Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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spring toothbrush200

Our friends, the industrious naked mole rats, are scrupulous about their dental routine. That's because their continuously growing incisors need to be frequently filed down with something hard like concrete blocks.

We humans turn to toothbrushes and floss for our oral hygiene needs. And since it's spring, how about taking a few minutes to spring clean and refresh your smile?

Here's a checklist to get you started. 

 1. Out with the old, in with the new. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? It’s important to replace old toothbrush heads or toothbrushes every three to four months. As bristles wear, they become less effective at reaching all the little nooks and crannies that need to be cleaned. Most toothbrushes have an indicator that starts to fade on the bristles when it’s time to replace. If not, set up an alert on your phone or write it on the calendar so you’ll remember when to replace the old toothbrush.

(Keep reading for dental dance tips!) 

Dr. Inge200In honor of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, we sat down with Dr. Ron Inge, Vice President and Dental Director of Delta Dental of Washington, to learn more about oral health. Before joining Delta Dental of Washington, Dr. Inge had more than 15 years of private practice experience as a family dentist in San Jose, California. He has been working with Delta Dental for eight years and currently resides in Fall City, Washington, about 25 miles east of Seattle.

Professor Wellbody: What motivated you to have a career in dentistry?

Dr. Inge: When I was in high school in California, I was an athlete. As a sophomore I began getting recruited by colleges. Each recruiter would ask me, “What do you want to study when you come to our university?” I always knew I wanted to go into the health field in one way or another. My mother was a nurse, but I knew I didn’t want to deal with life and death issues. So I had to take a step back and look at the individuals in my life. One of my mother’s associates was married to a dentist, and I was able to get a view into his career, his practice, how he provided for people, how he took care of others and provided for his family. So I started telling people at an early age I wanted to go to dental school. I was only 16 years old, so luckily I had the ability to visit dental schools at an early age. It turned out to be something I was very passionate about.

PW: How would you say your role at Delta Dental of Washington impacts patients?

Gumdisease200February, the month of love, is the perfect time to focus on the heart.

The heart is a vital, muscular organ that pumps blood to various parts of the body. A sick heart can spell disaster for overall health; heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the U.S.

Surprisingly, one of the keys to a healthy heart is a healthy mouth. That’s because gum disease roughly doubles the risk of heart disease.

How are the heart and mouth are connected? And what can we do to prevent gum disease? 

toothbrushesIf you’re obese, drink carbonated beverages and/or you’re a guy, you have surprising incentives to brush your teeth, watch what you eat and drink, see your dentist for regular checks and alert your health care provider if your gums bleed.