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Clare’s Travels – Peru

My favourite things in life are meeting new people, animals and walking. My last holiday to Peru included all these things and was truly amazing.

I flew into Lima where I met up with the other members of the group. There were 11 of us in total, all like minded so we hit it off from day one.

We started our first leg of our journey to the Amazon Rainforest. After a long journey by small boat along the Amazon we arrived at Cayman Eco Lodge, right on the banks of the river. Here we stayed a few days enjoying the sights and sounds of the jungle. We did day hikes, night hikes, and canoe rides at sunrise to see the macaws on the mineral licks.

The animal life was amazing and we didn’t have to go far from our lodge to see monkeys, sloths, and capybara just to name a few. There were lots of colourful birds and insects and of course the dreaded tarantula spiders! We took small canoes looking for anacondas and jaguars along the riverside, thankfully we didn’t see any but did see evidence that they had been there recently.

The next part of the journey was the 4 day long Inca trail, the highest pass was 13,828 ft. The 17 porters that travelled with us set up and took down our camp daily, cooked our meals and still had enough energy to run past us with their heavy 20 kg packs while we puffed and panted to Machu Pichu. The eldest porter was 63 years old, they were all amazing!

After us celebrating reaching Machu Pichu we arrived at another very different part of Peru; Lake Titicaca. We visited the locals that made their homes on floating reed islands no bigger than 20 metres across, which housed 4 families. The reeds from the lake were used to build their houses and boats and to burn for cooking. They mainly ate waterfowl and fish. They took us out on their reed boat which was surprisingly very stable, to fish and cut the reeds to repair the island and their home.

We then went to a ‘proper’ island and stayed with a lovely Peruvian couple who opened their modest house to us. Our guide advised us what to take as a gift, chocolate and sweet things were forbidden as there were no dentists on the island! We took food provisions with us as a gift and whilst there helped to dig the land and prepare meals in the small wood burning stove, no electricity or modern showers just the lake! I was blown away by their kindness, everyone we met were happy and had beautiful smiles and teeth, probably the lack of sugar!

I will never forget the people and their country……. where shall I go next year???

Our Raving Fans

In dentistry, it is very easy to get caught up in fixing smiles and the running of the practice that we lose track of whether we are still providing you with that ‘Wow factor’ patient experience. This is when our 5 star google reviews come into their own, they stop the whole team in their tracks because we love to hear your positive comments about the service that we are providing and that our hard work is paying off.

We want our clients to have the best experience here at Christchurch and have invested a lot into making sure that you leave the practice happy and raving about us to your friends and family.
You are not just our clients; you are our raving fans and our shop window. We don’t do paid advertising and rely on the experience we give you bringing in word of mouth referrals so go and tell everyone about how great Christchurch is and what makes us stand out above the rest by writing us a google review. Many of our new clients who found us via google will say the chose us above other practices in the area because of our positive google reviews. One patient said recently that she googled ‘The best dentist in Suffolk’ and the search and reviews led her to us.

If you are an existing client who is a raving fan and haven’t done so already; then we would be very grateful if you could start spreading the Christchurch word.

So how can you spread the word?

• Tell your friends about your positive experience with us.
• Write a google review.
• Write a Facebook review.
• Like our Facebook page.
• Follow us on Instagram.
• Comment on our posts.
• Share our posts.

These positive reviews mean so much to us as a team and a business as they reflect that we are offering the 5-star patient experience that we strive to deliver here at Christchurch. The reviews boost our team morale and the reputation of our practice. There is nothing like positive feedback from a client.

If you haven’t yet visited us and want to receive our 5-star patient experience and join our raving fans, then contact our reception team on 01473 250977 or [email protected]. We can’t wait to meet you and show you what all the hype is about.

Blogging about ‘Nothing’

I decided that today would be the day that I write my next blog. So far this morning, I’ve made several phone calls, dealt with my growing inbox and had 3 cups of tea all with my next blog ticking away in the back of my mind, hoping that at some point I would have a eureka moment on what exactly to blog about but no eureka moments today. This could have easily made me put it off for another day but instead I’ve decided to blog about ‘nothing’.
Wouldn’t it have been easy to just put it off and focus on one of my many other tasks? Of course it would! I would still have a sense of fulfilment as I ticked more jobs off my list but the blog would still be looming over me.
I find we are all guilty of that, from leaving the washing up to leaving that cavity that the dentist found at your last oral health check. The problem is that the washing up will continue to build up and that cavity won’t be getting any smaller either. In dentistry we often find that what starts off as a very small problem in the mouth and that you didn’t even know was there, can very quickly become a larger and more expensive problem. The point of view from the client is that it’s only small, it can wait. However, then they are too busy to attend their next oral health review or book that filling appointment and by the time they come back again that small problem has grown or they are booking in for an emergency appointment because now they have toothache and don’t just need a filling now, they need more extensive treatment.
The one good piece of advice that I can give you today, is don’t put it off, my blog would have been even harder to write tomorrow, the pile of washing up will take longer tomorrow and if you have been putting off that filling you might be waking up with toothache and a larger dental bill tomorrow.

One Step at a Time

Being practice manager, I spend little time in surgery these days but when I do I often hear ‘I only brush once a day, I’m too tired in the evening so skip brushing before bed’, ‘I have a sweet tooth’ or ‘I don’t floss as often as I should’. Does any of this sound familiar?

The thing is, these are all things you can control. You can control your attitude and your effort, sometimes it takes making some changes to your routine but it’s all achievable.

The expression ‘one step at a time’ can be applied to most goals and we’ve all been told to take things one step at a time at least once in our life time.

The idea is that small changes can all add up to big differences, but is this really case? After all, wouldn’t it be better to just go big or go home as this will help you achieve your goals faster?

One of the major problems with big changes is that you often end up needing to alter your daily routine or your lifestyle in order to accommodate them. This can be incredibly difficult to do and mean that it is harder to keep up with them, as other things will get in the way.
This increases your chances of not achieving what you set out to, which can ultimately see you give up. However, taking things one step at a time means that small changes can be slotted around your daily schedule so you aren’t having to make large changes to accommodate them.

Let’s take interdental cleaning as an example, if you routinely sit down at 7.30pm to watch Eastenders, then why not sit down with your interdental brushes or floss and do a bit of multitasking at the beginning of the programme.

I went to church last week to see my daughters perform in their Easter service and the prayers that the children were saying really pulled on my heart strings, they were praying for their families health and happiness, praying that the sea doesn’t drown in plastic, apologising for the pollution in the world, praying for world peace.

Some of these things are controllable like lowering pollution and plastics in the sea, even world peace, and relatively speaking they make not brushing teeth twice a day or not flossing sound incredibly minor. Thing is, if we can’t even make the effort to alter our routines in order to do the small things then what hope do these children have when it comes to answering their prayers.

Ding Dong……I do!

For many women, our wedding day is the most important day of our lives, the day we have dreamed of since we were little girls. When I married, I wanted everything to be perfect, I wanted the wedding day that everyone would be talking about for years to come – and I was lucky enough to have it. But that was 10 years ago……fast forward to 2019 and the measures that couples go to in order to have the perfect day kick everything that we did to the curb.

Weddings increasingly seem to be more than just a celebration of the love between two people. It can too often become premeditated glitz and glamour that is used to impress, and the actual meaning of marriage can get lost in all the craziness. I blame the ever-increasing pressures on society for this, but they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Fast forward the clock 10 years from when I married, and you see how much bigger and crazier all this wedding malarkey has become. The venues are bigger, the dresses are even more beautiful, forget flowers as table arrangements, why not put a tree on them! And then there are the measures we take prior to our weddings in order to look our best.

10 years ago, when I married my husband microblading, Botox, Gel nails, fillers, airbrush makeup hair extensions and Invisalign (to list a few) were not a thing – or if they were, I didn’t research very well. Tooth whitening was only just becoming a wedding thing back then – I’m making it sound like I’m a dinosaur who married 40 years ago but it’s a sign of how quickly times change, especially in the world of weddings.

We all know that women face daily pressures to look good but then a woman decides to get married and we know what comes with getting married…. photographs, videos, social media and scrutinization by guests. It’s not a surprise that all the little insecurities rear their heads and the desire to look the best version of yourself commences.

As wedding season approaches another crop of brides are currently immersed in a torturous process of self-improvement.

From the outside it seems like madness, but the pressures are almost impossible to resist especially today in this selfie and social media obsessed world – and we get that.

In Practice we see both brides and grooms ahead of their big days on a regular basis wanting that perfect smile for their wedding days and we help them to achieve their goals. We understand the importance of wanting that perfect smile for your wedding day because you’ll be wearing it not just for your wedding day but in the photos that are going to last a lifetime.

Seeing overjoyed brides and grooms ahead of their day gives us a great sense of achievement and is a massive part of why we love what we do.

If you are a budding bride or groom looking to improve your smile before your big day then look no further and pop in to see us so that we can help you to become the most beautiful version of yourself – be it Invisalign, a smile makeover or some tooth whitening – we are here to help.

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