Invisalign for Adults Who Don’t Want Metal in Their Mouths

invisalign for adultsBrace on kids is not at all an uncommon sight, and this is because most kids whose parents have dental insurance, or can otherwise afford it, get their children braces. But for many, this was not possible, often for financial reasons, and so many people are forced to go on through adolescence, which is difficult even for people with perfectly straight teeth, and on into adulthood with malocclusion. Malocclusion is a medical term for crooked teeth, and I like to use it because it makes it sound like exactly what it is: a medical condition, that, although cosmetic, can have a serious detrimental effect on your self-image, and emotional well-being. Feeling embarrassed every time you feel good and crack a smile is not a fun existence, and so anyone who is suffering from malocclusion, even in their adulthood, should seriously consider orthodontic treatment. This is truer now than ever; with orthodontic science being more advanced than it’s ever been, orthodontic treatment can reveal your brightest smile without anyone else ever noticing.

You see, part of the problem is that many adults don’t even know how advanced orthodontic science has gotten, because the best adult solutions are those which you can’t see. If you can’t see it, then you don’t know about it, which means you don’t have any idea how often it’s actually being used by other adults around you. The only obvious type of braces are the ones that kids wear, so this means that when most people who have never had braces hear the word “braces” they think about the ones they always see, which are the ones kids wear. This has led to a misconception that in order to correct your smile, you must have rows of wire running across your teeth, and that is just plainly false. Therefore, it’s useful to acquaint yourself with the possibilities of how you, as an adult, may actually be able to benefit from orthodontic treatment, in a completely incognito manner.

There are a few options for adult orthodontic treatment, meaning basically treatments that are less visible or noticeable than the traditional wire braces, and each has their pros and cons. Clear braces are less noticeable than their wire counterparts, but are still a device affixed to the fronts of your teeth, and are visible to anyone standing next to you seeing you smile. Lingual braces are completely invisible, by virtue of being attached to the backs of the teeth, rather than the fronts, but they are not very versatile, meaning they can only be applied to certain specific types of malocclusion, or misalignments. So why both of these choices are okay, they aren’t the best. That slot is reserved for the single most popular form of smile correction for adults, invisalign.

Invisalign for adults helps correct smiles discreetly, and is superior to the aforementioned approaches in a variety of ways. Firstly, invisalign is almost completely invisible, because it’s made of a clear plastic material that fits entirely over your whole row of teeth. This makes it more like a layer of lamination, or a plastic tooth-glove, which is about as close to invisible as anything on your teeth can get. Invisalign uses a totally different strategy than braces to help align your teeth. Rather than attach to each tooth and pull them in the right direction, as braces do, invisalign surrounds and envelops them, and pushes or nudges them gradually in the direction they need to go. This different approach is equally effective, and just as discreet as the most invisible form of braces, which is the lingual variety, while being much more versatile. They are also removable, which adds even more benefit, because the convenience of being able to take them out for meal times, or for tooth brushing and flossing, makes them much less of a hindrance to your daily life.

If you are an adult suffering from malocclusion, the fact that a solution like invisalign exists means that you really have little-to-no reason not to seek orthodontic assistance. As long as you have some form of dental insurance, or can otherwise somehow afford it, the benefits of invisalign treatment are well worth anything it might cost you. You can’t put a price on the fact that, after invisalign treatment, you will never feel embarrassed to smile, never feel ashamed to feel good again. That is truly priceless. If you suffer from malocclusion, do yourself a favor, and make an appointment with your local orthodontist, as soon as possible.

Things You Consume That Discolor Your Teeth, And How Teeth Whitening Can Solve The Problem

A lot of the reason that we spend so much money on dentistry and going out to see our local professional dentist is because we recognize, and our local professional dentist can recognize, that a lot of the things that we do in our daily lives, they’re damaging our teeth in various ways.  I mean, let’s face it, we live lives where we’re damaging our own bodies with a lot of the things that we consume, and don’t let that make you think for a second that we aren’t doing the same to our teeth.

There are a lot of things that we eat and consume, with quite a lot of regularity, that are absolutely discoloring our teeth (and destroying them in other ways, too, believe it or not).  Here’s just a short list of the things that we’re doing that damage our teeth.

1.  Smoking

You know, recently, it has been said that one out of every five people (legal adults, or people eighteen and up) smoke in the United States, and do so regularly, smoking at least a pack a day.  Now, how many people have you seen who have spent their whole lives smoking?  I’ve seen quite a few (and I say this as someone who spent four years with a three pack a day habit), and you never seem to run across someone who has smoked their whole life and doesn’t have teeth that plainly show it.  Their teeth are yellow, sometimes even brown, and nicotine was a big contributor.

2.  Alcohol

finding a good dental officeA lot of people enjoy alcohol.  I don’t have numbers on hand, but I am more than willing to bet that more than two out of every three people in this country enjoy a bit of alcohol every day or so (at least a few when we’re talking about people who are of legal drinking age. I myself enjoy quite a bit here and there, and I actually brew my own beer.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that I pretend that there’s anything good for you about drinking, and in fact, it will slowly discolor your teeth.  Especially if you’re a fan of beers infused with chocolates or various sugars, because those are pretty good at discoloring things in general.

3.  Coffee

Another commonly consumed substance that stains the teeth is one that has been consumed for centuries at least.  It’s enjoyed all around the world, from places where people live in huge urban landscapes to places where there is no one around for miles.  I’m talking about coffee, something that I have enjoyed around the world.  It’s also probably the number one liquid that people have to go get teeth whitening because of.  It’s also the number one choice for people who are looking for that extra spirit to get through the day.

4. Chocolate and other candies

Yeah, I know, people enjoy their candy and all that, but let’s face it, they are not good for your teeth.  If you’ve ever seen that new Willy Wonka movie with Johnny Depp, you probably remember the ranting of Christopher Lee about how no son of his will consume candy.  Of course, he also lied to his son about him being allergic to chocolate, but never mind that.

So, what about what you can do if you’re finding that your teeth are looking yellow or brown?  Well, then you can do something like get some teeth whitening services.  Yes, as far as quality dental care goes, it may be the kind of thing that most people don’t know about and have never utilized, but it can also be one of the handiest.

When you go to get a teeth whitening treatment, you’re going to be put in that comfortable chair, and then they’re going to rub some gel all over your gum line in order to make sure that you’re not going to get any of the bleaching agent on you.  Then you are going to have a peroxide compound of some sort put onto your teeth, and this will be left on for half an hour to an hour and a half, and then, after that, it’ll all be taken off, and you can go about your day.  If your teeth are really discolored, it may take a few tries to get it whitened, but you get the gist, I’m sure.

So, if you aren’t happy with the way that your teeth look these days, you should go and see your dentist and ask what they can do for you. You’ll be glad that you did.

4 Groups That Have Used Event Marketing Successfully

When it comes down to the methods commonly used in marketing and advertising today, it seems like the name of the game is to make sure that you inundate the target clients with the message as much as you can in order to make them buy it.  It’s the equivalent of that episode of the Simpsons where LT. Slaughter (whom you eventually find out was a member of the US Navy) tells about subliminal, liminal, and superliminal advertising, and you find out that his idea of ‘superliminal’ is basically yelling at the bus driver, named Otto (conveniently walking down the street at the time), to ‘HEY!  Join the Navy!’.

So, if you’re looking for ways to spread the word about your business without coming across as if you’re an obnoxious college student or Navy recruiter, what can you do, then?  Well, you can try another way of bringing the message to the masses about what it is that you have to offer them.  I’m talking about event marketing (although superliminal marketing does sound more… super).

A lot of businesses have utilized event marketing and had a good outcome because of it.  Below, you will find just four of those that have done so to good effect and been able to grow because of it.

1.  Budweiser (Bud Light)

One of the best event marketing displays that I’ve seen lately has come from what is, literally, my least favorite beer company in the world (yes, even worse than Chang beer).

Have you ever seen that commercial about Bud Light where they ask the guy if he’s ready for anything and he ends up in a massive Pac-Man maze?  Yeah, that was a real thing, and the people who were involved in it actually did not know what they were involved in until the guy walked in and heard the Pac-Man theme and music and whatnot.  The whole thing is pretty awesome, and it is probably the one way that you could actually convince me to drink their beer without the use of a trade show booth.

2.  Jimmy John’s

experiential marketing agencyWhen you think of things that define the college experience, one of the big companies that I think about is the famous sammich (sic) maker, Jimmy John’s, and their amazing sandwiches that I just cannot get enough of.

So, when they show up at college events and they give away sandwiches for free, it’s not really a surprise that they would do so.  It’s a great way for them to expand their clientele, and to let the people moving in to the nearby campus know that they exist and that they are there and more than happy to help the students out with their sandwich-based needs.  Plus, free Jimmy John’s is delicious.

3.  Five Guys

Much like Jimmy John’s, Five guys is a company that seems to open a lot of locations near to the areas occupied by college campuses.  They have a lot of business that comes from students who want a burger, but want one that is made with decent grade meat and isn’t made with cheese that doesn’t taste all that great, and Five Guys burgers and fries are well equipped to fill that need.

However, in order to drum up some initial business at the beginning of the school year, they decided that they were going to do a bit of marketing and to get the word out.  They did this by making sure that any time a college year began, they were there at the opening events, handing out free Five Guys burgers and making sure that the college students knew they were in the area.  A brilliant idea, really.

4.  Red Bull

Red Bull grew their business immensely with event marketing, far more than they could have if they stuck to expo displays at trade shows and the like. At any event that was some sort of extreme event, skating, skateboarding, bmx stunts, things like that, they were there, giving out cold Red Bull, free of charge, to anyone in the crowd who asked the lovely Red Bull Girls for a can.  Best of all, they were able to expand their base and to forge a tight relationship with those in the ‘extreme’ sports crowd because of it, which has led to some really amazing things as time has gone on.

So, if you’re looking for a way to market your product, one that will allow you to compete for customers without having to compete for the amount of money you can spend, consider event marketing.  It can’t hurt.


Website Design To Bring In Customers

The internet is the wave of the future and, really, it’s already taken over the market in the United States.  How often do you get most of your advertising information and whatnot from the internet?  I become aware of more products that I like or am going to want to buy by logging on to Facebook than I ever have from watching the television or any other method.  I can’t remember the last time I learned about products from a newspaper or magazine (and honestly, outside of times when I was waiting at an office or something, I can’t recall the last time that I have ever opened a magazine or a newspaper for anything.  I certainly don’t open them and make purchases or anything like that, because that’s just not something that I do a lot).  Television?  Television is becoming less and less popular, and honestly, almost everyone that I know in my age group is doing the whole ‘streaming internet’ thing these days if we want to watch something that is (or was) on television.

Web design will allow you to figure out a way that you can stake out a claim on the wild west that is the internet, and this is something that you need to do.  Pretty much every business that exists right now needs an internet presence.  I mean, let me put it this way.  There are tiny stores in the United States, stores that have less square footing than I have in my garage, and they have websites that bring in customers.  They also have websites that allow them to get the word out to the entire world about what they have to offer.  In this modern age, I’ve done shopping for various things all over the world!  I’ve bought cigars from Spain, guitars from England, shirts from England (Fred Perry shirts, they just can’t be beat.  The best polo shirt, hands down, that is in existence today, in my opinion, and I’ve worn quite a few in my life time).  If you’ve not got a website, one that accurately portrays your business and what you have to offer to the world, you’re really just damaging yourself, handicapping your ability to do business with people.  Now, that isn’t to say that every business needs to, or is, going to do business with people from all around the world, but if you’re running a business in the continental US, it probably is going to be a good idea for you to be sure that you’re able to do business with people in neighboring states, at very least.

reliable web design companiesYou likely are going to need to hire some expert web developers in order to get the help that you need when it comes to making sure that you’re getting the website that you need and want.  You’ll also want to hire them because, unless you know what you’re doing when it comes to programming a website, because in all fairness, that is very complicated and most people don’t really know how to do it on their own.

Now, what can you do with your website to try and bring in new business and new profit?  Well, there are a couple of things that you can try and do.  To begin with, you can work with a talented website developer to find things that will bring them into your site and make sure that they come back.  This means not only crafting  content, and not only making sure that you have something that can grab the attention of the customer, but it also means that you’re going to need to have a plan for how to get them to come back once they’ve come in to see what you have the first time.  This can be a lot of things.  There’s a lot of usefulness in offering discounts to people who have shopped with you before, rewarding the loyalty of people who have been with your business for some time.  Then there’s also the whole ‘offer them a deal’ thing.  Maybe if they spend so much money, when they return you offer them a percentage off, or a buy one get one free sort of thing, the actual mechanics are up to you, but figuring it out will help you to bring in more people.

Over the long term, there are few things you can do for your business that will pay off as readily as having a website will, and there are few things that are as essential in this day and age.  Make sure you have a website, update it, and you’ll do just fine.

5 Ways Your Dentist Can Improve Your Smile

Smiling is more than just an involuntary response to feeling good, it is a signal to others that you like them, maybe that you love them, and that they make you happy. Smiling is an extremely important part of our social life, it’s a way for us to reassure each other that everything is alright. Everyone wants to have a nice smile, it can make or break your attractiveness and charismatic appeal. But for many people, having a nice smile is made incredibly difficult by dental abnormalities. Some of these are accidental or otherwise situational, such as cracked, chipped, or discolored teeth; some are developmental issues, such as crowded teeth, which were too big for the mouth they grew out of; some may be due to neglect or dietary problems, such as tooth decay. In all cases, the person with any one of these issues is not happy about their smile, and some even go so far as to hide their teeth, smiling only with their mouth closed, never revealing their true beauty or fully expressing themselves, and that is sad.

best dentistBut all hope is not lost, my friends. If you have any of these issues, there are things which can be done by your good friend, the dentist. Whatever your problem may be, there are usually at least a few options that could resolve it, and I’d like to share with a few of those now. With any luck, you will leave this article feeling reassured and hopeful that you need not simply accept your dental fate, but that things can be done, improvements can be made to your smile, so that you will never be ashamed to show your teeth again.

One of the simplest fixes to many cosmetic tooth problems is called a dental veneer. A veneer is like a facade that can be placed on the front of a tooth to mask a cracked, chipped, discolored, or slightly crooked tooth, so that your smile will become more straight, even, white, and beautiful. A dental veneer does not require any serious procedure or surgery, and may not even require a local anesthetic, in some cases. It is simply a front which is adhered to a tooth which is misshapen or unattractive, in order to give it the appearance of a normal, healthy tooth. This can be an incredibly easy fix to something that may be causing you a great deal of grief and self-consciousness. The two most common types of veneers are porcelain and composite; composite is a cheaper option, doesn’t last as long, and is more easily stained or damaged, while porcelain is more expensive, but more durable, impossible to stain, and can last for several decades, if taken care of.

If you have a heavily decayed or worn down tooth, a better solution than a veneer for you may be a crown. A dental crown is not unlike a veneer, in the sense that it is artificial tooth material that is added to your natural tooth, but it is more like a cap than a facade. Whatever state your natural tooth may be in, a crown can be cemented to the top of it in order to give it the appearance of a normal tooth, as well as add much-needed structural integrity, especially in the case of a cracked or damaged tooth. A dental crown can make a huge different in the appearance of your teeth, and is a great way to save a tooth which is on its way to extraction.

Usually people who are concerned about their smile are thinking more along the lines of their teeth, but almost as common, actually, is having a problem with your gums. If your gums are irritated, possibly infected, or if your gum line is receding and exposing too much of the tooth root, then a variety of treatments exist to help you recover your gum health. One simple treatment that can often solve the problem is prophylaxis, which is an extremely thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums, and involves not just cleaning the outside of the gums, but actually getting beneath the gum-lines, and often even planing pockets that have developed in teeth roots, which serve as homes to pesky bacterial infections that cause all sorts of gum problems. In the case of a receding gum line, gum grafts can actually take tissue from elsewhere in your mouth, or from a tissue bank if your dentist has one, and stitch new gum material onto your teeth, to expand the gum line back down to its normal position. This can make a big difference in your smile, as well as reduce your susceptibility to gum disease.

These and many more options exist for you to improve the quality of your smile. No one deserves to be ashamed of the appearance of their teeth, so do yourself a favor, and make an appointment to talk to your dentist about the possibilities of how your smile can be renewed and rejuvenated. Thanks for reading!


Three Things To Keep In Mind When Building Your Grow Room

Marijuana legalization in the United States has long been a somewhat touchy subject, but in the last few years we’ve seen some pretty massive strides toward legalization of it.  For quite a while, it was almost impossible to legally have marijuana for personal use in the United States.  Then doctors began to see the use in providing it to people in certain instances, as something that would either alleviate symptoms, help to deal with nausea (which, to its credit, it does do quite easily), and, in some cases, it can even help to make sure that people are eating properly, which can be very important when it comes to the whole ‘people need food and nutrition in order to recover’ thing.

A few years after that, people began clamoring for more, wanting to be able to use it free of the medical profession.  In some cases, people have tried to claim that it was a religious instrument (which has worked for certain people, but in general is kind of laughed at).  Some states have, in the meantime, decriminalized marijuana, meaning that simply having enough on hand, or maybe growing marijuana for personal use, isn’t so much regarded as a crime as it is a nuisance, and so long as you’re not growing so much that you can be considered a dealer, all they’ll do is take your plants and be on their way.

For most people, alas, it is still illegal outright, but the times are changing, and within the next few election cycles, no matter what party wins, I think we’re going to see legalization becoming more and more popular.  That means grow room production capability is going to need to grow, and that means that you’re going to be able to make money by growing weed.  But if you want to get in on that game, you need to consider a few things, and here are just three of them.

1.  The law

grow room builderGrowing marijuana is a new thing, so far as being able to do it legally is concerned, and the places that allow you to grow, be it for yourself or for sale, have different regulations.  There are regulations concerning how much you can have on hand at any given time, there are regulations concerning the actual growing, there are taxes that you need to pay, things like that.  Then there’s also the fact that you’re going to need to pay for whatever license your local government might demand that you have, as well as the applicable taxes.

Then there’s the whole ‘shipping’ issue.  You see, you can’t ship marijuana across state lines, and if you do, you’re actually committing a felony.  Do you live in a state where it’s legal to sell marijuana?  Awesome!  If you cross the state lines, you’re now a criminal, and the only thing that determines whether you’re a felon or just guilty of a misdemeanor is the amount that you have if you get caught.  Be professional, and abide by the laws, no matter how costly they may be, because nothing is more costly than being arrested and tried in a federal court for a felony.   Trust me on this.

2.  The knowledge you’ll need

How much do you know about running an indoor marijuana grow room?  Do you understand the biology of a plant?  How about the chemistry of the water that you’re going to be feeding the plant, and the soil makeup and nutrients that you’re going to want to be putting into that plant?

This knowledge is absolutely important in order to make sure that the plant is going not only to be able to grow properly, but that you can standardize your product.  This is important because who wants to smoke something that they can’t trust will taste the same and be the same quality every time?

3.  The place you’ll grow

Finding a place to grow should be fairly easy, but you need to set it up right.  There are a lot of ways to do this, but, in general, when growing something indoors, the more that you can do in order to manipulate the environment to your advantage, the better the building is.  It’s harder to manipulate a large room than it is to manipulate a small one, so keep this in mind when planning out your grow operation.

Above all else, remember that growing marijuana for legal sale is a business, and that you need to treat it as such.  If you don’t, you can get into real trouble, both legal and financial, and nobody wants that.

Make Time for The Dentist

We all lead very busy lives, and sometimes things can get cast aside as we focus on jobs, family, and hopefully relaxation from time to time. However, one thing that must not be forgotten is the importance of oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing on a regular basis are important, but more care is need than just that. It’s important that you are making regular trips the dentist for cleaning and preventative care. They are trained in taking care of present issues as well as identifying things that might develop later down the road. If you have been to the dentists in a long time, then it’s time to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. When I was looking for a dentist in Aurora, Colorado, I simply hopped online and did a little research. The process was easy!

Seeing the dentist for cleaning and maintenance is important, but it’s not the only reason people go. There are a host of other services provided by cosmetic dentists that might be quite valuable to you. For example, many offer services like dental bonding, whitening, dental implants, and much more! These services are great for restoring smiles – and confidence in patients. A simple procedure might be able to make a huge difference. If you’re in need of treatment like this, be sure to search for a cosmetic dentist specifically. There are many talented family dentists out there who simply do not offer these services, focusing on cleaning, repairs, and preventative maintenance.

Over the years dentistry has become quite refined. The tools and techniques have been refined to minimize pain while maximizing effectiveness. If you suffer from fear of the dentist, the time to get over it is now! The longer you wait to visit a dentist, the higher the chance is that you’ll face a serious issue. Bite the bullet and make an appointment today, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with how it goes. Besides, if it’s cosmetic work you need, won’t it feel great to be able to smile with confidence?

Let’s examine some of the services top cosmetic dentists provide:

Dental Bonding

Small issues like minor chips and cracks can still be annoying. It might bug you every time you look in a mirror even if you have just a tiny chips. Well cosmetic dentists have a solution, dental bonding for smile correction. In this process a strong bonding agent is used to fill in the cracks and chips in need of fixing. The agent then dries, the excess is scraped away, and the patient is left with a normal-looking tooth! It’s a simple and effective process that doesn’t cost too much! If you have minor issues that need to be addressed, look into dental bonding.

Dental Implants

For more serious issues, dental implants are a fantastic solution. Implants have come a long way, to the point where many people are selecting a mouthful of implants over dentures. They last longer than dentures, don’t need to be removed, and function like normal teeth. The implants work by having a base attached in the mouth where the root of the tooth being replaced once was. This base is supposed to graft to the bone, creating a strong bond that will last a life time. At this point the implant itself is attached to the base, and it looks, feels, and functions like a regular tooth.

Teeth Whitening

Dental ImplantsOne of the most common procedures seen at a cosmetic dentist’s office is teeth whitening. People’s teeth actually get darker naturally as they age, and when you add the effects of wine, soda, tea, and coffee, the results can get pretty ugly. One way to combat dark, discolored teeth is with whitening. The procedure is simple and painless, and provides real results. The dentists will use a gel, sometimes with a bleaching agent depending on the situation, to remove stains from the teeth and restore more of their natural color. If you’re hesitant to smile because of discolored teeth, whitening might be a good idea.

Teeth Veneers

When cracks, chips, and discoloration is beyond the reach of bonding and whitening, many people turn to teeth veneers. These ultra-thin sheets of porcelain can cover up the damaged tooth or teeth, presenting a cleaner, healthier look. The veneers will be affixed to the tooth, looks just like the normal tooth, and often last many years. Sometimes discoloration or damage is simply too great for other solutions.


Many people are dealing with crooked smiles but don’t want to have braces. There could be many reasons someone wants to avoid traditional braces, and in many cases Invisalign is a great alternative option. The clear plastic aligners gently push the teeth into place over time, and can be removed when the patient needs to clean their teeth or eat. They’ve been in use for nearly 20 years, and have a history of success. Ask your cosmetic dentist about Invisalign on your next visit.

If you’re looking to improve your smile, a cosmetic dentist is the person you need to talk to. Do some research online and ask around, you’re sure to find someone who can meet your needs.

3 Considerations When Creating The Best Trade Show Booth

Having a trade show booth at the appropriate trade show can be a real boon for any business that operates one.  Having said this, just showing up with a table (one of those cheap, plastic folding tables that we used to use in college to play beer pong on, for example) and putting your product on it isn’t going to be enough, and honestly, it ends up making you look less like a legitimate business and more like you’re being run out of your mother’s garage (not to knock people who are still at that point in development or anything.  Apple started out in a garage, and at this point they have control of huge swaths of very sought-after land across the world, so don’t feel bad if you’re still working on your business or anything).

Your trade show booth needs to not only represent you in a way that is pleasing and somewhat positive, but it needs to also provide information about whatever it is you have to offer, or, even better, allow people to access the things that you’ve brought to show off at the trade show. However, when designing your booth, you need to keep a few things in mind.  Here are just three of them.

1.  Security

custom design firmTo begin with, your trade show displays need to be somewhat secure.  I don’t mean that they need to be guarded by brutish looking bodyguards with guns (although for certain businesses, that would actually be a good idea to attract more people to look at what it is you’re offering.  Imagine having a team of men in tactical gear showing off your weapon at the SHOT show, or delivering your demo discs for the newest Call of Duty at E3?  That’s marketing gold, man), I just mean that you need to give some though to making sure that the things that you’ve brought to show don’t get stolen.

Sure, stuff is going to get stolen at a trade show.  If you’re lucky,it’ll only be stuff like your swag (the free stuff we all get at any trade show, things that are literally designed to be given away to attendees and that have your logo on them or something similar.  If you’re careless, you’re going to end up having things that are important stolen. Maybe it’ll be artwork or parts of displays.  Maybe it’ll be the displays themselves, the alpha or beta builds of whatever product it is you’ve come to show off.

2.  Accessibility

An important thing to consider is how accessible your product or your display is to the people who have come all this way to see the trade show (and to see what you offer there).  Now, this is going to vary based on what it is you’re showing off or pushing, but you need to be sure that people can access it as much as is appropriate.

For example, at NAMM, a large guitar and music event that is held at least once a year, you are going to be able to pick up the guitars and play them.  This is a great way to get some experience with the product, and a really amazing way to design convention displays.  However, if you’re, say, a medical company showing off your newest extra-large MRI machines to the medical community and to people who make the acquisition decisions for hospitals, you’re probably not going to be well-served in letting people play with your MRI machine (to say nothing of the fact that such a thing can break your machine.  Keep your accessibility appropriate to the show you’re at.

3.  Who will be showing up to the event

When you’re designing your display, you also need to understand who you’re designing it for.  Are you designing it for someone who is an insider, a part of the same industry that you’re in?  Are you designing it for the people who are coming just to see a trade show that is open to the public and, therefore, are likely to be part of that ‘public’, not some industry name, but just a person who finds you industry fascinating?

The way that you’re going to advertise what you have to offer is going to be very different depending on which of those you’re going to be showing your product to, and the tone of the trade show is likely to be different as well.  Keep that in mind when designing your event.

Above all, make sure you have fun, you get word out about what you have to offer, and most importantly, be sure that you’re ready to sell your product to whoever it is that you’re going to be encountering.

5 Reasons Social Media Marketing Trumps Older Forms of PR and Marketing

social media management companyPR and marketing have traditionally been two somewhat separate but related traditions within the business world. This is because they both have to do with relating to the public, but one is more about advertisement and appealing to the public en masse, and the other is more about having a conversation with the public; yet both are in the business of managing the company’s public image. Today, the internet has changed much about how the world of PR and marketing works, and is actually bringing the two disciplines closer together, and blurring the lines between them. In the modern social media management company, the mass appeal of marketing and the conversational element of public relations are no longer two separate things, but two aspects of one endeavor, which is relating to the public via social media. There’s a reason that marketing/PR world is going in this direction, or rather many good reasons, so here are a few of them. These are five top reasons why the new realm of social media marketing trumps all the older forms of marketing and public relations, as we have known them.

1. The Internet Is Everything

The internet has changed the face of humanity. It has changed how we live, how we find a place to eat, how we make decisions, how we find romance, how we relate to one another, how we inform ourselves about virtually any topic we can think of, how we learn, and so many more things it would be ridiculous to list them all. The internet has become the major source of information for most people, and is increasingly the public’s choice for how they find out about anything and everything, including new businesses they may potentially want to buy from.

2. Social Media is Kind of a Big Deal

If the internet has changed everything, social media is a huge portion of why that is the case. In the twenty years that the internet has revolutionized our culture and society, the past ten years in which social media has come to prominence have been responsible for a majority of that change. Social media has become the way that people tell one another about the things that interest them, and that means your business. This huge nexus of information exchange is the hub on which your business will depend for its marketing needs. Those who don’t utilize these exchanges will most likely fade into the background, and fail to succeed at marketing to the customers that will be interested in their products and services, which is a necessary ingredient for business success.

3. Social Media Has Built-in Knacks for Finding Your Niche

Social media marketing is by far the most effective form of marketing, because social media is by far a better form of information distribution than all the other older forms of media such as print, television, and radio. While the older medias are all about broadcasting on a mass scale to entire populations on a high price tag, social media has built-in mechanisms which help get information to those for whom it is relevant. The social media machine identifies the interests and tendencies of each individual, and shows them what they are likely to like, which is a totally different, and vastly superior approach.

4. Users Do Half the Work For You

As you probably know, the primary way that information gets passed along on social media is by users themselves. Although the algorithms do part of the work, users also do their part, by sharing things that are interesting to them. This has many benefits, chief among them being that people who are friends tend to have common interests. So, if one customer shares something positive about your business, then how many of their friends are also going to be interested? Odds are, a significant number. This means that your customers become a major part of your marketing strategy.

5. It’s Relatively Cheap

While managing your online presence is still going to cost you something, it’s probably not going to cost as much as it would be to run an old-fashioned marketing campaign. This is because commercials and advertisements, news appearances, and other older forms of marketing are pricey. However, managing a few social media pages and a website is relatively cheap. Sure, you’re going to need to pay someone to do it, and if you’re smart you’ll hire a social media marketing firm, but whatever you pay for that is generally not going to cost you as much as putting out commercials and advertisements would have.


Gum Surgery and Why You Might Need It Someday

Say the words “gum surgery,” and a lot of people will cringe. It instantly brings to mind the cutting and displacing of a part of us that we don’t typically want to have cut, but the reality of gum surgery is much like the reality of most other surgeries: it doesn’t hurt that bad, it can be extremely helpful at solving health problems, and the worse part is the recovery, which still isn’t really that bad. But the best part of getting gum surgery will be looking at your mouth and no longer seeing red, irritated, receding gums, but instead healthy gums looking the way gums are supposed to naturally look. And that is what makes it all worth it.

gum surgeryGum surgery is mostly used to treat gum disease, although it  can be used to treat receding gum lines that might not necessarily have to do with gum disease. Gum disease is, however, the most common culprit, and is actually fairly common. Like most mouth dilemmas, it stems mostly from poor dental hygiene, diet, and other contributing factors like smoking, or medical treatments like chemotherapy or treatment for AIDS. Some signs that you may have gum disease are bleeding, irritated, and reddened gums, receding gum line, loosening teeth, and persistent halitosis. If your gums are giving you trouble, bleeding when you brush, or if you can’t seem to get rid of that bad breath, then there’s a good chance you may have some level of gum disease, and that you might need gum surgery.

Gum disease is a type of infection, which progresses in stages, the first and mildest of which is gingivitis. At the gingivitis stage, the gums are just irritated, possibly bleeding, and starting to slightly recede, and, of course, the bad breath. At this stage, other measures than gum surgery may be able to solve your problem, such as prophylaxis, which is an extremely thorough and extensive teeth cleaning, application of antibiotic ointment, and drastic improvements to dental habits and diet. If you are experiencing symptoms of gingivitis, please take the matter to your dentist, so that you can stop it together, before it reaches the second stage and becomes more serious.

This second phase is known as periodontitis, and is like a more severe form of gingivitis, in which the gums begin to actually rot and pull away from the teeth. At this stage, the bacteria which cause gingivitis have advanced further into the gums and roots of the teeth, and are devouring gums, tooth roots, and bone and connective tissues. If not taken care of, this can result in loss of teeth, permanent damage, and even life-threatening spread of the infection to other parts of the body. When you gum disease reaches this stage, it is when your dentist will most likely start suggesting surgery, if not before.

Gum surgery mostly consists of two types, one is intended to clean the infection out of the gums, the other is intended to expand a gum line that has receded, back down to its natural level. The first type is called flap surgery, and the second is called gum grafting. With both types, you can expect to be thoroughly anesthetized and sedated, most likely with a general rather than a local anesthetic, which means you will be “asleep” for the entire procedure. In flap surgery, the gums are cut away, and infected areas are cleaned out, antibiotic ointment is applied, and then the gums are stitched back into place to heal. In gum grafting, segments are taken from either the receded gum itself, the roof of the mouth, or an external tissue bank, and are grafted on or attached to the receded gum line, in order to add gum coverage to an exposed tooth root. This will result in a more natural-looking gum line, but it isn’t only cosmetic, since exposure of tooth roots can contribute more to infections and other problems.

Like most oral surgeries, most dentists will send you home with a prescription for pain-killers and antibiotics, and will inform you that you need to rest and recuperate for several days before going back to work, or resuming normal activity. After they have healed, your gums should be back to normal, and if you improve your dental hygiene regimen, should remain so for the foreseeable future. However, if you continue whatever caused the problem in the first place, no amount of gum surgeries will solve the problem, which is actually your lifestyle choices, so it’s important to realize that in the final assessment, you are the only person who is responsible for your own oral health.

Time to Find Orthodontic Specialists in Your Area

You can’t take the health of your teeth lightly. Hopefully you brush everyday, and floss often as well, but this is really just the beginning of oral health care. Regular trips to the dentist are also essential, as they’ll provide thorough cleanings and make sure you don’t have any cavities or other issues with your teeth and gums. Believe it or not, having a straight smile is also a big part of oral hygiene and care. First of all, overcrowded and crooked teeth can be harder to clean, leading to more cavities and decay. Secondly, having straight teeth instills confidence in your smile. When it comes to these issues, orthodontists are the individuals we turn to. These skilled professionals have a variety of treatment methods to address your crooked smile. The length of treatment will vary based upon the severity of the issue being corrected, but it’s always worth the time. Your teeth are important, if you’ve been putting off treatment, it’s time to find an orthodontist in your are who can help.

The severity of cases that a skilled orthodontist can fix are quite impressive. Thinking your teeth are beyond repair is a big mistake. You may be surprised, but it’s almost certain the orthodontist you visit will have seen worse. When orthodontics is combined with cosmetic dentistry the results can be wondrous. Keep in mind however, that good hygiene is a must before undergoing smile correction treatment. Another thing you may not realize is that orthodontists generally feature many treatment options beyond traditional braces. These options include clear braces, lingual braces, and a type of ‘invisible braces’ called Invisalign. Before you go in for a consultation it’s best to know a little bit about each of the options. Let’s take a closer look now.

professional orthodontic specialistLet’s begin with the most common treatment for smile correction, traditional braces. They are still the most commonly used treatment for a reason; they are effective. Teeth braces for smile correction have been used for well over one hundred years, and they show no signs of slowing down, even with the advent of new methods. To put it simply, nothing else works as well for as many cases as traditional braces. You are probably familiar with this method of treatment, and have likely seen things like retainers and headgear that are associated with it. The problem with braces is that they are very obvious and difficult to hide. For those trying to keep up professional appearances or who are self-conscious, this can be an issue. Traditional braces also limit what the wearer can eat, and often require special cleaning techniques to ensure oral hygiene. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be discreet in treatment, and for that there are options. Let’s take a look at the next in our list.

For those looking for the effectiveness of traditional braces with a bit more discretion, clear braces are a viable option. They function the same way as traditional braces, so they’re just as effective, but they’re made of different materials. The brackets are made of a clear polymer that is harder for people to notice. Even still, when looking beyond a casual glance one can definitely see that you’re wearing clear braces. Another drawback is that clear braces still have the same limitations with diet and cleaning that regular braces have. When you’re looking for discretion on a budget, clear braces are a great solution. Many people won’t notice that you’re wearing braces and they’ll definitely be less noticeable than steel!

For those looking to be even more discreet, and willing to pay a bit extra, lingual braces can be a great option. These braces will be 100% hidden from view, and if you’re wearing them no one will know unless you tell them. Discreet lingual braces for teeth straightening operate on the same bracket and wire principle as traditional braces, but they’re affixed to the backs of teeth rather than the front. This keeps them out of sight during the course of treatment. Lingual braces do have their drawbacks however. They’ll still require special cleaning since they’re permanently affixed to the teeth throughout treatment, and they won’t work for everyone. Furthermore, since they are much more complex than traditional braces, they will cost more money. Still, if you’re a viable candidate and the money isn’t the issue, lingual braces can be an effective treatment that is quite discreet.

The last option I’d like to discuss today is one of the more recent developments in orthodontics. In fact, it took a few years of good results for this product to be widely accepted in the orthodontic community. Today however, many orthodontists offer the services of Invisalign invisible braces. As a patient, the treatment process is rather simple and straightforward. X-rays and molds will be taken of your teeth and a digital representation of them will be created in a special computer program. A treatment plan is developed and clear plastic aligners will be printed on a 3D printer. They will then simply be snapped over the teeth and treatment begins. Every couple of weeks the aligners will be swapped out for a new pair that brings the patient closer to their goals. In severe cases Invisalign may not prove to work as well as traditional braces, but if you need smaller corrections and want to be discreet it’s the best way to go.

Consulting with an orthodontist shouldn’t be a scary proposition. They’ll be able to turn your crooked smile into perfection, no matter how bad it is right now!

Three Reasons To Utilize Tax Services

April the fifteenth is one of, if not the, most hated days on the calendar.  It’s the day that you have to pay your due, and render unto the proverbial Caesar what is Caesar’s.  I’m talking about tax day, the day that you have to pay your pound of flesh to the Internal Revenue Service, or, if you’re someone whose taxes get taken out as they go along via payroll taxes, then it’s the day that you beg them, like Oliver of Dickensian fame, for more of your money back.  It’s not hard to understand why so many people absolutely hate the day.  You have to give the government money, although, really, you can’t see much benefit that the government has given to you.  If you’re my age, mid to late twenties, it’s even worse.  You see, I have to send in money to social security, even though even the rosiest of estimates are telling me that by the time I am old enough to legally draw from social security for retirement, it won’t exist anymore, due to the fact that it has been immensely underfunded is repeatedly being scavenged in order to pay for other things that it shouldn’t be paying for at all.

So, obviously, the best thing that I can do is to keep as much of my money from going into the hands of the IRS as is legally possible, wouldn’t you agree?  But, how do I do that?  I mean, I don’t have the time and the inclination to go and try to figure out the seventy-odd thousand pages of tax code that currently exist, and I certainly don’t have the time, inclination, or even the desire to go and figure out the additions that they make every year.  Where am I to turn?

business tax accountingWhy, I can find a CPA firm that offers tax services and listen to what they have to say, and let them help me with my taxes.  Here are just three times when it would be advantageous to go out and pursue such services.

1.  When you first go out on your own

The first time you move out and live on your own is going to be a very startling experience.  All the sudden, you have to bring in your own money.  You have to do your own laundry, buy your own groceries, and you will, eventually, discover that doing your own shopping means you have to buy real food in order to have decent nutrition that will allow you to continue to live and be healthy.  You also have to pay your taxes.

But thing is, we don’t really give a lot of advice to our young people about how you do that, how you fill out your tax forms, or even what you can deduct.  So, you might find that you benefit from hiring one of the local CPA firms and getting them to help you file your taxes so that it’s done right and you save as much money as possible from the hands of the tax man.

2.  When you first get married

When first you get married, you’re going to have a lot of new expenses (and you’re also going to have a lot of new headaches, believe it or not), and nothing is as much of a hassle as figuring out how to jointly file your taxes.  So, where are you to turn to keep from having the filing of taxes tear apart your marriage as it begins?

Find your local group offering tax accounting services, and hire them to deal with it.  Let it be their headache, while you focus on the argument over throwing out all your glasses because they all have beer logos on them (no judgment, pint glasses are pretty awesome, right?).

3.  When you have a kid

Having a child is pretty expensive, especially the actual birthing process and the care that comes right after.  Then there’s the actual cost of raising a child, which is, to be fair, astronomical.  Then, there’s also the money you need to set aside for their education, for their future, the list goes on and on, and the point is that we’re talking about a lot of money.  Luckily, you can write off a lot of the expense and thus remove it from your tax filing, saving yourself money that you can spend on your new bundle of joy!

Hiring a CPA to help you with tax services is the best thing you can do if you’re not sure about your tax filings.  They can help you to save as much money as possible, and best of all, they’re going to be able to help you keep your money in your pocket, rather than in the pocket of the IRS.

Event Design To Bring In Profits

If you’ve ever worked for a company that produced something on a large scale, whether they were selling it to other companies, to governments, or to the citizenry, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say the words ‘trade show’.  For the rest of you, this is either something that you’ve been missing out on, or something that you would absolutely hate.

Trade shows, in general, especially in more affluent industries, are held in some of the most awesome places in the country.  Chicago.  Boston.  Various parts of Hawaii (no part of Hawaii isn’t awesome.  You could stick me in the barracks on any random base down there and I’d still be excited to be in Hawaii.  Just saying, guys.). California (pretty much all of Cali, really, is ripe for industry expo shows, and they know it well, because a lot of their larger cities pander to the whole thing and the industry crowd).  Both coasts are pretty popular with the people who put on such things.

event marketing strategiesHowever, even though a trade show is a fun time for those who are attending, that doesn’t mean that those who are there presenting what they have to offer to the industry at the show aren’t doing a lot of work, or that a lot of work hasn’t gone into the whole thing before ever the show began.  For example, event design, the design of whatever it is you’re going to be presenting at the show, is an important thing, and it is also very intricate of a process to go through in order to make sure that you get the most out of your money when it comes down to the event.

You see, trade show booths exist in order to bring in more money for the company that owns them.  A trade show is the best place, bar none, for a lot of people to meet and exchange ideas and, more importantly, orders.

Let me paint you a hypothetical picture.  You have an expo, a trade show, whatever you’d like to call it, and it’s being held in lovely, sunny, beautiful San Diego, California.  It’s a bunch of medical equipment companies, selling everything from needles and accessories designed to help you with getting a needle into someone’s arm to give them necessary fluids or substances, to MRI machines and other immense and complex materials and equipment(s).  This means that they’re going to have plenty of room, and plenty of spaces, to show off this new technology, or the newer versions of older technologies that they have access to now in order to help you treat and diagnose various illnesses.  And who, do you think, that this whole event is geared toward?

It’s geared toward the people who work in acquiring new medical devices for hospitals, whatever the hospital may be, and whatever the device may be.  So, they’re going to spend the whole time walking around, looking at new equipment, more modern equipment, with one eye on the list of things that they need (and things that the people working at and operating the hospital want them to pick up.  The list of needs and wants are not always completely exclusive, really), and another eye on the price and viability of options, plus the operating costs, maintenance costs, things like that.

Now, this is just what happens when you have a trade show, filled with a series of exhibit displays that are designed for the purpose of separating the people who are there from their money.  To be sure, that’s pretty much every trade show that has ever been put on in history.  The whole reason for attending such a thing is to let everyone in the world know what you have to offer them.  This will, hopefully, if your product is worthwhile, lead to sales both on the floor of such a show, but even more importantly, it leads to a lot of great opportunities for networking, getting a card from a fellow or two, and making sure that those people are aware that your business exists and it has something to offer so that, in the future, if they find themselves needing that something, they think of you and your business.

So, if you have something to sell to another business, another company, or something that you want to sell to the people of the country, the public, you need to have a presence at such a trade show, and that means you need to design a booth.  Make sure that you do so, and make sure that it’s one designed to bring in people and to present what you have in a positive light.

Three Reasons Invisalign Is An Improvement

We spend a lot of time thinking about the way that we look, the way that we present ourselves to people when we go out and meet them.  We spend a lot of time and money on the way that we dress, the way we look, the way our hair looks, the way that everything about us presents to the people around us.

One aspect of that, and one that people may ignore, but that is nonetheless extremely important, is the way that your teeth look.  It’s one of those things that we instantly judge people for.  If you see someone missing a lot of teeth, what do you think about them?  That they’re a redneck, maybe (depending on what area you’re living in).  Maybe you’re thinking that they’re a junkie (ever seen the teeth of a meth addict?  Meth mouth is a real thing, and it is absolutely disgusting to look at).  Maybe you’re thinking they are one of those people who just doesn’t take care of themselves.  The reality could be any of those things, but the point that is illuminated here is that you want your teeth to look the best they possibly can be.

Now, part of that means that you need to receive regular quality dental care from your local professional dentists, as well as making sure that you brush and floss your teeth at least once or twice daily.  But these are only the steps you need to take in order to make sure that your teeth aren’t going to, say, fall out, or something similar.  In order to perfect the way that your teeth look, you’re going to need to seek out someone qualified to offer orthodontic services, and likely, they’re going to outfit you with braces.

Braces, as they exist today in their standard configuration, have been around since the seventies, and they work just fine when it comes to realigning the teeth, but there are some drawbacks.  However, there’s another way, a newer technology that will allow you to realign your teeth with less hassle.   It’s known by its brand name, Invisalign, and here’s just three reasons its great.

1.  Discretion

A big drawback to standard metal braces, and one that is so well-known that it is the source of many teen drama stories (and high school horror stories), is the lack of discretion that the standard braces have.  You see, they’re a series of metal parts that are put in the mouth in order to realign the teeth, and what this means is that you’re going to have a lot of metal in your mouth. A t no time has very shiny medal ever been something that is easy to hide.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are made of a hard and clear plastic, meaning that, once it’s put in your mouth, nobody is going to be able to tell that it’s in there unless they go groping around into your mouth looking for it.  And let’s be honest, if that happens, people finding out you have braces is probably the least of your problems.

2.  Ease of Use

Cosmetic dentists with experience will tell you that when you have standard braces, you’re going to find yourself having to spend a lot more time on your normal dental health regimen, working around them.  On the other hand, when you’re using Invisalign brand invisible braces, you’re going to be able to remove them whenever you like; you see, they aren’t affixed to the teeth with the use of a dental adhesive, meaning that whenever you need (or want) to remove them, you can just pull them off in order to, say, brush and floss.

3.  Comfort

cosmetic dentistry for smile correctionHaving a series of hard metal brackets in your mouth are not something that anyone can pretend is going to be comfortable.  They’re big, they’re bulky, they have sharp edges, and worst of all, they rub against the sensitive flesh inside your mouth.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are something that, when put in the mouth, won’t be uncomfortable at all.  You see, when you get them, they’re form fitted for your mouth, meaning they will be as comfortable as anything that you can put in your mouth and wear over the long term.

So, if you’re looking to improve your teeth and their alignment in order to make yourself more beautiful, consider asking your local cosmetic dentists with experience about Invisalign, and if it is right for you.  You’ll be glad you did when you have the most discreet method of smile correction at your disposal.

Website Design To Bring In More Business

Business today is evolving, and the way that we do business is evolving as well.  Of course, the way it’s evolving is very interesting, but it also mirrors the way that our society is evolving.  You see, the new thing in business is the utilization of website design to bring in more customers and to make sure that the young people and the people who have grown up in the internet age are able to access your business in the way that they are most accustomed to and most comfortable with (yes, there is ample evidence that the rise of the internet is making people less personable, and robbing those who grew up with it of interpersonal skills.  Deal with this.  You have to adapt to it, and the way to adapt to it is with the internet!).  This means that you, yes you, need to implement some website design to bring in more customers in the future.

functional responsive websitesYou really can’t compete, as a business, without a website, outside of a few rare instances.  I mean, it’s understandable that doing business in new ways can be terrifying, but it’s something that you need to do , to change with the times so you can make money.  There are plenty of businesses that didn’t change with the times, and most of them are dead.  Look at what nearly happened to Kodak when they insisted on continuing to make film for cameras that weren’t popular and hadn’t been popular for years.  Look what happened to Oldsmobile when they continued to make cars for a shrinking market (basically, they made cars that were for old people, thus the name.  They were slow, they were reliable, they were comfortable, and they were safe.  Also, they were basically immortal.  I had one that got hit by a snow plow.  Car was fine, it just looked like someone had taken an axe to the fender.); they eventually closed and all those jobs went away.  The same thing happens with people who make things in old-fashioned ways that aren’t applicable to today.  Look at hipster businesses; they may be keeping up with the internet presence that they need, but they’re doing business in the worst ways possible, ignoring the ability to do things in a way that is a lot easier and more productive in order to feel like what they do is artistic (sorry, no.  The fact that it took you three minutes to make coffee and twenty minutes to actually hand it to me doesn’t make you an artist.  It means that I’m just not coming back, and nothing you can add to the coffee, no artistic design you can swirl in the cream is going to make that change).  in fact, I suspect that the reason that many hipster businesses don’t last long has a lot to do with the fact that, while they may make use of web designers, they are doing business in a way that is far outdated and not conducive to actually turning a profit, but rather to falsely living an aesthetic ideal of rugged individualism that they don’t really meet.

So, if you need a website (and yes, you do need one.  This isn’t up for debate) you need to hire someone to make it.  I would greatly suggest, especially if you’re a larger business, or one that is more professionally based than other, or even one that sells things, that you get a website made professionally, one made by a professional website design company so that you can entice people to come to your business.  Now, some people try to go the cheap way, and get one made by a friend who likes to code, and that’s nice, but it often doesn’t look professional, and can, quite frankly, make your business look like a joke.  You need a well-made website that is functional and that looks professional, and that will help you to bring in the business that you need in order to remain competitive in the market.  However, you don’t just need a website designed, you also need it maintained, you need it to be updated with the information that you need to share with the customer, whether it’s a new entrée or a new product that you are running a special on.

Whatever business you’re running, it’s important that you change along with the times, making sure that you are updating your website, and your image, as the market dictates, and most importantly, remaining, as a business, customer-centric, dedicated to the customer and meeting their needs.  Long story short, get a website.  You need it.

Three Great Reasons To Visit An Orthodontist

A lot of people just don’t enjoy visiting their local dental professionals, be it someone who is there to see if you’ve got cavities, or someone who is there to make sure that your teeth are coming in straight and as beautifully aligned as is possible.  There’s a variety of reasons that these visits are so uncomfortable and so loathsome to many, but in my mind, the most important reasons is because of what they’re doing.  They’re poking around in your mouth, a place that is pretty personable, and pretty vulnerable, and nobody really likes being vulnerable around someone else (and if you disagree, you’ve obviously not had a long term relationship yet, haha).  Then there’s the awkwardness of someone poking around in your teeth and trying to make small talk with you while doing so, which is made all the more awkward by the fact that it’s really hard to respond to someone when they’ve got their hands in your mouth, keeping you from being able to actually articulate a response.

However, with all that awkwardness, it’s still important that you go out and see your local practitioner of board-certified orthodontistry with some regularity, in order to make sure that your teeth are as well of as can be.  Here’s just three great reasons to go see them.

1.  Examination of your teeth and their alignment

The most important reason to go and see your local orthodontist is, obviously, when you have cause to think that something is out of place in your mouth, that something just happens to not be right with whatever is going on in there.

It’s important, too, that you listen to the nagging feeling that you may get that something just isn’t right with your body, not just when it comes to your teeth, but in general, when it come to the entirety of your body. This can help you to treat things in an orderly manner, and to make sure that you’re treating them fairly quickly before they can become any worse (which can make it harder and more expensive to treat them).  Your teeth are no different; the more out of proper alignment they become, the more likely it is that you’re going to be looking at a more lengthy process to fix them, and a more painful one as well.

Examination of your teeth and alignment is likely to include things like dental X-rays, as well as things like bite indentations and modeling your teeth as they currently exist, in order to make a model which can be used both to explain the issues you’re having and to suggest various treatment methods.  When it comes to treatment, though, you’re likely to encounter one common treatment…

2.  Treatment with standard metal braces

Standard metal braces are the most common professional orthodontic treatment, by far, in the United States and around the world.  They’re simple to install, and they work well, and can do so anywhere in the world.

adult orthodonticsThey consist of a series of metal brackets which are mounted to the teeth with the use of a long-term dental adhesive, which will hold those brackets in place for months or even years (if that’s necessary), until the proper solvent is applied.  Over the top of these metal brackets is run a long metal wire, which is hooked or looped around some of the brackets, and will provide the appropriate pressures and tensions to ensure that the teeth are realigned properly.  This metal wire is then held in place with a series of rubber bands, wrapped around the bracket and the wire in order to make sure it doesn’t pop out of alignment.

This is the most popular way to fix the alignment of teeth, but that doesn’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that it is the best way to do so, or the most modern.

3.  Treatment with Invisalign (when appropriate)’

Invisalign, in fact, is the most modern way to treat misaligned teeth, and it has a lot of advantages.  It doesn’t need to be semi-permanently mounted, for one thing.  It’s made out of a discreet and clear plastic that allows it to be almost completely invisible when placed on the teeth.  Best of all, it’s a lot easier to work with, what with the fact that you can remove it simply and without need of a solvent or anything similar.

So, if you’re having issues with the alignment of your teeth, consider going to see your local professional orthodontist.  You’ll be glad you did!

Why a Contained Indoor Grow Room is the Safest Option For the Modern Grower

Ah, cannabis. Marijuana, ganja, that beautiful plant we love so dearly. It is proven to function as medicine for many ailments, ranging from chronic pain to severe epilepsy. Not only that, but for thousands of years, its use has never caused a single fatality. It makes many of us feel good, it inspires creativity, it helps us be more relaxed, easygoing people, it makes us hungry, and it makes many people happy, while still leading fully productive lives. And, it makes us…criminals?

Well, luckily less-so now than ever before. If you are fortunate enough to live within a medical, decriminalized, or legalized state, growing cannabis is a very real possibility for you, and does not require that you leave the realm of law-abiding citizenship. Over 20 states have legalized medical marijuana, and a majority of Americans have polled in favor of rescheduling cannabis for over a year now.

However, even in states where it is legal, there is still some level of danger involved. The federal authorities may or may not fully recognize your state-sanctioned right to grow. The last thing anybody wants is a SWAT team busting down their door and ruining their lives, shortly before hauling them off to prison for growing a plant that has proven useful in countless ways.

On top of that, police and government agencies aren’t the only gun-toting thugs you have to worry about; being a cannabis grower also means that you are a prime target for actual violent criminals. Think about it, you are growing a plant that sells for $2,000-$3,000 per pound, on average, and it’s unlikely that you can put all that money in your bank account. That means that at any given time, you may have thousands, or even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash somewhere on your property, which makes you a rather fat catch for anyone willing to take it. Add to that the fact that your owning a cannabis growing operation makes you drastically less likely to call the police in case of an emergency, and you have an obvious recipe for robbery.

But does that mean you shouldn’t grow at all? The more cautious among us may say so, but growing marijuana is far too enticing for everyone to be deterred. But with all of these potential threats to the grower, we must ask ourselves, what is the safest way to grow? Is there a method of growing which can drastically reduce, if not completely eliminate all of the risks that one takes in growing cannabis? How can we grow in such a way that the authorities and criminals both will not even know that we are growing?


The key to growing cannabis safely is definitely stealth and secrecy. If no one knows that you’re growing, then no one is going to bother you. It’s only when you give yourself away that you put yourself at risk. Growing indoors certainly helps, but is not by any means fool-proof. Authorities are constantly finding new ways to catch growers, such as monitoring water and electricity usage, and even looking for houses that have snow melted on the roofs, from the heat of the lights, in Winter. Rumor has it that drones are now even being employed to look at heat signatures of houses to find indoor cannabis farms.

indoor grow roomIf the authorities are advancing their methods, then we must also advance our own. We must find new ways to conceal our grow operations from the prying eyes of men with guns who want to put us into cages. This is why the safest and best way to grow today is with a prefabricated, modular indoor marijuana grow room.

What is a modular indoor cannabis grow room? A grow room of this sort is an entirely contained marijuana growing environment. It is completely air-tight, meaning that no air escapes it that has not been thoroughly filtered to eliminate odors. It is also completely light-tight, meaning it is sealed perfectly so that no light will escape into the outside world. The environment within the grow room is entirely controlled, so all of the factors that influence your plants’ growth, such as temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and light cycles are finely regulated for optimal growth. Additionally, it is completely isolated from the outside world, so that no mites, molds, or fungus ever get anywhere near your lovely green beauties. Every aspect of it’s contained environment is entirely optimized to produce the healthiest plants, and the fattest buds possible.

But why is it so much safer? As already described, the air and light from your grow room will be completely enclosed, meaning that lights and smells, which often give a grow away, will be entirely absent. Additionally, an indoor grow room of this sort is extremely efficient, meaning that it will use the minimal amount of electricity and water required, and will be less likely to create obvious spikes on your electrical bills that are likely to be noticed. In addition to all of this, being modular, your grow room builder will be able help you maximize the use of your space, and customize it to your specific needs. From a closet to a warehouse, these modular grow rooms can be fitted to virtually any space.

The best part is, from the outside, your grow room will basically look like a box.  With no odor and no light escaping it, the last thing that anyone would suspect is that you are growing marijuana plants. For these reasons, growing with a modular, prefabricated indoor growing room is by far the safest way to grow today.

Determining the Need for a 401k Audit

People are constantly concerned with retirement. Nobody wants to work forever, and they don’t want to worry about how they’ll survive when they reach retirement age. 401k accounts are one of the measures in place to make sure people have enough to retire. A 401k is simply a retirement savings account that allows individuals to contribute pre-tax earnings that are to be invested, grow, and released at retirement age, designated at 59.5 as of now. The money isn’t always tax-free however, as income tax is paid when the money is withdrawn from the account. As long it’s taken out after retirement age however, there will be penalties. Many companies in the United States offer 401k accounts as a benefits, and will match a certain percentage of your pre-tax contributions. This can be a huge help for retirement and generally seen as a great benefit. It should be noted that there IS a maximum yearly pre-tax contribution.

A 401k seeks to grow an individual’s investment by distributing funds over a variety of different investments. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are some of the more common ways 401k funds are invested. These are just a few examples however, as there are quite a few choices when it comes to investments. Typically the path of investments is decided by the plan administrator, usually an experienced accounting firm or accountant. Companies may have in-house accountants handling this, or they may outsource, it just depends on the size, type, and preference of the company.

Many 401k plans are required to undergo a yearly audit. These audits become mandatory for plans that have 100 or more eligible participants. A company must select an independent and unassociated firm to carry out the 401k audit. The reason for this should be obvious, as a company cannot audit itself without bias. There are many things the auditing CPA firm is seeking to uncover and understand. First of all, the CPA will determine whether or not the most important features of the plan are clearly presented to participants. Additionally, they seek to find out if the plan’s current stability is accurately and clearly portrayed by the plan manager. These are very important facts, but they are far from the only reason for the audit.

As with any investment account, 401k accounts have many rules and regulations regarding them. In fact, the very name of the accounts stems from the IRS code that applies to them. The 401k audit’s primary goal is to make sure that the 401k plan follows regulations and guidelines closely. Of course a plan MUST follow government regulation, but it also needs to follow the guidelines laid out in the plan’s executed documents that participants have agreed to and signed off on. For these reasons audits needs to be precise, and should be handled to expert CPA firms.

During the course of the audit, top CPA firms will seek to answer several questions that will illustrate the overall health of the 401k plan. Here are a few examples of questions accounting firms will seek to answer:

  • Have assets been assigned the appropriate value?
  • Is the plan open, available, and accessible to all eligible employees?
  • Are payments being applied correctly to individual accounts?
  • Have there been any tax issues and have been properly addressed?
  • Have any ERISA-prohibited transactions taken place?

This is quick example of some of the questions that will be asked and answered by the best accounting advisors. Employees rely on 401k plans to retire in timely fashion, after they’ve dedicate their lives to a company’s success. Therefore, they should be able to rest easily knowing their money is being appropriately cared for and managed. This is the exact purpose 401k audits serve. They help the IRS make sure that everybody is getting the plan they deserve. These audits can also have other benefits though. They show companies how plans need to be adjusted or tweaked to maximize gains and contributions. Though audits are mandatory for ‘Large’ 401k plans with more than 100 participants, many companies with smaller plans still have audits.

Due to their benefits, 401k audits are often used by companies with plans that have less than 100 participants. But they do take some prep work, and the plan administrator will have to gather quite a few pertinent documents. They’ll include IRS documentation, including determination, executed plan documents along with amendments, and all summary plan descriptions. These are only a small piece of what will likely be needed however, and an accountant will be able to go into further detail. The easier these documents are located the smoother the audit will be.

401k audit Of course the reason for mandatory audits is an IRS requirement, so it follows that the audit will have to be submitted along with taxes. 401ks and these audits are serious business, the IRS wants to be sure that a company is in compliance and following the law. Companies need to have experienced, talented accountants auditing their 401k plans. It can cause real issues if an audit has missed a glaring issue.

It doesn’t matter if a 401k plan is defined as ‘Large’ and requires an audit, or is small and doesn’t, audits are a good idea. Plans that are growing will be ready for a smooth transition if and when audits do become mandatory, and audits will let companies know what they’re doing right with their plans, and what they could do better.