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How Old is Too Old for Orthodontics?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you never had braces as a teenager, you may think it’s too late to get a straighter smile. But in fact, there is no age that is too old for orthodontics. At any age, straightening your teeth can give you more confidence and in some cases makes eating and brushing more comfortable. Which Adults Can Get Orthodontics? Although simply being older doesn’t make you unsuitable for orthodontic treatment, adults are more likely than teenagers to have oral or general health conditions that make orthodontics unsuitable. If any of the following considerations apply to you, you need to talk to your dentist to find out whether straightening your smile is an option for you. Gum disease. More common in adults than kids and teens, gum disease can cause bone loss in the jaw if it’s allowed to progress, which can result in you losing teeth. The pressure applied by orthodontic appliances can further irritate gum tissues, making gum disease worse. If you struggle with gum disease, you need to work with your dentist to bring the condition under control before you start orthodontic treatment. Arthritis or osteoporosis. Some drugs used to treat these conditions can make teeth difficult to move. Medications. Many medications cause dry mouth as a side effect. When your mouth is dry, it is easy for bacteria to grow and multiply, particularly when they can hide in and around braces. If you are on medications that cause dry mouth, you can still have orthodontic treatment, but you will need to be especially diligent about brushing, flossing and rinsing. Alcohol. Like many medications, alcohol dries out your mouth. This can lead to bacterial growth and irritation from the braces. If you’re not willing to cut back on alcohol during your treatment, you could experience mouth ulcers. Orthodontic Treatment Options For Older People When you were a teenager, you might have been reluctant to get braces because the metal wires are very noticeable. Thankfully, orthodontic options have moved on a lot over the last few decades. You can now use clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible to straighten your teeth, so there is no need to worry about people noticing or commenting on your braces. How Many Adults Have Orthodontic Treatment? If you have lived with crooked teeth or a misaligned bite for too many years, you’re not alone. Some orthodontists say that roughly 30 percent of their patients are over 20 years old. If you’re unhappy with your smile, join this group of adults who are taking action to change their...

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Hard Stools: Know the Causes, Risks, and Treatment Methods

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve noticed that your stools feel harder than they have before, something that often causes pain while going to the bathroom, you’ll probably be wondering why this is happening and what you can do to prevent it. Here’s a quick overview of things that you need to know. What Causes Hard Stools? Hard stools are normally the result of constipation, which medical experts define as occurring when a patient experiences fewer than three bowel movements each week. Constipation causes stools to remain in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) tract for longer than they should. This often leaves people who are suffering feeling bloated, lethargic, and gassy. It also means that any fluids in the stool are reabsorbed into the body. This is what causes the stool to become harder than normal. However, it is worth remembering that it is possible to have hard stools while still having frequent bowel movements. Luckily, prevention methods are similar in either case. Why Are Hard Stools Problematic? It’s pretty obvious that nobody would choose to have hard stools since they can be quite painful to pass. That said, many people still dismiss the problem as something that isn’t serious enough to demand attention. Unfortunately, the condition can present serious complications if left untreated. As the stool is pushed out of the rectum, haemorrhoids can develop as the blood vessels around your anus become sore and swollen. This will cause pain while sitting, and it can also cause bleeding. Additionally, pushing out hard stools actually weakens the muscles that your body uses to hold in urine and faeces; the weakening of these muscles can lead to a lack of control. What Can You Do About Hard Stools? The first thing to think about is your diet. People who have hard stools are often missing out on the correct amount of dietary fibre each day. High-fibre foods include fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains, so make sure you’re getting enough. The average adult is recommended to take in at least 30g of dietary fibre each day. You’ll also want to make sure you drink enough water. Dehydration is often the cause of hard stools that are not a result of constipation; there simply won’t be enough fluid to keep the stool soft, even if it is passed within a normal time frame. Finally, make sure you speak to your local GP if the problem persists. They will be able to take a stool sample to see if anything more serious is to blame. You could also be prescribed some medical stool softeners to take care of the problem if nothing else will. For more information, contact a clinic like Travellers Medical...

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3 Common Myths About Cremation

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Some people hold back from choosing to be cremated after they pass on because of the negative influence of common myths about the cremation process. These misconceptions cause people to disregard a viable alternative for the disposal of their remains. This article discusses some of the most common myths that you should not believe.  Myth 1: You Can’t Hold a Funeral If Your Loved One is to Be Cremated Proponents of this myth think that traditional funerals and cremation are mutually exclusive. This is not necessarily true. The reality is that you can perform any ceremonies, such as a service and viewing the body, before the remains are cremated. All that you need to do is to inform the funeral home about your wishes so that arrangements can be made to honour those wishes before cremation takes place. Myth 2: Cremated Remains Are Ashes from the Casket Another common myth is that the remains of a loved one “disappear” once that deceased person is cremated. Believers in this myth are convinced that the ashes that the family receives are ashes from the container that was used during the cremation process. This is not true. The truth is that the ashes that family members receive are the pulverised bones of the deceased that are left once the intense heat of the cremation process burns the body of the deceased. Myth 3: Bodies to Be Cremated Aren’t Placed in Caskets Some people disregard cremation as an option because they have been misled into believing that those who are to be cremated are not carried in caskets or similar containers. This misconception may lead many people to think that the deceased will not be handled in a dignified manner as he or she is taken to be cremated. The reality is that once your loved one passes on, his or her body has to be transported to the funeral home or crematorium in a suitable container. That container is usually a casket. The only difference is that the casket will not be a high-end one since that casket will not be displayed for public viewing by mourning family members and friends. The deceased is also cremated when he or she is in a casket or another suitable container. As you can see, what some people may think that they know about the cremation process may actually be misinformation. It is therefore advisable that you contact a crematorium in your area for accurate information before you make any conclusions based on common...

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The Most Common Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is caused when the oesophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle that serves to separate the stomach from the oesophagus, fails to do its job. When this happens, stomach acid can rise up into the oesophagus and mouth. This can put you at risk of all kinds of conditions, including oesophageal cancer, and it can also take its toll on your teeth. Here are a few of the most common signs that you may be experiencing GERD. Chest Pain Stomach acid is corrosive, so it tends to cause pain if it is allowed to flow out of the stomach and into the oesophagus. When this occurs, you may experience relatively severe chest pain. This should never be ignored since chest pain can be an early sign of a heart attack. However, GERD-induced chest pain is more likely to occur either after a large meal or when you are lying down. Bitter Taste/Bad Breath People with GERD essentially have an impaired barrier between the back of their throat and their stomachs. Since food is digested within the stomach, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that a break in that barrier often causes bad breath and a sickly, bitter taste in the mouth. If you notice this occurring no matter how well you take care of your teeth, it might be a sign of GERD. The sensation is often similar to the feeling in your mouth just after you have vomited. Persistent Coughing The irritation caused by GERD often leads to a persistent dry cough. This is likely to be accompanied by a sore throat, hoarseness, and the persistent sensation that there is a large lump in your throat. You may also experience dysphagia (a difficulty swallowing) as a result of these feelings. These symptoms may progress to the point at which is is difficult to eat, drink, or even talk. If you do think you have GERD, it’s important to see a medical professional straight away if you want to prevent issues with your oral and overall health. The condition can be treated by taking medication or making a few lifestyle changes, and your overall health will thank you. In the meantime, make sure you don’t brush after experiencing acid reflux; this may cause additional damage to your tooth enamel as it will just have been weakened by stomach acid. Instead, try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva and neutralise acid. For more information, contact your family...

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Tips To Help You Convenience The Elderly To Accept Assisted Care

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

You may find it extremely difficult to convince your elderly parents or relatives to accept assisted care. The elderly often become quite difficult to deal with, partly because of their deteriorating ability to make the right judgment. Below are key strategies that are highly effective in convincing the elderly to accept assisted care. Understand the Elderly Gaining an understanding of what an elderly person is going through is the first step to getting the whole concept right. The elderly feel a loss of independence once they are advised to get help to do things they comfortably did for themselves a few months or years back. So, help the elderly person to understand you too and why you’re suggesting they get assisted care. Help them see the differences that arise with aging such as deteriorating grooming and inability to eat and cook among other difficulties in carrying out basic activities. Remember to be sensitive to their fears and concerns and offer them the best advice you can. Prepare the Elderly Psychologically  Resistance to accepting nursing home care arises from a psychological battle mainly resulting from fear of the unknown. The thought of home care also evokes mistrust. The elderly are not sure whether they can trust the person, people or institution meant to take care of them. Also, moving from the comfort of their homes makes them feel a sense of insecurity and being out-of-place. One of the most effective ways to address the fear and mistrust is to take the elderly person to a nursing home for a visit. Ask for permission from the management of the institution to have your loved one take a walk and probably mingle with the people there. A visit is usually a good eye opener, and it helps the senior person to get a feel of the place. Push a Bit Harder If you face persistent rejection from an elderly person who needs assisted care, then it is advisable to push them a little harder. However, you should not be rude to them or act insensitively in any way. Also, despite their rejection and denial of the situation, remember to tell them what is going on and what you plan on doing. Plan for counselling, either at home, at the hospital or in a counselling center. Take your loved one to see a specialist, and let the specialist know the challenges you’ve been facing before the session begins or a day earlier. Also, you can opt to have another elderly person, whom your loved one respects, offer their advice about the problem at hand. It is important to pay attention to your aging loved ones and offer them necessary assistance to ensure they don’t suffer in silence or out of lack of understanding. For more information, contact a company like Bromilow Home Support Services Pty...

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What are some different types of dental implants?

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Dental implants provide an excellent way to replace one or multiple teeth. Whether you want to improve your chewing by replacing a missing molar, or boost your confidence by replacing a front missing tooth, you will find benefits. There are also different types of dental implants you might need from a dental clinic, depending on your situation and preference.  Standard Dental Implants The basic type of dental implant is one that replaces your teeth one at a time. This is a standard dental implant where the metal post is first implanted into the jawbone of your missing tooth, after which you wait a few months for the bone to heal around the post. After this process occurs, you then have an artificial tooth attached to the top of the post. If you have more than one tooth that is missing, your oral surgeon might recommend getting multiple implants done at once, so that they all heal together and are done around the same time. With this type of implant, all that is needed is the metal post and the artificial tooth that goes on top of the post. Mini Implants You may also be a good candidate for mini dental implants. These perform the same function as traditional implants, where they replace missing teeth with a semi-permanent option. However, the metal post and screw of the mini implant is considerably smaller in size. It doesn’t go quite as far into the bone of the missing tooth, so the procedure is shorter, and the recovery period is not quite as long and painful. The main disadvantage is that because the post is a little shorter, it might not last as long as a traditional implant will, and isn’t as durable. Though there is the added benefit of saving money by choosing mini dental implants. Talk to your dentist to decide if this is a good option for you.    Implant-Supported Dentures If you have multiple teeth that are missing and need to get either a partial or full denture, consider using it with implants. Dental implants will allow you to lock the denture in place so it looks more natural and doesn’t move around as much. The implants are placed first, with the quantity depending on if you are getting full or partial dentures. You might wear traditional dentures during this time. Once the healing is complete from the implant procedure, you get special dentures that have a mechanism to click into place on top of the implants. They are removable just like other...

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A Sticky Situation: How Surgical Grommet Insertion Can Treat Glue Ear In Young Children

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Otitis media with effusion, commonly abbreviated to OME but usually referred to as ‘glue ear’, can be a distressing and uncomfortable condition to deal with for any child. However, the good news is that the condition is largely self correcting, with most cases resolving themselves without treatment. However, if your child’s glue ear lingers for several months, or your child has suffered from several bouts of the illness in a short time, surgical insertion of ear grommets may be the best way to protect your child’s health and hearing. What is glue ear, and what causes it? Glue ear refers to a specific type of ear infection that occurs in the middle ear, between the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and the ossicles (the three small bones that transmit sound vibrations to the cochlea). When this part of the ear becomes infected, the tissues within become inflamed, causing pain and temporary healing loss. Middle ear infections generally clear up by themselves, but if the infection recurs or lingers the middle ear may begin to fill up with a sticky fluid — hence ‘glue ear’. This sticky fluid prevents the eardrum and ossicles from vibrating properly, reducing the child’s ability to hear from the affected ear. If left untreated for long enough, this ‘glue’ can build up to dangerously high levels, rupturing the eardrum and potentially causing severe damage to the structures of the inner ear.  Most ear, nose and throat specialists believe glue ear is related to dysfunction of the Eustachian tube, the small canal that links the middle ear to the back of the throat, and ordinarily allows drainage of any fluid caught in the middle ear into the throat. The Eustachian tube also allows air flow into the middle ear, regulating the internal air pressure of the ear — when the tube stops working correctly, air pressure inside the ear drops dramatically, drawing the fluid from the surrounding tissues. What are the symptoms of glue ear? Because glue ear often affects very young children who have not yet learned how to communicate effectively, diagnosing a case of glue ear can be challenging. Look for the following symptoms and unusual behaviours from your child: Noticeable hearing loss — This can be signified by lack of surprise at loud noises or inability to hear the TV or radio at normal volumes. Your child may also become understandably irritable due to hearing loss, and may become sensitive about having the infected ear touched. If your child is old enough to attend a school or nursery, they may have particular trouble keeping up with lessons and tasks, and may become more quiet and withdrawn as a result. Some children with glue ear may also experience tinnitus. Pain — The pain of OME is not the same as the pain caused by acute ear infections, and usually occurs in spells. Discharge from the ear — If the eardrum bursts, visible discharge may be seen seeping from the child’s ear.  Balance problems — This is caused by the fluid interfering with the structures in the inner ear that control equilibrium. How can grommets help treat my child’s glue ear? Surgical intervention is naturally not an option to be taken lightly. However, if your child has repeated bouts of glue ear, or doesn’t respond to less invasive treatments, the surgical insertion...

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Living aids to help you at old age

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As the body ages, some of the tasks you have been finding easy become a challenge to perform. Complications that may have developed over the years start to manifest their effects on the body. They can lead to a diminished agility of the body joints, making it hard for you to move a muscle or two when undertaking routine activities. Thankfully, there are aids for daily living that can make life easier for you at that advanced age, and they do not necessarily involve doses of medicine. Here are a few activities you may find difficult to perform and the living aids that can assist you: Getting into and out of your car You involve many body parts when entering or leaving your car, and it may be a challenge if your joints have some problems moving swiftly. If you are using too much effort and taking too much time, there is no need to worry anymore. You can buy a portable handy bar to support the weight of the body using your arm. Moreover, there is a swivel disc to help you with turning to the side so that you can leave the car or face the steering wheel when you want to take off. For those who have leg problems, you can also get an independent leg lifter in case you have limited strength in your legs. With these accessories, entering and exiting your car will be less hectic.   Putting on your shoes If you are at a stage where bending over to tie your shoe is a problem, elastic laces will come in handy instead of the regular laces you have been using. Make a double knot of the elastic laces so that they can stay in place. By doing this, you do not have to tie them every time you put on the shoes. Moreover, you can also have a shoehorn to help you get the foot into the shoe with ease. Reaching for items on the ground and picking them up Hardship when bending over is a common problem at old age. This can be the result of a back injury you have had in the past or the after effects of a major surgery you had earlier. A reacher can help you address hardship when bending, as you can reach for items on the ground and pick them up without having to bend your knees and work your back. You can also reach items placed in shelves. The reacher has a handle and a piston for you to hold and a grabber that clutches the item you are picking once the piston is...

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Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Hearing Aids

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Hearing aids are a valuable piece of medical equipment for anyone who has suffered a hearing loss of any degree. They can allow you to hear high-pitched sounds that you might otherwise miss and may also allow you to hear conversations more clearly. Hearing aids are not just convenient, but they can also be a matter of safety; if you are driving and cannot hear another car horn or siren, you put yourself at risk. The same is true in everyday life; you may miss a smoke alarm, someone yelling a warning to you as you’re walking, and so on. If it’s been recommended that you wear hearing aids, note a few important questions to ask your doctor about their use and care so you know they’ll work for you. 1. Ask when they should be removed. It’s typically not recommended that you wear your hearing aids when you go to sleep, as they could cause discomfort in the ear canal. You may also be recommended to turn them off at night so that you preserve the battery life. It’s also good to ask your doctor if your hearing aids are waterproof or water resistant. There may be no reason for you to wear them in the shower, but if you enjoy swimming, even if you don’t submerge in the water, you may be recommended to remove the hearing aids to keep them dry and safe. 2. Note how they should be cleaned. Even if you keep your ears very clean, hearing aids usually still get a coating of earwax and other bacteria and germs on them, and they need to be cleaned regularly. Typically a hearing aid is best cleaned with a soft cloth, although you might use a very soft brush to clean stubborn debris. Your doctor might recommend a type of brush to use for your hearing aids; this might be one designed for the pieces in particular, or it may mean a very soft, clean toothbrush. 3. Always ask about beeping, lights, and other signals. Each brand and model of hearing aid is different in how they signal the user for low batteries, a change in volume, if the batteries are working, and so on. A hearing aid might have a green light for when batteries are installed correctly and a red light for when they’re low. Others might beep when the batteries get low. However your brand of hearing aids work, be sure you ask your doctor what each of those signals mean so you can ensure the pieces are working as they...

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What Happens After Your Child is Diagnosed With Hearing Loss?

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Being told your child has some degree of hearing loss can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but knowing what comes next can help you get organised and make a plan of action for your child and family. After diagnosis, there are a few basic steps that will enable your child to have the best quality of life possible. Here’s an overview of what happens after diagnosis: Hearing Aids Hearing aids can do much more than simply amplify sounds. If your child only has difficulty hearing certain sounds, such as high-frequency sounds, hearing aids can be used to alter high-frequency sounds as they enter your child’s ears, allowing them to hear sounds they previously could not. Hearing aids can also be used to fade out background noise, allowing your child to focus on and hear conversations. You’ll want your child to be fitted for appropriate hearing aids as soon as possible after diagnosis, and this involves having impressions taken of your child’s ear canals. These impressions ensure the earmolds, which are the part that fit in your child’s outer ears, fit securely. This is vital as the earmolds prevent external noise from leaking into your child’s ears and interfering with the sounds delivered by the hearing aids. Once the impressions are taken, your child’s custom-made earmolds will be fitted with amplifiers and they’ll be given the opportunity to select the colour of their hearing aids. You will then have a fitting appointment with your child’s audiologist to ensure the hearing aids are comfortable and programmed to perform optimally for your child. Supportive Therapy If required, your child will also be referred for supportive therapy, such as aural rehabilitation or speech and language therapy, to help them adjust to wearing hearing aids, improve pronunciation and meet developmental milestones. Your child can also be referred to a counsellor or child psychologist, if necessary. This may be helpful if they are having a particularly tough time adapting or if they’ve experienced any sort of bullying or social exclusion as a result of their hearing difficulties.   Life at Home If your child is very young or non-verbal, you’ll need to check their hearing aids are working every day and clean them regularly. You’ll be shown how to do this, and you can purchase a hearing aid stethoscope, which can be useful for determining if there’s any muffling of sound or feedback that can occur when hearing aids get wet. It will likely take your whole family time to adjust to life with hearing loss, but try to keep the atmosphere at home upbeat and relaxed. This can help prevent your child feeling like a burden and help any siblings understand their life at home doesn’t have to change. Follow-Up You’ll be invited to attend follow-up appointments at your local hearing clinic. These appointments are particularly important for children as their ears are still growing, so their hearing aids have to be adjusted on a regular basis. Follow-up appointments also allow you to discuss any concerns and assess the effectiveness of any supportive therapy your child has been undergoing. Having a child with hearing loss can require an extra commitment of time and energy, so it’s important to take time for yourself whenever possible. If you’d like to speak to other parents in a similar...

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Managing the symptoms of epilepsy during pregnancy

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Pregnancy can create some specific challenges both to mother and baby. At each stage of pregnancy, it’s important to get professional advice from a pregnancy specialist to ensure the best possible outcomes. Trying to conceive Anti-epileptic drugs can cause infertility for some people, whilst also limiting the effectiveness of hormonal birth control which can increase the chances of unexpected pregnancy for other people. These drugs can make conception hit or miss. As many anti-epileptic medications are tetragenic (can cause mutations), it’s important to monitor unplanned pregnancies as soon as possible so that the mother can have her medications adjusted if required and any issues with the pregnancy can be identified early. Where there are substantial issues conceiving the pregnancy specialist may suggest additional fertility treatments to increase the chance of pregnancy, or temporarily change dosages or types of epilepsy medications to increase fertility.  Pregnancy For women who do have a successful conception, it’s important to monitor the pregnancy progress more closely when the mother is an epileptic, as compared to a mother who doesn’t suffer from epilepsy. When the mother suffers from seizures during pregnancy, this can have adverse effects on the baby such as a raised heart rates and distress. It it important for mothers with epilepsy to keep checking in with their pregnancy specialist with regard to the frequency and severity of their seizures. The OBGYN will also take more ultrasounds of a mother with epilepsy to check for the occurrence of any developmental problems stemming from any anti-epileptic medications. Lifestyle control such as reducing stress and getting enough sleep can be useful to help manage seizure frequency. Some mothers find that pregnancy helps reduce their seizure rate, while other mothers find they suffer more seizures when pregnant. It’s important to have a good relationship with the pregnancy specialist to help manage symptoms, as they are different in all pregnancies. Birth While the risk of a having a seizure while giving birth is low, it’s still advisable to have a hospital birth so that you can access any specialized medical help you need during the birth process. Having a great relationship with an experienced pregnancy specialist, who has managed other pregnant mothers with epilepsy can help you to have a relatively smooth and stress free pregnancy. It’s important for epileptic pregnancies for the pregnancy specialist to work alongside your neurologist and other medical professionals to create a seamless and coherent birth...

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