How To Care For Your Teething Baby

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Teething

TEETHING IS NO FUN for babies or parents. Some babies’ teeth erupt with no problems at all but for others, it could be a long and painful process.

Besides giving your child plenty of tender loving care, here are some things you can do to care for your child’s mouth during the teething phase.

Be Aware Of Teething Signs And Symptoms

When your little one finally starts teething, it’s normal for them to be fussy and irritable. Common symptoms are difficulty sleeping, decrease in appetite and increased drooling. It’s also normal for their temperature to increase slightly when they’re teething, however, high-grade fevers are not normal. If your child seems overly cranky or has a high fever, call your physician.

When teething begins is different for each child. While the average time teeth begin to appear is around 4 to 6 months, teething can begin anywhere between three and 12 months.

You Can Keep Your Child Comfortable With These Tips

Your baby may seem inconsolable while teething but here are some things you can do to soothe and ease their pain:

  • Massage their gums. The counter pressure of your finger helps ease teething pain.
  • Use teething rings or toys. Even a simple chilled washcloth will work. Chewing soothes the baby as counter pressure relieves pain. When chilling toys or rings, remember to refrigerate instead of freeze.
  • Relieve pain. Talk to your child’s doctor about pain relief if your little one seems to be having a more difficult time. Appropriate dosage of acetaminophen may be beneficial during especially painful teething episodes. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine.

And when your baby is in the thick of teething, just remember what an important milestone it is. Teething, like crawling, walking, and talking, shows that your child is on the right track developmentally.

Once Teeth Appear, Take Proper Care Of Them

In 2003, the BC Dental Association launched a campaign recommending children visit the dentist 6 months after their first tooth or at one year of age. Once the teeth appear you can also begin brushingUsing a soft-bristled toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Since very young children have not yet learned not to swallow toothpaste, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice.

We’re Here To Help From The Very Beginning

Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. We’re here to help you every step of the way! If you have any questions concerning infant oral health care or teething, call or make an appointment with us today. Baby teeth may be small but they’re important!

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

Top image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

February Is Children’s Dental Health Month

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children's month

THE CDC REPORTS THAT 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.

YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!

  1. Encourage them to brush for two full minutes: Pick a song about two minutes long and sing it to them during brushing time.
  2. Set reminders to brush twice a day: Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
  3. Show them flossing is fun, not harmful: Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
  4. Be persistent: Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.
  5. Set their first dental appointment around age 1: Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.

and we are passionate about educating kids and their parents about proper oral care. We want the kids in our community to have strong healthy teeth and mouths for a lifetime.

Countless studies have shown that children pick up their oral habits early and that they are hard to break. Kids are important to us. Our goal  is to educate kids and their parents about the importance of proper oral care. We want the kids in our community to have strong healthy teeth and mouths for a lifetime.

In 2003, the BC Dental Association launched a campaign recommending children visit the dentist 6 months after their first tooth or at one year of age. Since this campaign we have been offering complimentary orientation visits at our office for kids under the age of three. This visit includes an exam by one of our Dentists, a ride in the chair and a show-n-tell of our tickle tooth brush and vacuum  as well as a “baby bag” of goodies to help care for your child’s teeth.

Help Us Spread The Word!

Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. If you have any questions about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to ask us!

Preparing For Your Child’s First Dental Visit

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First Visit

 

SEEING A BABY’S FIRST SMILE is a wonderful moment in a new parent’s life–that little grin leaves a lasting impression! Visiting the dentist early ensures that your child’s smile remains happy and healthy.

First Tooth Pop In? Time To Schedule Their Appointment!

n 2003, the BC Dental Association launched a campaign recommending children visit the dentist 6 months after their first tooth or at one year of age. Although this may seem early for a first visit, there are many reasons for acquainting your child with a dentist so early in their oral development.

The first, and most obvious, is that we are able to monitor the health of their new teeth as they come in. As soon as your little one’s first tooth erupts, he or she can begin to develop cavities. Aside from checking for tooth decay, we check to ensure that their overall oral development is on track and answer any questions you may have about your child’s growing smile.

What To Expect During Your Child’s First Visit

As you prepare your child for their first dental visit, you may begin to wonder what you can expect during their appointment. The first dental visit is often very brief and gives your child an opportunity to meet their dentist in a friendly, non-threatening way. This helps get them acquainted and can help calm your child before their dental exam.

 

At our office this visit includes:

  • An Exam by one of our dentist to check for decay, their bite and look for any problems with the gums, jaw and oral tissues
  • A ride in the chair
  • show-n-tell with our tickle toothbrush, vacuum and Mr. Sunshine
  • And “baby bag” of goodies to help care for your child’s teeth.

 

These appointments are also an excellent opportunity for us to share information with you about proper oral care as your child’s smile develops. If you have any questions about your child’s oral hygiene routine, this is a perfect time to ask! We’ll be happy to discuss strategies to help soothe your baby during the teething phase, answer questions about oral habits such as thumb sucking, or share tips about brushing and a smile-healthy diet.

After their visit is complete, your dentist will suggest a schedule of follow-up visits based on the unique needs of your child.

Watch the video below to learn more about your child’s first dental visit and how to prepare them for their appointment:

We’ll Make Sure Your Child Leaves With A Smile!

Whether it’s your child’s first visit or their 50th, we’re committed to giving them an experience that helps pave the way for a lifetime of good oral health. If you have any questions about your child’s first visit in our office, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to talk with you about any specific needs they may have for their first appointment. Thank you for being a part of our practice family!

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Don’t Let Your Insurance Benefits Go To Waste!

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insurance-benefits

THE END OF THE YEAR IS approaching fast! Before year’s end, our team wants to remind you to take a look at your dental insurance benefits!

Insurance Benefits Typically Don’t Roll Over To Next Year

Each year your dental insurance company probably gives you a maximum amount of available benefits. Since those benefits don’t typically roll over into the following year, you’ll want to contact us now to get your appointment scheduled!

We all know how it is, once the holiday season is upon us—hectic! Life can get really busy and some things fall between the cracks. So remember that your dental health needs your attention too—not just for the sake of your teeth, but for your overall health. If you’re due (or overdue) for an appointment, make sure to talk to our office. Take advantage of those dental insurance benefits before time is up!

For more detailed information about “Things Every Insured Patient Needs to Know” please click Here

Do you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits? Call us. We’re happy to work with you to create a dental health plan that works for you,

Thanks for being our valued patient.

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Why Does Food Taste Funny After Brushing?

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taste

 

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why certain foods taste unpleasant after brushing your teeth in the morning? Most of us have experienced that bitter sensation a time or two, but what exactly causes it?

Your Mint Toothpaste Flavor Isn’t To Blame

It’s a common misconception that mint-flavored toothpaste causes the unpleasant taste when eating that first meal after brushing. In reality, it’s a chemical found in most toothpastes called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or other variants like sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These compounds are known as surfactants, which are foaming agents which make it easier to spread toothpaste evenly as you brush.

Aside from helping toothpaste clean your teeth, surfactants also affect your tastebuds.

Surfactants Affect Your Tastebuds

Surfactants like SLS affect your tastebuds in a couple of different ways. First, it suppresses receptors that pick up the sweet taste in food and drinks. This is why some foods just taste a little more bland if you’ve recently brushed your teeth. The second way surfactants affect your taste is it enhances bitter flavors, so sour food and drinks taste especially bitter.

This effect is especially noticeable in orange juice. Believe it or not, your morning glass of OJ is actually surprisingly sour if you take away the sugar. So when you take a sip of orange juice after brushing your teeth, not only will SLS inhibit your ability to taste your drink’s sweetness, it will enhance the underlying sour flavor and make it really bitter.

Don’t Worry, It Doesn’t Last Long!

Fortunately for us, the effects of SLS don’t linger too long in the morning. After about 30 minutes, your saliva will have diluted the leftover surfactants and things begin to taste normal again. In order to avoid the unpleasant taste after you brush, take a little time to read the paper or accomplish other to-do’s in your regular morning routine before you eat. Rearranging morning activities is an easy way to help your breakfast taste sweet!

We Have A Pretty Sweet Gig

We love making our patients smile. Whether it’s through fun tips like this or answering questions about your unique oral health situation, our priority is keeping your teeth happy and healthy. Do you have any more questions about your morning oral hygiene routine? We’d love to answer them! Call us or let us know in the comments below!

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

MONSTERS AND GHOSTS AND SUGAR, OH MY!

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sugar

 

Wait… sugar? That’s right. The scariest thing you’ll encounter this Halloween may just be sweets.

Here are some hair-raising statistics about Halloween candy consumption:

  • Americans purchase around 600 million pounds–or 2 billion dollars worth–of candy each year for Halloween.
  • Kids consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween and the average trick-or-treater intakes about three cups of sugar.
  • The average child would need to trick-or-treat for over 100 miles to burn off what they eat during Halloween.

These statistics may be a bit shocking but what is perhaps even more frightening is how much sugar the average Canadian consumes on a daily basis, not just around October 31st.

According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sugar makes up 16 percent of the average child’s daily caloric intake. The American Dental Association recommends that added sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of total energy intake and ideally less than five percent.

More Sugar, More Cavities

It’s no secret that sugar in excess can be harmful to your health. High sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes and poor heart health. We also know it can be especially damaging to teeth and gums.

When we eat foods that contain sugar, we are not the only ones enjoying the meal–so are the harmful bacteria in our mouths. As a result, these bacteria produce acids that eat away at our teeth and cause tooth decay, or in other words, cavities.

Watch Out For Added Sugars And Try To Cut Back

Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk, and fresh fruit and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for are added sugars.

Here’s how we recommend you lower your daily sugar intake:

Read food labels.

Many times we don’t realize just how much sugar we are consuming. You may think you’re making a healthy choice for your child with dried or canned fruit, granola bars, or even yogurt. But many of these food items have a surprisingly high amount of sugar.

Think about your drink.

Did you know that one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake for a child? Even seemingly healthy beverages such as fruit juices contain far too much sugar. The best options for beverages are water and milk.

Cook at home.

By cooking at home you can know exactly what is going into your child’s meals and snacks. You’d be surprised by how much hidden sugar there is in fast food!

Trick Or Treat?

Of course we think you should Trick or Treat!! That is why we created our Sweet Swap. Enjoy your candy for a few days then give it to us. We have created a fun way to part with that candy! Between November 1st and November 5th bring us your leftover candy in exchange for an entry ballot into our Sweet Swap Draw for an iPad Mini.

** One entry ballot per child that brings candy into the office**

Don’t let Halloween trick you into thinking it’s the only time of year you need to think about your treats! The amount of sugar we consume in October is scary, but our daily sugar intake needs our attention too. Let this Halloween mark the start of your family’s journey to cut back on sugar!

Happy Halloween!

Keep Your Smile In Shape

 

Top image by Flickr user Micah Sittig used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

4 Tips To Soothe A Toothache Before Your Appointment

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toothache

 

SUDDEN TOOTHACHES ARE painful and far from convenient in today’s busy world. However, getting to a dentist as quickly as possible is the best thing you can do to treat and relieve your pain as well as prevent any further problems.

Your Dentist Can Provide Effective Treatment And Long-Term Relief

It’s important to remember that there is always an underlying cause for a toothache, such as decay, gum disease or tooth enamel erosion. They usually never go away on their own and only get worse–and more painful–over time.

Paying a visit to the dentist as early as possible is the best course of action for tooth pain. Your dentist will not only relieve your pain and provide long-term relief, but will also work to treat the cause of your toothache, preventing further discomfort and damage in the future.

In The Meantime…

With that being said, we know that not everyone can come in to see us the moment they feel tooth pain. We also know that the time between the start of a toothache and actually getting to the dentist can be excruciating. Between making your appointment and getting to the dentist, try some of these at-home, temporary toothache remedies to help relieve your pain.

Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

OTC pain relievers–such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and the like–can provide short-term pain relief. If you use aspirin, swallow it as you normally would. Do not put it right on your tooth or gums as this will not relieve any pain and can damage the soft tissues of your mouth.

Salt Water

Swishing salt water around your mouth can help clean out an infected area and loosen any food debris present. This can help relieve some discomfort, depending on the cause of your toothache.

Garlic

Garlic is said to have properties that help it inhibit the growth of bacteria and temporarily relieve pain. Simply chew some garlic or mash a clove of garlic into a paste and apply it to your tooth.Warning: this remedy may cause severe bad breath!

Clove or Peppermint Oil

Both clove and peppermint oil contain natural anesthetics and can act as numbing agents. They are very strong and can do damage to your mouth’s soft tissues, however, so you’ll want to be careful. Drip a drop or two of oil onto a cotton ball and apply it to the throbbing tooth.

Be sure to check with your dental or health care provider before you try any of these at-home remedies, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Don’t Wait To Treat Your Toothache

Remember, toothaches only get worse over time, so don’t wait to come in and see us. These at-home toothache remedies are meant to help with short-term pain relief and are in no way a substitute for the treatment and care you’ll receive from the trained professionals in our practice!

 

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Helping Your Kids Learn And Love To Brush Their Teeth

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child-brushing

ANY PARENT KNOWS that getting your child to do certain things like eat their veggies, clean their room and even brush their teeth can be difficult. But the reality is that tooth decay is the number one disease affecting young children today.

To combat this, kids need to learn and love to brush their teeth early on in their lives. Our goal is to help your children maintain bright, healthy smiles and help them learn early the importance of good oral hygiene.

Let’s Catch Up On Some Of The Basics

The BCDA recommends your child’s first dental visit be around their first birthday or six months after their first tooth appears. Even before their first too appears you can start cleaning their mouth by wiping their gums with a wet facecloth. Once teeth emerge, you can start brushing them. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-sized toothbrush and only a smear of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). When two teeth begin to touch, it is time to start flossing!

From the ages of three to six, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Remind children not to swallow the toothpaste. Continue to help your child brush their teeth until you feel that they can correctly do so on their own.

Our Top Tips On Teaching Your Kids Good Oral Hygiene

It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it to teach your kids the value of taking care of their teeth. Here are some things you can do to help them understand just how important a task it is, and even how fun it can be!

Teach Them Why

When kids understand the reason behind something, they are more inclined to do it. You can even make it more interesting by spinning it into a fun story and giving the bacteria in their mouths a name, like the sugar bugs!

Let Them Participate

Allowing your child to pick out their toothbrush, toothpaste and floss is a great way for them to participate. If you use a timer to help them brush their teeth for the full two minutes, let them press the button. Find ways to get them involved!

Use Positive Reinforcement

Parents know better than anyone what kids will do for prizes. One idea is to use a sticker chart. Every time they brush their teeth well, without complaining, they get to put a sticker on the chart. When the chart is full, they get a prize!

Make It Fun

Whether you turn on their favorite two-minute song or have them brush their stuffed animal’s teeth first, making it fun is key to helping your child love brushing time. There are also many smartphone apps out there dedicated to making oral hygiene more fun!

You can even show them this fun video to help encourage them to brush their teeth!

We Are Proud Partners Of Parents

Although getting your child to love brushing and flossing their teeth is difficult at times, remember that we are your allies in helping ensure their lifelong oral and overall health. Remember your child needs help brushing and flossing until they are between 8-10 years old. Their hands don’t have the dexterity to do a great job until then. It is ok if they have a turn but make sure you are checking after each brush. If your child is still struggling with brushing and flossing, let us know, we are here to help.

Have any other suggestions that have worked for you and your child? Tell us in the comments below!

Thank you for your trust in our practice.

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

Top image by Flickr user Abigail Batchelder used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

The Professionals vs. The Headlines: What’s Up With Flossing?

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flossing headlinesYOU’VE BEEN HEARING a lot about flossing in the news these days. Recent articles stating that flossing doesn’t do any good for your oral health have left many feeling shocked and confused. As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to set the record straight!

It all started with an article by the Associated Press stating that the benefits of flossing have been unproven. Unfortunately, haters of flossing were quick to take up their torches and pitchforks against the practice. In response to the Associated Press article, The British Columbia Dental Association made a statement encouraging “patients to remove plaque and food from all surfaces of their teeth on a daily basis as an effective way to reduce their risk of gum disease and tooth decay.” And we’re going to tell you why.

Here’s Why You Should Continue Flossing

Did you know that when you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35 percent of tooth surfaces in your mouth? That’s because brushing simply cannot get into those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. Unfortunately, however, bacteria can! Flossing completes brushing by cleaning the spaces your toothbrush can’t.

Regular flossing can:

  • Prevent cavities. Have you ever flossed, even after brushing your teeth, and were surprised to find a remnant of your last meal? Flossing removes food debris and plaque, preventing cavity formation between the teeth, a common place for tooth decay.
  • Fight bad breath. If food or plaque are left in between teeth, they will eventually release a bad smell. Yuck!
  • Inhibit tartar buildup and gum disease. If left on teeth for too long, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The presence of tartar can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • Improve your appearance. Food debris and plaque make teeth look more yellow and gritty. Clean, healthy teeth always appear whiter and brighter!

From years of experience, we can confidently say that flossing makes a big difference in your oral and overall health.

For Flossing To Work, It Has To Be Done Correctly

To reap the benefits of flossing, it has to be done correctly. In a 2006 study, researchers wanted to see whether flossing at home had the same benefits as having daily flossing done by professionals. The study showed that participants who were flossed professionally had a 40 percent decrease in their risk of cavities than their at-home flossing counterparts. The researchers concluded that flossing, when done properly, has a substantial, positive effect on oral health.

Many people simply snap the floss in between their teeth and pull it back out. The correct way, however, is to curve the floss around the tooth, as if the floss were hugging it. Still curved around the tooth, move the floss up and down to scrape the plaque. Do the same on the other tooth.

 We Care About Our Patients

We only recommend flossing because we care about your oral and overall health! Through our years of experience, we’ve seen the difference that flossing can make. So, ignore the headlines and take it from the professionals: flossing works! Keep up the good flossing habits and we promise you’ll feel the difference.

Have any more questions about flossing or your oral hygiene? Call us or ask at your next visit!

KEEP YOUR SMILE IN SHAPE!

Top image by Flickr user KellyB. used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Thinking About Whitening Your Smile?

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Bleaching

 

SO, YOU WANT TO whiten your teeth. You’re not alone! In fact, when the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked what people would most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth.

There Are Several Teeth Whitening Options

With so many teeth whitening products on the market, you may be left scratching your head as to which one you should choose. As with any type of treatment, it’s important to know all the facts so you can make the best choice for you and your unique smile! Some of the most common teeth whitening options are:

  • Whitening toothpastes
  • Whitening strips and gels
  • Tray-based tooth whiteners
  • In-office whitening

Whitening Is Safest And Most Effective When Supervised By A Dentist

You should always consult with your dentist before deciding to whiten, as this cosmetic procedure isn’t for everyone. There are also many benefits to whitening with your dentist!

For example, if you’re considering a tray-based tooth whitener, seeing your dentist is definitely your best option. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so that your mouthpiece tray is customized exactly to fit your teeth. This will ensure maximum contact between your teeth and the whitening solution as well as protect your gums.

If you choose in-office whitening, your dentist will provide additional protection for your gums and the soft tissue of your mouth so that no irritation from the whitening solution occurs.To do this, your dentist will apply a gel to the gum tissue or use a rubber shield.

With over-the-counter products, you’re on your own. Your dentist, however, will check your mouth, the type and extent of stains on your teeth, the number of dental restorations you have and consider your medical history to decide which whitening option is best for your specific smile. They will oversee the process and results of the treatment to ensure the treatment’s safety and efficacy.

A Note To Parents

Teeth whitening is a big trend among teenagers. Parents should always supervise their teenagers’ use of whitening products as overuse or failure to follow directions can damage tooth enamel or irritate gums. Be sure to consult with your dentist before allowing your teenager to whiten to make sure they are at an appropriate age and stage of dental development for whitening.

Still curious about how whitening works? Check out the video below to learn more!

Keep Your Smile In Shape!

What truly keeps teeth bright, white and healthy is daily brushing and flossing. But if you feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or has yellowed over the years, give us a call or come in to see us! We’d be happy to help you brighten up that beautiful smile of yours.

Top image by Flickr user Pablo Recio used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.