Practice Announcement

Charlotte Dentistry is proud to welcome Dr. Annie Brooks, DDS to our practice.  She will begin on May 22nd, 2017.

Dr. Brooks was born & raised in Sanford, NC a small town between Pinehurst & Raleigh. She attended UNC Chapel Hill for both undergrad and dental school, graduating in 2014.

After graduating, she left for a Californian adventure & completed her GPR at San Francisco VA Hospital.  For the past 2 years; Dr. Brooks has worked at a private practice, while continuing part-time at the VA.

Please join us in welcoming
Dr. Brooks to our Practice.




Grocery Shopping Online – Oh, YEAH!

Do you ever feel like 24 hours in a day is not enough time to get everything done in your busy day? Between work, home, family, and friends some days I think I meet myself coming and going.

Well, this might sound like a commercial, but this is an endorsement for extra time. I have just discovered on-line grocery shopping with curbside pickup. More like, they load the groceries in my car (can you hear the angels singing?)! This concept is so innovative and helpful, particularly to moms with young children. Can you image getting your weekly grocery shopping done on the way home from soccer practice without even unbuckling the kiddos?

To get started just download the store’s grocery app, set up your account and start shopping at your convenience. This can be done over time or all at one time if you like. Until you check out you can add or modify your list as needed. What I love about this, when I see I’m running low or out of something, I can just add it to my online cart instead of a grocery list. When ready, check out and schedule a pickup time. Walmart asks for a 10-minute arrival courtesy call, once you are there, you park in the designated pick-up area and call them again. Within a couple of minutes your groceries are loaded and you my friend are on your way.

I was very nervous about someone else picking out my meat, produce, and dairy but I’m happy to say my produce was fresh, meat was high quality and the dairy was cold (and well within the expiration date).

I even received a call informing me that the organic squash I ordered was out of stock and asked if I would like to replace it with regular squash. WOW, great service.

Several benefits to this way of shopping: It’s a great time saver; your shopping list can be saved and modified for each transaction. It helps you stay on the budget, and it helps with the diet, no impulse buying Ben and Jerry’s chunky monkey ice cream during a moment of weakness.

One downside has been once I check out online I have not been able to add something last minute without starting a new order, and with a minimum purchase required that was not practical for just an item or 2. I called the store and they added the item to my original order for me, not something I would want to do on a regular basis.

Harris Teeter is offering no pickup fee on your first order, after that it’s a $5.00 charge (which I feel is well worth it). Walmart always offers free pick up, with a $10.00 coupon off your first order.

Not every area has this service, but most Charlotte locations do. Next time I go on vacation I will definitely check to see if grocery pickup is available in that area. If you have ever been to the grocery store at the beach on a Saturday afternoon, you know what I’m talking about.

 

Time is free, but it is priceless. You can’t own it, but you can buy it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can’t get it back.




The Gold That Moved Mountains

“A cathedral of clay with multiple pinnacles has been sculptured out of the mountain. Gold and Rome were to blame. Time and beauty have forgiven them.”—Pedro García Trapiello.

 

In the northwest of Spain lies a strange rock formation gouged out of golden sandstone. A carpet of verdant chestnut trees creates the illusion that the rugged cliffs and soaring towers have been carved by the forces of nature. Only the occasional opening to a tunnel hints at an ancient secret. Here, in a place now called Las Médulas, once stood the greatest gold mine of the Roman Empire.

Gold has always had a fascination, which has compelled men to go to great lengths to get their hands on it. When Rome ruled the world, gold was still at a premium. Emperor Augustus wanted a stable economy, and the silver denarius and the gold aureus were the trustworthy coins that he needed to oil the wheels of Roman commerce. To mint sufficient coins, of course, he required gold and silver. Thus, hard on the heels of the conquering Roman legions came the gold prospectors.

When the legions finally subdued northwest Spain, not long before the start of the Common Era, they discovered new reserves of gold. Unfortunately, the precious metal lay buried in mountainous alluvial deposits that did not give up their gold easily. It would take two and a half centuries of toil and sweat to unearth the hidden treasure.

The Romans, however, were undaunted. Labor was cheap and mining techniques of the time—though laborious—made the project feasible. Their plan was to extract the gold by gradually washing away the mountain. To achieve their aim, they constructed over 50 canals, built several large reservoirs high in the mountains, and dug hundreds of miles of tunnels.

Once a network of tunnels had been built inside a portion of the mountain, the engineers flooded them with water under pressure. The surging waters broke away tons of earth. The gold-bearing sand and rock was washed down the mountain, where the gold could be separated from the gravel by panning and sifting. Then the whole process would be repeated with the construction of another set of tunnels.

Was the effort worth it? The Romans patiently extracted some 800 tons of gold from Las Médulas. To obtain all that gold, thousands of workers literally moved mountains—more than eight billion cubic feet of earth. And for every ten tons of earth that they excavated, they obtained one troy ounce [30 grams] of gold.

Nowadays, little remains but the tunnels and the jagged scars of the ruptured mountain, which have been polished by erosion and clothed by forests of chestnut trees. Ironically, these sweet chestnuts that the Romans introduced into Spain have proved much more durable than the gold.




Joy

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.

Now let’s be honest, if you use social media, it’s thrilling to see something that you posted gets a lot of likes. Receiving all that instant approval from others can be very invigorating. But when we base our self-worth on the opinions of others it can quickly become a very slippery slope. Chasing approval, or comparing ourselves to others can cloud our judgment. This can quickly set up a pattern of showing only the best or even a perceived version of what we want others to see. Are we pretty enough, skinny enough, have a nice house, enough money in the bank?   Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing the parts about us that no one sees (the good, the bad, and the ugly) to the best parts of everyone else, the part they only let us see, will only steal your joy and make you feel less than, it also discourages us from loving and serving others.

God is good always, and we have each been blessed with our own gifts and talents. We are all different and we need to embrace our blessings. Make a conscious decision to appreciate life and seek joy every day. Stop comparing your life with others. Life is too short and our blessings are too many to waste our lives wishing for something else.

For example, I recently joined a new gym. I’ve had to make sure I didn’t compare my one month journey to others who having been training for a marathon for months. I need to celebrate my own journey; I am in competition with no-one. I have no desire to play the game of being better than another. I just need to be better than the person I was yesterday. Strive every day to be your best. No looking sideways anymore, unless it’s to encourage another because joy grows when you share it.

Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others (….)




Today is National Stress Awareness Day

The kids, the dog, relatives, the job, the spouse, bills, the neighbors, the weather, and so on and so on. Yikes, CALGON, take me away!!! Don’t you wish it was really that easy? We all have experienced stress from time to time, but when we are exposed to high levels of stress on a daily basis our mental health and physical health are at risk.

 

April is stress awareness month and this is a good time to evaluate what you can do to eliminate your stress triggers and make a game plan for the ones you can’t eliminate.

Stress can affect your body, your thoughts, and feelings, as well as your behavior. Stress that’s left unchecked can cause fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Stress can also contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

 

There are many studies that have concluded exercise can help reduce stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America published a survey showing that seven out of ten American adults who suffer from stress, used exercise as the most common method for reducing their stress.

A well-balanced diet can help combat stress, green vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli along with fruits that are high in vitamin C can help. Also, limit your soda, caffeine, and alcohol intake.

 

Create relationships that are positive and uplifting. Misery loves company, so steer clear of the “Debbie downer train” (as my Nana would say). Take time for yourself and put things into perspective, don’t let your mind blow things out of proportion.

 

Some other helpful hints;

Get plenty of sleep

Exercise, yoga, working out, sports, walking, just gets moving

Listen to music

Read a good book

Get a massage

Talk with a friend, pastor, counselor, or life coach.

Get involved with a support network

Pray and Meditate

Talk with your health care provider.

Keep a journal

Breath

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

 

Be kind to yourself. There has only been one person perfect enough to walk on water and we are not HIM. Be proud of your best instead of trying to be perfect.




Fun and Easy Easter Treats

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Many of my favorite childhood memories with my grandmother were in her kitchen. Her love and patients were endless and she always made all of her grandchildren feel special. I’m always looking for fun and easy cooking things I can do in the kitchen with my grandchildren. I recently ran across this recipe for making “marbleized candy-coated apples. With Easter coming up I thought this would be somewhat of a healthy treat for their Easter baskets (ok, I’m reaching a little here with the “healthy bit”). This is not very complicated and most all ages should be able to help in some capacity with adult supervision.

 

You will need;

Candy Melts (available at Walmart, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby)

2 bags of the base color and 2 accent colors 1 bag each.

6 -8 small washed apples

Lollipop sticks

 

In a 2 cup measuring cup melt both bags of the base color according to package directions.

Melt the accent Candy Melts in separate containers.

Place a lollipop stick in each apple and get ready for some fun.

Drizzle some of both accent colors over the top of the base color in a crisscross pattern.

As you dip the apple use a downward turning motion but don’t double dip.

You will need to add more accent colors about every other apple.

Placed candy covered apples on wax or parchment paper to dry/harden.

These would be super cute with colored sprinkles, colored sugar or even chopped nuts.

 

Pictured are my first attempt, I used orange as the base with 3 accent colors white, pink, and purple. I think 2 colors would work better. Also next time I will use smaller apples so they will fit all the way down in the base color.

When you are making memories the journey is what’s important. Regardless of what they look like, I promise they will taste great and you will have a lot of fun making them.

 

PS Dip pretzels, potato chips, or maybe even a peep or 2 in any leftover melted candy




Protecting Teenagers in Today’s World

Every teenager has found themselves in over their head at some point. The actions they choose to take determine whether the outcome is positive or negative. As a parent of a teenager, you have an obligation to protect them and keep them safe in an increasingly dangerous world. Here are some ways to do this.

Teen Tracking Mobile Apps

 

Teen Safe

Many parents have taken to using the recent influx of teen tracking mobile apps to keep their family safe. One of them is Teen Safe, an app that can be used to watch who they call and text as well as where they go. Though there is some controversy surrounding the use of this and similar apps, many parents have found it to be an effective way to protect their teens. While no teen wants to feel sheltered or dependent on their parents, having access to where they go and who they speak to is an important part of keeping them safe.

ReThink

In some cases, teen tracking mobile apps are actually created by teens. This was the case with the ReThink app. This app forces teens to carefully consider the contents of a social media post before making it public. The use of this app is meant to cut down on cases of cyberbullying. Trigger words that cyberbullies commonly use are programmed into the app. When one of these words is detected, the user gets a pop-up window asking them to reconsider using abusive words. The teenager who created this app was inspired to do so after hearing the story of a fellow teenager who committed suicide as a result of being bullied. In test runs of this app, it was found that users were 67% less likely to post an abusive message on social media.

Our Pact

An app called Our Pact gives your teenagers the freedom to use the Internet and social media without the pitfalls so many parents worry about. Using this app you can give your teens less time or extra time on their mobile device. You and your teen can use this app to come to an agreement about the rules to keep them safe while still allowing them the freedom to live their life. This can be a great compromise between parents and teens, helping to keep them safe without building resentment on their part.

Checky

Checky is a similar app that you and your teen can use to come to certain agreements. It allows you to choose an acceptable number of times for your teen to check their phone each day. You’ll like it because you can keep track of your teen’s phone habits and he or she will like it because they can compare their stats with friends who also have the app. This added feature makes the app more appealing to teens who are worried about losing their privacy or independence.

 

Keeping your teenagers safe in today’s world does not have to cause tension between you and them. It is imperative to strike the right balance between parenting them and sheltering them. Using appropriate mobile apps to come to a compromise on their activities can be one effective way to help your teens grow and become more mature. Talking with teens is often they key to understanding.




Can Banking Baby Teeth Treat Diabetes?

When she was just 11 months old, Billie Sue Wozniak’s daughter Juno was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that affects 1.25 million people and approximately 200,000 children under age 20 in the United States.

The disease had affected several members of Billie Sue’s family, including her uncle, who passed away at the age of 30.

“My first thought was, ‘Her life is going to be short,’” the 38-year-old from Reno, Nevada recalled. “The more that I learned, the more I found that many people with type 1 live longer and the treatment advances are really exciting.”

While looking for treatments, Wozniak learned about encapsulation therapy, in which an encapsulated device containing insulin-producing islet cells derived from stem cells is implanted under the skin. The encapsulation device is designed to protect the cells from an autoimmune attack and may help people produce their own insulin.

After learning of the therapy through JDRF, Wozniak saw an ad on Facebook for Store-A-Tooth, a company that offers dental stem cell banking. She decided to move forward with the stem cell banking, just in case the encapsulation device became an option for Juno.

In March 2016, a dentist extracted four of Juno’s teeth, and sent them to a lab so her stem cells could be cryopreserved. Wozniak plans to bank the stem cells from Juno’s molars as well.

“It’s a risk—I don’t know for sure if it will work out,” Wozniak said.

Dental stem cells: a future of possibilities

For years, stem cells from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow have been used to treat blood and bone marrow diseases, blood cancers and metabolic and immune disorders.

Although there is the potential for dental stem cells to be used in the same way, researchers are only beginning to delve into the possibilities.

“Dental stem cells are not science fiction,” said Dr. Jade Miller, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. “I think at some point in time, we’re going to see dental stem cells used by dentists…on a daily practice.”

Dental stem cells have the potential to produce dental tissue, bone, cartilage and muscle. They may be used to repair cavities, fix a tooth damaged from periodontal disease or bone loss, or even grow a tooth instead of using dental implants.

In fact, stem cells can be used to repair cracks in teeth and cavities, according to a recent mouse study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

There’s also some evidence that dental stem cells can produce nerve tissue, which might eliminate the need for root canals. A recent study out of Tufts University found that a collagen-based biomaterial used to deliver stem cells to the inside of damaged teeth can regenerate dental pulp-like tissues.

Dental stem cells may even be able to treat neurological disorders, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.

“I believe those are the kinds of applications that will be the first uses of these cells,” said Dr. Peter Verlander, Chief Scientific Officer for Store-A-Tooth.

When it comes to treating diseases like type 1 diabetes, dental stem cells also show promise. In fact, a study in the Journal of Dental Research found that dental stem cells were able to form islet-like aggregates that produce insulin.

Unlike umbilical cord blood where there’s one chance to collect stem cells, dental stem cells can be collected from several teeth. Also, gathering stem cells from bone marrow requires invasive surgery and risk, and it can be painful and costly.

The stem cells found in baby teeth, known as mesenchymal cells, are similar to those found in other parts of the body, but not identical.

“There are differences in these cells, depending on where they come from,” Verlander said.

What’s more, mesenchymal stem cells themselves differ from hematopoietic, or blood-forming stem cells. Unlike hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells can expand.

“From one tooth, we expect to generate hundreds of billions of cells,” Verlander said.

Yet the use of dental stem cells is not without risks. For example, there’s evidence that tumors can develop when stem cells are transplanted. There’s also a chance of an immune rejection, but this is less likely if a person uses his own stem cells, Miller said.

The process for banking stem cells from baby teeth is relatively simple. A dentist extracts the child’s teeth when one-third of the root remains and the stem cells are still viable. Once the teeth are shipped and received, the cells are extracted, grown and cryopreserved.

Store-A-Tooth’s fees include a one-time payment of $1,749 and $120 per year for storage, in addition to the dentist’s fees for extraction.

For families who are interested in banking dental stem cells, they should know that they’re not necessarily a replacement for cord blood banking or bone marrow stem cells.

“They’re not interchangeable, we think of them as complementary,” Verlander said.

Although the future is unclear for Juno—who was born in 2008—her mom is optimistic that she’ll be able to use the stem cells for herself and if not, someone else.

Ultimately, however, Wozniak hopes that if dental stem cells aren’t the answer, there will be a biological cure for type 1 diabetes.

“I hold out hope that somewhere, someone is going to crack the code,” she said.

 

Source: Can banking baby teeth treat diabetes?




Oral Cancer/Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

The month of April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month; it is also Head & Neck cancer Awareness Month.

 

During the month of April, any patient with a dental appointment is welcome to take a photo or selfie WITH one of our staff members WEARING a lavender or a burgundy/white ribbon to be entered in a drawing for Target gift certificate!

 

 

(Ribbons will be provided by our staff)

 

 

The Rules:

 

  1. You must have a dental appointment during the month of April to qualify.
  2. Take a photo or a selfie WITH a Charlotte Dentistry staff member at your visit and wear a cancer ribbon.
  3. You will be automatically entered by tagging your photo with the hashtag: #charlottedentistrysmiles
  4. Photos can be posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or all social media apps. (For Facebook users you must post the selfie on our wall along with the hashtag #charlottedentistrysmiles )
  5. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via phone and/or email the first week of May!

 

 

 

1st prize: $150 gift certificate to Target

 

2nd prize: $100 gift certificate to Target

 

3rd prize: $50 gift certificate to Target




Mapping the Heavens – Then & Now

Finding Figures in the Sky

Astronomers in times past noticed that the entire body of stars appeared to be moving in an orderly way despite the fact that stars go along the sky from east to west, they didn’t change their positions in connection to each other. In other words, each night the same specific groupings of stars were visible. Since man wanted to bring some order to those countless points of light, he connected stars into groups. With a little imagination, these groups resembled animals, people, or inanimate objects. In this way the practice of regarding set configurations of stars as constellations came about.

Some of the constellations we know today were first described in ancient Babylon. Among these are the 12 constellations representing the signs of the zodiac. These played—and still play—an important role in astrology. The names of many of the constellations that we know today are from Greek mythology. Names like Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Hercules can still be found on modern-day star charts.

 

Star Charts from the Past

About 150 C.E., the Greek astronomer Ptolemy created a summary of the astronomical knowledge of his time. This summary, entitled Almagest contains a list of 48 constellations. Charts and atlases of the sky that were made in the centuries after Ptolemy usually featured the same 48 constellations. In fact, until about the 16th century, the number of constellations did not change. Later, 40 other constellations were added. In 1922 the International Astronomical Union officially adopted the list of these 88 constellations.

Besides constellations, Ptolemy’s publication includes a list of more than a thousand stars, with information about their brightness and their position in the sky. Why, however, are most ancient constellations located in the northern sky? That is because the practice of regarding certain groups of stars as constellations originated in the Mediterranean area, where the northern sky is visible. Only later, when man began to explore the southern sky, were new constellations identified. Some of these newer constellations have names such as Chemical Furnace, Pendulum Clock, Microscope, and Telescope.

 

“The Christian Starry Sky”

In 1627, German scholar Julius Schiller published a star atlas with the title Coelum Stellatum Christianum (The Christian Starry Sky). He felt that the time had come to depaganize the sky. Thus, he set out to remove the pagan figures from the sky and replace them with figures from the Bible. The book The Mapping of the Heavens explains that he designated “the northern heavens to the New Testament and the southern to the Old Testament.” “The southern hemisphere was changed into a parade of Old Testament subjects—Job takes the place of the Indian and the Peacock, the Centaur is changed into Abraham and Isaac.” In the Northern Hemisphere, “Cassiopeia becomes Mary Magdalen, Perseus St Paul, while the twelve Zodiac signs are conveniently replaced by the twelve apostles.”

Only one small constellation survived this cleanup. That was Columba (Dove), which supposedly represented the dove that Noah sent out to find dry land.

Maps in Transition

In time, the appearance of star charts changed. In the 17th century, after the invention of the telescope, a need arose for charts that gave more precise positions of the stars. Also, the elaborate decorations that cluttered earlier charts became less prominent and eventually disappeared. Today, most star atlases contain only stars, star clusters, nebulas, galaxies, and other objects of interest to the observer of the night sky.

Amidst the 19th century, catalogs that were more comprehensive began to be made. One of the pioneers in this field was German astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander. Together with a number of assistants, he began the huge undertaking of making a catalog of the stars in the northern sky. With a telescope, they located about 325,000 stars and measured the position and the degree of brightness of each of them. Since the observatory in which they worked was located in the German city of Bonn, the catalog became known as the Bonner Durchmusterung (Bonn Overall Survey), published in 1863. After Argelander’s death, his work was continued by one of his assistants who mapped the stars of the southern sky and published his work as the Südliche Bonner Durchmusterung (Bonn Southern Overall Survey).

 

Today and Tomorrow

The work of Argelander and his successors was followed by even better catalogs. However, in more recent years, after the arrival of space telescopes, unheard-of mapmaking feats became possible. With the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have now compiled a catalog that contains approximately 15 million stars!

A recent development in the mapping of the heavens is the publishing of two new catalogs by the European Space Agency. These are based on observations made with the space telescope of the Hipparcos satellite. Based on these catalogs, new printed star atlases have been created. One is a comprehensive atlas in three volumes called the Millennium Star Atlas.