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Let’s be real: Bad habits can drain the life out of us. Sitting too long, avoiding exercise, eating a poor diet, smoking, or missing sleep can take their toll on our mental and physical health.
Often, unhealthy habits make us feel good in the moment, so we keep repeating them: binge-watching our favorite Netflix series, snacking when we’re not hungry, overusing pain killers, or spending hours on social media. Healthy habits can be as addictive as bad habits, but they’re much more rewarding in the long run — whether it’s a lower risk for disease, increased fitness, desired weight loss, or improved energy and mood.
Create healthy habits starting with small, reasonable goals. For example, make a plan to brush and floss more often, drink water in place of sugary beverages, or turn off the screen and head outdoors for a walk every day. Keep track of your progress and ask for support from family and friends. Reward yourself when you reach a goal, and if you have a setback, start again.
Metro Detroit health professionals offer a range of tips and solutions that can help improve your health, turn back the clock, and lift your spirits. Healthy habits make a body good.
Q: How can I get a great, new smile?
A: A beautiful smile starts with a healthy mouth. Dental problems have been linked to many systemic diseases and health concerns. Take care of your oral health by brushing, flossing, and rinsing often, especially at bedtime. Follow a healthy diet. Avoid sipping and snacking on sugary or starchy treats. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, or reach for a slice of “anti-cavity” cheese like aged cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss. Help prevent cavities by chewing gum that contains xylitol and sip fluoridated water to help prevent mineral loss from your tooth enamel and to replace lost minerals for stronger teeth.
It’s important to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you’ve been avoiding the dentist due to fear, anxiety, or lack of time, sedation dentistry may be the perfect solution to improve your oral health and enhance your smile.
“You can be completely relaxed while having a series of complex dental problems taken care of in as little as one visit. Sedation is also a great option for those who have pain in areas of their body that make it difficult to sit in a dental chair,” says Dr. Craig Goldin, who has advanced training and certification in IV sedation.
“If you’re uncomfortable having your teeth cleaned, be assured that our hygienists are skilled in the use of laughing gas and local anesthesia for a more relaxing experience,” notes Dr. Marcy Goldin, an adjunct clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
Eating should be a nourishing, comfortable, and enjoyable experience, but it can be difficult when you have pain or other dental health problems. “If you have mouth pain from hopeless teeth and you don’t want to wear dentures that can shift or slip, Teeth Tomorrow Prettau zirconia implant bridges are a life-changing alternative. Whether you’re missing one tooth or more, we can replace them with beautiful, natural-looking dental implants,” says Dr. Craig Goldin, a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. “State-of-the-art dental implants and Prettau zirconia implant bridges can last a lifetime and allow you to smile, chew, and speak comfortably, with renewed confidence.”
“We provide an array of the latest dental techniques, including porcelain veneers, one-visit CEREC porcelain crowns, Invisalign invisible braces, and Fastbraces,” adds Dr. David Whalen. “Cosmetic dentistry can transform your smile, and improve your bite and overall dental health. A new, picture-perfect smile will make you feel younger, more attractive, and better overall, so that you’ll never want to stop smiling.”
Q: Is there a minimally invasive procedure to correct receding gums?
A: With the Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique, receding gums are typically treated with no cutting, no stitches, and virtually no pain. Periodontist Dr. Joseph Nemeth was the first gum specialist in Michigan to be certified in the use of this minimally invasive technique by its originator and developer, Dr. John Chao.
“When gums recede, your teeth look much longer and your smile looks older. This condition also can lead to tooth sensitivity, decay, and bone loss,” Dr. Nemeth explains. “Using the Pinhole Technique, we make a small pinhole in the gum above the teeth to be treated. With special instruments we loosen up the gum tissue and bring it down over the receded areas, where it should be. This improves the smile tremendously and prevents further gum and bone recession and loss.”
Dr. Nemeth then places platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) through the pinhole. A membrane derived from the patient’s own blood, PRF increases the blood supply in the gums, speeds healing, and further enhances the result.
The Pinhole Technique offers many advantages over traditional gum grafting, including no incisions or sutures, less discomfort, and a faster recovery, Dr. Nemeth says. “It’s a great technique. Patients do well and are extremely happy to have a healthier, more attractive smile.”
Q: What are some movement habits that I can adopt to maintain an active lifestyle as I age?
A: According to physical therapist and Pilates instructor Ron Jegadeesh, owner of Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center, it’s important to move every day.
Whether you’re walking, biking, gardening, or taking an exercise class, just 10 to 20 minutes of daily exercise makes a difference. “Patients I see who make exercise a part of their daily routine look and act younger,” Jegadeesh says. “Also, they’re more likely to stay injury-free and to recover much quicker from an injury than those who do not exercise.”
Jegadeesh recommends including these healthy movement habits:
- Change positions frequently. Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time. If you have a sedentary job, be sure to stand up and take a break every hour.
- Practice correct posture and alignment. Sit and stand tall with the spine neutral, shoulders relaxed, and your head on top of your spine.
- Add strength training to your exercise routine. “We lose muscle mass as we age,” Jegadeesh explains. “Therefore, adding resistance to a workout will help maintain muscle tone. Pilates is an excellent way to gain strength while maintaining proper alignment.”
Q: How can I maintain my cosmetic surgery results for years to come?
A: With the confidence you gain from an improved appearance, it may be easier than you think to keep up your new look. Consider these healthy habits and lifestyle tips:
- Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, stay well-hydrated, and make exercise a part of your daily routine. If you’ve had body-contouring procedures, a good diet and exercise can help keep your weight within a stable range to protect your new figure. Start with walking or other non-strenuous activity during your recovery.
- To ensure optimal healing and fading of your incisions, follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions, which may include restricted activity. Protect your scars from the sun, keep the area clean, and use topical scar care creams or ointments approved by your physician. We recommend Embrace, a unique scar therapy system that uses state-of-the- art technology to actively prevent scar formation. As you heal, ask your surgeon to prescribe the best medical-grade skin care products to maintain and enhance your cosmetic surgery results — especially if you’ve had facial procedures.
- Review your use of medications, vitamins, and supplements with your surgeon. If you smoke, quit — before and after surgery. Smoking increases the risk of complications and promotes signs of aging. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and reduce stress to help ensure optimal, long-term surgery outcomes.
Dr. Ellen Janetzke offers a full range of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery options, including face and skin treatments. Call today for a personalized consultation.
Q: I tore my ACL while playing soccer. How will I know when I’m able to get back to playing again after surgery?
A: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most common knee injuries that occurs in sports involving running, jumping, sudden stops, or a change in direction (cutting). At Team Rehabilitation, physical therapists design customized plans of care that include range of motion, strength, balance, and sport-specific activities to help athletes with sports injuries get back in the game.
“We do functional testing to track the progress of our patients. For example, we might do a single-leg, 20-meter hop test to compare how fast the patient can move on their injured leg and on their other leg,” says Gwynne Waters, PT, DPT, OMPT, SCS, vice president Programs, Education and Research, and clinic director Bloomfield 2.
“We also use the innovative dorsaVi Movement Suite, which detects motion that can’t be seen by the human eye, for testing. During an in-clinic assessment, the patient wears wireless sensors that record data at 200 frames per second, measuring range of motion, acceleration, and muscle activity.
“As we take the patient through a series of movements, the wearable sensors provide specific, detailed information that help us evaluate whether the patient is physically ready to safely return to sport or if additional rehabilitation exercise is needed,” Waters adds. “Patients who are not yet cleared to return to their sport can look at the data with their physical therapist and feel confident seeing the gains they’ve made.”
Q: How does the health of my mouth affect the rest of my body?
A: Without good oral hygiene, harmful bacteria can multiply, causing infection and inflammation in the gums. These bacteria are free to travel through the bloodstream and body, where they continue growing — triggering an inflammatory response far from the mouth. The damage from neglecting your teeth multiplies quickly. It is now believed that this inflammation is responsible for triggering an increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, stroke, low-birth-weight babies, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, erectile dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider these tools and healthy habits to prevent the buildup of disease-causing bacteria:
- Brush your teeth and your tongue at least twice a day. Try an electric toothbrush for more thorough cleaning and to help power away plaque. Sonic and ultrasonic electric toothbrushes offer even more vibrational speed and cleaning movements.
- Floss at least once daily, especially at bedtime. Use stringed floss, flossing picks, or try a water flosser to more effectively remove bacteria between the teeth and below the gum line.
- Do not rely on mouthwash to clean your mouth.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet that is low in sugar and simple carbohydrates. To lower inflammation, drink green tea and eat foods containing cinnamon, turmeric, fennel, and cardamom.
- If you’re a smoker, quit, as smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease.
- Schedule dental checkups and cleanings twice a year, or more if needed.
Periodontal disease screening and oral bacteria screening can be done painlessly and easily. Call today to schedule an assessment with Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel.
Q: I eat healthy and exercise regularly, but I’m still tired all the time and I can’t lose weight. What’s going on?
A: After the age of 30, hormone levels gradually decline each year, resulting in hormone imbalance in both men and women. Hormone imbalance is directly responsible for many negative effects on quality of life and health, including: decreased energy levels, decreased sex drive, weight gain, loss of muscle mass and tone, decreased concentration and memory, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, night sweats, depressed mood, a loss of one’s general sense of well-being, and much more.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the science of correcting hormone imbalances with the goal of restoring youthful, optimal hormone levels and relieving the symptoms of hormone imbalance and deficiency. The natural hormones prescribed by Genemedics’ medical doctor are safe and effective because they’re identical to the hormones our bodies produce.
The team at Genemedics has seen astonishing results in the lives of their patients, who are healthier, happier, and have dramatically improved their quality of life. Their comprehensive natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy programs, combined with proper nutrition and exercise, will return you to the optimal physical, sexual, and emotional health you experienced in your 20s and 30s. Contact them today and get started on the path to a younger, healthier you!
Q: My baggy lower eyelids make me look tired and older. Is there a treatment that can fix this problem?
A: Minimally invasive lower eyelid surgery is a no-stich “bag” removal that dramatically improves the appearance of the area around the eyes. Ophthalmic and facial plastic surgeon Dr. Evan Black says the outpatient treatment rarely involves an incision in the skin.
“It’s a 30- to 40-minute procedure with local anesthesia and sedation for comfort. Since we’re not cutting or removing any skin, surgery risks are significantly reduced. We also use a fractional CO2 laser to diminish wrinkles, improve the tone and tighten up the delicate skin in the lower eyelids. After surgery, patients have swelling and bruising around the eyes for a few days to about a week.”
Typically, lower eyelid bags are the result of genetics and aging. It’s not unusual for some people to notice bags under their eyes at a younger age.
“We see patients in their early 30s to the 80s. Lower eyelid surgery is our most popular aesthetic surgery for both men and women,” Dr. Black adds. “It’s a permanent solution that can turn back the clock and help you maintain a natural, youthful look.”
If you’re tired of living with drooping lower eyelids, call today to schedule a consultation with an expert facial plastic surgeon.
Q: What is balance and how does it affect my wellness?
A: Balance is the holistic experience of being grounded, or centered. It occurs at those times wherein we have chosen to invest equitable amounts of time and energy into body, mind, and spirit. It’s a state of congruence that requires a willingness to honestly and deliberately focus upon the integrity of self. When we choose such a path, every aspect of our life is enhanced, and we become comfortable (well) inside of our own skin.
Tips for bringing balance into your life include:
- With pen and paper, list your core values.
- Provide yourself 10 minutes each day of quiet solitude to contemplate your core values and the ways in which your behavior is congruent with them.
- Create a gratitude list, and let the people that you hold dear know that you appreciate them.
- Practice what you preach. Be mindful of your thoughts and actions. Apologize when appropriate.
- Drink plenty of water. More often than not, we confuse dehydration with hunger.
- Eat a nutrient-rich diet.
- Exercise no less than 120 minutes a week (30 minutes four times a week).
- Be helpful. Do something each day that benefits someone else.
Q: I have joint pain. Are there any nonsurgical, drug-free therapies can help me?
A: Stem cells are specialized cells that seek out inflammation and degeneration in the body and then work to regenerate damaged tissue. Although stem cells rapidly decline with age, advanced treatments using human umbilical cord stem cells have been shown to help repair and regenerate muscle, bone, cartilage, and tendons. FDA-cleared stem cell injections and infusions are used to treat joint damage and pain, injuries, and a wide variety of other health complications.
Platelet-rich plasma (PrP) therapy uses blood taken from your arm which is then processed to concentrate the growth factor-enriched platelets. This solution is injected into damaged tissues to stimulate a natural healing response and promote tissue rejuvenation. Under ultrasound guidance, PrP therapy is used for a variety of joint conditions to repair cartilage, reduce acute and chronic pain, speed recovery, and improve function.
Q: What are the benefits of collagen for our skin?
A: When it comes to overall healthy skin, collagen is the name of the game. It affects elasticity, texture, and the vibrancy in the tone of the skin. As we age, collagen production slows down. This collagen breakdown affects all areas of skin, due to lifestyle and gravity.
A balanced diet combined with a good skincare routine can promote a faster rate of collagen growth and support the collagen you have. Daily sun protection of SPF30 or higher is paramount. Using products containing antioxidants, growth factors, and peptides, along with retinol in the evening, is an excellent, well-rounded protocol.
A fast-growing segment in skincare technology is tissue-tightening with respect to feminine rejuvenation. Changes to the skin due to age, hormones, and post-childbirth changes due to weight fluctuations, skin laxity, and appearance are major concerns that more women are talking about. There’s now a discreet and comfortable solution: a nonsurgical, in-office treatment called Viveve that can greatly improve quality of life. By addressing varying degrees of bladder leakage (i.e., occurring with a laugh or sneeze, physical activities, urge urinary incontinence) and sexual dysfunction (i.e., dryness or pain), invaluable self-confidence is restored.