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THE RIGHT WAY TO USE YOUR PTO Hint: Isn’t for a Toothache!
Back in 2018, I read a study in a health journal that blew my mind: Apparently, U.S. employees miss 92.4 million hours of work every single year for emergency dental visits. Can you believe that? Even crazier, it turns out people are using a big chunk of their paid time off (PTO) and sick time not for broken teeth or root canals but for toothaches — which are often entirely preventable.
Reading that study drove me crazy for two reasons:
1. It’s sad to think of someone using their PTO to sit at home (or at the dentist) feeling miserable because their mouth hurts. You should use that time off for something fun, like a vacation with your family! I can’t imagine how awful I would have felt if I had to skip my family’s Scottsdale trip this summer because I’d wasted my PTO on a toothache. 2. Every hour of missed work doesn’t just hurt you — it hurts your employer, too. As a business owner, I know how hard it is to have employees call in sick or come in and struggle to work through their pain. It makes the whole team miserable, and the quality of work suffers. Imagining 92.4 million hours of that, just for emergency dental visits, makes my head spin. I’m thinking about that study today because Labor Day is coming up. I love that we have a day honoring the contributions workers make to society. However, I have a feeling a lot of people don’t realize how essential dentists are for keeping workers healthy and happy. We’re one of the first lines of defense against illness and absenteeism in the workplace — which might not seem like a big deal but can actually save your vacation! If you don’t see your dentist regularly, you’ll probably end up wasting your PTO on something like a toothache. (The same is true for your kids: You’d be shocked how many children miss school and set back their education because of toothaches and cavities.) However, if you and your family do see me regularly, you can save your time off for something you truly value and enjoy. My team and I catch so many potential emergencies during routine checkups. We may spot a cavity while it’s still shallow
or a fracture when it’s still tiny. Then, we can fix it early before it becomes the kind of problem you need to miss work or school for. People are still realizing just how important regular dental checkups are, but I think employers have started to get it. Over the last few years, several companies have invited me to their campuses or health fairs to screen employees for things like gum disease, sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, and cavities. I can get the checkup done right there in the office in a fraction of the time it would cost if the employee missed a day of work. A dentist visiting your work might sound crazy, but it’s a real thing! And it’s actually a win-win for employees and employers. Not only can we prevent toothache sick days, but we can also save you from another health problem that might drain your PTO: heart disease. I’ll tell you all about that next month. In the meantime, to save your vacation time, call 908-561-0225 and book checkups today for your entire family.
To your great smiles and better health,
P.S. If you own a company or your employer hosts a health fair and you’d like me to come, give us a call. We’d love to talk about your options. • 1 908-561-0225
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Many people know you go to a physical therapist if you've sustained an injury, but did you know physical therapy can also treat diabetes? Here’s how PT can make a diabetic patient’s life better, one session at a time. What is diabetes, and how does it develop? When we consume certain foods (candy, fruit, bread), our body will break it down into glucose — an important energy source for living organisms. Diabetes is a condition where your body isn’t producing enough insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. Without insulin, your body can develop high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. That’s why diabetes can have such a dramatic effect on your health — if high blood sugar goes untreated, it can damage your nerves, blood vessels, tissues, and organs. These issues can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and may even lead to eye damage, kidney damage, and non-healing wounds. Many diabetic patients will experience common symptoms such as tingling or numbness in their hands or feet, fatigue, blurry vision, increased hunger, and other side effects. The good news is that these symptoms can be mitigated — and, believe it or not, physical therapy can be a great way of managing these symptoms. Fight Smarter, Not Harder How Physical Therapy Fights Diabetes
You can fight diabetes with fitness. Diabetes can develop at any age. When it does, many physical problems can develop alongside it, including weakness, loss of endurance, obesity, balance problems, and even chronic pain. Not to mention, diabetes typically leads to less physical activity overall — which can cause many other health issues. This may create a bit of a paradox for some diabetic patients. Physical activity and exercise have been proven to be effective ways to lower high blood sugar levels. Yet, by the time a diabetic patient comes to see a physical therapist, the patient may be very limited in the types of movements they can do. Attempting exercise without guidance can cause injury and worsen the patient’s health. Thankfully, physical therapists are movement experts! They can help patients discover new techniques to exercise in safe, enjoyable ways. These, in turn, will help patients take control of their symptoms again. Diabetes rarely affects two people in the same way, and it often requires highly customized treatment plans. However, depending on a patient’s abilities and their likes and dislikes, a physical therapist may recommend exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, aerobic dance, or even yoga. Attending a yoga class is a great way to get your balance back. It’s not as physically exerting as other forms of exercise, since yoga trains the body over time. It can also provide major mental health benefits. If you suffer from diabetes, know that nobody has to fight it alone. With a physical therapist on your side, you can fight anything, including a disease that can be as exhausting as diabetes. We’ll have your back. Just give our offices a call.
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Is the MIND Diet Right for You?
Thanks to all the medical research on Alzheimer’s and dementia in recent years, we know diet and aging cognitive function are linked. However, all of the information out there might seem overwhelming and even vague. What do we know for sure? What changes in your diet can make the biggest impact on your brain health? According to the National Institute of Aging — which operates under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — experts have suggested the MIND diet is the ideal diet for empowering your brain. Here’s why. Why Diet Affects Dementia Risk It turns out that your brain will experience changes years before the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. This suggests a possible window of opportunity to delay or even prevent dementia symptoms. Between medications, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these interventions, researchers are looking for many possible ways to do this.
A healthy diet plays an important role in these efforts. For example, it’s possible that certain diets affect biological function, such as oxidative stress and inflammation, which underlie Alzheimer’s. Alternatively, diet can also work more indirectly against Alzheimer’s by affecting other dementia risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Thankfully, you can throw a “single stone” to decrease these risk factors. Research shows a Mediterranean diet is directly linked to a lower risk of dementia and other symptoms of cognitive decline. What’s MIND? The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was designed to lower blood pressure. The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a variation on that diet. However, whereas the Mediterranean and DASH diets welcome all vegetables and fruits of any kind, MIND focuses on plant-based foods linked to dementia prevention.
On a MIND diet, you’ll eat six servings a week of leafy green vegetables, plus at least one serving of any other vegetable a day. Berries, whole grains (three servings a day), fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and olive oil are other important foods for a MIND diet. You’ll also avoid red meat, cheese, sweets, butter/ margarine, and fried or fast foods. Research shows the Mediterranean diet may include nutrients that protect the brain through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We hope you can take advantage of these benefits and try the MIND diet for yourself!
No-Fuss Chicken and Rice Soup Fall is almost here, so it’s time to break out the soup! Your family is sure to love this recipe — it’s a classic.
TAKE A BREAK!
• 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 3 carrots, sliced • 3 celery ribs, sliced • 2 chicken bouillon cubes • 1/2 tsp dried parsley • 1/4 tsp pepper • 4 cups chicken broth • 4 cups water • 1 1/4 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken thighs • 1 cup uncooked white rice • Salt, to taste
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, then sauté for 1 more minute. 2. Add the bouillon, parsley, pepper, chicken broth, and water. Stir, then add the chicken thighs. 3. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes, then add the rice. Stir, cover, and simmer for 15 more minutes. 4. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Shred the meat and add it back to the soup. Discard the bones. 5. Stir, salt, and serve!
Inspired by RecipeTinEats.com
• 3 908-561-0225
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908-561-0225 | www.greatsmilesnj.com
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1. Do This to Get Your Vacation Time Back 2. Physical Therapy vs. Diabetes 3. What’s the MIND Diet? INSIDE THIS ISSUE
No-Fuss Chicken and Rice Soup
4. Balance Training Key to Quality Movement
5 EXERCISES TO IMPROVE BALANCE Find Your Balance
Though we may not always think about it, balance is essential to just about everything we do in our daily routines. From simply getting out of bed, leaning over to tie our shoes, or even walking to the mailbox, we need good balance to keep ourselves steady while performing normal tasks. Know why balance is important. Balance is the ability to control your body’s position, whether stationary or moving. It is a key component of fitness that many people neglect while developing their fitness regimen. Balance training is a great way to help your body recognize where it is and control movements in a given space. When the body knows where its limbs are in space — known as proprioception — it is able to produce smooth, controlled movements with fewer risks of injuries.
Reaction time and agility are also improved with balance training. The body learns how to quickly correct itself but not overcompensate and has the ability to quickly change direction effectively and efficiently. Though balance training is important for everyone, it is especially important for those who have problems due to illness, weakness, or dizziness. It allows them to overcome stiffness or unsteadiness and to develop an awareness of body segments and how to align them.
Consider trying the following exercises:
Standing with your weight on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you. Putting one heel right in front of the other foot, as if you were walking a tightrope.
• Standing up and sitting down from a chair without using your hands. • Walking while alternating knee lifts with each step. • Stretching and gentle movement as part of yoga or tai chi. Balance is essential to living a healthy, functional life. It’s important to incorporate balance
These exercises help with balance.
Balance training involves exercises to strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright and improve stability. These types of exercises can be done as often as you like or even every day.
training into your fitness regimen. That way you can decrease the risk of injuries and help move freely and confidently.
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There’s something special about Autumn in New Jersey! The air is brisk. The leaves are changing to all sorts of beautiful colors … And INVISALIGN DAY is right around the corner! PHOTO READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS? YOU BET WE ARE! On Saturday, Oct. 15 we are giving away a TON of gifts and prizes including: • SAVE $1,000 Off Your Complete Invisalign Treatment (Reg. $3,900–$8,000) • FREE Premium Whitening Worth $650 • FREE Retainers Worth $550 • FREE Smile Scan & Simulation Worth $750 • FREE Invisalign Assessment With the Doctor Worth $250
And there’s more:
If you book your Invisalign appointment with us for Saturday, Oct. 15, you can also ... • SPIN to WIN prizes like Apple AirPods and GIFT CARDS • RECEIVE a raffle ticket for a $2,000 VISA gift card GRAND PRIZE drawing
Wouldn’t you love an extra $2k around the holidays?!
This offer is first come, first served and by appointment only. CALL 908-561-0225
P.S. Your best friends and family members will get 3 EXTRA TICKETS to the GRAND PRIZE raffle if you start Invisalign together.
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