Posts for: March, 2017
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
“You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. There is great freedom in this realization. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts.” Deepak Chopra
All too often we are worried about what others think about us; what we do, what we wear, how our bodies look, how we act around others, the things we own or don’t own, whether we are smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, successful enough…but in reality, while we are worrying that other people are judging us, forming opinions about us, or talking about us to other people, those same people are actually worried about the same thing that you are; and in the end no one is really spending all that much time thinking about anyone else.
A lot of energy is being wasted over absolutely nothing. We are our own one and only judge. We must live up to our own standards because no one else’s is relevant to our lives. Each and every one of us is a completely unique spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual individual. This fact is a truly special one; there are no two people who are exactly alike amongst the billions of people who have lived, are living, and will live on this planet. Because this is a fact, it should also be accepted that with that individuality comes the responsibility to be your own creator, judge, and supporter.
When we learn to let go of the manifestations of expectations that we think others have of us, we will experience an immediate and great liberation. With this newfound freedom, we can begin to focus on our dreams and goals and have the space to just be who we are. Self-acceptance and self-love are two of the most important actualizations that we can allow ourselves to experience throughout the course of our lifetime.
Our happiness is reliant on our abilities and continuous efforts to shed that, which does not serve us well. This includes habits, relationships, components of our lifestyle, living or visiting location, and even work. What holds us back is oftentimes what we are holding onto. We must take responsibility for our actions or inactions and proceed to persevere in a positive direction, regardless of the actions or inactions of others with whom we interact.
You are worth discovering. And, you have infinite worth. The most influential relationship that you can build is with yourself. Self-work, while it might be the hardest type of work, is necessary to leading a joyous life. Everyone has been slighted at some point or another by another, but it is what you do with that pain or disappointment in the end. It serves no one well to project the effects of past pains in the form of unproductive and unbeneficial actions, words, and thoughts.
Our range of negative emotions, judgments, and interactions often steam from our unresolved pasts. The work we put into ourselves has the ability to produce the greatest rewards. A key component of happiness is the acceptance of your worth and that no one can take that away from you. You alone hold the keys to your happiness.
“Take time to be silent, to meditate, to quiet the internal dialogue. In moments of silence, realize that you are reconnecting to your source of pure awareness. Pay attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition rather than externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn’t good for you.” Deepak Chopra
The first faint beams of light intermittently peak around the sides of the gently swaying curtain on the window as the morning breeze brings it to life. The light is almost unnoticeable, but enough to peel my eyelids up. An aromatic waft of coffee lifts my head and the tapping of a chocolate lab tail against the wall closest to the side of the bead in which I sleep on mindlessly brings my feet to the floor. My morning is filled with routine sounds, but my mind is silent.
I carry that quiet to the beach with coffee in hand and dog in the lead. The sun hasn’t quite risen over the mountains to the east and the sand is cool and void of distractions. My hands wrap around the warm mermaid mug and my dog rolls ritualistically in the sand. This is our morning meditation. It’s before the sun kisses the back of my head that my mind is most present, peaceful, and passive. This is the time of the day when I feel deeply, but let thoughts flow through me without pause. I sit with my toes buried in the sand for the duration of a cup of coffee and practice nothingness.
Sunrise coffee on the beach, long walks by the sea or in the forest, and surfing are all times when I meditate. Meditation isn’t restricted to sitting in lotus position with your eyes closed and body completely still for a period of time. Meditation is a personal practice that can be done in any way that suites you. The benefits of meditating are vast. There are physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that come from incorporating some form of meditation into your daily life.
Here are just a few examples of the benefits of regular meditation:
- Gain clarity
- Improve concentration
- Decrease stress and anxiety
- Rejuvenate the mind and body
- Improve the immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase serotonin levels, which increases happiness
- Decrease physical tension and pain
- Increase energy
- Help bring about personal transformation
- Gain a deeper understanding of yourself
- Feel more connected to the natural world
Making time to quiet your mind is a gift that will keep giving for as long as you allow yourself that opportunity. Start your practice today, even if for just a few minutes. Be playful and explore different settings, actions, and times of the day to depart from your internal dialogue and just be in complete mental nothingness. Find your silence and reap the benefits of this divine practice.
There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking. Here's one more if you're considering replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant: smoking increases your risk of implant failure.
By and large, dental implants are the most reliable and durable tooth replacement option, with more than a 95% success rate after ten years. But that still leaves a small percentage that fail — and twice as many of those failures are in smokers than in non-smokers.
To understand why, we need to look at how smoking affects oral health. Besides burning and thickening the surface skin cells inside the mouth, inhaled smoke can also damage salivary glands and lead to dry mouth. Reduced saliva creates an environment friendly to bacteria, which increases the risk of infection and disease.
The nicotine in tobacco also restricts the myriad of blood vessels that course through the teeth and gums. The resulting reduced blood flow deprives teeth and gums not only of nutrients but disease-fighting antibodies. The mouth takes longer to heal and can't fight infection as well.
The key to an implant's success lies with its titanium post imbedded in the jaw bone to take the place of the tooth root. Titanium attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to the post over a period of time and create a stronger hold. But the health effects of smoking inhibit this process. Furthermore, slower healing caused by smoking increases the risk of infection, the number one cause of early implant loss.
If you want to improve your chances for a successful implant — not to mention improve your overall health — you should quit smoking. The prospect of a dental implant could be a useful incentive to enroll in a smoking cessation program.
At the very least we suggest you stop smoking a week before implant surgery and then for at least two weeks after to help promote good healing. And you should pay close attention to your daily oral hygiene — brushing and flossing at least once — and regular, semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups.
Smoking can harm your health. If you're considering an implant, it could also harm your chances of a successful outcome.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants & Smoking.”
“Listen to your body’s wisdom, which expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort or eagerness, proceed.” Deepak Chopra
While compromise is key to maintaining healthy and happy social, romantic, and familial relationships, we should not feel obliged to participate in every situation, activity, or engagement that is presented to us. Oftentimes, we find ourselves doing things that we really don’t want to do because we feel obligated for one reason or another. It takes a lot of energy to be engaged in something that we don’t feel necessarily comfortable or excited to take part in. You don’t always have to say yes.
Society, work, family, and friends oftentimes put a lot of pressure on us. There are all these “you should” situations that maybe we shouldn’t feel we have to do. It is key to listen to your inner voice and physical body when making a decision however big or small. The more we learn to listen to initial feelings and intuitions, the happier we will be in the long run.
When we are presented with an opportunity, whatever it might be, it is wise to listen to our how our minds and bodies react. Does the idea of saying yes make you anxiety, uncomfortable, or regretful? Or do you feel excited, eager, and confident? Engaging in activities that make you feel uncomfortable or anxious, among any other negative physical feeling and emotions should be avoided. We need to start listening to our instincts and inner voice of reason. It is okay to say no when our initial reaction to saying yes is negative.
“Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now; look for fullness in every moment. Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go. The present is as it should be. It reflects infinite laws of Nature that have brought you this exact thought, this exact physical response. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against the infinite scheme of things; instead be at one with it.” Deepak Chopra
We are all guilty, whether constantly or sporadically, of dwelling on the past, thinking of the future, and going through the motions of the present without actually being present. Oftentimes, we aren’t even aware that we aren’t present. The act of being present takes practice, but we are all capable of mastering this mindful way of living. Deepak Chopra believes this is of the utmost importance in order to live a truly happy life.
The past happened and the future is going to happen; these are facts. It is waste of precious energy to try and return to the past or jump to the future, in our minds, when those two points of time were and are inevitable anyway. Our focal point should be in the now because it is actually the only point of time that is relevant. Giving yourself permission to ground yourself in the now is one of the greatest gifts that you can grant yourself. When we are here, we are actually living our lives to the fullest because it is all that it can and will ever be in that exact moment; missing that moment comes with consequences to our overall happiness.
Being completely present isn’t something that comes easily to most, especially when we feel that we always have to be five steps ahead. Who said though that we have to have everything figure out, planned out, and prepared for moments, days, or years before any of those events or happenings could even potentially take place? What if those anticipated things never even happen for any number of reasons? What if we spend all of our time preparing for a future that the universe maybe decided wasn’t meant to be?
Each moment of our lives should be cherished and lived because they are here and then gone in an instant. If we remain in the habit of staying in the past or skipping to the future, we are basically missing infinite moments of our lives. We must learn to let go of the control we think we have. When we are present, we are giving ourselves the optimal opportunity to experience our lives in real time, to connect and participate in our shared world, and find peace and happiness in the present.
If the present moment doesn’t suite you, just remind yourself that soon it will be just the past. Living in this organic rhythm is a beautiful feather light flowy way of life. The heaviness that comes with carrying the past and worrying about the future will dissipate when you learn to let go of all of that unnecessary weight. It is easier to smile, laugh, love, and flourish when we realize the present is all that really matters.