5 Signs That You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone

It should come as no surprise that, according to recent studies, that U.S. smartphone users spend an average five hours on their phone each day. While that amount of time may seem steep, consider your own smartphone usage.

 

From the quick checks in the middle of the night or while brushing your teeth in the morning, how much time do you think you’re spending on your phone, in total? Have friends and loved ones accused you of being “addicted” to your smartphone?

 

Rather than getting defensive, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your smartphone usage and some of the signs that may point to a dependency on your phone.

Interferes With Productivity and Face to Face Relationships

 

Living in a tech-centric world, we often need to rely on our smartphone to “stay connected” at all times of the day and while on the go. While this might be crucial if you’re “on call” for work or are expecting a conference call, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps may be less important.

 

A common sign that may indicate that you are addicted to your smartphone is if the time you spend on your phone interferes with your work productivity or even strains your personal relationships. If you’re choosing your smartphone over work and people, you could soon be left without either.

You Have A Hard Time Putting It Down

 

Although smartphones are devices that are small and portable enough to stow away in a pocket or purse, how often do you put your phone down or let it out of your sight? Think about all the times you attend an event or go out to eat with friends. Do you put your phone away or do you leave it on the table so you can catch every notification that pops up?

 

If you can’t remember the last time you didn’t check your phone for a long period of time, it may indicate a dependency issue.

You’ve Had a Close Call or Received a Ticket While Driving

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of accidents, resulting in fatalities and injuries, occur each year due to a distracted driver. Even though texting and driving is nearly banned in all states throughout the U.S., many drivers take the risk of getting in an accident just to send a quick message.

 

Have you caused an accident or almost rear-ended someone because you were looking at your phone? Have you received a ticket or warning for texting and driving? These are also clear indicators that you are dependent on your smartphone.

 

Don’t think that texting and driving is too distracting? Play “Cards of Distractibility,” a free online game that simulates texting and driving and tests your memory; it’s a lot harder than you might think.

You Feel Bored or Depressed When You’re Not Using Your Phone

 

Many smartphone addicts use their phones when they are bored or depressed, but if you feel bored or blue when you’re not using your phone, you may also be addicted to your device. The same goes for feelings of irritability and anxiety when you can’t use your phone.

You Hide Your Phone

 

Like many other types of addiction, an addict may hide what he or she is doing to avoid pressure or ridicule from others. If you hide your smartphone or go somewhere else to use it, you might need to reassess how much time you spend on your phone.

 

5 Ways Rare Cancer Patients Can Find Support and Encouragement

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Almost everyone battling cancer will experience feelings of isolation at some point. Even those lucky enough to have faithful friends and family around can be left feeling alone. It is hard to feel like anyone actually understands what you are going through. For rare cancer patients, these feelings can be even harder to deal with. If you suffer from a rare cancer such as carcinoma or mesothelioma, you may feel even less understood. After all, there are far fewer support groups, websites, and other resources for you to access.

It is crucial for you to know that you can find help and support to help you feel less isolated during your treatment. The most straightforward ways to find support and encouragement include:

Rely on your small group first.

Your small group is comprised of long-term friends and close family. You should stay in touch with them as much as possible. The challenge here is to be honest. Often, those battling cancer feel like they need to put on a “brave face” for their loved ones. While there are times to do this, it is important to have some trusted loved ones that you can share your most painful feelings with. Let them be your support during this rough time.

Look for other people who might be going through what you are

One of the most isolating parts of having a rare cancer is simply that there may not be a lot of awareness around it. It is hard to find others who are experiencing exactly what you are, because there simply aren’t many people with your disease. However, technology has developed to offer many wonderful resources that can help you find connection with others suffering from your condition. Social media, websites, and online support groups can all be ways of finding others who understand what you are facing. You can also ask your doctor if there is a local support group for rare cancer patients.

Seek professional support

Dealing with a major illness can cause feelings of despair in anyone. If you find yourself fighting feelings of anxiety and depression on a daily basis, you may want to consider seeking professional support. A psychiatrist or therapist could help you find ways to ease these mental symptoms, which could make your life easier as you battle your illness. 

Be specific in your daily routine.

Fighting cancer can make you feel like your entire world has fallen apart. Everything has probably changed somewhat, and you may find yourself feeling ungrounded. Establishing some simple, daily routines could help with this. You could try waking up at the same time each morning and doing a simple chore or having a cup of tea. The idea is to give your brain some sense of structure during this uncertain time.

Tell people what would make you feel better.

Don’t be afraid to tell you loved ones exactly what would help you each day. Sometimes, you will simply need support, but it is hard for your loved ones to help you unless you let them. If you need to go to the park and get some fresh air, ask someone to go with you. If you need a specific food, or help with a chore, ask someone to help you. Listen to your mind and your body, and then don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

While dealing with a rare cancer can be a painful and isolating experience, there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support and accept it, wherever you find it.

Sleeping & The Complicated Processes Behind It

sleeping

They​ ​wake​ ​us​ ​up,​ ​put​ ​us​ ​to​ ​sleep, make us​ ​dream​ ​and​ ​control​ ​our state​ ​of​ ​mind.​ ​Neurotransmitters are the​ special agents​ responsible​ ​f​or activating​ ​or​ ​deactivating​ ​the major functions ​of​ ​our brain.

It​ ​sounds​ ​like​ ​a​ ​conspiracy,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​good​ ​news​ ​is​ ​that​ ​we​ ​can​ ​do something​ ​about​ ​it.​ ​Once​ ​we​ ​know​ ​how​ all that affect​s ​our​ ​sleep​ ​and​ ​dreaming,​ ​we​ ​can​ ​take​ ​some​ ​action​ ​to​ ​fix​ ​the situation.​ ​We​ ​can​ ​change​ ​the​ ​foods​ ​we​ ​eat,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​can​ ​take additional​ ​supplements​ ​to​ ​help​ ​rebalance​ ​our​ ​neurotransmitter levels​ ​and​ ​rearrange​ ​them​ ​to​ ​meet​ ​the​ ​perfect​ ​condition.

Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine​ ​plays​ ​a​ key ​role​ ​in​ ​the​ scheduling ​of human​ ​sleep. Usually,​ ​ACh (Acetylcholine)​ ​levels​ ​start​ ​to​ ​drop​ ​as​ ​we​ ​drift​ ​off​ ​to​ ​sleep.​ ​ In the morning hours during​ ​REM​ ​sleep​ its​ ​levels​ ​would rise to​ ​reach their average daily rate​ ​

Whats The Importance?

Slightly​ ​elevated​ ​Acetylcholine​ ​levels​ ​improve​ ​our​ ​memory, ability​ ​to​ ​learn,​ ​and​ ​promote​ ​REM​ ​sleep.​ ​Decreased​ ​ACh​ ​is​ ​linked to​ ​memory​ ​lapses,​ ​mental​ ​fog,​ ​fatigue​ ​and​ ​suppressed​ ​REM sleep.  

As​ ​we​ ​grow​ ​older​​ ​the​ ​levels​ ​of​ ​this chemical​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​decrease.​ ​​In​ ​neglected​ ​cases​ ​of​ ​Alzheimer’s​ ​disease, ACh​ ​levels​ ​can​ ​be​ ​as​ ​much​ ​as​ ​90%​ ​lower​ ​than​ ​average​ ​levels,​ ​and the​ ​memory​ ​of​ ​such​ ​patients​ ​tends​ ​to​ ​switch​ ​off​ ​completely.​ ​There is​ ​a​ ​wealth​ ​of​ ​clinical​ ​evidence​ ​suggesting​ ​​ ​that​ ​people​ ​should​ ​take Acetylcholine​ ​supplements​ ​to​ ​retain​ ​clear​ ​mind​ ​during​ ​the​ ​senior year

Serotonin

​​Serotonin​ ​is​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​’sleep​ ​switcher’​ ​that​ ​can​ ​act​ ​in​ ​both directions​ ​-​ ​as​ ​a​ ​stimulant​ ​and​ ​a​ ​blocker.​ ​

It​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​two​ ​essential​ ​chemical​ ​messengers affecting​ ​both​ ​onset​ ​and​ ​duration​ ​of​ ​sleep.​ ​Serotonin​ is about to burst as we slowly move to the deep regenerative​ ​​sleep phase.​ ​From this​ ​point​ ​the​ ​system​ ​starts​ ​to​ ​work​ ​backward​ ​boosting​ ​the complimentary​ ​neurotransmitter​ ​-​ ​Acetylcholine​ ​which​ ​blocks Serotonin​ ​as​ ​we​ ​enter​ ​​ ​REM​ ​sleep.​ ​Having more​ ​serotonin​ ​implies​ ​deeper​ ​sleep.​ ​And​ ​vice​ ​versa​ ​-​ ​high Acetylcholine​ ​means​ ​REM​ ​sleep.

Whats The Importance?

Slightly​ ​reduced​ ​serotonin​ ​levels​ ​result​ ​in​ ​suppressing​ ​the​ ​’deep sleep’​ ​stage​ ​and​ ​more​ ​intense​  ​periods​ ​of​ ​REM​ ​sleep.​ ​But​ ​when Serotonin​ ​levels​ ​decrease significantly ​it brings​ ​about​ ​anxiety,​ ​insomnia and​ ​​non-REM​ ​sleep.

All​ ​that​ ​might​ ​imply​ ​that​ ​serotonin-containing​ ​supplements​ ​can directly​ ​improve​ ​your​ ​sleep.​ ​But​ ​when​ ​taken​ ​as​ ​food​ ​they​ ​have​ ​no effect​ ​on​ ​the​ ​central​ ​nervous​ ​system.​ ​Serotonin​ ​does​ ​not​ ​cross​ ​the blood-brain​ ​barrier.​ ​Luckily​ ​there​ ​is​ ​the​ ​amino​ ​acid​ ​Tryptophan and​ ​its​ ​metabolite​ ​5-HTP​ ​which​ ​do​ ​cross​ ​the​ ​blood-brain​ ​barrier, followed​ ​by​ ​Serotonin​ ​synthesis.  

Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine​ ​is a neurotransmitter of wakefulness​. ​ ​Once you​ fell asleep​ ​and​ ​during​ ​the​ ​​deep​ ​sleep​ ​NE levels​ ​go​ ​down.​ ​​ ​The​ ​secretion​ ​of​ ​NE​ ​restarts​ ​during the​ ​’REM’​ enhancing your​ ​morning​ ​sleep​ ​in​ ​quantity​ ​and​ ​quality.

Whats The Importance?  

NE​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​essential​ ​neurotransmitters​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​our​ ​sleep regulation.​ ​Deficiency​ ​of​ ​this​ ​chemical​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​sleepiness,​ ​lower alertness,​ ​concentration​ ​and​ ​focus​ ​issues​ ​and​ ​depression

There​ ​are​ ​very​ ​few​ ​over-the-counter​ ​supplements​ ​that​ ​work​ ​with NE​ ​levels​ ​without​ ​affecting​ ​the​ ​other​ ​brain​ ​chemicals.​ ​One interesting​ ​exception​ ​is​ ​a​ ​herb​ ​Yohimbine​ ​which​ ​helps​ ​the​ ​brain synthesize​ ​more​ ​norepinephrine​ ​for​ ​normal​ ​sleep​ ​regulation.

GABA

GABA is​ ​another key chemical messenger​ ​that​ ​is generated​ ​naturally​ ​in​ ​our​ ​brain​ ​ ​providing​ ​a​ ​calming effect​ ​on​ ​our sleep.

Whats The Importance?

​Found​ ​in​ ​the​ ​brain​ ​excitatory​​ ​- Noradrenaline​ ​or​ ​Dopamine​ ​are to​ ​be​ ​counter-balanced​ ​by a specific​ ​calming​ ​agent.​ That’s the way GABA​ works​.​ ​Once​ ​its ​concentrations increase ​throughout​ ​the​ brain​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​system strikes​ ​a​ ​balance​ ​between​ ​arousal​ ​and​ ​somnolence.​ ​​ ​  

Gaba​ taken from natural sources cannot​ ​pass th​rough ​the​ ​blood-brain​ ​barrier.​ ​But ​picamilon​ ​and​ ​phenibut​ ​- GABA pre-drugs – do ​get​ ​into your brain ​followed​ ​by​ ​GABA​ ​generation.​ ​As​ ​for​ ​the medicines​ ​over-the-counter,​ ​the​ ​recent​ ​studies​ ​show​ ​that​ ​some adaptogens​ ​can​ ​help​ ​synthesize​ ​of​ ​GABA​ ​protein,​ ​for​ ​example, Shilajit​ ​which​ ​acts​ ​as​ ​an​ ​anti-epileptic​ ​drug.

Dopamine

Dopamine​ ​is​ ​a​ ​chemical ​which​ ​is​ ​also​ linked to scheduling of sleep.​ ​The influx of this substance​​ leads​ ​to​ ​vigilance,​ ​while​ ​its deficiency brings about​ ​drowsiness,​ ​mental​ ​fog,​ ​and​ ​poor​ ​reasoning.  

Whats The Importance?

Dopamine​ percentage in ​the​ ​brain​ ​is​ ​invariable​ ​until​ ​age​ ​45, and​ ​then​ ​its levels ​decrease ​linearly​ ​by​ ​about​ ​13%​ ​per​ ​decade.  

When​ it fells by one-third, ​all the traces of Parkinson’s disorder are in.​ ​High Dopamine concentrations ​may​ partially ​account​ for the fact that people​ ​have​ ​a​ ​stronger​ ​​libido​ ​during ​their younger years.  

There​ ​is a useful​substance obtained from African shrub Mucuna Pruriense that ​easily reaches human brain followed by Dopamine synthesis.​ ​The​ ​other​ helping​ ​brain-tonic​ ​is called​ ​Shilajit.​ ​This​ ​​food​ ​supplement​​ increases​ ​the​ ​levels​ ​of neuronal​ ​dopamine​ ​in​ ​our​ ​brain.

How to Cope With Your Cancer Diagnosis

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No one wants to hear that a family member, or they themselves have been diagnosed with cancer. It’s a scary thing, and the fact of the matter is that it does happen. We can’t control whether or not we get cancer in our lives, but we can control how we deal with it. How you cope with cancer can make or break you during this hard time in your life, so we want to provide a resource that we hope will help you.

 

A radiation oncology center put together this list of ways to help you can cope with your own, or a loved one’s, cancer diagnosis.

 

Educate Yourself

 

You’ve just found out that you or someone close to you has cancer. Now is the best time to learn everything you can about it. Do your research on credible websites like the American Cancer Society. Talk to your doctor about what this means for you. Find out what your options are for treatment, and ask them any and all questions that you might have. They are there to help you through this and will be a valuable resource on your journey to recovery.

 

Express Your Feelings

 

Don’t hide your feelings. Letting them fester inside is unhealthy and can cause other health issues with the stress that comes from it. It’s normal to feel sad, frustrated, angry, and scared. Talk to someone about that. Write down everything that you feel in a journal. Express your feelings in a way that is most beneficial to you individually, whether that is through writing, talking, art or even music. Find a healthy outlet to help you.

 

Find Support

 

No one should go through this alone. Find support through friends, family, your doctor, online (or in-person) support groups, therapy, other patients. Find someone who you can trust and talk to them about what is going on. Let them know how you feel, talk about how your life is changing, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Those who love you most want to be there for you, but they might not know how, so let them know how they can help you the best.

 

Care For Yourself

 

Take care of yourself. Don’t neglect the small things that make you. Take the time to continue to do the things that you love, whether it’s cooking, crafting, watching movies, being in nature, or whatever it is that you enjoy. Find something you can do every day to help you find some normalcy in your life. Not everything good has to stop.

 

Focus on the Good

 

There’s going to be a lot about this diagnosis that you can’t control, and that’s scary. But you need to focus on the things in your life right now that you can control. Focus on the good things like visiting family and friends or the things that you enjoy doing that you can still do. If you only let yourself think about what you can’t do, you won’t realize how much you can still do.

Helpful Halloween Hacks

Halloween is here and the festivities are about to begin. Witches, vampires, and Wonder Woman are just a few of the costumes to be seen roaming the night this year as they embark on their spooky journey for the festivities.

 

As the sun begins to fall for a crisp night, there are a few hacks to consider this year to keep your monster family safe from harm’s way. Here are a few to keep in mind:

 

Inspect Treats

 

One rule of thumb to keep in mind each year to ensure that your trick-or-treaters are safe is to inspect the candy at the end of the night. Before you or your children decide to dig in, remember to check to ensure that there are no open wrappers before enjoying you treats.

 

Reports in the past have raised caution due to injury so partaking in your due diligence before eating the candy can prevent any uncertainty. It would also be wise to ration the portions of Halloween candy so that your little monsters don’t eat all the sour gummy-worms and Snickers in one night.

 

Safe Commuting

 

One of the most important jobs of trick-or-treating is to know your route. Whether you’re taking the kids out for candy or you’re out enjoying the festivities with friends, it would be wise to consider the route to and from your destination.

 

Most neighborhoods are familiar with their surroundings; however, if you plan to venture our further, consider checking out the commute before getting behind the wheel at dark. Make sure that you’re familiar with your surroundings and the trick-or-treat stops.

 

Another factor to consider during your commute, especially if you’re in an area with higher foot traffic is to consider designated cross walks. Each year countless of pedestrians are injured by utilizing their designated cross walks. Consider wearing a costume that is bright in color or perhaps reflective gear to ensure that you are visible to other motorists.

 

It would also be wise to drive with extra caution on Halloween night to ensure that all the scary treat-or-treaters make it to their destination safety. Be sure to abide by the speed limit and drive with extra caution to avoid any injury to others.

 

Trunk-or-Treat

 

Staying in a well-lit area is a hack to remember. For many, this might mean taking advantage of local trunk-or-treats to ensure that all the candy is in one place surrounded by familiar faces in one parking lot. Remaining visible to your party at all times is a great way to stay safe and alleviates any uncertainties. Trunk-or-treating is a helpful way to stay within the realm of your community with others to help keep an eye on community members. Staying together is a helpful way to avoid becoming lost and staying within recognizable territory.

 

Halloween is a great time for friends and family to come together to enjoy a night full of thrills. This year remember these hacks for a night full of safety as well. Remember to abide by any curfew that your community might have in effect and to always keep safety a priority.

Preventing and Treating Gym-born Back Pain

One of the most common gym injuries is back pain. Whether you’re going hard on the elliptical or lifting some heavy weights, it can get you. But don’t let the fear of potentially hurting yourself keep you from working out, instead educate yourself on how you can prevent and treat back pain.

 

Preventing Back Pain

Working out, or keeping your back muscles strong, is actually one of the best things you can do to prevent back injuries. Back pain is more common in people who are not fit, so start exercising today. Of course, that doesn’t mean heavy lifting. Heavy lifting is a big cause of back injuries, so make sure you work your way up to it. Take it easy and listen to your body, and follow these tips to prevent back pain.

  • Core Exercise. As mentioned, working out can help you build up strong muscles in your back to prevent injury. Participate in some low-impact exercise like walking or ellipticals to increase blood flow to the spine.
  • A poor posture can lead to back pain. It’s important to pay attention to your posture throughout the day, especially if you work a desk job. Try to get up every hour or so and walk around. You can also set a timer on your phone to check your posture every once in a while throughout the day.
  • Lifting weights is not a bad thing and can increase the strength in your back muscles. But it’s important to know the proper way to lift weights to avoid injury. If you’re unsure of proper weight-lifting technique, ask the trainer at your gym for some pointers.
  • Overall health. Take care of your body and improve your overall physical health. Just as exercising is important, so are eating right and drinking plenty of water. Getting the nutrients that your body needs will help build up your strength too.

 

Treating Back Pain

Even if we do our best to prevent back injuries, they can still happen. Here’s a list of ways you can treat your back pain.

  • See a doctor. If your pain is severe enough that it’s difficult for you to walk, then it is best to get a professional diagnosis on the problem. A doctor is going to be the best source for a treatment plan to get your back healed quickly.
  • Rest is going to be your best friend when you have back pain (or worst enemy if you don’t like sitting still). Don’t keep working out or you’ll risk injuring your back further. Give your back a few days to rest and then start out slow, stopping if you feel any pain during exercise.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods with plenty of fish oils. Avoid the grains and let your body focus it’s innate healing power on the real injury.
  • Massage therapist. See a massage therapist or chiropractor to help work out any aches in the muscles or to realign your back. They can also give you some good recommendations for at home treatment.
  • Icing your back can reduce pain, swelling and spasming, especially during the first 24 hours of injury. Apply ice for only 20 minutes at a time, and then wait an hour before reapplying.

If you’re ever in doubt about a back injury, the best practice is always to consult your doctor before trying to self-diagnose or treat. Take these tips into consideration and do what you can to prevent back pain from enjoying everyday life.

 

Healthy Teeth Hacks for Halloween

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Are you concerned about keeping yourself and your children happy and healthy this Halloween? With walls of candy lining every store and the chance for kids to bring home mounds of free candy, we understand your concern.  But don’t fret, because all you need is a plan. A Sun City West dentist put together this list of tips to help you have a healthy Halloween.

Eat Candy with Meals

Eating your candy with meals can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The nutrients from your food will help to balance the acid levels in your mouth from the sugary candy. Chewing also produces saliva, which will help to move the candy and sugar particles from your mouth quicker.

Avoid Sweet Snacks

Candy is everywhere right now, but try to keep it as a treat to have with meals. Don’t substitute healthy snacks for candy. Snacking on candy will only increase your risk of getting cavities. Keep snacking to the healthy choices, like fruits and veggies.

Choose Candy Wisely

Some candies are much stickier than others, like taffy and caramels. These will stay on your teeth much longer than other candies, increasing your risk for tooth decay. Another choice you might want to make with candy is the calorie intake. Choose candies with lower calories, and stick to fun-sized versus full candy bars.

Limit Your Stash

Don’t stock up on your Halloween candy early. It will be a constant temptation, especially if it’s a candy you enjoy. Limit the amount of candy you keep in your home to avoid this temptation of snacking on candy. When your kids bring home their bags of candy on Halloween, have them pick their favorites and get rid of the rest by donating it or saving it for food storage or a 72-hour kit.

Drink Water

Drinking water is so important, not only to maintain every healthy bodily function but to help prevent cavities too. Drink water, especially after consuming a sugary treat to help rinse the sugar off your teeth. When you send your children trick-or-treating, send them with a water bottle to help keep them hydrated and to drink after eating their candy early.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva production, which will help remove some of the sugar from your teeth. This could be a good item to hand out for trick-or-treaters if you want to give them something a little healthier this year.

Brush and Floss

This may be obvious, but always remember to brush and floss, especially when you’ve been eating candy. Food gets stuck between your teeth and sugar likes to cling to your teeth, so make sure you do your best to continue good brushing and flossing habits through Halloween. Help your children establish good dental hygiene habits to ensure healthy teeth when this sugar-filled holiday is over.

You can still enjoy this holiday and your favorite candies. Just make a plan to keep your family healthy through all of the candy-filled fun.

Myths about Teeth Debunked

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We have been told things our entire lives about how to best care for our teeth. But are all of these practices really the best when it comes to caring for your teeth? Take this list of myths put together by a Pocatello dentist to help you decipher myth from fact.

Brush your teeth after every meal.

After you eat, the acidity from the food in your mouth can temporarily weaken the enamel. Brushing your teeth right after eating, while there is a lot of acidity, can cause your enamel to wear down quicker. Waiting a half hour to an hour is much better on your teeth, after your body has naturally processed that food and lowered the acidity levels in your mouth.

Frequent snacking is good for your teeth.

Many people believe that snacking many times throughout the day is good for your teeth because chewing produces saliva, which breaks down your food quicker and is full of minerals that protect the teeth. But eating sugars and starches without for a long period of time or without breaks can cause more damage to the enamel because it doesn’t allow time for the acidity levels in your mouth to go down. And then, like previously mentioned, if you go to brush your teeth while acid is attacking your enamel, you could weaken it further. Don’t avoid snacking, especially healthy snacking, because of this. Just give your teeth a good 30-60 minute break in between snack sessions.

The more you brush your teeth, the healthier teeth you will have.

Brushing your teeth too frequently can cause the enamel to wear down. The enamel is the protective outer layer of your tooth. It keeps the nerves protected and your teeth strong. Just as brushing too often isn’t healthy for your teeth, brushing too hard can also damage the enamel. If you are unsure how often or how firm you should brush your teeth, ask your dentist for the best brushing techniques for you.

 

toothbrush

A toothache is a sign of a cavity.

While this can be true, not every toothache you have is related to a cavity. Many factors can affect our teeth, especially during cold season. A common sign of a sinus infection is tooth pain. Tooth pain can also be caused by inflammation of the gums or tooth sensitivity. So, before you call “cavity” on your tooth, pay attention to the signs and other causes that it could be. It doesn’t hurt to make an appointment with your dentist if you are unsure about the cause of the pain. They can help you determine the source of the pain and the best course of action for treatment.

George Washington had wooden teeth.

Okay, so this one isn’t about caring for your teeth, but this might be the biggest myth about teeth out there, probably mostly due to speculation. George Washington did have fake teeth, but they were not made of wood. In his 20’s he began experiencing regular tooth pain and decay, and he started losing teeth. He went to many dentists in an effort to save or replace his teeth. He had dentures made of metal, gold, and even hippopotamus ivory, but never made of wood. All of these fake teeth gave him enough issues as it was with facial disfiguration and general discomfort. Wooden teeth would have brought a new realm of problems for this unfortunate man.

What To Expect When You Take The Morning-After Pill

The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception, designed to be taken soon after unprotected sex or in the case that your regular contraception has failed. Two forms of the pill are relevant here: Levonelle, which has to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, and ellaOne, which must be taken within 120 hours. Other countries may have different brand names, but all emergency contraception pills work in the same basic way.

So, what happens when you take the morning after pill, and what can you expect in the days following? Firstly, the pills work by delaying or preventing ovulation, as the time around ovulation is when you are most likely to become pregnant. Basically, it stops progesterone from being produced normally, thereby preventing ovulation and making the uterus unable to accept any fertilised egg. The emergency pill is considered to be effective at preventing pregnancy, with a high success rate. However, they do not continue to prevent pregnancy, and you must use contraception when having sex after taking the emergency pill.

You can get these pills at a variety of locations, including your GP, a specialist clinic for sexual health or contraception, a walk-in medical centre, and even some pharmacies. Despite their effectiveness and the fact that they are easy to access, one of the major downsides, and things to look out for are the side effects of emergency contraception.

The side effects vary among women, but most experience at least some side effects in the days after taking the pill. Feeling sick or nauseous are common, as are abdominal pains and cramps. Many women experience tiredness in the days after taking emergency contraception, and some even get headaches. Less common side effects include breast tenderness and dizziness, as well as vomiting. Remember that if you vomit within two hours of taking the pill, you should seek medical advice as you may require another dose.

Some women also find that their menstrual cycle is affected by the emergency contraceptive pill. Their period might come sooner or later than expected, due to the delaying of ovulation. There may also be spotting or light bleeding before their period arrives, which is generally nothing to worry about. However, if your period is more than seven days late after taking the pill, or is much lighter than usual, then you should see a doctor to check for pregnancy.

There are some circumstances under which you should see a doctor after taking the emergency contraceptive pill. If you think you are pregnant regardless, or if your period is more than a week late as mentioned above, you should seek medical advice. The same applies if your period is different to how it usually is, either in length or heaviness. Also, if you experience sudden or unusual abdominal pain, beyond normal cramping, as this may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy – though this is rare.

The pill does not have long-term effects and can be taken more than once by the same person. As we have seen, it is an effective form of emergency contraception that is easy to get your hands on, but in the days following your use of the pill you are likely to experience a range of side effects. The information above will hopefully instruct you well on when to seek medical help, and what to expect in general.

How To Reduce Stress Behind the Wheel

At any given time during the day, you could be sharing the road with thousands of other motorists. Traffic congestion, commute times, careless drivers, and distracting passengers are just a few factors that can make your daily drive more stressful.

 

Whether you’re stuck in traffic or on a long road trip, here are some helpful tips for reducing stress:

Don’t Forget To Breathe

 

When most people are stressed, they forget to breathe and start to feel the tension rising in their shoulders, necks, and backs. It sounds simple (and maybe too good to be true) but if you are starting to feel stressed out in the car, take a deep breath.

 

As you breathe, think about happy things that make you feel calm. While it may be difficult to picture a secluded beach while you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, take a deep breath and give it a try.

Learn To Drive Near Large Trucks

 

Many motorists stress out about having to share the road with semi trucks. The best way to reduce that stress is to learn to drive near large trucks. While some truckers take risks and can be dangerous, most are just trying to do their job and keep their cool, too.

 

Keep your distance, stay out of blind spots, be patient, and learn to recognize when a trucker may be fatigued or distracted. Either way, always allow enough space and try to understand what kind of stress they may be feeling behind the wheel of their big rigs.

Give Yourself Some Extra Time

 

Want to reduce your stress immediately? Give yourself some extra time to get to your destination. Commute times may vary from day to day but running late can be a big stressor.

 

Even if it means cutting back on your binge watching the night before or getting up a half hour earlier in the morning, giving yourself an extra fifteen minutes to a half hour can do wonders for your stress.

 

Ask For Peace and Quiet

 

If you’re a parent, you may feel like a full-time chauffeur. Driving your kids back and forth to extra curricular activities often means that you’re likely to hear complaining, fighting, and Top 40 hits blaring from the stereo. It’s okay to admit that your most precious passengers can be a distraction.

 

As the driver and a responsible parent, you deserve to have some quiet time. Ask your children to stay quiet, especially while you’re driving in high traffic areas. Consider letting your kids “plug-in” to portable devices and hand out headphones to every passenger. While it may not be the bonding experience you were hoping for, it will keep your stress to a minimal.

Stay Hydrated and Well Fed

 

Eating on the go can be a big “no-no,” but if you’re going from place to place, you might not have time to stop for lunch. Rather than eating something from a fast food joint, pack some healthy snacks that you can eat while you’re parked.

 

It may be tempting to stay caffeinated and sugared up when you have a long day ahead of you but drinking water and eating good food will help you feel better, overall.