Healthy for Life

October brings seasonal beauty, awareness, and armor

Audio Articles on Hometown Focus is sponsored by Rock Ridge Public Schools.
Photo by Julie Asbach.

Photo by Julie Asbach.

Hi there, everyone. Welcome to October as our autumn conveys its coats of many colors. How about that wonderfully warm weather that’s been baking our Northland still in October?

And come to think about it, there really wasn’t a whole lot of lawn mowing going on this past season. Our lawn was mowed maybe four times, and I truly missed one of my favorite scents of all time. I hope everyone is armoring themselves for our continual changes that this season brings. Please be aware and take precautions where and when necessary.


If you are sick, stay home and cover or mask up around other people. The woods may be changing color, but we still need to get through with flying colors. Thank you for your help. God bless us all. Have a safe and healthy season!

A reason to smile

The month of October acknowledges many health awareness issues such as breast cancer, domestic violence and loss of an infant or child, which respects much of our undivided attention. Another awareness health issue on the list is dental hygiene. I have gone through a few horrendous pulling and drilling teeth experiences. And the big push on sugary holidays is sneaking upon us now.



Dental care should begin as soon as the first tooth pops out. The first several teeth can be wiped with a soft cloth. Kids can usually start brushing by age 2. Brushing twice a day is required, especially after a meal or a seriously sweet treat. Floss once, usually after the last meal, before bedtime or more often with certain food particles that get stuck.

Most studies say circular motion is best for brushing. That is why the electric toothbrush is popular. Certain tendencies can occur when using a handheld model like over brushing or brushing too hard, which can cause bleeding and gum recession. Choose a softer bristle brush and one that fits your mouth size.

What about fluoride? There are pros and cons with this substance, especially when it comes to what is in our drinking water and toothpastes. Too much fluoride can cause white spots on your teeth among other health issues. If you want to avoid using too much fluoride, there are filtered water and toothpastes without fluoride and other chemicals available to you.

Lack of mouth maintenance can create many teeth problems like decay and loss. Besides the water and the toothpaste you are using and improper brushing and flossing, other factors to consider can be heredity, lack of nutrients, too much sugar, poor metabolism, infections (such as ear or sinus), climate conditions, heart diseases, drugs and alcohol, and physical and mental trauma.

Bruxism, which is grinding of teeth, is usually due to stress and anxiety. High dosage of antibiotics and other drugs can create dry mouth. The lack of saliva may increase tooth decay and gum problems (gingivitis). There are more than 800 medicines out there that can cause dry mouth. Be sure to tell your dentist what you are taking. Dental check-ups are a must and are recommended every six months. Happy smiling!

Shoulder relaxation

People who take on a lot of responsibility often feel tension in their shoulders or neck. At least 1 out of 3 people who I set up an exercise program for have one or both of their shoulders tense while exercising or while I’m just speaking with them.

Make sure you pay attention to your shoulders and posture at all times to help relieve any tension or pain. If you exercise while keeping your shoulders tense, this can cause serious injury or damage to your shoulders or neck. Do a spot check occasionally to see if you are tensing up while exercising, sitting at desk, at a computer, on the phone, reading, driving, walking, lying down or in just about everything you do.

Try this simple movement when feeling tense: Breathe in and exhale while rolling shoulders forward three times. Then repeat rolling backwards.

Julie is a Healthy for Life advocate. If you have any questions or would like to share your inspirations or information, contact her at or write to her at Hometown Focus, 401 6th Ave. N. Virginia, MN 55792.

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