Health Benefits of Garlic

Benefits of GarlicGarlic gets a bad rap, unless you are an Italian mama and use it liberally to give robust flavor to your special pasta sauce.  This funny-looking vegetable with its rotund shape, delicate parchment-like skin and appendages that resemble toes, has long been the brunt of cartoons (i.e. two people – one with a discernible breath of air being emitted, the other beating a hasty retreat.

Health Benefits Beyond Belief

Whether you get your daily dose of garlic in the food you eat, or via supplements, be advised that you are improving your health with every dose you ingest.

Garlic Supplements

The method of consuming garlic for health benefits is really a personal preference.  Of course, it is easier to just buy the supplements to ensure you are getting the recommended dosage for optimal health benefits.  The recommended dosages for garlic use are listed below.  Though they are considered “safe doses”, before embarking on any supplement use, check with your doctor to ensure it does not counteract with existing health conditions or prescription/over-the-counter medications you are currently using.  Ask your health practitioner for the recommended dosage, brand, and, if the supplement contains an odor or not.

Suggested Garlic Regimen

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Does Thumb Sucking Damage Teeth?

About Baby Teeth“Do all kids suck their thumb, or is my kid unusual?” asks a worried mom, but the pediatrician assures her it is normal for most babies and toddlers to suck their thumbs, in fact, they also like to suck on their fingers, hands, or items such as pacifiers, especially while they are teething.  Generally, most children stop sucking their thumb on their own at age 3 to 6 years.

For adults, who are taught at an early age to keep germy hands off the face, especially during cold and flu season, the idea of thumb-sucking and the spread of germs is pretty horrifying, especially if you are a germaphobe.

Why do Babies Suck Their Thumbs?

Babies have a natural urge to suck, and this urge usually decreases after the age of 6 months.  Many babies continue sucking their thumbs as a means to soothe themselves and continue the habit as toddlers, as a means to comfort themselves when they feel hungry, afraid, restless, quiet, sleepy, or are bored.

How Long Is It “Socially Acceptable” For a Child to Suck Their Thumb?

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Alternatives to Braces

Alternatives to BracesBraces can be the bane of one’s existence – not only for the teens who wear them, but the parents as well.  For kids, braces come during those awkward teenage years – a time fraught with angst over acne or other physical changes, and slapping on something that makes the teeth look the grille of a 1955 Rambler, sure doesn’t help matters much.  For parents, it is a pain as well … if their workplace sponsors a dental plan, orthodontia regimens may be included, partially or in total, but, if not – the price of braces can take a big bite out of the household budget, not to mention taking time off from work to transport kids to the orthodontist for regular appointments.

Be Proactive

You are probably not the first parent to wonder about alternatives to moving teeth into proper alignment.
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Natural Remedies for a Toothache

Natural Remedies for a ToothacheIt’s the middle day of a holiday weekend and your tooth is throbbing.  It could be a loose filling, a cracked or abscessed tooth, or even a sinus infection.  If there is an infection present, the toothache may be accompanied by a fever and/or a foul taste in the mouth.

The answering service at the dentist office reports he is out of town, unreachable, but has a substitute dentist available and offers the contact information.  You could go to the drugstore and buy a “toothache kit” pain reliever.  Or maybe an ice bag.  You already feel miserable, and, pretty soon you know you are going to whine enough that everyone else is going to feel as miserable as you.  As you mull over the options, you could also go online and seek out “natural remedies for a toothache”, or simply read this blog post, because once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have these items on hand as a “fixer upper” for that throbbing pain before this.

While a consultation with a top dentist in NJ is the ideal, it is not always an option.  Although we recommend that you at least try to contact a top NJ dentist for advice prior to trying an at home remedy.

Natural Solutions For a Toothache

Salt water – A teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of boiling water makes a pain-killing mouthwash which will clean away irritating debris and help reduce swelling.  Simply swish some saltwater around in your mouth for about thirty seconds before spitting it out.  The salt water cleanses the area around the tooth and draws out some of the fluid that causes swelling. Repeat this treatment as often as needed.

3% Hydrogen peroxide – A medicine cabinet staple for cuts and scrapes, hydrogen peroxide will zap the bacteria present in your oral dilemma and help to relieve some of the discomfort, if any .  Simply swish a mouthful of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution around in your mouth to prevent the infection from becoming worse until your dentist can see you and determine the cause of the problem.  Remember not to swallow the hydrogen peroxide, merely swish it around in your mouth a few times, and spit out the rest, followed by rinsing several times with plain water.

Ice – Ice is nice and also a surefire solution to relieve a throbbing tooth.  Simply place a small ice cube in a plastic bag, wrap a thin cloth around the bag, and apply it to the aching tooth for about 15 minutes to numb the nerves.  An alternative is to place that ice pack onto your cheek to numb the pain of the throbbing tooth.  Work some magic on that painful tooth, by using a folklore remedy. i.e. massage your hand with an ice cube.  When the nerves in your fingers send “cold” signals to your brain, they may override the pain signals coming from your tooth.  Simply wrap up an ice cube in a thin cloth, then massage it in the fleshy area between your thumb and forefinger.

Chewing gum – If you have broken a tooth, or, you have lost a filling, a temporary “fix” for the pain is to cover the exposed area with softened chewing gum.  Simply hold the gum in place until you can see a professional, and will help the pain immensely.  To avoid further discomfort, avoid chewing anything with that tooth until you can have it repaired.

Some Other Suggestions

Peppermint tea – It’s got a minty flavor and packs some numbing power.  Simply place 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes.  After the tea cools, swish it around in your mouth, then spit it out or swallow it.

Black tea – The astringent tannins in strong black tea may help diminish pain by reducing swelling.  This is another folk remedy, which suggests placing a warm, wet tea bag against the affected tooth for temporary relief.

Clove oil – Cloves are a traditional remedy for numbing nerves.  The primary chemical compound of this spice is eugenol, which is considered to be a natural anesthetic.   But, there is a caveat involved when using clove oil for pain … simply pouring the oil on the aching area will increase the pain, and it can actually worsen the pain if you get it on sensitive gum tissue or on your tongue.  The best way to use clove oil for a throbbing tooth, is to put two drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and place it against the tooth itself until the pain recedes. In a pinch, use a bit of powdered clove or place a whole clove on the tooth.  Chew the whole clove a little to release its oil and by keeping it in place for at least 30 minutes, or until the pain subsides.

Whatever method you choose to quell your toothache pain, remember that it is only a stopgap measure and you should see a professional as quickly as possible.

How Do Teeth Age?

How Do Teeth Age A Child’s SmileTeeth are not quite as unique as snowflakes, however, they do vary in size, shape and location in the jaw.  These differences in the teeth are what give our face shape and form and how we chew, speak or smile.  Did you know that we are born with 20 baby teeth (a/k/a “primary teeth”) that will begin to “erupt” or break through at about 6 months, and, by age 12, all 32 of our permanent teeth have usually erupted?

A Child’s Smile

There are many gap-toothed photos of you in your parents’ family albums.  Face it, all of a sudden your “cuteness quotient” goes down substantially when you begin losing those baby teeth.  The first teeth to go are the lower center teeth (a/k/a the lower center incisors) at approximately 6 to 7 years old.  Next are the top center pair.   It’s scary looking when you resemble a Halloween pumpkin, but, at least the Tooth Fairy helps make this time bearable.  Happily, a baby tooth typically doesn’t loosen until the permanent tooth below pushes it up to take its place.

When Do Teeth Start to Age?

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Benefits of Eating More Dairy Products

Eating More Dairy ProductsThe older you get, the more you realize that the meals you had growing up were maybe not so bad after all.

While Mom may not have had the resources about nutrition that are available to you today, especially via the internet, she really did know her stuff when you think about it.  So, where did Mom learn about the types of foods that make up the food pyramid – perhaps in her home economics class?  If you look back on meals when you were a youngster versus the suggested food groups to include in your daily diet, you might just concede that Mom was a smarter cookie than you ever gave her credit for.

For example, she filled your tummy with nutritious food, based on the five recommended food groups, a chart which really has not varied much through the years, and which guidelines are currently found at www.choosemyplate.gov and are listed below:

  • Vegetables (including legumes/beans);
  • Fruits (all fruits and juices);
  • Grains (mostly wholegrain and/or high-fiber cereal and bread);
  • Protein (lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts/seeds and legumes/beans); and
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat).

Indeed you are what you eat, and a diet consisting of these foods will give you the nutrition needed to stay healthy from youth to old age.
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Best Diet to Prevent Bad Breath

Best Diet to Prevent Bad BreathIt’s hard to resist raw chopped onions on a Coney dog or a big burger with a thin slice of raw onion, but you’d better hope you don’t have to socialize too much after downing these tasty treats.

Battling Bad Breath

As a general rule, bad breath is related to what we drink or eat.  As to beverages, alcohol is sure to give you bad breath, coffee does as well.  Different cultures have spicy foods, and people who consume these foods on a regular basis, will experience odors, not only emanating from their mouth, but also from their pores.

Listerine, a leading mouthwash manufacturer, says there are five top foods that will give you bad breath – of course, we are familiar with onions and garlic being the biggest culprits, and even canned tuna is no surprise, but horseradish and dairy foods also make your mouth feel a little funky.

Dairy products as a source for bad breath may surprise you, but, while dairy products may be good for your teeth and bones, they make your mouth feel unclean.  This is because naturally occurring bacteria from your tongue feeds on the amino acids in dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and cheeses), resulting in a foul odor.
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What Does Wine Do to Teeth?

Teeth WhiteningRed wine and concord grape juice have been long known to do two things:

#1 – make an indelible stain on clothes or carpeting; and

#2 – prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol that leads to the formation of plaque in artery walls.

As to #2, if you were looking for an excuse to have that morning glass of grape juice or a  nightly glass of red wine perhaps you have one now.  After all, if a mere beverage can help lower the risk of developing blood clots that lead to heart attacks, you might as well go for it, right?  One important thing to remember is that having stained teeth does not mean that your teeth are unhealthy, and if you have stained teeth there are solutions such as a visit to a top dentist in Clearwater and an in office tooth whitening procedure.
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What Does Smoking Do to Teeth?

What Does Smoking do to TeethA cigarette loosely tangling from your mouth, or cinched between your teeth, is a menacing look to be sure.  But, just in case you were wondering, smoking is also a menace to your teeth, besides your general health.

We all know smoking is bad for your health, and, we did not have to read the warning label on the side of the pack to know this fact.  There are public service announcements galore which point to the fact that smoking causes cancer.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and, about 70 of them are known to cause cancer.  The number one risk of smoking cigarettes is lung cancer, but, smoking is known to affect your entire body.  Did you know it can also affect your oral health as well?
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Health Benefits of Smiling

Health Benefits of Smiling

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”. ~Mother Teresa

Those are wise words indeed, spoken by the late Mother Teresa.  These days, world events have us weary and worried.  Many times we shuffle out of the door, breaking a smile to those to whom we feel obligated to smile at, but, admittedly our smile is not always heartfelt.  We are wise to cast our cares aside when we venture out, so that we let others see the good in our soul, and not the sorrows or angst that we might carry with us.  Even those who suffer from depression will benefit from a smile – a shared smile that they give away or one that they receive.

Just Grin

The idea of presenting a happy face to the world is good for your psyche.  In fact, smiling is the best present we can give to ourselves.  It is free and people will be more enamored with you from benefiting from your positive influence on them.
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