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The Nifty Awards: Celebrating the Best of the Best in Dental, as Voted by Your Peers

Articles, Dental Life, Editors Pick, Nifty Awards

On August 17, 2023, I announced the first annual “Nifty Awards” in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook community.

The idea was simple. I wanted to honor and recognize the best professionals in dentistry. However, unlike other awards, I decided not to create a committee to determine who would be nominated. In fact, I completely recused myself from the entire nomination and voting process, even removing myself from consideration as a nominee.

Instead, I let the people of dentistry decide. More specifically, I let the more than 54,000 people in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook community decide who would be recognized as the best of the best in their respective areas of focus.

By making nominations and declaring winners based entirely on the votes of the Nifty Thrifty Dentists community, I achieved two goals.

First, I made the process a true representation of what the entire dental industry thinks. In the Nifty Thrifty Dentists community, we have dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, other dental team members, dental vendors, dental consultants, and more. That meant people needed to have impacted more people than just dentists to be nominated. They needed everyone in the dental community to vote for them.

Second, I was able to introduce nominees to dental professionals they would never have met if I didn’t have thousands of people nominating and singing the praises of their nominees. By simply creating the Nifty Awards, I was able to showcase dozens of dental executives, vendors, consultants, and other professionals in front of thousands of dental practices.

We conducted two rounds of voting. The first round lasted one month and narrowed down the finalists to the top five. The second round started one month later to determine the winners from the narrowed-down lists of finalists.

And today, in this edition of Dental Lifestyles magazine, I’m excited to announce the winners of the first annual Nifty Awards—as nominated and chosen by the Nifty Thrifty Dental community.

Before I do, I want to thank everyone who voted and honor all the nominees. To even be nominated, you had to have positively impacted a lot of people in dentistry! And many of the races were extremely close. So, congratulations to everyone who was nominated. And, of course, congratulations to all the winners, too.

Here’s to making the next year the best year in dentistry—thanks in no small part to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rubber really hit the road in 2015, when I made a life-changing decision to enlist the services of a professional bodybuilding coach. This change in focus resulted in adopting a strict diet plan, meticulously measuring my food intake to gain muscle and lose body fat. While this disciplined lifestyle didn’t come without challenges, I found that getting more tactical with my physical health not only improved my ability to manage stress but also enabled me to finally attain my personal, physical aspirations.

Now, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been—all while practicing dentistry full-time. So, what were some fundamental lessons I learned along the way?

1. Small, frequent meals throughout the day are healthier than 2-3 big meals a day.

For dental professionals seeking to enhance their physical health while navigating a busy dental career, mindful eating is of paramount importance. Moderating carbohydrate and calorie intake plays a crucial role in safeguarding our overall health whether we work out or not.

I recommend consuming small, frequent meals with the right protein-to-carbohydrate ratio to facilitate muscle gain and overall well-being. This eating pattern supports muscle repair and growth while preventing energy crashes by providing a steady flow of nutrients throughout the day. Balanced meals help regulate blood sugar levels, enhance metabolism, and keep hunger in check.

2. Sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth.
As dental professionals, we are well aware of the potential oral health risks associated with processed and sugary foods. Just like maintaining healthy teeth, being well-informed about dietary choices is critical to maintaining optimal health. The research shows that excessive sugar intake can lead to inflammation in the brain (which can contribute to mood swings, anxiety, and cognitive decline) as well as chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and more. There’s a reason many modern health experts believe that sugar is poison.

In the past, there were misconceptions that a higher protein diet could harm the kidneys
and liver, while excessive sugar intake was not considered a concern. However, recent
studies underscore that the opposite is true. Years of research have shown the benefits of a
higher protein diet for overall health, mental well-being, and disease prevention.

3. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym, you just need to fully optimize a short
amount of time there.
It is crucial to dispel the misconception that excessive hours in the gym are necessary for muscle gain. In truth, shorter yet effective workouts—such as 20 to 30 minutes of weight training four times a week—are more than sufficient for achieving your fitness goals. So long as you’re optimizing your time in the gym with the right workouts, “quality” will almost always triumph over “quantity.” Rest days are equally vital, as they allow our muscles to recover and grow.

 

You can start your journey from dental drills to dumbbells today.

Throughout my journey, I have learned invaluable lessons about the connection between physical and mental well-being.  Prioritizing mindful eating, avoiding excessive sugar intake, and optimizing workout time have been essential in achieving my fitness goals. It all started with small steps, though. If you’re looking to get in shape, then there’s no better time to begin than now.

It was during my teenage years when I became enthralled with the concept of sculpting and transforming my physique. This passion for bodybuilding remained steadfast throughout college and dental school, as I incorporated weight training into my regular routine more and more.

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