Wedding Dentistry

Planes Dental Arts – Wedding Dentistry

Working with BK Dental, I wrote countless website pages on dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and other dental issues. This copy was intended to be keyword optimized for SEO, but I’m particularly proud of this piece, as it’s an excellent example of persuasive copy in a heavily regulated industry.

Wedding Dentistry

You have set the date, booked the caterer, and picked out the flowers. As you stand in front of your friends and family, your hair and makeup is perfect, and your dress is beautiful. But brides will want to make sure that their teeth look as good as the rest of them, and Planes Dental Arts specializes in helping brides have a beautiful wedding smile.

What do I need?

We recommend that you visit our Vero Beach or Port St Lucie dental office about a year before your wedding date for an initial consultation and routine examination. This allows you plenty of time to schedule follow-up appointments and procedures before your wedding and engagement photos, because we know that you’re going to be busier than ever as your special day approaches.

Some of our brides are unhappy with their smiles, and they might consider having their teeth whitened before the ceremony. This procedure is pretty fast and doesn’t usually require many appointments, but serious whitening might require multiple appointments, so it’s best to plan that early.

Some brides want to hide teeth that are chipped, cracked, grooved, or gapped. We can discuss your options with you and decide whether you want to consider bonding or veneers. If you need your teeth straightened, Invisalign can help straighten your teeth invisibly.

What else should I do?

As always, we recommend that you brush and floss regularly, and that you schedule an appointment with our Vero Beach or Port St Lucie dental office twice a year for a routine examination and cleaning.

If you have any problems with snoring or grinding your teeth, you should mention your concerns to your Vero Beach or Port St Lucie dentist at your appointment or when making the appointment. We can assist with treating bruxism, sleep disorders, or TMJ if you would like to sort that out before your honeymoon.

Your wedding is going to be the best day of your life, and your wedding pictures will preserve that cherished memory forever. Make sure that your smile is as radiant as the rest of you, and contact Planes Dental Arts for your wedding dentistry.

 

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Meals for Seniors

Senior Nutrition – Blog Post

Martha’s Senior Gourmet, a home meal delivery service that was then based in southern California (but has since expanded), needed some blog posts to boost engagement and improve SEO. This is one of the blog posts that we used to help them increase readership. Since these posts were unveiled, Martha’s has expanded from the San Diego area into three states and 18 markets.

Meals for Alzheimer’s Patients

We write a lot about preparing meals for seniors that have multiple dietary restrictions, and one of the ways we can do this is by being creative with our ingredients, cooking methods, and recipes. But if someone you love is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, their mental status can create additional difficulties in getting them properly nourished.

Getting Them to Eat

Medications (either for Alzheimer’s or for other conditions) can dramatically impact a senior’s appetite, causing them to refuse food when it is served. Additionally, dental problems or digestive problems can cause eating to be painful, reducing their willingness to eat at mealtime. In advanced cases, the senior may not be able to tell you what’s wrong, leaving you to play a guessing game to solve the problem.

A craving or preference for “comfort foods” is not unusual, and some recent studies have found that Alzheimer’s patients develop cravings for sugary foods and simple starches. If the same patient is diabetic or on a specialized diet, getting them to eat lima beans instead of ice cream may not be easy.

First, be patient. If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, seek support, because it’s not easy on the caregivers. Second, remind yourself that when you were a child, your parent or grandparent probably had the exact same battle with you!

Alzheimer’s and Dietary Restrictions

Alzheimer’s itself seldom comes with serious dietary restrictions, although some doctors and nutritionists do recommend a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables for Alzheimer’s patients. The more pressing concern is that people with Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia often have other medical issues that require a specialized diet plan.

When your loved one insists on having ice cream for dinner, it can be difficult to explain that they’re on a diabetic and heart-healthy diet and cannot have sugar or dairy products.

The Problem of Traditional Restricted Diets

Alzheimer’s patients and dementia patients frequently experience weight loss. Many patients will refuse to eat if they don’t recognize the food that you’re serving them. A normal adult will often be willing to try a stir-fry with rice noodles, but to an Alzheimer’s patient, that stuff on the plate doesn’t even look like it’s real food. It would be like filling your plate with dog food and expecting you to chow down.

In many cases, seniors may be seeing doctors who have little or no experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia patients. While a gerontologist probably knows how to work with Alzheimer’s patients, a cardiologist may not understand the challenges associated with imposing a restrictive diet on a patient who doesn’t have the same mental and emotional capacity as a normal and healthy adult. Dieticians and nutritionists who don’t have a lot of experience designing meal plans for seniors may fall into the same trap.

Challenge #1: Sight

The first challenge in serving a patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia is the sight. If the food presented looks unfamiliar, the patient may simply decide that it’s not real food and never move further. Even when the ingredients themselves are familiar to the patient, the presentation may be unusual and new. It’s probably safe to say that a lot of severe Alzheimer’s and dementia patients wouldn’t recognize the expert plating done at a five-star restaurant as being a food dish. Plating and presentation that seems too “fancy” can be just as distracting and troublesome as a presentation that looks unappetizing.

Challenge #2: Smell

Once an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient has decided to look more closely at the dish being offered, they will often try to smell the dish before tasting. The problem is that in many of these patients, age or condition may have dulled or changed the sense of smell. With heavily spiced dishes, they can probably still be smelled, but any strong smells may discourage the patient from taking a bite. More mild aromas like those associated with “comfort foods” or “kid foods” will often be more familiar.

Challenge #3: Taste

Unfortunately, there’s no vegan cheese substitute that tastes exactly like dairy cheese (although many come close). And even the best tasting food may be rejected by an Alzheimer’s patient if it tastes unfamiliar. If the patient remembers macaroni and cheese made with cheddar cheese, they aren’t likely to feel comfortable eating macaroni and cheese made with vegan cheese.

On a restrictive diet, the key is to find foods that can retain a fairly familiar taste despite being made more nutritiously. Italian foods, for example, can often be familiar and healthy, and rich tomato-based sauces make a good place for hiding additional nutrition. Just like a parent may finely chop broccoli to add to spaghetti sauce, the same principles can often be applied to feeding patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Challenge #4: Texture

If the taste fits, the texture may not. Once the ingredients are altered, the texture may be different from what the patient remembers or associates with the food. Perhaps the biggest challenge with delivered meals is that they can easily be overcooked, especially with vegetables. A meal that is perfectly cooked in the kitchen may, during delivery, retain enough heat to continue cooking; this makes the pastas soggy and the vegetables limp.

Challenge #5: Nutrition

While feeding your loved one the macaroni and cheese they crave might make them happy, a restrictive diet of comfort foods doesn’t have the nutrition necessary to fuel them on a long-term basis. Because Alzheimer’s patients and dementia patients are often more likely to be injured than other mentally sound patients in the same age range, it’s important that they have adequate nutrition to help them heal from their injuries or illnesses.

Severe Alzheimer’s and Dementia

In severe cases, Alzheimer’s or dementia patients may face challenges eating. In later stages of the illness, they may lose the muscle coordination necessary to chew and swallow food, so it may be necessary to use smoothies or blended foods to help them stay nourished. In very severe cases, a feeding tube may be necessary. If your loved one has progressed to the point that they can no longer chew or swallow effectively, you should talk with their doctor about alternative ways to keep them properly nourished.

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Planes Dental Welcome Letter

Planes Dental Arts, Welcome Letter/Front Page

BK Dental, an agency that specializes in digital marketing for dental websites, brought me on for more than a year to do their copywriting. The majority of their clients were cosmetic dentists and prosthodontists (who install dental implants), but I also did some work for a dental laboratory and for a few miscellaneous (non-dental) projects as well. The front page/home page on their websites was referred to as the Welcome Letter, and this is one of my favorite examples of a Welcome Letter.

What’s interesting about all of these BK Dental pieces is that they were all required to be keyword-optimized for local SEO. Being in a heavily regulated industry, additional attention was required to ensure the copy was compliant, but the copy also needed to be extremely persuasive.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Vero Beach

Dr. Alex A. Planes is your number one choice for cosmetic dentistry and wedding dentistry in Vero Beach. Planes Dental Arts can help you look and feel your best.

A Smile You Can Be Proud Of

Dr. Planes works with each patient, and can offer general dentistry or family dentistry in addition to cosmetic dentistry or wedding dentistry. This means that you can get your digital x-rays, cleanings, and fillings with the same dentist who does your Invisalign, whitening, dental implants, or veneers.

Whether your goal is overall dental health or wanting to look great for an upcoming wedding or special event, Planes Dental Arts can help you achieve a smile that you can be proud of.

Dental Implants in Vero Beach

Sometimes we find that patients are hesitant to see us, especially if they haven’t had good dental care for some time. But the longer you go without dental care, the more important it is. Even if it’s been years since your last exam, we can help you create the perfect smile. We can use dental implants to restore your smile, even if you need more intensive care.

Dental Care for the Whole Family

Planes Dental Arts does more than just cosmetic dentistry. We offer cleanings, exams, and dental care for the entire family. Whether you need a pediatric dentist or a dentist to help you with dentures or denture alternatives, Planes Dental Arts is the place to go for a beautiful, healthy smile.

Routine and Ongoing Dental Care

Many of our patients approach us for cosmetic dentistry in Vero Beach, but they stay with us for general dentistry for years. In order to prevent future problems, it’s important that you have regular dental examinations.

Certain procedures like Invisalign, dental implants, or bridges may require future maintenance or adjustment, but Dr. Planes can help you set up a schedule to ensure ongoing care.

Seeing Planes Dental Arts regularly for family dentistry or general dentistry can help you keep your new smile looking great for years to come.

About Dr. Alex A. Planes

Dr. Planes is a native of south Florida, and he’s been doing hundreds of hours of work with implants, cosmetic dentistry, and family dentistry. He’s been awarded Master status with the International College of Oral Implantologists, and he’s a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.

Dr. Planes believes that maintaining a healthy mouth is the first step in achieving optimal health. Your smile is what people remember about you, so it makes sense to have a smile that’s as beautiful and healthy as possible.

What to Expect from Planes Dental Arts

With Planes Dental Arts, you can expect personalized service and expert care with a friendly and professional staff. Whether you need cosmetic dentistry or general dentistry in Vero Beach, we invite you to contact us for an initial consultation.

 

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Oberon Biofeedback & Migraines

Oberon Biofeedback – Biofeedback and Migraines

Oberon Biofeedback contracted me for a website rewrite, social media management, and blog posts. They had already been cited by the FDA for making unwarranted medical claims about their device. It was absolutely critical that their re-write be compliant, as the FDA was watching them and would fine them if there were further violations.

How do you talk about a health product when you can’t make health claims? This blog post on Biofeedback and Migraines is a good example of leading the reader to make unstated conclusions.

Biofeedback and Migraines

For people who’ve never had a migraine before, it’s easy to dismiss migraines as “just a really strong headache”. But for those who’ve had a migraine, it’s easy to see that a migraine is different. But despite the misunderstandings surrounding migraines, they’re not uncommon; The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study revealed that 12% of adults in the United States have suffered from a migraine.1

Who Gets Migraines?

The majority of migraine sufferers are female (Stewart, 66), and migraines appear to be the most common in the lower economic classes (Stewart, 68). In the AMPP, Stewart theorizes that migraine sufferers in a higher socioeconomic group are more likely to receive adequate treatment from their physician. Stewart’s alternate theory is that in some individuals, headache-related disability may disrupt the ability to move to a higher socioeconomic class.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is not just a headache. For many migraine sufferers, the headache is only a small part of the problem. Migraines often progress through four stages.2

The earliest phase of a migraine (usually 1 to 2 days before the attack), the prodrome phase, is sometimes serious enough to be disabling, and sometimes it’s so mild that it’s not even noticed. According to the Mayo Clinic, the prodrome phase may include:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Food Cravings
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Uncontrollable Yawning

Some migraines (called “classic” migraines) present with an aura. It can occur during the prodrome phase or the attack, and it may include visual disturbances (seeing shapes or flashes of light), vision loss, “pins and needles” in the arms or legs, and speech problems. Common migraines do not present with an aura.

The migraine attack can last anywhere from four hours to several days (Mayo Clinic). While most people associate migraines with the headache, a migraine attack frequently presents with additional symptoms. Sensitivity to light and sound is common, as is nausea (and sometimes vomiting). Blurred vision is a frequent symptom, and lightheadedness can be problematic and can sometimes lead to fainting (Mayo Clinic).

After the migraine, most people feel fatigued and exhausted. Some people feel happy and even euphoric, but the majority of migraine sufferers feel weak, shaky, or extremely fatigued after an attack. This phase is called the postdrome. Additionally, if the migraine is severe or isn’t properly treated, some of the symptoms of the attack (like the nausea or lightheadedness) may continue in a milder form into the postdrome.

When to Call the Doctor

If you’ve never had a migraine before, you need to seek immediate medical attention. In rare cases, a migraine can be a sign of a neurological problem.3 Even if you’ve had a migraine before, go to the emergency room or seek immediate care if:

  • Your headache is associated with paralysis, speech difficulties, mental confusion, seizures, personality changes, or other neurological symptoms
  • Your headache presents with a fever, difficulty breathing, stiff neck, or a rash
  • The headache is severe enough to wake you in the middle of sleep
  • The headache causes severe nausea or vomiting
  • A headache occurs after an injury or accident (even an accident that didn’t directly impact the head)
  • You have a new type of headache and you’re over the age of 55

If your headaches aren’t urgent, you may still need to contact a doctor if you:

  • Have more than two headaches a week
  • Have headaches that continue to get worse and won’t go away
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever for your headaches every day (or every other day)
  • Take more than two or three doses of over-the-counter headache medicine each week
  • Have headaches that are triggered by exertion, like coughing, exercise, or strenuous activity
  • Notice anything different or new about your headaches

Treating a Migraine

There are three types of migraine treatment: Preventative treatment, acute treatment, and rescue treatment.4

Preventative Treatment

Preventative treatment is intended to help prevent migraines from happening. If you have a single migraine every few months, your doctor may not prescribe you a preventative treatment. If you’re having several migraines a month, preventative treatment can be effective in helping to reduce that number.

Acute Treatment

Acute treatment is designed to give you relief and possibly stop a migraine attack. Many migraine sufferers are treated with a class of drugs called triptans (Migraine Trust), but in order for these to be effective, they must usually be taken at the earliest onset of the migraine. You can discuss your acute treatment options with your doctor.

Rescue Treatment

Rescue treatment is what you use if your acute treatment doesn’t work, or doesn’t give you enough relief from an attack. In some cases, if you don’t catch the migraine early enough, your acute medication may not work and you’ll need a rescue medication. The goal with acute treatment is to stop the migraine, whereas the goal of rescue treatment is simply to mediate the symptoms.

Medications

Over-the-Counter Medication

For some mild migraines, over-the-counter pain relievers can help mitigate the symptoms. The most common of these are NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (Advil). NSAIDs taken at doses higher than the over-the-counter dose should be approved by your doctor. If you’re taking these drugs regularly (more than two or three doses a week), check with your doctor, as these medications can cause serious cardiovascular risk (including heart attack and stroke) or serious gastrointestinal problems (including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines).

In some cases, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be prescribed for mild migraines. However, an overdose of acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage, and it may react with some prescription medications.

Prescription Medication

Two of the most common medications used to prevent migraines are topiramate (Topamax) and divalproex sodium (Depakote). Topamax can cause drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, diarrhea, weight loss, and mental problems (confusion, trouble concentrating, etc.). Depakote can have side effects such as dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness, hair loss, changes in vision, shakiness (tremor), and weight changes. In some people who take it, either medication can cause depression or other mood problems.

Triptans or ergots are sometimes prescribed as an abortive medication for migraines. Triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and muscle weakness, and they’re not recommended for people at risk of a stroke or heart attack. Ergots aren’t as effective as triptans, and they can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as causing more frequent headaches.

In rare cases, a doctor may prescribe opioids for migraine, but this is unusual. Most doctors are extremely hesitant to prescribe opioids (like codeine, Hydrocodone, or Oxycodone) because of the high risk of addiction, as well as the high rate of side effects.

Natural Treatments

Acupuncture

A study conducted in 2002 and 2003 compared migraine patients who received acupuncture with patients who received no acupuncture, as well as with patients who received “sham” acupuncture. While acupuncture was effective in reducing migraines, it was no more effective than sham (placebo) acupuncture in helping to prevent migraine.5 Additionally, acupuncture can have complications. Improper sterilization of acupuncture needles has transmitted HIV and hepatitis. Acupuncture needles applied improperly can traumatize tissues and organs, or can become broken and fragments dislodged into organs.6

Massage

Several studies have indicated that regular massage may help to prevent migraines.7 Regular massage may help to decrease anxiety, heart rate, and cortisone production.8 However, many of these studies do not provide continuing benefits; that is, the migraine prevention seems to continue only as long as the regular massage therapy continues.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback has been extensively studied as a preventive measure for migraine headaches. In addition to the immediate reduction in migraine frequency, biofeedback often provides improvement that remains stable even after treatment is discontinued.9

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References

  1. Stewart, W. F., Lipton, R. B., Celentano, D. D., & Reed, M. L. (1992). Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. Jama, 267(1), 64-69.
  2. Migraine. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/symptoms/con-20026358
  3. When to Call the Doctor About Your Migraines or Headaches. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/when-call-doctor-migraines-headaches
  4. Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.migrainetrust.org/treatment
  5. Linde K, Streng A, Jürgens S, et al. Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2118-2125. doi:10.1001/jama.293.17.2118.
  6. Ernst, E. (1995). The risks of acupuncture. The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 6(3), 179-186.
  7. Lawler, S. P., & Cameron, L. D. (2006). A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32(1), 50-59.
  8. Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter, J., Field, T., Swerdlow, B., & Diego, M. (1998). Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96(1-2), 1-11.
  9. Nestoriuc, Y., & Martin, A. (2007). Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: a meta-analysis. Pain, 128(1), 111-127.

 

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Eating Disorder Book

Eating Disorder Book Excerpt

I was asked to ghostwrite a book about eating disorder (ED) sufferers who did not fit the traditional stereotype. The author conducted research among online ED communities, and this is an excerpt from the book that talks specifically about EDs within minority or unexpected groups.

Eating Disorders in the Trans Community

One factor that greatly increases the risk of eating disorder is being transgender. Trans people are frequently forced as children and teens to live as a gender that feels “wrong” to them, and they develop a sense of hatred for their bodies at an early age. For trans men who had to endure puberty as a woman, the fat deposits of puberty around the breasts and hips can be especially troubling. And since trans people are more likely to endure sexual violence than cis people, trauma can also play a strong role.

Once transition begins, trans people are more likely to focus intently on the condition and appearance of their bodies. This focus can easily inspire or feed an eating disorder. Trans men may be trying to lower their body fat so that their breasts and buttocks will shrink. Trans women may be trying to lower their weight so that they’ll be perceived as being “attractive” (skinny). In any event, the early body hatred and feeling of being out of control of the bodily processes of puberty can create an eating disorder that can last a lifetime.

Eating Disorders among People of Color

As with trans people, eating disorders in people of color may stem from early childhood feelings of being out of control of their bodies. People of color raised in primarily white societies may have a sense of feeling “different” from an early age. Racism (both overt and subtle) can play an important role in encouraging disordered eating with people of color. There may be pressure to “look white”, which encourages everything from skin lightening to hair extensions to trying to be “skinny”. And there is societal pressure on people of color to “look white”, which is reflected in media and marketing.

Non-white models and actresses tend to have more Caucasian features: a narrow face, a slim body, long and straight hair, and lighter skin tones. While media doesn’t necessarily feed eating disorders, it does express a societal version of what is “pretty”.

In addition to racism, people of color are more likely to be victims of personal violence, which can lead to trauma-based eating disorders.

Eating Disorder among Men and Boys

Men and boys are usually considered to be exempt from eating disorders, but nothing could be further from the truth! Socially, muscular men are considered to be more desirable, but even these muscular men tend to have very low levels of body fat. As one male sufferer said, “It’s a lot easier to get laid when you have a six-pack.”

But male ED sufferers are not always looking to get laid, and to attribute eating disorders to an effort to attract a mate is short-sighted and inaccurate. Male ED sufferers among the gay community are common, in part due to some of the same factors that encourage ED in trans people (discrimination, abuse, trauma, body image, etc.).

Even heterosexual men can suffer from eating disorders. Men have body image issues, too, and men also suffer from depression, anxiety, trauma, OCD, and other mental illnesses that are generally comorbid with EDs.

 

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