Why Brushing Your Teeth Is Not Enough


Brushing twice a day is not sufficient when it comes to having good oral health practices. Brushing only reaches the surface of teeth which is about 25% of the mouth. Bacteria and food can also lie along or beneath the gum line. When brushing teeth make sure the brush is angled at 45 degrees and brush in a side to side fashion.

Flossing can help reach areas in the mouth that a toothbrush cannot. It is recommended that flossing be done before brushing. That way whatever food and bacteria can easily be brushed away by the toothbrush later. When you floss maneuver it around the teeth while moving it up and down being conscious to not rub your gums roughly.

Using mouthwash also aids in maintaining oral health. It can be seen as the cherry on top of flossing and brushing. This is because antiseptic mouthwash helps kill and flush out bacteria that can be left in the mouth after brushing and flossing. It can also lessen the risk of getting gum disease and halitosis.

Lastly, regular dentist visits ensure that your oral health is up to par. The American Dental Association says that you should visit the dentist every three to twenty four months, and routine cleanings should be done every six months. Incorporating these habits into your oral care routine will greatly improve your oral health.



Ham Recall: Food Illness Outbreak!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recalled 90,000 pounds of ham. Johnston County Hams recalled five different ham products Tuesday. The contaminated meat product got distributed to Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. These are the products:

  • Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham
  • Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham
  • Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. Fully Cooked Country Ham Boneless Glazed With Brown Sugar
  • Premium Fully Cooked Country Hamm Less Salt
  • Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led an epidemiological investigation of listeriosis after reports from the FSIS. Through the combined efforts of local state departments and the CDC, the outbreak link is between illness and Johnston Country Ham products. The recall stemmed from ham products possibly exposed to Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria is one of the most common foodborne illness-causing agents. This example continues the streak of the foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. My last blog touched more on this public health issue.

For news about this outbreak check out:

For more information on the foodborne illness, outbreak checks my last post.

Notice Signs of Mouth Cancer

Woman covering mouth

About 700 people from Ireland are diagnosed with mouth, head, and neck cancer yearly. These diseases can be noticed at regular dental visits. They can start as sores that did not heal after three weeks. Other signs are red or white patches in the mouth or constant irritation or hoarseness. Dr. Kieran O’Connor stated that smoking tobacco increases chances of getting oral cancer by 40%. Dr. O’Connor has planned a social media campaign to educate men over 50 about oral cancer. The program is especially targeting men who do not visit the dentist regularly. She has partnered with other dentists to give talks about oral cancer so they are more willing to be cognizant of the reality of oral cancer.



HIV Linked to Increased Risk for Both First and Second Primary Cancer Incidence

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Did you know? “The most common types of cancer that inflict people living with HIV are non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kaposi sarcoma, lung cancer, anal cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, correctional cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, oral/pharyngeal cancer, female breast cancer, and cervical cancer.” In the United states,  that are diagnosed with HIV have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with cancer and are less likely to be treated.these are due to the certain disparities that are available. The factors that contribute to these disparities has not be known yet.

There is a new NCCN Guidelines that provides general advice,and also  specific treatment recommended  for non-small cell lung cancer, anal cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer. it also emphasizes the importance of working with a HIV personnel.  The guideline also urges that people should be offered the same cancer therapy irrespective of their HIV status.



Digital health for the elderly

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Amazon’s new Echo Spot Smart home technology introduces a variety of ways that technology can play a central role in maintaining meaningful interactions between seniors and their caregivers and/or families. The seniors of today possess considerably more technological knowledge, and more comfort with technology, than their predecessors. This helps improve the potential for elders to successfully age at home.

Smart homes appliances provide valuable support to elderly parents, with Skype and FaceTime being good solutions to maintaining healthy interactions across long distances. However, they require both participants in calls to effectively utilize an app. They simply cannot substitute for human interaction.  Amazon’s new Echo Show has the potential to reduce challenges that comes with video calls and new-aged technology. A brilliant idea it may be, there are still issues related to small screen size and placement, but this can spark the candle for more innovative ways to care for the elderly.





Food Borne Illness Outbreaks a Public Health Problem?

One public health issue that needs more attention is foodborne disease outbreaks. Foodborne outbreaks account for approximately 9.2 million illnesses each year. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 800 foodborne disease outbreaks are reported annually, resulting in roughly 15,000 illnesses (18% of which resulted in hospitalization) and 20 deaths each year.

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Figure 1: Displays the most common pathogens that cause food borne illness, outbreaks, hospitalization, and deaths from 2009-2015.

Foodborne outbreaks are the result of two or more cases of foodborne illness caused by a similar pathogen. When foodborne outbreaks occur, the cases are reported to both the local and state department. After gathering information from those departments, the CDC follows up with an investigation.  It is always important to be aware of warnings for food outbreaks and food recall alerts.  Be careful of what you eat. Remember to Wash your hands when preparing and handling foods.

For more information click the following link:
Dewey-Mattia D, et al. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2018;67(No. SS-10):1–11, http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6710a1.

Mission Possible: Addressing Health Disparities in Heart Disease and Stroke Outcomes

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of  death in the united states. The prevalence of heart disease is higher in certain groups of people. These group of people include those associated with poverty and lack of education. Also, people associated with racial and ethnic minorities. Areas such as Southeast, Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, experience a higher prevalence in heart disease because they experience a lower education rate and a higher poverty rate. They also have a hard time accessing health care and community supports. Heart diseases today are characterized by tobacco use, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Public health helps to prevent and reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition, increase opportunities for physical activity. this helps control the rate of heart disease in some populations.