Our oral health plays a big role in our day-to-day life. According to a dental study, approximately two-thirds of people surveyed say the appearance of their teeth has a negative impact on their confidence. While there are a lot of things out of our control when it comes to our teeth (like genetics), there are a few things you can do to naturally improve your smile. From changing up your diet to improving your dental hygiene habits, here are five simple ways you can feel better about your smile.

Eat more strawberries and apples

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s prime season to get your hands on some of the best fruit around for your teeth: strawberries and apples. Apples are great because they act as a natural sponge, gently scrubbing away at food particles and plaque on your teeth while you munch and crunch. Even the apple skin can help to remove plaque from between your teeth, too. Strawberries are also fantastic for your teeth because they contain natural whitening properties. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is a natural tooth-whitening enzyme.

Swish with water after your morning coffee

The surface layer of your teeth is kind of like a sponge. Throughout the day, it absorbs the beverages that you drink like coffee, tea, juice, and more. Over time, your teeth can begin to stain because of this absorbing quality. Your teeth may be perfectly healthy but may appear yellow or even brown at times. An easy, natural way to combat teeth stains is by swishing with water after drinking a darker beverage. This keeps particles from the beverage from settling on your teeth.

Relax your jaw when you brush

Approximately one in 10 Americans admit that they regularly forget to brush their teeth. This can be a big problem not only for the appearance of your smile but also for your dental health. It only takes between 24 to 72 hours for plaque to turn into tartar, which can put you at greater risk for tooth decay. This is especially true for your back molars, which can be difficult to reach with a toothbrush even when you do brush your teeth regularly. The good news is that there’s a really easy to remove more plaque from those back teeth: close your mouth. When you close your mouth and relax your jaw while brushing your teeth, it creates more space between your back teeth and your cheek, allowing your toothbrush to really get in there.

Spruce up your bathroom

According to Houzz, approximately one-third of homeowners say they’ve changed to a healthier lifestyle after remodeling their kitchen. The same may very well be true for the bathroom. If you tend to rush your brushing and flossing time when taking care of your teeth, consider giving your bathroom a small upgrade. Bathroom additions offer a return on investment of 86.4%, but you don’t have to go big. Swapping out your bath mat and shower curtain, changing up your hardware, and adding some plants could make your bathroom a happier place to spend your time in. You may also be less likely to rush through your brushing, which means happier and healthier teeth.

Make a tongue-scraper part of your routine

One of the best ways to fight back against tooth decay and bad breath is by fighting the source: bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth like to feed on the food and drink particles that are left on your teeth after you finish eating. As the bacteria digest these food particles, they produce acids that cause cavities. Much of the bacteria in your mouth likes to linger on your tongue, especially the back of your tongue. A tongue scraper is an easy way to remove a lot of the bad bacteria from your mouth, reduce your risk of cavities, and even improve your breath.

You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on whitening treatments and other aesthetic treatments to feel better about your smile. By following these simple tips above, you can easily improve the overall health and appearance of your teeth.

The current global pandemic has impacted many different industries and aspects of our lives, and something that has been heavily impacted is the fitness industry. With the closure of many gyms, everyone’s normal fitness routines have been completely uprooted and, in many cases, put on pause. However, just because you can’t make it to the gym, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a consistent fitness routine. Here are a few tips on how to keep active outside of the gym during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get Outside

If the weather is permitting, getting outside to exercise is a great way to make your routine feel fun and new every day. Here are a few ways to get outside:

  • Go For a Hike. Many towns and cities will have some sort of public park with walking and hiking trails. Since hiking burns on average 500 or more calories for every mile, you are really getting in a workout when you hit the trails. Plus, hiking can help you explore your city or town in a fun new way. Make sure that you’re being socially distant while hiking, and if you have to be close to people, be sure to wear a mask.
  • Go For a Run. Running is an activity that you can do just about anywhere. Whether there are sidewalks, trails, or just roads near you, you can get outside and run. If you plan on running a lot, make sure to buy supportive shoes made for the mileage you’re planning for. Once again, make sure to be socially distant or wear a mask while you run.
  • Take Your Workout Outside. No matter what kind of workout you’re doing, taking it outside can make it more fun. If you’re getting a little tired of your usual strength training routine, moving into your backyard, patio, or a public park is a great way to mix things up without risking catching COVID-19.

Use a Video Workout

The internet is full of pre-filmed real-time workout classes. If before the pandemic you went to weekly group exercise classes, whether it was yoga or Zumba, there will be tons of videos online of classes that you can “take” in real-time with instructors. If you hate working out alone, this is also a great choice because it feels like the instructor is right there with you.

There are many options for different workouts out there, so whatever your ability level is there are workouts out there for you. For example, if you are one of the 350 million people globally impact by chronic inflammation due to arthritis and joint diseases, you can find workout classes that are low impact and will work up a sweat without adding stress to your joints. However, make sure to consult with your doctor before taking up any workout regimen if you have a chronic illness.

Take the Stairs

If your house or apartment complex has a set of stairs, you can use them for a great cardio workout. Start out by running up one flight of stairs and walking back down, taking breaks at the top or bottom as needed. Eventually, try to work up to running up and down the stairs for five minutes at a time (although that can take months to work up to). Make sure that you are being careful if your stairs are carpeted or uneven, and wear sneakers even if you are indoors. The right sneakers will help keep your feet properly supported and provide the traction you need to not slip and injure yourself.

Use an App

If you are unsure of where to start with a new at-home fitness routine, try out a fitness app that has built-in programs or a ton of different workouts. A lot of fitness influencers have their own programs and apps, so if you have an influencer that you follow and admire, it’s a great time to try out one of their programs. Data transmission and secure storage are key to any modern business, so if you’re paranoid about your data being stolen, just use an app that has a good reputation. They’ll be sure to provide adequate protection of your data and information. Here are a few apps you can try out now:

  • Core Power Yoga. These yoga classes range from short meditations to full hour long power flows, so no matter your yoga experience you can get a great yoga flow in. They also rate all of their yoga classes by difficulty, so if you’re just starting out with yoga, you can be sure that you’ll be able to find a class you can do. However, keep in mind that they do require you to pay after a free trial.
  • Nike Training Club. The Nike app is a great app if you want to do strength training at home and don’t know where to start. The app is free and will build you a customized program, pulling from all of its workouts. You can choose how many days a week you want to workout and your current fitness level before it creates the program, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
  • Amazon Prime Video. Surprisingly, Amazon Prime Video has fitness content as well. They have Zumba videos as well as some workout programs free to anyone with a Prime membership, so check out your options if you have prime.

Try Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises are often looked down on as though they’re not doing enough for your body, but in reality, they can be extremely beneficial to your workout routine. When you’re choosing your exercises, think about what parts of your body you want to work, and then choose the best exercise for that. Here are a few bodyweight exercise ideas that you can try:

    • Squats. Squats are a classic for a reason: they make you stronger and really fire up your glutes and quads.
    • Lunges. Try to mix it up by trying a variety of lunges, like reverse, forward, and walking lunges.
    • Duck Walks. You may look ridiculous, but this move really fires up the glutes and helps with mobility.
    • Push-ups. This classic bodyweight exercise is great for a workout on your upper body and abs. If you can’t do a full pushup, go to your knees or place your hands onto a bench or chair while doing pushups.

Planks. Planking is a great way to develop your ab strength. This can be down on your palms or on your elbows, depending on what you can do.

Just because lockdowns are still happening all over the globe, that doesn’t mean that you can’t workout and maintain a consistent fitness routine. Try out these tips and let us know what you think!

It’s no secret the CBD industry has been rocketing towards popularity. Cannabis provides a natural alternative to pain relief and wellness support without the harsh side effects of other types of pain medications.

If you’re interested in trying CBD oil or other CBD products for pain relief or wellness support, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll provide you with an overview of common questions about the CBD industry so you know which products to look for.

What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Hemp is a term that’s used to classify types of cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content. Hemp is typically used to describe types of cannabis that are non-intoxicating. Marijuana is a term that’s used to classify types of cannabis that contain over 0.3% THC and induce an intoxicating effect on the user.

The key differences between marijuana and hemp are in their levels of THC and this their legality. Hemp has been removed as an illegal substance under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. However, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. In Missouri, for instance, under 35 grams of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor offense.

What’s the difference between CBD and THC?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most active component in the cannabis plant. CBD is nonpsychoactive and is commonly used in oils and other products because of its wellness benefits. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a smaller chemical in the cannabis plant. It’s responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. Products that have low levels of THC (less than 0.3%) don’t have psychological effects on the body.

Can you drive after using CBD oil?

It’s good to be wary about using CBD oil when you’re behind the wheel. After all, substances (including medication) are involved in approximately 18% of motor vehicle deaths, and 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents on U.S. roads. However, because CBD oils contain less than 0.3% THC, these oils won’t have any psychoactive effects on your body and you may be able to safely drive.

It’s important to point out, though, that depending on how much CBD oil you use, it may not be recommended to get behind the wheel or to operate heavy machinery. This is because, depending on how much CBD oil you use, the product can make you tired. Drowsy driving can be incredibly dangerous and is never recommended.

What are the benefits of CBD oil?

CBD oil is popular because of its wellness benefits. Many athletes and people suffering from chronic pain use CBD oil because of its anti-inflammation effects. Anti-inflammatories can reduce pain and improve blood flow, which could potentially benefit heart health and reduce acne. CBD oil has also been used to reduce anxiety, alleviate depression symptoms, and more.

What are the different types of CBD oil?

There are three key types of CBD oils to choose from when you visit your local store. These types include full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD refers to CBD oil that contains all the naturally found cannabinoids that are in the cannabis plant, including 0.3% THC or less. Broad-spectrum CBD refers to CBD oil that contains all the naturally found cannabinoids that are in the cannabis plant except for THC. CBD isolate refers to CBD oil that only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.

Which CBD oil you choose depends on the wellness benefits you’re looking for. For more information, contact your local CBD store to get a more in-depth look at the different products available.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is crucial to staying happy and healthy. Hydration not only maintains the functions of your body but it also helps flush bacteria from your bladder and keep your skin looking healthy.

But what happens if the water you’re drinking on a regular basis isn’t as fresh as you think it is? While the U.S. has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, contaminants from your home’s plumbing system or your local water supply could impact your tap water.

How do I know if I’m drinking contaminated water?

The health effects people experience from drinking contaminated water might not become apparent immediately. Your overall health, age, physical condition, and immune system can also determine the extent of the contaminants’ effects on your health.

The most commonly reported issues experienced by people who drink contaminated water include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stomach aches
  • Dehydration

It’s important to note that you can still experience long-term effects of drinking contaminated water without experiencing symptoms. For instance, water sources such as well water that are contaminated with radon gas or radium might not show immediate health effects. However, long-term exposure to water contaminated with radon has been linked to heart disease and cancer. In rare cases, contaminated water may even carry poliovirus.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that decays quickly and gives off tiny radioactive particles that can cause lung cancer or leukemia when inhaled. When consumed, it’s been linked to stomach cancer, blood-related cancers, and ovarian cancer (the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women).

How can I prevent water contamination?

Water contamination can come from a variety of sources. America’s aging sewer systems spill approximately 1.26 trillion gallons of untreated sewage every year. But your water problems could be coming from your home’s own sewer line.

Old plumbing systems were commonly made with lead, galvanized steel, and iron. If your plumbing system hasn’t been replaced since your house was built, there’s a chance that contaminants like lead could be making their way into your drinking water.

Make sure that you’re conducting routine maintenance on your home’s plumbing system to prevent small issues from becoming major disasters. Approximately 10% of U.S. households have leaks in their plumbing and 98% of homes with basements will experience some type of water damage in their lifetime. Taking care of your plumbing prevents water contamination, water damage, and water waste.

How can I make sure the water I’m drinking is clean?

It can be difficult to tell if the water you’re drinking is safe. After all, contaminated water doesn’t always have a distinct smell or taste. Because of this, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you’re drinking clean water.

You can make your water safe to drink by boiling it, using a water filter, or using a water purification system. You can also look for your water report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s local drinking water information page to get a better idea of what your municipality’s drinking water is like.

Your drinking water can be contaminated by many different chemicals or materials, which is why it’s important to maintain your home plumbing system and be wary of what you’re drinking. By monitoring your local drinking water through the EPA and using a home water filtration or purification systems, you can protect yourself from contaminants and waterborne illnesses.

Cold days have officially arrived, and the weather will only get colder from here. Before your skin has a chance to dry out in the wind, boost your skincare routine with some natural tips to help you keep your skin soft, hydrated, and healthy.

Here are a few ways you can naturally improve your skin throughout the chillier half of the year.

Drink plenty of water

Approximately 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This isn’t because we’re not drinking anything but rather that we’re drinking anything but water.

Just like kids, we prefer beverages like juice, soda, and coffee drinks over flavorless water. In 2015 alone, Americans consumed 6.6 gallons of juice per capita.

But when you keep your body hydrated, your skin will be hydrated too. Consider making a daily habit out of drinking more water. Experts typically recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, or roughly half a gallon.

What’s more, staying hydrated can also keep your hair looking and feeling great, too, not just your skin. The average person sheds 50 to 100 hairs a day, but dehydration can make your hair thin, brittle, and dry. That said, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day to keep your body healthy and happy.

Keep your skin covered

Just because it isn’t hot outside anymore doesn’t mean the sun doesn’t impact your skin anymore. Grass, soil, and water reflect less than 10% of the sun’s UV radiation while fresh snow reflects 80%.

Sunscreen and sunglasses can help to protect you from UV radiation and snow glare, but it’s important to keep your skin covered, too. Some people wear thermal winter face masks to protect their skin from the icy wind in winter, but if you don’t have one you can use a scarf. Tie a scarf securely around your neck and wrap it slightly over your face to prevent the cold wind from drying out your skin.

Eat foods fortified with vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it only takes between 20 to 30 minutes to absorb the vitamin D your body needs from the sun. Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium. It also contributes to skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism.

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to get the vitamin D you need from the sun during the colder seasons. In fact, the average person can gain two to four pounds every year in autumn and winter because of the lack of vitamin D, which helps with fat breakdown.

To get the vitamin D you need during those icy days when you can’t make it outside, eat foods that are fortified with vitamin D. These foods include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Orange juice
  • Soy milk
  • Cereals
  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms

It can be challenging to keep your skin in great shape during the colder time of the year. The chilly air can easily dry out your skin and leave you feeling chapped and uncomfortable. By following the tips above, you can naturally make your skin glow this season and keep dry skin at bay.

New research out of the University of Colorado Denver-Anschutz suggests that protein-rich foods may help a child grow taller earlier in life. According to NDTV, study author Minghua Tang, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the college said at five-months-old, children can start growing tall with the help of protein.

“Meat, such as pork, provides important micronutrients, is an excellent source of protein and can be an important complementary food for infants who are ready for solid foods,” she said to NDTV. “Our research suggests introducing higher amounts of protein and introducing meat, such as pork, into the diet at five months could be potentially beneficial for linear growth (length gain)”.

The study was conducted by increasing the protein-intake of a small group of infants aged five to 12-months-old. Each day, the protein intake with increased to three grams per Kg per day. This was compared to two grams per Kg per day, which is what their normal intake was prior to the study. Some of the children were given pureed meats to supplement the protein while the other half were given dairy-based foods. The amount of fat and calories were the same between the two groups.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that protein-rich foods promoted length gain, while the dairy foods did not. The children eating the protein grew an inch or more during the study. If you choose to fill your child’s diet with protein, try giving them small pieces of chicken or ground beef. As they get older, you can implement protein in their diet by hiding it in dishes like tacos. Americans consume more than four billion tacos a year.

It’s essential for parents to monitor exactly what their children eat — at all times — in order to avoid trips to emergency medical centers. In 2015, urgent care centers reported seeing an average of nearly 12,000 patients. That amounts to an average of three patient care visits per hour or 32 visits each day.

Fueling children with protein isn’t the only way to help them grow strong. It may be hard to get children to eat well, but instead of forcing them to do so, WTOP says it’s all about the habit. Expose your children to a variety of foods at a young age so they’re able to grow up liking different types of meals. Get them in the habit of eating their greens, but also their fruit and fiber options.

Getting rid of junk food and sweet treats may also help your child develop strong eating patterns. There are about 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream and similar desserts produced in the United States every year. While it may be tempting to give your child a bowl of chocolate ice cream for dessert, offer them frozen fruit instead.

Whether you plan to feed your child an immense amount of protein or choose to build specific eating habits, there are many ways to make sure your child is healthy. Start working with your child at a young age to help them develop a strong knowledge of food.

People all over the country are discovering that they have levels of radon in their homes much higher than the level that the EPA tells us is safe. In fact, one out of every 15 homes in the United States have estimated levels of radon that are at or above the EPA action level.

Case in point: The Lahrs family in Lawton, Iowa, who recently found out that they were a part of this potentially deadly percentage. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that emits naturally from the earth, but it’s one of the leading causes of lung cancer after cigarette smoking.

Like lead, no amount of radon is safe. The EPA recommends that action be taken if there are 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, and the Lahrs test showed 6 pCi/L in their basement.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by the decay of uranium. It is typically found in rocks, soil, and water. Radon has the chance to enter the home through cracks in foundations, trapping it in the basement. It also can seep in through crannies exposed from the ridges on the roof. A safety measure would be to replace any depreciating ridge vents, as breathing in radon at high levels over a long period has been known to cause lung cancer. Read more mesothelioma info to learn about the radon effects.

Unfortunately, the EPA estimates 6 million to 8 million U.S. homes have elevated radon levels. Due to this case of the Lahrs family in Iowa, the Department of Public Health decided to investigate the matter. They found that as many as five in seven homes have radon levels above 4 pCi/L. This happened in January, so it is now designated National Radon Action Month.

Radon kits are available so that homeowners can see for themselves what their risk is. Hundreds of kits are being sold every year. Luckily, there is action being taken to help reduce the levels of radon in homes. EPA to conducted a short-term radon testing study in homes across 42 states over four years. They have since created a system that can help put home owners at ease. Radon levels can be reduced by having an active radon mitigation system installed. “Systems consist of 4-inch PVC pipe that extends from a hole in the basement floor through the roof. A fan sucks the radon gas from below the slab up the pipe and vents it outside,” according to the Sioux City Journal.

Hopefully these systems can help homeowners not just in Iowa, but in homes all over the world, and even reduce the incidence of lung cancer.


Related: Visit to learn more about their building correction services and foundation repairs and keep your home protected from any disaster.

Earthworms, soil, and… Mars?

According to ZME Science, two earthworms are the first animals to be born in Mars-like soil conditions.

There are three types of topsoil, at least on planet earth, which include sand, loam, and clay. On Mars, however, the soil conditions are a little bit different due to freezing temperatures and a lack of organic materials. But scientists are working hard to bridge the gap and learn more about the mysterious red planet.

In order to send humans to Mars, it’s essential that a sustainable agricultural system is developed. Thanks to these two earthworms, that task is no longer an impossibility.

“Clearly the manure stimulated growth, especially in the Mars soil simulant, and we saw that the worms were active,” said Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen University and Research. “However, the best surprise came at the end of the experiment when we found two young worms in the Mars soil simulant.”

Wageningen University and Research lead the revolutionary study by taking a look at how the earthworms could theoretically break down and recycle dead organic matter in a Mars-like environment. The Mars soil simulant has already been used to grow rucola, and the researchers simply added the fertilizer, the microorganisms, and the worms.

Thanks to the manure, the earthworms started to breed and the first ever offspring was contrived in this type of soil.

“The positive effect of adding manure was not unexpected, but we were surprised that it makes Mars soil simulant outperform Earth silver sand,” Wamelink added. “We added organic matter from earlier experiments to both sands. We added the manure to a sample of the pots and then, after germination of the rucola, we added the worms. We therefore ended up with pots with all possible combinations with the exception of organic matter which was added to all of the pots.”

Newsline reports that the research was part of NASA’s ongoing Food for Mars and Moon program. In the future, these marsworms could be the first step towards a sustainable human colon on the red planet.

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