Friday, November 30, 2012

Coupons from FedEx, GreekGears and PerfectPen that should be interesting to you.


The holidays are here. Although one can find lots of coupon codes and sweepstakes online, he has to be choosy when making a purchase. Do not make a purchase on impulse because there are lots of discounts and stuff offered at giveaway prices.

The list below are offer I received that I believe you could be interested in.

Company: Greek Gear.

Description: Company deals in the fraternity and sorority market. They have products for undergraduate students, whatever the preference. They specialize in the design space and can make designs for T-shirts, gift cards, even on you iPad case and laptop bags.
Available coupons:

Coupon Code: Greek5

Description: For all orders made before 1st of December, 2012, you can save 5% on all greekgear.com orders coupon code greek5. Fraternity and Sorority gifts included.
Expires: Dec. 01 2012.

Coupon Code: Greek10.

Description: You can save 10% on Fraternity and Sorority Gifts over $100 coupon code greek10.
Expires: Dec. 01, 2012.

Coupon Code: Greek11.

Description: You can save 11% on greekgear.com orders over $250 coupon code greek11.
Expires: Dec. 01, 2012.

Coupon code: shipfree.

Description: You can save with free shipping on greekgear.com orders over $75 coupon code shipfree.

Company: FedEx Corporation.

Description: Fedex is a shipping, logistics and courier services company. It has offices worldwide. Organized into FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx custom critical. FedEx is one of the contributors to the American Red Cross during the Hurricane Sandy campaign.
Available coupons:

Coupon code: GAN151.

Description:Use FedEx OfficeSM Print Online to customize your documents with binding, tabs and inserts, track your order and save your documents for easy re-ordering . Use coupon code GAN151 to save 15% on your next order.
Expires: Feb. 01, 2015.

Coupon code: GAN200.

Description:Use coupon code GAN200 to save 20% on your next order over $150.
Expires: Feb. 01, 2015.

Holiday Special Offer.

Description: Get 30% off card and calendars this holiday season.
Expires: Dec. 16, 2012.

Company: Perfect Pen.

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Description: Perfect Pen and Stationery offers promotional pens and stationery from thousands of companies. Its pens and products can be personalized with your company name and logo.

Available coupons.

Coupon Code: HOLIDAYTIER.

Description: Get up to 25.00% off. (minimum purchase of $300.00). Valid online only on Perfect Pen brand products.
Expires: Jan. 01, 2013.

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How can you enjoy your vacation and experience happiness when you are still addicted to the Internet?


Internet Drugs on Demand. Credit: Flickr.com, Don Hankins
Are you addicted to the Internet? I wish you weren’t. You should admit you are when you miss the value of spending an experience on your vacation for the PC or Internet. Vacation times are for refreshment, for having a good time, leaving all the worries behind. Fine and good, you need to check your emails, to communicate with friends and send them your vacation pictures. Gone are the days of postcards signed with love. The Internet makes communication and sharing fun and easy.

The caveat is when travelers and vacationers who are supposed to be having a good time are using their laptops and smart phones often, taking away from the experience of a vacation.

Plan your vacation wisely

It is easy to get bored during a vacation. Try not to allow that to happen. Many persons have resorted to killing the boredom by spending time on the Internet. Experts suggest that you should value the experience of socializing. Try to think of this time as time that should be well spent; put your mind off material things and money. People who were primed to think about time spent more time socializing and were happier, while people who are primed with money spent more time with their noses buried in books and were less happy when they emerged.

Because you wanted to spend time on the Internet while on vacation does not mean you are addicted to the Internet. Pulling out computers, iPads and smartphones at home and work could be addictive. Addiction to the Internet should be suspected when you fail to realize the purpose of vacationing. You should plan your trips wisely before booking any ticket. Technology and gadgets should be put in their place. Again and again, it has been proved that time and experience spent on vacations, concerts, amusement parks and restaurants is money well spent when compared with priced objects, trinkets or even gadgets. You have to be careful though when planning your vacation because opting for the wrong vacation is more costly and more potentially damaging than making risky material purchases.

Make sure of the more important things, not money.

How much would you pay to be happier? I will give you a secret. Spending time with people will make you happier than making money or getting rich.
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Focusing on money only motivates you to work more, and have less time for socializing. Working hours does not make one generally happy. What this means is that whether rich or poor, you need to make time a resource that should be treasured and spent. Vacation times are opportunities for that. Making money is important, but much more important is finding happiness. If it is possible for you to leave everything behind, every gadget or technology equipment behind when on vacation, do it. Get attached to people during this period. Take up things like diving, swimming on the beach, eating coconut and other fruits, or even climbing mountains. Go fishing, visit the museum. You will and cannot enjoy life when throughout the year you are focused on making money and getting glued to a screen. Enjoy your vacation. Take your mind off the Internet when you are on vacation.

It is easier said than done when you are addicted to the Internet. What you need is willpower. Finding a balance between time spent on vacation and the time to answer essential emails and communicate with loved ones and family is very important. You can find the Internet in major vacation destinations in the world so you can get transport schedules, site seeing schedules, transport routes etcetera, but overall, make sure you do not spend an inordinate amount of time on these activities that you miss the point of vacationing. The holidays are here. Plan where to spend time for a vacation.

( Related post: Enjoy an all-inclusive vacation at the Caribbeans this holiday. )


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dogs can spend their time at paradise so you don’t have to worry! Airbags can kill your dog.


The holidays are here. We love our pets. The numerous discounts and coupons that you can find on the Internet are not limited to us; pets also have their world. Dogs also have the news.

Here are snippets of news bits about dogs I found on the net.

Dog hoarding addiction or dog collection addiction?

This might be a case of addiction to hoarding dogs or to collecting dogs. A man was discovered with 149 sick and starving Chihuahua dogs at his home in Ogden, Link to story.

You’ll find the story interesting. Could be an extreme case of dog love or some neurosis.

Operation Broken Chain: ARS to the rescue.

Operation Broken Chain, one of the largest dog fighting operations has recorded another success. Resuce officials were able to move 65 dogs to an emergency shelter in Nashville. The dogs were found underweight and discovered by firefighters during a brush fire on property along Buckeye Road on Thanksgiving night, in Ashland City, Tennessee.

Link to original story.

The dog rescue operation is still ongoing and the ARS has room for contributors. If you are interested in volunteering in this daunting effort, email the animal rescue corps: volunteer@animalrescuecorps.org with subject line Operation Broken Chain.

Driving with your dog in the front seat can kill your dog.

Although airbags were supposed to be for vehicle safety, but during a collision, when not properly buckled up, they could prove dangerous. They could be dangerous for little children. And also for dogs.

A distracted driver found this out after an accident when she lost her dog and then found it injured later.

Original article.

She would have lost her dog.

Her lesson from this experience: always ride your dog in the back seat. The airbag can kill your dog.

Some thief hopes to make this dogs starve if they escape shooting.

I wonder who would pray some poor dogs that have escaped being shot starve? A dog resuce volunteer’s hoe at Windsor Park, Mannitoba, Canada, Jill Britton, was broken into with 44 boxes of dog food and supplies stolen.

Original article

The dogs must be running wild at Mannitoba.

This community kills dog, (awful!) because of an overpopulation or dog problem and the Norway House Animal Rescue Network strives to rescue and protect these animals just before they are shot. The food was stolen so the dogs would starve.

Dogs also suffer from diabetes.

November is diabetes month. Diabetes is not confined to only man. Cats and dogs can contact diabetes too. Diabetes in dogs has a low incidence though; about 1 percent of the pet population in U.S.A.

How is dog diabetes discovered? It is when a previously house-trained pet has urine accidents in the house. Dog diabetes is also diagnosed by detection of elevated glucose in the urine and blood of the dog.

All these information were found at the postbulletin.com news story site. As with humans, dogs require regular insulin therapy. Ann M. Anderson has much more to teach on diabetes in dogs and treatment of the condition in dogs.

Follow the story.

If you happen to be at DFW airport and your dog is not worth the trouble, paradise4pawsdallas.com can offer pet boarding

Dogs can now spend their holidays at the DFW airport, thanks to www.paradise4pawsdallas.com.

The service is meant for holiday enthusiasts who want to spend the holidays traveling without their dogs from the DFW airport. Paradise4paws offers pet boarding, daycare, pet pick-up and drop-off services. Founder Saq Nadeem says they offer luxury accommodations for dogs and cats, including overnight suites. The company reports that people dropped off their pets at the resort just before flying out for the holiday.

In case you happen to be at DFW airport with a pet, bookmark this site.


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Monday, November 26, 2012

Forming blind trust for a pretty face might be influenced by gestures and nonverbal cues.


In 1979, the French pop artist, Lear Amanda, released an album titled: “Never trust a pretty face.”

Amanda Lear. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Never trust a pretty face
You could regret it
Never trust a pretty face
It's so inviting
Amanda Lear, never trust a pretty face.

She must have been speaking our minds. We need trust for social and economic interactions like building friendship, forming business partnerships and allowing strangers into our premises to work smoothly. Don’t fall into the inviting trap of trusting a pretty face. You might regret it. One fact is clear: as humans, we ignore what people say but place how they act, how they talk, how they move their body, as telling points in whether we are going to trust or not.

Good communication skills are not enough for trust. Non-verbal cues, along with gestures that stimulate trust, are more important than speaking well and speaking clearly.

Trusting is not as simple as that.

The decision to trust people is an intuitive process. It is honed over the years due to experience gained by interacting with several persons, and relating each interaction. Some research done at the University of Warwick also makes it clear that how people look can influence whether we trust them or not. It was found that we tend to ignore a person’s past history or reputation, whether good or bad, if their look rubs us off the right way, and can trust them with our money.

The incentive to trust is also inscribed in our genes. The love hormone, oxytocin, can affect our behavior when triggered and make us either show positive emotions like trust, empathy and generosity, or make us exhibit negative emotions like jealousy and gloating. Oxytocin bolsters pro-social behavior and can increase negative sentiments when our association with a person is negative.

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A new research, by using a robot Nexi, suggests that the decision to trust others with our money and relationships is carried out by complex interacting mechanisms involving sight, hormones and nonverbal cues, or what one of the researchers, David DeSteno has termed “a dance” or interplay between strangers. According to him, "…there's no one golden-cue. Context and coordination of movements is what matters." The mechanisms are complex and interesting. It can help us explain why we can suddenly decide to trust someone because he talks glibly and the next moment, on a seconds’ notice, we decide not to trust him because he placed his hands into his pockets while talking glibly. It could help explain to you why you had to undergo a body scan at the airport while the passenger next to you was allowed to walk freely without questions asked!

To receive, give trust signals.

So, when next you thought you were discriminated against when a situation requires trust, ask yourself whether you made it happen so? Your behavior must have been a mimic of someone who turned out to be untrustworthy in the past. No wonder, the company and the role models we imitate can make or mar our fortunes. Also, the way your dress, your clothing, and how your face looks to other people, can make them trust or count you out as untrustworthy. Your reputation might rank low in the trust ratings if you do not make the effort to look your best for that occasion.

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As Dr. Chris Olivola from the University of Warwick’s Warwick Business School observed, “…the temptation to judge strangers by their faces is hard to resist.” So, as trustworthiness is an important trait for social and economic interactions, you could end up losing that job interview, or that much sought for contract, if you do not do your best to look well for the occasion.

Look like you can be trusted. Act like you can be trusted. In addition, do not allow your emotions to rule your head when confronted with negative emotions.


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Enjoy an all-inclusive vacation at the Carribeans this holiday.


The holidays are here. Your idea of vacation involves good rest, getting refreshed and coming back with memories that will linger forever. The U.S Virgin Islands have lots of things to offer you that can suit any wallet.

Here are some reasons why the U.S Virgin Islands should be on your calendar as vacation time gets closer. As Rihanna once said, you should get a good taste of the Caribbean and see the fun side.

Abundant marine resources

The U.S Virgin Island may be a small Island made of three Islands, St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, but the coastlines boast of a rich variety of marine life like lionfishes, seahorses, stingrays and so much more. Iguanas are grown here, tortoises thrive here and cat-sized hutias are suitable for hunting and farming due to the absence of dense woodlands. Compared to the bigger Islands, they have better wind flow, fewer mosquitoes, sufficient water and a good view to the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean.
The face of an iguana
The face of an Iguana. Credit: Flickr.com; nal from miami

An extensive network of beaches and bays

The list of beaches and bays one can find at the U.S Virgin Islands is extensive – Bolongo bay, Coki beach, Brewer’s Bay, Hull bay, Lindquist beach etc. They offer plentiful supply of white sand, watersports, excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. The Coral World Ocean Park, a marine life park, can be found on Coki beach. These beaches and bays offer beach chairs to tourists and visitors for rent. There are numerous restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the tranquility and calmness of the Sea.

Pets are always welcome without restrictions

There are no quarantine requirements for bringing pets like cats and dogs to the Island, or even taking them out. There are Animal shelter centers on the Island where you can adopt pets. Every traveler though should take precautions and make enquiries before traveling. Where you intend traveling by air, contact your carrier for details about pet travel and pets as part of your luggage.
Lionfish. Credit: Flickr.com; dachalan.

Countless sea side “all inclusive” resorts.

All-inclusive resorts and spas that in addition to providing lodging, give you the opportunity to avail yourself of a wide range of other amenities such as unlimited food, beverages,
Sugar Bay Resort and Spa, St. Thomas.Boasting of numerous online reviews, lots of cabanas on the Caribbean, golf outlets, a spa, restaurants and nightclubs, including facilities for health and fitness. The rooms open onto Smith Bay, are equipped with supervised childcare facilities, with cable and satellite TV channels, are wired to the Internet. Company Website. For flight schedules, try travel sites like hipmunk.com.
sports activities, and daily and nightly entertainment. Golf, diving and spa services would usually cost extra, as does top-shelf liquor at some resorts. To name a few, there is Gallows Point Resort at Cruz Bay, Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay, St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach Resort, East End and Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, St. Thomas.

Make a Caribbean vacation part of your plans these holidays. Make that decision now. Note though that the cost of living is higher than average compared to cities at the U.S mainland and also high compared to the per capita income. You will never regret spending your vacations and holidays here.

Disclaimer: The information provided with this post is for guidelines and general information based on online research and discussion with informed persons. Featured products or services do not mean an endorsement but a guide to offerings that can suit your needs. When a link refers to some external website, and that site contains questionable content, I am not responsible. All the links have been checked before posting this piece.


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Policy measures that could arrest rising health care costs from expanding waistlines.


How often do you read the labels on food you buy? It is a good thing to regularly do so. We tend to trust familiar brands, or end up buying food with too much calories or even rotten food. Talking about buying something that is bad for the health, rising obesity rates is a global problem. Expanding waistlines mean rising health-care costs for diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancers. What would you do when health-care costs are beyond your income? Not pretty much, except hope for government’s protection.

One of government’s role is to stem the tide of negative externalities such as rising obesity rates causing a problem for health-care delivery. Nola Ries, a University of Alberta researcher, has published several articles on how the government can help on controlling health-care costs due to rising obesity rates by taking action at all levels of the market: at the producers, the consumers, the government sector and educators.

Obesity is not the only guilty party.

As much as we all desire low cost healthcare, rising obesity rates is not the only cause of the problem. In an online article, a health care policy expert, David Hogberg, Ph.D, has argued that putting all Americans under Medicare, or Medicare for All, would not solve her problem of rising health care costs. Especially for Medicare recipients, Amy S. Kelly of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in another article, made it clear that the amount of spending for out-of-pocket health care expenses are rising and vary with the patient’s illness. Patients who require special arrangements, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, account for a size-able difference in the spending patterns. According to Kelly, these out-of-pocket spending would surprise a lot of people if they had a look into available data.

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Whatever the size of the problem, proactive solutions have to start from somewhere. Ries defined her prescription as a multi-layered approach which would involve “…multiple levels -- directed at the food and beverage industry, at individuals, at those who educate and those who restrict -- must work together to be effective."

The Government will surely pick one from all these policy measures.

Policy measures that would involve the food and beverage industry include the possibility of zoning restrictions on new fast-food outlet locations. Maybe make junk food and high calorie food rarer in areas more prone to obesity so that it would be more expensive to reach out for one. She also advised on mandatory menu labeling. Menu labeling enables you as the consumer to make better food choices, is less coercive than taxation and outright bans, and furthermore, would help Americans understand the rationale for policy measures.

How about a junk food tax? This would increase the price of junk food, especially sugar sweetened beverages, and discourage consumption of these “sin” products by the younger and poorer sectors of the economy. This is not the first time a “sin tax” is being placed on consumables. Sin taxes exist on alcohol and tobacco in many parts of the world; is particularly much higher in France and Romania. The tax would also provide a revenue stream to help combat the problem in other levels. Professors Helen Jensen and John Beghin at the ISU do agree with her, but disagree on what stage of the production process the sin tax should be placed. A sin tax, they state, applied to sweetened goods on store shelves is not the most efficient, effective method of lowering caloric intake from sweet food and would be more disruptive to consumers than necessary. The goal is to reduce caloric consumption and the target, they believe, should be taxing the inputs rather than the finished products. These would allow food processors to reduce the amount of sweeteners they put into their products, will tend towards using more of the lesser-taxed artificial sweeteners and less of the higher-taxed sweeteners that are heavy in sugary products.

portions at margie’s diner. Credit: Flickr.com, Emdot.

Taxing sweet food at the store shelves would hurt the poor most, and maybe lose its impact, although the research does not make any claim about lowering obesity. The rising obesity rate has many factors and the amount of calories consumed is only one, the economists argue.

How about these? Would you be happy if the government gave you a $1 coupon every time you made a choice for healthy food as against junk? I really do not understand the economics of making that happen, but Ries believes it can also help combat rising health-care costs and declining fitness levels. She wants people to live happier, healthier and more active lifestyles. Fitness tax credits though are short term measures. "Instead of spending more money on educational initiatives to tell people what they already know -- like eat your greens and get some exercise -- I suggest it's better to focus on targeted programs that help people make and sustain behavior change."

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The government would surely take action, but what steps it would follow is left to policy makers. While they are at it, I have to remind you once again: eat healthy, get much exercise, stay off too much sweets and furthermore, make someone in the planet happy by donating to causes. I wish you all a happy healthier working week.

Source: Legislated to Health?


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Office lies (2): Don’t expect your friends to cover-up for you, if your crime will make you better off than them.


My last blog post on office lies dwelt on one not expecting his colleagues to be lying friends when he has committed a punishable crime because they might get punished for it. It was emphasized that although friendship is important, propriety or the sense of duty lies above friendship. This piece will explain why, although your friends might not tell on you until asked, but where the possibility of punishment exists, they will surely bring you to book if they think your crime made you better off than them.

If you live in a lawless society, it is not surprising that people take laws into their hands when a criminal is caught. One of the reasons is that money confers political and social power on people. In lawless societies, giving such power to criminals is a dangerous thing. Sometimes, the police turn blind to such jungle justice.

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People behave in unreasonable ways when money is at stake. So, if after being engaged in wrongdoing and you expect your friends to cover-up for you, better make sure you did not gain any monetary benefit from your crime. If you did, it would instill a negative emotion on them that will draw up a desire to make sure you get punished. This is because they will compare the power and prestige your extra wealth would have conferred on you above theirs, and make sure you pay for it.

Would the criminal retaliate?

When one commits an office crime, he is trying to take advantage of others. Firms exist because of the transaction and production costs associated with providing goods and services for the greater public. People who work in such firms have agreed to live by a company rule and regulation, sacrificing their own personal gain - like working extra hours, going on training - in order to make sure the firm succeeds. By committing a crime, you are taking advantage of the generous sacrifices of your colleagues.

Yet, people do it all the time because they will gain material advantages over others. When found out, rather than get a sympathetic ear from friends, they get punished. Whether that punishment is accepted or the criminal retaliates in kind, depends on the society concerned. Where the society places law and order ahead of personal material gains, such criminals find it more difficult to retaliate. Hence they accept the punishment. Where the society is lawless, parochial or authoritarian, the criminals have found it easy to retaliate. Hence, people usually take matters into their hands. You can see why people hesitate to cooperate with a cheat or criminal? Because they violate corporate norms and where they are left unpunished, everyone suffers, most especially those who have sacrificed for the firm.

You should always make your friends know that you are going to stand up for them, both in and out of the office. That is what friendship stands for. Your cooperation has its limits though. By committing a crime, he is putting your means of livelihood at danger. If you have children to take care of, what kind of friendship is he promoting? One doubts if he can make such same sacrifice for you. No one wants to get fired because he wants to protect a precious friendship. You shouldn’t.

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Before you run to management though to report for a crime committed, better make sure you understand the values and the societal norms in your area. It might be your friend, or not, but what you should be interested in is that the firm’s interest and the interest of everyone, is well protected. If the criminal will not cooperate but is likely to retaliate in some other way, you should be very careful how you go about it. But if the cheat or criminal behaves more cooperatively, then you will have gained both a colleague and a friend.

To agree or not depends on you.

Sometimes, we lie for good causes. No one is debating the morality of a lie or not, rather what you should expect of your friends if you want them to cover-up for you in the office. If you are known to be a fighter for the common good, to have sacrificed yourself for the success of the firm, you could get a sympathetic ear; otherwise you will surely get punished, especially if money is involved. Remember, the world is a difficult place. People can be deceptive or manipulative because they are seeking material advantages over others.

When someone asks for you to help him from a wrong doing, whatever you chose to do, to help or have him punished, be careful of your decision. If you ask me, I’d make sure my decision was going to benefit the common good.

<<< 1 Office lies (1): Don't expect your friends to cover-up for you, if they will lose something of value.


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Monday, November 19, 2012

Office lies (1): Don’t expect your friends to cover-up for you, if they will lose something of value.


Friendship is a human social need. It is a part of what makes us alive. That is why wherever human societies thrive, the need to return favors, to give something back when someone has extended favors, is a principle we imbibe in our children. This principle is called reciprocity. It is the principle that Jesus was enunciating when he told his disciples that “there is more in giving than in receiving.”

More interestingly, humans do not show any bias in giving. We can give for infinite reasons, and sometimes, to complete strangers who have done nothing for us in the past, just because we feel happy doing so.

On the other hand, what would you do if a friend, because he has been covering up for you, suddenly asks you to lie for him in the office when he discovers that a crime he committed might be discovered? Would you reciprocate his past favors, and lie, so that he does not get punished?

Avoid getting used for the sake of friendship.

We might reason that for friendship, we can stand up for our friends. It might be no big deal to lie for friendship, because everyone does it to grease the friendship ego. On the other hand, where the crime is a grave offense that breaches a major company policy, then such friendship is put under the mirror. As humans, where you sense foul play, that an individual is trying to use you to maximize his own benefits at the office, you get disappointed. According to some researchers, reciprocal giving amongst humans is a natural benefit maximizing exchange. This need makes us to extend ourselves for strangers without counting past favors before extending help to them.

How disappointing it would be if someone, disguising as a friend, decides to commit a crime with the hope that you would cover his back, and a criminal offense at that? Many persons have faced this situation. Because they decided to stick for what is right, they lost a friend. They’d rather not be a lying friend. What would you have done?

The devil is in their smile. Credit: Flickr.com, Mathew_Roberts
Well, most times, where returning favors for a friend would result in a loss, whether of reputation or prestige, never expect them to cover up for you. You will surely get disappointed. Be careful also that you do not jeopardize your future by willfully committing crimes.

Past favors might be useless when the chips are down.

Never count on your friends covering up for your crime if they cannot vouch for your past actions. That would be foremost on their minds. Be ready to face the consequences. If your trust level is not that highly ranked, you will surely get disappointed when your own friend hands you over to the police. Never even expect your supposed friend to lie for you in the office if his reputation is at stake. He built that reputation with the sweat of his teeth. Your friendship would count for nothing. You might be taking a huge risk counting on them. He might dissociate from your friendship, calling you a deceptive person, or classing you as someone of low integrity, who from the starting blocks was not worthy of his friendship.

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Friendship takes account of past favors if a loss is in view. Has your history in the office being above board? Is this crime something you could not avoid, maybe because your wife just gave birth and you needed the money badly for hospital bills, or for some other emergency? If you want to have the back of your friends, make sure they do not feel they are going to lose anything by helping you out. Make sure that you have built up a history of standing up for them in the past; doing so, you would be putting money into a bank account. If you really need them to lie for you, which no one encourages, you should make sure that the trouble you are faced with was committed because you were trying to do something proper and dignified, and was beset with unforeseen circumstances such that the crime that was committed was humanely possible for anyone in such-same situation.

That does not mean that they would lie for you. It would only help to make them comfortable with being your friends. Do not allow them to think you are deceptive and manipulative; you would be committing another crime. Propriety has more value than friendship.

No one wants to be a criminal by association.

It is an ugly habit to lie. On the other hand, we are ready to lie to cover up small mistakes. But do you know that small mistakes can build up to a habit that you fall into a pattern of lying because a friend knows your weak spot? Never think of lying as an option. If you have to tell a lie, make sure you believe that it is for the common good, both for your friendship and for the profit of the company that employed both of you. Ask yourself why that friend had to wait until the possibility of being exposed exists before he made you aware of the crime? It is a terrible thing to be in a manipulative relationship.

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Always remember that any crime, whether minor or major, could make you get prosecuted. So, be very careful. Do not hoodwink yourself about friendship such that you have to suffer for a crime. Many persons have found themselves disappointed when their friends would have no part in their crime.

While we never pray that our friends make us criminals by association, it is important that if a friend is in the habit of asking for small favors in order to cover up his or her back, you should reconsider that friendship. He could be setting the stage for something major; you could end up the fall guy. Always insist on truthfulness. The truth will set you free, both at the office and for the sake of friendship.

In the second part of this blog series on office lies, I will be writing on why you should not count on your friends lying for a crime committed if they thought the crime helped you gain a little material advantage.


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Your reaction in times of chaos and uncertainty can be a sign of class


Hurricane sandy has left destruction and chaos in its attack. Some of its features were power outages, homes lost, and personal possessions destroyed. The value of these losses cannot be quantified. You can see some 323 vivid images of its destruction. If you are a victim of Hurricane sandy, take heart. You could do well to ask yourself: in the wake of Hurricane sandy, where did you turn to for protection?

It is an established fact that in times of crisis, a person’s reaction shows what class he must possibly belong to. There are those who place their protection and security on material wealth and possessions; on the other end of the pole, are those who place their protection on love and acceptance by people and society. Those who fall into the latter class run to community funded institutions for help, while those in the former class run towards financial institutions and material possessions.

Have you noticed that sometimes people fight over issues like respect, greetings and memorabilia? Are they useless goods? When family members fight over inheritance, some run to established customary institutions for arbitration, while some use the police and power derived from their wealth for arbitration. Where do you fall into? It depends on which of the above classes you fall into.

Where you money is, that is where your heart will be.

If you have lived in poor neighborhoods, you would realize that religious institutions play a major role in the lives of the people, while in richer or wealthier neighborhoods, financial and governmental institutions have more say in people’s lives. The poor have always sought love and acceptance by others, placing these on a higher plane than material wealth, while the reverse is the case for the rich. The poor can proudly say that “love of money” is materialism, and can readily decrease the value of material wealth and possessions .

When troubled, as by chaos and uncertainty, conflict, crisis or even a hurricane, the rich have found material wealth to be a salient, accessible and preferred individual copying mechanism within the social environment, more than relationships can provide, and vice versa for the poor.

So, when you feel that the world is unpredictable, seemingly random, or that things have turned topsy-turvy in your life, your reaction is an indicator of where your protection lies.

When under enormous stress, do you think of how much it’d take the psychiatrist for a diagnosis, or do you run to friends for a heart-to-heart? If the tuition for your college was hiked, or you anticipate academic failure, where do you turn for help? Faced with a family squabble, where do you turn for arbitration? What would you answer to the question: “Money or humans, which is more important”? If given the opportunity to migrate to a country where you can earn more money but lose something like spirituality, contact with people, friends and family, which would you chose?

Whatever choice you make, whether rich or poor, you can rightly say that you value love and acceptance by people, and that you want to maintain it, or that you value wealth and material possessions above the former, and you can do everything to maintain it.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Will she marry rich or poor? Wealthy women seeking sexual partners see no difference!


It is not difficult to see a woman riding her Limousine, having a chauffeur driven Mercedes Benz or driving the streets on a Hummer Jeep in our modern times. Time and economic development have helped to narrow the gap between men and women in terms of financial strength and political voices. Have they also been helped in terms of seeking sexual partners?

I believe so.

I grew up to believe, and I think that I am not the only one, that women agree to marriage when the man is rich and has several investments to his kitty, while men usually tend towards women who appear to have the ability to raise up their children, submissive and can arouse them sexually. These days, women are getting financially independent and are bearing the same financial responsibilities as men; some are the breadwinners in their homes. This independence has changed the age long belief that they will marry rich. Women see no difference again. They now marry for something higher than material wealth.

Success and the ability to survive between generations have always been determined by tradition and society. Women were made to believe that raising healthy offspring depended on material wellbeing. The men were made to believe that success depended on having a fertile woman, a woman with alluring physical form, who would raise him boys that will inherit his property. These are what society and tradition have fed to us for years. We have passed on these beliefs to our children.


Generations
Photo credit: flickr.com

Times are changing. It has been proved that where the gap between men and women have been narrowed, in terms of education and finance, the gap between the mental abilities of men and women have also narrowed. Would that be the same for choosing a marriage partner? Marcel Zentner and Klaudia Mitura of the University of York, UK, seem to be saying “yes.” They found that when women are given more power in the society, they tend not to rely on the wealth of a man when agreeing to marriage. They depend on something other than wealth. Their choices too do not fall far from that of men.

Does it mean a woman who has climbed the corporate ladder, is wealthy financially, has all it takes to be independent, will marry a man less wealthy than herself without balking, would make herself approachable to a man without material ideas at the back of her mind? It takes a lot for societal biases to disappear. It takes a lot for a man to approach a multimillionaire at 40 and propose to her for marriage when her bank account is far higher than his own.

The onus also falls on the men. They tend to believe that women have lost interest in marriage and have substituted it for fame and wealth. They wonder whether the woman would agree to their societally accepted concept that she should be submissive? A wealthy woman scares most men away.

Courage, courage, folks!

If the study by the UK scientists is to be believed, then men should throw these fears aside. Approach them, please, and do propose. You could end up marrying a rich woman by putting on your courage hats!

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Men might think that women who have chosen to follow a successful career path are reluctant to commit themselves. But realize that the chosen careers might be time and attention consuming that a sensible, passionate and loving man can draw up the natural inclination in them to think of marriage again. Do not be overwhelmed by their strong personalities. Women desire the good things of life like everyone else does. I refuse to believe that no woman wants to remain childless; they simply do not know how to balance between a career and a home. With increasing financial power in their hands, the decision becomes more difficult.

A discerning man can help his woman. Do not let societal expectations hold you back when you love a woman.

Source: Stepping Out of the Caveman's Shadow: Nations' Gender Gap Predicts Degree of Sex Differentiation in Mate Preferences.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Is virginity important? Mothers, help your partner speak to the kids about sex!


Sex! The word means several things to several people. In some cultures, it is a taboo word for children. It might mean facts about male and female bodies and how these work. It could also refer to human development, like the stages when the penis becomes important, or when the breasts start to develop. It could refer to reproduction, types of relationships that we make and what makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy. Sex can also refer to sexual behavior, how to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

When children have questions about sex who will they turn to? Parents should make sure their children should turn to them and not to their playground friends. In this regard, mothers are known to be doing well. They are more likely to talk to their children about sensitive topics such as sexual behaviors. Generally, the fathers are lagging behind. Despite this, all hope is not lost. Mothers should help their mates speak up more to the children about sex. By much persuasion and repetition, fathers can also join in teaching their children to respect sex for what it is before adulthood.

Fathers need help.

Research has found that when fathers are exposed to campaign messages, they demonstrated a consistent and increasing pattern of father-child communication over an 18-month period compared to fathers who were not exposed to these campaign messages. Because mothers have placed it upon themselves to talk about sensitive issues to their children, they do not need to be reminded or prodded about it. What this means is that fathers are not living up to their duties to help their children face the challenges of growing up. They need help. Mothers, take note!

Raising children comes with much responsibility. Mothers cannot do it alone. Statistics has it that by the time they are 19, seven out of 10 teens have had sex. Teens have very high rates of sexually transmitted infections. If you don’t live up to your responsibility, your kids will learn about sex from somewhere else, either from uninformed young people like themselves or from the t.v. Your role as parents is to make sure your children have the right information.

Keeping silent about approaching this sensitive topic can affect your their feelings and behavior about sex for the rest of their lives. They may grow up thinking that sex is something scary or embarrassing. Where they are curious enough, they will give in to peer pressure. If your children are hesitant about talking to you, make sure you make yourselves approachable. Respect their privacy of views and the chance to make their own decisions, but that you will always be there for them when they need help. It is wise to start early with your children. Doing so makes it easier for them to turn to you when the sensitive issues come up. Your kids will grow up with healthy sex lives, are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners and respect health warnings about sex.

Practical ways fathers can approach the topic of Sex

How, a father might ask, do I start helping my children with sex? It depends on the relationship you have built with your children. It is better though to use everyday life and scene, like when both of you are watching TV shows that has puberty as a theme, or going out on a date; sometimes when both of you are watching an ad that could inspire thoughts about body acceptance. One practical way also is showing your children pictures of pregnant women. Your conversation with them turns out to take a natural and easy bent this way.

Fathers too should attempt to start early and make the frequency of the discussion high. This implies spending more time with your children. You can even start today.

When questions come up

When questions come up, you could follow these practical steps while answering their questions about sex and sexuality.
  • Try to find out what is really being asked.
  • Use viewpoint questions, like: “What have you heard about that”? or “Can you tell me what you already know about that”? Understand what is really being asked before offering an answer.

  • Don’t answer too much information.
  • Give only truthful, short and simple information.

  • If you don’t know the answer, say so.
  • It is better you postpone giving the answer than make your children think other persons are more capable than you are.

  • Check their understanding.
  • After answering a question, you could ask: “Does that answer your question.”?

Fathers can make a difference in the life of their children by buying out time to talk with them. Doing so will help father and son to build strong relationships as well help these young ones stay clear of pursuing unhealthy and regrettable sexual lives. So, fathers, start talking to them today.

By the way, to all the mothers who are setting the example, help your man to do so where he is lacking. It is for the sake of your children.

Source: Repeated Exposure to Media Messages Encouraging Parent-Child Communication About Sex: Differential Trajectories for Mothers and Fathers


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Speak up when you have premarital anxiety since love might not be enough when cold feet is at your door step


Love - that four letter word. We all confuse lust for love and vice versa. One of the real test of our love, when love stops being blind, is when marriage is proposed. You see, when marriage comes into play, the blindness of love disappears.

This is because when we are young, we can throw away the serious nature of commitment keeping and concentrate on having fun. As for marriage, marriage is what we view as something more permanent, a lifetime commitment. When marriage is approached, the little faults and problems we used to ignore come into light.

Some of the doubts we could be blind to during the stage of love are doubts about compatibility. The pressures of finding the “perfect match”, along with the fact that we all have our individual differences. When we have experienced emotional or physical abuse, betrayal, dishonesty, addiction, differences in sexual orientation and drastic disagreement about crucial issues, doubts can also come up when marriage is approached. If you want your marriage to turn out to be a success, you must have to speak up.

Cold feet towards a marriage proposal should not be ignored, especially when a woman develops one. A University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study has demonstrated that pre-wedding uncertainty, especially among women, predicts higher divorce rates and less marital satisfaction years later. Never ignore those warning signs.

If there was no love, then there’d be no marriage. Despite that, do not take love as an excuse that marriage will turn out fine when and if you have cold feet. Love is and has always been so easy and free. Sometimes, you are wont to think that there are no responsibilities attached to love. Without love, a marriage will not work. Love, though, is not enough.

Days after marriage has been proposed, it is natural for anyone to have to worry about whether he/she is fit for marriage. We all have our anxiety symptoms when it comes to marriage. When you are experiencing one, take time to understand what the reasons for the anxiety are. It is a dangerous thing to ignore those anxieties and risk losing your marriage less than four years later. Analyze them and consider whether they are central to your happiness. Is he abusive? Does he like to control you? Is she overly obsessive? These questions when breached can help you detect the likely future source(s) of trouble in your marriage.

You have to deal with that anxiety. If you wish that it will just go away, then it will likely escalate. Have a conversation with your future partner about it. Be honest about your feelings. Be open to him or to her. The big issues that concern your future as a couple must be addressed. But, it will not be easy to share your doubts. It will discomfort your partner when you point them out to him. When the conversation is handled in a loving way, there will be understanding and the problem will be approached. You never might know; your partner might have doubts himself he’d like to share.

Always remember that no matter how perfectly matched two partners are, they will always have differences between them. If those differences result in anxiety symptoms when marriage is proposed, never ignore them. Work out success strategies that will ensure your marital success.

No matter why you want to get married, whether for political, economic or for reasons best known to you, love should be the foundation for a healthy marriage. Yet, love is not enough if a partner has cold feet. Do not think that the fun of love and youth will translate into a happy marriage; that you can just ignore your fears. Never start a marriage that might end up at the rocks some years later. Build your home on the rock of Gibraltar; as if on unshaken foundations.

Source: Do Cold Feet Warn of Trouble Ahead? Premarital Uncertainty and Four-Year Marital Outcomes


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Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Phonak hearing aids at your service even in noisy environments


Hearing aids are digital equipment for sound collection, amplification and direction, into the ear. A basic hearing aid must include a microphone, amplifiers, receivers and batteries. It is traditionally expected that hearing aids should help one to hear better in a quiet environment. When it comes to a noisy environment, making a good choice can be a challenge. Audiologist and clinicians can help you if your lifestyle involves being in noisy environments, like a stadium or a restaurant.

According to a study conducted four years ago, hearing aids can meet the challenges of noisy environments. The studies showed that some hearing aids can work well there.

It was found that a new hearing aid technology, open-fit hearing aids, a type of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, when equipped with directional microphones, can perform well in noisy environments. Open-fit technology allows ambient sounds into the ear canal. This is more attractive than the traditional hearing aids which can create canal blockage. Directional microphones, on the other hand, help its user to distinguish conversation from background noise by partially cancelling out low frequency sounds coming from the sides and from behind. It was proved conclusively that open-fit hearing aids with directional microphones on average gave wearers a 20 percent improvement in speech intelligibility in a noisy environment, particularly a restaurant setting, compared to not having a hearing aid or wearing an open-fit aid without a directional microphone. This study was the first to show that this combination showed an improved performance in hearing sound. Open-fit hearing aids, a type of BTE hearing aids, have been in the market for a long time, but with the results of this research, audiologists and clinicians will readily recommend the technology with a directional microphone for a challenging noisy environment.

Phonak Hearing Aids

Phonak hearing aid brands have been ranked number three worldwide in the market. Phonak hearing aids come equipped with the basic features like microphones, amplifiers, receivers and long lasting batteries. Its brands have different styles like in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear (ITE), completely-in-the-canal (CIC) and behind-the-ear (BTE). Phonak’s BTE hearing aids come equipped with directional microphones. So, you can be sure that whether in a quiet environment or a challenging noisy environment, Phonak hearing aids can serve you well. You can visit the website for Phonak hearing aids for an overview of its product line.

Always remember to consult an expert for your lifestyles and needs before choosing any hearing aid. Remember also that hearing aids are costly. So, avoid falling into the trap of buying one that you’ll later regret doing so. Get yourself checked by an audiologist before a recommendation before taking a decision on hearing aids.

Source: Unaided and aided performance with a directional open-fit hearing aid.


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

To get healed after a relationship post break-up, de-friend that ex- on Facebook or you’ll get caught stalking.


After you have called it quits, you continue to establish contact with your former partner. This is not because you desire to return to the relationship status quo, rather because you do not want to perceive yourself as feeling hurt, or harboring grudges. On the other hand, it is wise that after a relationship post break up, you call it quits, stop having frequent and close contact, whether offline or online, with your former partner. If you do not do so, you are giving yourself greater sadness and inhibiting your options for recovery.

Would you not feel anger, disappointment, confusion, hatred, frustration or even betrayal if you found your former partner talking with a handsome man or beautiful woman on the street? Would your adrenaline not get a rush? Maintaining close contact with that ex- online, most especially by reading his Facebook updates and being friends with him/her on Facebook can illicit unwanted sexual arousal, lust and a negative desire to do something wrong.

The sooner you make all contacts with that ex- infrequent, particularly when both of you were former friends on Facebook, the better for you so that you can heal your broken heart after a relationship break-up.

The effects of remaining Facebook friends with an ex-lover or even just following their activities online can disrupt your ability to heal emotionally and move on with your life. Due to jealousy and unwanted desires, you could end up doing Facebook surveillance on his or her posts. Researchers have found that this negative outcome is demonstrated both online and offline. This is termed relational intrusion and can lead to stalking.

Whether you are mature enough to handle the distress associated with the break up or not, it is better to let sleeping dog lie. Your split might be amicable. You find nothing wrong in remaining friends on Facebook. You have no negative feelings, no sexual desire or longing for that ex-. Both of you might share the same passions offline and online. So, you find nothing wrong in your having constant contact on Facebook, even offline.

It is better to keep that ex- at a distance. It is best not to read his or her Facebook status updates, or even Facebook profile wall messages and photos. Because Facebook information is easy, free and anonymous, you could end up falling prey to the trap of monitoring the behavior of the ex- online. You could end up stalking that individual on Facebook. It has been shown that this happens online as well as offline.

People who engage in it tend to perceive it as harmless. It is relational intrusion and dangerous. Many persons have found themselves guilty of writing a status update just to make the ex-partner feel jealous. Do not go that way. Your action could turn out to be obsessive because it costs you nothing to do so, and by the way, no one saw you doing it. Much more so, the desire for that former partner could be renewed and how upsetting you would be to find that ex- has found another smashing handsome man? Mounting electronic surveillance on people without permission is a dangerous thing.

If you found that you are obsessively monitoring your ex-partner’s online behavior, better de-friend that person immediately. That is the best you can do for yourself. It is the best remedy you can give yourself when you are broken-hearted over your break up with an ex-partner. You have to allow yourself the time and opportunity to heal emotionally well from the break up. Your personal growth can be at risk also if you do not take this course.

Source: Can Post-Breakup Facebook Surveillance Delay Emotional Recovery?


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Where you need to have dentures fitted, go for removable traditional dentures


Many adults and teens go to the dentist when they lose their teeth. Losing one’s teeth could arise from an accident or from microbial infection to the teeth due to improper dental hygiene. Whatever the case, full or partial dentures have helped so many people restore their esteem and ability to chew again after they have lost their teeth.

Teeth decay from eating sugar is not because one eats too much sugar. This arises because the amount of sugar that has contact with the teeth for extended period of time is high. Teens obtain about 40 percent of their carbohydrate intake from soft drinks and this constant beverage use increases the risk of tooth decay. If one suffers tooth decay because he is taking too much sugar and has to have dentures fitted, he should consult a dentist and make sure the dentures fit well otherwise, he would fall into the same trap that caused the problem in the first place: eating of foods that are easy to chew and low in nutritional quality such as cakes or pastries.

It is better to be safe than sorry. It is better to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene than having to lose your tooth and have to replace them with devices that will help you to chew, speak and make you retain your self-esteem.

What if you needed a denture?

When looking for a denture, make sure you have one that is secured because if they are not, food could get in-between and make your mouth sore. Try the one you like, but not without consulting your dentists. Make sure you chose one that helps you to talk better because it could be embarrassing to have them fall when you are trying to talk.

Traditional dentures are viable replacement for your tooth. They are prosthetic devices that partially serve as false teeth. Traditional dentures could be partial or complete. The partial dentures are removable and can be inserted without much help, while the complete dentures are fixed, sometimes called dental bridges, and you need to have a dentist with you when being inserted.

Partial dentures might be your choice, if you were poor and cannot afford to pay the high cost of seeing the dentist often and on. They can be removed and reinserted without the help of a dental professional. They attach to the remaining natural teeth, with an ability to be removed for easy maintenance and cleaning. One other advantage removable partial dentures have is that one requires minimal tooth preparation for the device to be accommodated in the mouth.

It is good to get yourself a denture that is well secured, has good support and is well retained so that they do not have to fall out even when you are talking.

Nothing replaces taking care of the teeth

Nothing can replace taking care of your teeth. Sugar-free carbonated drinks and acidic beverages such as lemonade should be preferred over sugared beverages because they can contribute to de-mineralization of tooth enamel if consumed regularly.

Brush and floss your teeth regularly. When brushing, make sure you brush your tongue very well. Try to eat much of calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and proteins to ensure that the foundation of the teeth is strong because even with good brushing and flossing, a weak foundation would have made all that effort useless. Try to brush right after you eat very sweet food like chocolate and pastries.

I wish you do not have to get dentures. I wish that you can reverse the effects of your teeth decaying. But if on the other hand you cannot do without a denture, make sure that your dentures are fitted properly. If you are having difficulty chewing or have mouth discomfort, eat nutritious foods by having cooked vegetable instead of raw, canned fruits.

Although having a denture, whether a removable, fixed or complete, know that dentures do not come cheap. You can ask your dentist to give you a payment plan if possible. After all is said, the best you can do for yourself is to stop your teeth from decaying.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Even with braces, you can still look your best!


Your teeth needs alignment. Your dentist has recommended braces. Suddenly, there is a rush of blood to your face. How would you look to your friends with braces on? You don’t want to appear like a grumpy old woman because your teeth has to be straightened so you can chew properly, or speak clearly. Take heart! You are not the only one for whom braces has been recommended and you’ll never have to hide your teeth while speaking because you can wear braces and still look cute. Read my lips!

Braces are dental devices used to fasten teeth that have problems with alignment. They might be giving you problems with chewing, speaking or they are not perfectly straight and you want that defect corrected. Braces whether metallic, ceramic or the invisible lingual braces have been demonstrated to have helped many adolescents and adults to regain their confidence and self-esteem while still looking cute and attractive even though they have something stuck up on their tooth.

It takes some time to get used to wearing an appliance on your mouth. To beginner users, they can really be bothersome and make you self-conscious. Not only that, taking care of them after a meal can be a chore. If you don’t, food might get in between the wires and can result in microbial infection.

Braces come in different prices. Some are cheap while others are expensive. Ask your dentist to recommend one that is fitting for your budget. If you cannot pay for them and your dentist says you really need to have them, you can apply for insurance from an insurance company.

What is invisalign?

According to a survey, one in four persons who are fitted with braces, are adults. These users have testified to the fact that wearing braces that are invisible makes one more attractive than wearing metallic or stainless steel braces. Because they are conscious of how they look, many adolescents have resorted to putting on braces with colorings or having stars painted on them.

If you want invisible attractive braces, or you’d like braces that do not use wires but plastic, there is a new innovative technology of non-traditional braces called invisalign. These braces make you believe that you don’t have any appliance on. Furthermore, they make you more attractive and have been attested to by many persons to be more favored over metallic or ceramic braces. What these all means is that with invisalign line of braces, you do not have to worry about your looks, you do not have to spend more money to enhance your braces, and your gums will not be irritated by any wires or steel. Invisalign braces use plastic aligners to align your teeth in a more comfortable and aesthetic manner.

It will do you a lot of good to wear braces if your dentist recommends one. You do not have to worry about how your face will turn out. Whether you have a natural beautiful teeth or one that has been aligned with braces, you can still look your best. If your teeth are not well aligned, they become unstable and that is what will call for worry.

Using invisalign will not replace the fact that you must still have to go for regular checkups. Only that, your visits to the dentist will be less. Ensure that your follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter, especially to the cleaning of your braces after meals, so bacteria do not grow on them. No brace, no matter how state of the art, can replace your dentist.


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