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How Masks Can Help You Protect Yourself from COVID-19

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The global pandemic brought about significant changes in how people should live their daily lives. Since the virus that brought about COVID-19 is fairly new, and there is no vaccine or medications to combat it yet, it is up to the people to exert an extra effort to ensure that they are safe and protected from the virus. One of these is by wearing a face mask.

But How Can Wearing a Mask Protect You from COVID-19?

Technically, you are not protecting yourself by wearing a mask, rather, you are protecting the other people around you when you do.

Thus, to protect yourself, other people should wear masks too. This is how people, as a community, will be able to work together in protecting each other and mitigating contagion.

But How Do Masks Work?

Since the virus can be contracted through the aerosol droplets that you excrete when you sneeze, or even when you simply talk to others, wearing a mask can help prevent the person you are talking to, or the other persons around you, from acquiring the aerosol droplets you excrete. This proves to be beneficial, particularly when you are unaware that you are carrying the virus because you are asymptomatic. In this case, there is a reduced chance that you will be able to pass it on to others. For this reason, you should wear masks, particularly when you need to go out and do your errands and buy your basic needs. For this, you can shop for KN95 online where you will find high-quality ones at a reasonable price. KN95 is a type of mask that has a high filtration rate, much like the medically approved N95 mask possesses.

Still, there is the option for you to wear cloth masks, but this won’t be able to offer high filtration. Nevertheless, cloth masks prove to be sufficient if you are going out, but not going to an area with lots of people. The key is in not touching your face frequently even if you are already wearing a mask. This is because you may have held onto something that is already contaminated with the virus.

Other Mitigation Measures

Aside from wearing face masks, there is also the option for you to wear a face shield as a piece of additional protective equipment that will ensure that you don’t acquire the droplets of other people from their saliva when they sneeze. Of course, proper hand hygiene is mandatory, which is why you need to wash your hands with soap and water properly for at least 20 seconds. Otherwise, make sure that you carry a hand sanitizer with you at all times.

In conclusion, wear your mask to protect others because by wearing their masks, other people also protect you. This is how people can work together as a community to protect each other. Aside from personal protective equipment, keep in mind that hand hygiene is also important such that you need to wash hands as frequently as you can, or keep a sanitizer within your reach.

 

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Health

How Do Braces Prevent Cavities?

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Braces have been a staple of aesthetics and health for the better part of five decades now. It’s the premier means of getting those pearly whites lined up. Some of us got them when we were kids, some of us adults, and a lot of us are still considering them. Whatever your reasons for putting off braces may be, know that they are of great benefit across the board. They’re even more helpful than we think. There’s a whole host of things that braces can do aside from straightening teeth. Did you know that braces have been associated with a decrease in cavities? Seems a bit out there, huh? 

Well, like many medical mechanisms, some phenomenons seem like they shouldn’t make sense. But ultimately, pathophysiology and treatments have a wide range of twists, turns, and effects. Here’s how braces prevent cavities, as well as do a few other things you might not have expected. 

How Cavities Start 

Cavities are, essentially, holes in your teeth. That’s why they can be painful. At the center of a tooth is a set of nerves. The deeper the hole, the more exposed it is. These areas of dissolved enamel can even harbor the very bacteria that caused it. Bacteria?! Yes, bacteria. It’s those little microscopic bugs that do the damage. According to Phoenix orthodontist and award-winning researcher Dr. Courtney Dunn, cavities come from bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans that group together and create what we call “biofilms”. 

They also happen to secrete a lot of lactic acid as a byproduct of sugar metabolism. So if you’re got an entire film full of acid-producing bacteria on a surface that can potentially be corroded by acid, you’re bound to see some damage. This is one of the reasons why doctors recommend that you limit simple sugars in your diet. The combination of that and not brushing your teeth is a sure-fire way to get cavities. Fortunately for us, we have an inexpensive, practical, and easy set of solutions: brush, floss, rinse. 

Misaligned Teeth and Excessive Cavities 

If you have a poor bite or overcrowding of teeth, there are angles and areas that one might not be able to get to while brushing. When we brush, we tend to focus on the superficial area. We tend to brush the outside. That’s only half the surface area of your teeth. This is exacerbated by the malocclusion of teeth. As we mentioned in the previous section, cavities are caused by S. mutans biofilms that secrete lactic acid. 

If you only brush one side, the superficial side, you’ve got a whole colony that can grow from the back to the front while still spewing out corrosive material. Even if you do a fairly thorough job of brushing your teeth, having a “poor bite” makes it near impossible to get the totality of your teeth’s surface area. 

Braces: A Surprising Solution 

This is where braces come in. If you get yourself a brand-spanking-new set of braces, you’re on the road to having the smile of your dreams. More than that, you’ll be aligning your teeth in a manner that is conducive to manual brushing. We all need to get our biannual oral checkup, sure. But a big chunk of health and hygiene is up to us. Doctors are there in case something goes wrong and/or support our healthy habits. Braces give us the ability to cover more surface area with our bushing, knocking out those pesky bacterial films and preventing cavities. 

Other Supporting Advantages To Braces 

Aside from preventing cavities, getting braces can do wonders for your bite. A misaligned bite can screw up the even distribution of force when chewing, biting, and clenching, putting uneven stress on different teeth and areas of your jaw. Because of this, those stressed teeth can be more susceptible to chipping and breaking over long periods. On an interesting note, teeth are vascular structures. Having teeth crowded in some areas and less in others can create an uneven distribution of blood and nutrients to the area. Because of this, the gum itself can start to erode. 

That erosion makes it less likely for one to be able to sustain various implanted structures in the event they want to do so. Braces, because of its ability to align and fill gaps, keeps an even and well-spaced set of structures to keep vascular. 

 

There isn’t much of a downside to getting braces. There are so many advancements and styles in this day and age. They’re not your braces from 80’s movies. So if you’re due for a set, what are you waiting for? More cavities? Receding gums? Call your orthodontist and schedule an appointment today.

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Is Spray Foam Insulation Worth The Money?

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Bad insulation is one of the most common issues homeowners face. While it might not seem like a big deal to some, bad insulation leads to structural issues, entails higher utility bills, and renders most HVAC units ineffective. This is why there are different insulation options customers can choose from. Spray foam insulation, in particular, is favored by many homeowners thanks to its effectiveness. However, it remains one of the most expensive insulation options on the market. So, is spray foam insulation worth the money? Read on to get the answer.

Pros

Let’s start with the positives of spray foam insulation. When homeowners hear about the cost of spray foam insulation, they usually think it is a bit high, especially when compared to other options like fiberglass. Nonetheless, you need to understand that the benefits of spray foam greatly offset its costs. Here are some of the benefits of going for spray foam insulation.

It Works Great

Because you need to invest in the best insulation option for your house, there is no better way of doing so than opting for spray foam. What sets spray foam apart from other options is that it provides an unmatched airtight level of insulation. Since spray foam expands after it sets, it fills any holes or gaps. It can also expand to reach the tightest corners and seal them effectively. Thus, spray foam is considered the most effective insulation option on the market.

It Helps You Save Money

Given it is high installation costs, spray foam insulation might seem the least likely option to save you a pretty penny. However, it can help you cut costs on energy consumption down the road. Since the insulation it provides is airtight, you will find that you are getting lower utility bills. Great insulation means that your house remains cool in summer and warm in winter, eliminating the excessive use of HVAC units and fans. Also, it does not hurt that lowering your energy consumption leads to less pollution—just something to mull over.

It Maintains Your Home’s Structural Integrity

More often than not, poor insulation entails bacteria and water leakages that encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Indubitably, mold, and mildew are every homeowner’s greatest enemy, as they negatively impact the structural integrity of any building. Additionally, they attract moths and other pests that can infest your home—a frightening idea indeed! Nevertheless, by eliminating water leakages and bacteria, you can get rid of mold. When it comes to preventing mold and mildew from growing, you will probably not find a more effective solution than spray foam insulation due to its water-resistant feature.  

Cons

It’s Expensive

Unfortunately, we cannot ignore the high costs of installing spray foam insulation. When compared to other insulation solutions, the cost of spray foam is downright astronomical. Generally, it can amount up to $6 for every square foot. On the other hand, a square foot of fiberglass costs only $0.40. Despite its amazing benefits, spray foam insulation remains unaffordable for many homeowners.

It Doesn’t Last Forever

Given the money you will be willing to put up to install spray foam insulation, you should at least expect it to be a one-time purchase. Sadly, this is not how spray foam works. If you live in an area that experiences wacky weather, then the layer of spray foam itself might shrink, compromising its effectiveness. To solve this problem, you will need either to give your house a new coat of spray foam or just completely remove the old layer and start anew. Both options do not sound enticing, especially when calculating the overall cost of the installation.

It Can Be Installed Only by a Professional

If you are someone who likes to get creative and DIY their house renovation projects, then you are in for a big disappointment. Spray foam insulation cannot be installed by a non-expert due to the safety hazards the process involves. Professional installers usually wear protective gear to protect themselves from the chemicals in the spray foam. Furthermore, the process itself needs some experience to go without a hitch, as you might overlook some gaps and end up with a botchy installation.

After considering the pros and cons of spray foam insulation, you need to come to your conclusion on whether it is the best option for you. With that being said, we recommend that you at least give it a try since its pros outweigh its cons. By installing spray foam insulation, you can rest assured that your home is highly protected and also enjoy giving your HVAC a break. If you are willing to cover the costs of both the installation and the spray foam itself, there is a lot to gain from opting for this option!

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The 6 Most Important Types of Doctors

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Doctors and medical professionals are important in restoring your body’s health. They are equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to properly diagnose the cause of your health problems and provide the proper treatment. Oftentimes, the first medical professional you see when you experience any health issue is a general practitioner, which is your family physician.

However, not all doctors are the same as most of them are trained in a specific area of medicine to be able to address more complex health problems that general practitioners may not be able to do. In this case, your family physician may refer you to a specialist as necessary. This is where doctors with expertise in certain fields of medicine come in and below are some of the most important types of doctors that you should know about.

1. Internists

Internists are physicians specializing in internal medicine. More often than not, they are able to shed light and diagnose some of the most puzzling medical problems, as well as those related to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases which are common in adults. It is best to see an internist if you are suffering from a number of health problems that may require more than one medication.

2. Surgeons

A surgeon is a doctor who diagnoses a patient, treats his conditions by performing surgery, and cares for the patient after the operation. Before they operate on you, they are most likely to check on your heart and lung condition, as well as any bleeding disorders and your previous surgical history. The surgery can be invasive, minimally invasive, or a non-invasive method. There are surgeons who practice general surgery, and there are also those who opt to specialize in a particular area like neurological surgery, thoracic surgery, or vascular surgery to name a few. They often work hand in hand with anesthesiologists who administer anesthetics and sedation during surgical procedures.

3. Oncologists

Oncologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating people suffering from cancer. Different oncologists treat cancer in various ways. For instance, there are medical oncologists who treat cancer using chemotherapy, while there are also radiation oncologists who use high-energy photon beams to target and destroy cancer cells. There are medical experts in each type of cancer, but it can prove to be difficult to locate them, particularly those who are knowledgeable about rare cancer conditions. Fortunately, there are online platforms that will be able to connect you with an oncologist who will be able to offer advice for your specific condition.

4. Obstetricians and Gynecologists

A medical professional who specializes in the female reproductive system is referred to as a gynecologist. When they also have the proper training in obstetrics or the field of medicine dealing with child conception and birth, then they are referred to as an obstetrician-gynecologist or OB-GYN. They can perform surgery such as delivering a baby through a cesarean section or remove ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. They also perform routine procedures such as pap smears or fertility treatments.

5. Pediatricians

A pediatrician is a health professional who specializes in the treatment of the ailments of babies, children, and adolescents, which encompasses their physical, behavior, and mental health issues. While they practice preventive medicine, they also diagnose common childhood diseases, such as asthma or allergies to name a few. There are pediatricians who have specializations in the field of cardiology, hematology, infectious diseases, pulmonology, as well as emergency medicine among others. In looking for a pediatrician, parents and guardians often consider their office hours, the hospital they are affiliated with, as well as how they will be able to reach the doctor in case of emergency in the wee hours.

6. Psychiatrists

Not many people are open to seeing a psychiatrist who is a medical professional specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Not to be confused with psychologists who treat the emotional and mental suffering of their patients through behavioral intervention, psychiatrists are trained medical doctors who can prescribe medications. When you are suffering from severe symptoms of anxiety, such as losing your appetite, having a hard time sleeping, or finding it extremely difficult to function, then it is best to consult with a psychiatrist.

Internists and surgeons, as well as oncologists, are only some of the most important types of doctors in the medical field. Obstetricians and gynecologists, as well as pediatricians and psychiatrists also prove to be invaluable experts. But regardless of their specialization or expertise in the field of medicine, a doctor’s ultimate objective, in the end, is to be able to help their patients heal and restore their body’s full health.

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