It is important for the dentist to understand that beauty is a high priority -- often the highest priority -- for the patient.
I'll be leaving on a jet plane.
It's been a great experience, being a Texas girl who practices orthodontics in beautiful Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. What's it like commuting 8,000 miles to work? What have I learned? Has this experience changed my worldview?
Are you a dentist? Do you know what it takes to be a really GREAT dentist?
Is it having excellent skills? Better equipment? A super income?
The answer -- and the secret to professional satisfaction -- might surprise you.
Making the right, simple, tiny little decisions will greatly improve your life. This is true, whether you're a dentist, or in any other business or profession.
There are some important "blocks" to use when you build the foundations of both your dental practice and your life. The quality of those building blocks will determine the quality of what's built upon them.
Carve out dinner times as often as possible, to be together.
To be at peace.
To share your day.
To enjoy each other.
We need to become aware of studies that show us that children are being damaged by screens and by the content on those screens and of studies about the high risk of cancer from screen use. And, of the breakdown of families and the terrible impact on all.
SO - picture dinner times as often as possible, together as a family, all devices out of the room, and talk and sharing with the food. Even include preparation of the food. How about making a delicious soup, and serving it with a healthful toast?
Here’s a wonderful, easy, quick recipe that could be fun for you all to make:
Yummy Butternut Squash Soup - makes about 4-5 servings
• about 8 cups of fresh cubed butternut squash, which you can find in the produce section of most groceries;
• Olive Oil;
• about 20 oz. of vegetable or chicken broth;
• about 2 c Heavy Cream;
• A large bag of baby spinach and a large chopped onion to saute to serve with your soup;
• Creme fraiche or sour cream or yogurt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Turn squash cubes in oil until well coated.
Put onto baking sheet or baking pan, single layer, and roast at 400 deg for about an hour, until they are brown on the edges.
Can refrigerate at this point until ready to make the soup.
Blitz squash with broth in processor or with stick blender, and heat through. Add cream
Saute chopped onion in olive oil, remove, then a bit more olive oil, and dump your large bag of spinach into the saute pan and saute til wilted.
Serve your soup as you wish - top with your sautéed spinach and onion, creme fraiche, sour cream or yogurt, and. and sprinkle with red chili flakes if you want a touch of spicy,
You’ve undoubtedly heard the question, “Doctor, what can we do about her bad breath?”
Jenny’s mom asked me that question a worried look on her face. “I’ve talked to the pediatrician, and nothing is wrong. But, she is being teased about it, and we notice it at home too. Can you help us?”
And you’ve undoubtedly run through the conventional wisdom of telling them to check with their pediatrician or doctor about any upper airway infections, congestion, allergies, and about any GI tract illness, including GERD -- and be sure they brush and floss well every day.
Past that, you have suggested mouthwash. Maybe.
Mouthwash? Not. A. Good. Idea... because many-to-most mouthwashes have alcohol which dries the oral cavity and may worsen the situation. Of course there are products created for just this situation, the 'BB' (Bad Breath) that embarrasses the patient and/or parents. Those may work, though are often expensive and do not get to the etiology of the problem.
About 25% of the population has chronic BB, apparently not related to the above etiologies. A study of Army recruits found that only 17% did NOT have halitosis.
What could be the reason for BB?
Once you have ruled out the respiratory tract and GI tract (including gingivitis/perio disease) as sources, and the patient’s medical reports do not show other systemic diseases or challenges, the etiology is… GET READY…FOR…IT…
PROBABLY… an unhealthy and highly pathogenic MICROBIOME.
Bad bugs in the gut.
BB (Bad Breath) is caused by BB (bad bugs).
The trillions of microbes we call the microbiome is the community of coexisting microorganisms found in and on the human body. According to studies, the number of microbes is actually from three to ten times the number of cells in the human body. This includes the red blood cells, which are about 25 trillion, or 84% of the total cells of the body.
These microbes include bacteria, fungi and viruses (as well as other simple organisms called archaea and protists (algae and amoebae), that coexist with body cells. They are crucial for the immune system, and for hormonal and metabolic balance. Many are necessary “good bugs” that work with the body for health.
Some are not good. These are the BB (bad bugs), and have been implicated in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, infections, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, even obesity and other serious illnesses.
Everyone routinely carries some pathogens or “bad bugs.” In healthy people, they co-exist with the body (their host) and its total microbiome. However, these pathogens are etiologic in disease states such as infections, heart disease and cancers.
It hasn’t helped that we have become so “germ-conscious” that we’ve overdone it to the point of killing the “good bugs”, and letting the “bad bugs” overgrow. We use anti-bacterial soaps, and disinfecting wipes and lotions. Often more quickly able to "bounce back" from such an attack, the bad bugs have a heyday.
Additionally, nutrition and diet are critical parts of the body’s interaction with its environment, as frequent snacking and high carbohydrates and sugars help the pathogens overtake the friendly microbes.
When out of balance, one of the possible results in a human body is BB - halitosis.
Balancing and restoring the microbiome has the potential to make us much more healthy.
Start with probiotics, the supplemental “good bugs” that are packaged in liquid, capsule and chewable forms. In fact, for the patient with BB, the chewable can be fantastic.
Encourage the patient to reduce the intake of sugars and carbohydrates, on which the “bad bugs” feed, and to chew up three or four probiotic tablets a day. One brand is American Health Chewable tablets, and available on Amazon as well as at many health food stores.
It works! Amazing when we get to the etiology of the problem!
Jenny’s mom reports that she no longer has any problem with BB, now that she is limiting sugar and carbs and using Probiotics. She’s a happy girl! Likewise, no BB for my daughter, one of my assistants and a colleague, all of whom have successfully addressed their microbiome.
Got BB? Get Probiotics!
New Year’s resolutions originated a long time ago. Perhaps with the Babylonians who made promises to their gods at the start of each year; perhaps with the Romans who made promises to the god Janus, for whom January is named; perhaps in the Middle Ages when the knights reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry.
Do resolutions help? Do they work?
The answer is, that without a goal to pursue, without a target to shoot toward, it is unlikely that you will hit that goal or target.
However, with a goal, a resolution, your success depends on your recurring, repeating work toward the resolution.
Tony Robbins says to keep on re-visiting the resolution. Every day, for the whole year. Why? Because you reinforce your belief in your goal. You reinforce your thinking toward your goal. You reinforce your actions toward your goal.
You power up!
Gratitude also reinforces your perspective and belief in your goal. It’s amazing. When we are grateful for what we HAVE, we receive more. The Universe is abundant and unlimited. There is enough for everyone. Truly. “Ask and you shall receive.” ~ Matthew 7:7
Ask. Tell the Universe your goal. Even write it down and look at it a few times every day.
Be grateful for what you NOW have. You are setting your beliefs, your perspective, to abundance.
Take actions toward your goal. Tiny steps, tiny decisions that work toward your goal.
Go on living life. It’s too good to miss!
You are POWERED UP!
Deep down - in our subconscious, our amygdala, our unconscious, we have a primitive brain that functions like our animal friends’ brains. We react. Without thinking. (Thinking is higher up.)
Our emotions predominate. It’s our ego barrier - subliminal defense mechanisms that make it hard to accept that we might be wrong, or at risk. Our fears rule - the seeds of stress.
Your higher-up you is not aware of your lower level you. That’s why its called subconscious or unconscious (below the conscious level). So we don’t even realize that fear of not being enough, fear of not being loved, fear of so many things in these deep parts of us, makes us instinctively vulnerable or attacked.
The neocortex part of your brain is the higher-up part that is responsible for higher-order brain functions - thinking and learning.
As your deep hidden motivations (fear responses) are in control, it’s impossible for you to logically understand what “you” are doing.
Even the most intelligent person is wired this way.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.” ~ John Lennon
What to do?
You can get better and better at this stuff. And that will make you happier and happier.
Dr Chris Baker (center), with a group of seminar doctors at a local dental office.
Photo by Claude Hammond © 2017
TOP PHOTO: Thunderstorm photo by Catalin Fatu at the English language Wikipedia,
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker