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Birth Control: Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
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Birth control options have increased dramatically in the past 50 years and with more choices, choosing the right one can be quite a task. Finding a contraceptive you trust will allow you to relax and have a fulfilling intimate relationship. The most important step is talking to your gynecologist and learning how your choice of birth control will affect your health. It is extremely important and critical to speak to your gynecologist or doctor to discuss these options and work with them to select the best method. We’ve put a list together of the common types of birth control available so check them out!

Terms to know:

  • Progestin- a natural or synthetic hormone that prevents further ovulation.
  • Estrogen- primary female sex hormone as well as medication.
  • Spermicide- a substance that kills sperm.

Barrier Methods

– Condoms
Condoms come in two forms—male and female. The male condom is a sheath of latex, polyurethane that is worn over the male penis during sex. The female condom is a wider sheath of polyurethane that is placed inside the vagina before sex. Condoms are the only birth control method that work both against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

– Diaphragm
This option is best for women who can not use hormonal birth control. A diaphragm is a dome shaped cup made of silicone. The diaphragm is inserted into the vagina along with spermicide to cover the cervix. You can put your diaphragm in up to 2 hours before sex—any longer and the spermicide will not work as well. Always leave your diaphragm in for 6 to 8 hours after sex. Your health care provider will find the right fit for you and show you how to put it in and take it out. The diaphragm is pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it— practice makes perfect!

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal contraceptives stop the ovaries from releasing eggs, without an egg there is nothing for the sperm to fertilize. Additionally, it makes cervical mucus thicker, which can also block sperm from reaching the egg.

– The Pill
The pill is a tablet you take once a day—there are a few different types of pills.

  1. The Combination Pill: The combination pills contains both estrogen and progestin. Combination pills work in two ways—they prevent your body from ovulating which prevents the release of eggs each month. Second, they cause the cervcial mucus to become thicker; the thickened mucus helps prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.
  2. Progestin Only Pills (The Mini Pill): The mini pill works by thickening the cervical mucus and by thinning the endometrium. The endometrium is the lining of your uterus where an egg implants after it is fertilized. When the linning is thinner, it is harder for an egg to implant it, which will prevent pregnancy.

– The Patch
The patch is a thin strip of plastic that contains estrogen and progestin. It is placed on the skin of the abdomen, buttocks, or upper body once per week for 3 weeks; on the 4th week you do not wear one. This method is best for women who have trouble remembering to take the pill each day. The patch contains 60% more estrogen than combination pills, so women who smoke, have high risks of blood clots, stroke or migraines should not use the patch.

– The Ring
The ring is a two inch flexible ring containing a combination of estrogen and progestin that is insterted into the vagina for 3 weeks and removed on the 4th.

– Progestin Shot
The shot is a progestin injection given every 3 months. It is one of the most effective forms of hormonal birth control and gives you 12 weeks of protection. This is best suited for women who want long term protection.

– Implant
The implant is a tiny piece of plastic, containing progestin that is inserted under the skin of your inner arm—it last for three years. This option is best for women who do not want to become pregnant for a long period of time.

– IUD
The IUD is a T shaped plastic inserted into your uterus by your doctor. The hormonal IUD releases a small amount of progestin hormones. The copper IUD uses a small amount of copper. The progestin IUD is effective for 5 years and the copper IUD is effective for 12 years.

Sources: https://www.bedsider.org/features/89-which-birth-control-pill-is-right-for-me https://www.optionsforsexualhealth.org/birth-control-pregnancy/birth-control-options http://americanpregnancy.org/preventing-pregnancy/types-of-birth-control/ https://studybreaks.com/2017/06/22/contraceptives/

Keep Calm and SMILE!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018
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Life isn’t always guaranteed to be an easy, smooth sailing adventure. This world we live in can throw unexpected situations powerful enough to throw people off, and leave them vulnerable to nearly everything around them. If you think this life journey is just a bit much and you may feel sad or are simply getting fed-up of the daily grind, well guess what – you are not alone! Remember: there are hundreds of reasons that could cause these feelings, but remember, there will always be hundred more reasons to smile! Here are a few tips to help you stay in control of your life.

1. Don’t Isolate Yourself
It’s natural to protect your energy when you’re feeling sad, and distressed; however, isolating yourself could actually make matters worse. Too much time alone gives your mind the opportunity to wander off and overthink. Rather than spending time by yourself, spend it with your friends and family! Even surrounding yourself with random people in a public area helps. It’s as simple as that!

2. Exercise
You’d be surprised how helpful exercising makes one feel! Implementing physical activity into your life, regardless of how little or how much, will boost up endorphins – chemicals in your brain that help you feel so good.

3. Do Something!
Try to occupy yourself with hobbies. The possibilities of things to do are endless. Enjoy eating? Learn to cook! Love traveling? Go out and explore the world! Want to learn how to speak a different language? Take a class! Movie fanatic? Watch comedies! It may be difficult at first, but having fun and enjoying yourself is a major stepping stone towards living the life you deserve.

4. Write It Down
It’s inevitable to feel gloomy when you’re unhappy, but don’t let it take control of your life. Dedicate 30 minutes to an hour of your day to write down what you’re feeling and think about possible solutions to your thoughts. Writing helps organize and structure the mental and emotional battle you are facing at the moment. Once this designated time is up, carry on with your day, clear minded and feeling uplifted.

So, why not take control of your happiness to enjoy life? Throw yourself a “feel good” party and smile, smile, SMILE!

The Art of Conversation!

Thursday, March 29th, 2018
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There you go again. You’re having an amazing conversation with somebody until suddenly, you realize you don’t know what to say next. The other person continues to speak, but at this point, you have zoned out, focused on how to keep the conversation going. Soon enough, it’s your turn to talk but your mind has gone blank and you’ve got nothing to say. Cue the awkward silence.

Mastering the art of conversation isn’t an easy task, but fear not! Here are some tips to help you develop more refined communication skills.

  1. Condition to Listen!
    Instead of thinking what to say next, focus all your attention to what the other person is saying. Being present and actively listening will increase your chances of having better ideas of how to respond.
  2. Question For Progression
    Questions act as the lubricant to conversation. Asking open ended questions not only shows that you’re interested in what the other person has to say, but also builds a bridge to deeper and more meaningful discussions. If you‘re having trouble thinking of what open ended questions to ask, refer to the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
  3. Don’t Be Stale, Tell A Tale
    Your life is full of stories, so speak about them! Recalling relatable events give life to the conversation and could lead to other interesting topics for you and the other party to talk about.
  4. Ee-nun-cee-ate
    In order to get your point across properly, mumbling and stuttering just won’t do! Sit up straight and speak clearly. Mumbling and stuttering are results of your mouth talking faster than your tongue can follow, so take your time when you talk. It also doesn’t hurt to show your teeth when you speak. It helps make enunciating a lot easier!

Conclusion

Communicating is an important skill to have, but if you think you’re not good at it– don’t worry! Practice using these tips every time you chat with people, and before you know it you’ll be great a conversationalist!

Source: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/effective-communication.htm

Our New Pediatric Department is opening on April 2nd!

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
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CCHC’s goal is to provide every individual that walks through our doors with high quality service. We want people to thrive and live life to their fullest potential! Here at CCHC, we understand the importance of children’s well-being and we are pleased to announce the opening of a new Pediatric Department at our Glendale location on April 2nd, 2018!

The new pediatric suite will provide the following services, including but not limited to:

  • School and Sports Physicals
  • Regular Check-ups
  • Sick Visits
  • Vaccinations
  • Dental Services
  • Eye care to kids ages 4 & up, including General Exams, prescription of Glasses/Dilation
  • Forms for WIC & Head Start Registration
  • and much more.

Let’s keep our children happy and healthy! Call us at (818) 265-2264 to schedule an appointment or stop by to say hello!

Smoke Alarms

Monday, March 5th, 2018
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Do you have a smoke alarm in YOUR home?

Smoke alarms in YOUR home can help save YOUR life and the lives of your loved ones. Smoke alarms allow you to get out of your home or building in time, in case of a fire.

Safety Tips:

  • It is important that your smoke alarm is located inside of your room and outside, too. You want to be able to hear the alarms in case of an emergency.
  • If you live in a big home, be sure to install more than one alarm. You want to be sure that everyone in your home is able to hear it, so that they can get to safety in case of an emergency. Make sure to perform the home safety check prior to moving in!
  • Be sure to replace your home’s smoke alarms every ten years to ensure they work properly.
  • If you or anyone in your family is hard of hearing you can install special smoke alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • If you are unsure if your smoke alarm is properly installed, you can always call your local fire station and they can inspect your fire alarm to ensure it is working properly

(National Fire Protection Association, 2016)

Your Safety Matters!


Image source: https://myescambia.com/our-services/public-safety/fire-rescue/smoke-detector-program

2nd Annual Back to School Wellness Event

Thursday, February 15th, 2018
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CCHC is a comprehensive medical home serving various communities within the greater Los Angeles area. We offer a variety of services to the community; however CCHC is also committed to providing families in our community with essential resources that benefit the overall wellness of individuals.

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, CCHC Hosted its 2nd Annual Back to School Wellness Event. To ensure students are going back to school with the tools and resources required, we provided 635 backpacks filled with school supplies to the children in attendance. We were pleased to have enjoyed the day with over 900 members from the community.

Thanks to our community partners, sponsors and the communities we serve. We are extremely grateful for your support.

Health Screenings!

Aligned with our mission of ensuring the health and wellness of each individual we serve, over 300 children and adults in attendance received free health screenings at the event. With the support of our partners from the Glendale Community College Nursing program we were able to provide vision and dental screenings to the participants.

FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Families also had an opportunity to receive health education materials and community resources, engage in fun games and activities, and enjoying the free food and music. Children in attendance were able to participate in various activities such as: rock climbing, face painting, and arts and crafts. Participants were also able to enjoy a soccer shoot out activity provided by our partners at Blue Shield of California. By collaborating with various organizations, our events continue to grow and support the needs of the children, adults, and families in our community. We aim to provide a fun, informative, and resourceful event for everyone and we look forward to doing so every year.

What’s the Buzz?
This is what the community had to say about this event.

What was most valuable about the event?
“Screenings and backpacks”
“Good info, backpacks with supplies”
“The dental screenings and rock climbing wall”
“Everything! Thank you for your effort to help the community”

Would you consider attending this event again or a similar Back to School Fair in the future? Why or why not?
“Absolutely, my kids loved their backpacks”
“Yes! We all had a good time”
“Yes, because the games were so much fun”
“Yes, because of the medical services”

We hope to see you next year!

For more information on how you can collaborate in our annual events, please contact our Outreach department via email at outreach@cchccenters.org.

Let’s be real!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018
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Get lean in 2018

Let’s be real. Many of us set a “weight loss” goal every year. But, how many of us truly accomplish it? Losing weight is not an easy task. If you’re ready to get started, we have a guide to help you achieve this goal in 2018. Here are some useful tips:

1. Commitment

Making the decision to lose weight is a big step. We recommend you write down how much weight you want to lose, why you want to lose weight and what you really want to accomplish by losing the weight. Some reasons may include, to feel better about yourself, family history of heart health diseases, or because you simply want to live a healthier life style. All these choices are reflected upon your decision to take the next step. It will be a constant reminder of why you want to lose the weight and will surely keep you motivated.

2. Healthy Choices

For many of us, this may be the most difficult to achieve. Our choices are reflected upon our attitudes and beliefs. Rewarding ourselves with a doughnut or maybe a slice of cake, puts you at a higher risk of developing unhealthy eating behaviors such as binge eating. The choices we make of what we put in our bodies have the biggest impact on our health. To get this process started, , we recommend you purchase and cook healthier choices of the foods you eat by having well-balanced diets and snacking on healthier foods. This involves, eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing the amount of red meat and sugars. Another good tip is to avoid sugary drinks and sodas and replace them with a glass of water.

3. Time

We know many of us have busy lives and simply don’t have ‘time’ to go to the gym, but a little goes along way. Even if it’s as little as 10 minutes a day in your own home, it is better than nothing at all. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the best way to lose weight is by setting short-term goals. It is important to be specific and realistic with your goals. For example “I will start exercising 2 times a week for 30 minutes.” This puts more value into doing the work and increases your motivation.

4. Patience

We understand it may be frustrating to put in the work and not see immediate results. Remember to be patient and stay focused. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. Results are not instant and you may not notice it in the beginning. We recommend reflecting back to the reasons “why” you want to lose weight and use that as your motivation to keep going. You can also take pictures at intervals of your plan to see the impact of your weight loss.

5. Resources

Getting support from family members, coworkers, or friends is encouraged to keep you motivated throughout your journey. Setting a schedule and motivating one another will increase the chances of healthy behaviors and result in losing weight. Stay away from influences that will encourage unhealthy behaviors. For example, when someone offers you a doughnut or ice cream, remember to stay committed and think about all your hard work. This will encourage you to say “No!”

Remember, with the right tools, you can start the new year on a healthy note!

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html

Food Safety is NO Joke!

Friday, January 19th, 2018
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Do you practice food safety? If you are cooking for you or  your family be sure that you handle the food safely.

The steps below are great to follow when handling food:

CLEAN

Constantly wash hands and surfaces!

  • It is important that you wash your hands and surfaces because bacteria can contaminate food you prepare, and harm you or your family.
  • Remember to wash hands properly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Be sure that all utensils are properly washed to prevent cross contamination.
SEPARATE

Do Not Cross Contaminate!

  • Raw meats, chicken, fish, and eggs can spread different illnesses because of the bacteria they naturally carry. It is really important that you don’t handle these food items near vegetables and remember to separate cooking meats and veggies.
  • Have a plate for raw and cooked meats and remember not to place them on the same plate.
  • Replace your cutting board once it starts to look worn out to avoid bacteria from hiding in small cuts.
  • Store raw meat separately from other food items in the fridge.
COOK

Cook at the right temperatures!

    • To avoid bacteria from growing, be sure to always freeze your food below 40· and when cooking a hot meal be sure to keep the temperature above 140· Fahrenheit.
    • 40·-140· is a DANGER ZONE for food safety.
CHILL

Put your food in the refrigerator

    • Bacteria will begin to grow in your food if you do not put the food away in the refrigerator on time.
    • Refrigerate your food promptly. Don’t leave food out for more than two hours. In the summer, food should be put away within an hour after consumption.

(Food Safety, 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

Source: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/chill/index.html

CCHC Receives $76,500 Grant from LA Care Health Plan

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
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Comprehensive Community Health Centers (CCHC) is pleased to announce it has been granted funding from LA Care Health Plan to support efforts in serving vulnerable and underserved populations.

Funding will be utilized to purchase adaptive equipment to support patients with disabilities. It will allow CCHC to provide and improve population and individual-level reporting capacity, improve provider retention rates, and increase access to care for hearing impaired patients over the next 2 years.

To address the needs of our patients with mobility limitations, adjustable exam tables will allow providers to properly assess their patients and address their concerns. Hearing devices will help our hearing impaired patients improve their hearing and speech comprehension when they are in our care. Patients will be able to more effectively communicate with their providers and reduce any misunderstandings that may occur as a result of their hearing impairment.

CCHC received this grant through the Robert E. Tranquada Safety Net Awards aimed at improving the infrastructure for community clinics. CCHC is proud to be a recipient of the grant in support of our core values to provide everyone with accessible, culturally-appropriate, high quality health and wellness services.

For more information about LA Care Health Plan visit www.lacare.org.

CCHC’s 2nd Annual Toy Giveaway & Health Fair – a HUGE Success!

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
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On December 16th, 2017, we hosted our 2nd Annual Toy Giveaway and Health Fair event to kick off the holiday season by distributing toys and providing fun games and activities to families living in Sunland-Tujunga and neighboring cities. The event was a great success in that it brought community spirit alive, with children and families enjoying a fun filled and a memorable day.

With the support of our community partners and organizations alike, over 1000 unwrapped toys were donated to children (ages 0-12). The Fire Department added some excitement by attending the event and donating hundreds of toys in support of the event. . We raffled off huge teddy bears, skate boards and other toys in addition to the 10 bikes donated by the Los Angeles Police Department Foothill Division.

In line with our mission of ensuring the health and wellness of each individual, over 200 children and adults in attendance received free dental and vision screenings at the event.  With collaboration with West Coast University, we offered a smooth and easy screening experience for all attendees.

Event attendees enjoyed free lunch sponsored by El Pollo Loco, in addition to healthy fruits and healthy snacks, in line with the event theme of ‘working towards a healthy 2018”.

In addition to face painting, photo booth and other fun activities, holiday treats and great music added a great touch to the event.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to all our partners who supported us in hosting toy drives and/or sponsoring the event. With their collaboration, we were able to pull off this awesome event to empower those in our community.

You can find a complete collection of photos from the event on our Facebook page. Click Here!

Happy Holidays and we hope to see you next year!

CCHC Receives $122,000 Grant to fund Staff Development Initiative

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
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Comprehensive Community Health Centers (CCHC) is pleased to announce it has received a $122,000 grant from Health Net Health Plan to support staff development and training opportunities at our organization.

The grant will be utilized to strengthen CCHC’s healthcare safety net through development and implementation of strategies that prepare new employees for success, foster an environment of professional growth, and improve staff engagement and retention.

To ensure our staff receive appropriate trainings in a timely and efficient manner, staff will have the opportunity to use and complete required trainings utilizing CCHC’s new learning management system. Funding will also allow CCHC staff to receive cultural competency training, which will support the organization in effectively delivering health care services that meet the needs of our communities.

The funding will also enable Medical Assistants to receive medical interpretation certification. By gaining the skills necessary to understand, communicate, and effectively engage with patients, our care teams will be better positioned to meet the needs of the diverse population we serve.

CCHC received the grant through Health Net’s Community and Infrastructure Investment Program. Health Net awarded $4.2 million to 22 healthcare organizations to support workforce development activities and improve the quality of health data collection. CCHC is proud to be one of the 22 recipients of this grant in support of our mission to improve the quality of health care provided to our patients.

Are You in a Healthy Relationship?

Thursday, December 7th, 2017
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People always talk about how we should respect our partners, and that it is important that we look out for warning signs of when our partner/s is being abusive. But, what if it is us that is being abusive toward our partner/s?

Would you be able to identify your own abusive behavior? It could be challenging, but not impossible. It is extremely important that we offer our partner/s respect and that they feel safe when they are with us.

Communication is Key! If you have a difficult time communicating with your partner, we’ve shared some tips below that can help improve that communication:

  1. Find the right time: it is important to always speak openly to your partner, if you are bothered about something, it is important that you talk about it. Be sure that you and your partner are both calm and not distracted.
  2. Talk face to face: avoid talking about important things via text, or on the phone. Face to face interaction is important!
  3. Do Not Attack: communicate with your partner how you feel by using “I” statements such as “I feel hurt” etc. Do not use “You” statements such as “You always do…..”. These statements provide the platform for your partner to misunderstand your point of view.
  4. Check Your Body Language: If you have good body language, your partner will feel that you truly do care and that you are listening to them. Have good eye contact and eliminate all possible distractions. Focus is golden!
  5. Use the 48 Hour Rule: If you are upset over something your partner did, you need to communicate it to them. Give yourself some time so that when you talk, you do not attack your partner verbally.

It could be hard to communicate with your partner, but if you are able to communicate effectively, many problems can be avoided in your relationship. This will help establish a healthy relationship.

Source: http://www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships/communicate-better/

Get moving while you’re working!

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
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Are you struggling with finding time to exercise? Many of us can relate! It is difficult to find the time to exercise, especially when you’re balancing a full time job with other responsibilities.

To help keep you more active, we’re sharing a few tips to keep you active throughout your day.

  1. On your way to work!

If you live near your job site, try walking or riding a bike to work. If you drive to work, you can increase your physical activity by parking as far as possible from the parking lot to the building entrance to increase your daily steps.

  1. Stay standing!
  • If possible, try to stand while you are working. Standing desks are a great option.
  • Do you work on multiple floors? Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Go for a walk around the block during your breaks to increase your daily step count and get some fresh air.
  1. Use a fitness ball instead of a chair!

This will help you improve your balance and tone your core muscles.

  1. Be ready to move!

You could always workout minimally while working by keep resistance bands and small hand weights at your desk and use them when you get a chance. If you don’t have weights, look for a heavy binder or book.

It might not be a full hour cardio session, but these small changes can help you stay more active and moving in the office! Good luck!

Shake Out!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
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Southern Californian’s are used to earthquakes. Unfortunately, earthquake drills are a common activity in schools and the workplace. In Southern California, we are always talking about “The Big One” – presumably, we have a higher possibility of experiencing another big quake in the coming years.  It sounds scary, right? Don’t be frightened, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself and your loved ones for an unexpected earthquake big or small.

Be prepared! Don’t let Mother Nature catch you by surprise.

1. Secure your space! Identify the hazards in your home and secure any items that could fall during an earthquake.
2. Create a Plan! It is important that you and your family create a disaster plan in case of an emergency. Be sure that your family members understand the plan and how to communicate in case of an emergency.
3. Have a disaster toolbox!
a. Prepare a disaster supply box.
b. Store flashlights, blankets, water, food, and a first aid kit. You can also store anything you might find necessary for your family.
4. Financial Hardships! Be sure to always keep your important documents together and in a safe place. Make sure to protect your home! You may even want to consider home insurance in case there is damage during an earthquake.

Now that you know how to better prepare for an earthquake, here are steps on what to do during the shake out.

  1. Drop, cover, and hold!
    a. Drop low to the ground.
    b. Take cover under a sturdy table or desk.
    c. Hold onto until the shaking stops.
  2. Take safety measures!
    a. If necessary, evacuate your home.
    b. Help those who are hurt.
    c. If possible, prevent further injuries.
     3. Reconnect and restore your daily life. Natural disasters happen and we can be prepared if and when they do.

Stay Prepared!

Source: Southern California Earthquake Center, 2017
http://www.earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps/

 

Preventing Tooth Decay in Children and Infants

Friday, October 27th, 2017
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New parents always have hard time understanding when the appropriate time is to take their children for their first dental visit. Studies conducted in the state of California show that “54% of children will have tooth decay by the time they start kindergarten in Los Angeles County alone.” According to the California Children’s Report card, in 2016, tooth decay was found to be the most common chronic illness affecting children.  It is important for parents to understand the basics of dental hygiene and how to help prevent tooth decay in the early stages of their children’s lives.

Causes and Prevention

To prevent children from having early childhood cavities, parents have to first understand and find out if their child is at risk of developing cavities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that children run a great risk of suffering from early childhood caries if they are frequently exposed to sugary liquids, such as breast milk, formula, milk, juice and other sweet fluids. Therefore, the AAPD suggests that children who are at risk of early childhood cavities visit a pediatric dentist by the age one.

So how should a parent understand if their baby is at risk? First and foremost, it is important for parents to periodically check for white spots on their children’s teeth. If white spots are present, this could be a sign of dental caries and parents are advised to schedule appointments with their pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

To prevent babies getting tooth decay, dentists recommend cleaning baby’s gums and teeth after every feeding.

For children between the ages of 1 and 6, dentists strongly recommend that parents limit intake of juice to 4-6 ounces per day.

A common cause of cavities is the bacteria that are spread from parents to children as a result of sharing. Dentists therefore recommend not sharing a toothbrush or utensils with children and instilling these habits early in childhood.

Dentists also recommend brushing children’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and the perfect amount of toothpaste should resemble the diameter of a penny!

As parents and caregivers, we must remember to schedule appointments with our dentists every six months for a basic cleaning, flossing and general check up for cavities or tooth decay.

For more information about dental services provided at CCHC, please click here! To schedule and appointment with one of our pediatric dentists, call:

CCHC Glendale – (818) 265-2259   |    CCHC Sunland – (818) 273-8800   |    CCHC Eagle Rock –  (323) 543-2444

Remain Calm and Meditate!

Thursday, October 12th, 2017
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Are you feeling stressed? Don’t know how to deal with it? No worries, you are not alone. Everyone- adults, teens and even children experience stressful situations. Usually, in stressful situations we tend to rely on family and friends to vent and receive support, however this may not be sufficient for some people. Many of us need different forms of support to feel a sense a relief. Some people cope with stress by taking a vacation, others go for walks and some chose to meditate.

According to Mayo Clinic, meditation can help restore your calmness and inner peace when feeling stressed, anxious, tensed and worried.  If you are not as familiar with meditation, don’t worry, we have some fun, inexpensive techniques to share with you today. Anyone can practice meditation. Whether you’re out taking a walk, waiting at the doctor’s office, or simply in your own home. When you meditate, you are able to block out thoughts that may cause you to stress. Here are a few of those meditation tips.

Guided Meditation

In this form of meditation, you form mental images of places or situations you often find relaxing. Examples are beach waves, bird chirping, soft music or simply, the warmth of the sun. Once you have your perfect mental image, try to use as many senses as possible to guide you through forming the image.

Mindfulness Meditation

This type of meditation allows you to develop your conscious awareness by focusing on what you experience on a daily basis. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but always remember to let them pass without judgment.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is part of traditional Chinese medicine that allows you to meditate while combining meditation with slow physical movement and breathing exercises.

Yoga

Yoga is another popular form of meditation, which incorporates exercises with each movement. The poses require balance and flexibility, allowing you to distract your mind from stressful thoughts.

 

When meditation is performed, some of the most common features include focused attention, relaxed breathing, quiet setting, comfortable positions and an open attitude.  Experimenting with various forms of meditation is recommended until you find what works best for you.

Next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted or just tired, remember to breath, remain calm and meditate.

Do You Remember the Time?

Thursday, September 28th, 2017
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As you get older, it seems like you become more forgetful or you simply don’t have the head space to retain the information we receive on a daily basis. While you can’t get around the fact that your memory speed slightly decreases every 10 years of your life, here are 5 things to do to help your brain out:

Catch some zzz’s

Skipping out on hours of sleep may be the reason you sometimes forget a thing or two. Deep sleep can help shift memories into your long term brain space. If you get less than eight hours of sleep, you may want to adjust your bedtime.

Don’t go through that door!

It’s happened to you before. You’ve walked through a doorway and lost your train of thought. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens but recent studies have shown a correlation between recall memory and walking into a new space. So when trying to remember information, avoid the door.

Be STILL

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you will need to be still to remember information. At least for 8 seconds- that’s what studies have shown. Concentration during this short amount of time can help transfer memories from short term to long-term memory

Eat right, Think Right

Food impacts your thought process. Although the sugars and fats may keep you temporarily alert, it doesn’t serve the brain well. If you don’t already, be sure to include antioxidant rich foods, including colorful fruits and vegetables into you food diet.

Get ready to rumble!

Well, not really–just close your fists in rumble position and that should do it. Research has shown that clenching the fist of the opposite hand you write with can help you recall information you have recently memorized; however, If balling up your fists in fighting stance isn’t your thing, you could do some exercise instead. Exercise has a similar effect of increasing alertness and blood flow.

Image source: http://www.prevention.com/health/why-youre-forgetful

Stress Management: Too Much on Your Plate?

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
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Stress: A common word and a normal daily experience of the 21st century. With everyone’s busy schedules and going about daily errands of ‘life’, people often complain about types of stress they endure at work, at home and everywhere else.

It’s hard to cope with stress, but engage in this discussion. How does one deal with stress? By resorting to food perhaps? Does eating replace the feeling one endures during stress or help to produce a ‘feel good’ effect?  Why do people often resort to eating when they are stressed out? Many of us wonder about this common phenomena called “Stress Eating”.  We try to cope with stress through food; we eat foods that make us happy or calm our nerves – mostly unhealthy – and often high in sugars and fat. It should be mentioned that stress can trigger other unhealthy behaviors such as less exercising, loss of sleep, drinking more alcohol, which in turn add up to the calories in our body.

It’s almost second nature to often hear these phrases from co-workers, family members or friends:

“I don’t feel like eating. Not in the mood. I am stressed out”.

“I had such a rough day, I am so stressed out. I can’t even think about eating.”

“I have such a busy schedule – I can’t catch a break. I am extremely stressed. Someone get me some ice-cream!”

“There are not enough hours in the day! Talk about being stressed! I need some comfort foods!”

Studies have shown that stress, for a short period of time, can suppress one’s appetite. Stress for prolonged periods of time does however lead to overeating. This is caused by a hormone called cortisol released by the adrenal gland. Cortisol increases appetite which leads to overeating.  When stressed, admit it – one resorts to “comfort” foods such as pizza, French fries, Mac and Cheese, ice-cream, Cinnamon rolls, caffeine, sweets and many more. Stress is one of those things that just comes with daily life. How you deal and handle stress is key, and here are a few suggestions:

*Eating healthy is the key. Do you know that you can fight stress with food? Ironic but true. If you choose the right food, such as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and grains we can boost our immune system, reduce stress, and feel healthier.

*Eat regular balanced meals and have healthy snacks in between. Avoid binge eating.

*Drink a lot of water.

*Exercise. It is a great way to relieve stress. You can practice yoga as well.

*Meditate.

*Sleep, plenty of sleep!

*Get social support. Talk to a friend or a family member.

Like in the movie Forest Gump, he says “…life was like a box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.” We never know where life will lead us to and we cannot predict how things turn out. Take it day by day, while taking good care of yourself and your family. Work towards minimizing those areas that lead to increased stress and put a plan in place to reduce the stress level. Speak to your doctor or your medical team about how you can cope with stress and options to help you manage stress.

 

Source: http://paulashealthyliving.com/how-to-stop-your-bad-eating-habits/

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/7-ways-to-keep-stress-and-blood-pressure-down

References

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/how-to-eat-right-to-reduce-stress

https://www.hmc.edu/student-life/health-wellness/resources-for-students/nutrition-and-stress/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/7-ways-to-keep-stress-and-blood-pressure-down

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/coping_with_stress_tips.html

What Does Your Selfie Say About You?

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
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Do you love taking selfies and sharing them online? Do you spend hours getting ready and take multiple shots of your face until your chin looks just right? Are you extremely picky about what selfie you post and do you anxiously wait to see how many likes you can get? Well, we have some news for you:  studies suggest that selfies may indicate low self-esteem and a slew of other mental health disorders.

In 2013, Oxford Dictionary announced “selfie” as its International Word of the Year, yet the word “selfie” can pretty much reflect the essence of this generation – the Millennial’s. Millennial’s are completely consumed by social media: activities such as sharing pictures of our food, places we visit, our Frappuccino, the classic gym photo, and most of all selfies. There are a multiple reports discussing the topic of selfies and how it affects confidence levels and more. According to psychologists, a person who takes a lot of selfies tends to have low confidence levels. Another indication of frequent selfie-taking activities suggests that individuals may be looking for validation from peers to determine their self-worth.

Typically selfies are not taken after any meaningful life event, they are taken for no reason at all:  in restrooms, in the car while driving, during class, at work and in many inappropriate locations. After the selfie, it goes a step further when it comes time to post. Various filters and edits are made to erase flaws and create the “perfect” image. Perhaps if selfies were achievement photos snapped by people who overcame great hurdles in life or simply made a small difference in the world, there would be greater significance to the act of selfie-taking. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Society has altered our perceptions and has made us believe that physical attractiveness is our most important quality. In that respect, society teaches the younger generation that our self-worth is a reflection of how many followers we have on Instagram or how many likes and comments we can receive on our “flawless” selfies.

Let’s stay grounded and remember that our value and worth as individuals is much more than the validation we receive on social media. Let’s all take a moment to put our lives in perspective and realize that we all have so much more to offer than our exterior. If you are feeling unconfident, go for a hike, go to the gym and get those endorphins going. We must remember that flaws are beautiful and we all have something unique and wonderful to offer to the world.

Source: http://www.counselheal.com/articles/11413/20140919/selfie-addiction-low-self-esteem-linked-uk-study.htm

Source:  https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/selfie

Source: http://whatsthings.com/the-absurd-story-of-the-selfie/

 

Stay Cautious! Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Friday, August 18th, 2017
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Southern Californians always need to prepare for two types of natural disasters: Earthquakes and Wild fires. We all love those hot summer days but unfortunately, they often lead to wildfires that endanger our lives, homes and animals. That’s why it is extremely important to stay safe and take precautions to prevent more damage.

When a brush fire is burning near our homes, we all panic and hope that it gets put out as soon as possible. A million things run through our mind! Is anyone hurt? Can it be controlled? Will I have to be evacuated?  While we focus on our lives and wellbeing, we have the brave fire fighters and fire crew on our minds, hoping they remain safe!

When we are in this situation it is important that we stay calm and seek safety.

Here are a few steps to help you get through such situations:

  1. Keep the area CLEAR! It may get hot, but it is extremely important to keep our backyards well kept. Make sure to pick up any dry leaves or materials that are likely to 2. If possible, trim off any hanging branches that can attract flames.
  2. Screen, Seal, and Close! Smoke may enter through vents, window or doors. Be sure to close these correctly to minimize the volume of smoke that enters our homes.
  3. Keep it all together! It is always a great idea to keep all important documents in a safe and easily accessible location in case of emergency evacuations. You should include documents such as birth certificates, passports, vaccination cards, or anything else you feel may be important..

REMEMBER, if it is not safe it is important that you leave it behind. Material items are replaceable. Your well being matters the most!

For more tips on wild fire safety please visit: www.firewise.org

 

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H80CS10607 Health Center Program, total award amount of $2,493,062 with 88.9% financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.