WWW.GREATSMILESNJ.COM | 908-561-0225
For as long as I can remember, dentistry has played a huge part in my life. Coming from a long line of dentists, part of me always knew I would be involved with this field in some capacity down the road. As I grew older, I slowly began to realize it was my true calling after all. After all these years, I now realize I’ve made the right choice. My position has allowed me to personally change the lives of so many wonderful patients. As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been fortunate to personally campaign for better public knowledge about how our medical field can treat and reduce the effects of various ailments. This learning process has taken me across oceans and state lines, where I’ve been able to help both the young and old have better lives for themselves. Although what I do may seem mundane, I think it is the pride I take in my work and my desire to make a real difference in an individual patient's life, and in the medical community as a whole, that makes all the difference. At the end of the day, I couldn't be happier to carry on my family's legacy of dedicated service to this field. A FAMILY TRADITION THREE GENERATIONS OF DENTISTRY With every new smile and every person who moves closer to better health because of our care comes a new feeling of satisfaction in a job well-done. That's why I do what I do, and what I think drove my family to the trade in their professional lives so many years ago. Both my parents and my grandfather were dentists back in the Philippines, and, through hanging around their
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offices, I started to understand the real effect dentistry can have. They were seen as respected and valued members of our community, and they worked hard to better the lives of those around them, from treating basic oral issues to solving serious dental dilemmas, which affected a person's quality of life and their overall health. My dad’s father was the one who started it all. He eventually moved up the ranks to become the president of the Philippine Dental Association. As I child, I knew I wanted to work in a business that helped people, which eventually evolved over many years to my taking up my family’s creed. I always wanted to help others in a real way while working with my hands and practicing a certain degree of creativity, something that dentistry uniquely allows. We have the ability to be creative as we help people both cosmetically and physically. If dentistry was my career path, I couldn’t have picked a better family to be born into, either. My family is made up of lifelong learners and teachers who want those around them to be the best possible version of themselves. I like to carry on those values to my children today, building them up and letting them know they’re capable of anything. It’s
because of this and so much more that I am so excited to get up and go to work every day in an industry I love. To close, I would like to apologize for being out of the office so much recently! My research and the application of it in the clinical dental setting has led me to public speaking circles recently, and I’ve been traveling all over the country to meet the demand. Don’t worry; my head isn’t getting too big about it all. I’m just happy to show people how much dentistry can help with issues outside of teeth cleaning and cavity treatment! My speeches on the connection between obstructive sleep apnea and dentistry have allowed for other practices to follow my lead and gain the proper training to treat their patients. If you would have pulled me aside years ago and told me that dentistry could save lives, I simply wouldn’t have believed the possibilities we’re seeing today. To find out more about what we can do for you here at Great Smiles of New Jersey, give us a call at 908-561- 0225 or visit our website anytime at GreatSmilesNj.com. –Dr. Michelle Wedd le
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IT’S ALL GREEN TO ME THE BEST GREEN FOODS TO ADD TO THE MENU
You need to eat more green foods.
recently noted that people who get most of their vitamin E from their diet tend to have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. It’s all the more reason to enjoy that avocado toast!
No, this doesn't mean green Skittles. Green vegetables comprise one of the most important food groups, and most people aren’t eating enough of them. But if you do decide to get more nutrients from green veggies, remember that not all greens are created equal. Dark leafy spinach is basically a superfood, offering protein, iron, vitamin A, and tons of minerals. Meanwhile, iceberg lettuce or celery may fill your stomach up, but they offer little to no nutritional value. Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for these top-rated green vegetables that are both delicious and nutritious.
Looking for a filling mid-afternoon snack? Skip the potato chips and help yourself to some edamame. These Japanese soybeans are a familiar sight on sushi menus, but they’re also readily available in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Edamame is delicious and a great source of protein, making it the perfect snack.
Step aside, kale; here’s the real queen of green. With more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and more vitamin C than an orange, watercress is one of the best greens you’re not eating. With all of these extra vitamins, watercress has been shown to improve heart health, bone health, and even act as an antidepressant. Next time you need a pick-me-up, consider a watercress salad. Your whole body will thank you! Bad childhood encounters with canned spinach or steamed Brussels sprouts are why many people avoid green veggies. But the produce section is full of tasty, healthy options waiting to appear on your dinner plate and improve your well-being.
They’re tasty, they’re trendy, and they’re great for your eyes. Avocados are a great source of an antioxidant called lutein, which improves eye health. They’re also rich in vitamin E. Researchers have
WHY TAI CHI IS COOLER THAN YOU THINK BETTER BALANCE WITH THE INTERNAL MARTIAL ART
When you think about martial arts, a few images come to mind: Mr. Miyagi, possibly nunchucks, and people breaking objects using impressive disciplined strength. But one of the most powerful martial arts you may not immediately picture is tai chi. This ancient Chinese form of combat in slow motion is an internal martial art that works from the inside out by developing the body’s internal energy, known as qi, or “chi.” In Chinese medicine, balanced qi is essential to good health. Hundreds of studies demonstrate the mental and physical benefits this quiet martial art provides. Because of its focus on posture, tai chi is particularly helpful for balance. In Harvard’s analysis of 20 different studies, tai
chi was shown to improve cognitive function and slow the progression of dementia more than other forms of exercise. While the movements appear mild, the practice of tai chi requires discipline and strength. That’s part of the reason why it provides a powerful punch of health benefits and also why less than 5 percent of people stick with it. Some teachers say it takes three years to learn the basic movements of tai chi — and more than a lifetime to master. Physical training, combined with the internal meditative aspect of tai chi, are the reasons martial arts legend Jet Li has turned to the exercise in recent years, even campaigning to make it an Olympic event. In an interview, Li explained his push to make tai
chi a more widely recognized and accepted exercise: “In our attempts to push ourselves, we’ve lost sight of an important part of the sporting mindset: balance.” For anyone setting out on a mission to age gracefully, tai chi can help reduce your risk of falling with its focus on posture. An ounce of preventive tai chi may be worth a pound of cure; the Center for Disease Control reports that people pay an average of $35,000 in health care costs every time they fall. Many community centers and health and wellness facilities offer opportunities to learn tai chi, from free community classes to entire tai chi facilities. Go see for yourself why this is the martial art everyone should practice.
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AN ANCIENT SOLUTION TO MODERN PROBLEMS THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report less chronic pain. Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression. Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. HOW DO I MEDITATE?
This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems.
foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calm or Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness.
DOES MEDITATION WORK?
It depends on what you mean by “work.” Will meditation allow you to
That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong
ZUCCHINI SALADWITH TOASTED HAZELNUTS
TAKE A BREAK!
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
• 3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.) • 1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped • Mint leaves, for garnish • Parmesan cheese, preferably
1. Using a mandolin or very sharp
knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice. 3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
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10 Shawnee Drive Watchung, NJ 07069
1. COVER TITLE 1. OUR FAMILY HISTORY IN DENTISTRY INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. ARE ALL GREEN FOODS THE SAME? GIVE TAI CHI A TRY 3. TAKE A DEEP BREATH ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH TOASTED HAZELNUTS 4. STRETCHES FOR BETTER BALANCE
2 STRETCHES YOU SHOULDDO EVERY DAY
FOR BETTER BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY
Your fitness routine is likely centered on building strength, tone, and endurance. But what about your balance? As American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified trainer Robbie Ann Darby points
for anyone who suffers from plantar fasciitis): Kneel on the floor, arranging your legs under you so that your shins and the tops of your feet are on the floor and your glutes are resting on the bottoms of your feet. Maintain an upright posture. Raise yourself slightly, pick up your heels, and tuck your toes under. Slowly ease your weight back over your feet so that your glutes are resting on your heels and your toes are stretched. This can be an intense stretch, so ease into it. If it’s too much right now, start by sitting in a comfortable position with one foot in your lap. Gently pull back on your toes until you feel a stretch. Hold for one minute. CALF STRETCH Your calf muscles can limit your ability to place your feet flat on the ground
while doing lunges, squats, and other movements. If your calves are tight, stability can be difficult. To stretch your calves, stand facing a wall and put your left foot behind you, toes facing straight ahead. Lean forward, keeping your heel on the ground and using the wall for stability, until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30–60 seconds, then switch sides. Try adding these stretches to your routine 3–5 days a week, building up to once per day, every day. physical therapy can help. Whether you experience balance challenges related to aging or an inner ear issue, physical therapists can show you how to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility relative to balance — and make it fun in the process! Contact your local PT team to find out how they can help. If you’re experiencing balance issues or are concerned about falling,
out, improving your balance benefits everything you do. By improving your flexibility through stretching, you’ll be able to master the transitions between exercises and develop the power you need for better balance. Here are two essential stretches you can incorporate into your everyday routine. FOOT STRETCH Our feet carry us every day, and when they’re tight, our balance can be affected. Help ease foot tension with this stretch (which is also great
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