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Top 12 Myths About Invisalign

Posted By: on October 2, 2014
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When most adults think of braces, they probably picture the unsightly metal version that was the only option in decades past. Fortunately, thanks to advances in modern dental technology, today’s patients don’t have to suffer through that long, painful, and inconvenient process.

Invisalign braces offer an easy, inconspicuous alternative for straightening teeth. Instead of the old metal braces that remained on your teeth for years, Invisalign consists of a series of clear plastic trays that gradually correct crooked teeth.

The patient wears one tray for a couple of weeks, then switches to a new tray for another two weeks, and so on until the desired result is achieved. Like any newer procedure, a lot of myths have developed around Invisalign clear braces. Here, we examine (and debunk) twelve of the most common misconceptions.

Myth #1: I can’t afford Invisalign

Reality: In most cases, the cost of Invisalign is close to that of traditional metal braces, which makes it a viable alternative for budget-minded families. Also, contact you may our practice to learn about flexible financing options.

Myth #2: Invisalign braces are difficult to take out

Reality: The plastic trays are very easy to remove and replace when it’s time to eat or brush teeth.

Myth #3: Invisalign braces are painful or uncomfortable

Reality: The flexible plastic trays are designed to ensure non-invasive, gentle straightening. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign will not chafe or irritate the inside of your mouth.

Myth #4: It takes longer than traditional braces

Reality: Most patients find that Invisalign actually achieves results more quickly than traditional braces, with an average total treatment time of one year. The plastic trays are replaced twice a month, as opposed to the six-week adjustments for metal braces.

Myth #5: I’ll have to pay for replacement aligners if they get lost or damaged

Reality: Most dental practices will provide a limited number of replacements at no charge.

Myth #6: My insurance won’t cover Invisalign

Most of today’s dental insurance policies cover a significant portion of Invisalign costs.

Myth #7: Only adults can get clear braces

Reality: Invisalign is safe and effective for all ages.

Myth #8: My teeth are extremely crooked, so I’m not a candidate for Invisalign

Reality: Invisalign is not just used for simple cases. Even severely misaligned, gapped, or crooked teeth can be effectively and quickly straightened with clear braces.

Myth #9: Invisalign will affect my speech

Reality: When the aligners are initially placed, there may be a slight impact on speech for the first couple of days. In most cases, it will be a small lisp. This will fade as you get accustomed to having them in your mouth.

Myth #10: It will be a pain to clean the aligners every day

Reality: The aligners are very easy to remove and clean. You can purchase an Invisalign cleaning kit, or simply brush and rinse the trays.

Myth #11: I can wear the aligners as much or as little as I want

Reality: For maximum results in the smallest amount of time, dentists recommend wearing Invisalign for at least 20 hours per day. The aligners should be removed only for eating and oral hygiene.

Myth #12: I won’t be able to eat my favorite foods during treatment

Reality: Because the trays can be easily removed, you will be able to enjoy all the same foods and drinks you did before Invisalign. This isn’t the case with traditional metal braces, which cannot be removed and often cause food to become stuck. However, to ensure proper oral hygiene, it’s important to brush after each meal.

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Simplify Your Life with Divorce Mediation

Posted By: on August 29, 2014
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divorce-mediation-cartoon

When people take the steps towards divorce or separation, it can be a very stressful time both emotionally and financially. According to this blog, mediation for divorcing couples that takes place out of court can reduce strain as well as costs. Each spouse gets personal support and advice while working towards an acceptable conclusion.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which two people get help from a third person to work out their differences. In the case of divorce, the mediator helps each party communicate and negotiate, but doesn’t make their decisions. The divorcing or legally separating parties get help with the parenting and financial complexities involved. The atmosphere is always of mutual understanding and respect so that each party’s concerns are heard.

What Does the Mediator Do?

The mediator will allow each party to speak without interruption and make sure they are on the same page about the precise details of the process. Many questions arise at the time of a divorce, and a professional mediator will be able to answer the questions and achieve a resolution that is acceptable to both parties. The mediator will take the time to explain all the legal issues to each party and make sure the issues are clearly understood before the person makes any decisions.

When the process is complete, the mediator will prepare appropriate court documents relating to financial details, legal details, and the care of minor children, which will save the divorcing parties costly court fees and legal expenses. The mediator will also do his or her best to resolve issues as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

In some cases, the mediator will meet separately with each spouse and act as a go-between while presenting the other person’s concerns. In other cases, the mediator meets the spouses together where communication is more direct. The method will depend on the particular couple. They can discuss the options with the mediator and decide how to proceed.

Some couples can amicably agree on the terms of their divorce and only need assistance preparing the legal documents. An out-of-court mediator can also do this. Some of the issues that are handled by a mediator for a divorcing or legally separating couple are:

• Child support document preparation

• Family business distribution document preparation

• Trusts and wills

• Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)

• Paternity

• Prenuptial

• Post-nuptial

What to Expect?

A divorcing couple can expect in-person expert guidance through all aspects of the divorce process. A good mediator will give a free consultation to help you understand the issues. Mediators are law and psychology experts with the ability to handle stressful, unhappy spouses. You’ll always feel you have the support of your mediator and never need to go to court.

If you and your spouse have basically agreed on your divorce settlement, a mediator can review your situation and make sure you haven’t missed anything important. You don’t require in-person contact, and everything can be handled by phone, email or video-conferencing. However, if you require it, you’ll also get live-person support. All of your court documents will be prepared, and you’ll never go to court.

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TopCultured Legends

Waffle Tetris: Fun and Yummy

Posted By: on October 4, 2009

We’ve talked about yummy mash-ups before… I believe the words were, “Take two things that are great and mash ‘em together and what do you get? Boob-cake.” Either way, I don’t think we’ve ever talked Read On »

3 Things to Love About Mexican Culture

Posted By: on October 10, 2013

Mexico’s culture has a rich history steeped in family values, religion, customs, and traditions. As testimony to its growing popularity, people relocate to Mexico for a variety of reasons — some professional, some personal. In Read On »

This Pacman Table Really Makes the Room

Posted By: on June 21, 2009

For fans of retro gaming garb, this table is a must have. The table was created by Erin McFadden of Dame Decor for Syd Bolton, curator of the Personal Computer Museum in Canada. Could it Read On »

Why it is Important to Discuss a Reverse Mortgage with Your Family?

Posted By: on August 11, 2014
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Reverse mortgages are excellent options for individuals over age 62 who experience unexpected financial problems during retirement. The reverse mortgage option can also help when the homeowner is in declining health and would prefer to stay in the home, even when they need a regular care giver. Although there may be other options available, a reverse mortgage is still a good method of making life easier during retirement. But, it is important to remember that restrictions on the home apply after the fact because the home will stand as collateral on the mortgage and may affect the final disposition of the family estate.

No Surprises

Failing to discuss the particulars of a financial decision such as this can make a big difference when the homeowner passes away. Children and spouses often assume a home can be retained following the death of the homeowner. Sometimes this is not the case when the estate is finally settled. It is important to discuss any pertinent financial situations with your spouse and children so everyone is aware of what may happen in an untimely event or family calamity. In addition, be thorough when asking a reverse mortgage provider about the collateral considerations involving the home. Everyone concerned should be involved in the decision.

Inheritor Input

Two heads are often better than one. Information is power in more ways than one, and often it is vital to listen to other concerned individuals who may offer a viewpoint that had not previously been considered. A decision to obtain a reverse mortgage is a serious financial decision late in life, as the opportunity is only available to those homeowners over the age of 62. Even discussing the possibility with your grandchildren can provide concerns that may have been omitted previously. This is normally not necessary for families with considerable wealth, but having an estate planned out is important, especially for those who must deal with the circumstances later. Sage advice can come from unusual sources.

Refinancing Options

Even when a home is required to stand as collateral, it is always a good idea to discuss a possible refinancing of the property after the last borrower leaves the home or dies. Making sure your spouse or children may stay in the home can be an important factor in the final decision. Knowing what options are available for refinancing can offer some needed reassurance. Discussing the potential for maintaining the property with multiple creditors can also provide useful information and potential available refinancing options.

Selecting a Reverse Mortgage Professional

Selecting a dependable and reputable reverse mortgage lender can help immensely in the preparation period before making a final decision in obtaining a home equity loan. The conditions of the loan after death do not begin until the final individual on the loan leaves the home. This is usually a spouse, but including them in the financial particulars can be crucial. Your inheritors should also be included in this process so the lending agency is aware of authorized individuals to discuss the loan parameters. Everyone should know what is going to happen before it actually happens.

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Entry Level Cars That are Cool to Own

Posted By: on July 27, 2014
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2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Cars prices under $18,000 in the past were boring and didn’t actually offer any real benefit to the owner, but with a move toward the smaller cars automakers have built many models that are fuel efficient, tech-savvy and much more functional than ever before including being really cool and fun to drive.  How would a shopper go about finding one of these great cars or knowing which ones to take a look at?  Kelley Blue Book publishes a list each year of the ten coolest cars under $18,000 and here is a look at each one.

They’re the type of cars you’ll see on Indy Buy Here Pay Here lots in a few years and they’re worth every penny.

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Is Life Insurance Really Essential?

Posted By: on July 5, 2014
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Benefits Life Insurance

 

Life insurance is a contract between the policy holder and the insurer in which the holder of the policy pays a predetermined premium in exchange for a benefit upon death. Some policies trigger payments for terminal illnesses or offer additional coverage for funeral costs. A person can also purchase an insurance policy for someone else, so the insured and the policy holder aren’t necessarily the same person. If you’ve been wondering whether life insurance is essential to your financial health, these guidelines can help you decide which type of life insurance policy is best for your situation and peace of mind.

Types of Life Insurance

According to this article from CNN, there are two main types of life insurance policies. Term life insurance policies are purely insurance and typically expire at a predetermined age. Whole life insurance is a combination investment and insurance package. If you run into dire financial straits, your whole life policy may be able to be cashed out for the premiums you’ve already paid less taxes and fees.

Life Insurance Caveats

If you have a chronic or terminal illness, you may have a difficult time finding a life insurance policy. If you do find an insurer who is able to cover you, the premiums could be a considerable amount of money due to the risk that you pose. According to this article from The Nest, whole life insurance policy premiums may cost up to 10 times as much as term life premiums. However, whole life policies may grow faster and provide your family with a significant sum of money upon your death.

Who Should Consider a Life Insurance Policy?

Few people want to think about death. However, just like taxes, death is an inevitable part of living. Anyone with dependents should consider purchasing life insurance, explains this article from Fox Business. This is especially true while you’re providing the financial support for those dependents. Once your children are grown, they may not need your financial backing as much but you may still desire to leave them with a nest egg or leave your grandchildren an inheritance. If you don’t have dependents, you may wish to purchase insurance to cover the cost of your funeral expenses or leave the funds in the policy to your favorite charity. According to this article on Cigna.com, NZ insurance companies offer income insurance to reduce the economic burden of a job loss, illness or accident.

Making Sure Your Coverage Meets Your Needs

Life changes and so should your life insurance coverage, explains this article courtesy of WATE.com. If you’ve had more children, divorced or experienced another life-changing event, you’ll want to contact your insurer to review your coverage. If you’ve purchased a home, car or valuable piece of jewelry or art, you may want to bundle those insurance packages with the same insurance provider to save on premiums through package discounts.

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Information for Managing Nocturnal Enuresis

Posted By: on July 4, 2014
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Nocturnal enuresis is a regular health issue among many children and adolescents. The disorder is commonly referred to as “bed-wetting.” For centuries little was actually known on how to combat the problem, as physicians have normally explained to parents that children will grow out of it by adulthood unless there is a more severe medical condition impacting inability to control the bladder. Luckily, advances in contemporary medical research have resulted in new information and products that can help doctors diagnose and treat the problem, while giving parents and children a reasonably effective regimen for coping. Enuresis alarm is no longer a medical issue that parents are generally advised to let run its course.

What is Nocturnal Enuresis?

Nocturnal enuresis is one of three types of enuresis. Diurnal enuresis is more severe and the inability to control the bladder can occur at any time. In addition, some children suffer from both forms of the disease, which can raise concern that there is an underlying medical issue involved. Nocturnal enuresis occurs when the children are unable to clamp the flow of urine from the bladder specifically during the sleep cycle. Given that there are three basic parts of the sleep cycle, it is unclear which cycle is the most prevalent when the disorder manifests. Sleep cycle research has revealed that the disorder rarely manifests in the initial sleep cycle. The occurrences are more prevalent in the deeper sleep cycles, with neither the second or third cycle having a specific frequency indicator.

What Causes Nocturnal Enuresis?

There are several reasons the condition occurs in certain children. There is significant evidence indicating the disorder can be congenital when family histories show an inability to control the bladder during sleep. General urology research has shown that 43 percent of children experience the problem if one parent had the same problem, and the rate of occurrence increases to 77 percent when both parents suffered the same way. There is significance in those numbers. However, some children may suffer from a weak brain signal during the sleep cycle that does not alert the child to wake up when the bladder is full, which then empties naturally when the bladder reaches a certain level. Even with these statistics to support causes for the disorder, there is still no clear etiology for manifestation outside of genetics.

Treatment and Management

According to the website Medscape, nocturnal enuresis is not a disease that should be treated surgically. Defects in the ureter may be a different medical issue that can be improved with surgery, but this is one of the underlying medical conditions that can impact the severity and frequency of the issue. Sleep apnea can also be an additional problematic health condition, though it is rare in children. Medical professionals do not recommend training as an effective form of treatment for nocturnal enuresis because of practicality. No significant research evidence was found to suggest bladder training will improve the condition. The most effective treatment for typical moderate cases of nocturnal enuresis has proven to be finding the best pharmaceutical medicine available for the particular child.

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4 Signs You’re Paying Too Much for IT

Posted By: on June 4, 2014
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Whether you manage a government agency, mega-corporation, or tiny startup, there’s one thing every business and agency has in common: the need for quality IT.

Maybe you’re at the point where you need an entire, permanent IT department of your own, or maybe you can outsource your computer systems management to a freelance IT tech on a part-time basis. No matter what your needs, getting them properly covered is critical. student_money_small

For government agencies, ensuring your IT needs are managed like a business is key for security and smooth sailing. For startups, budgetary constraints are going to be a bigger concern, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for subpar support.

Here are a few signs that you may be overpaying for IT, whether it’s strictly in dollar amount or in relation to the quality you’re getting.

1. You feel you have to micromanage

Have you asked your IT technician to change the website to the new logo, but only the homepage got updated? Do you still find landing pages with the old logo?

This is just one example, but if you’re basically having to follow IT around to make sure they clean up (just like with a toddler), you might as well figure out how to do it yourself.

2. You’re not given clear reports

It’s part of the IT team’s job to explain to you, in terms you can understand, what’s happening. It doesn’t matter how tech-savvy you are or aren’t.

They specialize in communications, and if you’re not getting that, then you have a problem. However, make sure you ask for clarification first before looking at different options.

3. Your SEO has plateaued

Search engine optimization (SEO) is key for businesses of all sizes. Nobody can guarantee you top ranking for your keywords. But different aspects of your SEO should show improvement over time and regular reports should reflect that.

4. Customers complaining about your web presence

This is huge. A few complaints are normal (for example, if a Luddite can’t figure out your mobile app v. desktop layout).

However, if the same complaints are rolling in at a fairly steady rate, the problem is probably on your end. More people are using mobile devices than desktops now, so being mobile-ready with responsive design is critical.

Your IT department should be (really) working for you, not the other way around. You’re paying for certain results, and if you’re not getting them, then why are you wasting time and money?

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4 Ways Your Mobile Device Can Help You Learn an Instrument

Posted By: on May 30, 2014
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Learning how to read and play music is one of the best leisure activities you can take up. Not only does it improve your physical dexterity, but it can also boost your cognitive capabilities.

Neurologists at Harvard Medical School have discovered structural brain changes in people who have been trained musically. Learning to play an instrument can have an immensely positive impact on your memory and mathematically ability.

So what are you waiting for? Start learning a new instrument with these apps.

Timing

The metronome is a cornerstone tool when you’re starting to learn musical timing. One of the first things you learn to identify on your sheet music is the time signature, which helps you pace the overall song.

A metronome can help you stick to this time signature, so you don’t play too fast or too slow. Metronome Beats for Android phones lets you customize the beat easily.

You can even save metronome presets for common time signatures. Apple device users can explore apps such as Pro Metronome, which uses both light and sound to indicate the pace of your music.

Basic concepts

Music theory can seem extremely arcane to the uninitiated. Mobile education apps such as Better Ears can help you get accustomed to the nuances of chord progressions and scales, with auditory examples.

This app helps train you to recognize sounds, key signatures, tempi, chords, and scales by ear. Training your ear can make the music learning process infinitely easier.

Video demonstrations

Some people learn better by watching music get performed. There’s a wealth of tutorial videos on websites such as YouTube.

You can even learn specific techniques, flairs, and songs by following along with musicians in YouTube videos. Not sure how to position your hands while playing a fast-paced song on the piano? Uncertain about how a tremolo bar works?

Just do a quick search on YouTube, and your questions will be answered.

Sheet music

There are scores of educational apps that can teach you to read sheet music, including iReadMusic, Ocarina, and Notable. These apps will get you acquainted with the treble and bass clefs, bars, measures, staff notes, and rhythm markings.

Pretty soon, you’ll be able to play classical pieces by Beethoven! Get started with your musical education by downloading some of these education apps.

They present music theory, sheet music, and rhythm in an approachable manner, so you can start jamming right way. Good luck in your musical endeavors!

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4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Employee Training

Posted By: on May 30, 2014
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When we join a new company, most of us expect to go through a training process in which we learn the ropes and become acquainted with an organization’s internal structure, culture, and systems. We’ll also become familiar with the competencies that will enable us to excel in our position.

However, information and experiences can pass us by if we take a passive seat during the training, as well as after it. Here are four active learning techniques you should utilize during your training process.

1. Ask questions

Curiosity is excellent not just for you as a new worker, but for the health of the company. While you’re learning new procedures, be sure to ask instructors to clarify points that are not clear.

Asking questions can help reinforce your ability to retain difficult information. If you find yourself brimming with questions, try to write them down and ask about them near the end of class.

Be considerate of the time for other trainees; make sure they’re also able to get their questions addressed. By waiting, you might find answers or additional questions you’ll need to have covered.

2. Collaborate with others

Working together on problem solving can help people form experiences that connect the dots between newly learned concepts. If you have the opportunity to train with others in your group, you’ll not only grasp concepts faster, but you’ll also get to know your teammates better.

Don’t shy away from group project work; your training experience will only be enriched through collaboration. Ask your instructors if you can assist them in completing work tasks, so you can apply concepts to action.

3. Request hands-on experience

Depending on the type of learner you are, you might actually benefit more from performing a task, rather than just hearing about or seeing the instructions.

Many entrepreneurs dislike PowerPoint presentations because it severely limits the depth of discussion and the attendees’ ability to engage with the subject matter. You’ll be able to develop professional skill sets faster by incorporating the work tasks into the training.

4. Know your resources

Where do you go for help moving forward? Be sure to note any and all reference sources, such as knowledge base articles and in-house experts. These can be invaluable during your effort to revamp the process and achieve a new organization.

Are you excited about your next training session? Professional development doesn’t have to be a snooze; it could be one of the most important growth opportunities of your life.

Practice your active learning skills whenever you have training opportunities, and watch your career flourish.

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Long-Distance Real Estate Shopping is Easier Than Ever

Posted By: on May 21, 2014
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Finding the perfect new home in your local community is a full-time task, even with a smart Realtor leading the way. So you’d think that reaching out to find and purchase a home several thousand miles away would be a lot harder.

In the past, this chore was definitely time consuming and often prey to disappointments as, for example, neighborhoods didn’t turn out as advertised. But when technology is added to old-fashioned pounding the pavement, long-distance real estate shopping can be highly successful.

Data searches narrow the field

According to Keller Williams, you can find quaint neighborhoods hidden in any big city. It’s critical to scour the Internet for neighborhood reviews and amenity breakdowns.

For instance, some websites will provide a map of an area that’s bicycle friendly. Take a look at census records to grasp area density and income levels.

Reviews of local schools and restaurants are abundant, and give long-distance shoppers a feel for their potential new community. Use the data to filter out undesirable areas. This can make your home searching process much easier than it used to be.

Enlist help

Buyers still need assistance on the local level when they narrow down the search to several choice communities. Talk to social media friends, in particular, to see if anyone lives in the desired area.

Enlist their help to visit attractive properties. Ask them to snap some photos and provide some commentary on the surrounding area.

Those online photos could give you different angles, and make the property look more or less desirable than what you can see online. The local friend may even stumble on a hidden property that he or she finds intriguing.

Working together to cover the waterfront is a smart way to find a good home.

Visit more than once

It can be tempting to make an offer even before you visit an area, but it’s critical to see the neighborhood in person several times before purchasing. The local friend is a great resource, but you the buyer must ultimately be happy with the neighborhood.

Visit the area during different seasons, such as fall and spring, if possible. As time passes, you’ll see changes in climate and neighborhood evolution. For example, there may be a mass exodus from the area at certain times of the year because of seasonal residents.

Consider a summer rental

Buying property is a huge commitment for any person or family. If your long-distance research raises questions, you might consider renting a home or apartment first.

Many people need to move quickly for work reasons. Renting a property reduces the stress of having to find the perfect home in a short time. You can take your time in the area to wait on the right property to open up.

Rentals are often month-to-month commitments, so if you take that option, moving into a purchase property is possible at almost any time. Read the rental contract carefully to keep your options open for a real estate purchase.

A long-distance purchase is possible with patience, clever research, and the help of friends if you can get it.

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