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.

 

 

Get Started (again) – Good Exercise Habits

We have all been there, probably several times. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym or done any type of exercise. Your day to day busy schedule, getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work have kept you from exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?

Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just do it. You go to the gym, you run three days a week, you play tennis every other day, you take a kick boxing class every Tuesday, etc… there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off. Choose the ones that you like and make the most sense, and then choose a few that don’t. You may be surprised at how well some of these tips work.

Reward Showing Up – 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go. Just go!

Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. There is an endless range of programs that can suit your tastes.

Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can adjust your workout plan to incorporate all the exercises you like and take out the exercises you don’t like. You will notice that after time, your likes and dislikes will change. An exercise you used to hate, may become one of your favorites.

Realistic Scheduling – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit. I have a very good friend who is always willing to go to a spin class with me, and she has turned me on to Pilates.

X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.

Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.

Habits First, Equipment Later – Expensive equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a bunch of equipment. Furthermore, some of the most effective exercises require no equipment at all.

Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.

Start Small – Trying to run ten miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Ease your body and mind into your exercise routine, and after a few weeks you will want to start challenging yourself by doing more.

 

10 Steps to a Better Mind Set

I have a thing for top X lists. They are easy to read, and no matter what is on the list, there is always one thing that causes that light bulb moment. So I came across a list for how to be more confident, and it started me thinking about our state of mind.  Here is my list to encourage a positive state of mind every day.

1. Learn from the past (10 minutes ago, yesterday, last year, or even high school drama, etc.) regardless of the outcome; don’t beat yourself up about the things that didn’t turn out your way. It’s gone; it’s never coming back. Instead learn from it for next time. There are no failures, only feedback.

2. Be prepared. Prepared for what you might ask. Well every day is different, so be prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of the day. My husband is the poster child for preparedness, and he has taught me well, along with making me a little crazy along the way.  For example, when we are going to any get together—family, friends, business, whatever, he will run through the names of all the people that he knows will be there. Not just the new people, but everyone including the ones he has known for most of his life.  That may seem extreme, but being prepared doesn’t just mean you are ready to give a presentation at work or being prepared for a job interview, but for all the little things throughout the day.

3. Develop and play to your strengths. Know what you are good at and expose yourself to these opportunities at every opportunity – because you’re good at it, you’ll enjoy it and have more confidence.  If you’re not sure of your strength’s ask a friend or family member. They will usually be able to rattle off all sorts of things you are good at.

4. Develop your areas for improvement. Know and appreciate that you can’t be perfect at everything.   Put a plan in place to improve them over time. Especially as parents, there are always things we can improve on when it comes to our kids.  For me, I am working on being more patient, less of a control freak, more confident and social, and more organized.

5. Be in charge of your thoughts at all times. What is a thought? It’s just a question or idea that you’ve asked yourself. Some days it may be the only thing you have control of. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re probably asking a negative question. Be aware of your thoughts…after all, you are the one thinking them.

6. Become a Rhinoceros.  Develop thick skin and don’t let the words of others affect you? Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. It’s not what they say to you that’s the problem; it’s what you say to yourself after they have stopped talking that’s the problem. I read an article that said if someone calls you a clock; it probably wouldn’t affect you, because you know you are not a clock. The same holds true when people may try to label you as something you know that you are not.

7. At the end of each day list your achievements and successes throughout that day.  All too often we don’t give ourselves credit for what we’ve done.  I usually make a mental list of all the things I have done wrong… yelling at the kids, not being patient enough, not accomplishing everything I should have. While that may help me to recognize short comings and try harder tomorrow, it doesn’t allow for any appreciation of the things that I did well and did accomplish.

8. Improve your body language. The way that you move your body has a big impact on your mind set. Move your body assertively and walk with your head up, shoulders back as though you’ve got somewhere very important to go. Along with thoughts, some days, body language may be the only thing you feel like you can control.  But it really does work by almost tricking your mind to feel more powerful and in control.

9. Emotion is created by motion. Like point 17, make sure you move around consistently. This creates energy and gets the blood pumping around your body – it makes you feel better and more confident.

10. And finally – ask yourself in 10 years’ time will what I am worrying about really matter? This one can be easier said than done, because it may not matter in 10 years, but it matters right now. But often times by asking yourself the 10 year question, it can bring to light that what you are worrying about is more trivial than you first thought.

Easy Ways to Reduce FAT-SALT-SUGAR from Your Diet

Lowering the saturated fat from your diet and reducing added salt or sugars is an easy place to start on your way to a healthier way of eating. If you have been in the habit of eating packaged foods, your pallet has been trained to crave all the “wrong” things. So it is important to find a way to make healthy foods taste great, so they become your “go-to” foods. Make them delicious without all those addictive additives that often resemble a science experiment gone awry. Here are some great tips from Dr. Seymour Weaver.

FIVE Tips for Reducing Fat in Your Diet Without Compromising Taste:

1.Use water, wine or low fat, sodium free stock in place of oil or butter when sautéing. You will not miss the flavor since the oil or butter is usually only used to keep whatever you are cooking from sticking to the pan. If the liquid evaporates just keep adding a little more until the food is cooked.

2.Instead of putting butter or margarine on your potatoes, top them with a dollop of fat free sour cream instead. Sprinkle with a little chives or your favorite herbs or spice blend and you will never miss the butter.

3.Skip the butter when making sandwiches and go with fat free condiments like your favorite mustard or fat free mayo instead. Most of the time we reach for the butter by habit rather than necessity and you will never miss it.

4.Replace cream or whole milk with skim milk in all of your favorite recipes. If the recipe calls for butter, substitute it with a healthier alternative such as olive oil.

5.Buy only the leanest cuts of meat and trim away any fat and skin from chicken. Marinade the meat to tenderize it and replace the flavor of the fat. Whenever possible, bake instead of frying and if you do have to pan fry something, use non-stick cooking spray or brush the meat with lightly with olive oil rather than adding oil to the pan. Making sure you pre-heat the pan will keep the food from sticking.

FIVE Tips for Reducing Sodium in Your Diet Without Losing Flavor:

1.Replace the salt shaker on your table with a sodium free spice blend. Most of the time we reach for the salt shaker out of habit rather than because our food needs it. A spice shaker on the table will satisfy that “shake” habit and add flavor to the food. There are tons of ready-made spice blends available or you can create your own custom blend using your favorites.

2.Trick your pallet. Sour and salt are recognized by the same group of taste buds. Instead of adding salt to your foods while they are cooking, try adding a splash of lemon or lime juice or flavored vinegars instead. Balsamic vinegar is particularly good to cook with as it adds a ton of flavor.

3.Read the labels. If you must purchase any packaged or canned goods, get in the habit of comparing labels for sodium levels. Chances are pretty good that a different brand may be a healthier alternative to the brand you are used to buying.

4.Add aromatics such as finely diced raw onion, scallions or shallots, roasted or raw garlic, fresh ginger or fresh herbs to foods as a hit of flavor instead of salt. Not only do these add flavor, they also bump up the nutritional value of your foods.

5.Make your own salad dressings. These are super easy to make and they taste much better than store-bought dressings. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian spices and minced garlic are a sodium free dressing that is packed with flavor. Experiment and find combinations you and your family will love

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.

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