Dentist dispels common MYTHS that may be putting you off going fora check-up

One of the most common reasons people fear the dentist is from horror stories that have spread through the gripe vine.

Dentist Dr Safa Al-Naher, who works at The Care Dental Practice and Care Dental Platinum in Hammersmith, West London, which specialises in the treatment of nervous patients, has debunked several myths that may be putting you off booking a check-up. 

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Dr Safa, who provides treatments as well as facial aesthetics to those who normally struggle with fear, has explained why going to the dentist shouldn’t be ‘scary’ – adding that the professionals are not ‘money grabbers’ – despite what people may think. 

The expert has also offered her top tips to overcome fears of going to the dentist – including seeing a therapist to help you talk through your phobias or trying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Dentist Dr Safa Al-Naher, who works at The Care Dental Practice and Care Dental Platinum in Hammersmith, West London, has debunked common misconceptions about dentists and treatment. Pictured, stock image

Dentist Dr Safa Al-Naher, who works at The Care Dental Practice and Care Dental Platinum in Hammersmith, West London, has debunked common misconceptions about dentists and treatment. Pictured, stock image

1. GOING TO THE DENTIST IS SCARY

This is a completely understandable fear that many people have, and most of the time dental anxiety and phobias are a result of a particularly bad past experience. 

Dentists know this and are highly trained in the psychology of dental phobias, how to spot them, and how to manage them. 

Dentists receive experience in sedation and the management of nervous patients during their university training. 

No two dental phobias are the same, and they range in severity, triggers and experiences. 

Most people are afraid of pain, but other reasons for being afraid of the dentist include the feeling of loss of control, the fear of being told off and the various sounds and smells inside a dental practice. 

Making an appointment and turning up is often the first step and usually an in-depth discussion takes place about what your problems are, what you would like to achieve and whether they are able to help you or need to refer you to someone who can.  

2. PATIENT CAN’T GET OVER BAD EXPERIENCE THEY HAD AS A CHILD 

This is the most common cause of dental phobias that we treat. As a child you don’t understand strange situations and cannot rationalise that sometimes it is necessary to experience pain for the greater good, so you develop an irrational fear of certain aspects of visiting the dentist. 

There are many ways this can be addressed. The simplest way is by many small visits and discussions about your fears, and slowly becoming more familiar and comfortable with the dental environment and treatment. 

Dr Safa Al-Naher (pictured), is a Dentist and Facial Aesthetics Practitioner and Trainer, and is Clinical Lead at her family-run dental clinics - The Care Dental Practice and Care Dental Platinum in Hammersmith, West London

Dr Safa Al-Naher (pictured), is a Dentist and Facial Aesthetics Practitioner and Trainer, and is Clinical Lead at her family-run dental clinics – The Care Dental Practice and Care Dental Platinum in Hammersmith, West London

This is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and hypnosis with a registered Hypnotherapist can also help. 

You can have dental sedation with ‘happy air’ or nitrous oxide sedation,

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First Response Pregnancy Test Survey Reveals Women Are Putting Off Having Children Due to Increased Uncertainty During COVID-19

OB/GYN Mary Jane Minkin, M.D. offers advice to address pregnancy anxieties

According to a new First Response survey about the current family planning goals of 3,000 US women aged 18-35, nearly 20% say they’re uncertain of their trying to conceive (TTC) plans while 38% are intentionally putting off conceiving during the pandemic due to anxiety and stress. Mary Jane Minkin, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yale Medical School tells women to follow simple safety measures when considering getting pregnant during this unprecedented time.

“Women are understandably facing a lot of anxiety when considering their family planning journey and many are waiting for a vaccine before starting or growing their family,” says Minkin. “However, if the time is right to have a baby, go ahead and book an appointment with a medical provider, take extra precautions, utilize telehealth appointments, and implement precautions based on the advice from healthcare providers.”

Dr. Minkin offers the following advice to address pregnancy related anxieties:

  1. Book a preconception appointment. OB-GYN’s, doctors, and nurse practitioners are available via phone and in person to answer all questions and health concerns. If you need help finding a healthcare provider, contact your nearest hospital clinic, community health center external icon, or health department. Medical visits can also be handled virtually by scheduling a telehealth appointment, which can be helpful to address any questions you may have.

  2. When unsure, take a pregnancy test. Stress and anxiety can trigger symptoms that mimic those of pregnancy, like morning sickness, food cravings, mood swings, and fatigue – so the best way to know if pregnant is to use a reliable pregnancy test like First Response Early Result so you don’t need to leave the house until COVID-19 settles down. A test can be revealing up to six days before a missed period. Be sure to call your doctor right away if the test is positive to put a proper plan of action in place.

  3. Be wary of listening to friends or relying on Dr. Google. While the experiences of others or the internet can hold insights, when it comes to making important personal health decisions make sure to consult a medical professional to confirm whether what you’ve been told or read is really true. Other reliable online sources include ACOG.org, CDC.gov, and WHO.int.

  4. Stay current on all vaccines. Pregnancy can alter the immune system and lead to an increased risk of respiratory infections. A flu shot can help mom and baby by causing the body to create protective antibodies (proteins produced by the body to fight off diseases.) The whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine will help protect your baby against whooping cough, which can mimic symptoms of COVID-19.

  5. Maintain overall health. Make sure to have at least a 30-day supply of the medicines you need on hand, stop smoking, eat healthy foods and supplement with folic acid. Try an easy to take pre-natal vitamin like the vitafusion gummy vitamin. It is also important to avoid alcohol and limit caffeine intake

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As the holidays near, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, putting families in a quandary

“Covid doesn’t care that it’s a holiday, and unfortunately covid is on the rise across the nation,” she said. “Now is not the time to let our guard down and say it’s the holiday and let’s be merry. I think we need to maintain our vigilance here.”

The coronavirus pandemic numbers have been going the wrong direction for more than a month, topping 80,000 newly confirmed infections daily across the country, with hospitalizations rising in more than three dozen states and deaths creeping upward. Now, the United States is barreling toward another inflection point: a holiday season dictated by the calendar and demanded by tradition.

The anticipated surge in interstate travel, family gatherings and indoor socializing is expected to facilitate the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This isn’t like the run-up to Memorial Day or Independence Day: Barbecues outdoors, or pool parties, aren’t on the itinerary of many people.

The fall and winter holidays are homey by nature. Respiratory viruses thrive in dry, warm indoor conditions in which people crowd together. The statistical peak of flu season typically comes close on the heels of Christmas and New Year’s. Colder weather is already driving people indoors.

The government’s top doctors have said they believe the recent national spike in infections has largely been driven by household transmission. Superspreader events have gotten a lot of attention, but it’s the prosaic meals with family and friends that are driving up caseloads.

This trend presents people with difficult individual choices — and those choices carry societal consequences. Epidemiologists look at the broad effect of a contagion, not simply the effects on individuals. Thanksgiving, for example, is an extremely busy travel period in America. The coronavirus exploits travelers to spread in places where it has been sparse or absent.

“I am nervous about Thanksgiving,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California at Irvine. “I’m nervous because I know what happens when you multiply the risks by millions of households.”

The scientists are not telling people to cancel their holiday plans, necessarily. But they are urging people to think of alternative ways to celebrate. They do not say it explicitly, but they are encouraging a kind of rationing of togetherness.

“This is not the cold. This is not the flu. This is much worse. People are dying. Our well-being as a country depends on us getting this thing under control,” Alexander said.

Public-health officials doubt an elegant way exists to finesse the 2020 pandemic-shrouded holidays with minimal disruption — for example, by working through a checklist of best practices that include timely testing, scrupulous social distancing and disciplined mask-wearing. Instead, people will need to make serious adjustments as they calculate the risks and rewards of holiday gatherings.

“There’s no easy answer here, just like with everything else. It’s not about safe or unsafe. It’s about figuring out how to balance various risks and keeping risks as low as possible,” Harvard epidemiologist Julia Marcus said.

“This is not a

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Medicine Hat Musical Theatre putting on radio play version of It’s a Wonderful Life

Medicine Hat Musical Theatre is putting on a Christmas classic this Holiday Season.

The group is now rehearsing for winter showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and ticket sales will begin at the beginning of next month.

“We’re really looking forward to putting on this live radio play,” said MHMT’s Lyn Weisgerber. “We’ve had plans but we’ve had to push them back for musicals, so we’re really hoping we get the chance to go through with this radio play.”

Weisgerber says the radio play is an adaptation of a popular Holiday film.

“It’s a classic movie that people watch around Christmas time,” she said. “The play people will be seeing reads the script to the movie in a 1940s radio station.

“It’s a really fun way of doing this.”

MHMT is preparing for a live audience and is hoping to be able to sell 50 tickets to each showing. People will need to wear a mask at the theatre, but can take it off to eat and drink.

“Safety is always the top priority for us,” said Weisgerber. “The unique thing about the radio play we’re doing is that we only have five characters.

“Our cast are playing Hollywood actors, who are reading the script to a radio audience.

“Since we only have five people, one person can play 13 or 14 different people – it’s a lot of fun.”

There will be five actors on set and a foley artist making sound effects during the play.

Rehearsals are happening now for the show, and two casts have been brought on to play it safe.

“We don’t want anyone to get sick,” said Weisgerber. “We will have everyone trained to jump from one cast to the next, just in case.”

Tickets will go on sale on Nov. 1 on MHMT’s website. Last-minute ticket sales are due to uncertainty around COVID-19.

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“We don’t want everyone to pay, and then have to lock down again,” said Weisgerber.

Opening night is Nov. 26. The show will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday for three weeks in a row.

Source Article

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Putting People First by Strengthening Medicare for the Future


In an effort to slow cost growth and improve health care quality, Medicare has in recent years developed a number of new ways to pay for and provide health care, and has been testing them through pilot programs in facilities and communities across the country. These test programs give heath care providers both financial incentives and new flexibility to change how they deliver care, with the goal of improving coordination and quality, reducing unnecessary or duplicative services, and focusing on outcomes important to patients and their families.

This report highlights and describes in detail seven innovative programs that represent a variety of approaches and span a wide range of Medicare services. In selecting these promising innovations, the authors examined the evidence of their effects on cost and quality-of-care. They also considered other implications, including effects on individuals’ access to care, and on patients’ and family caregivers’ experiences. The innovations are sorted into three groups based on evidence for their potential benefits.

In addition to describing these seven innovations, the report includes a discussion of each program’s results: its scope and scale, and its effects so far on cost and quality. The discussions review available evidence from Medicare as well as other government agencies and outside experts, covering specific dollar amount cost savings as well as quality measures, (e.g., hospitalizations, readmissions, emergency department visits), and other findings from patients and clinicians when available. The discussions consider potential benefits to consumers and to Medicare were any of these programs to be scaled up; they also identify potential negative effects and areas for potential improvement.

Transformation in health care takes time. However, with careful evaluation, development, and expansion of successful models, innovative Medicare payment and delivery models, like those reviewed here, have the potential to help control Medicare spending while improving the quality of care.

The seven innovations sorted into three groups based on evidence for potential benefits are as follows:

Group One: Innovations with demonstrated evidence of success that could yield broad benefits to both consumers and the Medicare program if expanded.

Innovation #1 – Independence at Home: Comprehensive In-Home Primary Care for People with High Needs

Independence at Home is testing whether providing comprehensive primary care services at home for individuals with very high health care needs leads to better health outcomes, improved patient and caregiver satisfaction, and lower Medicare costs. In theory, home-based care allows clinicians to provide coordinated, comprehensive care that reduces the risk for costly preventable hospital stays, readmissions, or emergency department visits.

Innovation #2 – Community-based Care Transitions Program: Partnerships between Community-Based Organizations and Hospitals to Improve Post-Hospital Transitions

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandated this program with the goal of reducing hospital readmissions, which are often caused by factors beyond the walls of the hospital (e.g., medication errors or not receiving sufficient assistance with activities of daily living). This initiative, now completed, relied heavily on community-based organizations with experience connecting patients and family caregivers to community support services (e.g., Meals on Wheels, transportation). Most of the

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Pandemic Putting Americans Under Great Mental Strain: Poll | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19, health care, the economy, systemic racism and the presidential election are a threat to the nation’s mental health, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) poll.

Seventy-eight percent of adults polled said the pandemic is causing major stress and 60% called the array of issues facing the country overwhelming.

And younger adults are really struggling, the poll revealed.

Respondents from Generation Z (those born since 1996), pegged their stress level in the past month at a 6 on 10-point scale in which 1 represented “little to no stress” and 10 was “a great deal of stress.” That compared with an average stress level of 5 among all adults.

Nineteen percent of adults said their mental health is worse than it was a year ago.

That included 34% of Gen Z adults; 19% of millennials (born 1977-1995); 21% of Gen Xers (born 1965-1976); 12% of baby boomers (born 1946-1964); and 8% of those born before 1946.

Gen Z adults were the most likely to report common signs of depression.

More than 7 in 10 said that in the last two weeks they were so tired that they sat around and did nothing, felt very restless, found it hard to think or concentrate, felt lonely, or felt miserable or unhappy.

“This survey confirms what many mental health experts have been saying since the start of the pandemic: Our mental health is suffering from the compounding stressors in our lives,” said Arthur Evans Jr., chief executive officer of the APA.

“This compounding stress will have serious health and social consequences if we don’t act now to reduce it,” he said in an association news release.

Evans noted that the youngest Americans are showing signs of serious mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

The poll found that changes to school are a big stressor for Gen Zers. More than 8 of 10 teens said they have had negative impacts of school closures, and 51% said planning for the future seems impossible.

Among college students, 67% feel the same way about planning for the future. And 87% of Gen Z members in college said school is a significant source of stress.

“Loneliness and uncertainly about the future are major stressors for adolescents and young adults, who are striving to find their places in the world, both socially, and in terms of education and work. The pandemic and its economic consequences are upending youths’ social lives and their visions for their futures,” said survey researcher Emma Adam, a professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Adam said public policy must address this generation’s need for social, emotional and mental health supports as well as financial assistance and educational and work opportunities. “Both comfort now and hope for the future are essential for the long-term well-being of this generation,” she said.

But most Americans aren’t getting the support they need. Among adults, 61% said they could use

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