Dental Health, Mental Health

Posted on November 8, 2011
The group discusses the connection between mental health and dental health.The group discusses the connection between mental health and dental health.On October 25th, the Wellness Unit hosted their first in a series of monthly lunchtime lectures. A team from the Ryan/Chelsea-Clinton Health Center led a great discussion about dental health with a group of about 15 people, representing units all over the house. The presenters addressed the cyclical nature and connection between mental health and dental hygiene, and they provided information on how to get dental services.
Good dental hygiene is an important part of overall health. Untreated dental infections can spread through the body. Additionally, poor oral hygiene can impact confidence and self esteem.  Dry mouth, a common side effect of many psychotropic medications, can be harmful to dental health, because saliva helps break food down and washes food out of teeth.
The presenters provided suggestions on how to prevent dental damage, such as drinking fluoridated water and limiting sugary foods. They handed out helpful materials, and each participant received a free toothbrush and toothpaste thanks to a donation from our friends at ESCO pharmacy!
It was incredibly well received. One participant noted that the presenters were “extremely warm, approachable, and engaging” and another was so inspired, she made an appointment with her dentist right after the presentation! 
Anyone who receives services at the Ryan Center is eligible for dental services— so make an appointment or come to the Wellness Unit for more information! 
Each month, the Wellness Unit will host lunchtime lectures based on our monthly health initiative. November is National Diabetes Month, and we’ll use this month to become more informed on diabetes issues. The American Diabetes Association will be here on November 16th and November 30th, 12pm – 1pm in the Wellness Unit. Check it out!
Anna Jarashow
Wellness Unit, Fountain House

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