The weather last week in Ottawa had us dreaming of Spring. With March Break approaching, some of us are taking a trip down South. If you are not taking a trip this March Break, don’t fret. There are tons of activities and places to visit in Ottawa. Dr. Jaleel has been a dentist in Ottawa-Nepean for over 20 years so she knows Ottawa inside and out. Here is a list of activities and places you and your family can enjoy close to home. Let the vacation begin!
Spring is in the air so what a great time to visit some farm animals at the museum? Visitors are invited to discover how a modern milking machine works as well as how this technology has evolved. If that is not your thing, how about horses? Caring for horses includes grooming, feeding, training and socialization. Join a Museum guide to learn about what it takes to keep our horses healthy and strong. If animals are not your thing, you can always check out the butter-making workshop. High school chemistry gets a tasty twist with this interactive demonstration.
Learn about Ottawa’s history at the Bytown Museum and stop by the museum’s newly redesigned Youth Activity Area. Here, kids can learn about Bytown through the characters of Clara and Henry while also learning what Victorian life was like through historic toys, journal entries and more.
This March Break, travel back in time to visit the Vikings and explore their way of life during a fabled period in Scandinavian history. Visit the highly interactive Vikings exhibition, and explore who these notorious Norsemen really were, where they came from, and how they lived. Once you’ve seen the exhibition, join us for more adventure in the Museum’s Grand Hall. Craft your own Viking helmet and join other families in building a 30,000-piece Mega Bloks Viking ship
Visit the museum over March Break to participate in this hands-on arts and crafts activity that invites children to create their own bugs out of Crayola Model Magic. Build-a-bug takes place daily from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This activity is related to the museum’s special Bugs: Outside the Box exhibit, which is on until March 28, 2016. This craft activity is FREE with museum admission.
The parade starts at 11 a.m on Saturday March 19, and starts at the corner of Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue W., in front of City Hall, and travels to Bank Street and then towards Lansdowne Park where the celebrations will continue, with Beau’s Beer as the host, until 9 p.m. Volunteers along the route will be collecting donations of cash and non-perishable food items for the Ottawa Food Bank.
Really, your dentist can help?
Many of us know someone who is or was a chronic smoker. Many of us also know people who have tried to quit smoking. Often times, it never occurred to people to ask their dentist for help. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Your dentist, Dr. Jaleel, probably sees you more frequently than your doctor (most people visit their dentist 3 times a year), she knows everything there is to know about your oral health (including whether or not you smoke) and she can prescribe the same smoking cessation medications a doctor can. Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist is in an ideal position to speak with patients who smoke and inform them of the effects on their health. She has the expertise and training to help patients understand how smoking affects not only their oral health, but also their overall health, and to help them quit. She also has the skills to detect early signs of oral cancer in patients during routine dental examinations.
The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that smoking is responsible for 30 percent of all cancer deaths in Canada. Tobacco is number one on the list of risk factors for oral cancer for people over the age of 50. This too-often fatal condition has a higher mortality rate than both breast cancer and prostate cancer. Tobacco use is also associated with heart disease and/or stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, periodontal disease and tooth decay. Smoking wreaks havoc on more than your health; it also affects your appearance. Cigarette smoking can accelerate the aging process, causing wrinkles and skin damage, stains your pearly whites and can irritate gum and mouth tissue, causing unsightly and uncomfortable mouth sores or lesions. Not a pretty picture. Research shows that the majority of adult smokers (62 percent) intend to quit within the next six months, but tobacco use is one of the most difficult addictions to break. That’s where your dentist can help — by advising you about different ways to stop smoking and the resources available. To kick-start your efforts, Dr. Jaleel has put together a seven-step action plan adapted from the Canadian Dental Association and the Lung Association.
Start the conversation
The first step is to come in so we can start you on the step to quitting. Book an appointment so you can talk to Dr. Jaleel about developing a strategy to quit. There are lots of options, and we can help you choose the one that will work best for you. For example:
- Nicotine replacement therapy. A nicotine patch or inhaler, or nicotine gum or lozenges will replace some of the nicotine you usually get from cigarettes and make nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, difficulty concentrating and hunger, easier to manage.
- Prescription medicines, such as bupropion (Zyban and Wellbutrin SR), an antidepressant which makes smoking less enjoyable, or varenicline tartrate (Champix), which works at the level of your brain receptors, where the nicotine attaches.
- Individual counselling in person or by phone, or quit smoking support groups.
Oral cancer screening
Ask Dr. Jaleel to screen you for early signs of oral cancer or periodontal disease. An oral cancer exam during a routine exam is fast, easy and painless — and it could save your life.
Gradually change your routines
Anticipate tobacco triggers (situations or places where you’re tempted to smoke) and prepare strategies on how to avoid them.
Keep track of the money you save from quitting
Use some of the money you’ve saved by not buying cigarettes (more than $3,000 a year for a pack-a-day habit!) to reward yourself. Go out for dinner and a play, or treat yourself to a new spring outfit.
Keep your hands busy
Chew sugarless gum and drink water when cravings hit. And make sure you stock up on healthy snacks, such as carrots, fresh fruit, popcorn, nuts and sunflower seeds.
Start working out
Build exercise time into your weekly routine to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and to help with weight control.
Take a walk, call a friend, head to the playground with your kids or book a tennis game with a buddy. Nicotine cravings only last about three to five minutes, and they become fewer and farther apart the longer you stay tobacco free.