Great Smiles of NJ - July 2022

JULY 2022


My husband and kids have officially banned me from cooking. More specifically, they’ve banned me from cooking when I have a phone with me in the kitchen. I have to give the food my full concentration. My family knows that if I start scrolling through email, disaster will strike — no matter how many times they try to prevent it. Before the ban, I was simmering a sauce on the stove and got distracted. I can’t remember what grabbed my attention, but soon, my son Matthew poked his head into the kitchen. “Hey, Mom,” he said. “You know that thing you put on the stove is still simmering. You should probably watch it.” I told him I would, then went right back to what I was doing and completely forgot about our conversation. When he came back, the sauce was dried up and the bottom of the pot was black. Oops! “Mom, I told you to watch it!” he said. “No you didn’t!” I shot back. My husband claims I’m just a bad listener, but I always remind him that it's because I’ve used all of my listening skills at work — I have none left for home! He can’t argue with that because he knows just how closely I listen to my patients. Listening is a key part of being a good dentist. It helps me do three important things. 1. Put a nervous patient at ease. A lot of people are scared or intimidated by the dentist, and I’ve discovered that they all have different things that will make them feel better in my chair. Some patients want me to explain what I’m doing in their mouth step by step. Others want me to stay quiet and get it done as quickly as possible. The only way I can find out what will help is by listening. $1,000 OFF Invisalign Now! To celebrate our office’s new status as an Invisalign Gold Provider, we’re making you a limited-time offer: When you accept treatment on or before Monday, July 11, you’ll receive $1,000 off the cost of Invisalign (normally $3,500–$8,500) and a complimentary whitening to boot. Call our office today to schedule a consultation or accept your treatment if you’ve already consulted with us. I’M BANNED FROM THE KITCHEN Because I Listen to You !

2. Discover the real cause of a problem. In dental school, my professors taught me that every patient has a doctor inside of them. You may not be able to explain what’s going on in your mouth with fancy medical terms, but you can definitely explain your point of view on your pain or discomfort. It’s my job to listen to your inside doctor and translate your feelings into what’s going on biologically. This can be a long process, but the end results are worth it. For example, a patient came to me once complaining about tooth pain. I checked the tooth and everything looked normal, but they insisted there was something wrong. So, I listened and took an extra step. I used our iTero scanner to take intraoral photos and blow them up by 500%. That’s when I spotted it — an almost invisible hairline fracture. From there, I knew exactly what to do to take the patient’s pain away. Another of my professors’ favorite sayings was, “The mystery is in the history.” By listening to a patient’s past experiences, I can find clues about their current problems. Do they have a history of clenching their jaw at night? That could have caused that fractured tooth! Listening to these clues helps me discover whether I’m dealing with a toothache, gum pain, bone pain, an infection, or trauma. 3. Craft the exact smile a patient wants. Have you heard the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? It’s so true in cosmetic dentistry. Just because I think a particular smile is pretty doesn’t mean it’s what the patient has in mind. By listening closely, I can find out exactly what they’re looking for. Do they want perfectly straight, bright- white teeth like a supermodel? Or would they rather have a more natural smile with unique characterizations like different angles or rotation of the teeth? Maybe everyone in their family has a space between their two front teeth, and they want to keep that unique characteristic. I’ll never know if I don’t take time to listen. Here’s the bottom line: I may not listen to my kids in the kitchen, but I’ll always listen to you. In my book, that’s worth a cooking ban!

To your great smiles and better health,

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No. 4: Shin Splints If you plan on doing a lot of high impact activities, such as running and jumping, you may experience shin splints. You’ll need plenty of rest and ice to heal from this injury, but physical therapy can also help to get you back on your feet! A treatment plan that may include specific stretches, strengthening exercises, and massages can help alleviate the condition. If you’re upset about an injury putting a stop to your outdoor fun this summer, you aren’t alone. We see patients with life-disrupting and even life-changing injuries all the time. Your pain deserves proper treatment, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

shin bone. Luckily, you don’t have to live in pain. Physical therapists can design stretches and stability/ strengthening exercises to address your specific problems. No. 2: Ankle Sprains If you’ve ever gone out for a run and suddenly felt a pulsing pain in your ankle, then you may know how easy it is to get ankle sprains. These painful and debilitating injuries can leave you helpless on the sofa, but a little physical therapy can get you back into the wilderness again. No. 3: Tennis or Golfer Elbow In summer, many people dust off their tennis racket and golf clubs to start playing again. Unfortunately, these sports can lead to some awkward movements for your body, especially your elbows. Tennis or golfer elbow can occur from repetitive strain on your elbow tendons. Even people who don’t play tennis or golf can suffer from these injuries, so they benefit from a diagnosis and a treatment plan that can help them avoid future problems.

Summer is a fun, exciting time of year. However, it can also lead to being less careful than usual because of all the fun activities we participate in! Here are some common summer injuries to try and avoid. No. 1: Knee Injuries Knees are one of the most commonly injured joints in the human body. You might experience knee pain after a fall while playing sports, or you can even tear your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which connects the front center of your knee to your 4 Common Summertime Injuries PT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE

Ditch the Flops Why Your Flip-Flops Are Doing More Harm Than You Think

‘What if I just only wear flip-flops? Will that help?’ Unfortunately, this isn’t just something your body “gets used to.” Wearing flip-flops for a long period of time can cause chronic problems in addition to standard joint pain. For instance, you could experience plantar fasciitis — which is pain in the tissue that connects your heel and toes — or Achilles tendinitis. The latter results from overuse of the tendon in the back of your heel. Essentially, because your foot is having to compensate for flip-flops’ lack of support, the overexertion at an unnatural angle causes more problems over time. ‘So, I can never wear flip-flops, then?’ Good news! You don’t have to swear off flip- flops or sandals. Find a pair of shoes that offer the right amount of support for your arches. You can tell if shoes have this by looking for the “bump” in the middle of the shoe. Archies are a popular flip-flop brand with the arch built right in! Test drive a pair of these or consult with a trusted physical therapist to find the flip-flops or sandals that give you the summertime look we all want without the flip-flop pain.

Whether you’re walking around poolside or simply enjoying a day at the ballpark, few summertime outfits are complete without a pair of flip-flops. But if you struggle with foot pain — or are simply aging out of your invincible 20s — wearing flip- flops may be one of the worst things you can do for your feet.

‘Why do my feet hurt!?’ Because flip-flops don’t have any support, your arches receive more pressure than when you are wearing shoes that have built-in materials for arches, like tennis shoes. That often explains why your feet are sore, but this can also create a problem for the rest of your body.

‘Wait — flip-flops can hurt my whole body?’ Wearing flip-flops can limit how you walk because you’re compensating for the arch pressure. This can impact your ankles, knees, lower back, and hips by placing unnatural weight on these joints and muscles. This could also have an impact on your balance, since the distribution of your weight with each step is off-kilter.


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From pain killers to carbonated drinks, you can find caffeine everywhere on the American market. However, high caffeine consumption can pose risks. The good news is that in moderation, caffeine may contain useful health benefits, but if you want to actually benefit from caffeine, consider these healthier options. But what is caffeine, exactly? Caffeine is a natural stimulant — in other words, it stimulates the brain and central nervous systems, which prevents weariness and helps you stay alert. Over 80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product every day, including tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks. In North America alone, this number rises to 90%. Research shows that caffeine may possibly elevate your brain function and metabolism, and during exercise, it may even increase your body’s use of fat as fuel — but that doesn’t necessarily mean chugging an energy drink is ideal. Why? Its health benefits come mainly through tea or coffee. Walk into any grocery store, and you’ll notice that many highly caffeinated drinks are also high in sugar and additives. Sugar is extremely harmful to your long-term health — and GET CAFFEINATED IN A ‘HEALTHY’ WAY KEEP IT SIMPLE

no matter what benefits you read about caffeine, the harmful effects of sugar can overwhelm them by heightening your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and much more. The experts agree: Tossing a sugar cube or two into your cup of coffee isn’t the same as drinking a sugary Red Bull. Additionally, too much caffeine can cause some problems. In some individuals, caffeine can promote headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure. Caffeine is also a psychoactive substance, which means it’s habit forming. After a period of not drinking coffee, you might be familiar with the “caffeine withdrawal” and its side effects: anxiety, tremors, restlessness, irregular heartbeat, and even trouble sleeping. Thankfully, these effects are temporary. Studies show that the people who benefit the most from caffeine are often those who drink anywhere from 1–4 cups of tea or coffee a day. You can also find zero-sugar seltzer waters with low doses of caffeine if you need a small kick. Keep it simple, and you’ll avoid excess sugar and reap the benefits of caffeine more fully.



Craving a healthy dog for National Hot Dog Month? We’ve got you! Follow our recipe for a dog packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins. (Serves 8)



• 2 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 green apple, peeled and diced • 1 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded • 2 tsp ground cumin • 1 tbsp grill seasoning • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 8 organic chicken sausage links • 8 whole-wheat hot dog buns, toasted

1. In a large skillet over high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Sauté the apple, onion, and cabbage and toss until wilted. Season with cumin and grill seasoning and cook for 10–12 minutes, until tender. 2. Add the vinegar and maple syrup, then toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute and set the slaw aside. 3. On the grill, cook your chicken dogs according to the package instructions. 4. Assemble the works, starting with the bun and piling in the chicken dog and slaw. 5. Dig in! For an extra health boost, serve with grilled summer vegetables.

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10 Shawnee Drive Watchung, NJ 07069

1. Why Dr. Weddle Is Banned From the Kitchen 2. Why Summer Can Be Dangerous Why You Need to Ditch the Flip-Flops 3. The Healthiest Way to Get Caffeinated Healthier Hot Dogs With Slaw 4. Try These Easy, Healthy Microhabits INSIDE THIS ISSUE


No. 2: Dedicate 5 minutes of your lunch to walking. Whether you want a relaxing walk or a quick jog to get energized, spending time during your lunch to venture outdoors might be more restorative for your mind and body than you’d expect. This is especially easy to do if you’re working from home! No. 3: Find a way to eat an extra serving of fruit or vegetables. If you find yourself struggling to eat healthy foods, don’t subscribe to premade meal kits only to give up a few days later. Instead, try adding fruits and vegetables to meals you already prepare and/or enjoy. Once in a while, replace overly salty or sweet snacks with fresher alternatives.

No. 4: Create a gratitude habit. If your world disappeared tomorrow, what would you miss? Take time in your day, whether it’s the morning, afternoon, or night, to think about everything and everyone you value in your life. This advice isn’t just about achieving better emotional fulfillment; studies show that gratitude practices have significant health benefits, from improved heart health to mental health. No. 5: Take breaks. Avoid burnout. We can get fixated on our jobs and our obligations. But everyone needs regular breaks and personal days off to avoid burnout. Plan to take breaks, and make a promise to never skip them. With these small self-improvement commitments, you might surprise yourself with how far you can go!

Creating a new habit can feel like an enormous hurdle, but the most successful attempts often start with very small steps. Try these very small commitments — they could make a big difference, and even develop into more dedicated habits. No. 1: Go to bed 10 minutes earlier. Research shows that adults need 7–9 hours of sleep. It’s a common myth that adults can get accustomed to five hours of sleep, but experts from the Sleep Foundation say otherwise. While daytime drowsiness may stabilize over weeks or months, persistent sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your metabolism,

cardiovascular system, and immune system. To slowly convince yourself to get more sleep, try getting to bed 10 minutes earlier each time. It’s a small, simple change that could make a noticeable difference.


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