Harlem!

19 01 2013

harlemweekI love Harlem.  I live and work here.  I love the energy of this place, I love the vibe.  Contrary to the portrait painted of living in the big city of New York, Harlem is still a neighborhood.  I walk to work most of the time, and here people greet you on the street in the morning, and it just gives a warm feeling everyday.  You see a lot of the older people on the side of the street who just keep an eye out and know everything that is taking place in the block. Harlem is truly a rainbow.  In the summers you see clearly that Harlem is a mixture, a melting pot, people live here from all over the world.  While walking up the street you see a kaleidoscope of many different shades and colors; black, brown, yellow, white, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, European, African; hear so many different language; see so many different fashions, shapes and textures,  people with many different attitudes, the the lively and animated speak; and my favorite – all of the smiles!

One of the most fabulous things I love about the smile, is that they are all so different.  Each and every individual has teeth of  different shapes and shades, from super white, to shades of yellow, to brown, even dark brown; some have spaces, some are crowded together.  Oftentimes, some are missing.  The fact that no two individuals have the same teeth is fascinating to me.  Each and every mouth is different.  There is no monotony in the area of dentistry, it is a wonderful thing.  When I take a look around at the different teeth, the smiles, this is Harlem, this is home!

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Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Candy Wrappers

17 01 2013

candy wrappers

I figured that before I post too many blogs giving my insight about dentistry and thoughts I have, I also must make confessions of my own and really divulge where my perspective originates from.  As a newborn, my son (who is now a teenager) was very ill.  He was a 2 lb 1 oz preemie who had to be hospitalized over 9 times during the first 2 years of his life.  He was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe many of those occasions and he even coded once.  Having been in the healthcare profession and with family members who were health care  practitioners and physicians, I felt the medical profession should be able to cure patients and make them better.   One of the times he was intubated ( on the ventilator) I asked the pediatrician “what is it we are going to do to make him better to fix him”.  Wonderfully, the physician explained that “the only thing we as physicians are able to do in this case  is to give him oxygen, support the airway and keep it open, the body has to do the rest”.  It was in that moment and while my son was healing that I began to truly understand just how fascinating and complex the human body truly is.  It is where I came to see that the key a long and healthy life is to keep the body strong and in proper shape.  It was also at that time that they were offering fellowships in holistic dentistry  with the Institute for Natural Dentistry.  I enrolled in the program right away and it truly opened my eyes to an entirely different world of wellness; mind/body/spirit interrelationship; energetic pathways; nutrition; and the list goes on… It really allowed me to truly understand that the teeth do not walk in on their own, but are attached to a body, and the interrelationship between the teeth and the whole individual.

Well around that time, you can say that I became a “food nazi”.  I really watched what I was eating, made sure my son only had organic, healthy food, no sugar, he took every vitamin supplement he should have, etc.  Well, or so I thought.  After a while, this toddler would find ways to spit out just what he didn’t like.  “Oh, no Mommy, I just won’t have that”, and he said it so politely.  I would try and hide the supplements in the food.  He would find it and spit it out.  It has become a never ending struggle.  As he has gotten older and in school with other children, the challenges have become even greater.  When you share your food with others and they share back, it’s when you really get tastes for sugar and other foods that may not be so good or healthy for you.  Then, the first time this happened I was shocked.  I went to make up his bed and found candy wrappers in the bed!  Not only was he eating the sugar, but he was leaving the sugar to bathe in his mouth all night long – a dentists’ nightmare!

We have had our moments.  We have had our struggles.   I have really, really relaxed my habits.  As adults, we have our challenges that we have to deal with ourselves.   At one point, I became frustrated and felt there was nothing I can do.  We went, as they say “buck wild”.  But there is no way you can be in the dental field, and see all of this sugar addiction and the health problems it causes and just do nothing.  These experiences have  really let me know how strong an addiction sugar really can be.  It has also let me know that in this society, and especially living in New York City, it is very difficult to control the environment and here children have access to so many things.  What I do know that is great is that as he is getting older, he is learning how do make some better choices.   That is my hope and shining star.  As parents it is our responsibility to always try and help them understand what is best for them, but also, not just leave things  and say it is hopeless, but just keep trying.  So that’s what I do.
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Sugar, Sodas, Celebrities……

16 01 2013

Why Do Stars Think It’s OK To Sell Soda

Beyonce's Pepsi Advertisement

Beyonce’s Pepsi Advertisement

I read this article last week about Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and their participation in ad campaigns  of sodas and other products that are harmful to our health, however, they create great profit to the celebrities who endorse these brands.  It makes me question what are our core beliefs as a nation?  Are we going to remain true to our core beliefs, or does that take a back seat when it comes to making money?  I understand that we live in the United States of America, in this great consumer driven economy, but, what if we stayed true to our core beliefs?  What if celebrities aligned their core beliefs with opportunities for making money?  I think our country would look a bit different now.  But to take that personally, what if we as consumers stuck to our own core beliefs and thought a bit deeper prior to making our purchases, to ensure that it aligned with what we know is healthy and good for us as individuals and for our families?   Imagine what our country, our nation would look like.  I think we would see less obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and a much healthier nation.  I think too often we make decisions because we see everyone else doing it, and quite frankly because of the convenience.  To take back our power and to improve our health, we must not always choose the easy way.  Sometimes should make harder choices and taking the more difficult road, which in fact, may take longer, make you more tired and can be quite lonely, but the scenery along the way is beautiful, and when you get to the finish line, it will be all the more rewarding!

Ok, that’s the philosophical portion of this blog.  What does this article have to do with teeth?  Well, it’s all about teeth.  Well, the obvious, eating too much sugar increases your risk of cavities.  Do you ever look at the perfect smiles of the stars and think well, if they were truly ingesting all of  the sodas they are selling, what would their smiles look like?  Probably a lot of holes, dark spaces, and red inflamed gums.  It would not a pretty sight.  A cosmetic dentist would be necessary to fix the broken teeth that were created by drinking all of those sodas.  What about the periodontal disease/diabetes link.  Are you aware that there is a high correlation between gum disease and diabetes.  Did you know that if you treated the periodontal disease, the diabetes improves.  Oftentimes, it is your dentist, your first line of defense who can spot that you may have a problem with diabetes.  Dentists are definitely crucial as they assist in managing the diabetes.

What are your core beliefs pertaining to your health?  Take a close look at the sodas, juices and other sugary drinks you consume.  How many sugars do put in your coffee or tea and how often do you drink them?  Just by really evaluating your consumption of sugary beverages and making the choice to drink fewer  of these drinks, dilute them with water, reduce the sugars in your diet.  You are making a conscious choice to be healthier, your teeth will be protected and more beautiful.  It may be a bit lonelier as your co-workers are routinely consuming the unhealthy beverages, but it will certainly be more rewarding, starting with easier dental visits to improved overall total health!
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





52 Days and counting….

15 01 2013

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Crossing the finish line on New Years Day with the New York Road Runner’s Emerald Nuts Midnight Run was especially exhilarating for me because it represented a near completion of my commitment to work on myself for 52 days of exercise, education and enlightenment.  They say it takes 52 days to make lasting change in your life.  Crossing the finish line that morning represented 51 days of my new regimen.  I was almost there.  The next day, I would be done.

The feeling of accomplishing one’s goals in life at whatever moment in time and the sense of accomplishment it brings is awesome.  It opens up your mind to endless possibilities, opportunities in the world, and challenges you can overcome when you put your mind to something.  You basically start to feel invincible.

The New Year brings to us thoughts of setting new goals, opening up our minds to new prospects, new adventures, new challenges.  Sometimes, however, it can bring fears that may paralyze us from moving forward.  Many what ifs…what if I can’t make it, what if I do not finish, is this goal set too high for me to attain…  The overwhelming feeling caused by the exact date of January 1st and what it means, new starts, new beginnings, change .  That in itself may be what creates the obstacle, or may make one feel the bar was set too high.

What made my 52 day challenge more exciting, was the fact that it was a random day that I chose to start, it did not coincide with New Years in mind, or end on the 31st, or January 1st.  I had no unreasonable expectations or pressures that I put on myself.  It was just “get your butt out of bed a bit earlier and get outside.”  I would then strap on the MP3 headphones and go.  …After a few “weeks” 🙂 I even developed a need, you might even say a longing, to smell the fresh air, inhale the oxygen in my lungs, stretch my muscles, and allow the productive thoughts to flow.

Well 52 days became 53 days and counting…. I don’t feel like stopping.  Maybe I am even a bit apprehensive that this new-found energy and positive mindset may stop, if the exercise and enlightenment stops.  My mind has opened ideas and goals I have had, but never started, for a fear of not completing, or setting too high a hurdle.  After completing 52 days, I now am ready to take on other challenges.

Well, today, I am making that commitment, not a New Year’s goal, hey it’s January 15th.  That burden of the New Year is off, but the desire to make a change and make a difference is still here.  I have been so fascinated and impressed by the work of our First Lady, Michelle Obama and her quest to improve the health of our country through diet and exercise.  Her “Let’s Move” campaign is what our country so badly needs.  Our diets and lifestyle are so poor and we are now more susceptible to degenerative diseases than ever before in our history.  What I know additionally, is that many health care practitioners are now starting to understand that the majority of illness have a direct relationship to the mouth and oral cavity.  What we put in our mouths, our diet, how we care for or oral health,even the different materials used to restore our teeth, all have an impact on our total overall health.  Well, my blog is to let more people become aware of how the oral health relates to total health.  We use our mouths constantly from eating, speaking, it is how people make their first impressions of us.  I would like to discuss some of the new trends in dentistry, give information about diet and lifestyle and how just about everything relates to the mouth.  My obsession, the oral cavity in each of its facets is what I am passionate about.  So sharing information and focusing on our oral health is my Dental HealthStyles blog.

Day by day, running has gone from being a challenge, to a necessary part of my life.  Helping to improve the oral condition of people is what I do, and is just part of me and has been for over 25 years.  Now sharing this knowledge from a total overall health and wellness perspective by the way of a blog , a new challenge to myself, will first start out with me saying to myself “get your butt up and get started typing” , but then eventually, it becomes a necessary part of life just much as the great feeling I now have when I get  up to perform my exercise, education and enlightenment routine; getting the taste of oxygen into my lungs; stepping outside in the fresh air to run on a cold winter’ s morning.

Well, I am now on day 64 of running, but who’s counting anymore…………..

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Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 








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