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Posted - Jan. 19, 2004 at 8:40 a.m.



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Jan 19, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- TIPS FOR FINDING TOOTH DOCTOR

Good dental health calls for visits to the dentist twice a year, yet only two-thirds of Americans schedule a single dental trip annually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says one-third of all Americans have untreated tooth decay and 48 percent have gingivitis, which quickly can develop into periodontal disease. The Academy of General Dentistry sponsors a year-round, non-profit toll-free service to help consumers find a general dentist in their area. By calling (877) 292-9327, consumers can get names, addresses and phone numbers for up to three AGD member dentists from anywhere in the United States and Canada. To get a dentist who is right for you, the experts advise you to: schedule a consultation before making up your mind; note the office environment to see if it suits your needs; and, make an appointment for a general exam, consisting of cleaning, X-rays and medical health history.

PILL-FREE WAY TO GET SHUT-EYE

Elderly people suffering from sleeplessness might get more help from cognitive behavioral therapy than sleeping pills, researchers say. Behavioral therapy aims to improve sleep by changing poor habits and altering negative thoughts, attitudes or beliefs about sleep. The researchers found cognitive behavioral therapy could lead to improved sleep. The treatment includes teaching people good sleep habits, for example making sure that people reduce their caffeine intake after 4 p.m. and that they prepare for rest properly. Another approach might be practicing some muscle relaxation skills, or getting people to have less sleep for a while and then gradually expanding the period so that patients fall asleep more quickly. Helping people overcome their anxiety often associated with insomnia also was shown to help.

PHYSICALLY FIT PERFORM BETTER WORK

Physically fit workers produce more and better work, a study shows. The survey, reported in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, showed workers' physical activity and physical fitness had a significant impact on their work performance. More physically active workers reported higher work quality and better overall job performance. As physical fitness increased, so did the quantity of work performed. In addition, more fit workers needed to expend less extra effort to do their work, said study author Nicolaas Pronk of Health Partners in Minneapolis.

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(Editors: For more information about TOOTH, Susan Urbanczyk at (312) 440-4308 or susanu@agd.org. For ELDERLY, 0-1-865-280-528. For FIT, Darleene Shah at ( 847) 818-1800, ext. 380 or dshah@acoem.org)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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