How To Naturally Keep Your Teeth White Between Professional Bleaching Sessions

Whether you love coffee or wine, enjoy eating berries often, or have to take medication on a regular basis, the stains that result are easy to overcome with the help of professional bleaching sessions. But between dental visits, you’ll want to keep those stains from aggressively rebuilding. Here are a few natural ways to keep your teeth white between your professional treatments:

Make Your Own Mouthwash

Leave those store-bought mouthwash concoctions on the shelf, and save yourself some money by making your own concoction at home that works to freshen up your breath and whiten your teeth. With the help of hydrogen peroxide, this bright lemony mouthwash is sure to be a treat for your taste buds. Here’s what you need to make a batch:

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice or ½ tsp stevia (optional – for sweetness)

Simply put all of the ingredients in a reusable container that has a lid, seal the container, and shake vigorously for a few seconds. When you’re ready to use it, take a sip of the mouthwash and swish as you would with a commercial option. Spit and brush as usual.

Upgrade Your Toothpaste

Add some extra whitening power to your toothpaste by mixing a little baking soda into it before you brush. The baking soda gently scrubs away stains and slows down the staining process. Just put a squirt of toothpaste into a small bowl and add half a teaspoon of baking soda. Stir the paste with a spoon, then wet your toothbrush and dip it into the paste before brushing like you normally do. If you prefer to make your own toothpaste from scratch, just mix the baking soda with a little lemon or orange juice and stir for a few seconds until well combined and creamy.

Enjoy a Cider Drink Often

Because apple cider vinegar is an astringent, it works to lighten tooth stains and kill bacteria in the mouth. You can gargle with apple cider vinegar, or rub it directly on your teeth once in awhile as a brightening agent. But a tastier way to make apple cider vinegar work for you is to enjoy it in a fresh drink a few times a week. Refresh yourself with a cold glass of ice water mixed with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, or blend a few tablespoons of the vinegar with a couple of bananas and some ice for a frothy afternoon treat.

Chew on the Right Snacks

Believe it or not, you can keep your teeth white between professional bleaching sessions by doing nothing more than chewing the right snacks throughout the day. Common produce is the name of the game when you want to brighten your smile. Here are a few effective options to consider:

  • Strawberries – The astringents whiten and Vitamin C clears plaque away. Throw berries in a smoothie, juice them, or eat them as-is.
  • Apples – these crunchy fruits act like a toothbrush by scrubbing away plaque and removing stains as you eat them.
  • Raisins – When raisins are chewed, saliva creation is induced, which works like mouthwash and naturally rinses away plaque.

Keep these nutritious snacks on hand by storing separate servings in sealable plastic bags for easy storage. Keep raisins in the glove box of your vehicle, store fresh apples on your desk at work, and put a batch of berries in your fridge for instant snacking when the mood strikes.

These tips and tricks are easy to incorporate, and will keep your mouth feeling fresh, clean, and sparkling when they are used on a regular basis. 

For more information and tips, contact an experienced dentist like David Jackson, DDS.

Learn More

7 Helpful Tips For Communicating With An Alzheimer’s Patient

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating disease that slowly destroys a person’s memory. According to the National Institute on Aging, approximately 5 million Americans who are 65 or older could have Alzheimer’s disease. When your loved one is suffering from this disease, it can be difficult to deal with. However, if you learn how to properly communicate with a person with Alzheimer’s disease, things will be a lot easier. Here are seven helpful tips for communicating with an Alzheimer’s patient.

Get Rid Of Distractions

When you want to have a conversation with an Alzheimer’s patient, you should get rid of all the distractions in the room. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease already has trouble concentrating and distractions, such as the television or radio, will just make things more difficult. If you have a conversation with your loved one in a quiet setting, he will be able to focus a lot better.

Ask Just One Question At A Time

Alzheimer’s patients can only process a little information at a time, so you should avoid asking your loved one multiple questions. For example, if you want to find out what your loved one wants to do one day, just simply ask, “What activity would you like to do today?” If you ask, “What do you want to do today? Do you want to go to the park or beach?”, it will just frustrate an Alzheimer’s patient.

Avoid Arguing

Dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient can get frustrating at times, but you should never argue with one. For example, if your loved one says something that did not really happen, just nod and allow him to talk. Arguing with an Alzheimer’s patient will get you nowhere and likely upset your loved one.

Always Make Eye Contact

When you want to speak to an Alzheimer’s patient, it is very important to make eye contact. If you try speaking to your loved one across the room, he might not realize that you are talking to him. Just sit across from your loved one and look him in the eyes as you speak to him. Doing this will make the conversation a lot easier on both of you.

Rely On Nonverbal Cues

Nonverbal cues are really important when you communicate with an Alzheimer’s patient. For example, if you are done cooking dinner, point to the kitchen as you tell your loved one that dinner is served. Also, smiling, rubbing his back and giving him a kiss on the cheek can make an Alzheimer’s patient feel much happier and more relaxed.

Do Not Interrupt

If an Alzheimer’s patient is taking a while to form his thoughts, it can be tempting to interrupt and help him. However, making interruptions all the time can really frustrate your loved one. Instead, be patient and give your loved one enough time to answer your questions.

Avoid Baby Talk

Even though your loved one has lost a lot of his memory, it does not mean he can’t completely understand you. Never use baby talk or phrases that will make your loved one feel embarrassed. For instance, if your father finishes his dinner, do not say, “That’s a good boy.” It is very important to show an Alzheimer’s patient respect at all times.

Dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient is definitely not easy, but communication does not have to be impossible. If you follow these helpful tips, you can communicate with your loved one a lot easier. Remember that your loved one can’t help having this disease and always be patient with him. Being understanding and loving will help an Alzheimer’s patient feel a lot more secure. 

Learn More

Essential Oils: Not Just For Smelling Nice Anymore

Essential oils are not new – plants and herbs have been used for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used sandalwood, cedar, and myrrh for embalming. Through the distillation process, essential oils are wrung out of everything from lemon peel, cinnamon bark, ginger rhizomes, juniper berries, anise seeds, and lavender flowers.

By placing a few drops of oil from a site like http://www.wearelivingitout.com on a cotton ball, it is easy to place a scent in any nook and cranny. Stinky rooms are conquered, and stressed nerves are relaxed. But did you know there is so much more you can achieve with essential oils? Take a look at how using them can improve your life.

Going Green

When you spray a room using a commercial room or air freshener, do you wonder what else is being added to your air? Or, do you have a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or glove box, but worry about added dyes and fragrances? There really is a way to save money, still have an awesome hand sanitizer or air freshener product that works, and not die from the added dyes and toxic chemicals.

By making your own green products, you can have it all. Here’s how you can make your own air freshener and hand sanitizer.

Air Freshener

  1. You will need a small spray bottle, 1 cup of water, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, and your favorite essential oils.
  2. Add the water and alcohol to the spray bottle.
  3. Now is the time to add 30 drops of essential oil. You can combine different oils to make your own scents. Add more drops to increase the potency.
  4. This can be sprayed on curtains, towels, blankets, carpet, beds, and fabric furniture.

Travel Hand Sanitizer

  1. Gather a small squirt bottle, 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup aloe Vera gel, and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
  2. Combine the ingredients together well in a large bowl. Carefully funnel it into your squirt bottle.
  3. Shake the bottle well, and stash it where you will use it to sanitize your hands on the go.

Don’t just stop there – look for more ways to go green using essential oils when you do laundry, clean your home, or wash dishes.

In The Kitchen

You can put your essential oil to work in the kitchen – and not just for cleaning or disinfecting. Cooking with essential oils adds incredible flavor to just about anything. Before you start cooking up a storm, make sure your oil is labeled therapeutic-grade, and includes supplemental facts to indicate nutritional value. Not all essential oils are pure enough to be ingested.

Start out using just one drop of oil, and increase from there until you reach your favorite level of flavor.  Make sure you add them at the end of cooking if you want the therapeutic benefits – high heat extinguishes them.

1. Citrus

Rather than using whole lemons or limes for cooking, one or two drops of essential oil provide just as much flavor. Plus, you save money instead of buying expensive fruit that does not last long. Oils last for years in a cool, dark place. Use citrus oil in place of zest and juice.

2. Herbs

In savory dishes, substitute one drop of oil for one teaspoon of dried herbs. Thyme, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary are strong, and can be simmered for a while to tone down the flavor a bit. Add more mild herbs like sage, basil, bay and celery at the end of cooking.

3. Baking extracts

You can use essential oils when you make candy, cookies, cakes, and other sinful delights. Instead of one teaspoon of extract, use ¼ teaspoon oil such as peppermint, clove, almond, cinnamon, vanilla, and lavender. 

Learn More

3 Wheelchair Accessories To Aid With Mobility

If you have recently had a leg or knee surgery, or if you have a debilitating condition that makes it difficult to walk, then you likely have started to use a wheelchair to assist with your mobility. It can take some time to get used to the way your wheelchair functions. Even after several months of use, you may still have some difficulties with the way your mobility device works. If this is the case, then keep reading to learn about a few accessories you can add to your chair to;increase mobility.

Grade Aids

Thanks to the implementation of the Americans with Disability Act in 1990, buildings must be constructed with wheelchair ramps that are easy to maneuver. Ramps must be sloped so you can use your wheelchair to access buildings with ease, but you may still find it difficult to climb an incline with your mobility device if you are a new user. As you use a ramp, you must shift your wheelchair from side to side to as you navigate around turns. This requires you to release your hands from the hand rims attached to the wheels, and the wheelchair slides backwards.

Unfortunately, you cannot secure the brake on your wheelchair when navigating a ramp, because this will stop the wheels from shifting to the side. You can add a device that stops the chair from rolling backward as you navigate the ramp though. This device is called a grade aid and it can be attached directly to the wheelchair brake. Once you add the device, activate it when you use a ramp. Just make sure to deactivate the grade aid when you are done, or it will place stress on the wheels of your mobility device.

Frog Leg Shock Absorbers

If your wheelchair seems to ride rough or if you have difficulties turning smoothly as you move, then you may want to consider changing the casters and forks that secure the small front wheels to the base of your wheelchair. Typically, the front wheels on your chair are attached to rigid metal fork devices that transfer shock directly to the base of your wheelchair. The wheels are hard themselves as well and the combination of the rigid wheels and forks make it hard to maneuver and turn.

You can reduce mobility concerns by replacing your front wheel forks with frog leg shock absorbers. These devices feature more rounded fork designs that allow pivot pins and absorption blocks to provide a smoother ride. They also allow for better wheel movements. Once you install the new forks, also think about buying wheels or casters made out of soft rubber materials instead of plastic. This will help with shock absorption and so will replacing solid rear tires with pneumatic varieties.

Tire Covers

If you find that you spend a great deal of time trying to avoid mud, dirt, and puddles so you do not track debris into your home, then your mobility may be hampered by your desire to keep your wheelchair clean. You also may take your time to rinse or otherwise clean the wheels of your chair before entering your home. Instead of cleaning or trying to avoid messes, consider purchasing wheelchair tire covers. Wheelchair tire covers are fabric products with elastic lined edges. The covers stretch over the back wheels of your wheelchair to prevent dirt and debris from transferring to carpets and other home flooring materials.

When you purchase tire covers, just make sure that you find a product with an interior lined with vinyl, nylon, or polyester. This will prevent water and mud from seeping through the cover and onto your floor.

If you have just started to use a wheelchair, then you are probably still trying to get used to the mobility device from sites like http://www.twincitystairlifts.com. If you find that you are having general mobility problems, then consider the three accessories outlined above.

Learn More

Three Medical Applications Of 3D Printing

3D printing is one of the newest and most versatile forms of rapid prototyping and prosthetic development. 3D printing is an additive method of manufacturing where layers of photopolymer plastic, wax, ceramics, or even living tissue are stacked vertically to create three-dimensional objects from a CAD model. While 3D printing, like that done at places like EIGERlab, has picked up an enthusiast following that uses the technology for consumer applications, there are several medical applications of 3D printing as well.

External Prosthetics

3D printing has provided an alternate method for creating functional prosthetics. Facial replacements like prosthetic ears or noses can be created without the expensive process of sculpting a wax replica and creating a silicone cast from the replica. Instead, the injured area is digitally photographed, and the photograph is converted to a digital model that a 3D printer can use to create a prosthetic. This reduces the time it takes to produce prosthetics and also allows replacement prosthetics to be created more easily if the original is damaged.

Researchers from Washington State University have even used 3D printers to create temporary replacement bone. When a patient has a fractured bone or skull, a CT scan is taken of the damaged area and the scan results are converted to a CAD model. The temporary replacement is made from a composite of calcium phosphate, silicon and zinc. The bone surrounding the damaged area can grow onto the replacement bone and heal until the replacement dissolves, leaving healthy bone in its place.

Dentistry

Dentistry is one of the most promising fields for the rapid uptake and expansion of 3D printing. Currently the biggest use for 3D printing in dentistry is for practicing invasive procedures. MRI and CT scans can be used to create 3D replicas of patients’ jawbones and teeth. These replicas can be used for practice runs by oral surgeons so that they are familiar with a patient’s periodontal structure, minimizing the risk of accidental damage during the actual procedure.

3D printing can also be used to create functional dental prosthetics. 3D printing dental crowns and implants will be much cheaper than dental porcelain and ceramic, and will soon be comparable in strength to traditional materials. Oral surgeons are also experimenting with large-scale maxillofacial replacements. Oral surgeons at the Biomedical Research Institute of Hasselt University have succeeded in implanting a 3D printed titanium mandibular implant in an 83-year-old woman

Organ Supplementation

Doctors are experimenting with using 3D printing to supplement complex structures on the inside of the human body. While full 3D printed organs like kidneys, hearts, and lungs cannot yet be created, surgeons are able to supplement damaged organs with 3D printed materials to improve their function. 3D printing these materials is much more affordable than creating them using traditional methods, and they are often more accurately designed since they can be made from the results of body scans that are fed directly to the 3D printer.

Tracheomalacia is a life-threatening condition that has been treated with 3D printing. In this condition, some of the tissue in the trachea is not strong enough to support breathing, periodically collapsing and cutting off the airway. 3D splints can be inserted in the airway to hold it open in the area where it normally collapses.

Surgeons have also implanted artificial heart valves made from 3D printing. Specially designed 3D printers can create heart valves from living tissues. This is especially useful for newborns with congenital heart defects, whose hearts cannot typically support prosthetic valves made from artificial materials.

3D printing will continue to revolutionize the medical field as the technology further develops. Doctors may soon be able to provide full prosthetic limbs and complete organ replacements made from 3D printed materials.

Learn More

Four Things You’re Doing Everyday To Wreck Your Back

Back pain is one of the most common complaints among Americans today. Even though there are many causes of chronic back pain, many people are doing simple things everyday that compound into unbearable pain later. Take a look at the following list to see whether you are inadvertently causing yourself back pain (and should maybe see a chiropractic professional).

Using A Laptop On Your Lap

You’re probably comfortable checking your email or working from home sitting on the couch with your laptop and a cup of coffee, but your back doesn’t agree. Sitting with the laptop on the lap naturally creates bad posture. When typing with a laptop on your lap:

  • your shoulders naturally hunch forward. You need to look down, and reach your arms out in order to type. The neck also has to support the head in a forward position, which strains the trapezius muscles– the muscle bars that sit above the shoulders but below the neck.
  • you start to slouch, which removes the natural curve of the spine. As you continue working, you will slouch down, curving the lower spine out and placing increased pressure on the lower back. Over time, people who type in this position will develop a sore neck and consistent lower back pain as they work without lumbar support. 

Doing The Wrong Ab Workouts

It’s important to work your abs in order to get sufficient core strength– in fact, having a strong core can prevent back pain because the abdominal muscles will help to stabilize movement through the spine. However, many people work the abs incorrectly, placing intense force on the back.

Sit ups, for example, are one of the worst exercises for the spine. They force the natural curve of of the spine to the floor and increase pressure on the hip flexors. As this muscles tighten, they begin to pull at muscles in the back, leading to intense lower back pain. 

To strengthen core strength in a healthy manner, it’s better to so exercises that keep the stomach toward the ground, like planks with leg lifts. 

Wearing High Heels

Sit ups may flatten out the natural curve of the spine, but wearing heels does the opposite. It causes the spine to over-curve in order to compensate for the artificial tilt that heels provide. The foot should not be elevated in this way, because it eventually causes the muscles in the back and legs to shorten, and it can can make the tendons in the foot stiff and inflexible. As the body adapts to heel wearing, muscle spasms in the back and legs become more common. You are also at a greater risk for injury because the shifting of weight makes you more prone to falls.

Wearing A Heavy Backpack

Students have a hard life, but their backs probably take the worst hit during long school days. Nearly 1 out of 5 students see a doctor for back pain during schools, and doctors believe that heavy packs are the cause. Carrying too much weight in bag on the back causes the body to overcompensate by leaning forward, which strains the shoulders, the neck, and puts more stress on the curve of the spine. When you need to carry a pack for school or work:

  • choose packs with two straps, a chest strap, and a waist belt.
  • never sling the bag over one shoulder. This puts even great pressure on the spine, and makes it more likely that you will cause injury to yourself because the body is not properly aligned.
  • try to carry less weight, especially if you are not very heavy. Heavier people can handle a heavier load, but to be on the safe side, keep your pack as light as possible, even if you have to carry some books in your arms. Your pack should never be more than 20% of your body weight
Learn More

Need Some Medicine? 3 Reasons To Head To The Compounding Pharmacy Instead

If you suffer from an ongoing medical condition, you might feel pre-programmed to head to your local drug store to fill your prescriptions. Although you have to remind your pharmacist time and time again what you need and how to spell your last name, you might feel like those grocery store pharmacies are your only option. Fortunately, compounding pharmacies, also called apothecaries, offer prescription drug services you can’t find anywhere else. Here are three reasons you should head to your local compounding pharmacy or a site like http://www.pottershouserx.com next time instead of that place on the corner.    

1: Compounding Pharmacists Receive Additional Training

After reading a classic novel, you might wonder what happened to those jolly little shops where pharmacists created drugs from scratch behind the counter. These days, traditional pharmacies order bulk quantities of drugs directly from pharmaceutical companies, and pharmacy techs mostly focus on putting the right number of pills into orange vials.

However, compounding pharmacies add a little old-school touch to filling your medications. In addition to attending traditional pharmacy school, compounding pharmacists also receive special training for how to mix and administer medications. To keep you happy and comfortable, compounding pharmacists also study how different drugs react with hormone replacement therapies and lifestyle choices.     

Compounding pharmacies are still regulated by state boards and checked for quality assurance, so that you won’t have to worry about your pharmacist going rogue. Instead, compounding pharmacists can offer you deep insights about your medications, so that you can make better healthcare decisions.

2: You Will Receive Friendly, Personalized Care

When you visit traditional pharmacies, you might hear “Next,” and “Please stay behind the line” more than a few times. In an effort to hurry people through, many regular pharmacy staff members can sound a little frank and impersonal when they meet with patients. However, if you are looking for a pharmacy with a friendly, personalized touch, you should try your local apothecary.

Unlike many traditional pharmacy staff members, compounding pharmacists think of the big picture when it comes to your healthcare. Instead of simply filling your prescription and sending you on your way, compounding pharmacists will sit down with you, discuss your symptoms, and talk with you about your treatment goals.  

If your compounding pharmacist hears about a problem, he or she might take the time to call your doctor and discuss alternative options. For example, if you get headaches when you take those pain pills for your back, your compounding pharmacist might talk with your doctor about recommending physical therapy to alleviate your symptoms instead. By working with your compounding pharmacist, you can develop a multi-faceted approach to your treatment.

3: Compounding Pharmacists Can Customize Your Medication

What will you do if your Crohn’s Disease medication gets discontinued? Although your doctor might recommend a similar drug, it isn’t always easy to switch treatment regimens. Fortunately, compounding pharmacists can mix and match existing medications to create a formulation customized especially for you. Here are a few ways they can help:

  • Flavor: Do you have a rough time wolfing down that medication that only comes in liquid form? Your compounding pharmacist might be able to mix in special flavorings to make the concoction more palatable. 
  • Dosage: Sometimes, doctors accidentally prescribe dosages that aren’t commercially available. Although that 50mg tablet might be commonplace at the hospital, it might not be anywhere in sight at your local pharmacy. Fortunately, compound pharmacists can create customized capsules with the dosage you need.
  • Allergies: If you are allergic to certain dyes or binding agents, then you know how devastating it can be to discover that the medicine you need is chock full of ingredients you can’t take. However, an apothecary can create custom mixes to alleviate your symptoms, without causing collateral damage.

By taking advantage of the services offered by your local compounding pharmacy, you might be able to enjoy fewer side effects, and make a new friend. 

Learn More