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IT ALL COMES BACK TO TEETH WHAT DOES YOUR SMILE HAVE TO DO WITH VALENTINE’S DAY?
THE GOOD: SMILES MAKE YOU MORE ATTRACTIVE It might be hard to believe, but there’s actually a big connection between your teeth and your romantic life beyond whether you’re brushing enough to be kissable. Humans are hard-wired to find certain traits attractive, and a straight, white smile is one of the biggest turn-ons there is. I’m serious! Studies show that people with beautiful smiles (specifically evenly spaced, white teeth) are considered more attractive and dateable. It’s not just the dating world that cares about your teeth, either. In another American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) study, people were asked to look at smiling photos of others and guess their IQ and level of success at work based on their appearance. People with straight white teeth were consistently thought to have higher IQs and be more successful than people with crooked smiles — even if the photos were actually of the same person, and the only difference was an added set of pearly whites! One British study conducted by researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Central Lancashire found such a big difference in attraction that in its reporting on the findings, The Daily Mail called teeth "the human equivalent of a peacock’s tail.” On our side of the pond, a Match.com poll of 5,000 people revealed that a beautiful smile was seen as the most attractive quality someone could have, and AACD research has found that 96% of people think an attractive smile makes them more appealing when it comes to romance.
THE BAD: THE DENTAL SECRET ON KISSING Did you know that cavities and gum disease could be shared through kissing? Cavities and gum disease are both caused by bacteria. And when you kiss, you transfer these bacteria through saliva. That means that you and your significant other can give each other not only cavities, but also gum disease. Odds are you’ve never heard this secret about kissing. I hadn’t either until I went to dental school, but it certainly stuck with me. Before you cancel your romantic plans, though, I’m not saying don’t smooch on Feb. 14! You might just want to pay a little extra attention to your teeth in the lead-up. Practicing good oral hygiene like daily flossing and brushing can help reduce plaque and bacteria buildup. Eating fewer fermentable carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and desserts, and consuming fewer acidic foods, like coffee and wine, will decrease cavities, too. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating anything will always help decrease the sugars and the acid that sit on the teeth, which are the main contributors to why bacteria can cause cavities. All of these things may be a bummer if you weren’t born with beautiful, straight teeth or have developed problems over time. The good news is that anyone can have a gorgeous smile nowadays with recent advancements in dental cosmetic procedures. If you’re pretty happy with your teeth except for the color, do not underestimate the power of professional teeth whitening to really make your smile POP! If you
would like to straighten your teeth, then Invisalign or braces are an option. From limited treatment to make your smile prettier to comprehensive treatment to make your bite more functional, orthodontic treatment is a great choice to change the appearance and function of your smile. If chipped teeth are your nemesis, then consider composite bonding for small chips. These are very conservative, can usually be done in one visit, and have the ability to really change your smile. If broken or worn teeth have been a concern, then porcelain veneers, onlays, and crowns are an option. Just make sure to address the root cause of why the teeth broke or wore down in the first place, or they are likely to break again. If a tooth broke during a sports injury, please consider using a sports mouthguard. If the teeth are breaking because of teeth grinding, then a bite analysis is recommended to figure out how to avoid breaking the newly fixed tooth again in the future. Call our office for an appointment, or if you are already coming to see us, let us know if you have any concerns. We want to make sure your smile is Certified KISSABLE, ready for Valentine’s Day — and every day!
To your great smiles and better health,
–Dr. Michelle Wedd le
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WHAT IT IS, WHERE IT CAME FROM, AND WHAT IT COULD MEAN FOR OUR SCREEN TIME SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT DIGITAL DEMENTIA?
2 • WWW.GREATSMILESNJ.COM Somatic exercises can offer a solution to long-term pain sufferers. Dr. Thomas Hanna taught the first class on somatics in 1990. He had discovered a disconnect between Studies show that 1 in 10 Americans lives with chronic pain for more than one year. When you’re in pain, you seek a way to cope. Some might attend regular physical therapy appointments to find the source of the pain and resolve it. Others might ignore the pain and adapt their lifestyle to avoid making it worse. Either way, the body continues to sustain real damage with these adaptations, which compounds pain and can make things worse. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean healing is a lost cause. Everyone forgets things. It’s not unusual to have trouble remembering the name of someone you’ve just met or recalling the face of a classmate you haven’t seen in 20 years. But it’s less normal — and a lot more inconvenient — to become chronically absent-minded. If you find yourself struggling to remember the minutiae of daily life, which page of a book you left off on, or when it’s time to pick your kids up from soccer practice, digital dementia could be to blame. The term “digital dementia” was coined in 2012 by German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, who studies how our addiction to technology is impacting our brains. According to Alzheimers. net, Spitzer found that “overuse of digital technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.” Because of the shared symptoms, Spitzer called the affliction digital dementia.
the industrialized world and healthy, pain-free living. Many people in industrialized countries have accepted pain as a natural part of aging and don’t understand that the body can heal from everyday pain and ailments. Somatics involve short, hands-on movements to correct the body’s posture and mobility, which can then stimulate proper healing through further movement and therapy. The technique retrains the brain on proper movement, function, and positioning to align your body and your mind so you can heal instead of just living with pain. Somatic exercises come in two forms. The first method is done with the help of a physical therapist — or in In the years since, speculation has abounded about the causes of digital dementia and how people can fight it. A 2017 Forbes article theorized that the problem isn’t just time spent with screens but how much we rely on our smartphones to feed us once- memorized information. “In theory, having a device to store phone numbers, dates, maps and directions, and other information like that frees you up to focus on bigger and theoretically more important things,” Tony Bradley wrote in Forbes. “If you just use your device as a memory crutch, though, and you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to put your brain to work on other things, you aren’t exercising your brain, and it will atrophy.” Psychology Today blamed digital dementia in part on the mental strategies encouraged by video games. According to one study, gaming encourages the “response” strategy of following the same rote
movements, while nongamers tend to use the “spatial” strategy of relying on landmarks when they navigate, which is better for mental sharpness. Whatever the root cause, we can take steps to fight digital dementia. As Dr. Carolyn Brockington told Alzheimers.net, the best strategies involve stepping away from screens and relying on brainpower. The next time you’re considering picking up your smartphone, try reading a book, playing a musical instrument, hitting the gym, or learning a new language instead.
CONNECTING MIND AND BODY HOW SOMATICS CAN OFFER HEALING FOR LONGTIME PAIN SUFFERERS
some instances, a massage therapist — who pinpoints the areas of tension and guides you through hands-on exercises that relieve the pain and align the body. The second method involves exercises patients can do at home according to their physical therapist’s guidance. You don’t have to live with pain. Healing is possible, and somatics may help you get on the road to recovery.
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CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE? THE SECRET TO LIVING A LONGER, HEALTHIER LIFE
The human brain is an incredibly powerful organ. It solves complex problems, recalls forgotten memories, and triggers a dizzying array of emotions. But its most incredible power is the effect it can have on the rest of the body. When it comes to love, well, our brains certainly love it, and our bodies reflect that.
who is surrounded by supportive and caring friends, family, and loved ones.”
So, it seems the results are in: Loving someone is a healthy lifestyle choice. Even having a strong network of friends and family boosts your odds of living a long life by 50%. So, get out there and make the healthy choice for yourself and those around you by leading a life full of love.
LESS STRESS Human beings thrive on a sense of connection and belonging, and studies have shown that love actually has positive effects on a person’s physical health as well as mental. The security and commitment felt in a loving relationship are shown to reduce stress by stunting the production of cortisol, the body’s stress-inducing hormone. Less stress means lower blood pressure, a healthier heart, and a lower risk of stroke, especially in men. HEALTHIER IMMUNE SYSTEMS Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that calm, happy people can fight common colds and the flu more easily than those who are anxious or depressed. The physical benefits of love even go as far as healing wounds quicker. Small
injuries inflicted on a wide test group at Ohio State University Medical Center healed nearly twice as fast on people who experienced consistent warmth and care than those who experienced hostility. In fact, the latter group needed almost a full additional day to achieve the same amount of healing as the first group. LONGER, HAPPIER LIVES Being surrounded by love may even save your life. A statistic from the National Health Interview Survey states that single people face a 58% higher risk of mortality. Further bolstering that claim is the Harvard Health Blog, which claims happily married participants experience better health as they age when compared to peers in unhappy partnerships. In fact, the blog asserts, “People in stressful, unhappy marriages may be worse off than a single person
HOMEMADE PALEO BREAD
TAKE A BREAK!
Inspired by Delish
• 1 2/3 cups almond flour • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal • 2 tbsp coconut flour
• 5 eggs • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp agave syrup • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 2 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line an 8x5- inch loaf pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. 3. Add eggs, olive oil, agave syrup, and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
4. Pour mixture into prepared 8x5- inch pan and smooth top with a spatula. 5. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from pan and slice when cooled.
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1. COVER TITLE 1. A DENTAL SECRET ABOUT KISSING INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT DIGITAL DEMENTIA? DON’T LIVE IN PAIN ANY LONGER WITH SOMATICS 3. THE EFFECTS OF LOVE ON YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH HOMEMADE PALEO BREAD 4. YOU CAN HAVE FUN WHILE WORKING OUT
THIS WORKOUT ROCKS! 3 REASONS TO START ROCK CLIMBING
works out your back muscles, biceps, abs, and legs. Research published in The Scientific World Journal found that climbers can burn up to 10 calories a minute — without even getting drenched in sweat during their workout. IT IMPROVES YOUR SHOULDERS AND YOUR MIND! Physical strength alone won’t get you to the top of a wall. Rock climbing is a physical and mental challenge. Some problems call for fancy footwork, creative problem-solving, or going for a rock that seems out of reach. Teaching your mind and your body to work together while rock climbing can also build endurance and reduce stress.
a harness, tie yourself to a rope, and climb up a wall while your partner holds the rope, ready to catch you. In other
No, these aren’t strange magic spells. They’re basic safety commands rock climbers use before they start their ascent. Rock climbing as a hobby and a workout has been growing in popularity over the last few years, thanks in part to popular documentaries like “Free Solo” and “Meru.” But if you’re still not ready to chalk up and start climbing, here are a few more reasons to add “belay on” to your vocabulary. IT’S A FUN FULL-BODY WORKOUT. Getting a full-body workout usually means hating every second of it. This isn’t the case with rock climbing, though. Most people take up rock climbing because it’s fun. Reaching the top of a wall is like solving a puzzle with your whole body. That said, fun doesn’t mean easy. An intense climb
words, your partner “belays” you. It’s the ultimate trust fall.
Facing the challenges of rock climbing with your partner also teaches you how to overcome adversity together and improves communication as you both work to conquer the wall. The best part about rock climbing is that it’s easy to try out. Most climbing gyms rent out the supplies you need for a small fee. And with hundreds of climbing gyms open across the United States, there’s no wall blocking the way of you and your favorite new workout.
IT STRENGTHENS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.
Rock climbing, especially top rope climbing, is one of the best workouts to do with a partner. Top roping is a type of climbing where you strap into
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