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What to Do Before Going to the Dentist?



Oral hygiene can improve your emotional, physical, and social wellness. It may help you to eat, talk, and interact better. Taking care of your teeth and gums is a lifelong responsibility. As such, cleaning and regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. As of 2018, 74.7% of Canadians have seen dental professionals, while 22.4% avoided doing so because of the expenses. These figures were among the findings in the oral health study in Canada released in September 2019.

The same study also revealed how 64.6% of Canadian have dental insurance. But, 13.7% of these still don’t like going to a dental professional because of the costs.

Despite these numbers, you have to understand that going to the dentist is essential. In fact, in November 2019, the Ontario government implemented the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program. This program for low-income seniors provided much-needed dental care to many Hamilton seniors. So, we can say that maintaining good oral hygiene is vital even for seniors. As such, we would like to stress that preparing for your dental visit is almost as necessary as showing up.

Below are the necessary things to do before going to the dentist.



Confirm Your Appointment

Confirm your appointment before you visit your local Hamilton dental office. It is preferable to do this 24 hours ahead of time. This step would provide you with a sense of peace. It will also let you focus your efforts on preparing for the appointment.


Prepare Your Payment and Insurance Information

Many first-time dental patients are unaware of their insurance coverage. To find out what your out-of-pocket costs will be, contact the dental clinic about your insurance. They will look at the inclusions of your coverage before you arrive.


Prepare Your Dental History

Before seeing the dentist, prepare your dental records from previous dentists. These may include your X-Rays, dental forms, insurance details, and other relevant paperwork. It’s good to assist your dentist in getting your dental records. If it is your first appointment, you may need to contact your previous dentist to transfer your data.


List Down Your Medications

Your dentist must know what medications you are on and how much of them you are taking. Bring your prescriptions or write down their names, dosage, and frequency.


Observe Proper Oral Care Techniques

It is advisable to maintain oral hygiene that includes flossing and brushing. Brush your teeth twice a day. It is also best to floss once a day, either in the mornings or before bedtime.

The points below will help you care for your teeth before your dental appointment. They will also help prevent pain or injury from delicate equipment.


Can you brush your teeth before teeth/gum surgery?

  • Brush and floss before your dentist’s appointment. During a regular cleaning, your dental hygienist would floss your teeth.


Can I eat before going to the dentist’s clinic?

  • It is also advised not to eat or drink anything (besides water) five hours before your visit. It prevents food particles from getting stuck in your teeth. These food particles will cause discomfort during treatment. They will also mean more work for your dentist.


Smoking Before Dentist Appointment

  • Avoid smoking a few hours before your dentist appointment. Smoking contains other toxic substances that can wear down your teeth over time.


Dental Care for Pregnant Women

  • Pregnant women must follow specific guidelines before booking a dental appointment. Anesthesia can harm your unborn child. You may be unable to undertake particular treatments that need it. Ask your dentist what services you can still get while pregnant.
  • Suppose you have a major oral maxillofacial operation. Your dentist may tell you not to brush or floss the day before. You must also avoid drinking or eating 12-24 hours before your treatment.


Following the points above can help make the dental process more efficient. It will also reduce any worry you may feel. Pay attention to the dentist’s and hygienist’s advice. Even during regular cleaning, they may notice something that needs extra attention.


Women More Likely to Suffer Adverse Mental Health Effects After Stroke: Report



A new report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation shows that women are more likely to suffer adverse mental health effects after a stroke, and that services and supports are lacking.

The report, Stroke and Mental Health: The Invisible and Inequitable Effects on Women, was released on Thursday.

Dr. Clair Barefoot, clinical psychologist at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, says recovering from a stroke can take a big toll on people.

That, coupled with the additional roles women often take on—such as caring for children, can cause additional strain and force them to leave rehab early.


Barefoot says supports and services are generally lacking across Canada.

She says it is quite difficult and expensive for people to find personalized care, so she would like to see more psychologists in hospitals and more funding for the private sector so that people can access more of those services after they’re discharged.



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Grail says over 400 patients incorrectly informed they may have cancer



Cancer test maker Grail Inc said on Friday that its telemedicine vendor erroneously sent letters to about 400 patients suggesting they may have developed cancer.

Grail’s flagship cancer detection blood test Galleri is designed to detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear.

The company, owned by Illumina Inc, ILMN-Q said the letters were mistakenly sent by PWNHealth due to a software issue and that it “was in no way related to or caused by an incorrect Galleri test result”.

Grail said it had reached out to the patients immediately after the issue, adding that no patient health information has been disclosed or breached due to this.


The software issue being faced by PWNHealth has now been resolved, it said.

Illumina is currently appealing regulatory orders in the U.S. and EU, which are asking the gene sequencing company to divest Grail after it jumped regulators to close its acquisition of the cancer test maker.



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Rates of infectious sexual diseases on the decline in region – CambridgeToday



Unprotected sex with more than one partner in a six month period is the biggest risk factor behind a recent rise in syphilis cases in Waterloo region, according to a report on infectious disease trends from Region of Waterloo Public Health.

The annual infectious diseases surveillance report gathers and analyzes information on the infectious diseases that physicians, laboratories and hospitals are required to report to the region’s public health unit in line with Ontario Public Health Standards.

Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that have the potential to cause serious illness and outbreaks.


There were 116 reports of infectious syphilis in the region last year, a rate of 17.8 per 100,000 population compared to 23.1 across the province. The number is down from a high of 143 reported cases in 2021, and a rate of 22.2 per 100,000 that was higher than the provincial average of 20.6.

The report says rates of syphilis, while lower than the province, have increased substantially in recent years, especially among females. This trend has also been observed in the province, which suggests a shift in epidemiology and sexual health practices.

The most common sexually transmitted infections in Waterloo Region continue to be chlamydia and gonorrhea.

There were 1,388 cases of chlamydia reported across the region last year, a rate of 192.8 per 100,000 population compared to 255.9 provincially. That’s down slightly from the age-standardized rate of 196.9 per 100,000 reported in 2021.

Gonorrhea case counts continued to spike across the province in 2022, while experiencing a slight decline in the rate of infection in Waterloo region.

Waterloo region reported 266 cases last year, a rate of 38.2 per 100,000. That’s compared to 77.5 per 100,000 province-wide.

Across the board, the demographic with the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted infections locally and across the province is the 20 to 29 age group.

Mpox, previously known as monkeypox, was declared a disease of global public health concern and became a newly reportable disease in Ontario in 2022.

There were only four local cases of mpox last year. Public Health says it has been monitoring the situation, working with health care providers to provide up-todate treatment guidance, and providing mpox vaccines to high-risk individuals.

The mpox virus is most commonly spread to people through close, physical contact with an infected person.

Campylobacter enteritis and salmonellosis were the most common enteric diseases in Waterloo Region in 2022. The local rates for enteric diseases were similar to or lower than those of the province.

Risk factors for enteric illnesses such as Campylobacter enteritis and salmonellosis include consuming undercooked meats and unpasteurized dairy products, ingesting contaminated food or water, and contact with infected persons.

Rates of vaccine preventable diseases in Waterloo Region were similar to those of the province. The most common vaccine preventable diseases in Waterloo Region were pneumococcal disease and pertussis (whooping cough).

In 2022, as we returned to normal activities, we saw a return of circulating respiratory viruses including pertussis with rates higher than had been seen during the first two years of the pandemic.

Public Health says immunization is the best way to prevent whooping cough. Pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for infants, older adults 65 years and older, and those at high risk from the infection.

Region of Waterloo Public Health undertakes a number of activities to prevent or reduce the burden of infectious diseases in the community.

Programs and services include case management, contacts and exposures for diseases of public health significance; inspections, investigations and outbreak management, including community outbreaks and those in institutions; health promotion activities and services for primary care providers, emergency service workers, childcare providers, and other community groups; and clinic-based services for sexual health, immunization, and tuberculosis screening and management.

Region of Waterloo Public Health says it will provide highlights of respiratory disease trends, including influenza, in a report to council this fall.

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