One primary purpose of a dental appointment is checking for cavities. To learn exactly how they form, read on.
Cavities?also known as dental caries or simply tooth decay?form as the direct result of two interplaying factors: food and bacteria. As soon as 20 minutes after a meal, more than 500 types of bacteria begin to feast on any refined sugar or starch they can find, producing a potent acid as a byproduct. Tooth enamel is considered the hardest substance in the human body, but if left alone for extended periods, this acid can easily bore its way past the enamel and into the inner layers of the tooth, which house nerves, blood vessels, and minerals worth approximately 25 cents on the fairies' black market. Cavities can be difficult to notice in time?many don?t exhibit pain in the early stages of development, and they often occur in hard-to-clean spots, such as the small crevices on the top of molars. What's more, unlike a child's missing tooth, enamel doesn't grow back. Once it's gone, it's gone forever.
In a study conducted in Warwickshire, England, fossilized records showed that only 8% of people living in the Iron Age experienced tooth decay?a stark contrast to today?s 48%. Granted, blacksmiths might have been able to forge strong toothpicks, but there's a larger culprit to blame: the influx of carbohydrates, sugars, and processed foods that became more common in later humans' diets. To counter the increase in oral ailments, dentistry evolved from a field that relied solely on bare-knuckle boxing matches to one that delicately treats decay as it appears, most often by removing the acid-eaten portions of the tooth and rebuilding the structure with a cement filling or crown. As always, however, the best offense is a good defense?dentists recommend brushing daily and visiting the office twice a year to prevent cavities from even forming.
Practice makes perfect and perfection is the goal of Centerfield Baseball & Softball Academy's staff. The roster of experienced instructors includes members with playing and coaching experience at the collegiate and Major League levels. During private lessons, these instructors share their insight and help players refine fundamental hitting or pitching techniques. Larger clinics allow the staff to work with groups and create well-rounded baseball and softball athletes.
These lessons can take place in the academy's 15,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility, which also allows players to refine their game on their own. Its four Iron Mike pitching machines are capable of slinging fastballs or water balloons at speeds from 40 to 70 miles per hour, and six of its eight open cages feature mounds, which help pitchers dig in while they practice delivering the heat.
Albert Jernigan holds black belts in two disciplines of tae kwon do, a testament to his three decades' experience in martial arts. At his Jernigan’s School of Martial Arts and Self-Defense, Albert puts this knowledge to work, teaching students as young as 6. His programs for men, women, and children encompass the principles of tae kwon do, tai chi, jujitsu, and kickboxing. He also caters to senior citizens, specializing in exercises that alleviate the discomforts of arthritis.
Both veterans of the full-contact karate circuit, coaches Bill Flowers and Jerry Byers sought to impart the hard-won lessons of their fighting days to new generations seeking discipline and self-defense skills. So in 2006, they combined their expertise, creating the KO 101© Martial Arts & Boxing Gym as a doorway into their lifelong passion.
Coach Flowers holds belts in three forms of karate and 12 championship titles, achievements complemented by coach Byers' belt rankings in seven different martial-arts styles, including black belts in three schools of tae kwon do. In their gym, students train for both personal enjoyment and healthy competition, ultimately taking to the ring to spar against one another once the punching bags have run out of lunch money.
Premier Baseball Academy's instructors draw from their experience at the high school, college, and professional levels to help hone skills of players ranging from little leaguers to pros. In private and group lessons, the bat-swinging experts focus on areas such as strength and arm velocity with equipment including pitching mounds and five Iron Mike batting-cage machines that dispatch balls at adjustable speeds. The instructors hold practices for entire teams and lead camps that aim to cover all mental and physical aspects of the national pastime. The Academy also hosts several tournaments throughout the year and serves as a rescue shelter for stray team mascots.
Recently opened, Texas Champion Gymnastics offers regular classes that help hone kids' athletic skills while building their self-confidence. Tumbling and conditioning classes strengthen the muscles and motor skills needed to pull off the tricky moves for vaulting up to the cereal cabinet, and recreational gymnastics classes focus on the discipline and techniques of nailing specific routines.