Alongside Health Canada, the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry dedicates the month of April to oral health awareness. Oral health problems are painful and costly, affecting millions of people each year.

April is National Oral Health Month

Alongside Health Canada, the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry dedicates the month of April to oral health awareness. Oral health problems are painful and costly, affecting millions of people each year. What many fail to realize is that poor oral health can lead to many seemingly unrelated medical conditions. In fact, oral bacteria and oral disease have been linked to a variety of serious illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications.

Keep your oral health in good shape by practising the following:

  • Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Take care of your teeth and gums. Thoroughly brushing and flossing can reduce dental plaque and prevent gingivitis.
  • Avoid tobacco. In addition to the many other health risks posed by tobacco, smokers have four times the risk of developing gum disease as non-smokers. Tobacco use in any form—cigarette, pipe or smokeless spit tobacco—increases the risk for gum disease, oral and throat cancers, and an oral fungal yeast infection called candidiasis.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Heavy use of alcohol is a risk factor for oral and throat cancers. When used alone, alcohol and tobacco are both risk factors for oral cancers, but the effects are even greater when used together.
  • Eat wisely. Adults should avoid snacks with sugars and starches. Limit the number of snacks eaten throughout the day.

Above all, you should visit the dentist regularly. Check-ups can detect early signs of oral health problems, helping you address concerns as they arise.



Walking Your Way to Better Health

If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to stay healthy, you need nothing more than your own two feet. Walking is an ideal form of exercise—it’s free, and you can do it almost anytime and anywhere. Walking is also a great way to maintain a healthy weight.

Experts advise beginners to start with a 15- or 30-minute walk daily, adding five or 10 minutes to the walking session a few times per week. More specifically:

  • To maintain your health, walk 30 minutes a day most days of the week at a “talking” pace, which means you are able to carry on a conversation comfortably while walking.
  • If you are walking for weight loss, walk 45 to 60 minutes a day at a medium to fast pace. In addition, do not skip more than two days per week.
  • For aerobic and cardiovascular fitness, walk 20 minutes at a very fast pace (you should be breathing hard), three to four days a week.

After walking, gentle stretching can help keep your muscles from being sore. It is also wise to warm up before walking fast or going a long distance.

Once you get started, you will want to stay motivated. Consider finding a walking friend, joining a walking club or registering for a challenging walking event. Remember that you will not notice immediate physical changes to your body, but by adding walking and a healthy diet to your daily routine, it won’t be long before you look and feel better.

Before beginning any walking program, consider discussing your exercise plans with your doctor, particularly if you have health issues such as diabetes.


Recipe of the Month – Pasta Primavera Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole-grain pasta
  • 1 package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 package dry vegetable soup mix
  • 1 cup low-fat salad dressing (unsalted)
  • ½ cup reduced-fat cheese (shredded)
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs (sliced)

PREPARATIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking and prevent sticking. Drain.
  2. Cook vegetables until just tender. Drain and cool.
  3. Combine cold pasta, vegetables, envelope of soup mix and salad dressing.
  4. Top with sliced eggs and cheese.
  5. Refrigerate until time to serve.

Makes: 6 servings

Source: Government of Canada


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