Roll Back The Years With Healthy Teeth

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I am pleased to have Darla Scheidt, Marketing Director at Grove Dental Associates, as my guest poster again. Need a New Year’s Resolution? How about looking younger with a brighter, whiter smile. Whiter teeth are just a few steps away. Read on for great tips from Darla….

A smile might be worth a thousand words, but a smile that shows dingy, stained or chipped teeth can convey a message that you might not want to send. Your smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet you for the first time — and first impressions are formed very quickly. If you instantly want to impress others with your youthful look and your fantastic smile, you’re going to want to make sure your teeth are white, bright and healthy-looking!

 YOUR TEETH CAN REVEAL YOUR TRUE AGE. No matter how much money you spend on anti-wrinkle cream, vitamins and even cosmetic surgery, your true age can easily be revealed by the look of your teeth. Over the course of your lifetime, your teeth may gradually become stained, dull or chipped. Not only can your teeth add years to your appearance, they can also cause others to believe that you neglect your oral health. This can lead to embarrassment and might cause you to refrain from smiling.

If your teeth are showing the inevitable signs of aging, it’s time to figure out how to roll back the years by establishing oral health practices and doing what is necessary to restore your white, sparkly and beautiful teeth. You will look years younger and you will undoubtedly feel more vibrant.

 

START WITH DAILY BRUSHING AND FLOSSIING. The absolute most important thing you can do for your teeth is brush and floss them every day. Believe it or not, many people neglect this simple routine practice — even though brushing and flossing only takes a few minutes. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush is not as important as making sure your teeth are brushed every morning and every evening. Daily flossing is just as essential to maintain the health of your teeth.

 MAKE SURE TO RINSE YOUR MOUTH WITH WATER AFTER EATING AND DRINKING. After you drink a cup of coffee or red wine, or after you eat any type of food that can cause staining, make sure you rinse your mouth with water. (If you can brush your teeth after eating or drinking, that’s even better!) When you rinse your mouth, you minimize the risk of staining your teeth. Rinsing is also a good way to prevent tooth decay.

VISIT YOUR DENTIST TWICE A YEAR FOR A PROFESSIONAL CLEANING AND ORAL EVALUATION. Dental professionals recommend that you have a professional teeth cleaning and oral evaluation twice a year. A professional cleaning allows a dental hygienist to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, and also includes a polishing treatment. During your bi-annual dental visit, a dentist will examine your teeth and gums and ensure that everything is healthy. If a dental problem is discovered, it’s important to have it fixed as quickly as possible in order to prevent additional problems.

 HAVE YOUR TEETH WHITENED. If your teeth have a yellow, brown, blue or purple hue, you may be able to whiten your teeth with an over-the-counter teeth whitening system. If an at-home whitening system is not effective, most dentists offer teeth whitening services in their office. Such procedures are usually quick and painless.

 

CONSIDER OTHER COSMETIC DENTAL PROCEDURES. Your dentist has the ability to improve the appearance of your teeth with various cosmetic dental procedures. Some of the most common include porcelain dental veneers, tooth bonding, crowns, bridges, dental implants and more. Make sure to ask your dentist about the available dental procedures that will work best for you.

Remember, your teeth and your smile are a focal point on your face. Therefore, you want to make sure your teeth look as youthful as possible so that you convey a healthy and vibrant appearance. Make people underestimate your age by keeping your teeth bright and shining.

 

 

Author Bio:

Darla Scheidt is the Marketing Director at Grove Dental Associates. Grove Dental is a successful multi-office, multi-specialty group dental practice in the Chicago western suburbs.  With four offices, more than 30 doctors and having been in practice for more than 40 years, they have been able to stay on the cutting edge of dentistry to better serve each one of their patients.

 

 

Healthy Travel Tips – Eating Right on Vacation

images8HVDV0SASpring Break is right around the corner – from road trips to long flights, making healthy food choices can be tougher than it seems. But by doing a little bit of prep work and planning, you can easily make healthy choices on even the most exotic vacation.

Fill your suitcase The last thing you want to do when you first arrive is go shopping for healthy snacks. Instead, prepare snack-sized baggies that you can easily throw into your beach bag, backpack, or pocket. Keep all the small baggies together by storing them in a larger plastic storage bag. Some great choices include trail mix with dried fruits and nuts, individual packets of peanut butter crackers, dehydrated (kale) chips, dried coconut slices, and your favorite jerky. Even a can of sardines or tuna can be made into a quick meal in a pinch.

Air travel Make sure to eat a healthy, protein-packed meal right before leaving to cut down on the temptation of airport fast food, or take a light meal with you. Small frozen gel packs are great for keeping snacks cool for a few hours and usually have no trouble getting through security. Look for sets that are sold for diaper bags since they tend to be streamlined and don’t take up much space. Choose snacks that are nutrient-dense so you don’t need a large quantity to fill you up. Veggie sticks and cheese cubes, avocado slices, fresh coconut slices, and hard-boiled eggs are easy to eat without utensils. Apples and bananas are usually easy to find and make a great snack when paired with a packet of nut butter.

Road trips Investing in a small cooler will greatly reduce your chances of giving in to the drive-through window. Fill it with fresh fruit, veggie sticks, hard-boiled eggs, and healthy sandwiches. When making sandwiches, choose sprouted, or whole-grain bread – or wrap it all up in a lettuce leaf for a grain-free option. Look for deli meats that are free of nitrates and preservatives, add some lettuce and sliced avocado as a healthy fat instead of mayonnaise. Make sure you layer any condiments (pickles, mustard, and tomatoes) between the protein slices so the bread, or lettuce wrap, doesn’t get soggy. Homemade oatmeal cookies or granola bars made with a touch of honey and filled with dried fruits and nuts make a great kid-friendly snack on the go. If you get caught hungry at a gas station, choose high-protein snacks such as sunflower seeds, nuts, fruit and nut bars, or a banana.

Restaurants Of course you want to indulge on vacation, but indulging at every meal may make it harder to get back into your healthy routine when you get back home. Choose one meal a day, or every two days, as an indulgence, and skip the breadbasket so you’re not tempted to fill up on empty calories before the meal. Google your locations so you know what restaurants are near. Check the menus online before you go, so you know what to expect along with the healthy choices available. You know the drill…choose grilled, broiled, steamed, roasted, baked or poached for your proteins and ask for vegetables to be steamed so they don’t end up floating in oil. Try ordering a salad with olive oil and fresh lemon juice as an appetizer and choose an appetizer for a main course, or choose two appetizers (not the fried stuff) for your dinner. It’s a great way to try different things without going overboard.

Hotels Hotel breakfasts tend to offer a lot of high-sugar, high-carbohydrate items such as pancakes and processed cereals. Choose high-protein eggs instead and add veggies to your omelet if you can. Try finding a hotel with a fridge or request that the mini bar be emptied before you arrive so that you can use it during your stay. Stock it with perishables such as fresh veggie sticks, berries, organic full-fat yogurt, and cheese.

Oatmeal trick: Pack your own individual oatmeal breakfasts in plastic baggies. Add old-fashioned rolled oats, and whatever fillings you like – raisins, shredded coconut, dried fruit, slivered almonds, and even some whey protein. Pour the mixture into a bowl covered with water or coconut milk the night before, store it in the fridge and your breakfast will be waiting for you in the morning. Enjoy your trip!

Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Turn the ideas in your mind into the realities in your life. You can apply this to every part of your life, especially getting healthy and becoming the person you know you can be.

I was recently telling a friend that the ‘New Me’ does things differently.  She sweetly said that she liked the ‘Old Me’, and asked what I was changing. The Old Me is painfully shy with low self esteem. She wants to do the right thing when it comes to personal relationships, but she is paralyzed at times. The New Me is the person the old me always wanted to be. The New Me starts conversations with anyone, takes time to empathize with friends even when she doesn’t know what to say, and sees herself as confident and capable.

The Old Me creeps back in more often than I would like, but I am definitely a work in progress. So enough about me. Let’s talk about YOU!

I am guessing if you scan the internet to read blogs like mine, you also have an Old You that you want to transform into a New You.  Here is how to start to get closer to the New You.

What and Who do you want to be when you grow up?

You’ll be running on that crazy hamster wheel of life if you never decide where you want to go.  Figure out what’s meaningful to you so you can be who you want to be. Okay, so that may sound a little corny, but this is serious stuff.

As kids we want to be teachers or scientists, rock stars or super models, doctors or chefs. (Samantha wants to be a manicurest and James wants to be a waiter). As we graduate from school, we usually take the best job we can find and hope for the best.  In our 20’s and 30’s I don’t think we really know what it means to ask ourselves ‘what do I want to be when I grow up’, because it often seems like there isn’t much of a choice.  But once we reach our 40’s, it is time. I say 40’s because I am in my 40’s, and there is no going back.

This may seem self indulgent to ask yourself ‘what and who do I want to be when I grow up’, especially if you are a mom.  But please do it. Ask yourself the question, and really think about it in your heart of hearts.

You may not be able to change the ‘what’ part of it very easily, but you can definitely start to change the ‘who’ part of it right now. This may fall into the category of fake it til you make it. That is what I feel I am doing a lot of the time.

So I will finish with my two favorite quotes:

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”

“A mother who radiates self-confidence and self-love will insulate her kids from low self-esteem.”

Hungry or Bored? Don’t Let Boredom Blow Your Diet

Does it ever seem like when you are really busy you don’t get as hungry? Maybe when we are busy, we just don’t take the time to notice that we are hungry.  On the flip side, when you are bored or idle, do you feel like you are hungry all the time?

I definitely do.  On the  days when I am not so busy, it seems like I am famished with in an hour after eating.  What gives?

Maybe I’m not really hungry but just bored.  Here is a good way to differentiate.  This has been working with my kids too, expecially now that school is out, and one of the cringe producing comments I hear way to often is “I’m bored!”

When you cannot determine if you want to eat because you are hungry or bored,  try the Apple Test. Simply ask yourself “Would I want to eat an apple now?” (or any other food that is boring for you).  The thinking is that if you are hungry enough to eat a boring apple, then you most likely are truly hungry. But if you bypass the apple only to splurge on the apple pie, think again. Maybe you are just bored and are using food to entertain yourself?

This falls into the category of mindful eating.  Pay attention to not only to what you are eating, but to how you feel before you eat. Don’t let boredom blow your diet.

The Smart Pantry – Three Tips For When You Forgot To Plan

I have a love hate relationship with grocery shopping. Since I can remember, I have always done my grocery shopping once a week. I like planning my meals for the week and buying all the ingredients. However, the grocery store is really a land mine of temptation. At every turn there is an isle or an end cap display of something that looks really yummy. It would be torture to go to the grocery more than once a week. It takes a lot of will power at the grocery, and I never go when I am hungry. 

I also make sure to buy a few healthy extras each time, just in case, because sometimes  I am short a meal, and I find myself with no plan for dinner. Poor planning  happens to everyone, but rather than call Papa (John that is) I will “throw together” a mish mash of items. At times like these I try to use a one-two-three approach to making a balanced meal:

1. Make it “Whole” by picking whole grain version of pasta, rice or bread.

2. Make it “Lean” or “Extra Lean” by searching for cans of tuna packed in water, skinless chicken breast, lean ham or extra lean beef.

3. Make it “Colorful” by using a variety of fruits and vegetables.

There is always something in the fridge and pantry that can be used for dinner, and when I use the one-two-three approach, even though it wasn’t planned, I can feel good about what I am serving and eating.

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