Healthwrap Oral Health

A new review suggests dentists need to spend more time, using psychology to convince people to do a better job at improving their oral health. The fact is, tooth brushing and flossing remain the keys to oral health. They are the most important steps in helping to keep a person's teeth for a lifetime. Still, brushing and flossing are not as popular as dentists would like.

Nearly 90 percent of periodontists polled said patients are lax about flossing frequently and 61 percent reported that their patients could improve their flossing technique. So how far does it need to go to get patients on track? Some experts suggest meeting with psychologists to convince them to take care of their teeth! While it sounds a little excessive, that type of strategy did lead to lower plaque levels on the teeth of people who underwent them.

With obesity on the rise in the United States, are healthy choices available when eating out? A new study, in the may issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, sought to understand how restaurant chains make decisions about their menus. Interviews with 41 senior menu development and marketing executives at leading casual dining and fast-food restaurant chains were performed.

For the majority of those interviewed, the most important issues are growing sales and increasing profits. Health and nutrition were mentioned by only nine respondents and social responsibility by three. The majority of chains interviewed will not add new items to their menus unless they are confident that their customer base will accept them and that the items will contribute to sales and profit growth.

 Bottom line: restaurant chains are committed to serving healthier foods only if they generate profit through high sales or other benefits to the restaurant. Should you get your skin screened by a dermatologist? New research shows individuals whose melanoma is diagnosed by a dermatologist may be more likely to have early-stage cancer and to survive five years than those with melanoma diagnosed by a non-dermatologist.

 If melanoma is removed at an early stage, when the tumor is still relatively thin, less than 1 millimeter thick, patients have a 90 percent cure rate. Tumors diagnosed by dermatologists were thinner on average than those diagnosed by non-dermatologists. The five-year survival rates were 73.9 percent for the dermatologist group compared with 68.7 percent for the non-dermatologist group. Tumor thickness is a powerful predictor of patient survival, and it appears going to the dermatologist can help improve one's chances.


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