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How to Find the Right Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Your pain has finally gotten bad enough that you’re considering spine surgery to help relieve your pain. Not long ago, patients with back problems had few options to alleviate their pain. As the years have advanced so have the procedures and technology behind treating spine disorders. The good news is surgery may not be necessary to cure your aching back.

Once you hit that stage of great pain it is understandable that you’d be set on surgery. You need to let go of that thought process. Embrace the future and be open to anything.

When considering any type of medical procedure, selecting a skilled physician is paramount. Just as you would when making a major purchase like a car, it’s just as if not more important to take the time to research physicians when there’s the possibility that you may need to undergo major surgery.

There are several qualities to look for when searching for the best spine surgeons to treat you or a member of your family. You do not want to go into something that could life-altering unprepared. Below are just some of the questions you should ask before selecting them to treat you.

  1. Are you board eligible or board certified?
  2. Where did you receive your training?
  3. Are you fellowship trained in spine surgery?
  4. Are you up-to-date on the newest minimally invasive procedures?

If you can ask the right questions and do your research, it will save you a lot of problems later and make the process of finding one of the best spine surgeons easier.

The takeaways here are to do your research and choose a spine surgeon you are comfortable with. A surgeon should educate and guide you through the decision-making process. In the end, it is up to you to decide whether or not to proceed with a surgical procedure.


Little-Known Solutions For Joint Pain

March 3, 2014Mark GarnderNo CommentsHealth & NutritionJoints are natural shock absorbers for the body that are cushioned by cartilage and supported by muscles, tendons and ligaments. Joint pain can be one of the most bothersome and debilitating conditions that can happen to one’s body.

Many people associate joint pain and arthritis with the old age, but truth is, even though the elderly are the most susceptible to these problems, young people can experience them too. Aging, injury, repetitive motion, obesity, among other things can result in joint pain. If you are experiencing joint pain and are seeing a doctor, these are some natural tips you could try at home along with your doctor’s treatment to help relieve the pain… or help keep it at bay.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Yeah, yeah… we’ve heard it all before. “Eat better, exercise more and keep a healthy lifestyle” are just some of the suggestions doctors give you and they are right.

A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet with plenty of complex carbs, usually found in vegetables and healthy grains help reduce the fatty deposits in the arteries that supply blood to the joints, allowing more oxygen to flow through.

Natural juices like black cherry or pineapple juice are great for joint pain due to their rich source of bromelain enzyme, which can help with inflammation. Try carrot, celery or cabbage juice as well, results vary from person to person. Other natural foods that help with inflammation are Omega-3, black currant seed oil, flax seed, borage oil and fish oil. They are useful due to their essential fatty acids.

Vitamins

If you are unable to consume all of the vitamins needed to help with joint pain through foods, don’t be afraid of buying them at the drug store.

Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Copper and Zinc are only some of the minerals that can help with joint pain.

Herbal Remedies

Did you know that herbalists have described Wild Cucumber Bark as “the best plant for treating rheumatism and arthritis?”

You can create an herbal remedy right at home by mixing equal parts of herbs and boiling water and letting it steep. Herbalists say drinking half a cup at least three times a day, yields greater results. Another popular herb used for joint pain is the Angelica herb. This herb has been used in European fold medicine for centuries. Angelica has multiple anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and pain-relieving constituents.


Remineralizing Your Teeth’s Enamel

If you’ve had issues with your teeth that involve weakening, white spots, or numerous cavities, one of the key causes could be demineralized enamel. To understand what demineralization is and how to remineralize in order to address the problem, take a look at this guide. You’ll understand that demineralization is not actually damage to tooth enamel – but it is the first sign that such damage may be coming soon, among other problems. Fortunately, demineralization can be stopped, and your teeth can remain protected.

What Is Demineralization?

Just as it sounds, demineralization occurs when the mineral content decreases in your tooth enamel. It is the first step to tooth decay and can be caused by several things that dentists recommend avoiding or moderating. Enamel is such a hard and protective substance for your teeth precisely because of its high mineral content, and generally speaking, demineralization has to happen before cavities and other problems occur. Once plaque pierces enamel weakened by demineralization, it more easily infects a tooth’s vulnerable interior, made of dentin and the tooth’s sensitive root. By avoiding demineralization, you can drastically reduce the chance of this happening.

Demineralization also contributes to making the teeth less attractive and oral hygiene more difficult, and it often leads to brushing being painful or less efficient. One key feature of tooth enamel is its smooth, slippery surface, which also fades away with demineralization. As the teeth get rougher, their surface area increases and plaque, tartar, and staining elements coat the teeth more readily.

How to Avoid Demineralization

For the average person in developed countries, overly acidic or sugary drinks such as sodas are the chief cause of demineralization. Brushing too hard, not keeping up with proper oral hygiene habits, and other issues with oral care will also contribute. An overly acidic oral cavity is a common cause to watch for, especially in places like the North America where the average diet is acidic. Sometimes other dietary issues can also cause demineralization, though this is less of a concern in Western societies (more on this later).

The unfortunate truth is that enamel cannot be restored or regenerated. This is because enamel is not a growing organic tissue like skin or bone, and there are no other sources of enamel in the human body that could be used for grafting. However, fluoride, an inorganic chemical compound common in dentistry, is the chief solution, used for a reversal process called remineralization.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, and as one might expect, it is very useful to restore the mineral qualities of tooth enamel, remineralizing teeth back to being smooth and strong. The most common way dentists use fluoride is by applying a foaming gel to the teeth after thoroughly cleaning them. You can also purchase such gels for you to use at home or toothpaste with a special extra-fluoride formula.

Fluoride has been so helpful for oral health and maintenance that some cities add small amounts to drinking water. It is generally safe in small quantities, and little is needed for dental fluoride remineralization gel treatments. That said, do not start using fluoride gels or an extra-fluoride toothpaste without consulting your dentist first. The additional minerals can be wasteful or even detrimental in some patients who were not facing demineralization after all, or who have a rare sensitivity to fluoride.

Dietary Issues

While more common outside of developed countries, sometimes demineralization can occur because too few minerals are being absorbed in the diet. It’s important to get the proper levels of calcium and phosphates, which come from dairy products and many types of green leafy vegetables. Fluoride can also be consumed naturally by drinking mineral water or certain types of tea, eating seafood or wheat, and a number of other things. If you want one simple solution, consider chewing sugarless gum. Saliva is the ideal self-protection for your tooth enamel, and the gum will encourage your mouth to produce more.

Take note that packing more of these food and drink items into your diet, thereby putting more minerals into your body, will not compensate for demineralization. The human body can only absorb the ideal amount of minerals every day or less, and forcing more into you will mostly have no effect, except in extreme cases where it can cause risky health issues such as kidney stones when combined with dehydration.

Demineralization might be good for things like water, but it’s never something that you want for your teeth. While demineralization isn’t damaging in itself, it is the weakening of the enamel that preludes damage such as cavities. Therefore, remineralizing your teeth through proper oral hygiene is crucial. Be sure to also watch your diet for things like soft drinks, and to visit the dentist at least once or twice a year to get a deep cleaning and proper treatment for your situation.

It can’t be stressed enough: Visit your dentist regularly and you’ll have a major head start against the progress of any demineralization.


Top Parenting Hacks to Raising Kids With Good Oral Habits

Whether you just can’t seem to get your children to follow a healthy brushing routine or you’re constantly running out of supplies, raising kids to have good oral habits can feel like an uphill battle. But, you can make life easier by developing and sticking to a dental schedule for your children and learning the most effective ways to teach good dental behavior. Try these parenting hacks to teach your kids how to care for their teeth and why it’s so important.

Create a Dental Schedule for Your Children

The key to practicing long-term dental health and minimizing the likelihood of problems developing is to know when you should take your children to appointments and to do your best to stick to this schedule. These are a few of the milestones for your children’s teeth and when they need to see a dentist:

  • Pre-teeth dental care: For the first six months of their lives, a child’s teeth are still developing in their gums. The key to dental care at this early stage is to provide your children with a healthy diet.
  • Their first teeth: As soon as your children’s teeth come in, visit a pediatric dentist for an initial screening and to develop a schedule to monitor your children’s tooth development. Plan for visits roughly once every six months. Children’s primary teeth start to grow at about six months old, and permanent teeth start coming in at about 6 years old.
  • Their permanent teeth: The baby teeth fall out and the permanent teeth replace them when children are 6 to 11 years old. In addition to routine dental exams, your children should be brushing their own teeth at this point.
Keep Extra Supplies Around the House

Whenever you go out to buy floss, toothbrushes, and other supplies, aim to get more than you need. Having extra supplies around the house will ensure you never run out. Plus, if you have several brushes on hand when it’s time to throw out a used one, you can turn picking out a new brush into a fun game. Just have your children go to the supply closet and select whichever brush they want to use next.

Teach Good Dental Habits

As soon as your children can hold a toothbrush, it’s time to start monitoring their independent dental care and to check that they not only know how to properly brush but also understand why it’s so important. Here are a few tips to help educate your child about oral care and make sure that they understand the value of healthy teeth for the rest of their lives.

  • Get started with educational TV shows and books: You’ll find plenty of educational content to help your children understand the value of oral health and how to brush properly. Watch TV shows and read books together to help introduce your children at an early age to the value of good oral health.
  • Create a dental chart: To help your children learn all the steps involved in caring for their teeth, create a dental chart together. Cut out pictures and instructions from magazines and books, or let your children write the steps down on their own using markers or crayons. Hang this chart up near the sink, and remind them to read and follow it when they go brush their teeth.
  • Lead by example: Don’t just tell your children to brush their teeth; brush yours with them so they see that you also take care of your teeth.
  • Show and tell: In addition to showing your kids how to brush their teeth, focus on teaching them why it’s so important. Though you may have to wait until they’re old enough to understand, explaining the health risks associated with neglected teeth and gums will motivate them to continue brushing and flossing as they grow older. Note that you should consult with your pediatric dentist to determine when your child should start flossing.
  • Involve them in the process: To help your children get more interested in tooth hygiene, take them with you to the store and let them pick out their own toothbrushes and toothpastes.
  • Teach about health risks: Your children need to know how to care for their teeth and why it’s needed. Explain the risk of things such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. If they’re too young to understand these hazards, you can talk about how brushing helps with stinky breath and keeping their mouths healthy.
  • Teach proper techniques: It’s vital that your children are learning to brush correctly. Walk them through the proper steps, and teach