1. Gum health is the gateway to your general health

Your gums play a bigger role in your oral and general health than you might think. They help shield your body from infections and complications – so when your gum health is challenged, the rest of your body is, too. In fact, gum disease has been linked to a number of serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Half of Americans aged 30 or over suffer from severe gum disease*. Help protect your gums by gently cleaning your gum line and in-between your teeth to remove and prevent the build-up of plaque.

 

2. Tooth decay is permanent, and can’t be reversed

Unlike the rest of your body, enamel – the critical protective layer of our teeth – doesn’t have living cells, meaning it can’t repair itself. Once it’s damaged, all you can do is try to prevent further decay. Take a proactive approach to tooth health with toothpaste and mouth rinse products that contain fluoride to protect and remineralize your teeth.

 

3. Plaque is your biggest enemy

Plaque is the source of all (or most) evil. It’s a harmful mass of bacteria living in your mouth that feeds off of sugars and leftover foods. Plaque starts out being sticky, and colorless, but when it’s not eliminated, it turns into yellow tartar that’s totally impossible to remove without the help of a dentist. This leads to the damaging of your enamel, because the bacteria transforms the leftover foods and sugars into acids, causing cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure to remove and prevent plaque by brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth after every meal.

 

4. You mouth contains over 800 different types of bacteria!

The mouth is a very complex ecosystem. The average healthy oral cavity contains about 800 different types of bacteria, with each tooth holding more than a billion bacteria. When your oral flora is balanced, your body has a strong natural defense system to prevent the onset of disease. But when there’s an imbalance, your immune system is more vulnerable, which makes you more susceptible to oral health complications. Make sure to use gentle products, without harsh substances, so as to not offset the balance of good and bad bacteria in your mouth, keeping their habitat just right.

 

5. Most oral health conditions are largely preventable and can be treated in their early stages.

Good oral health calls for more than just brushing your teeth. The majority of serious dental problems don’t become apparent or become painful until they’re in their advanced stages so it’s important to catch them in their early stages. A routine dental visit isn’t just about getting your teeth cleaned and polished to keep them looking nice and healthy. Your dentist will check your mouth, cheeks, gums, teeth and your tongue to ensure that there are no signs of gum disease, tooth decay or anything else that could potentially cause you problems.

 

6. You don’t have to go to the dentist for a routine dental checkup. Get your dental check-up through your smarphone.

It’s not always easy to visit a dentist. We lead busy lives so it’s not always convenient with work or family commitments. Many still fear the dentist and delay their check-ups. Cost can also be a factor. Now you can stay on top of your oral health by completing your dental check-up through your phone. With Toothpic, we ask you some simple questions and to capture some images and you’ll receive a detailed report from a qualified dentist in your area giving advice and guidance within 24 hours. Get the peace of mind you need from the comfort of your home.

 

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According to the Democrats’, their success across the country in the midterm elections has largely been on the party running on healthcare. Indeed, surveys, such as the one conducted by the Health Research Incorporated indicated that Health was the number one concern for voters during the midterms. In the three states where Medicaid expansion was on the ballot, voters were in favor of it. We’ve been wondering about that, so we took a look at how Iowa voted.

It’s one thing for voters to support healthcare on its own. It’s another for an issue to outweigh all others. Did healthcare really beat every other concern a voter thinks about when picking a candidate last Tuesday?

Congressional and Statewide races

Democrats took 3 of the state’s 4 seats, unseating 2 Republican incumbents. They had a sizeable majority of the votes cast, so things looked good for the Democrats. If the theory holds up, the focus the Democrats kept on healthcare throughout the race would pay off. And it would seem it worked, right?

There’s a big problem here. If Democrats had made gains in Iowa because of healthcare issues, we should expect them to have a pretty resounding victory in the Gubernatorial race and in the statehouse.

In the past two years, Iowa’s Republican Governor made substantial changes to the state’s Medicaid program resulting in its privatization. This was done with the expectation that the privatized program would lead to savings of up to $ 140 million.

However, this has caused a lot of discord, with one insurer pulling out of the program with no notice just months in and there are payment issues with others. Furthermore, healthcare providers, in turn, have claimed that these issues have been passed down the chain, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments owed.

The Democrats were vocal about the Republicans’ woes concerning Medicaid during the campaign. With an electorate supposedly fired up about healthcare and sending Democrats to Congress as a result, the Governor’s race would be an easy win.

Trouble is, they didn’t win it. Republican Kim Reynolds kept her seat in a 3-point-win. In fact, in the over 150 races for state office, only 8 incumbents were defeated- 2 Democrats, 6 Republicans. Whatever role healthcare might have played in Iowa, it indeed wasn’t pivotal to the state elections.

The numbers are even more interesting. Compare the total votes cast for Congressional candidates to those cast for Reynolds. The Governor beats out her party’s national candidates by 10%. Her Democratic challenger, Fred Hubbell, loses 5% compared to his colleagues.

So what else could explain the loss of two congressional seats? Well, there is one primary reason. Farmers in the losing districts are very unhappy with the President’s trade tariffs that are part of the trade war between the US and China. Meaning, the Republicans loss is a manifestation of the opposition to the national policies, but not local ones.

Therefore, while it’s interesting to see a potential shift in how the country is viewing and voting on healthcare, other local dynamics come into play. Elections are complicated because people are complicated, and there’s almost always more to a win or loss than what mainstream stories express. People care about their healthcare, but suggesting it’s an issue they hold above all others is a big deal, and we’re not there yet.

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Born in the Flu-S-A

Last year’s flu season was the worst in over a decade, killing 80,000 Americans. 180 were under 18. These figures are astounding, beating out even the swine flu crisis in 2009. Medical experts worked hard to determine what exactly caused it to be so deadly. One thing they remain certain of is the best advice for those wanting to avoid getting sick. The advice from doctors is the same as it has been for years. Get the flu vaccine.

But what about when that ship has sailed? How can individuals who’ve been unlucky enough to catch the flu avoid the spreading the disease? The first and step is to try to minimise the number of people you’re in contact with. That’s a lot easier said than done, but technology can help make the days where you’re laid low a lot more manageable.

Avoiding the Office

Not everyone in the US has paid sick leave and according to analysts at Brookings, that’s one of the main reasons that last year’s flu season was so bad. Workers who don’t have the option to stay home are forced into workplaces full of people to pass the disease on to. Paid sick leave could be a great help, but even where employers aren’t able or willing to provide it, technology provides other options.

More and more, employees are able to work remotely, logging in from home and getting through daily tasks without putting colleagues at risk. Of course, in serious cases, remote work is a problem of its own. Employers can push workers who aren’t fit to perform and would be far better off in bed. This can have awful effects, prolonging or even worsening their sickness. It’s a system that can be abused, but can keep a lot of people out of harm’s way.

Shopping Online

We’ve all done a bit of shopping online, especially for things that aren’t going to show up in the local supermarket. We love the range of options, the convenience, and the fact we can do it all from the comfort of our home. With services like Amazon Fresh growing in popularity, online shopping can cover everything we need. The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re feeling sick is haul themselves around a busy store. You can get healthy foods, medication and all the fluids you would need delivered to your home to help you recover. Two birds, one stone.

When it gets Worse

When you’re too sick to get to work, there’s a choice to consider. Do I go to the doctor, potentially pass on what I have to others in the waiting room, and ultimately just get told to go home & drink fluids? Or do I stay home, and take the risk that it isn’t something worse that needs attention? The dilemma is made even worse when it’s a parent making the decision for their child. It’s sometimes almost impossible to know the right thing to do.

But in a lot of cases, an in-person consultation just isn’t necessary. With telehealth and telemedicine technology constantly improving, patients and parents alike can get the advice and diagnosis they need to rest easy know they’re making the best decision they can. Better still, they can get it quickly, from their own home, and without putting others at risk, and from a source they can trust. We understand that when you are in pain or discomfort, going out and sitting in a waiting room is horrible. That’s why we made sure the Toothpic can be used from anywhere, at any time you might need dental advice.

Quarantining Yourself doesn’t have to be Awful

If there’s one thing that can be said for the internet age, it’s that there’s no shortage of entertainment out there. The flu can be nasty, and it’s rarely a good idea to ignore it and try to fight through. When the doc says we need rest, it’s worth listening to them. So curl up on the sofa, switch on Netflix, and binge on the trash show you’ve been saving. Give your body the chance to rest and fight back, and when you’re back to yourself in just a few days you’ll be glad of it.

Sources (in order of publication date): New York TimesBrookingsFortuneVoxNew York Times

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We’ve already started to see the results of telehealth on the ways we can deliver healthcare. Patients who need long-term monitoring care can now avoid costly in-home visits through simple systems that can check on them anytime. Parents can avoid bringing their kids to the GP for advice or simple checkups through their phones. Recently, congress embraced the power of telehealth to make a big impact in the fight against the opioid crisis, with new funding for systems to get victims the help they need regardless of where they are. This is just the beginning, and the beneficial changes to care provision will continue to expand as long as we keep reimagining them. But what about payment?

Here’s a simple example: insurers like people who use their routine benefits. It seems counterintuitive, but it makes sense. Routine checkups catch and prevent serious, long-term illnesses and are therefore cheaper overall. In the long run, insurers want patients who are healthy and who keep themselves healthy. Integrated healthcare and telehealth make it easier to know when patients are using their benefits, which means insurers can offer incentives to patients to do just that. What’s more, with the increased access telehealth systems can bring, more patients will find themselves able to get regular checkups.

This doesn’t just apply to self-insured people. Those who get their insurance through work can benefit too, as can the employers who negotiate the coverage. Employers have the ability to try to influence those who work for them for the better. They can encourage their employees to take advantage of routine benefits. This is simpler when those benefits are easily accessible for the employees. And because insurers like healthy patients, employers who help keep their employees happy and healthy should be able to expect lower premiums as a result.

There’s a bigger picture here. Too often telehealth is seen as limited because, it is best suited for routine, diagnostic and preventative care. Beyond telemonitoring has less of a role to play in treatment for more serious issues. People think of this as a drawback on telehealth, but any medical professional will tell you that so many of the serious issues they treat can either be avoided with good advice, or limited with early intervention. Keeping people healthy in the first place is the best approach, but used to be near impossible to achieve. Telehealth changes that and will change the whole healthcare landscape not just the parts it touches directly. Telehealth is expanding and we need to expand how we think about it too.

So if you don’t do already, take advantage of your routine benefits and keep yourself healthy. Even if it doesn’t mean a lower premium right now, staying healthy is more cost effective than treat any illness and hopefully in the near future your insurance will recognise and compensate your effort.

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When Pokémon GO! launched in July, 2016, it was a global phenomenon, it was one of the most popular apps in the world, and became global news with thousands of people walking more than usual to play a game. It was a strangely communal moment in pop culture. You could see people walking around to certain areas, stopping and tapping their phones, smiling and carrying on.  The popularity was not what anyone expected. There was international coverage of people who had walked X distance playing, losing X amount of weight and so on. There were knock on health benefits to a game based on a children’s tv show.

According to the news, it was like the night of the living dead as careless teens obsessed with the game stumbled through the streets, eyes glued to their phones, oblivious to cars, walls, buildings, and cliffs.

A report in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that on average, the number of steps the users took daily rose by 35% after the release of the app. Not only that, but the game succeeded where other apps failed; this increase was across the board. The app was popular with a wide range of people, including those who would typically be inactive.

There were drawbacks to the success. The same report found that users did report dangerous activity associated with the app, with 90% of those surveyed admitting to using it in a moving vehicle. More starkly, in the 10 days after the app was released, at least 14 different car crashes were attributed to the game. And to top it off, the health benefits to users only lasted as long as they played the app, and the data showed significant drop-off in interest over time. Pokémon GO! had arrived, defied even lofty expectations, and left everything as it had been to begin with, all in the space of a few weeks. The contrasting success and diminished lifespan of Pokémon GO! prompt two opposing questions- what did the game do right, and why didn’t it last?

The ability of Augmented Reality (AR) technology to shift the game was massive on at least two levels. First, it expanded the game’s playable environments to the whole world. There was no chance Pokémon GO! could be accused of recycling level design, because how interesting the environments in the game were was entirely up to the player. Not only that, but the game’s environments were more immersive by virtue of being actual locations. It seems silly to point it out, but a player is likely to have a more realistic experience of visiting the beach by actually, you know, visiting the beach.

This still doesn’t explain why it succeeded in getting people to go to the locations in the first place. The beach can be as… well, beachy, as it likes, but the exercise comes first, and people were unwilling to do that before. The immersive environments helped keep people in the game, not to get them in. The key to getting them in was the way AR allowed the developers to ‘gamify’ exercise.

Being healthy is a valuable commodity to pretty much everyone , but its benefits are hard to grasp and not immediate. Catching a Pokémon, however, is an immediate goal, and prompts immediate action to succeed. So when AR games can substitute the commodity of personal health for one with more immediate impact, the results can be profound. It’s ‘gamification’ without the tiresome bells and whistles. It makes personal health and exercise a game without being strained or hitting us over the head with it, which is why it works.

What about the drawbacks? What made Pokémon GO! so short-lived? Ultimately, the game was pretty limited. You could find & catch Pokémon, but the ability to train & battle was not properly implemented until long after the majority of users had already moved on. They had grown bored of what was, at its core, a fairly limited game.

So what does the Pokémon GO! phenomenon teach us? First off, that apps aiming to improve our health and lifestyles aren’t entirely howling into the void. The goal is an achievable one, but it requires something special. The immersive experience of AR and gamification can be powerful tools to help this pursuit. Ultimately, the end product doesn’t need to be immensely complicated. Much like Minecraft, in many ways, the simplicity of playing Pokémon GO! was an asset.

But simplicity doesn’t have to be confused with lack of depth or limited gameplay. If an app is to be successful in the long run, it will need to not just create interest in healthy habits but sustain it. Pokémon GO! generated value in healthy living for a while, but when there was nothing to do with the Pokémon they caught, all but the most committed fans lost interest, and exercise lost its short-term value.

With that in mind, the biggest learning is for tech companies interested in developing health apps. The experience of Pokémon GO! shows us that it won’t be enough for them to simply provide connected health solutions. There is a need for creative thinking and imaginative design to create apps that draw people towards healthy habits. Preferably with more subtlety than a 2-by-4 to the back of the head. If developers can tackle that problem, the results could be incredible.

Until Pokémon GO!, apps that aimed at health benefits often did so explicitly, without hiding exercise behind a game. They also struggled to make waves with anyone who wasn’t already keen on keeping fit. In the past, people who were typically inactive just hadn’t responded to apps aimed at lifestyle improvement.

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Often, a Congressional gridlock is essentially good. The reason being the executive arm of government is forced to always consider a bipartisan approach to issues if it’s to secure the approval of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

The outcome of the midterm elections indicates that the Republicans have managed to retain their control of the Senate, while Democrats have secured control of the House of Representatives.

Health a Central Issue During the Midterms

According to a survey by Health Research Incorporated, Health followed by Social Security and Medicare were the three top issues of concern during the midterm elections with 59% of the respondents irrespective of age, race or geography citing health as the most significant.

Among Trump’s electoral promises was a complete repeal and replacement of Obamacare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a policy that was apparently less expensive and more effective. On his first day of office, Trump signed an executive order, instructing federal agencies ‘to take all reasonable measures that minimize the economic burden of the law, including actions to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act.’

Trump’s administration has further repealed the individual mandate and promoted short, limited duration plans, meaning fewer Americans can access plans that cover their basic needs. Federal government spending on ACA has also been reduced, with federal government halting the payment of subsidies effective January 2019 and funding for the promotion of ACA stopped. In addition to the preceding, twenty states including Texas are in the Supreme Court challenging the coverage of pre-existing conditions under ACA citing increased costs to the state governments.

Midterm Election Outcome Implications Concerning Health Policy

For insurance companies, the unpredictability over the fate of ACA has meant that premiums were also unstable, with periodic spikes to the detriment of most Americans. At first, ACA resulted in an increase in the number of Americans paying premiums, especially healthy young Americans enabling the companies to profitably extend cost-effective premiums to poor and sick Americans who could not otherwise afford coverage. However, Trump’s series of amendments undermine the incentive for insurance companies to provide coverage to high-risk individuals who are the most vulnerable – the old and sick.

Going forward, additional changes to ACA with a Congressional gridlock will be highly unlikely. It’s a perfect time, then, for states, consumers, health service providers, and insurers to attempt innovative approaches that they’ve been putting off due to the uncertainty over the future of ACA. Insurers should consider options for adjusting care provision models to make them less vulnerable to shocks that drive premiums up. For instance, looking for ways to promote good routine care and healthy habits will contribute to a well-contained risk pool, as prevention measures cost reasonably less than curative.

Health service providers can also take advantage. Changes to how a practice works or the services it can offer take time to implement and often have setup costs. Many around the country may have put off changes in the past 2 years, and will now see an opportunity.

This will obviously have a significant impact on consumers too, with the potentially new, or improved approaches and services that will be offered in their areas. Hopefully, the next two years will see an improvement in the accessibility and affordability of care.

All of these opportunities invite an expanded role for telehealth. Shifts in the ways we deliver health services are often approached with great care even if they are for the better. Telemedicine is usually no exception. Insurers need ways of verifying the reliability of the technology used. That takes time and resources.

Though, some technologies, like Toothpic, integrate easily into an existing office setup, with only software to install. Others require new hardware and training on how to use it. The trade-off is that they give the providers a broad scope of services that can be offered remotely. For example, the ability to monitor the care of multiple patients remotely is an option open to doctors now – but the hardware isn’t necessarily cheap.

In all cases, transitions take time. It takes time to train people, to adjust to new services, or just to get used to things. That is the most favorable result from the split in D.C. Now people can take that time, confident the healthcare world won’t be turned on its head in 3 months’ time. It’s an opportunity for people at all levels of the healthcare landscape across the country to be more imaginative and find new ways to help the system work better.

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Among all the talk of waves and tides of the close midterm races around the country, there were tremendous results on Tuesday night for Medicaid expansion. Three states – Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah – passed ballot initiatives approving the policy.

On top of that, in Kansas and Maine, Governors who had vetoed the policy in the past were replaced with candidates promising to enact it.

This was obviously great news for supporters of Medicaid expansion with the total number of expansion states firmly at 36.

What were the issues?

In Idaho, the Expansion ballot initiative was designed to provide insurance covers for individuals under the age of sixty-five and whose income is below 138 percent of the federal poverty level and who are not eligible for any other state insurance cover.

Among the proponents of Medicaid in Idaho was State representative Christy Perry a Republican and staunch Trump supporter. She had over the years attempted to push for the expansion through the state legislature but faced resistance from statehouse leaders.

The scenario in Idaho applies to Utah and Nebraska, with the ballot initiative being necessitated by the strong opposition from the majority of Republicans and statehouse leaders. In Utah, opponents of the Expansion argued that the initiative would bankrupt the state treasury. In Nebraska caution was given against reliance on federal government financing for state programs noting that often the national government scale back or neglect supporting state programs without proper transitional mechanisms.

However, it was difficult to debate against the fact that Medicaid would free up resources invested by the state governments in local insurance programs and that the federal government is legally obliged to pay 90% of the cost of the policy.

So, what does this mean?

The successes of the ballot initiatives mean an additional 300,000 plus Americans including 62,000 people in Idaho, 90,000 and 150,000 people in Nebraska and Utah respectively get access to insurance coverage.

In addition to this being a win for the states, and the people, it is also a big win for insurers. Already, the pattern is set, with more states moving away from the fee-for-service arrangements to the Managed Care Model. The shift is necessary because state planning and budgeting under the previous arrangement was impossible as costs were not predictable and only became apparent after the service.

Under the Managed Care Model, Medicaid agencies contract managed care organizations (MCOs) to accept a capitation payment (set per member per month) for their services. This means that the costs are controlled, but caution is required to ensure that payment is not inadvertently placed ahead of health outcomes to the detriment of consumers.

Most importantly, the change means an immense opportunity for the states involved. All five states now have the chance to redesign their Medicaid programs as they work out the necessary details. States are usually reluctant to make disruptive changes to essential programs, but this can mean missing out on innovation. With a redesign required already to expand the program, states can take a big-picture look at ways to improve.

One area that could use improvement in many states is their provider registries. The registries are often clunky, difficult to use, and full of old information. It’s already difficult for Medicaid recipients to find providers accepting their insurance, especially in rural areas. Outdated information makes it harder. More connected health technology makes it possible for states to address this more easily. Medicaid expansion gives an excellent opportunity to do so.

What differences will people see immediately?

Another area that should be addressed soon is eligibility. Medicaid programs are always complicated, and it can be hard for people to know whether they qualify for benefits – and if so, which ones. Some states have started using interactive, easy-to-use guides online. The guides inform applicants what they will likely qualify for, and tell enrollees what benefits they get. Stress and confusion are avoided, and recipients are more likely to use their coverage, meaning better outcomes in the long-term.

Finally, states also have the chance to embrace new methods of care delivery. The massive growth in telehealth in the past decade has outpaced what states can keep up with. Now, a considerable amount of routing, diagnostic, and even restorative care can be done remotely. This saves patients time and money, improves access, and means providers can use their time more efficiently.

These new methods of delivery take time and effort to implement. Still, introducing Medicaid is disruptive but positive overall, and makes the perfect opportunity for states to embrace new ways of care that produce better outcomes at less expense.

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None of us ever expects to be hit with a dental injury- “it won’t happen to me, my teeth are fine”. But if it can happen to Oscar-winning actors, then it can happen to anyone. Not convinced? Keep reading…

Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, found himself in trouble on set. While filming a fight scene for The Two Towers, Mortensen chipped one of his front teeth! He also broke two toes and narrowly avoided drowning, so maybe a chipped tooth isn’t bad going.

Daniel Craig had two of his front teeth knocked out while filming Casino Royale, his first James Bond movie. The damage was so severe that Craig’s dentist had to be flown in from London. If it can happen to 007, it can happen to anyone.

Charlize Theron cracked two of her back teeth when training for her role in Atomic Blonde. That seems pretty reasonable, given the amount of high-paced action in the movie, but her injury wasn’t from a hit. According to her, the teeth cracked because she was clenching them while she was fighting and the injury required surgery.

Jackie Chan’s list of injuries over the years reads like a who’s who of medical emergencies, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s a dental injury in there. He chipped his tooth early on, while filming Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow in 1978.

It’s not just action movies that pose a danger and it’s not just the people in front of the camera who are at risk. During the filming of Deliverance (1972), screenwriter James Dickey and film director John Boorman allegedly got into a fistfight on set. The writer broke Boorman’s nose and knocked out some of his teeth.

Kristin Chenoweth sustained serious injuries when a piece of the lighting rig fell on her while on the set of TV hit The Good Wife.  She fractured her skull, broke her nose, and had spinal and rib injuries, and cracked her teeth.

You might think it would be safer to just stick to yoga and dance classes to avoid all these dental injuries they seem to be picking up. But you’d be wrong . Radio presenter Bobby Bones injured his mouth twice last year in training for Dancing with the Stars. He stated “I had to fill out a lot of paperwork, because I got hit really hard. There was blood and a tooth.”

You might think that you would expect tooth injuries when it comes to sports, but even the rich and famous can be taken by surprise. Kevin Mitchell was a San Francisco 1989 MVP and you might think he injured himself on the field.  He actually chipped his tooth biting into on microwaved frozen donut.

Even being toothless isn’t enough to spare you from dental injury. Back in 1923, Boston Red Sox rookie pitcher Clarence Blethen thought he looked meaner without his false teeth when he was on the mound. He took them out and stashed them in his back pocket. This decision soon came back to bite him in the rear (literally). Later in the game, he tried to slide into second base and the dentures bit down. Blethen needed to leave the game for medical attention.

These injuries may seem uncommon, or even like something that could only happen in an Adam Sandler comedy. But the truth is people across America get dental injuries every day – we just tend not to think about them. But when they do strike, it’s important to know what to do and who to turn to for advice. With Toothpic, you can get a dental report in just a few hours, when something unexpected happens. Get a dental report now!

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We all know one – the man in our lives who refuses to see the doctor. It’s not just anecdotal that men are less likely to seek help with their health: there’s a lot of research to back it up. For example, a 2014 study by the CDC found that men are twice as likely to put off a visit to the doctor for two years, and three times as likely to stretch that out into 5. More than 1 in every 5 American men hasn’t been to the doctor in a year; more than 1 in 10 hasn’t been in two years.

And it’s not just the doctor they’re avoiding. Research shows that women are up to twice as likely to have visited the dentist in the past year. Dentists say that, in some cases, men won’t see a dentist unless a woman books an appointment for them.

The results of this are devastating. For every 10 premature deaths of women under 50, there are 16 premature deaths of men in the same age group. That’s to say nothing of the enormous cost incurred in expensive treatments for health problems that could have been caught early or avoided altogether through routine care. Nearly half of men claim they don’t need to see a dentist, and nearly 1 in 5 say they don’t have time. 30% say they’re embarrassed or afraid to go, and men with low incomes are far more likely to avoid going to any kind of health care appointment for extended periods of time.

We need to make sure that seeking health advice and health care is as easy as possible for men across the US.

It seems that when men say they can’t find time with their jobs, we need to answer with services you can use anytime, anywhere. When men are concerned about the cost, we need to answer with services that don’t run up huge bills. In the case that men are afraid to go, we need to answer with healthcare advice that is positive and solutions oriented. When men who avoid the doctor are given the opportunity to get cheap, trustworthy advice from the comfort of their own home, the worst outcomes of the bigger problem can be avoided.

Luckily, we can reliably expect tech solutions like this to make a big impact. App designers know from research that while men and women tend to download apps at equal rates overall, there are big gender differences in app use. Men are quicker to adopt an app into their routine and to use it on a long-term basis. There are also gender differences in the types of apps that are popular- and health & fitness apps are some of the most popular apps amongst men.

While attacking the wider problems leading to health issues for men is important, it’s a long-term fight. Tech has the opportunity to play a large role in dealing with the symptoms of that larger problem, and helping to improve men’s health habits. Avoidance of the doctor, dentist, & other health professionals is hurting all of us, in our pockets, in concern for those we care about, and in the worst cases in the loss of our friends.

We at Toothpic believe that remote dentistry is a solution to the issue of people not attending the dentist. Get a dental report directly to your phone in under 24 hours and learn more about your oral health now.

Sources: NHISOrlando Health SurveyFitBitColgateMedical Journal of AustraliaAmerican Journal of Men’s HealthNorthcut DentalGrand Dental, Academy of General Dentistry, DentalAsAnythingIntelJournal of Internet CommerceMobile Media and CommunicationTelemedicine and e-Health

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If you have sensitive teeth, you probably already know. After all, you’re the one feeling the sting in your mouth when you accidentally let ice touch your teeth, not us. But what is tooth sensitivity and how can you deal with it? Well, usually tooth sensitivity is caused by the enamel being thin or worn away, exposing nerves to more sensation.

But don’t worry, we can help you reduce the discomfort! It’s not quite time to switch to dentures yet!

Update your dental routine

Sometimes, brushing too hard or too often can wear away the enamel. You should still brush at least twice a day but using a soft bristled brush and sensitive toothpaste. Brush gently in a circular motion, with your toothbrush tilted at a 45 degree angle so that you don’t damage your teeth and gums. Some toothpastes can work on sensitive teeth almost immediately, so can help relieve your pain soon.

Could it be a cavity? Or gum recession?

Some tooth sensitivity is not the end of the world, but continued or intense pain could be a sign that you have a cavity which will most likely require a filling.

If it is not a cavity, it may be that your gums have receded enough to expose sensitive roots. Again, a good brushing technique and thorough oral hygiene will help you manage this problem, but the earlier you catch this problem the better.

Avoid the triggers

If you know that your teeth are particularly sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks, or strongly flavoured things, try to avoid direct contact with your teeth. Avoid ice in drinks, use a straw where possible (preferably not a plastic one), and let your food cool to a comfortable temperature before chomping in to it.

If you’re worried about your dental health, why not get a dental report from Toothpic, all from the comfort of your couch? Get a detailed report from a licensed dentist in under 24 hours.

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