STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Dentists in the United Kingdom, Wales and New Zealand are now using glass fillings. “Not only did this bioactive glass composite re-mineralize the partially decayed teeth, but it also creates an alkaline environment that discourages the bacteria that caused the initial decay,” said Professor Robert Hill, chair of Physical Sciences at the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London and co-founder and director of research at BioMin Technologies.


American research suggests glass fillings will potentially prolong the life of fillings and slow secondary tooth decay because the depth of bacterial penetration with bioactive glass fillings was significantly smaller than for inert fillings, Hill added. These fillings can help eliminate mercury-based amalgam fillings. There is a great deal of pressure to do so by 2020 from a host of international agreements.


Nanotechnology


Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry have made a cavity-filling composite that kills harmful bacteria and regenerates tooth structure lost from bacterial decay. “Tooth decay means the mineral content in the tooth has been dissolved by the organic acids secreted by bacteria residing in biofilms or plaques on the tooth surface,” said Professor Huakun Xu, Ph.D., M.S., director of the Division of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering in the school’s Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry. “These organisms convert carbohydrates to acids that decrease the minerals in the tooth structure.”


After a dentist drills out a decayed tooth, the cavity still contains residual bacteria, Xu said. Since it’s not possible to remove all the damaged tissue, it’s important to neutralize the harmful effects of the bacteria. Nanocomposites are able to do this. The researchers built antibacterial agents into primer and adhesives to kill residual bacteria at restoration margins. The nanocomposite is expected to last longer than the typical five to 10 years of traditional composites.

Some groundbreaking innovations in dentistry will soon be available at a dentist’s office near you. These include:


Liquid Diagnostic Technique


Tooth decay, or dental caries, has two stages: an initial non-cavitated state where decay can stop and no filling is needed and a later cavitated state where a filling is often needed to stop decay from progressing. Dentists haven’t had a test to determine the difference between the two states, which led to the standard treatment of drilling and filling. However, decay doesn’t automatically mean a cavity, and the filling cure can be more trouble than it’s worth.


“Once a tooth is filled, it leads to a repair-destruction cycle for the rest of the patient’s life,” said Dr. Douglas Benn, D.D.S., Ph.D.


Benn has created a simple diagnostic liquid solution that can be applied to the surface of a patient’s teeth prior to a dental X-ray to reveal whether a tooth has cavitated decay. The liquid helps dentists more readily see cavitated decay on a standard X-ray and allows them to use recently developed topical products to arrest tooth decay at an early stage. This preserves healthy tooth structure and is a pain-free method of detection and treatment that uses no anesthesia or drilling. Benn says

DENTAL BREAKTHROUGHS

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

American Dental Association data indicate about two-thirds of fillings are replacements and can cost an average of $2,000 per filled tooth over a lifetime. His diagnostic liquid solution could delay or avoid about 50 percent of cases of dental fillings, according to Benn’s estimate. The diagnostic liquid can help also detect more infection that would otherwise go unnoticed.


Glass Fillings That Can Repair Tooth Decay


With this innovation, bioactive glass composite fillings release fluoride and significant quantities of calcium and phosphate that are needed to form tooth mineral. Last year, Oregon State University scientists created bioactive glass made with compounds such as silicon oxide, calcium oxide and phosphorous oxide. It is called bioactive because the body notices it is there and can react to it, as opposed to traditional inert composites.


“Almost all fillings will eventually fail,” said Jamie Kruzic of the OSU College of Engineering. “New tooth decay often begins at the interface of a filling and the tooth. The tooth is literally being eroded and demineralized at that interface.”