H. Charles Jelinek Jr., DDS - November 2018

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Take a Quick Look at the History of Fixing Crooked Teeth The Skinny on Straightening Everyone loves a good smile — even the ancient Egyptians. Teeth straightening can be traced back to ancient civilizations, but their practices and the path to the dental devices of today took some interesting (and likely painful) turns. There is some evidence to suggest that early humans cared about their oral health even in death. Archaeologists have discovered catgut wire made from animal intestines on the teeth of mummified Egyptians, while writings from early philosophers mused about ways to fix crooked teeth. But it wasn’t until the father of dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, invented the “bandeau” in the early 1700s that modern teeth straightening took off. Fauchard designed a metal horseshoe-shaped device with holes for the teeth to fit into. Fauchard would then manually force the teeth into place by cranking them. By the 19th century, headgear and early forms of braces began to take shape. By the 20th century, the father of modern orthodontics, Edward H. Angle, identified the reasons and grave impacts of contorted teeth, pushing dental diagnostics forward with his research and devices. In the 1970s, dental specialists were able to transition from anchoring wire to patients’ teeth to using adhesive to stick the corrective devices onto teeth. Stainless steel also replaced silver and gold dental devices, making orthodontics more affordable. Luckily for patients today, there are plenty of safe and sanitary options for a perfect smile, including multiple options for braces and liners. At the dental office of H. Charles Jelinek Jr., DDS, patients have the option to use Invisalign for a safe, noninvasive way to get healthier teeth. Invisalign treatment is a series of invisible liners that reshape the contour of crooked teeth every few weeks to give the perfect smile. The product fits over teeth like a retainer, but the clear and thin material makes the liners less intrusive. It would be ideal if no one had to force their teeth into proper alignment, but at least animal intestines and manual twisting are no longer corrective options. If you’re interested in learning more about how our dental office can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted, visit NorthernVirginiaDental.com.

Should Last BeyondThanksgiving

Taking the time to acknowledge who and what you’re grateful for is a Thanksgiving tradition far more important than turkey or football. It’s the cornerstone of the holiday and the reason we feast together in the first place. But when you really think about it, should expressing our gratitude and appreciation for others be limited to one day every year? Of course not! Why Gratitude Matters As we get older, it’s easy to succumb to negativity and pessimism — “Kids these days,” “The world isn’t what it used to be,” etc. The crabby grandparent and angry old neighbor are archetypal depictions of later life. But these fictions don’t have to be your reality. Recognizing and acknowledging gratitude will help you take stock of the positive aspects of your life and dwell less on unhappy thoughts. Being grateful has also been linked to significant health benefits. According to gratitude expert and author Dr. Robert A. Emmons, “Preliminary findings suggest that those who regularly practice grateful thinking do reap emotional, physical, and interpersonal benefits. Adults who keep gratitude journals on a regular basis exercise more regularly, report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future.” How to Practice Gratitude In the above quotation from Dr. Emmons, he mentions the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. This activity is a great way to start seeing the world with a more positive, appreciative eye. As often as you can, take a few minutes to write down the acts, people, and moments that you’re grateful for. Some will be big, others small — but all will have an impact on your

mood and bring a smile to your face. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire book full of good memories and warm feelings.

While keeping a journal is great, there are other ways to go about cultivating and expressing gratitude. The easiest one is simply to say “Thanks” whenever you can. It may seem insignificant, but you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. When you approach the world with the perspective that every day is Thanksgiving, it’s only natural to be grateful.

We all have moments when we want to curse the world, especially as we get older, and those experiences are perfectly normal. Just as frequently, though, we have moments that are worth celebrating, often with people who are worth appreciating. Which will you think about more?

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