Lady Docs In the News – Dr. Rebecca Katz and Dr. Bhavana Mistry

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September 21, 2014

In the past week, Dr Rebecca Katz was interviewed on NPR about the Ebola outbreak and Dr. Bhavana Mistry on WTOP about cavities due to sugar intake, especially from fruit juices and power drinks. Here are a few excerpts from the articles on Marketplace and, respectively:

Dr Rebecca Katz with David Gura on Marketplace commenting on The Gates Foundation support of health care in Liberia:

“…The Gates Foundation plays an outsize role in public health these days, but Rebecca Katz, a public health professor at George Washington University, says this pledge of support is kind of out of character. “They haven’t traditionally been engaged in disaster response,” she says. “But this outbreak is precedent-setting in all sorts of ways.”

Katz hopes some of that money will help with personnel. She says there are fewer than 250 doctors in all of Liberia.

“In Sierra Leone, you’re looking at a ratio of one physician for 30,000 people,” Katz says.

That is not nearly enough to combat an outbreak that- as she and other experts say – is still out of control.”

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And Dr. Bhavana Mistry on WTOP with Paula Wolfson about the increased rate of cavities in Western countries:

“…We’re told to brush and floss, but we also need to watch what we eat. All the sugar in a typical American diet is destroying our smiles, British researchers say.

They went through dental records from around the world, and found that the level of tooth decay is highest in countries with the most sugar in their diets. Fruit juice and power drinks are among the biggest culprits.

“Basically, anything this high in sugar will obviously correlate to high rates of decay,” says Dr. Bhavana Mistry with Smilez Dental Care in Rockville.

…Mistry explains that oral bacteria feeds on the sugar, which produces acid- containing plaque that can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Brushing and flossing are essential to good dental hygiene, but the best way to cut the risk of damage is to rinse with plain water after eating sugary foods. Brushing alone is not the answer because those acids can still linger. In contrast, swishing water around the mouth neutralizes the acids and cuts the risk of decay.

Mistry says she also urges her patients — and her own teenage daughters — to cut back on sugar. The British researchers suggest you limit sugars to no more than five percent of daily calories, a goal she believes is difficult for most people to attain.

But moderation is key, and using a fluoride toothpaste is important. “Sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that can help cure the problem,” Mistry says.”

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