Sleep, Dreams, Nightmares, And Everything In-Between

 

Sleep can seem like the last weird and wonderful mystery of the human body. You might think that the occurrences and causes of things that can happen while you’re asleep have no physical cause. A lot of variables of sleep can and have been explained by clever scientists.

 

It is worth understanding how sleep works and what happens when things go wrong. Particularly, if you’re a parent because most issues with sleep start around adolescence, around the time when your kid enters the terrible teens.

 

Sleep is important for the human body. It rejuvenates the systems, ensuring that everything is working as it should. It guarantees that you have the energy to get through the day, get up and conquer the challenges that you might encounter. So sleep is important and to understand the benefits, we first need to uncover some of the misconceptions about sleep and discover what really happens when we close our eyes.

 

You Restless Sleeper?

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Feeling restless? Perhaps you’ve heard or seen your child toss and turn in the bed through the night. That’s a problem because if this is happening the body is not resting as much as it should. If the body continues to move during sleep, the mind might be resting, but the body is wide awake. This is one of the reasons why some people feel completely exhausted when they wake up in the morning. Their body hasn’t received the level of sleep that it needs. If you or someone in your family is having this problem, it could be related to diet. You just need to make sure that they are getting more potassium in their diet. Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium so you should think about adding one of these to your child’s packed lunch each day.

 

Bear in mind that too much sugar can also have the effect of causing the body to stay awake through the night. Reduce the levels of sugar in the diet, and you should find it far easier to sleep without tossing and turning. You might even fall asleep more quickly.

 

Scary Occurrences

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Have you ever had your child describe a terrifying night encounter? They might have started by saying that they were unable to move, they felt a presence in the room, and there was something crushing their chest. The worst part? They don’t even think they were sleeping. Their eyes were wide open. Your first thought might be oh dear Lord my child is possessed. Or, if you are a more rational thinker, you might determine that it’s probably a neurological issue and you’d be right. This is often referred to as sleep paralysis, and it can be terrifying. What is sleep paralysis? Well, it feels a lot like having a nightmare while your eyes are wide open. And if that doesn’t chill you to the bones remember, you won’t even be able to move.

 

There are various causes of this condition, and it can be common or a random occurrence. If you’re curious and we don’t know why you would be, you can trigger it yourself. Lie in bed very still, focus on one point of the wall and count back from 100. Try not to move a muscle. Eventually, your body should sent signals to the brain to say you are going to sleep. But you will still be awake, and that’s when the hallucinations tend to begin.   

 

There’s a section of the internet that believes that is a way to reach a new plain of existence, but of course, it isn’t. People believe once you reach this point you can actually leave your body. It is peculiar how many people describe the same sensations once they actually manage to ‘float’ out of their body.

 

If you want to prevent sleep paralysis  occurring, less sugar, more exercise and  a proper sleep schedule should prevent it from happening.

 

Lucid Dreaming

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Let’s say that your child is being haunted by bad dreams. This is quite common, particularly in the early years. A scary film can trigger a nightmare that will have you up all night telling them it was just a bad dream. Wouldn’t it be great if you could control your dreams and choose what you dream about? Well, you can if you learn the skill of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming means that your dreams are clearer and that you are in control. To get started once you wake up you need to try and write down everything you can remember about your dreams. Next, while you’re dreaming, you need to come to the realisation that the scenario you’re dreaming about isn’t real. And yes, this is where the idea of Inception came from. Although no, there is no evidence to suggest that we only use ten percent of our brain power while we’re awake.

 

Lucid dreaming can lead to some incredible experiences while you’re asleep. If you don’t believe this, you should read some of the encounters people have had with it online. They are quite remarkable.

 

Insomniacs United

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Finally, as your child reaches the end of the terrible teens, you might find they experience levels of insomnia. Insomnia can be caused by anything from high levels of stress to a poor diet. Though for teenagers, it’s often a body clock that has been thrown completely out of whack. So, if you want to correct the situation you just need to make sure that they aren’t sleeping through the afternoon, even in the summer. Of course, if it is stress, you need to find out what’s bothering them and try and fix it. You shouldn’t find it that difficult to fix the issue, but if it has a deeper root cause, it can be more complicated.

 

The answer? Make sure you talk to your child and find out if anything is bothering them. Usually, by talking it out, you can tackle it head on, and hopefully, this will allow them to stop worrying and drift to sleep the next evening.

 

7 Reasons To Choose Invisalign Over Metal Braces

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With Invisalign technology quickly becoming the main brace solution, wire braces may well soon be a thing of the past. So, let’s look at why Invisalign is proving to be a better solution than traditional braces.

Comfort

The Invisalign system is made with soft plastic trays, making it more comfortable for the mouth than wires. Wires can snag the mouth and tear at tissues in the lips and cheeks which is painful. Also, traditional braces apply pressure to the teeth to align them, whereas Invisalign’s plastic trays gradually shift the teeth into place – so they are less painful.

Cosmetic Factors

One of the biggest benefits of Gold Coast Invisalign is that they are aesthetically pleasing. With wire braces, the world can see that you are in the process of correcting your teeth, and this can impact an adult’s decision to straighten teeth. With Invisalign, you can straighten your teeth without anyone even realizing.

Easy to Clean

Wire braces are literally wired into the mouth and cannot be moved, so you have to clean around them. This can lead to poor oral hygiene and a great deal of discomfort. With Invisalign, you can clean the trays as well as your own teeth with no hassle at all.

No Restrictions on Food

With metal braces, you usually need to restrict eating habits to avoid chewing any foods that could harm the braces. That means gum and other types of chewy foods are not allowed as they can stick to the wire. With Invisalign, you can remove the plastic trays when you eat so that they don’t get damaged and nothing gets stuck in the trays.

Invisalign Works Faster

Invisalign is a quicker solution than metal braces. On average, metal braces take almost 36 months to do their job, whereas Invisalign treatment can take just one year to straighten your teeth.

Little to No Damage to Teeth

With traditional braces, you are more susceptible to tooth demineralization and decay because you cannot clean your teeth thoroughly. This poor oral hygiene can also result in root resorption or shortening of the teeth’s roots. However, Invisalign allows you to take out the trays which means you can have proper X-rays to check the health of your teeth and help you maintain proper hygiene and prevent decay.

Fewer Dental Visits

With traditional metal braces, you have to visit the dentist at last every six weeks, if not more, to have the wires tightened and adjusted so as to align the teeth over a period of time. But, with Invisalign, you have the set of trays and all you have to do is put in the next tray in the set every two weeks. You don’t have to go back to the dentist as often as there is nothing to adjust, so you only have to make the occasional short visit so the dentist can monitor your progress.

Those are 7 reasons why Invisalign is better than traditional braces. Consult your dentist as to which of these teeth straightening solutions is best for you.

The Best Home Remedies for Itchy Insect Bites

The Best Home Remedies for Itchy Insect Bites

So, the long, hot, glorious days of summer are here. From ice creams to swimming in cool water, it’s one of the best times of the year. Apart from one thing – the bugs. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you can’t ever escape those nasty biting, stinging pests. You can smother yourself in fly repellents, eat cloves of garlic every day, yet they’ll still hunt you down and find you. When you do get bitten, you know you’re in for a few days – or even a week – of relentless itchiness. Plus, if you’ve got somewhere to be, like work, you’ve got to show off your sore looking, swollen bites.

So, stop suffering in silence. Here are some top tips to keeping the itch at bay.

How to avoid getting bitten

You’ve probably tried everything under the sun to keep the insects away from your skin in the summer. However, there are a few things that not even the most ardent bug-avoider has tried.

Firstly, look for super strong fly repellent. Forget the stuff sold in the pharmacy: look for fly spray used in agricultural set ups. Farmers and field workers are outside all day long, and need the strongest spray or cream available. Ask around your local agricultural wholesalers, and see what they recommend.

If you’re suffering while sitting in your garden, look at making fly traps. They’re great for reducing the number of biting bugs flying around in the evenings, and they aren’t that hard to put together. Likewise, lighting anti-insect candles, such as ones with citronella in them, will help a lot.

When you’re out and about, use common sense. Wear light clothes, as insects like horseflies are attracted to dark colors. Then make sure you don’t smell too strongly – or if you do, make sure it’s of fly spray. Try to avoid drinking alcohol, as it’s said to make flies even more attracted to you. You should also try to stay indoors during the early evening, as that’s when biters are most frequent.

If you want them out of your house, but you don’t want the windows closed, then invest in fly nets for the windows. That way you can still enjoy the breeze, but you don’t need to put up with an invasion of biting bugs when you’re trying to sleep.

Then, make sure the problem doesn’t start at home. Sometimes it’ll be an infestation based in your garden or your property that’s causing all of your issues. If that’s the case, get in touch with a pest removal company straight away. You’ll be able to find ones that serve your local area, like Go-Forth Pest Control in Chapel Hill NC, so they can come out quickly and get the job done as soon as possible.

So, if you’re still getting bitten after all of that, here are the best remedies to try:

Elevation

If you’ve been bitten on a limb, you should try to keep it as elevated as possible. Prop it up using pillows if it’s your leg, or hold it above your head if it’s your arm. This will help keep the swelling down, and will mean you can avoid the horrible tight feeling that comes with swollen bites.

Ice packs

Ice is your best friend when you’ve been bitten. Apply ice cold packs, or crushed ice, to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for up to six hours immediately after the bite. Make sure you wrap any ice in a cloth – don’t apply it directly to your skin.

Oatmeal

Believe it or not, oatmeal has some special qualities that reduces itchiness and irritation. So, make a paste using warm water and oatmeal flakes. Then apply it directly to your skin, using the back of a cloth to hold it on. Keep it there for around ten minutes, then wash off the area. If you’re covered in bites, then escalate this: put a cup of oatmeal or oats into a bath of warm water, and sit in it for 20 minutes. You can use some of the oats to rub into your skin while in the bath.

Honey

Honey has some incredible healing powers – from keeping wounds clean to making hay fever stay at bay. If you don’t mind feeling a bit sticky, try dabbing some natural raw honey onto your bites. The natural anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the inflammation and itchiness.

Basil

This Italian herb isn’t just great with pasta – it’s also brilliant for calming down itchy mosquito bites. For this to work, you need to make a basil-based solution. Boil a couple of cups of water and add half an ounce of basil leaves – preferably dry – to the water. Let the mixture cool, then when this is done, gently dab it onto your bites. Or, if you need more immediate relief, chop up fresh basil leaves and rub them into your skin.

Creams and ointments

While not a home remedy, it’s always good to have antihistamines in the house. Keep them in both tablet and cream form, and you can attack any insect bite as soon as it appears.

Stop the scratching

If you can’t stop yourself from scratching your bites, you need to find a way to put yourself off. Putting a bit of tape over your bite is a good way to protect it, and to stop you scratching away.

Vinegar

The low acidic levels in vinegar help to counteract the itching caused by a bite. Either dab it onto your bites, or if you’ve got lots, add a few cups of it to warm water and soak in it. You can use normal vinegar, but apple cider vinegar can be more effective.

When should you seek emergency help?

Sometimes, it’s not worth taking the risk. If you’re not sure what bit you, but it’s not improving, you should take yourself off to the doctors. Likewise, if the swelling is growing, or your skin is getting redder and hotter, get yourself checked out. Some bites can turn into blood poisoningso it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you’ve been bitten or stung by a scorpion, certain types of spiders, and some caterpillars, then you need to head straight off to the hospital, where they can administer the right anti-venom. While unlikely to be fatally poisonous, they can make you feel rather unwell.

Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

In life, it’s always important to think about the worst case scenario. Notice, we said, think about it, keep it in mind, but don’t dwell on it. Don’t constantly stress over what could happen, but at the same time make sure you are prepared just in case it does. There are a few ways that you can do this in different areas of your life.

 

Handling Finances

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One of the worst issues that could hurt your finances would be a redundancy. If you are made redundant, you could be out of work for a long period. Anything up to six months is a very real possibility, and through this time, it’s easy to fall into a high level of debt. Rather than being able to buy what you want or need, you have to borrow. As such, you can be left in the situation where you have a hefty bill to pay, even if you do find work again.

 

The best way to prepare for this problem is to make sure that you are saving money in your accounts, ensuring that you keep your finances healthy. You should be aiming to save around a quarter of your pay each month. Some people are going to find that more difficult than others, and it does depend on what type of income you earn.

 

Of course, if you want to make things easier, you can arrange a second income for yourself. That way, you should be able to save while still having the money you need through the month.

 

Taking Care Of Your Health

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It’s quite possible that you live your entire life without experiencing any type of serious illness. But, you still have to think about the worst case scenario. And, the worst case scenario is that your life is cut unexpectedly short. Now, if this happens it’s a tragedy, but your troubles are over. What about your family? If you are the main income owner in the household, they could be left in a difficult situation. That’s why anyone who is the sole earner or main earner should have a life insurance policy in place. You might be worried about what can affect your life insurance. For instance, some people have medical conditions that make a death or injury more likely. As such, in cases like this, the cost of life insurance could be higher. But, you can get life insurance with no medical checkup. As such, you won’t have to worry about existing medical conditions affecting the cost of this type of coverage. Instead, you’ll be able to get a great deal and protect the future of your family.

 

Keeping Your Home Safe

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Lastly, you should think about issues in the home such as theft or accidental damage. This could cost you a lot of money and may even leave you in the situation where you need to buy another home. That will certainly be the case if your home burns down. As such, you should make sure you have a home insurance policy that covers all the potential dangers. Some people look for the cheapest deal, but this isn’t always the right decision. It can leave you vulnerable in certain situations.

 

If you always prepare for the worst in life, you’ll be able to handle any situation head on.

 

5 Most Common Work-Related Injuries- And How to Avoid Them

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Injuring yourself at work opens up a whole can of problems. Not only can you spend months recovering from a serious injury but that will also have repercussions when it comes to looking after your family and your home. Therefore it is super important to know the most common workplace accidents, so you know exactly what to avoid and how to prevent them from ever happening to you.

 

Work-Related Violence

 

It is shocking to think about, but one of the most common work-related injury is inflicted by angry colleagues. Office work rage and attacks caused by high tension situations and arguments have led to many serious physical attacks at work. Employers should be organising workplace violence employee training and employee diligence in order to keep an eye on any erratic or suspicious behaviour, in order to avoid this from happening in your office

 

Repetitive Motion Injury

 

Once you think about it, it makes sense. Most of us spend hours at a time, doing the same motions and actions, over and over again. Six hours a day typing and using a computer can strain muscles and cause serious back problems. Staring at a computer for the majority of your working day can result in vision problem and weakness in sight. Therefore all staff should have proper, ergonomic seating and should be encouraged to take breaks from their computer screen, every 90 minutes.

 

Machinery

 

Factory work, where there is a lot of machinery and heavy equipment, sees a lot of machinery based accidents. These can be particularly grisly accidents and can result in everything from a lost limb to disability cases, so anyone working in a factory environment needs to be extra vigilant. Companies need to protect themselves from expensive personal injury cases and need to look after their staff with protective equipment, proper machinery training and vigilance is extremely important to avoid these kinds of accidents. Factory staff also need a vigilant and detailed charge hand or factory manager to be making sure that all the floor staff are completely competent in handling all the machinery.

 

Road Accidents

 

Staff who have to drive for a living are more likely to suffer a car accident than those who just drive recreationally. This is an area of concern for employers and employees alike so all companies should be investing in safe driving training, safe driving policies and setting safe agendas for their employees to ensure they rest regularly when taking on long-distance journeys, or driving for anything over three hours at a time.

 

Bumps & Knocks

 

Injuries that are sustained from people walking into things are also one of the most likely work related injuries. These occur when someone accidentally walking in a concrete wall, door, glass window, or anything else that a person can come into contact with. It’s not always easy to stay safe, as we all have sleepy slumps throughout our work days. But the best ways to avoid accidents like these is to stay alert and focused and be aware of your work environment and what is happening around you.

 

 

A Holistic Approach To Treating Substance Abuse

The problem of substance abuse, which relates to a dependence on drugs or alcohol that is compulsive and destructive to a person’s life, is a growing one in our modern society. That’s why so many people in Florida today who suffer from substance abuse problems are turning to various treatment centers and support groups, like a holistic rehab florida center in order to find healing.

Without treatment, an out-of-control dependence on drugs or alcohol can wreak utter havoc on a person’s life. Drug use can cause incredible chaos in a person’s life, leading to the destruction of relationships, job loss, prison terms, and physical and emotional ruin. On top of this, all of these problems can lead to financial ruin that leaves a person and his or her family without any resources for rehabilitation and recovery.

Healing the Whole Person

A person who is in the throes of addiction is impacted on many levels. The body will be weakened, just as their judgement and intellectual ability is negatively affected. All of this can ruin a person’s ability to make sound decisions and work effectively. The ability to continue healthy relationships can also be ruined by addiction. All of this points to the need for a healing approach that treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of the illness that is the addiction.

A Holistic Approach

There is a treatment approach in western medicine that can be seen as simply treating the symptoms of a serious health problem. Though in some cases, like in the treatment of an infection or a broken bone, this is a completely legitimate approach to treatment, in other cases, like in the case of substance abuse issues, it ignores the larger problem driving the issues.

A holistic approach to substance abuse problems.

Today there are may rehab clinics emerging that are focusing more on the whole person in treatment, as opposed to just treating the symptoms. Substance abuse is a complex problem that involves a physical dependance along with complicated psychological underpinnings. It’s been found that a treatment system that treats the patient as a whole has a much greater chance of success and a long term chance for the patient to stay sober.

People who tell sober stories in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous often acknowledge the need for talk therapy along with medical treatment in dealing with their addiction. This underlines the need for a holistic approach to treatment and the need for ongoing therapy even after a person has become sober.

A Multi-Faceted Approach to Treatment

When an addicted person first enters treatment at a holistic treatment center, they are usually given an assessment by an experienced counselor who takes note of their condition and outlines a treatment plan. A plan that is geared towards the individual’s specific health and psychological needs is one that will have the best chance for success.

The Detox Process

An assessment will usually be followed by detoxification. This process is very important, as it’s impossible for a client to work towards recovery if they are still under the influence of intoxicants. The detox process should be done with a slow withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol, under the care and supervision of an experienced healthcare professional. The symptoms of withdrawal, which can include fevers, sweating, vomiting and diarrhea, can be serious, so it’s important that the patient is monitored as they come off of their addiction.

After detox, the patient will be placed in a therapeutic setting, where they can work with a counselor one-on-one or with a group of individuals who are also dealing with recovery. The support a patients gets in these sessions is invaluable.

After the patient has achieved sobriety, they need to establish a plan for staying sober as an outpatient. Some patients enroll in a group home so they can live with others who are working on their recovery. Other people will return home but continue to work with a therapist, and also attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. What’s crucial is that the patient in recovery stay committed to their program and to embrace this holistic approach to being whole and drug free.

A sober life is a new experience for an addicted person. It is a new beginning, and can be the start of many rich experiences and a joyful view of life.

How to Cope If Your Child is Injured

A little one sustaining an injury is a worst nightmare for any parent. However, sometimes the inevitable can happen, so it’s always best to be prepared. Injuries can happen for all kinds of reasons and in a variety of environments; your little one could be hurt at home, school, at the park, or somewhere else entirely. Being prepared for the worst will help you get through any unforeseen difficult times; you’ll be less stressed, which can also help your child to stay calm and even have a speedier recovery. Here are some top tips on what to do if your child is unexpectedly injured.

Tip #1. Know First Aid:

As a parent, the best thing that you can do to prepare yourself for any accidents or injuries is by learning basic first aid. When you have the skill and the know-how to treat an injury quickly whilst waiting for the emergency response to arrive, you will be more in control and will likely find yourself feeling a lot calmer about the situation than you would if you had no idea what to do. There are many places where you can sign up for first aid classes and get a certificate, or, you can find plentiful first aid tutorials and guides available for free online.

Tip #2. Hospital Visits:

Certain childhood injuries such as scrapes, cuts and bruises can easily be cared for at home with some antiseptic solution, a band-aid, and plenty of tender loving care. However, in more serious cases, a hospital visit may be required. For example, if your child breaks a bone, they’ll probably need to go and have it x-rayed and further examined before having a cast put on. Understandably, this can be a very stressful and frightening experience for a little one. The best thing to do in this situation is to try and remain as calm as possible – if your child sees that you are stressed, this will likely worry them even more.

Tip #3. Recovering from Trauma:

If your child sustains a serious injury or is involved in a horrific accident such as a bad road collision, it may take a while for them to heal psychologically, long after the physical injuries have gone. As a parent, seeing your child in emotional distress due to an injury or accident can be awful to go through, however, there are a few things that you can do to help them get back to normal. Encouraging them to speak about their experiences and the fears that it caused can often help – a good pediatric therapist can help with this.

Tip #4. Making a Claim:

If your child was injured and another person was at fault, then you might be considering making a claim. If this is the case, you should make sure that your child is checked by a medical professional as soon as possible to get everything on record; it’s also a good idea to keep a diary of their progress as it may be needed in court. Personal injury law can be tricky, so be sure to have a good lawyer by your side.

Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments.

Simple Strategies That Will Optimize Your Child’s Dental Health

These days, more and more parents are realizing that they need to teach their children about the importance of maintaining great dental health. If you’ve recently drawn this conclusion, now is the time to begin implementing oral health strategies that will empower your child to maintain dental wellness. Use the simple tips and tricks found in this quick reference guide to keep your child on track to maintaining healthy teeth and gums:

1. Know Which Foods To Avoid.

Knowing which foods to avoid will play an integral role in helping your child maintain excellent oral health. As noted by Mouth Healthy, some of the foods that can be damaging to the teeth include hard candies, ice, and sticky items like dried foods. Try to limit your child’s consumption of these products.

In addition to avoiding potentially damaging foods, make sure that you teach your child the value of eating items that are good for the teeth. As noted in Colgate, some of those foods include

• leafy greens
• apples
• carrots
• celery sticks
• almonds

2. Teach Good Brushing Skills.

Another strategy you should implement to help optimize your child’s oral health is teaching good brushing skills. There are several simple strategies you can implement to get things underway. First, make sure that you are telling your child to brush her or his teeth at least two times a day. Also advise your child to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The harder bristles are too abrasive for small children.

In terms of how to brush, be sure to instruct your child to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards her or his gums. Then, tell your child to move the brush back and forth across the teeth with gentle motions. Also encourage your child to brush the tongue. Explain that this is important because bacteria lurks on the tongue. Finally, encourage your child to brush the teeth for at least two minutes. Also teach the child to replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when it becomes worn.

An Important Side Note

As you seek to optimize your child’s dental health, make sure that you are paying attention to your own physical and mental wellness. Doing so will ensure that you have the energy and enthusiasm to actively participate in your child’s life. You can use online resources such as http://behavioralhealth2000.com/e-course/ to gain access to key topics such as psychiatry in neuroscience. Studying these types of subjects can empower you to attain a new level of mental health!

Don’t Delay: Start Focusing On Dental Health Today!

If you want your children to look and feel their best, know that emphasizing oral health will help you realize the goal. Some of the strategies that can really boost your child’s oral health include optimizing her or his eating habits, teaching good brushing skills, using the right dental products, emphasizing flossing, and choosing the ideal dentist. Use some or all of the simple dental hygiene tips and tricks outlined above to ensure that your child’s teeth will be in excellent condition!

Dental Health Made Simple: All You Need For A Sparkling Smile

Are you one of those people who hides when there’s a camera around? Has the rise of the selfie made you more self-conscious about the appearance of your smile? Or are you simply eager to keep your natural teeth looking great for as long as possible? If so, you’ve come to the right place. You can find a lot of articles online about dental health and good and bad habits, and often, conflicting information can make things confusing. The good news is that this guide is here to make dental health simple. Here are all the tips you’ll ever need to ensure your smile sparkles for years to come.

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Seeing your dentist

It is estimated that people who see their dentist on a regular basis can reduce their risk of developing decay and gum disease by up to 60 percent. Going for a dental examination gives your dentist the opportunity to look out for potential warning signs, which could develop into more complex problems further down the line. If your dentist spots issues at an early stage, they can be treated before they become more advanced and start causing you discomfort. When you go for a check-up, the appointment may only take a few minutes, but your dentist will be looking out for a whole host of symptoms and signs. It’s not just about preventing caries or keeping an eye on the gums. Your dentist can also help you with health problems such as diabetes, and they will also perform oral cancer checks.

 

It’s well-documented that many patients have a fear of going to the dentist. Whether you’re worried about pain, you have a phobia of needles, or the sound of the dreaded dental drill makes you feel anxious, there are ways of overcoming dental fear. Speak to your dentist, and if you don’t already have a dentist, look for a professional with expertise in treating nervous patients. Routine appointments are painless and quick, so try not to postpone or miss them. If you go for months or years without seeing a dentist, there’s a much higher risk developing dental disease. Today, dentists use state of the art technology to reduce anxiety and eliminate pain. You can have cavities filled without using a drill and painless injections, for example. In some cases, if a complex procedure is required, it’s possible to have treatment under sedation.

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Brushing and flossing

Your toothbrush is your best line of defense when it comes to preventing the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless substance, which clings to the tooth enamel and the gums. It is made from food debris, saliva, and bacteria. These bacteria release acids when they feed, and these acids wear away the enamel and irritate the gums resulting in caries and gum disease.

 

It’s essential to brush twice a day to keep dental problems at bay. Use a brush with a small head, and set a timer for 2 minutes. Angle the brush head to cover the gum line, and make sure you brush every individual tooth. Be gentle when you brush. If you use too much force, this can damage your enamel and make you susceptible to caries and sensitivity. Swap your brush or your brush head every 3-4 months and always wait at least 45 minutes after eating to clean your teeth. If you brush straight after, this can contribute to enamel erosion. This is because the enamel softens when you eat, and it takes time for it remineralize.

 

Once you’ve brushed, take a minute to floss. Pass sections of dental tape through the gaps between your teeth. Flossing helps to dislodge bits of food and bacteria that you can’t reach when you brush. Ideally, you should aim to floss daily.

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Keeping your teeth bright and white

Most of us wish we had a brighter, whiter smile. Staining can be caused by general wear and tear, but your diet and lifestyle habits also play a part. If you’re a smoker, for example, you may find that your teeth become discolored even if you’re very diligent when it comes to oral hygiene. Giving up smoking isn’t easy to do, but if you do want to give up, there is help out there. Everyone is different and not every method works for everyone. If you’re looking to cut down, it may be worth considering swapping cigarettes for e-cigarettes and looking for products like Aspire e-cigs online. You could also try group support sessions or nicotine replacement therapy. Speak to your dentist or doctor to find out more about the benefits of giving up smoking for dental health and treatment options. Smoking is not the only cause of tooth discoloration. If you’re partial to a coffee or a cup of tea every morning or you love a glass of wine, you may find that your smile suffers. Other foods and drinks to be wary of include soy sauce, dark berries, and cola. If you can’t survive without your daily caffeine fix, use a straw when you drink and have a glass of water afterwards.

 

Not everyone is lucky enough to be blessed with radiant pearly whites. If you would like a whiter smile, there are treatments available that can lighten the tooth enamel, giving you a brighter smile. Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments. You can choose from professional in-chair or at-home whitening systems. If you are considering whitening treatment, seek advice from your dentist. Whitening treatment should not be provided by anyone who doesn’t have the relevant dental training or qualifications.

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Spotting signs of trouble

Nobody wants to have to endure dental pain. Both decay and gum disease can be prevented, so it’s really important to look out for warning signs. If you have pain, your teeth are becoming more sensitive, or you have bleeding, sore or swollen gums, call your dental office and make an appointment.

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Most of us will go and see a doctor if we feel unwell or we notice unusual or unexpected symptoms, but when it comes to going to the dentist, we aren’t so diligent. Often, we put dental appointments off, and this increases the risk of problems like gum disease and decay. If you’re keen to improve your dental health and enjoy a sparkling smile, bear these simple tips in mind.

If You Aren’t Getting Pap Smears, You Are Endangering Yourself

fIt’s no secret preventive care is critically important. We all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maintaining your health means making appointments for vaccinations and check-ups rather than waiting until a problem occurs. If you wait that long, you may find out it is too late. This is why your yearly Pap smear, or cervical cancer screening, is important. It is especially vital to women’s health.

How Often Should I Be Getting Pap Smears?

Currently, the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women begin having Pap smears at age 21 and continue to have them biannually until they reach age 30, at which point screenings can decrease to one every three years provided the results have been consistently normal and a patient’s immune system has not been compromised by a recent health condition or virus.

Because they are not completely accurate every time, Pap smears need to be conducted regularly. This ensures that something missed on one exam is picked up on the next.

What About HPV Screening?

After age 30, women should, according to the American Cancer Society, be screened using both a Pap smear and a human papillomavirus test. They urge this approach because research indicates the HPV test is able to detect abnormal cervical lesions more accurately and earlier than the traditional Pap smear.

There seems to be agreement that the HPV test won’t replace the Pap smear in the near future. This is because there needs to be considerably more research into how to work the test into a screening program. The US Preventative Services Task Force and the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree that Pap smears are still the best way for cervical cancer to be detected.

What Are Pap Smears Detecting?

You may be surprised to learn that Pap smears aren’t actually designed to detect cervical cancer. Instead, they detect precancerous changes or cervical dysplasia. The Pap smear detects these abnormal cells, precancerous changes to the cervix. Then your doctor takes over and determines the reason for the changes. If cancer is suspected, treatment is initiated to end the condition before it becomes full blown cancer.

What if My Pap Smear is Abnormal?

If you receive the results from your Pap smear and they indicate it was abnormal, it means that the test identified abnormal cells on your cervix. Your doctor may decide to repeat the test four or six months later, depending on the variety of cells identified. In other instances, the doctor may choose to perform a colonoscopy, which will allow for a better view of the cervix, and take tissue samples that will be biopsied in order to correctly identify the type of cells.

Colonoscopies are performed by inserting a thin tube containing a very small camera into the vagina and then into the cervix. When a doctor performs a biopsy, he or she takes a small piece of tissue from the cervix and examines it under a microscope. These tests help direct treatment because they identify the type of problem present.

How Do I Prepare for My Pap Smear?

The results of a Pap smear can be less accurate is a substance is present in the vagina. For this reason, penetrative sex and douching are not recommended in the three days leading up to the exam. It is also best that the exam not be performed during menstruation, as this can also affect the results.

No one really looks forward to a Pap smear, but they are one very important way to keep women healthy. If you have not had a Pap smear recently, talk to your doctor to see if you are due for one. If you are, make an appointment and take care of yourself.

Malina Michaels is a sex educator, women’s health advocate, and writer. She works for a non-profit that assists women in low-income areas get the rehab centers and sex education that they need. In her writing, she focuses on these same issues.