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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why are baby teeth so important???

Wanted to address something with all you  new mom's and dad's out there. As you all probably already know I am a Registered Dental Hygienist by profession and have been practicing for 20 years. In all those years one of the most common statements I hear from parents  when told that their 5 year old has mulitple cavities is , "Well it doesn't matter because the baby teeth will just fall out anyway!"

Your baby's teeth
Well guess what, it does matter! Without the baby(deciduous teeth) there is nothing there to hold the place(or position) for the permanent teeth to erupt. Kids lose their last baby tooth at about 12. So, if your child loses those teeth too early and the space is not held by a space maintaining device until the permanent tooth is developed and ready to erupt, the permanant tooth can become impacted or come in just wrong......(malpositioned or crooked)

Unfortunately to fix the result of early loss of baby teeth, it can cost money, extra time at the dental office,  more pain and discomfort for your child, and extra time in orthodontics when the child gets older. So, the bottom line is maintain your baby's mouth. Take them to the dentist early(by 3 yrs old) and regularly(every 6 months). Brush their teeth twice a day, and floss( yes floss!)once per day.  Limit sugar, juice, junk food ,and take away the bottle during the night(water is ok). Take away the binky as soon as you can as this can alter jaw development, and speech development. According to pediatricians, at 18 months the pacifier and the bottle should be gone altogether. To many it may seem difficult to take away your baby's bottle and pacifier because it is a comfort for them and easier for you, but in the long run you will be helping them tremendously and they will be thanking you later. I promise.
Adult teeth

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc…..

Diet and regular sodas have been associated with kidney damage, cancer, obesity, diabetes in adults and kids, and regular soda has even been linked to high blood pressure. Soda has also been linked with pancreatic cancer, now that is scary! According to the American Association of Cancer Research as little as 2 sodas a week can raise your risk for pancreatic cancer by 90%, those are not good odds!

Soda in general contains sugar (or with diet a sugar substitute), Phosphoric Acid, flavoring, caffeine (or not), sometimes citric acid. The amount of phosphoric acid and caffeine in the soda can leach calcium from your bones and cause osteoporosis.

Soda has an acid Ph and our blood is naturally slightly salty or alkaline. So, you can see that drinking excessive amounts of soda would cause an extreme imbalance. Common sense says that anything that will melt corrosion off your car battery probably isn't good for your body! Water is sounding better and better>>>>>!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Still Hungry?

This sun has nothing to do with leptin,
I just like the pic!
Do you know anyone that can eat a whole pizza, chase with beer, and still be hungry for ice cream? If that person is overweight it may be because their leptin receptors are down. The more fat we have on our bodies the more leptin we are supposed to secrete. Leptin is the hormone that signals our hypothalamus that we are full and to stop eating and start burning fuel. This would make you think the more fat, the more leptin, the better! But, what really happens is similiar to diabetes. Just like insulin receptors, the leptin recepters function less efficiently when there is too much leptin. The process is very similiar to how insulin receptors do not let insulin communicate with our cells to use the sugar in our food for fuel, instead the receptors are bombarded and so they shut down. As a result an overweight person's body(hypothalamus regulates hunger and metablolism) is not telling him/her to stop eating. Like Type 2 diabetes losing weight, eating right, and exercising can reduce fat cells, therefore reduce the amount of leptin produced to a normal amount, therfore reversing leptin resistance.


My Food Diary


Is all caffeine the same or is it different depending on where it comes from? That is the question my husband posed to me the other day and I decided to find out. According to my research all caffeine is the same. It is a chemical compound that is mostly found in plants, but can be produced in a lab just as easily. The only difference is that some plants have more caffeine than others. I know, a lot of you are saying, "Well, duh, I knew that!" But did you know that green tea actually has more caffeine in it than regular coffee by dry weight? It does, but we get less out of it because we only steep it for a few minutes and the servings are usually much smaller.

The main reason we experience such a wide range of effects with the caffeine in different plants is because other plants can "also contain widely varying mixtures of other xanthine alkaloids, including the cardiac stimulants theophylline and theobromine, and other substances such as polyphenols that can form insoluble complexes with caffeine." (Balentine D. A) This could be why we are more addicted to the caffeine found in coffee and not so much the caffeine found in weaker teas.

Since this is a chemical, albeit a natural one, it is still considered a psychoactive drug and it would be best to not consume it. (Yes, I know that research has shown that it is harmless in moderation, even over a long period of time, but it is still a CHEMICAL that you are putting in your body!) If you are struggling with fatigue and rely on caffeine to get you through the day then you need to find out what is wrong with your body. If you are getting enough sleep, exercising and eating a whole foods diet you shouldn't need caffeine just to stay awake. If you are still tired then you should look into finding out why because another health problem could be the cause.

In my case, for instance, I am taking a liver detox supplement and by just doing that my energy has increased exponentially. I'm still tired by the end of the day like a normal person but I am finding it easier to wake up in the mornings and after I work out and eat a healthy breakfast I feel energized instead of wanting to go back to bed.

Balentine D. A., Harbowy M. E. and Graham H. N. (1998). G Spiller. ed. Tea: the Plant and its Manufacture; Chemistry and Consumption of the Beverage.
Via Wikipedia.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Deadly Choking Game that Teens Play

So while I am on the subject.......Here is a common game young teens play that involves no drugs but is very deadly. Another party gig that my teen has informed me of is the "choking" game. The kids actually do this at parties for fun. The kids actually have another kid cut off their oxygen until they pass out in order to get a high! Many kids play the game because there are no drugs involved, so they think its ok. The choking game is extremely dangerous, deadly, and always kills brain cells. What is really scarey is that once they get hooked on the game, they start playing it alone. Many times they hang themselves because there is no one there to help them when they pass out. Here is some good video and audio of a real case of "choking gone wrong."

If you have children or teens, please read and watch!

If you didn't catch this on the news last night, please watch the video. I believe you need flash player to view the video so it may not be available if you are using a mobile device, but definitely worth watching. Teens today are using and abusing prescription drugs and it's becoming increasingly more popular. I personally have a sixteen year old girl that has mentioned on numerous occasions that when she has been together with friends she has had the opportunity to partake in illegal prescription drug use. Thankfully she has not done this to date. However there are teens out there stealing their parents prescription drugs, then selling them, or giving them to their friends at parties. Please do not think that your kid is not, or will not be exposed to these drugs because they will at some point. It is important that you educate them on what is out there and the potiential consequences of experimenting with these drugs or acts for whatever reason, whether it is out of curiosity or just to be cool. Here is the video.....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Alternative Medicine Experience

Yesterday I went to see a doctor who specializes in alternative medicine. After reading Dr. Mark Hyman's book (The Ultramind Solution) I had a good idea of what I needed to do. I was hoping that this doctor could reaffirm the concerns that I had and could help me move forward. He did.

The first thing we talked about was my bipolar medication. I am currently on Wellbutrin XL, Lamictal, and Abilify. My main concern in seeing him was the fact that my pharmacy had told me that the Abilify could cause diabetes. He said the reason for that is because Abilify increases your appetite and causes you to crave sweets and carbs (wow, he was right about that). He also said that Abilify was a very aggressive anti-psychotic and that if my bipolar symptoms were not that severe he wasn't sure whether or not they were necessary. He also said that Wellbutrin is pretty benign and that is probably why I was put on Lamictal because it was not working. The Lamictal then made me really restless and anxious so they put me on Abilify. This is a problem that most people with depression experience. They put you on one med and in order to counter it's side effects they put you on another med and so on and so forth. Before you know it you are taking 5 or 6 different things and not feeling any better. I was there at one point and am fortunate to only be on 3 different things right now. However, there is mounting evidence that anti-depressants don't work and that they usually only make things worse. (Which is why there are suicide warning lables on anti-depressants)

This doctor suggested that I work with my psychiatrist to slowly (and he emphasized slowly) wean myself off the medication. He said that if I quit cold turkey I might feel better at first, but then I would crash and could have a major crisis.

The doctor also mentioned that I should try supplements as I wean myself off the medication. He gave me a plan to follow and said that there was no harm in the supplements he was giving me being mixed with my meds. He said once I was off my meds if I needed more help with the depression then I could try neurofeedback. Neurofeedback and brain mapping, "...uses computerized EEG technology to identify areas of dysfunction in the brain and then trains the brain to correct them." ( He said there was a lot of evidence towards it's success and it was best to do it when I was off the meds otherwise the results won't be as easy to distinguish.

Another problem I had come to see him about was my constant fatigue. I go to bed early and when I wake up I don't feel rested and a few hours after getting up I feel exhausted. He said that it could be my liver that needs to detox. He gave me a supplement to try and told me that in his experience, and in the experience of many of his colleagues, a lot of physical problems lie in the liver. He said once doctors start paying attention to the liver a lot of problems can me solved. Here is an interesting article written on Dr. Sandra Cabot's website (she is the one who created the supplement he gave me).

So, I will start taking his supplements and see how I feel. He warned me that it might be a process. I might not feel perfect at first because my body will be detoxing a lot of waste and the plan he put together me may not be exactly right for me. So I will keep everyone posted on my progress. Oh and by the way, he also recommended a gluten free, dairy free diet with lots of protein, vegetables and good fats. More on that to come.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Red Rasberry Ketones

If you watched Dr. Oz yesterday(2/6/2012) you probably heard about "Red Rasberry Ketones." The RRK supplement is supposed to make your body "think thin." Here is a video that explains the science, seems the whole red rasberry ketone trick has been around for awhile!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why Antioxidants? What are they anyway?

The most important antioxidants are vitamens C, E, Bioflavenoids, and Betacarotene. Anitoxidents can be found in fruits, vegetable, oils(olive oil, or sesame seed is the best), seeds, and nuts. In the majority of articles read although meat has some antioxidant properties, most of those properties can be found in other foods....that's why a mostly vegetarian diet is highly recommended. More about what meat does during digestion later(its not good). Antioxidants are said to be free radical scavengers in that they go around completing those outer shell electrons and in the process they have the ability to stay stable themselves, thus reducing the amount of free floating radicals in our bodies. Tissue saved!

 Another important factor about free radicals is that free radicals are a natural part of our immune system.  Free radicals attack viruses and illnesses, its when there are too many that our tissues and organs are damaged. My Food Diary

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Free Radicals? Can Cost us our health.

Free radicals are not exactly free, except that they are free to roam around our bodies and reek havoc. Free Radicals are caused by many things, some natural and some from environmental factors. The environmental factors are the causes we need to exert some control over because of the long term consequences. Many of us expose ourselves to too much radiation(sun), pesticides, cigarettes, alcohol and other heavy metal toxins on a daily basis.
Here is the simplified explanation without too much biology. The molecules in our cells are held together by the bonding of atoms.  Molecules are atoms that fit together like a puzzle and complete each other(see picture). When the electrons in the outer shell of an atom become weak and let go of the electron that completes its shell, it causes the atom to look for another electron to complete the circle, and to make it stable again.When the outer shell of an otherwise stable molecule is broken, it is called a free radical. Many times in order to complete the circle of electrons it breaks apart another atom's outer shell trying to snag that electron that it needs. When this happens again and again, it  causes a snowball effect, lots of broken bonds, hence more free radicals. Can you see how if free radical damage is allowed to continue the damage to our cells and tissue could be extensive and ongoing? We do have a weapon against free radicals, but that is another blog!  Tomorrow, how antioxidants can help......yay! Click here to read more.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are all Calories Created Equal?

So, what is a calorie? Are fat calories equal to carbohydrate calories? Nope, not the same!

A calorie by definition is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree celsius from an initial temperature(just leave it at that, it gets complicated), at 1 atmosphere pressure. Here is a link if you want more splaining!

Ok so that's the science of it. Bottom line, that heat is expended in energy by our body at a certain rate ... sometimes fast...sometimes slow, but generally the faster the better.  To burn calories faster we have to move! Thats a blog for another day.

Today I just want to talk about fat calories vs. carbohydrate and protein calories. Many of todays diets are based on how many grams of fat we should have daily(about 30%) and how many grams of carbohydrate and protein we should consume daily .  For instance a gram of fat has 9 calories, whereas a gram of protein or carbohydrate only has 4 calories. In case your interested alcohol has 7 calories per gram. So, if you are reading a label on the back of a packaged food, it really helps to know how to calculate how much of that food's calorie make up comes from fat, that is if you are watching your fat grams, which I believe we all should. When you are looking at a label just multiply the number of fat grams by 9 and you will know how many calories are from fat.. On this label it comes out to 108 which is not what is stated on the label....hmmmm. Why is that you ask? Because according to the FDA they don't have to be exact on the labeling, they are allowed to "round it off." So when something  says O grams of fat, it's not necessarily so. If you want to know the exact rules you can go to the FDA website here.  Happy label reading! My Food Diary