With the increase in COVID-19 cases in San Diego County and in the world, one San Diego orthodontist is urging the public to focus on three areas in an effort to maintain one’s health.
“As we are trying to deal with the new reality, we are faced with an unprecedented level of confusion, fear and uncertainty,” said Hoss, a Rancho Santa Fe resident who is active in the community. “Many of us are stressed, aren’t sleeping well and our food choices aren’t the healthiest. This is exactly when we need to be our healthiest and that starts with paying attention to the Three Ss: sugar, sleep and stress.”
Hoss said San Diegans should focus on the amount of sugar they should consume as it can “negatively impact your and your children’s immune system when you need it most.”
“When you eat sugary foods or drinks your immune system becomes suppressed,” Hoss said. “Additionally, a good portion of our immune system is in our GI tract. And our immune system is in constant interaction with the microbiome in our gut. Put simply, sugar feeds the ‘bad’ bacteria and compromises the delicate balance of our microbiome.”
While some people might be taking in too much sugar, others might not be getting enough sleep. Hoss said it’s crucial for people to get at least seven hours of “quality sleep” for their physical and mental health.
“Skipping sleep can have serious consequences on your immune system,” Hoss said. “For example, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can decrease the immune response to the flu vaccine and increase the risk of catching the common cold by threefold.”
Finally, there’s stress, something that might be unavoidable at this point, Hoss said. In this case, screentime is encouraged.
“Social distancing only adds to ratcheting stress levels so get your smartphones and tablets out, connect with your friends and family using a variety of online tools,” Hoss said. “Do take care of the things you have to but take advantage of this time to rethink your priorities, exercise, reconnect with family members and friends and educate yourself.
Finally, as an orthodontist, Hoss encouraged the public to remember one’s own oral health. The Super Dentists also launched an online toolkit with free activities for children and their families.
“Our patients’ support means the world to us and we look forward to welcoming them back to our practice soon,” Hoss said. “We will emerge from this better and stronger together.”
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