Category: Teen Life

Don’t Want Braces? Talk to Your Parents About These Options

For the majority of teens and pre-teens, braces have become a rite of passage—a symbol that you’re growing up. These metal wires often stay on for years, resulting in straighter and more beautiful teeth than ever before. While there’s no doubt that the results of braces will guarantee you a beautiful and functional smile, many teens don’t like how braces look and find them embarrassing.

Fortunately, there are other orthodontic alternatives.

1. Clear Plastic Braces

For those who don’t like the look of metal braces, these nearly invisible alternatives are definitely worth considering. Each ‘tray’ or set of clear aligners is custom made for each patient, with adjustments made over the course of treatment. These are suitable for addressing a variety of dental issues, including overcrowding, crooked teeth, gaps, overbite, and underbite. According to Dentaly.org, clear aligners are used anywhere from 9-18 months. That’s much shorter than the usual treatment period for braces. Plus, you can take out clear aligners when you eat and to brush and floss, making your daily dental hygiene routine that much easier.

2. Lingual Braces

While traditional braces are attached to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are actually attached to the back. They function in the exact same way as regular metal braces, but just without the metal on the front of your smile. They correct all the same problems that regular metal braces do, but without the embarrassment. That being said, their location can sometimes feel uncomfortable or strange to the tongue. Also, their location and position may make them a challenge to keep clean, so you’ll have to be extra diligent at brushing and flossing. Many dentists recommend getting an oral irrigation device to help clear food debris from these kind of braces to help keep them clean.

3. Veneers

Northstar Dental explains that veneersare a cosmetic dental procedure in which a thin layer of porcelain or composite material is placed over the outside of the tooth.For those who are only looking to change the look of their teeth, but not to alter their position, veneers may be the best option. These are custom-made porcelain caps that are permanently attached to the teeth. The end result is a normal-looking set of teeth that are straight and perfectly aligned with all the others. This is generally a great option for broken, discolored, or cracked teeth that can’t otherwise be corrected.

4. Ceramic Braces

With ceramic braces, the brackets are made of porcelain so that they blend in with the teeth and are less noticeable. Tooth-colored wires are also available to further make the appearance less noticeable. Metamorphosis Dental says that “Although ceramic braces may not be recommendable for a few cases of misalignment and biting problems, it is suitable for treating crooked teeth, overbite or overjet and widely spaced teeth or crowded teeth. Ceramic braces are generally more expensive but with given advantages when compared to metal braces.” These are as effective as braces, but they tend to be less painful and to irritate the gums less.

Kissing Braces Goodbye!

Talk to your parents if you don’t want traditional metal braces, because there are good alternatives! From there, you can work with your dentist to determine which option is best for you and your teeth. You might be surprised by which choice can help make your teeth look beautiful without the need for metal wires.

What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

In 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that approximately 22 million people suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In 2016, that number dropped by only 1 million. The same study found that 8.2 million of those people also suffer from a mental health disorder for both years. While living with addiction is hard, knowing someone with that addiction can be even harder. You want to help them, but feel that your voice will fall on deaf ears; especially, if they are your peers or family members. The right strategy will not only give you the confidence you need to speak up but will also save their life.

Be Well Informed

Before taking the plunge into a deep conversation, you should thoroughly know your topic. Many websites will give you in-depth information on the causes and effects of addiction. For example, the SAMHSA.gov website offers yearly data reports on substance abuse. The site also provides material on how to get help for someone who suffers from substance abuse and mental health disorders. In most cases, the addiction is used to hide depression, self-esteem disorders, and other mental health issues that are being suppressed by your friend or family member. You can also call a rehab facility and discuss your concerns with a professional without having to commit to anything. After you have studied on the subject, approach your loved one when they are not under the influence of their addiction. Explain to them how you feel and reassure them that they are not alone in the journey.

Be a Positive Support System

While the urge to take your friend or family member straight to a rehab center or AA/NA meeting is strong, sometimes the best therapy is knowing that you are there for them in their darkest hour. The most frustrating part of addiction for both you and your loved one is understanding the addiction recovery process. Recovering from addiction is different for each person. There will be times of anger, resentment, and withdrawal from your loved one. There will be times where they will mess up. Be patient with them and remember each day is a new day. Of course, if you do have to take them to a rehab center, be sure and maintain that same positivity. Their quality of life in the rehab center is just as important to their treatment as the therapy. Remember, addiction is just a disease, and you are just visiting a sick friend or family member.

When someone has an addiction, that person is not the only person who is affected by the habit. You have suffered the emotional rollercoaster of their addiction. While they are in a rehab center or meeting, take that time to go to Al-Anon meetings. These meetings are structured to help you understand their sufferings and help you learn how to deal with the recovery. Furthermore, plan events to distract your friend or family member during these hard times you know they are weak. The road to recovery might be a long journey, but in the end, their life is worth the trip.

Resources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

http://www.midwestinstituteforaddiction.org/

How Can I Create a Relaxing Study Environment?

As a student, studying is a big part of having success and getting your work done. You will spend a large amount of time studying for tests and homework assignments. To get your work done with high quality, it is necessary to have a good environment to study in. Trying to prepare for a test or focus on a difficult assignment becomes nearly impossible when your environment is distracting or noisy. Here are some of the best ways to set up a relaxing study environment.

Find a Quiet Place

As stated before, noise and distractions are going to make it very difficult to study. The best thing that you can do is find a quiet area. If you are a high school student and still live at home, find an area in your home that is calm, like a corner of the basement or your room. If you decide to designate your room to study in, don’t do it in your bed. Studying in your bed will make you more likely to fall asleep and possibly not get your work done. It will also make it harder for your brain to relax when it is actually time for you to sleep. If you are a college student and live on campus, there are tons of quiet places to study in. Libraries and study rooms are widely available on college campuses and make for a great environment to study in.

Make Yourself Comfortable

If you are in a public area, this may not work for you. However, if you are in your room or dorm, you can make your study area more relaxing with a few simple tricks. First of all, some people really enjoy playing soft music in the background. Studies have shown that calm music can help stimulate the brain and make remembering things easier. Another way to make your area more relaxing is to diffuse relaxing scents. The aroma in your room can greatly affect your productivity. Try using a diffuser along with a scent like lavender or sandalwood, which are both known for their relaxing properties. You should also try to let some natural light in. Natural light puts less stress on your eyes, which can help you relax more.

Block Out Distractions

As a student, we are often drawn to one specific distraction: our phone. Cell phones can make a study session much less productive, especially if you get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media. If you want to have a good study environment, the phone needs to go. The simple act of muting your phone and setting it aside can allow you to have a much better study environment. Resist the urge to check it, except on scheduled study breaks and make sure you give yourself a time limit.

As you can see, there are many quick and easy ways to create a relaxing study environment. Each method is pretty simple for students to perform. If you are having a hard time being productive in your current study environment, try a few of the things we discussed here.

Living Sober: How Can I Avoid Drugs?

Your teenage years are complicated. You have to handle school, work, puberty, dating, and any number of other issues. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and to end up in a situation that you don’t want to be. So many teens turn to drugs or alcohol to help them deal, even though they know how bad that can be. So how can you find a way to avoid ending up in that situation.

Find Things You Love

A lot of teens turn to drugs because they are bored or they don’t enjoy anything that they are doing with their life. One of the best ways to avoid ending up in that situation is to find a hobby or two that you love. This can be an organized extra-curricular activity, a class, or just something that you do during when you have a moment. Not only can this bring joy to your life, but it can also act as a great stress relief.

Make Good Friends

The type of people you spend your time with is going to influence who you are and what you do. Peer pressure is a real thing, and it can have a huge effect when it is applied over a long period of time. If your friends are drinking and doing drugs, it is pretty likely you will end up doing the same at some point. Surrounding yourself with good friends who will support your decision to avoid drugs is going to be crucial to sticking with it.

Take Care of Yourself

One of the most common ways that teens end up with a drug addiction problem is through injury. Serious sports or work injuries are often treated with a narcotic prescription that evolves into an addiction. Those who are addicted then turn to more accessible drugs like heroin to feed that need. To avoid ending up in this situation, you need to take proper care of yourself. Stretch properly before playing sports and make sure you don’t push yourself too far. If you do end up needing to take heavy-duty prescriptions, set up a plan with your doctor and parents to avoid ending up addicted.

It is important to do everything you can to avoid drugs, regardless of your age. They can have a permanently damaging effect on all areas of your life, and you don’t want that. The temporary high you may get isn’t worth the lifetime of addiction and regret.

How to Get More Volunteer Experience

Let your volunteer experience show potential schools and (employers) that you are dedicated, self-motivated, and that you care about something other than yourself. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities within your community, use what speaks to you. As a teen looking to beef up their volunteer experience, here are some volunteer options to consider.

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Define Your Cause

If you haven’t done so already, think about what motivates you. Is it relevant to the work you want to do? Defining the purpose of why you are volunteering will guide you toward the best opportunities. At the end of the day, you will be donating your time, so it should be doing something that you can connect with.

Make Connections

Now that you have your cause, contact local establishments for volunteer opportunities. The following organizations often have current openings:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Provide care and support for local children by volunteering as a mentor to younger kids.

Animal Rescue Shelters. Assist with cleaning, feeding, and general care of animals in your town.

Food Pantries. 1 in 6 people in America faces hunger. Get out there and help!

National Parks. If you love the outdoors and wildlife preservation, this opportunity is for you. Apply at your most local park and learn lots of useful wildlife tips and tricks.

Your Local Library. Education is the key to success. Help provide knowledge to your local community by tutoring, helping with Storytime or re-shelving books part-time.

RedCross. Help prepare your local community for disasters and others when in crisis.

Retirement Homes. Spend time with the elders of your community with a smile and an afternoon of fun.

Goodwill. Consistently donate clothing or household goods

Be Genuine

When an employer is seeking potential candidates, they want to hire the best. This does not mean volunteering for ten different organizations to meaninglessly fill up space on your resume.

If you volunteered your time for a day with a few different organizations, you are not going to benefit by placing this information on your resume. Complete or continuously stay committed to one or two organizations. This will show that these are causes that you care about, you’re a team player, and you can make a commitment. As with many things in life, quality is more valuable than quantity.

No matter where you volunteer, remember that employers want candidates that have strong values. Make your resume stand out and showcase the hard work and dedication you have given to your volunteer programs. Include important details and statistics about the projects you have completed. In the end, create your resume to represent who you are as a person and an employee.

5 Stupid Things Teens Do That They Might Not Realize Are Crimes

Remember that house you toilet-papered with your friends last Halloween? Or maybe the nude photos you sent to your boyfriend? How about mooning that annoying teacher in the school parking lot? All potential crimes. These are the top 5 stupid things that we see teenagers doing that are potential crimes with real, punishable consequences. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these activities are “harmless” or “something everybody does in high school.” You don’t want to find yourself in court.

#1: Mooning

This might be one of the oldest, dumbest pranks—so you’d think it would be considered harmless. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Today, mooning is considered indecent exposure, which is a kind of “lewd act”. Lewd acts are illegal because of the exposure of genitals. Summit Defense explains that “For example, if a woman ‘flashes’ her breasts at her boyfriend in a [public area], and her intention is to sexually excite herself or her boyfriend, then she could be charged with committing a lewd act in a public place. It would also be an offense for a man in a car to flash his buttocks – usually referred to as ‘mooning’ – at a lady driving another car with the intention of offending her.” Whether or not you intend to sexually harass someone, the case can be made that sexually offending someone was your goal. As a result, a criminal case can be made against you for indecent exposure. Public indecency is considered a type of sex crime, and it isn’t worth the risk for a gag.

#2: Toilet Papering and Egging

Halloween prank or not, technically, toilet-papering and egging someone’s home is a crime. If the police are called, the crime will be considered “vandalism” or “criminal mischief.” In both cases, fines and potential jail time are on the table. In fact, in 2015 a story broke about 13 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 who were arrested and charged for egging cars and houses. Skip this prank; come up with something more original and something that isn’t going to land you in trouble with the law.

#3: Sending Nudes

This one is straightforward: sending nudes as a teenager is considered criminal. Why? As someone who is under the age of eighteen, your nude photo is considered to be child pornography. Sexting laws vary by state, but all states agree that it is a crime to own or possess a “sexually explicit image of a minor.” It is also a crime to photograph and send a “sexually explicit image of a minor”, because it is considered the creation and distribution of child pornography. This cannot be emphasized enough: do not sext your boyfriend or girlfriend. Do not ask your boyfriend or girlfriend for nudes. Both acts are a criminal offense, and if charged and convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender. The consequences of breaking this law will follow you for the rest of your life. It’s never worth it.

#4: Hazing

College hazing stories have taken over the internet. We see stories every year with new sorority and fraternity pledges who have succumbed to injuries from these initiation activities. Teenagers and high schoolers are also on board with the hazing trend, especially teens involved in clubs or sports teams. Maybe you pulled down someone’s pants at school, or forced them to eat something disgusting, or beat up someone who wanted to join your club. Maybe you taunted someone or sent threatening messages. If you are bullying someone as a form of “hazing,” what you are doing is criminal. Hazing classmates, whether or not the victim goes along with it, is a criminal offense.

#5: Stealing

This last one might seem obvious, but many teenagers think they can get away with stealing from grocery stores and supermarkets and retailers with only minor consequences. They try to swipe a pair of shoes, a tube of lipstick, or a candy bar. Maybe you might feel like the price isn’t fair; maybe your friends are doing it; maybe you’re tempted because it’s a rush of excitement. But the few moments of thrill you might get from shoplifting aren’t worth the price of being caught. It doesn’t matter how big or small or cheap or expensive the stolen item is; stealing is stealing and it can land you in court with a criminal charge PLUS getting a hefty bill from the store’s lawyers for damages. Being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for stealing will affect your chances at getting hired for a job that you want, and for getting into the colleges you’re applying for. And here’s one last thing to consider—according to NASP,shoplifting affects more than the offender. It overburdens the police and the courts, adds to a store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for goods, costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes and hurts children and families.” Shoplifting hurts everyone. Find another way to entertain yourself and get that thrill you’re seeking.

Living as a teenager is stressful and dealing with peer pressure can be daunting, but don’t give in. If your friends are engaging in any of this behavior, remind yourself of the potential consequences. Fines, jail time, and criminal records are not worth the few minutes of fun. Be adventurous and take chances, but not with these activities.

Is that person drowning? Drowning signs and symptoms to look out for.

As summer creeps closer, it’s essential to educate yourself on drowning prevention. This is an accident that should never occur. Drowning is not what we are used to seeing in the movies – with someone splashing around and calling for help. It is usually silent, especially with young children who do not realize they won’t be able to breathe underwater.

That’s why it is important to assign one person as a designated Water Watcher and change shifts every 15 minutes when children are in the pool. Active supervision means:

  • Sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children
  • No phones or reading materials!
  • Do a regular headcount
  • Step in when there is too much horsing around
  • If you have to step away, another adult must be designated as the Water Watcher

Do not leave a toddler or young child in the pool area without adult supervision. Older children are not always as sensitive to the dangers of drowning, and my not recognize the warning signs.

Look for these signs of drowning:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water.

One way to be sure is to simple ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer, they are probably okay. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to rescue them.

That’s also why every parent, babysitter, and teenager should be trained in CPR. This training is essential to get oxygen to the brain and can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.

For more pool safety tips, download the Pool Safety Guide from Life Saver Pool Fence. https://www.poolfence.com/pool-safety-guide/

Article provided by Life Safer Pool Fence

Develop These Skills and Start Your Writing Career

If you have a way with words, writing is a fantastic and diverse career choice. You can get into writing web copy (such as this very article), news writing, fiction writing, and more. The world really is your oyster. However, like all career paths you’ll need to develop some skills in order to kick start that dream career. Here’s what you need to have in order to be a good writer.

Research Skills

No matter what you want to write about, you’ll need to have the research skills in order to do it. For example, as a freelance writer, you could be asked to write about multiple topics in one day. You might write one piece on mountain biking, another on home repair, and a third on resume writing tips. You need to be able to find the information you need in order to write well.

The best thing to do is learn how to perform advanced Google searches.

Ability To Generate New Ideas

You’ll need to come up with new ideas constantly as a writer. You’ll be looking for new business all the time, and you’ll be asked for ideas that you can sell on to companies. You won’t have time for the dreaded writer’s block here.

A good way to generate ideas is to think about who your audience is, and what they want from you. For example, say you write for a filmmaking blog. Sit down and brainstorm as many ideas for blogs that their audience would want to read. You could write about camera techniques, how to find the best actors, and how to storyboard a film.

When you’re generating these ideas, you’ll need to communicate them well with prospective clients. You need to refine your ability to pitch. They key is to get straight to the point.

Self Reliance

Writing is a unique job as you’re often alone with your laptop and your thoughts. You need to be fiercely motivated in order to be a writer and actually make money.

‘Many people think they want to be a writer, until they realise how much they need to motivate themselves’ says recruiting consultant Peter Davies from UK Top Writers. ‘However, once they find themselves having to work alone, they find it very difficult.’ You’ll really have to be motivated to get everything done on your own.

Good Editing Skills

Good writing doesn’t happen when you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It’s in how you edit what you’ve written to make it really shine. You’ve got to be able to come back to your work and not be afraid to make changes, to make it better.

You’ll also need to have the knowhow to edit and correct grammar when needed. Good grammar is the cornerstone of good writing, so you’ll need plenty of knowledge and online references to make your writing excellent.

Social Skills

You need to be able to network if you want to get writing opportunities. It’s important that you find like minded people and start working with them. This is where social media comes in. There’s never been an easier way to find your people and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your network that you’re looking for writing work. You’ll be amazed at what can come your way.

Being Able To Ask For Help

Yes, you may initially spend your time writing alone, but at some point you’ll need to be able to ask for help. Remember, the best writers improve as they’re always asking for feedback and thoughts on their writing.

Like in any job, you’ll only get better if you listen to others and get help when you need it. You can do this online, thanks to the wide range of services on offer. For example, Grammarix will help you with improving your grammar, and State Of Writing is full of writing guides that you can put to good use.

Persistence

Finally, to be a writer you’ve got to be persistent. This is especially true if you’re going to work as a freelance writer. You’ve got to keep getting out there, asking for opportunities, and looking for work. It can sound exhausting, but to the right person it can be a welcome challenge. If you don’t want to do the same thing every day and relish the challenge, writing is for you.

There you have it. Develop these skills, and you can become a successful writer, no matter what field you want to work in. Get practicing now and you’ll go a long way.

Rachel Summers is an education writer living in the UK. She works with several different institutions, including leading writing service Australian Reviewer. Her goal is to help students get the most out of their school years, and to help them get the assistance they need.

Need help tidying up? Call in a cleaning service.

What is the benefit of a home cleaning service ? Well, one of the biggest sources of strife in a family with teenagers is chores. Cleaning is especially bothersome, with seemingly few teens able to match parents’ expectations about how clean something has to be to be really “clean.” Its just not something most teens are good at for some reason.

So, what are you supposed to do. Just keep getting yelled at?

This is where a home cleaning service can help. These range from a single person who cleans houses on the side to full blown, professional operations with dozens of employees. An example is Live Clean Today, a company which serves the greater Spokane, Washington area.

Live Clean Today can be booked via their contact form or a phone call. You have to indicate how many rooms and the approximate square footage, and they will return a quote. There may be extra charges when they arrive, however, if the space is dirtier than anticipated or special techniques are required (for example, removing wine stains from a carpet–which can take several hours and special chemicals).

Here are some of the benefits of a home cleaning service:

  • They do the work for you (sweet!)
  • They bring their own supplies. Companies like Live Clean Today use natural cleaners to reduce toxic buildup in the home.
  • Most companies are licensed, bonded, and insured in the event they damage anything in your home.
  • Flexible solutions. You can hire them for for regular light housekeeping or a one-time deep cleaning.

The main negative would be cost. Expect to pay $100 and up for most services, although sometimes you can get a deal through a coupon or sale. For a teen, this might be way too expensive, so consider offering to help pay for part of the service with your other siblings and parents covering the rest.

Its worth it to live in a clean, harmonious home.

Where to Look for Help with an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy

If you’re facing an unplanned teen pregnancy, you are not alone. Women between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth to 229,715 babies in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the teen pregnancy rate has been decreasing in recent years, many teens still face an unplanned pregnancy every year, and it can be a terrifying, lonely experience. But for these teens, help is available.

Counseling Services

Many teens aren’t sure what they want to do when they first learn they are pregnant. Many church-affiliated organizations may offer counseling at little to no cost. Ask for information about all your options, including the pros and cons of each.

Teen Parenting

Support centers exist for mothers want to keep their babies, including support groups, parenting classes, and things like baby clothes, diapers, and infant car seats. Some hospitals offer support groups, childbirth classes and parenting classes specifically for teens, too. Finally, many high schools now offer special services for teen parents. Ask your guidance counselor.

Adoption Services

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you can contact your state’s adoption services for more information, or go through private companies that help you navigate the process. Every state has an agency with a name like the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Social Services that has a department that handles adoptions.

Pregnancy is intimidating, especially if you’re facing it alone. But help is available, and you should feel confident that you can still have an abundant, rewarding life. Pregnancy is the start of a new life, not the end of yours. There is help and there is hope. Never forget that!