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Monday, March 31, 2014

Are You Earthquake Ready?

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over a long time.

For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth, as the huge plates that form the earth’s surface slowly move over, under and past each other. Sometimes, the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release accumulated energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

All 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes.  Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year.

The 2011 East Coast earthquake illustrated the fact that it is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur, so it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.

Before An Earthquake

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake.

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.
During An Earthquake

Drop, cover and Hold On. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If Indoors
  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
If Outdoors
  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a Moving Vehicle
  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If Trapped Under Debris
  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
  • When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly and people with access and functional needs. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home had been damaged and is no longer safe. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
  • Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
  • After it is determined that its’ safe to return, your safety should be your primary priority as you begin clean up and recovery.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
  • Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
  • Inspect utilities.
    • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
    • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
    • Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.
Information for this post was taken from the following site, please visit it for more information: http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes

Friday, March 21, 2014

Your temper may affect your health

According to a study by Harvard School of Public Health, people who have angry outbursts appear to be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially within the first two hours of an outburst. In reviewing data from nine studies involving thousands of people, the researchers found heart attack risk increased about five times in the two hours after an outburst; the risk of stroke more than tripled. A 2002 University of California, San Francisco meta-analysis of the relationship between depression and heart disease indicated that people with clinical depression had a 2.7% increased risk of getting heart disease.

The good news is that positive thinking may be good for your heart. That is the lecture topic of Dr. Kubzansky, associate professor of society, human development, and health at Harvard School of Public Health. Researchers speculate that positive emotions may evoke healthy behavioral responses in people, such as making them less likely to smoke or drink or more likely to exercise. So, don't worry (or be angry); be happy for better health!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

World Oral Health Day 2014

World Oral Health Day (WOHD) 2014 is March 20th.  

Daily Tips for Good Oral Health
Bacteria can live in your mouth in the form of plaque, causing cavities and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. In order to keep your mouth clean, you must practice good  oral hygiene every day.

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth, including where toothbrushes can't reach. Many of the foods you eat cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugary foods are obvious sources of plaque, but there are others that you might not realize can cause harm. Starches—such as bread, crackers, and cereal—also cause acids to form. Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, sensitive, and susceptible to bleeding. This can lead to gum disease, in which gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that fill with bacteria and pus. If the gums are not treated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed and teeth may become loose or have to be removed.

How can I get rid of plaque?
The best way to remove plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day.  Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces. Brush your teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your toothbrush should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily. Use an antimicrobial toothpaste containing fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. Clean between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners to remove plaque from between the teeth, where the toothbrush can't reach. Flossing is essential to prevent gum disease.

How do I brush and floss my teeth?
The American Dental Association recommends the following techniques for brushing and flossing your teeth:

Brushing
• Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
• Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
• Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
• Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
• Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Flossing
• Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
• Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
• When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
• Bring the floss back toward the contact point between the teeth and move the floss up or down the other side, conforming the floss to the shape of the tooth.
• Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.
• Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.

Is there anything else I can use to clean my mouth?
A mouth rinse, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, can increase the cleanliness of your mouth. Antimicrobial mouth rinses reduce bacteria and plaque activity, which cause gingivitis and gum disease. Fluoride mouth rinses also help reduce and prevent tooth decay. Always talk to your dentist about any new products you are interested in trying. Not everyone should use a fluoride mouth rinse. For instance, fluoride rinses are not recommended for children ages 6 or younger because they may swallow them. Always check the manufacturer's label for precautions and age recommendations  and talk with your dentist about the use of fluoride mouth rinse.
(credit for info goes to: Know Your Teeth)
This year, WOHD is expecting to reach over 70 countries around the world. There will be numerous activities ranging from flash mobs to free dental checkups. It is organized by World Oral Health Day and FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with American Dental Association and sponsorship from Listerine, Signal, Henry Schein and Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program. 
For more information, visit World Oral Health Day website. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

HISTORY
Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on 17 March, the death date of the most commonly-recognized patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. 

TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS
Wearing of the Green
On St Patrick's Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories.  St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities. The triple spiral symbol appears at many ancient megalithic sites in Ireland.

The phrase "wearing of the green" comes from a song of the same name, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's Day grew.


Happy St. Patrick's Day from our office to you!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Interesting statistics about your smile

Do you remember the Picture Days? Most people are very excited to get their pictures taken for the year book. However, not all are confident with their smile, hence the stoic-faces that you see in some pictures. In a study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion in 2009, it turned out that "those who smiled least in their photographs were about five times more likely to divorce at some point in their lives compared with those who smiled most." In another study in 2001 by LeeAnne Harker and Dacher Keltner in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they found out that women that smiled int their college yearbook pictures experience less anxiety, sadness and despair in the 30 years after graduation. In 2010, Ernest Abel and Michael Kruger did another research and found that those who smiled more in the past photos live up to 80 years compared 73 years of those who didn't smile. However, we still can't conclude that your smile determines how to life turns out to be but it's hard to deny that it plays an important role. With that being said, not everyone is confident with showing their smile since not everyone has straight teeth. A personal story by Erin Flaherty will give us a look at how braces can change your life.


In the article Get-Ahead Grin on Marie Claire, Erin Flaherty shared her personal experience with braces and how it relates to her career. She mentioned that "all other things being equal, job candidates with straight teeth are seen as 45% more likely to get hired." She did not have straight teeth when she was younger, which contributed to her insecurity. She saved up enough money for braces when she moved to New York to further her career and unfortunately, her boss didn't see her pass the braces. She got them removed after a year and started Invisalign for convenience. During and after her treatment, she received two promotions and she is sure happy with the results. 

Recent statistics show that after Orthodontic treatment, 83% patients ages 18-54 see improvement in their personal relationships, 58% have more success in their career and 92% of the surveyed patients would recommend Orthodontic treatment to other adults. If you are still afraid that you won't look as great in braces, there are more cosmetic options such as Invisalign or lingual braces. Visit our facebook for more information and we hope to see you in our office soon. :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Braces-friendly seafood recipes

Mustard-Glazed Planked Salmon

Ingredients:
large cedar plank
(6- to 8-ounce) skin-on sockeye salmon fillets
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest 
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 orange slices, halved
Garnish: chopped chives

Preparation:

  1. 1. Soak wood plank in water 1 hour; drain. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350° to 400°).
  2. 2. Remove pin bones from salmon, if necessary. Combine mustard and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl, and brush half of mustard mixture over salmon, reserving remaining mustard mixture.
  3. 3. Grill plank 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove from grill. Place salmon, skin sides down, on heated side of plank. Top with orange slices.
  4. 4. Grill planked salmon, covered with grill lid, 10 to 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. (Check occasionally to make sure edges of plank don't ignite.) Garnish, if desired. Serve with reserved mustard glaze.

Shrimp & Grits

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups quick-cooking grits
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided 
  • (12- to 16-ounce) package smoked sausage or andouille sausage, sliced
  • shallots, minced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/4 cup white wine 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • green onions, chopped 
  • Preparation:
  • 1. Combine broth and whipping cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, and whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt, pepper, and 4 tablespoons butter. Set aside, and keep warm.
  • 2. Brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in pan, and set aside.
  • 3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in hot drippings in skillet. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in thyme and next 3 ingredients; cook 2 minutes.
  • 4. Stir reserved sausage into shrimp mixture. Spoon reserved grits onto individual plates or bowls; top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and green onions. Serve immediately.
Crab Cakes

Ingredients:
  • large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs (about 12 crackers) 
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions 
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges 
  • Preparation:
  • 1. Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gently fold in crabmeat. Form mixture into 8 crab cakes (about 1/3 cup each). Cover and chill 1 hour or until ready to cook.
  • 2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook crab cakes (in batches, if necessary) 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.
(Coastal Living, Feb 2014)