Articles on health

Good Sleep for Good Health

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nothing makes you feel more refreshed than a good sleep in night. It is a natural cyclic state of resting for mind and body. There’s more to an ideal 7-8 hrs of sleep than just preparing our bodies for the next day. Adequate sleep is an essential part of good health and plays an important role in all body functions hence ensuring a better mental and physical fitness.The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reported that good sleep is essential for a person’s health and well being.Lord Chesterfield very well said that “A light supper, a good night's sleep and a fine morning have often made a hero out of the same man, who, by indigestion, a restless night and a rainy morning would have proved a coward."Now, the question is “Can good sleep make good health?”Yes, sleep makes you feel better. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Without it, one becomes more susceptible to health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, depression and many more. Some facts of sleep which lead to a healthy life are -Good Sleep Keeps Heart Healthy: Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol so some experts say that heart will be healthier if one gets between( 7 -9 hours) of sleep each night.Sleep Helps to Make Body Repairs: Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage. This is the time when the cells undergo wear and tear and that’s what makes you feel refreshed in the morning.Good Sleep Reduces Stress: When your body is sleeping deficient, it goes into a state of stress. Therefore it is recommended to have good sleep in order to allow your body to cope with day’s stress and manage it in a better way with a relaxed mind. It is found that any amount of sleep deprivation reduces mental performance.Sleep & Weight Loss: Lack of sufficient sleep affects the appetite regulating hormones. It also aggravates cravings for high-fat and carbohydrate rich foods, making a route to weight gain. It also affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, a key factor in weight management. So, if you want to be on a healthy weight, make sure you get a good sleep every night.Good Sleep Reduces Depression: Lack of proper sleep and depression is inter-linked. Depression may lead to insomnia and lack of sleep increases depression. Sleep impacts serotonin levels (feel-good hormone) which affect the mood of an individual.Sleep Prevents Cancer: People working for long hours have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. There is evidence stating that good sleep can alter the balance of hormones in the body which may influence cancer progression.As very well said by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise.”

6 Tips for Improving Men's Health

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
So, some tips for men's health- as well as an attempt to eliminate some myths and misconceptions.Men’s health1. Stay healthyCheck regularly whether foreskin of penis (the skin covering the red portion of the penis, called “glans penis”) can be retracted backwards or not. This is for male who are not circumcised. And clean the materials (“white materials”- called smegma) collected beneath the skin regularly. If it cannot be retracted normally or during urination or intercourse, it is likely to be abnormal. And it may be a condition called “Phimosis”. If you feel you have phimosis or tight foreskin, do not force to retract it, because in doing so you will land up in more difficult and emergency situation, called “Paraphimosis”. So, only solution is to get it checked by doctor. Phimosis is common in males with diabetes and those having repeated infections. It can lead to further infections, problems during urination (that may even damage kidneys) and even cancer of penis in the long run.Do not ignore any abnormal swelling or ulcer or pain or tumour or any white or reddish patch in penis or scrotum. But some conditions are very normal like PPP (pearly penile papules) that look like small reddish or pinkish granules at the broader end of the glans penis. Similarly it is very common to have very dark pigmentation of penis and scrotum, even in very fairly skinned persons, especially in our country.Testicles should be checked regularly, at least once a week. Please remember, both testes are not of exactly same size and they do not lie exactly at the same level (one little above and one little low). And scrotum reacts with change of temperature. So, in cold days, scrotum contracts and you have scrotum lifted up so that testes lie at higher position. Conversely at warm days, they hang down more.But never ignore any injury, swelling or pain in scrotum or testes. Some peculiar sensation (“pain in lower abdomen”) is common during accidental pressing of testes and this indicates testes are normal. Absence of such sensation is usually abnormal. But if testicular pain persists you should not ignore it. The pain may be due to stone in kidney or infection in urine or testes or even tumour. And sharp stabbing pain indicates that there may be torsion which is a medical emergency (twisting of testis, if not treated early, can damage testes). The causes of testicular swelling are usually hydrocele (collection of water outside testes). Infection or tumour. Remember, testicular tumour or cancer is very common malignancy in young male but it responds well to treatment. Any swelling in scrotum above testes should also be noted. Sometimes it may be varicocele (swelling of veins above testes), hernia or some cysts.2. Urinary problemsDo not ignore if you have difficulty in urination like pain, requiring more pressure, increased frequency, difficult to start, not feeling any desire or very strong urge that is difficult to control. In younger age it is due to stone or infection or some narrowing of passage (urethral stricture). In older age, it is likely to be due to prostatic enlargement. Remember, prostate enlargement is common after 40 years but in very few cases, it may be cancer. Men with family history of prostatic cancer needs ‘cancer screening” like regular check up for detection of cancer in early stage.Blood in urine is another problem that indicates some injury or stone, tumour or infection. Even cancer in urinary tract can cause passage of blood in urine.3. Sexual ProblemsMost of the sexually active men are often obsessed about size of the penis. But it actually maters little for satisfaction unless it is abnormally low (“Micropenis”). Do not feel that the pictures shown in internet or film are real. So all the methods of ‘’enlargement techniques” are actually bogus. If it is micropenis, it needs proper evaluation to diagnose the cause of the cause and then the cause needs to be treated to achieve actual normal size.Masturbation is not harmful for sexual health except that it may interfere with concentration in other activities (like study and work) and sometimes can lead to premature ejaculation.Sometimes people complain about ‘’low sex stamina”. It is a vague term. It should be either of the three like low desire, erectile dysfunction (ED) or ejaculatory problems. Low desire for sex is a condition that needs proper evaluation to diagnose the cause. Remember, ”Viagra” is not the solution for each and every sexual problem. Low desire can be successfully treated if we can address the actual cause of such ‘’low desire”.ED is a common problem faced by many men, with increased incidence at older age. While some ED has psychological causes, majority of this can be due to some serious conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, nerve problems, hormonal problems, drugs and even some problems in penis itself etc. S, if you directly take “Viagra” without proper evaluation, you are actually damaging your health by delaying the diagnosis of heart disease or diabetes. Sometimes, it may be the earliest symptom of heart disease or diabetes. So, never ignore it.Painful erection, especially without sexual stimulation is called ‘Priapism” and thi is a quite serious problem. Not only it is caused by diseases like blood diseases, even cancers etc; it may damage the penis seriously.Any swelling of penis after intercourse should not be ignored, especially if it affects whole of the penis. This is called “Fracture of Penis” that is a medical emergency.Some people are facing problems with early ejaculation that leads to very low sex timing. This premature ejaculation (PE) is easily treatable by some drugs and few tips and exercises but it needs long term treatment. Please do not think that duration of ‘’normal” intercourse would be more than one hour. Anything around 5 minutes are sufficient for satisfaction.Similarly absence of ejaculation or presence of blood in semen or bleeding during intercourse are abnormal and needs medical attention, although these problems are relatively uncommon.4. InfectionInfection in sex organs may have long term consequences like urinary problems, infertility, sexual problems etc and so must not be ignored. All these have been discussed in point number one “”Stay Healthy”)5. Male InfertilityDue to changes in environment, food habits, addiction and pollution- male infertility is increasing. Semen test is integral part of male fertility testing. But remember, one abnormal semen analysis is not m=necessarily meaning that that person cannot father a baby. With advent of various treatment options, we need to know the cause of male infertility. The next plan is to treat the cause. Even if the cause cannot be treated, there is no loss of hope. Some male have normal sperm production in testes but sperms cannot come out in semen due to obstruction in the passage. In that case, collection of semen from testes can make that male father. On the other hand, if sperm is not produced inside the testes, we need to know the cause and then that cause should be corrected6. ContraceptionCondom is a very good method of contraceptive that also provides protection against infection. It prevents transmission of infection and STD (even HIV) from one partner to another. But correct use is very much important to know as often it breaks or slips due to incorrect use.Medical methods of male contraceptives (like pills) are not very much popular, unlike females, due to very few studies and serious side effects (like permanent sterility).Vasectomy is a very effective method of permanent family planning. It does not decrease sexual pleasure and needs very little operative time. It is very easy to do, even without need of hospitalization. But after vasectomy, the couple should use alternative contraceptive for at least 3 months, because immediately after vasectomy, the contraceptive benefits are not obtained.

Oral Health - an Essential Care in Pregnancy

Dr. Nirali Patel, Dentist
Pregnancy is a period of happiness in the life of a woman. Oral health has got great significance during this period. During pregnancy, a woman's oral health can undergo significant changes.Even though most people are aware that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, misunderstanding about safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause pregnant women to avoid visiting their dentist.The fact is that dentist can create a treatment plan that is safe, effective and essential for combating adverse effects of oral disease during pregnancy.COMMON DENTAL CONDITIONS EXPERIENCED DURING PREGNANCYGum Disease ( pregnancy gingivitis)Enamel ErosionTooth DecayDry MouthTooth Mobility DENTAL CARE DURING PREGNANCY Undergo A dental check up once in 6 months.Brush your teeth using a fluoridated tooth paste twice a day. Brush your teeth only half an hour of an episode of vomiting as immediate brushing will remove the enamel has been softened by the gastric acids.Floss your teeth at least once a day.If tooth brushing causes morning sickness, then the oral cavity should be rinsed with water and fluoride/chlorhexidine mouth rinses.Change your tooth brush once in 3 monthsConsume foods high in protein,calcium phosphorus and vitamin A, C and D for the development of strong teeth in your baby.Avoid consuming sweets, pastries, carbonated beverages and junk foods which can lead to cavity.Consume green leafy vegetables and fruits for a healthy baby.Take vitamin supplements, including folic acid to reduce the risk of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate on the advice of your gynecologist.Do not consume alcohol during pregnancy.Do not smoke during pregnancy.Dental care, if required, can be done safely in the second trimester of pregnancy. Avoid dental x-ray during pregnancy. Elective dental treatment should be deferred after pregnancy.Pregnancy is a period where utmost oral care should be given so that the baby develops a healthy body and healthy oral cavity.

Bone Health: Tips to Keep Your Bones Healthy

Dr. Vinay Gupta, Orthopedist
Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. It’s a fact of life: As you age, your bones lose their density & one becomes more prone to injury. While it's important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.Protecting your bone health is easier than you think.1. Eat calcium-rich foodscalcium rich food productsMilk, yogurt, and cheese are rich natural sources of calcium. In addition to dairy product food rich in calcium are dark leafy green vegetables like broccoli& Collard green, fish with bones such as salmon, sardines or whitebait, almonds, fortified tofu and soy milk.2. Take calcium supplementsThe daily allowance for calcium is 1,000 -1200 mg a day during your 20s, 30s, and 40s. But your need rises as you age. Check with your doctor before starting supplements to find out what amount is right for you.One can calculate individual calcium requirement at http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/daily-calcium-chart.aspTable 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Calcium     Age                  Male          Female     Pregnant     Lactating0–6 months*       200 mg          200 mg7–12 months*     260 mg         260 mg1–3 years              700 mg          700 mg4–8 years              1,000 mg      1,000 mg9–13 years            1,300 mg      1,300 mg14–18 years         1,300 mg       1,300 mg19–50 years         1,000 mg       1,000 mg      1,000 mg          1,000 mg51–70 years         1,000 mg       1,200 mg71+ years              1,200 mg       1,200 mg3. Add Vit-D to your dayTo help absorb calcium, most adults need 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Combined calcium-vitamin D pills usually do not meet this requirement. Taking a vitamin D supplement will ensure you meet your daily needs.4. Start weight-bearing exercisesPeople who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts. To boost your bone strength, try an exercise that “loads” or compresses your bones- Running, jogging, high-impact aerobics, repetitive stair climbing, dancing, tennis, and basketball are best for building bones. Be sure to clear any exercise plans with your doctor first.5. Don’t smoke, and don’t drink excessivelyQuit SmokingResearch suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium6. Get your bone mineral density testedDoctors can get a quick and painless “snapshot” of bone health using a simple X-ray test called DXA. This test measures bone mineral density and helps determine risks of osteoporosis and fracture7. Consider medicationPerimenopausal women may consider hormone therapy to increase waning estrogen levels, which are linked to bone loss. And women and men diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis can take various medications to prevent dangerous hip and spine fractures. Talk to your doctor about options such as bisphosphonates or teriparatide

Let's Talk About Men's Health!

Dr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Andrologist
In general, men have poorer health habits, poorer quality of health and shorter life expectancy than women. This may be because they are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviour, and are at times less likely than women to adopt preventive health measures. But men’s health issues don’t affect only men - they have a significant impact on their family and friends, too.The conditions we will talk about can influence everything from sexual and marital relations to quality and length of life. Unfortunately, a lot of these issues - particularly the ones having to do with sex or masculinity - are very hard for men to talk about.TestosteroneTestosterone is the most important hormone for the normal growth and development of male sex and reproductive organs. it’s possible for the development of male characteristics such as body and facial hair, muscle growth and strength, and deep baritone of voice. Normal levels influence sexual function and production of sperm, and promote a healthy sex drive.Men’s testosterone levels naturally decrease as they age. But if the levels drop below the normal range - whether because of age, injury to the testicles, pituitary gland or hypothalamus, or a genetic disorder - some uncomfortable and often distressing symptoms may develop, including:1.     Diminished interest in sex.2.     Regression of secondary sexual characteristics, such as facial hair and deepening of the voice3.     Impotence or Erectile Dysfunction.4.     Depression5.     FatigueAs many as 50 million men are assumed to be suffering from testosterone deficiency, often associated with a condition called hypogonadism, but less than 1% receive treatment in India. Left unchecked for two long, this condition is linked with significant, long term health problems, such as loss of muscle mass and even osteoporosis.Fortunately, though, testosterone deficiency is usually very treatable.Treatment can take the form of testosterone replacement therapy, which helps provide and maintain normal levels of testosterone. Men should ask their doctors whether testosterone replacement therapy is appropriate for them.Hypogonadism is covered in another article written by me.ProstateThe prostate is a walnut sized gland that manufactures fluid for semen. It’s located just in front of the rectum, an area of the body that men are often embarrassed to talk about.Prostatitis is a significant health concern for men. While the cause of prostatitis are not well understood, it is believed that the condition might be caused by a bacterial infection or a inflammatory autoimmune response similar to that seen with allergies and asthma. Symptoms may include a discharge, discomfort, pain in the prostate or testicles, or frequent urination. A urologist should be consulted for proper treatment.The prostate naturally enlarges as men age. Early affects of this growth ( called BPH for benign prostatic hypertrophy) include painful urination or difficulty starting or stopping the stream of urine. Left untreated, BPH can lead to more serious problems, such as urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney damage, kidney stones or incontinence.Prostate CancerIt is the one of the most common cancer in men. Every year, over 200,000 men are diagnosed with this disease, and approximately 30,000 die. But if caught early, through either a digital rectal examination (DRE) or a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, this disease is often treatable. In the early stages, prostate cancer causes no symptoms. However, as the disease develops, so do the red flags. Men should notify a doctor immediately if they notice any of the following1.     Hip or back pain.2.     Difficulty urinating.3.     Painful or burning urination.4.     Blood in the urine.A man may consider a baseline prostate specific antigen after knowing and understanding the natural history of the disease, complications of treatment and life expectancy. The baseline test can be done at an age of 40 years, though, recommendations vary. Asian population at large is known to have less incidence of prostate cancer as compared to our western counterparts. (Who is fit for Prostate Cancer Screening, would be covered in different article) TreatmentOptions for Cancer Prostate include surgical removal of Prostate, radiation, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and cryosurgery. Men with localised, low risk prostate cancer might choose active surveillance, closely monitoring the cancer to see if it progresses or becomes aggressive, to determine if treatment is needed. Options and possible side effects of treatment should be discussed with a urologist.Prostate cancer - Misconceptions Part 1 has been covered in another article.Testicular CancerCancer of the testicles is the most common cancer in the ages 15 to 35. Although it can’t be prevented, it has a high cure rate if detected early. Early detection is the key to success.Symptoms include:1.     Lumps / enlargement of testis.2.     A feeling of pulling or unusual weight in the scrotum.3.     Pain / discomfort in the testis or scrotum4.     Dull ache in the lower abdomen5.     Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts..The best way to spot testicular cancer is by doing a self examination. Unfortunately, too few boys and young men know that they should examine their testicles monthly, even fewer know how to do these exams, and too many feel uncomfortable touching themselves “down there”. So ask your loved one whether he knows how to do a testicular exam. If he doesn’t, encourage him to talk to his doctor about the proper way to do one. We will be also covering this topic in further articles.Testicular Self Examination has been covered in another article.ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION / IMPOTENCEIt is the inability of a man to get or to maintain an erection sufficient for his sexual needs or the needs of his partner. ED is incredibly common - most men have it briefly at some point in their lives. But for a many as 50 - 60 million men in India, ED is a chronic condition.Although ED becomes more common with age, men of any age can suffer with it. Sadly, they generally refuse to discuss  it with either their partner or their doctors. As a result, men feel embarrassed and women in their life often feel that the man in their life doesn’t find them attractive. So if you want to make love and your husband says he has a headache, pay attention; it might be something far more serious.Although 70% of the time, ED is caused by an underlying health problem, most often diabetes (as many as half of all men with diabetes suffer from ED). ED may also be caused by kidney disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and drug or alcohol abuse or hypogonadism. The remaining 30% of the cases are cause by stress, anxiety, depression, or sometimes the medications used to treat these conditions.In most cases whether ED is caused by a physical or physiological problem, it’s treatable, which means it does not have to be natural or inevitable part of growing older. Treatments include drug therapy, penile implants, vacuum devices that manually create an erection, injections, or other alternatives. Your loved one should talk to his doctor to determine the cause and the most appropriate treatment.Erectile Dysfunction has been covered in detail in another article.

Health Is Freedom!

Mrs. Anju Chandna, Yoga and Naturopathy
The Buddhist philosophy proclaims the four Noble Truths of life. The essence of this philosophy is that all existence is suffering. The human body has to go through the relentless cycle of pain from the moment we are born, through childhood, adolescence, youth and finally old age.Lord Buddha renounced the world to get salvation. Salvation from suffering and pain but can we as ordinary mortals do that? Do we really want to renounce the world? For me the answer is a definite NO. I want to live a happy life, live every moment of it big and small, see the world, see my children grow and become responsible adults one day and say at the end of it all that I lived my life. To the fullest. Don’t all of us want that? Well most of us do!To be able to do all this, one thing is imperative. That is to have a healthy body that can sustain you through the ups and downs of life, see you through pleasure and pain and is fit enough to be your partner for life. Sounds funny? Your own body is your partner for life? Yes it is.Let us look at our body like a house where you live in. Along with you, therein lives your mind, your soul, your dreams, your ambitions, your heart, love and all the things that make you what you truly are.....a person with a name.This house called ‘body’ is a person’s greatest asset. Come to think of it, we all love our material possessions so dearly. We attach so much importance to our house, cars, clothes, valuables, jobs, friends...and yet neglect the most prized possession of all...our body.It is an asset that is given to us totally free of cost but is really high on maintenance. Maintenance of this asset requires loads of discipline, tons of self control and a truck load of positive attitude. It is a machine that can work for you as long as you want it to and the more you make it work the longer it sustains, the more you push it, punish it the stronger it gets. It also depreciates the fastest if neglected. The price one pays for neglect of this valuable asset can be heavy. It comes in the form of disease, pain and suffering.The human body is a marvel of nature. It is a perfect specimen of all the sciences and philosophies of the world put together. So keep your body fit and fine.Make fitness a habit, not an option. A necessity not a compulsion. Remember the real joy of life is in living freely and health is freedom! Freedom from pain and suffering, that is what salvation is all about!

Plastic - Is It Good or Bad for Human Health?

Ms. Silky Mahajan, Dietitian/Nutritionist
As you are reading this article, you may find several plastic items within your reach, your computer or phone, a pen, maybe an old food container in your kitchen. Today, plastic is everywhere in our lives. It has become an icon of convenience culture.IS IT REALLY SAFE? Before we take a call whether plastic we are using is safe or not, it is important to understand different type of plastics. Society of plastic industry has grouped plastics into 7 different categories & separate code called “SPI” is given to each plastic, which is marked in triangle symbol at the bottom of each plastic bottle.SPI Code #1:Plastic marked with an SPI code of 1 is made with polyethylene terephthalate, which is also known as PETE or PET. PETE-based containers sometimes absorb odours and flavors from foods and drinks that are stored inside of them. Items made from this plastic are commonly recycled.Common Use:Beverage bottles, medicine jars, peanut butter jars, combs, beanbags, and rope.Recycled PETE is used to make tote bags, carpet, fiber fill material in winter clothing, and more.Impression: Okay to use. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.__________________________________________________________________________________________ SPI Code #2:The SPI code of 2 identifies plastic made with high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. HDPE products are very safe and are not known to leach any chemicals into foods or drinks. (However, due to the risk of contamination from previously held substances, please note: it is NEVER safe to reuse an HDPE bottle as a food or drink container if it didn’t originally contain food or drink!) HDPE products are commonly recycled.Common Use:Items made from this plastic include containers for milk, motor oil, shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, and bleaches. Many personalized toys are made from this plastic as well.Recycled HDPE is used to make plastic crates, plastic lumber, fencing, and more.Impression: Good to use. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.__________________________________________________________________________________________SPI Code #3:Plastic labeled with an SPI code of 3 is made with polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. PVC is not often recycled and can be harmful if ingested.Common Use:PVC is used for all kinds of pipes and tiles, but it's most commonly found in plumbing pipes. This kind of plastic should not come in contact with food items.Recycled PVC is used to make flooring, mobile home skirting, and other industrial-grade items.Impression: Avoid using it as it contains plasticisers such as DEHA or phthalates that can leach into food.__________________________________________________________________________________________SPI Code #4:Plastic marked with an SPI code of 4 is made with low-density polyethylene, or LDPE. LDPE is not commonly recycled, but it is recyclable in certain areas. It tends to be both durable and flexible. It also is not known to release harmful chemicals into objects in contact with it, making it a safe choice for food storage.Common Use:Plastic cling wrap, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, and plastic grocery bags all are made from LDPE.Recycled LDPE is used to make garbage cans, lumber, furniture, and many other products seen in and around the house.Impression: OK to use. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones, but not as widely recycled as #1 or #2.__________________________________________________________________________________________SPI Code #5:Consumers will find the SPI code of 5 on plastic items made with polypropylene, or PP. PP can be recycled but is not accepted for recycling as commonly as PETE or HDPE. This type of plastic is strong and can usually withstand higher temperatures.Common Use:Among many other products, it is used to make plastic diapers, Tupperware, margarine containers, yogurt boxes, syrup bottles, prescription bottles, and some stadium cups. Plastic bottle caps often are made from PP as well.Recycled PP is used to make ice scrapers, rakes, battery cables, and similar items that need to be durable.Impression: Ok to use. Hazardous during production, but not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. Not as widely recycled as #1 and #2.__________________________________________________________________________________________SPI Code #6:Plastic marked with an SPI code of 6 is made with polystyrene, also known as PS and most commonly known as Styrofoam. PS can be recycled, but not efficiently; recycling it takes a lot of energy, which means that few places accept it.Common Use:Disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, packing foam, and packing peanuts are made from PS.Recycled PS is used to make many different kinds of products, including insulation, license plate frames, and rulers.Impression: Avoid using it as researchers have investigated possible health risks from traces of styrene monomer. This risk seems to be low.__________________________________________________________________________________________SPI Code #7:The SPI code of 7 is used to designate miscellaneous types of plastic that are not defined by the other six codes. Bisphenol A (BPA), Polycarbonate and polylactide are included in this category. These types of plastics are difficult to recycle.Common Use:Polycarbonate, or PC, is used in baby bottles, large water bottles (multiple-gallon capacity), compact discs, and medical storage containers.Recycled plastics in this category are used to make plastic lumber, among other products.Impression: Totally avoid using it as it Polycarbonate can release BPA into food, especially when bottles are washed for reuse. Can leach into food as product ages.__________________________________________________________________________________________Final Conclusion:AVOID RECYCLING SYMBOLS 3, 6, AND 7. WHILE NUMBER 1 IS CONSIDERED SAFE, IT IS ALSO BEST TO AVOID THIS PLASTIC. LOOK FOR SYMBOLS 2, 4, AND 5, AS THESE PLASTICS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE SAFEST.Click here to read interesting FAQs which we *should* be aware while using plastics.

6 EASY Tips for Good Dental Health

Dr. Jitendra Khanna, Dentist
We all know that we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day, floss in between and visit our dentists for check up’s every 3 to 6 months. However, often times we take our dental health for granted and do not take care of our mouth’s the way they should be. Below are some great tips on what you could do to keep your mouth even healthier and stronger for years to come.Waterpicks:Waterjets, waterpicks or oral irrigators, can be used in addition to flossing. These devices deliver pressurized streams of water in areas that brushing and flossing cannot reach alone. Using a waterpick in addition to daily brushing and flossing can greatly reduce chances of cavities and gingivitis.Brushing:Although this seems very obvious, many people do not understand the importance of brushing teeth. It is vital to your dental health to thoroughly brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially after meals). Brushing is essential to removing bacteria and plaque that accumulate in our mouths. It is recommended to acquire a small headed brush that has soft bristles.brushing should be done twice daily but if you are not able to do it twice do not skip night time brushing as whole day whatever you are eating that keeps clinging to teeth all through the night, at night when we sleep the salivary flow is also low so the risk of aquiring DENTAL CARIES is maximum at that time so if you are not brushing at night ATLEAST USE MOUTHWASH..Mouthwash:Mouthwashes have antibacterial and anti-fungal effects and can help kill bad breath and keep our mouths squeaky clean.Flossing:Dental flossing is very important to reach areas in our mouths that brushing alone cannot get to. Flossing can help to remove the buildup of plaque in between our teeth and prevent cavities and other dental issues from forming.Avoid Dry Mouth:Saliva serves as a vital role in preserving dental health; it protects teeth against periodontal disease and tooth decay. Having a saliva deficiency can reduce oral immunity and cause many dental problems. If you are suffering from a dry mouth, it is best to consult with your dentist for options as to what you can do to fix it! there are few mouth rinses available in market which keep the mouth moist.White teeth:Not only does having whiter teeth usually mean you have a strong and healthy mouth, but it also can make us that much more confident when smiling and showing off our teeth. Avoid smoking, red wine and other tannin containing drinks and be sure to brush often.Eat Crunchy Foods:Eating crunchy or “detergent” foods can help to keep our mouths strong and healthy as well as cleaning teeth while they are being eaten. Think carrots, apples, and celery.

Myths and Facts About Dental Health

Dr. Vijita Mehta, Dentist
Myth: It’s none of the dentist’s concern whether a woman is pregnant.Fact: It’s important for your dentist and hygienist to know that you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. You may be at risk for certain dental conditions, and your pregnancy may limit the treatment options available.Myth: Being pregnant doesn’t affect your mouth.Fact: Pregnant women are at greater risk for certain oral health conditions. These conditions include gum disease, also known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” and growths within the mouth, called “pregnancy tumours.” Both conditions are treatable, so make sure to visit your dentist.Myth: Your oral health doesn’t affect your baby.Fact: If you have moderate to severe gum disease, you may be at higher risk for delivering a per-term, low-birth weight baby.Myth: Pregnant women should avoid dental work.Fact: Everyone — and especially pregnant women — should visit the dentist. If you’re pregnant, you face a higher risk for gum disease, so make sure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings, exams and any other treatment needed.What about anesthesia?You should avoid procedure in which anesthesia is needed. If you need treatment requiring anesthesia, your dentist may recommend postponing the procedure until the second trimester.Myth: Never get a dental x-ray while pregnant.Fact: Dental x-rays are now considered safe during pregnancy. X-rays can be essential in detecting serious problems, such as hidden decay, bone loss and inflamed tooth pulp.Dentist can easily evalute whether there is need of X ray or not.Myth: Morning sickness is unpleasant but harmless for teeth.Fact: Repeated vomiting can cause serious damage to your teeth. Exposure to stomach  acid dissolves tooth enamel, weakening your teeth’s. If you suffer from morning sickness, talk to your dentist about ways to reduce the harm, such as using a mouth guard or rinsing with baking soda.