichever you do last -- to remove any last bits of debris.

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Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 EDT
Do energy drinks really give you more energy? And are they healthy? Consider this: Energy is a sneaky way of saying “kilojoule,” and we all know how well a “kilojoule drink” would sell! Most so-called healthy energy and sports drinks are full of sugar and carbohydrates. In addition, many of these drinks contain caffeine, which may provide a fleeting boost but can cause jitters and an unpleasant energy crash later.

What’s more, sports drinks have proven to be more damaging to your teeth than soft drinks due to a combination of acids and sugar. As if that isn’t enough, these drinks can pack on extra kilos: Research has shown that when people wash down their food with a kilojoule-laden beverage, they don’t decrease the amount of food they eat, so they end up consuming extra kilojoules with their meal.

Instead of gulping a sugary energy drink when you’re flagging, try a healthy cup of green tea (rich in metabolism-boosting antioxidants) or low-fat milk (a wholesome blend of electrolytes, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D -- plus a nice balance of carbohydrates and protein for real, lasting energy). Also consider munching on nutrition-filled, fibre-rich foods such as nuts and dried fruit, which can provide a steady source of stamina.

The bottom line: The brief boost from an energy drink just isn’t worth the extra sugar and empty kilojoules.

Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Mon, 27 May 2013 00:00:00 EDT
Are honey and agave syrup just as bad for my teeth as regular sugar? As a dentist, I'm sweet on using honey or agave. You know bees make honey, but agave actually comes from a plant that looks like a cactus. The Egyptians used it to reduce inflammation, and they were on to something. It might help prevent swollen and puffy gums.

But I have an even better reason to switch from a spoonful of sugar to a squirt of honey or agave. These other sweeteners contain more complex carbohydrates, so they break down more slowly and are less likely to cause problems in your mouth. Here's what happens: After eating any kind of sugar, molecules start to adhere to your teeth, and cavity-causing bacteria sticks to the sugar molecules. The bacteria use the sugar as food, and when they're done, they create waste called lactic acid that weakens tooth enamel. It's some nasty stuff.

If you rinse your mouth or brush your teeth right after eating regular sugar, you can wash away these troublemakers before they cause damage. But who wants to jump up from the table? Since honey and agave take longer to break down, you don't have to be in as much of a hurry to brush -- though you should do it at your first opportunity. In fact, honey and agave are great sugar substitutes when dissolved into any drink or baked into dessert. Just avoid squirting them directly on things like pancakes, for instance, because the food will make them to stick to your teeth and result in the same problems caused by regular sugar.]]>
Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 19 May 2013 00:00:00 EDT
My gums seem to be receding, and I’m only 35! Is there anything I can do? “Receding gums” refers to a loss of gum tissue, which leaves you with uneven gum lines, exposed tooth roots and sensitive teeth. According to Dr. Ramin Tabib, a cosmetic dentist in New York City, although your genetic code may play a role -- especially if thin, fragile gum tissue runs in your family -- the most common causes of receding gums are overly aggressive brushing, periodontal disease (aka gum disease), extremely crowded teeth, or tooth-grinding. Bulimia, the eating disorder that involves self-induced vomiting, can also cause gums to recede.

To manage your gum problem, practice good oral care. Use a very soft toothbrush and brush very gently, advises Tabib. If an overcrowded mouth is to blame, you may want to talk to an orthodontist about whether some type of braces might help. If the recession stems from gum disease, controlling progression of the gum disease can slow or stop the problem.

The only way to truly repair an area that has receded is with a gum graft. This involves a dentist or periodontist taking tissue from the palate of the mouth (or another source) and surgically transferring it to the receded gum area. “It is a difficult procedure. You can never predict what the final outcome will look like,” says Tabib. The healing process may take as long as six months, he adds.

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Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 12 May 2013 00:00:00 EDT
Is any one type of floss more effective than another? With so many types of floss out there, it can be confusing to figure out which is best for you. Your personal preference is most important: The best dental floss is the one you'll use (and use correctly) on a daily basis. Plaque -- or biofilm, as we're calling it these days -- needs to be removed every 24 hours, before it has a chance to cause tooth decay or gum disease.

My advice is to experiment. Some people find waxed floss easier to use, while others like the unwaxed variety or dental tape, which is flatter and wider. You may prefer a particular flavor, such as mint or cinnamon. If your teeth are very close together, a fine or extra-fine floss might feel best. But if there's any shredding, try another kind.

Still not sure? At your next cleaning, ask your dental hygienist for recommendations based on your personal oral history.]]>
Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 5 May 2013 00:00:00 EDT
I hate lifting weights. Is strength training really necessary? You might hate veggies, but you know you still have to eat them. The same goes for strength training. As we age, women lose 5 pounds of muscle every decade, and men lose 7. This loss doesn't just affect muscle appearance and tone; it also decreases your resting metabolic rate. The only way to build muscle is by strength training.

The good news is that research has shown you can achieve significant results in just two 15- to 20-minute workouts a week. Here's the minimum you can get away with per workout:

  • One upper-body pushing exercise (push-up or bench/chest press)
  • One upper-body pulling move (bent row, chin-up or seated row)
  • One leg exercise that involves all major muscles (squat, lunge or leg press)
  • One move each that targets the abdominals (crunch or curl) and lower back (prone trunk extension)

Choose a move or a weight that will allow you to perform one set of 10 repetitions with good form; if you can do 11 or 12 reps, you need a harder move or more weight. Optimally, try to repeat a set of these exercises two to three times.

This minimum-effort strength-training plan will result not only in muscle gain and fat loss, but also safeguard your body against a host of degenerative diseases.

Photo: Corbis Images

Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 28 Apr 2013 00:00:00 EDT
Can you straighten your own teeth by pushing them with your fingers? No, you can’t, and trying to do so might damage your teeth, advises Vincent G. Kokich, a professor of orthodontics at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and an orthodontist in private practice in Tacoma, Wash. Tooth movement requires continuous and constant pressure -- that’s why your dentist recommends braces or aligners to straighten teeth.

When braces are continuously worn for a period of time, the bone around teeth responds to the pressure, allowing your teeth to move in the direction of the force. Intermittent pressure, such as that from a finger, however, will not stimulate the bone to respond and will not move the tooth. On the other hand, over time, it can even loosen it, increasing your risk of tooth loss!

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Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 21 Apr 2013 00:00:00 EDT
Does drinking water before eating help you lose weight? Yes, my weight loss research at Virginia Tech shows that drinking water before eating can make a difference in how many pounds you drop.

In our study, reported in the journal Obesity, we divided participants aged 55 to 75 into two groups: One group was instructed to drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal, the other was not. Both groups followed the same meal plan, eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day.

While the water group lost, on average, 15.5 pounds over 12 weeks, the non-water group lost 11 pounds -- a notable difference. We also received fewer complaints of hunger from the water group, and they seemed to have an easier time following the diet.

In older adults, food takes longer to leave the stomach, so they’ll feel full longer by drinking water half an hour before mealtime. Younger people may need to drink water 15 minutes or even right before a meal to see the same effects. (This is something we’ll probably explore in future research.)

At the very least, caloric beverages are definitively linked to weight gain. So switching to water is an easy way to reduce the number of total calories you consume.

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Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 14 Apr 2013 00:00:00 EDT
Are cavities contagious? Yes, cavities are actually an infectious and transmittable disease!

Most often, and especially in children, cavities are caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus mutans, says Mark Reynolds, dentist and chairman of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Maryland. The bacteria can spread from one mouth to another, usually through kissing or sharing of food.

Research has shown that infection occurs in 30 percent of 3-month-old babies who don’t even have teeth yet, and as many as 80 percent of 2-year-olds who have their primary teeth. In general, moms who harbor more Streptococci mutans are more likely to have infants whose mouths are infected with the cavity-causing bacteria. The same transmission can occur between adults too.

Chewing gum that contains xylitol and maintaining good oral health and hygiene habits (regular brushing and flossing) throughout life can help reduce the risk of spreading the bacteria.

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Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Mon, 8 Apr 2013 00:00:00 EDT
What exactly is tartar, and do I need a toothpaste to control it? Tartar is a hard, yellowish deposit that can form around gums, causing them to get puffy and irritated. It doesn't happen out of the blue. When food residue mixes with the bacteria that are normally in your mouth, it creates a colorless film called plaque. If you whisk away that film by brushing and flossing, you're in the clear. But if you don't get it all, it eventually hardens into tartar, and your dentist will have to remove it during your cleaning.

How long it takes plaque to progress to tartar varies from person to person. But people who have gum disease tend to accumulate tartar quickly and may benefit from using one of the many tartar-control toothpastes that are sold over-the-counter. These pastes contain a substance called sodium pyrophosphate, which helps dissolve plaque.

But while they slow down tartar buildup, they don't eliminate it -- so regular trips to the dentist (and the usual brushing and flossing) are still super-important.

Expert Q&A PATHFROM('/') Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 EDT