Health Benefits of Holiday Spices

Some of your favorite holiday spices can add flavor to your meals. However, they also have wonderful scents and health benefits.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has medicinal curing properties. It is linked to helping people with type 2 diabetes. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily can reduce your blood sugar level, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels. It also supports digestive function, relieves congestion and muscle stiffness, and has anti-inflammatory compounds. Cinnamon has anti-microbial properties, too, so it kills bacteria and helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and urinary tract infections. Compounds in cinnamon have odor-fighting abilities to eliminate bad breath, as well.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been found helpful with healing. It can make you feel drowsy and reduce anxiety, which is ideal for helping insomniacs fall asleep. It also helps calm and ease muscles, nausea, and joint pain. In addition, nutmeg can improve your concentration, increase circulation, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Putting a little nutmeg oil on a sore tooth can help relieve a toothache. It’s important to note that consuming too much nutmeg can cause nausea, hallucinations, or swelling.

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National Family Caregivers Month

More than 65 million people in the U.S. regularly care for a sick or elderly loved one. These people, called caregivers, are honored during the month of November for National Family Caregivers Month.

What is National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM)?

Family, friends, and neighbors who invest all of their free time to help their loved ones deserve some appreciation. Although these caregivers provide their services for free, the value of their care services is estimated at $375 billion per year. The average caregiver spends about 20 hours a week caring for their loved ones. NFCM raises awareness about the importance of caregiving and honors those who are caregivers. Show the caregivers you know how much you appreciate their work and help  by providing a meal, providing care while they take an evening off, or doing their errands for a day.

Rosalyn Carter once said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” At some point in your life, you will need someone to take care of you, and you can return the favor by taking care of others today.

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Top Influencers of Your Child’s Diet

Children are inclined to eat any food that looks yummy. Schools, television, and parents have a big influence on the food choices of kids. Many snacks, like sugary or fatty foods, as well as fast food, can harm their overall and dental health.

Vending Machines

Children spend a large portion of their day at school. The food sold in cafeterias and vending machines influences the diets of students. Many vending machines sell soft drinks, sports drinks, and sweets, all of which are harmful for teeth. Over time, the carbohydrates and sugars can contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion. Encourage your child to pack a lunch or snack and to drink water or milk instead of soda. Also, send your children to school with full stomachs. Eating breakfast in the morning will help children make better food choices throughout the day. They won’t be so hungry that they’ll just reach for the first unhealthy thing they see. Studies have also shown that breakfast-eating students have better comprehension and higher test scores during the day.

Fast Food

Many busy parents rely on fast food to feed their families. Fast food lacks the nutrition that children need to make their teeth and bones strong. In addition to excessive calories and fat, fast food meals usually contain a lot of sugar and starches that can attack teeth. Kids associate fast food with convenience and reward. For example, you may take your children to McDonald’s as a treat or celebration after a soccer game or for getting a good grade. Rewarding your children with fast food makes them associate unhealthy eating with positivity and fun. Kids’ meals also throw in a toy to tempt children even more. Try to limit fast food to one night a week, or less, and make sure your child brushes and flosses his teeth before bed. Home-cooked meals are always a much healthier and more nutritious option.

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Dental Health Before Bed

Before you lay down to sleep at night, what do you do for your dental health? Bedtime is a very vulnerable time for your mouth. While you sleep, your flow of saliva decreases because metabolism slows down. As a result, your mouth can become dry and inflamed, and bad bacteria multiply. Essentially, without the proper preventive dental care at night, you out yourself at higher risks for oral problems, such as cavities, gingivitis, and tooth loss. This is true for both adults and children.

Nighttime Dental Habits

Even though all you want to do is climb into bed when nighttime comes, and dental health is the last thing on your mind, you owe it to yourself to remember your oral hygiene. Here’s the basics of what not to forget: (more…)

Smile Makeover Is No Illusion

What you see on TV and movies isn’t always real. We’re not just talking about the cool special effects that often defy gravity, explode wonders of the world, and morph humans and animals into one being. More than the obvious, many elements of TV and movie stars are digitally enhanced. Flaws are covered, stunt doubles are employed, body-doubles stand in for the nude scenes, and so on. Even when the actors and actresses are displaying their real bodies, they still hide behind layers of makeup and hours of top notch personal training sessions. To think these film stars resemble how the average person looks is unreasonable, even ridiculous.

However, there’s one aspect of them that isn’t fake, nor is it unattainable by monetary, temporal, or other means. Even though they look so impossibly-picture-perfect, their smiles are no camera trick. Smile makeovers are not illusionary. You can have one, too!

Eighty percent of people polled are unhappy with their smile. Why is this number so high, especially considering that over 99 percent agree on the social importance of a smile, and 74 percent believe an unattractive smile hurts your chances for success? We aren’t sure. You can take advantage of the miraculous capabilities of cosmetic dentistry and enjoy a smile you’ll feel great about for the rest of your life. A beautiful smile is scientifically proven to boost your immune system, enhance your mood, and make you appear more attractive.

Dr. Amanda Foust will tailor a smile makeover to your specific goals and dentition. Using conservative cosmetic methods, such as contemporary porcelain veneers and teeth whitening, a gorgeous smile will move from just another TV illusion to a your beautiful reality. Call Dental Impressions in Ankeny, Iowa at (515) 965-0230 to reserve an appointment with Dr. Amanda Foust.

Options for Dental Phobia

If you’re one of the many people who fear the dentist, there are effective ways to deal with your phobia. There’s no reason that your oral health has to be at risk. Neglecting regular dental checkups and cleanings is a serious gamble. Problems, such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer, only get worse with time. Early detection and treatment of these conditions is ideal. It will save you time and expense.

Therapy for Fears

Psychiatry has made some breakthroughs in overcoming fears. The British Dental Journal (BDJ) recently reported that a single session of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help a person overcome dental fear and anxiety. If you can’t imagine entering a dental office without feeling scared, then you can enter the psychiatrist’s office first.

Sedation Dentistry

Another option is in-office sedation dentistry. Dr. Foust and our team offer mild sedation to relieve your anxiety. Typically, patients who try sedation for their first few visits eventually lose their fears and no long need sedation.

Relationship with Your Dentist

A final approach to easing your dental phobia is getting to know your dentist. Dr. Amanda Foust and our staff make it our goal to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience for each patient. You can schedule a consultation to get to know us, the office, and what to expect checkup and cleaning; this way, you don’t have to worry about sitting in the dental chair at your first visit.

 Call Dental Impressions in Ankeny, Iowa at (515) 965-0230 to reserve an appointment with Dr. Amanda Foust.

Gum Recession and Tooth Sensitivity

Dentin hypersensitivity, more commonly known as tooth sensitivity, is often much more aggravating than it is dangerous. The main symptoms are discomfort and/or pain in response to hot and cold drinks, food, or air.

The sensitivity may be caused by exposed teeth roots at the base of your teeth. Gum recession uncovers dentin that is not shielded by tooth enamel. Without enamel, teeth roots allow dentin to directly encounter extreme temperatures, and dentin has tiny tunnels that transmit the information directly to the nerves inside your teeth.

Three Main Causes of Gum Recession

  1. Heavy-handed brushing: Yes, you could be brushing so hard that you’re making your gums recede.
  2. Gum disease:  Also known as periodontal disease, and gingivitis in early stages, this problem could be responsible for your receding gums.
  3. Age: There is nothing you can do about natural gum recession. It just happens! You can, however, treat the sensitivity and consult Dr. Foust if recession becomes extreme.

How Can I Fix It?

First and foremost, you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Foust. If you’re suffering from gum disease, it needs to be arrested before more serious damage, such as cavities, tooth loss, and systemic health problems ensue.

While you’re waiting for your next dental checkup, purchase toothpaste containing potassium nitrate. This special chemical is designed to relieve tooth sensitivity. The American Journal of Dentistry shared results of a recent study that confirmed the speed and effectiveness of sensitivity toothpastes.

Your teeth should not be more sensitive than the tissues inside your mouth. Desensitizing your teeth, and keeping your mouth its healthiest, includes seeing Dr. Foust and our team as soon as you can. We can help you freeze gum recession, and once again enjoy your favorite foods and drinks.  Call Dental Impressions in Ankeny, Iowa at (515) 965-0230 to reserve an appointment with Dr. Amanda Foust.

Chocolate is the Antidote

Components of chocolate aid in the production of serotonin, which is responsible for the happy feelings in the pleasure center of the brain. Therefore, chocolate is a helpful antidote to stress and depression. Moreover, the flavonoids in chocolate have other health benefits.

Have you ever heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Maybe you’ve also heard this one: seven grams of dark chocolate per day keeps the cardiometabolic disorder away.

Okay, maybe you haven’t heard that before, but you have now. It’s true. Just seven grams has proven to reduce cardiovascular disease dramatically by reducing C-reactive protein. When the participants of a study added this small amount of dark chocolate to their daily intake, C-reactive protein reduced by an impressive 17 percent, resulting in reduction of cardiovascular disease in men by 25 percent, and in women by about 35 percent.

Reducing Heart Attacks

Small amounts of dark chocolate can lower your risk of heart attack by reducing the clumping of platelets, which causes blood clots.

A Strong Anitoxidant

They may be known for their high antioxidant content, but red wine and teas don’t possess half the antioxidants that hot cocoa carries.

Call Dental Impressions in Ankeny, Iowa at (515) 965-0230 to reserve an appointment with Dr. Amanda Foust.

Breathe Easier with Good Dental Health

From the flu to lung cancer, from asthma to emphysema, diseases of the lungs and respiratory system are rampant in our nation. While smoking, air pollution, and germs are primary causes of lung diseases, a study released this year found that gum disease is also a factor.

While more research is necessary to determine the why and how of the link, the study showed that participants who had lung diseases were more likely to also have gum disease. Because of the proven connections between gum disease and heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes complications, and premature birth, scientists are inclined to believe that bacteria in the mouth are the link between gum disease and lung diseases.

Everything that goes into your body to be used by the whole body – air and food – is taken in through your mouth. Your mouth, then, is like a direct chute into the inner workings of your body. Bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream, and, in theory, your lungs! (more…)

Dental Floss Cure to Bad Breath

With all of the breath mints, gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other breath-freshening products on the market today, why do so many people have chronic bad breath? 32% percent of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be linked to a lack of proper oral hygiene, but it can also be a sign of bigger health problems. Both adults and children are affected by bad breath, so what can you do to prevent it in yourself and your loved one?

On average, people floss much less than once per day, as recommended by the American Dental Association. Studies show that only about 18 yards of floss is bought per person per year, while the number should be closer to 122 yards to reflect proper flossing habits.. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that bad breath is running rampant. But how does flossing help so much with bad breath?

Flossing reduces the harmful bacteria in your mouth that feeds on leftover food particles. The acids produced by the bacteria deteriorates tooth enamel, causes cavities, and can lead to gum disease. When these bacteria feed on the food particles left between your teeth, sulfur compounds and byproducts are produced. These compounds are volatile and odorous, causing lingering bad breath that doesn’t go away after minty brushing, rinsing, or chewing. Nothing can remove the stuck food particles and bad bacteria that’s fueling the bad breath except thorough dental flossing.

Call Dental Impressions in Ankeny, Iowa at (515) 965-0230 to reserve an appointment with Dr. Amanda Foust, a family and preventive dentist to discuss proper flossing techniques.