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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE lunch serves healthy smiles

The+importance+of+dental+hygiene+to+one%E2%80%99s+health+was+the+main+focus+of+the+Heart+Healthy+Lunch+Feb.+11+on+NE+Campus.Bogdan+Sierra+Miranda%2FThe+Collegian
The importance of dental hygiene to one’s health was the main focus of the Heart Healthy Lunch Feb. 11 on NE Campus.

Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

By Colt Taylor/reporter

The importance of dental hygiene to one’s health was the main focus of the Heart Healthy Lunch Feb. 11 on NE Campus.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
The importance of dental hygiene to one’s health was the main focus of the Heart Healthy Lunch Feb. 11 on NE Campus.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

The heart and gums have an interesting relationship with one another as plaque from the mouth moves into the blood vessels and clogs the arteries.

Dental hygiene instructors Lisa Englehart and Rebel Chapa explained the link between dental and cardiovascular health during the NE Heart Healthy Lunch Feb. 11.

Plaque builds up on the teeth and gums, and while most clean their teeth at least once a day, the gums can easily be overlooked. When plaque is left on the gums, it will cause inflammation of the gums opening a path for plaque into the blood stream via the unhealthy gums. This is what causes gums to bleed when being cleaned after a long period of time and is a sign of infection whether it results from brushing or flossing.

The speakers presented animated representations during the lunch instead of actual photographs.

“We didn’t want to gross you out [while eating],” Englehart said.

Food is thought to be the primary source of plaque, but it is only partially responsible. Bacteria is the main source of plaque, growing as nutrients get stuck in the teeth and when people fail to thoroughly brush and floss away all the food residue.

Englehart and Chapa provided advice on preventing plaque buildup and gum disease. Foremost of these was to brush gums as well as teeth.

They suggested a soft circular motion starting halfway between the gums and teeth as opposed to a usual back-and-forth motion. While brushing the gums, one should not scratch hard as this can lead to injury.

Flossing will clean the hardest-to-reach area of the mouth quickly and easily. If using manual floss, the length should be from the tip of the finger to the elbow, or one can use floss picks for less hassle. Flossing should be done in an up-and-down motion, not forward and backward as if sawing into the gums.

Making cleaning appointments with a dentist every three to six months is another way to keep plaque out and gums healthy.

“Visit the [NE Campus] clinic for the reasonable price of $10,” Chapa said.

Students and the public can receive cleanings from dental students being overseen by licensed professors. The clinic is located in the NHSC building. Treatments at the school clinic are a time investment and will take longer to complete than at another dental practitioner.

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