The MONTHLY Smile
MY LOVE FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS MARCH 2019 How a Backpacking Trip Changed My Life!
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park opened its gates for the first time. In addition to providing vegetation and wildlife with a safe place to flourish, this national park provides over 4 million visitors hundreds of trails to explore each year. In honor of this park’s 147th anniversary, I wanted to talk about my love for hiking and the role that the great outdoors has played in my life since I was a little girl.
One of my most memorable early experiences was a family trip to Yellowstone. When I was in elementary
school, my parents planned a six-week vacation out west so that we could enjoy scenery that was different than what we were accustomed to back east. I remember spending four days adventuring through the national park and being taken with the sheer number of animals that had made homes for themselves there. In fact, on my last day, I saw my first and only grizzly bear, an encounter that I found immensely exciting. While my experiences as a young girl fueled my fascination with nature, a backpacking trip I took to Patagonia in 2014 stands out as the best outdoor experience I’ve ever had. To celebrate my completion of dental school, my mom and I planned a five-day trek through the Chilean mountains. We signed up as part of a group of 10 people. We all spent the day hiking through the breathtaking landscape during the day and slept in tents under the stars at night. Then we did it all over again the next day! People who have had the good fortune to travel to Patagonia, and those who have merely seen photos, regard the scenery as some of the most beautiful in the world. Even though I had spent months preparing for the trip and had a fair idea of what to expect from the hikes, I could never have imagined how enchanting the location would actually be. The views were seriously incredible. In addition to enjoying the landscape, the relationships I was able to forge with the other members of our group added to an already great experience. Of the 10 hikers, my mom and I were the only two
from the United States. Spending every second together for five days allowed us to get to know one another in a very personal way. I got to learn so much about various cultures, and in doing so, I realized all the small enjoyments I was taking for granted in my own country. While this trip gave me unforgettable memories, the best part of the adventure was getting to share it with my mom. This marked the first trip she and I were able to take with just the two of us, and I will always hold the special time we spent together dear to my heart.
I still make time to hike today because, honestly, it’s my favorite form of relaxation. Whether it’s been a chaotic day at work or at home, hiking gives me an opportunity to take a breath of fresh air — both literally and figuratively — and clear my mind. I’ve even started bringing my daughter along on my trips. She’s too young to do any hiking on her own quite yet, but I carry her in a backpack, and she gets to enjoy the view. Sharing these experiences with her the same way I shared them with my own mother has only made me enjoy the great outdoors even more. I can’t wait for more adventures!
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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
EXPLORING IRISH CULTURE
Ever experience discomfort in your jaw joint while chewing or opening your mouth? If so, you’re not alone. Of all the hinging points in your body, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ, commonly called the “jaw joint”) works harder than any other. Due to its connection to the trigeminal nerve — the largest of 12 cranial nerves that run throughout the upper and lower jaws and into the teeth, eyes, and even the tongue — the smallest misalignment can have a significant impact on the rest of the system. There are numerous conditions that may lead to TMJ pain, many of which become more prevalent as we age. These conditions include tooth movement, injury, craniofacial muscle spasms, and rheumatic disease. The good news is that these issues often resolve on their own. If you suspect you have TMJ issues, there are some steps you can take at home to relieve the discomfort. • Apply moist heat to the side of the face, particularly just in front of the ear, where the TMJ is located • Make a conscious effort to keep your face relaxed, with lips together and teeth apart • Eat softer foods • Take small bites and chew with both sides of the mouth Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean heading to the local Irish bar and drinking a large green beverage. If you’re not interested in going out this year and would prefer to do something at home with the family, here are a few ways everyone can celebrate. IRISH-THEMED FOOD What better way to get festive than by making some St. Patrick’s Day-themed dishes? You can make rainbow cupcakes, green cookies, St. Patrick’s Day popcorn, or — for a more traditional dish — Irish soda bread. You can also cook up an array of greens for dinner on March 17, which could include Brussels sprouts, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, peas, or asparagus. A MISCHIEVOUS LEPRECHAUN To treat your kids to a fun game, leave green footprints around the house and participate in impish tricks! Empty a tissue box, hide the remote, swap out regular light bulbs with green ones, or draw rainbows on the windows. You’re only limited by your imagination. MANAGE YOUR JAWPAIN
Another way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family is to sit down and read about Irish culture with your kids. Learn where the legend of the leprechaun came from or read other stories from Irish folklore. You can also watch videos of Irish dance performances and
encourage the kids to make their own. There’s also fascinating history on St. Patrick and why he became the patron of the holiday that your family members can research together. If you have Irish roots, tell your kids about your heritage.
WATCH IRISH MOVIES For a relaxing activity, settle down in front of the TV for a movie night filled with films related to Irish culture. Try “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns,” “Song of the Sea,” “The Luck of the Irish,” or “The Secret of Kells.” MAKE AN IMPACT Teach your kids how to be “greener” this month by doing more for the environment. Discuss ways to save energy and water in the home, and talk about the importance of taking a break from electronics and enjoying the outdoors.
Tips for Easing the Symptoms of TMD
• Don’t rest your chin in your hand • Don’t bite hard objects, such as pencils, fingernails, cuticles, etc. • Don’t hold your phone between your neck and shoulder • Avoid excessive or extensive movements of the jaw, such as big yawns or chewing gum • Practice stress-relieving techniques
• Do gentle jaw stretches or jaw massages. One approach is to place your thumb or fingertip in the small “notch” located about one inch in front of your ears and on the underside of the cheekbone. Gently pressing inward and upward in this spot and rubbing in soft circular motions may provide some relief. If your TMJ pain continues, there are other options for treatment, including occlusal splints, which can help the jaw settle back into the proper position. Dental adjustments, pain medication, and Botox can also be viable options, however, these approaches
should only be considered after assessing all of the pros, cons, and risks with your dentist.
Excerpted from “The Smile Secret: Your Guide to a Healthy Smile and Healthy You,” by Drs. David and Patti Bradley. If you’d like a copy, feel free to stop by the office or mention it at your next appointment.
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TURNING TO VIDEO GAMES AFTER RETIREMENT Game-fully Employed
The rise in popularity of game-streaming platforms like Twitch — a service seemingly only used by snarky teens playing under quirky aliases — has paved the way for a whole new generation of video game enthusiasts. They just might not be the type you had in mind. Clips and articles are popping up online showcasing how older generations of tech aficionados have taken to gaming en masse. Long gone are the days of grandparents calling grandsons in frustration to ask how to send an email. The current generation of seniors bucks the stereotypical ignorance of technology, embracing hand-held controllers and battle cries as they take on their decades-younger counterparts in the digital arena. One team in particular has stolen the spotlight of late: The Silver Snipers, bringers of destruction in "Counter-Strike" leagues around the world. The team from Stockholm, Sweden, took their talents to the stage of Dreamhack 2017, an esports tournament, where they battled it out against some of the world’s most skilled esports players. Their mission was simple: to show the world that gaming is for people of all ages. Each member picked up the game for different reasons; some played as a way to connect to their grandkids, while others did it to pass the time. One thing’s for certain: This alliance has turned into a serious challenge for their opponents.
gaming aliases — has proved to be a first-of-its-kind powerhouse in the growing circle of older gamers. As one member explained, the game is not just for having fun. Gaming has given the team a chance to connect and be a part of a massive worldwide community. The gameplay also allows for mental exercise. It offers teamwork challenges and improves cognitive function, multitasking skills, and reflexes.
With every team member being over the age of 60, the combination of BirDie, Windy, Knitting Knight, Teen Slayer, and Berra Bang — all
If The Silver Snipers are passing along one message, it’s that you’re never too young for an old-fashioned digital beat down.
TAKE A BREAK
SOBA NOODLES WITH GARLIC AND ZUCCHINI
Ingredients • 4 ounces soba noodles • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2–3 cloves garlic, grated • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated • 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons water • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced • 1 small zucchini,
julienned into noodle strands
Instructions 1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook until tender, about 4–5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside. 2. In a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat, warm olive oil until barely shimmering. Add grated garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in soy sauce and water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. 3. Add onions, simmering for 3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook for an additional 90 seconds. 4. Add soba noodles and toss to fully coat. Serve immediately, or cool and serve as a cold dish.
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1011 Parkside Main | Greensboro, GA 30642 If you have any questions, call us at 706-453-1333 www.LakeOconeeDental.com
We’re located at 1011 Parkside Main between the Publix parking lot and the movie theater.
Age Is Only a Level Number page 3 Inside
My Love for the Great Outdoors page 1 Family Activities for St. Patrick’s Day page 2 Tips for Managing Your TMD Pain page 2
Soba Noodles With Garlic and Zucchini page 3 2 Effective Natural Antibiotics page 4
GO NATURAL WITH YOUR ANTIBIOTICS
2 Ways to Fight Bacteria
Our world is becoming increasingly antibacterial with practically every office, medical facility, and school being equipped with dozens of containers of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. While these products claim to be 99.9 percent effective at killing bacteria, the harsh chemicals dry out our skin, and over time, bacteria become more and more resistant to these agents. Doctors, too, are blamed for overprescribing antibiotics. As a result, we’re hearing more and more about “superbugs” — strains of harmful bacteria that cause severe illness and are not easily remedied by antibiotics. But you can still protect yourself and your family against illness- causing bacteria without resorting to harsh chemicals and medications. The answer is to go all-natural! Here are two options that are completely natural yet totally effective against the microorganisms that make us sick. RAW HONEY Most honey you find at the store has been pasteurized and filtered, rendering it far less effective when it comes to its antibacterial properties. On the other hand, raw, unfiltered honey is an incredible antiseptic. Even better than your average raw honey is manuka honey, which comes from New Zealand. Its antibacterial properties are potent enough that hospitals around the world keep it on hand to treat certain kinds of infections and burns.
If you get a cut, applying raw honey to the wound can keep out harmful, infection-causing bacteria while killing any existing bacteria. Not only does the honey help prevent infection but it can also help reduce healing time. Raw honey can also help alleviate internal infections, such as peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori . Manuka honey is particularly great for this — just add some to hot tea or water and drink! OREGANO A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences took a look at the effectiveness of oregano against bacteria. It turns out certain compounds in oregano — carvacrol and thymol — make it a strong antibacterial and antifungal agent. The study found that oregano was effective against salmonella as well as other harmful microorganisms and fungi that make people sick. As an antibacterial, oregano is most useful as an essential oil. In this form, it’s highly potent, meaning you only need a drop or two in a glass of water for it to have an effect. You can drink it, or you can infuse a couple of drops into some coconut oil and apply to your skin. However, be warned that because it is potent, it should not be used on a regular, ongoing basis. Use only when needed and only for a few days at a time — and never use it undiluted!
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