5 Parenting Pro-Tips for Your Child’s Next Dental Appointment


Is it time for your little one to visit the dentist? Are you stressed about what might happen during the appointment? There’s good news — taking your child to the dentist doesn’t have to be akin to pulling teeth! Dr. Bailey Crow of StoneCreek Dental Care in Warrior, Alabama shares five tips to ensure your child’s next dental appointment goes as smoothly as possible:

Tell your child what to expect.

Your child doesn’t need a detailed play-by-play of the appointment – in fact, that might increase apprehension – but explaining to your child in simple terms that their teeth will be examined and cleaned is a good starting point. Set realistic expectations, but do not communicate that a dental visit is no fun. You should also explain why visiting the dentist is important and how it will help them keep their teeth healthy.

Bring a list of questions.

If you have any questions for your child’s dentist, write them down so you remember to ask during the appointment. If your child has habits that are harmful to teeth (e.g., thumb sucking) ask how you might be able to change these behaviors. Also, be sure to ask when to make their next appointment, and set it on the calendar before you leave.

Make sure the dental office is kid-friendly.

While you don’t have to take your child to an exclusively pediatric dentist, make sure your child’s dentist is experienced with pediatric dentistry. Dental care for children requires certain tools, and your child’s dentist should be well-versed in treating children and making them feel more at ease. Many dental offices also provide books or games to make the experience more enjoyable for a child.

Ensure your child is well-rested and not hungry. Don’t make a dental appointment for your child’s typical nap time. If your child is hungry, give him or her a small snack before the dentist. We’re all more cranky when we’re tired and hungry. 

Stay positive. Get your child excited about the prospect of visiting the dentist. Do not use negative language or tell your child that you don’t like visiting the dentist. Set a good example by maintaining a positive attitude.

It’s crucial that you make and keep your child’s regular dental appointments so he or she has healthy teeth for life. By implementing these tips, you can ensure you and your child are well-prepared for his or her next appointment.

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10 Ways Stress is Written All Over Your Face


According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez Psy. D, Colombia University Professor and Founder of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services in New York City; stress is written all over our face and can result in looking years older when stressed for prolonged periods of time.

Dr. Hafeez whose expertise is in understanding neural pathways as they respond to anxiety, stress and trauma explains that how we think directly impacts how we age and how youthful we appear. The routine stressors in our lives really impact how fast or slow we age. When stressed, we see it in our skin tone, texture, elasticity, and over all glow.

“When someone is under stress they can appear up to 5 years older, 10 years if they don’t manage stress or make changes to their lives. Stressful relationships and careers age people. I have seen patients end relationships or get new jobs and look 10 years younger within days.  People are spending money on creams, facials and cosmetic procedures but if the stress is still there it will still show in their face,” offers Dr. Hafeez.

Here are Ways Stress is Written All Over Your Face

You have dark circles

Stress results in blood flow to main organs plus capillaries under eyes are fragile and break under stress leaving your face looking sallow and tired. Dark circles seem more apparent.


The jury is still out on exactly how or if this is possible, but it appears that the constant flow of cortisol that goes along with chronic stress causes a dip in estrogen, one that mimics, on a smaller scale, the dip that occurs during menopause. Less estrogen means less collagen and less moisture. So, while estrogen levels may not drop enough to shut down your period, stress may make them dip enough to make your skin look dull and dry.

You notice more wrinkles

Life’s stress due to divorce, death of loved one, job-loss, financial concerns; impacts our brain chemistry. When we feel sad or anxious, are crying or not sleeping well it’s common to see deeper lines around the middle of the eyes, forehead, under eye area and mouth.

© Goodluz | Dreamstime.com – Mature woman applying cream on face

You itch, flake and even have hives

Stress leads to inflammation which may lead to rashes, rosacea, eczema flare ups and changes in skin moisture.

People ask if you’re feeling okay

When the Starbucks barista or guy at the dry cleaners asks if you’re feeling okay, pay attention. These people may not know the details of your life but they know how you look because they see you quickly.

Under-Eye Bags

Tomorrow’s to-do list can weigh on your mind, keeping you from getting enough beauty sleep. This can cause fluid to pool below your lower eyelid area, and what you end up with is a puffy mess in the a.m. Stomach sleepers, bad news: You can expect the puffiness of your under-eye bags to be even worse because of gravity.

Increased jaw size – Heavy jaw

Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth, but also a heavier than usual jawline, as the muscles become larger with the grinding action.

© Gabriel Blaj | Dreamstime.com – Woman losing hair on hairbrush

Hair Loss

Stress can cause sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. Once the follicle enters this resting phase prematurely, it stays there for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. When you experience an overall shedding of hair, you must cast back a few months to find the trigger. Rest assured that in most women, this hair will grow back.

Adult Acne

Acne isn’t just for hormonally crazed teenagers. Many adults can’t seem to outgrow it because of stress hormones. What makes it worse is that tense people often can’t leave pimples alone. Squeezing, poking and picking at them becomes an almost obsessive way to release tension, but it also makes breakouts worse, exacerbating the inflammatory response, and you’re left feeling a bit more stressed. So no picking.

Hormonal Mood Swings

There is a lot of interaction between hormone physiology and mood that works both ways. Our mood can impact our physiology, and our physiology can influence the balance of our hormones. If stress can sit at the top of a cascade of events that lead to undesirable hormonal changes in the body (like those that trigger insomnia, insatiable hunger and weight gain, and collagen breakdown), then what we want to do is find ways to gain the upper hand on our stress level and ensure that we keep all those hormones in check.

According to Dr. Hafeez, “The good news is that we can get to the root cause of our stress and manage it. When you notice changes in your facial appearance take inventory of what is going on in your life and what may be stressing you out. Simple things like sitting quietly for 10 minutes focusing on breathing, writing in a journal, exercising or taking a walk outside, reading, baking, painting, listening to music and reaching for an activity that takes focus off the stress is helpful. If you find yourself reverting back to the stressful issue consider therapy. Clearly there is a connection between how we look and how we feel and think.”

© Photopal604 | Dreamstime.com – Stress free zone road sign

About Dr. SanamHafeez:

Dr. Hafeez  is available to speak to media on a plethora of topics that connect stress, anxiety and depression and its negative impact on our wellbeing and physical appearance. She provides neuropsychological educational and developmental evaluations in her practice.  She also works with children and adults who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert and expert witness by providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts.

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Key Tips and Exercises to Keep Fit While on Vacation


This is a guest post written by Sloane Davis.

Trying to stay fit and healthy can be challenging when traveling.  I always tell my clients that the goal should be to maintain, not gain while away.  And while I am an advocate for living life and enjoying all that is has to offer, going on vacation shouldn’t become a free for all to throw in the towel when it comes to health and fitness.

A common question I receive from many prospective clients is “I am going on vacation soon.  Should I wait to start the plan or start right away?”  My answer is always this: There is never a “good” or “easy” time to start.  You have to learn to live a healthy lifestyle which is what my plans aim to do.  In other words, start the plan today.  That way, when it does come time for vacation, you have the tools you need to maintain, not gain.

While you won’t track every food that goes into your mouth on vacation, subconsciously you are much more aware of how your meals should look and be balanced if you are following a plan prior to vacation.  I can’t tell you how many clients come back to have not gained an ounce.  THAT is WINNING!

Here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy when traveling:

Drink a lot of water

Lots of walking, hours spent outside in the sun… traveling can be exhausting. The airplane ride alone will dehydrate you from the altitude.  I love to take a reusable water bottle and fill it up after I pass through security to take on the plane with me.  This ensures that I am drinking throughout the flight and don’t have to wait for the flight attendants to serve me. And when they do come to serve, take it! Drink all the water you can.  You will feel so much better getting off the plane hydrated instead of tired, queasy, tight, and drained.

When you get to your destination, continue to drink water.  Incorporate foods that also contain a lot of water such as lettuce, watermelon and cucumbers.

Stick to your normal routine as much as possible

Just because you are away doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and eat everything in sight.  This goes especially for all inclusive resorts or a buffet.  Just because you pay for something doesn’t mean you have to overdo it.  Breakfast included in the hotel?  Stick to an omelette, a piece of toast or oatmeal, some fresh fruit and one “treat.” You don’t need muffins, bacon, hash browns, pancakes AND french toast if you normally don’t eat that at home.  That’s just being a glutton.  Pick one savory food and enjoy it. Tomorrow is a new day and a few hours later you will be eating your next meal again.

Keep things in moderation

You don’t have to have everything in one day.  Bread, alcohol, dessert all add up at one meal.  All 3 along with your meal could mean your total daily allowance of calories or more.  So pick one, and choose another the following day.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

If you tend to eat more at night, then keep your breakfast and lunch on the lighter side.  If you know you are going to have a few cocktails for happy hour then moderate your intake during the day. It is all about balance.

Try to keep active

If you normally workout daily then try to go to the gym half the amount of days you are on vacation.  Vacation is just that…a break, so don’t feel like you have to hit the gym at 7am each morning to feel good about yourself.  Let go of some of the stress.  Go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors and do something entirely different then you are used to.

If there is no gym and you do want to workout, pack resistance bands.  They are super light and there are so many exercises that you can do with them (see my video on how to here) .  You could also incorporate some body weight exercises or plyometrics in your hotel room (see the above video).  Just 20 minutes a day will make you feel a whole lot better and most likely help you make better decisions throughout the day.

Have the willpower to stay on track

I know sometimes this is easier said then done, but I can guarantee that you will feel so much better coming home from a vacation knowing you enjoyed it yet didn’t gain a pound rather than coming home 5 pounds heavier only to have to work it back off.  We all know how easy it is to put weight on and how difficult it is to take it off.  Just a few minor tweaks each day while away can mean the world of difference.

You are stronger than you think.  Choose your battles while you are away.  Don’t cave into defeat.  You can do it!  Vacation is so much more than eating everything in sight.  Take the time to enjoy those you spend it with, the scenery, and the culture it has to offer. The food is just a bonus, not the entire package.

About the author:

Sloane Davis is a Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who has helped thousands of people, both men and women, around the world get in to top shape both mentally and physically. Sloane has her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and became accredited through ISSA with her degree in Sports Nutrition and Personal Training. She works personally and online with thousands of clients around the US and globally.

She has been featured in People, Fitness Magazine, New Beauty Magazine, Apple News, The Daily Mail, Yahoo News, Westchester Magazine and Fox 5 Good Day New York.

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10 Ways To Relax In 5 Minutes Or Less


When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to make mistakes. You can easily pick a fight or make wrong decisions. Your productivity could suffer. You end up having migraines and stomachache and you feel excess fatigue.

Stress is inevitable, but you can have some over control it. If you allow yourself to be stressed out all the time you risk feeling burned out all the time. You need to change your lifestyle, learn how to break the cycle and find time to relax.

Here are 10 ways to relax in 5 minutes or less:


You don’t have to go all out to experience the benefits of meditation. All you need is take a break within the day. Find a quiet place in your home or office, and concentrate on your breathing. It takes only a few minutes before you feel that your stress begin to fade away.

Try pranayama breathing.

Pranayama breathing is a yoga method where you should only breathe in one nostril at a time. This method works like the acupuncture that balances the mind and body. As a result, it can eradicates the anxiety.

Use your imagination.

It’s not always possible to pause when you’re stressed. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, grab a soft pillow and rest your head on it (make sure you don’t fall asleep!). Just lay your head on the pillow and visualize that the pillow is pulling up all your anxieties and worries. You can also try to imagine yourself some place serene, like on a tropical beach or lounging along side a quiet lake in the woods.

© Photowitch | Dreamstime.com – Stress ball

Squeeze a stress ball.

Squeezing a stress ball is a great way to release stress. It is known to get rid all of your tension in a silent way. They are inexpensive to buy, and you can even make your own.

Let the water flow on your wrist.

Do you feel that you’re about to explode due to too much anxiety? Run to the bathroom and pour some water on your wrist. You can also do that behind your earlobes. By doing this you cool the arteries right under the skin, taking that heat down a notch and calming the whole body.

Go out under the sun.

Enjoy the sunlight early morning. Sunlight is a good stress buster for people suffering from depression and anxiety. So, the next time you are feeling stressed, take a walk while the sun is out.

Try the Vipariti Kirani yoga pose.

In Vipariti Kirani yoga pose, you have to lie on the floor and simply put your legs up against the wall. This is a great way to stretch your body and gain inner peace.

Jog in place.

You don’t get enough time to exercise? Jogging in place is a quick fix to relieve the tension and let the endorphins flow.

Start a diary.

Journaling or writing in a diary is a good method of putting all your worries, tensions and problems in a writing. When you write them down, you feel your burden is getting lighter. Unloading your worries through writing has been proven effective.


Having a rough day? Turn on the music and enjoy dancing to the beat.  It is an excellent way to beat the stress!

© Ariwasabi | Dreamstime.com – Fitness dance class woman dancing

About the author:

Eric Schwarz is a German writer who has found love in the United States. He has written a number of articles and newsletters about healthy lifestyle, yoga, ways to relieve stress and how to live a happy life. As a public speaker, he continues to inspire and help people live happily and stress-free. He is also a regular contributor for Addictions.com.

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Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy!


© Destinyvispro | Dreamstime.com – Kidney Organ Donation Icon

The older I get the more and more concerned I get about my overall health. I want to be healthy and live a long life. Who doesn’t?

I regret (terribly!) not taking better care of my health growing up. Take for example my obesity. I have been obese since I was a toddler. I have lost, and gained, and lost and gained over and over again the past forty-something years. Right now I am still considered obese, but I’m not as heavy a I once was (I’ve lost about 40+) pounds.

I had an appointment this past week with a Cardiologist for a check up. I have never been to a Cardiologist before, but my husband felt it was a good idea. At least to get a baseline so that the doctor can keep check on things and make sure my “ticker” (heart) is in great shape for years to come. Unfortunately the appointment had to be rescheduled.

When most people think of their overall health I’m sure they worry about things like their heart, joints and eye sight, to name a few. How many people think about their kidney health? To be honest with you, I don’t ever really think about my kidneys… do YOU?

Did you know…

A staggering 1 in 10 people have kidney disease – an estimated 26 million Americans – and most do not find out until their kidney disease is advanced.

WOW! That is SHOCKING news!

I know my brother-in-law had kidney cancer. He ended up having the effected kidney removed. The surgery was a success (thankfully).

Actor Paul Rodriguez and actress Gloria Garayua are staring in a multi-award winning patient education series called Fixing Paco. It’s sponsored by the Mendez National Institute of Transplantation Foundation (MNITF).

On the FixingPaco.org website, the general public can get information about kidney disease and prevention, becoming an organ donor, and kidney transplantation.  In addition, the Fixing Paco web series provides comprehensive education about being proactive in one’s healthcare as well as valuable information including how to access transplantation, what it takes to maintain a transplant, and how a positive attitude and lots of support can create the power of hope.

There is an extremely high need for organ donors. Currently, there are approximately 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S., and of these, approximately 100,000 need a kidney transplant.

I’ve thought about being a bone marrow donor. And it is listed on my driver’s license that I am an organ donor. I know you can survive with one kidney. I would consider being a kidney donor, but being Diabetic I don’t know if that would make me an ideal person to donate a kidney. If someone was in need and the doctor’s said it was OK for me to donate, I would consider it.

Please take a moment to learn more with this brief Public Service Announcement.


You need to learn the FACTS about kidney disease, as well as have your doctor give you a simple test each year to make sure your kidneys are healthy and stay that way.

When it comes to diseases such a kidney disease its best for find out right away when there is a problem so that it can be treated rather than wait to find out when it’s too late.

The tag line for this campaign is “Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy!” I think that is a wonderful tag line. WE ALL need to learn the facts. WE ALL need to get checked out by our doctors and WE ALL need to do what we can to get healthy and stay healthy. Even if you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones who care about  your health and well being.

To learn what YOU can do NOW visit FixingPaco.org. There you can learn more about the campaign and kidney health as well as learn more about becoming a transplant donor.

You can also learn more about the campaign on the campaign’s official Facebook page.

Have you or someone you know been touched by kidney disease?

Did you or someone you know ever received, or donate, an organ?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.


*I have partnered with MNITF to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Do you want to be in a good mood? Eat these foods


A number of lifestyle factors can contribute to depression, but one that’s often overlooked is what you put in your mouth. “Diet plays a huge role in depression,” says with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine.

Do you crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods when you’re feeling blue? You’re not alone. But, says Dr. Calapai “If we eat better foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, we short-circuit the junk food cravings and have higher energy levels and sharper mental focus.

Vitamin D (sun exposure; fortified breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk)

Vitamin D is required for brain development and function. Deficiency in this “sunshine vitamin” is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders.

“Smart” Carbs Can Have a Calming Effect

Carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Experts aren’t sure, but carb cravings sometimes may be related to low serotonin activity.

Choose your carbs wisely. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart or “complex” carbs (such as whole grains) rather than simple carbs (such as cakes and cookies). Fruits, vegetables, and legumes also have healthy carbs and fiber.

Tryptophan (protein sources including turkey, beef, eggs, some dairy products, dark, leafy greens)

An amino acid, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. It’s not well understood, but low tryptophan seems to trigger depressive symptoms in some people who have taken antidepressants. 

Increase your intake of B vitamins

People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid), are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. In a study comparing the effects of giving an SSRI with either a placebo or with folic acid, 61% of patients improved on the placebo combination but 93% improved with the addition of folic acid. 

Boost your serotonin with amino acids

Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is then converted into another amino acid called 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. 5-HTP is found in high levels in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. Just not getting enough tryptophan is likely to make you depressed; people fed food deficient in tryptophan became rapidly depressed within hours.

Up your intake of chromium

This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. In fact it turns out that just supplying proper levels of chromium to people with atypical depression can make a big difference.

Select Selenium-Rich Foods

Studies have reported a link between low selenium and poor moods. The recommended amount for selenium is 55 micrograms a day for adults.

Evidence isn’t clear that taking supplements can help. And it’s possible to get too much selenium. So it’s probably best to focus on foods:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Nuts and seeds (particularly brazil nuts – but no more than one or two a day because of their high selenium content)
  • Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish, and freshwater fish)
  • Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)

Caffeine and Sugary Foods

Caffeine may be difficult for many people to completely eliminate from their diet. However, it is good to only have caffeinated drinks in moderation, particularly when you are experiencing depression-like symptoms. Caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel anxious, both of which won’t help your depression. People who drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee, should consider cutting back.

About the author:

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s.He is the author of E-books Heavy Metals and Chronic Disease, Reverse Diabetes Forever! Seven Steps to Healthy Blood Sugar, Top Ten Supplements You Can’t Live Without, and Glorious Glutathione. Learn more about Dr. Calapai on his website: www.drcal.net

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