Author Archives: Ivan Earls

Patience and Practice: Teaching Your Kid to Swallow Pills

Variety of medicines and drugsWhen it comes to children’s medicines, most parents are likely to choose chewable ones or those in liquid form. If this is the same for you, it is important to know that some medicines work best when taken as a tablet. Certain pills, furthermore, should never be chewed or crushed, as they are designed to work gradually. This is why it is important to teach your kid how to swallow pills.

Take it Easy

The ideal age at which children should learn this habit varies. Note the every kid is unique, so it is best to do it when your little one seems motivated to learn something. In most cases, kids should be at least four years old, but there is no need to pressure. It is best to start with something small (like mini M&Ms), then gradually increase the size, until you can move to a non-chewable pill or tablet.

Be a Role Model

Pediatric doctors in Lehi note that when kids are about to swallow their first pill, explain first the importance of taking medicines so they will not feel scared about it. You might also want to demonstrate how it is done by taking one of your vitamins or pills. Be sure to stay calm, as being nervous will cause your child to feel the same way. Also, avoid giving negative feedback if they didn’t do it right the first time.

Things to Do

Start by having your kid sit up straight. Let him take a few sips of water to practice the act of swallowing. This will also prevent dry mouth, which can make swallowing difficult, or cause the tablet or capsule to stick to the tongue. Proceed with placing the medicine on your kid’s tongue and let him drink water again.

If your child did it, praise him or acknowledge his effort. If not, tell him that it’s fine and you can always try again. If your child is reluctant, it is best to take a break and try again some other time. Note that some kids may find it difficult, so be patient and keep on practicing. You may, however, want to see a doctor if your kid is very anxious about taking new medicines or trying new things.

Preventing and Controlling Tartar Buildup

Woman having dental check upApart from contributing to bad breath, plaque compromises the health of your teeth and gums. When not removed, this colorless film of bacteria can harden and lead to tartar or calculus buildup. Hardened plaque is difficult to remove, with other repercussions like cavities, gum irritation, and periodontal disease.

Tartar usually forms underneath the gum line, which then gives the plaque more area to grow and multiply. The sad part about this is that it’s more porous than plaque, making it more susceptible to stains. Discoloration with yellowish or brownish deposits at the gum line or lower front teeth are the most common signs of tartar.

The good news is you can prevent tartar from forming, as well its repercussions. Dentists in Bloomington, MN share how:

  • Brush and floss. Be sure to brush your teeth at least two times a day, two minutes each. Research suggests that powered toothbrushes are more effective than normal brushes when removing plaque. Flossing is also necessary to remove the plaque that collects between two teeth, which is also beneficial in reducing the likelihood of gum disease.
  • Mind your diet. The bacteria in your mouth grow and multiply using the sugar and starch from the foods you eat. This makes it important to eat a healthy and balanced diet, while also limiting the sugary food and beverages you consume. Note that every time you eat or snack fuels the bacteria in your mouth. Avoid mindless snacking and drink water to rinse your mouth and minimize plaque.
  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, quit. This benefits not just your lungs, but also your whole mouth. Research suggests that smoking or using tobacco products increase your risk of developing hardened plaque, as it is a known factor that promotes tartar accumulation. The habit is also associated with gum disease, tooth stains, and bad breath.

Don’t let plaque accumulate and become tartar. Note that when this forms on the teeth, only a dentist or a hygienist can remove it. Hardened plaque that accumulates above the gum can damage the gums and cause periodontal disease.

Effective Ways to Exercise

Effective Ways to Exercise and Stay Motivated

Effective Ways to ExerciseExercise does not only help you lose weight, it also has additional benefits of helping reduce risks for diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, and even some types of cancers. Moreover, it also helps boost your self-esteem and mood, as well as have an increased energy.

But, while most people do want to get fit, they rarely find the time and energy to actually exercise—particularly the recommended half hour to an hour each day. QLD Kettlebells shares more information below:

Break it up

Why not try breaking your exercise time into chunks? During weekdays when presumable you are busiest, you can sneak in your exercise if you break it up into 5 to 10 minute chunks. Walk to the office if you can. Take the stairs, if possible. Or how about 5 minutes of jumping jacks in the morning?

While these exercises can prove to be beneficial, do keep in mind that they are more supplemental in nature. On your less busy days, try a full hour workout. Keep at least a once a week regular fitness routine to ensure that you get the full effects of exercising.

Keep it fun

Exercise should not be a chore. While it is necessary, you should not feel like that you’re simply obligated to do so. Think about activities that you do enjoy and pair that with exercise. Love music? Tune up your radio and start dancing! Love animals? Try getting a dog for a pet. Walking your dog is not just going to be a bonding time between the two of you—you’d get some exercise, too.

Make it a social activity

Exercising can get boring if you’re doing it alone. Having friends while exercising will not only make it more fun, it can also help keep your motivation up. A team sport, such as soccer or volleyball, is a perfect pick-up activity that can double as exercise. If you’re not into competitive activities, taking dance or kettlebell classes will probably be more right up your alley.


Vein Care Tips for Frequent Travelers

TravelersFrequent travelers think that their active lifestyle will lessen their risk of incurring diseases. Travelers are also at risk, especially for those taking long journeys, unfortunately. Studies suggest that they are at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

DVT happens due to blood clot formation in veins of the legs, arms and heart. This disease can be life threatening if left untreated. If you’re a frequent traveler, here are things you can do to prevent it:

Pre-travel checkup

The last thing you want to do is suffer the disease while on a trip. See a doctor before traveling especially if you have drinking or smoking habits, you’re obese or pregnant. The chances of getting DVT are higher for people with those conditions. You may also have to check their treatment options for DVT if you’re showing symptoms like swellings, pains or tenderness in your legs.

Wear comfortable outfits

Ill-fitting clothes and shoes may increase your chances of getting the disease. These may clog your veins and lead to blood clots. Wear loose clothes when you travel. Alternate between heels and flats to prevent clots on your ankles. If you’re already at risk of DVT, wear compression stockings and other articles to keep the blood flowing.

Move around

A 2007 study revealed that travelers have the highest risk of venous diseases. Hours of sitting in cramped positions common in long travels slow down the blood flow through the vein, thus causing blood clots. Exercise on your seat if you’re in for a long flight. Move your arms and legs, stretch and walk along the cabin to maintain your blood circulation.

Right diet

What you eat might render your efforts to prevent DVT useless if you’re taking anticoagulant drugs. Eat less of foods rich in vitamin K like green leafy vegetables to make the drug more effective. It also helps if you stay hydrated with water during the trip. Drinking alcohol or coffee not only dehydrates you, but also increases your chances of developing blood clots.

While DVT is not life-threatening most of the time, the traveler’s lifestyle might aggravate it and lead to early demise. By taking these steps, you’re not only making your travel safe, but also reducing the health risks early.

tooth decay

Tooth Decay: The Most Expensive Diet-Related Disease in Australia

tooth decayThe Australian Dental Association‘s (ADA) objective is to encourage all Australians to take care of their oral health.  Good oral health is the absence of active disease in the mouth. It affects people’s overall well-being and self-esteem.  To promote this advocacy, the association annually celebrates a Dental Health Week.  This brings awareness about good oral habits.

Last 2014, the program’s theme was about sugar consumption. Research reveals that Australian children are overdosing on sugar based on the findings of University of Wollongong and University of Sydney researchers. Dr. Timothy Gill, its Principal Research Fellow, said,  “The results indicate that current diets of Australian children remain high in added sugars.”

This lead to tooth decay, the most common oral health problem kids encounter nowadays.

How Bad is a Tooth Decay?

The tooth gets damaged when bacteria go into the mouth and then make acids that eat away at a tooth, leaving it with a hole called a cavity – the start of a tooth decay. This can cause pain, infection and tooth loss, which leads to chewing difficulty, causing under nutrition and impaired physical development.  It is a fact that children suffering from severe tooth decay may weigh significantly less than those who don’t.

Psychologically, it causes children to have difficulties, leading to school absences, difficulty concentrating, and even poor appearance. If left untreated, it may lead to gingivitis, which usually precedes periodontitis.  In extreme cases, these problems may lead to more serious problems,  including heart attack and dementia.

Childhood dental decay is increasing in Australia, according to ADA. The country’s National Health and Medical Research Council said that the incidence of this problem continues to rise and has become the most expensive diet-related disease in the country.

The Good News

The good news is it is highly preventable! Have your kids visit their dentists – they can assist you with practices and treatment that your children need.

Remember, the key to having good oral health is not in complicated procedures, but in following basic regimen. Teach your children to take care of their teeth as early as possible to avoid problems in their adulthood.

Wisdom Teeth

Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom TeethPatients who undergo wisdom teeth extractions often wonder where all these teeth come from.

According to anthropologists, the third set of molars—which people generally refer to as wisdom teeth—were an evolutionary necessity suited for the diet of human ancestors. Since people depended on coarser diets in days of old, they needed much more chewing power than we do today.

Lacking in Wisdom Teeth

Often times, wisdom teeth do not come out properly, if at all, and that is where the problem lies. This makes teeth vulnerable to disease and need extraction to protect the overall health of the mouth. It is hard to reach these teeth, making them more prone to bacteria. There is also the problem of having food trapped in between teeth, causing plaque, cavities, and gum disease.

Though many people have to deal with wisdom teeth and the pains they commonly bring, there are the rare ones who are lucky enough to not have to go through the often painful ordeal. This does not mean, however, that they lack wisdom teeth altogether.

Growing Under the Radar

Highlands Ranch Dental Group says although some people may think that they never grew wisdom teeth, the truth is that they simply do not erupt. Such is the case of most impacted teeth. Whether or not you do have them, only your dentist can tell you for sure.

A Question of Higher Evolution?

If wisdom teeth are a link to the past in which people have already outgrown the uses, then this brings up the question of whether or not people lacking wisdom teeth are more highly evolved than the rest.

Wisdom teeth are a part of growing up for most of us. For the few lucky enough to never go through the pain—especially in impacted cases—it is well and good. Unfortunately, more people still have to deal with them. It is important to determine whether or not wisdom teeth can be functional or prone to causing problems down the road.

Always consult your dentist and make it a point to keep your regular appointments to make sure you won’t have to go through the pains of wisdom teeth complications.

white capsule supplement

Protect Yourself and Buy Quality Over-the counter Medicine

white capsule supplementYou take a paracetamol for headaches, aspirin for fevers, and ibuprofen for body pain. Like most people, chances are you don’t visit the doctor to get a prescription when experiencing minor and usual issues with your body. After all, you can easily purchase these over-the counter(OTC) medicine at your nearest pharmacy.

However, Jolley’s Sandy Compounding Pharmacy says it is important to practice utmost safety when buying OTC drugs.

Check your medical history

Unless you are keeping track of all your illnesses and the medicines you’ve taken, you should consult your personal or family doctor about OTC drugs that your body can take. Discuss your options to understand the possibility of allergic reactions and the likely effects of different OTC drugs on your body.

Carefully read the label

While the Food and Drug Administration has set guidelines and standards for labelling medicine, it’s still safer to make sure that the bottle you are holding has the right information. Read the label carefully to find the active ingredients and determine the right dosage, especially for kids. Also see the warnings particularly about pregnancy and allergy information.

Always, always check the expiry date

You do not want to take expired medicine. This may be far-fetched these days because expiry dates are clearly printed in all medicine packaging, but be on the safe side and always verify. The employees in your local pharmacy in Draper have probably been extra careful when stocking their medicine supplies but there’s still the possibility of human error in logistics.

Approach the pharmacist for help

When in doubt regarding which medicine to take for skin itch or toothache, you can approach the pharmacist for assistance. They may not be directly authorized to advise customers on OTC drugs, but their experience and extensive knowledge in medicine can help you choose the right generic or branded medicine.

While it is possible to self-diagnose and understand what medicine the body needs for the moment, it’s still better to consult a physician. You can play doctor sometimes but you should exercise caution if you want to protect yourself.

Stents: What Keeps Arteries Clog-Free

naypong@freedigitalphotos.netDid you know that 25% of deaths in the United States every year is because of heart disease? Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that heart disease has an average death toll of 600,000. It is the most notorious cause of death in the country.

As such, you need to be aware of how to not be part of the statistic. This means you should avoid having clogged arteries. If you don’t, your heart will work thrice as hard. When push comes to shove, you’ll need medical intervention to unclog the artery through the use of stents.

The Function of Stents

But what exactly are stents? describes a stent as a small tube designed to go through a blocked passageway. Usually, stents are either plastic or metal, although there are tiny tubes made of specialized fabric for certain cases. Most commonly, doctors use this tube for clogged arteries, where it normalizes the flow of blood to and from the heart.

Its function, however, is not limited to cardiac care. In certain conditions, physicians may use stents to open the passageway of ureters, bronchi, and bile ducts. There are also instances when a stent becomes necessary to treat a brain aneurysm.

Risks and Safety Measures

As with any medical procedure, the use of stents does carry some risks. The medication, which coats the tube, for one, may trigger an allergic reaction. Bleeding, blood clots, and blockage are also possible risks.

Fortunately, doctors have an effective safety measure in place to avoid these potential risks: proper preparation. Prior to the insertion, doctors ask a few questions and perform a background check on the patient. During the procedure (which is non-invasive, most of the time), doctors use an angiogram and a camera to guide the stent properly.

Thanks to stents, doctors have prevented hundreds of cases of heart attacks. But although this technology is helpful in combating heart disease, your best bet is still to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid hospitalizations and complications altogether.

Great Posture

Look and Feel Good: Maintaining Great Posture as You Age

Great PostureCompared to cosmetic procedures like a face lift, great posture will make you look younger and more vibrant. It contributes to a better appearance by keeping bones and joints in correct alignment so that muscles are properly used. It can also make you appear thinner, taller, and a lot more confident.

Most people, however, have a posture that is compromised in some way. Some tend to hunch over when standing, while others often slouch when sitting. Less-than perfect posture also comes with old age, including spine problems and misalignment.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get your good posture back. Peterson Chiropractic shares a few suggestions on maintaining great posture as you age.

Boost Core Strength

Exercises such as yoga and Pilates can help strengthen your core, or the muscles of your pelvic area and abdomen. These muscles contribute to maintaining great posture, while a strong core can also improve your athletic performance. They can also increase body awareness and strengthen muscles in your entire body.

Sit up Straight

If you have a sedentary job, it is important to sit up with straight, distributing your weight evenly and maintaining a natural hollow in your back. Maintaining good posture all the time, however, can take some time to get used to. You can try doing exercises that focus on body awareness to help you stay seated straight.

Provide Spine Support

Weakening muscles around the spine is common for aging women and men. Performing exercises that target side muscles, neck flexors, and back extensors can help. Physical fitness trainers can help, as well as using specialized machines. Increasing endurance in the trunk muscles group can also contribute to good posture.

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Older men and women can avoid the ‘dowager’s hump’ by doing some weight-bearing exercises. These include weight lifting, stair climbing and walking. People who spend more time walking or doing exercises tend to have better bone density than those who don’t.

Other than these tips, it is also important to eat healthy and maintain a balanced diet. It is advisable to get the recommended daily calcium requirement by consuming the right food. Calcium-rich foods include milk, dark leafy greens, soybeans, and salmon.

Retirement Life

A New Beginning: What to Expect Upon Retirement

Retirement LifeRetirement is one of those things that seem unreal in your 20s, something you mostly ignore in your 30s, but certainly looming in your 40s and 50s. Recently though, young people have become savvier when it comes to handling money so some have actually started preparing for their retirement as early as their mid-20s.

Apparently, working on a retirement plan as early as you can has its benefits. For one, professionals can retire early and are more prepared for the surprises that retirement brings. And there are plenty of surprises.

North Carolina offers a pretty good retirement package whether you start early or you start late with your planning. cites that NC’s retirement scheme enables professionals to ease into retirement without much hitch. There are packages that offer Coble Healthcare, Memory Care, Adult Day Care, and Rehabilitation Services.

Being prepared monetarily is one thing, though, and being prepared psychologically is another. One of the things that actually surprise retirees is the amount of time they have on their hands and how it can unbelievably overwhelming once you find yourself with nothing to do. It’s like looking at a new life and you have to fill all these hours and days and weeks with something other than work. Therefore, it is advisable to have a game plan prior to retiring.

Some choose to dive into things that they have always been passionate about, like travelling, creating art, or writing. Others start a new business with their retirement pay. One of the misconceptions about retiring is that it is the end of days, that it is the beginning of an end. One should realize that retirement offers a chance to build a new life. It is an exciting chapter waiting to be filled with new adventures.

Granted that you have done your homework well in advance and that your NC retirement plans have made it possible to actually enjoy life, you must remember that retirement can either be a rough transition or an easy one depending on how well prepared you are. The big piece of advice perhaps is that it is never too early to worry about post-retirement plans, and be realistic and be ready for a new set of adventures.

It is definitely not the end but more like a new happy beginning.