Oral health and hygiene are very often put on the backburner, especially in today’s economy where even buying groceries demands a strict budget. However, many people don’t realize how much oral hygiene affects overall health and the plethora of things that could go wrong if teeth and gums are not properly cared for.
The mouth is full of bacteria, usually harmless; however, without proper oral and bodily care the bacteria can grow out of control. The body has plenty of natural defenses against such bacteria, and daily oral care like flossing and brushing help to reduce the risk of the bacteria getting out of control. Saliva and the mucous membranes within the mouth are a direct line to the rest of the body, so it stands to reason that inadequate or improper oral care will lead to an overgrowth of bacteria that can easily be transported into the bloodstream.
- Recent studies have shown a correlation between poor oral hygiene and major medical conditions such as:
Obesity (research is still ongoing, but preliminary studies showed that people who visit dentists regularly generally have healthier eating and exercise habits)
- Endocarditis (infection in the lining around the heart)
- Heart disease
- Problems in pregnancy. Inflammation and bacterial overgrowth in the mother can lead to premature birth and low birth weight
- Alzheimer’s disease
Conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other immune diseases lower a person’s ability to fight off infections.
In addition to the above, stress plays a major role not only in overall health, but in oral health as well. It can lead to teeth grinding which causes jaw pain, toothaches, tooth damage, headaches, and ear discomfort. Teeth grinding can lead to gum damage and inflammation as well. Stress often causes people to chew on their cheeks, tongue, and lips, leading to mouth sores and open wounds where bacteria can thrive and grow. Additionally, stress lowers the immune system response, so the body’s ability to fight the bacteria is decreased.
Here are some simple ways to increase oral hygiene and prevent further medical conditions or concerns:
- Choose a good toothpaste and toothbrush that helps strengthen enamel and regulate the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once. Be sure to use proper brushing form, which a dentist can show you.
- Rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients that build the body’s immunity and prevent bacterial overgrowth.
- Replace toothbrushes every three to four months.
- See a TMJ doctor regularly for cleaning, evaluation, and education.
- Reduce stress levels.
- Take steps to reduce or eliminate teeth grinding. A simple mouth guard would suffice, but if not, ask your dentist for recommendations.
Dogs are considered a part of the family, but there are occasions where a dog will not be welcomed, so if you’re heading on vacation, you will need to find somewhere to kennel your dog. It’s not as easy as just dropping your furry friend off at the local pet boarding business. Here are a few tips to find the best dog kennel for your furry family members.
Trust your instincts
The first thing you should do when looking for a dog boarding company is to plan a visit. Most companies are happy to offer you a tour of their facilities before you bring your dog for an extended stay. Walk around, meet the staff, and get a feel for how the animals are treated. Trust your instincts as well. If it feels like the kennel is putting on a good show, but there is something else hidden beneath the curtain, it might be time to find a new kennel.
The Great Outdoors
A great kennel should have an expansive outdoor running area for the animals to exercise in. Make sure you visit it before you decide on a dog kennel for your furry friend. It should be clean, free of waste, and usually made of gravel or concrete.
Up to Date
Any responsible kennel owner will ask to see your dog’s shot records before they are allowed to enter the kennel area. This is for your dog’s safety and the safety of the other animals that are being boarded in the kennel. If the kennel owner doesn’t ask for this information, do not trust them with your dog’s safety.
The Nose Knows
One of the first things you should notice when you walk into a dog kennel is the smell, or lack thereof. Kennels should be cleaned frequently and should have adequate ventilation to prevent the accumulation of dog-related odors. You shouldn’t smell waste, wet dog, or anything similar.
Time for Bed
Take a look at where the animals are kept. The area should be kept clean, it shouldn’t be too hot or too cold, and it should be large enough for the animal to move around, stand, and stretch out. Anything smaller can be uncomfortable for your dog, and can induce anxiety and feelings of fear or panic.
Some Final Tips
When it’s time for your dog to go to the kennel, bring along a few of his or her things. A bed, a blanket, or a favorite toy can do wonders to make your dog more comfortable in the kennel.
The kennel or dog boarding company like doggie day care austin that you choose should be a company that you trust. You are relying on them to take good care of a part of your family while you are away. Don’t settle for untrustworthy companies and don’t base your choice on who offers the cheapest price.
You wouldn’t send your child to an unlicensed daycare center. Don’t send your fur-child to just any kennel. They trust you to take care of them, so don’t send them to anyone you don’t trust yourself.