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Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Finding a good dentist can be as difficult as, or even more difficult than, finding a good doctor. It can be especially difficult for those of us who have extreme dental fears. At one time, going to a new dentist can be quite terrifying because of the techniques that dentists used to use. Today, there is little need for fear, because modern dentistry can be almost painless. But, before you can get any dental work done, you need to find a dentist. Here are some tips to help you find the best dentist for you and your family, including where to find a dentist and what to look for.

Where to find a dentist

The first thing you need to do is to start looking around for a dentist in your area. Most people start with Google.

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“For example, if you live in Gainesville, VA you can search in Google “dentist in Gainesville VA” and see the results. Also, you can ask friends and family members who they recommend. Ask them about their experiences with their dentists, including how long office visits usually last, what treatments are offered, how long you will be stuck in the waiting room, if they deal with dental emergencies,and how billing is handled,” suggests Dr. Ahmed Ezze from Easy Dental Care.

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Personal recommendations go a long way, so ask everyone you know who they trust with their oral hygiene.

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If you are moving ask your current dentist to give some recommendations. Also, it’s a great idea to contact the American Dental Society to get references. Schedule a few consultations with dentists in the area to choose one you’re comfortable with. Pay attention to the nearest dental school clinic or hospital dental department, especially if it is affiliated with a major university.

What to look for in a dentist

Not all dentists offer the same services. For instance, some just deal with general dentistry, and don’t do any real amount of cosmetic dentistry. Here are some of the things to look for in a good dentist.

  • Location – Obviously, one of the first things to look at is location. It is best to find a dentist that is near you, so you don’t have to travel for appointments. There are few things worse than having to drive for an hour or more after you have had any major dental work done and all you want to do is sleep.
  • Office Hours – These days, not all dentists work a typical nine-to-five day. This is because there are so many people who work irregular hours, and they may not be able to get for appointments during regular business hours. Look for a dentist who works within your schedule so you always know that you will be able to get an appointment when you need one.
  • Payments – It is particularly important that you ask about how billing is done. Make sure that the dentist accepts your insurance carrier. It is also good if they will offer a variety of payment options, including checks, credit cards, and payment plans.
  • Your Fears – Some dentists actually advertise that they specialize in dealing with patients who have dental fears. If you are one of these patients, this is something that you definitely need to look into. You also need to know that your dentist is going to be willing to answer questions and make sure that you are comfortable with any procedures that they need to do.
  • Qualifications – In addition to knowing where they attended dental school, there are other professional qualifications you need to look for. The staff should be more than willing to answer any questions you have about office hygiene, infection control, etc. You can also get a lot of information from your local dental society.
  • Emergency Care – It is extremely important to find a dentist that offers after-hours emergency care. After all, not all dental emergencies are going to happen during regular business hours. You don’t want a dentist who is simply going to refer you to the emergency room at the local hospital. You want to know that your dentist is going to be there when you really need them.

Featured photo credit: Kawaii Tooth/Jenn and Tony Bot via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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