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Why Flossing will Save You Money

Healthy Gums Means Fatter Wallets

Is it shocking that the American Dental Association claims that only 50% of American floss regularly? Possibly not, especially if you are one of the non-flossing culprits. Again, mom and grandma were probably right about nightly flossing, despite how much you hate it. However, take a new approach to the world’s least favorite regular dental practice: consider it a financial investment. Dental offices Winnipeg explains why:

• Get Ride of Green to Save Some Green: Keeping bacteria from setting up camp in between teeth and in gums is an important step in preventing tartar build up. Tartar is a calcified covering that traps the bacteria in and eventually develops cavities. Depending on the dental insurance you have, to fill the cavity will vary, especially depending on how large the cavity has become. A rough estimate is anything between $75 and $150 per tooth and per cavity. Simultaneously, gum disease, which results in swollen, painful gums and possible other health concerns like heart disease, can be prevented with regular flossing. To treat gum disease could cost up to thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of damage.

• Salivate Over This: Regular flossing is a great way to help any salivation problems. Those with what is called “dry mouth” may also suffer from increased bacteria, since saliva disinfects the mouth naturally. Dry mouth is often caused by certain medications, but dry mouth can also be caused by severe dehydration. By regularly flossing, however, the bacteria normally destroyed by saliva can be scraped off and killed.

flossing• Keep Your Teeth In: Regular flossing can also help keep teeth in the mouth. It is costly to have dentures, bridges, or fake teeth made just for you. Avoid the situation with regular flossing. With each floss, food and bacteria left in the mouth are removed. When bacteria gets left behind, eventually it turns into plaque and tarter, both with can, if left untreated, cause gingivitis. This, in turn, can cause something called periodontal disease, which affects the bone and thus causes tooth loss.

• Keep Your Body Healthy: Aside from immediate tooth and mouth benefits, regular flossing can help prevent other physical issues. Gum disease is directly correlated with low birth-weight babies, stroke, and even heart disease. This has something to do with the immune system being compromised. This is especially important for anyone with diabetes, as those with the affliction have a higher risk of the disease.

Get Your Grin to Shine Again

Girl-Smile-CloseupIn a country filled with coffee drinkers, it is not surprise that one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures is teeth whitening. Mopes states that even over the counter teeth whiteners cost Americans over $1 billion annually. However, financial cost is not the only concern. Some report side effects from chemical and laser treatments like increased sensitivity to especially cold or hot foods and beverages, and others reported sensitivity in the gums. Because of this, there are several options for natural teeth whiteners that do not result in painful side effects or costly procedures. The following are some examples to try at home.

1. Keep a Clean Routine: The obvious first answer is to brush and floss every day, at least twice a day. It is preferable to brush after every meal, especially if consuming staining foods like coffee and tea. Regular brushing can prevent plague build up, one of the causes of yellowing teeth and sometime bad breath. Flossing is a too often bypassed necessity; keeping healthy gums can prevent not only stains and gum disease, but prevent heart disease as well.

2. Berry Brushing: Berries are good for your health in general, but have an added benefit for teeth, too. Vitamin C and malic acid found in most berries can help break down plague buildup, as well as remove surface stains. Eating the berries, specifically strawberries, might not be enough, however. Actually smashing the berries up and applying to the teeth is more effective. Allow to sit on teeth for 5 minutes and then rinse well.

3. Homemade Paste: Just like berries, a similar paste applied to the teeth can help remove stains and plaque. Instead of strawberries, make a toothpaste of baking soda, lemon juice, and a little kosher salt for an abrasive. Do the same thing as the berry paste and allow to sit for five minutes, then rinse well. This should be used cautiously as the abrasive can damage the enamel if used too often.

4. Eat Right: Eating certain vegetables and fruits can also help maintain whiter, healthier teeth. Anything raw and crispy, essentially, will be abrasive enough to help build a whiter grin. Try raw carrots and celery, apples and pears. Though these are abrasive, they are generally safe and won’t harm teeth. Plus, it is an excellent addition to the any healthy diet.

Cake Cleanse: Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too

Think back to the last time you did a juice cleanse – one or two weeks of minimal calories, and all primarily from raw vegetable and fruit juices. Though some proclaim juice cleanses to be the ultimate way to fit into a bikini, others cry foul at its lack of enjoyment. What makes the experience of human pleasure is food, good food, lovely and sometimes naughty foods. Take away enjoyable foods and what’s left? A juice cleanse. Some people struggle with food addictions and may even register at a recovery center.

Enter the Cake Cleanse. Sounds amazing, but be warned that unlike a juice cleanse, the diet is not cake for every meal, sadly. In fact, it actually is a restrictive calorie diet, just one that includes the joy of cake. Eustacia Huen, a Personal Trainers in Vancouver, recently reported on the new cleanse developed by Australian Deborah Schipper in October of 2015. Schipper’s intention, as presented on her website, is that the diet will “improve health and vitality…lose weight while enjoying foods…and [end] restrictive diets.” So how can this be?

Cake CleanseThe term “cake” is most likely used in a looser sense than the general populace anticipates. The cleanse is based on a recipe book that she created, with recipes focusing on healthy ingredients and gluten free flours. She combines Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and almonds, to name a few, avoiding refined sugars, preservatives, trans fats, and artificial anything found in store bought cakes and mixes. But while a cupcake at every meal sounds perfect, the diet itself also balances itself with high protein and loads of vegetables.

Be warned, however, that the diet is low calorie, at 1200 calories max a day. This does, however, include all the pancakes, cupcakes, and brownie-texture cakes in the recipe book. Though the selection of foods outside of sweet treats is vast and healthy, the servings are small. It is possible for participants to lose roughly one or two pounds a week, but staying the course for long might be challenging, even with the gimmick of having your cake and eating it too.

Regardless of the fad diet plan you try, there are a few keys for dieting success. Forgive yourself if and when you fall off the diet wagon. Pick yourself up and start again immediately, not tomorrow or next week. Keep your plates balanced, focusing on whole foods and less on processed foods. Count calories in and calories out. Cell phone apps now can track both for you, but weighing foods to determine portion sizes is important as well. Last, get physical. Aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, even just walking at a good pace.

SAD? Eat Right to Get Your Mood Right

Seasonal Affective Disorder can come on suddenly and can affect anyone. The shorter days and limited access to natural vitamin D play a serious role in increasing this seasonal depression, which can begin as early as fall and peaks sometime in deepest winter. Feeling constantly tired, less social, and a sense of hopelessness are all symptoms, which vary from person to person. If you feel these symptoms arising, or want to prevent them, following the dietary guidelines below can help.

1. Tryptophan: Most commonly associated with turkey and sleepiness, tryptophan can improve sleep, but also reduce anxiety commonly associated with SAD. Tryptophan can also be found in bananas, which contain potassium and carbohydrates that can help boost happiness in the brain.
2. Polyphenols: An antioxidant found in dark chocolate, polyphenols can seriously increase mood. Be cautious though to only choose pure dark chocolate in a 70% cocoa mixture or higher. Also, the less refined sugar, the better, and in general, one square is enough.
3. Vitamin D: Also known as the “Sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D becomes deficient for many in winter when access to sunshine is limited. However, consuming organic and natural milk, eggs, and wild caught fish can help get the Vitamin D you need. Also consider Vitamin D or fish oil supplements. Simultaneously, fish provides Omega-3
4. Folic Acid: It has been common knowledge to add folic acid into the diet when women are expecting a baby, but folic acid is also great for positive moods. Increase consumption of lentils, oranges, oatmeal, and leafy greens to boost the nutrient naturally. Most multi-vitamins also contain a days’ worth of the supplement.
5. Less Sugar: Reduce the amount of sugar intake, especially with refined sugars. Check the packages of processed foods before consuming to see how much hidden sugar is present. Refrain from adding sweeteners as well. Instead of coffee that needs sweetening, try herbal teas that already are sweet naturally.
6. Anti-Cortisol: The stress hormone cortisol, caused by stress, can stress out brain functions, especially the part of the brain that controls emotional responses. To fight cortisol, increase your berry intake, especially blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Eat them raw or pop them in a blender with bananas for a happy smoothie.
7. Lean Protein: Staying away from high fat meats, like a marbled steak, means staying away from negatively altering your mood. Lean proteins, however, have just the right amino acids to boots your mood positively as well as boosting energy which helps fight SAD fatigue. One of the best? Wild caught Alaskan salmon, which is not only a lean protein, but is high in Omega-3s.

Great Food Swaps to Fight Winter Weight Gain

Winter Weight GainAs the cold heads in for the season, so do cravings for high fat, salty comfort foods. While this feels good for the moment, clothes won’t feel good later on. Though exercise is certainly one of the most important ways to keep weight off, choosing the rights foods is also half the battle. Consider the following alternatives to heavy, fat-laden comfort foods.

Instead of green bean casserole…try making roasted green beans. Since 75% of the classic casserole’s calories come from fat, instead toss fresh green beans with a light coat of olive oil and minced garlic. Top with a little salt and pepper and bake until tender.

Instead of a bagel with cream cheese…try having the crunch and carbohydrates of fresh apple slices topped with the saltiness and protein of peanut butter. Try to avoid high sugar butters, however.

Instead of regular high fat hot chocolate…try making hot chocolate at home without milk. Use creamy coconut milk instead. While heating the coconut milk, add in raw sugar, Dutch cocoa powder, and for an added kick add in some spices. Try a little cinnamon or a sprinkle of chili powder for an Aztec cocoa.

Instead of full-serve nachos…try making homemade tortilla chips and salsa. Take organic corn tortillas and slice as though cutting a cake. Coat lightly in olive oil with a little salt, and then bake until crisp, flipping at least once. Meanwhile, chop up fresh onion, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes, and green pepper. Mix together well and let chill in the refrigerator. Serve fresh chips with the salsa. For added creaminess and protein, add a dollop of low-fat plain Greek yogurt. For some added healthy fats, add a dollop of fresh guacamole.

Instead of ice cream…try low-fat and low-sugar Greek frozen yogurt or fresh fruit sorbets. While avoiding ice cream means avoiding fat-dense and calorie-dense desserts, be cautious choosing frozen yogurt or sorbets as many contain more sugar than should be consumed in a week. Sugar, especially processed sugar, can also help add on the pounds. To make homemade sorbet, simply freeze berries and bananas. Once frozen, blend together in the blender or food processor, adding just a touch of raw sugar or apple juice for sweetening. For a touch of creaminess, add a spoonful of low-fat Greek yogurt during the blending process.

Instead of regular potato chips….make baked potato chips. Many baked potato chips add sugar in their processing, so if purchasing in the store, read the ingredients carefully. To make at home, thinly slice potatoes, soak in water, pat dry and coat in olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees, flipping regularly.