MIAMI – Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference followed more than 10,000 people over nine years and found people who consumed the highest amount of ultra-processed foods, like potato chips, white bread, and soda, had a 28 percent faster cognitive decline.
Ultra-processed foods contain large amounts of fat, sugar, salt and artificial flavors.
Experts say the findings prove that what we eat can impact the brain.
And we’ve all heard about the importance of regular dental appointments for both oral and overall health, but it seems South Floridians aren’t getting the message.
According to a recent survey, the Miami area is No. 1 for people avoiding dental visits, primarily out of fear.
Along with saving money, the survey found that dental anxiety plays a big role in the reason why people skip going to the dentist.
Forty-two percent of people surveyed said they have dental anxiety.
And Miami dentist Dr. April Patterson said she’s seeing some damaging trends in oral health, particularly the renewed popularity of piercings.
“The effect of piercings on the gums and the tissues and the teeth, there are long-term effects that people don’t realize are going to happen down the road, but your gums, you get recession, your teeth, you lose enamel, you thin your teeth so your teeth end up cracking more,” she said.
Patterson said she is also seeing a TikTok trend to mix vinegar with sparkling water -- what some call “healthy cola.”
She said the highly acidic combination can quickly erode tooth enamel, leading to decay and tooth loss.