Your smile says a lot about you.
While we’ve previously discussed how a smile is more important than you think, and examined the psychological and emotional benefits of a beautiful smile, it turns out that many experts believe that a simple smile can reveal a lot about you – or at least, a lot about your personality and how you’re really feeling.
For example: if you walk into a room showing of a big, huge smile, it says that you’re someone who is ready to be open with others and share a part of themselves.
But it goes a lot further than that. After all, most of us have seen smiles that were completely false or meant to hide one’s true feelings.
Does that slight smile from your significant other mean something more than you thought?
Is there more stress on that smile than they’re letting on?
Are we reading too much into a smile that disappeared all too quickly?
Let’s take a closer look at how smiles work and what they might be saying.
The Real Smile Formula
A truly revealing smile isn’t just about curling the ends of the lips in an upward direction. In fact, the smile equation is more like this:
Genuine Smile = 1 Part Mouth + 1 Part Eyes
The thing is, we often assume that a smile is all in the mouth, but that isn’t always the best way to determine someone’s mood. The muscles around a mouth can pull the edges of your lips up for many reasons, including fear, anxiety, embarrassment and confusion.
The way your smile reveals your mood and feelings to the world is how it combines with the muscles around the eyes.
If you’re smiling for real, then the skin around your eyes will bunch up, your cheeks will rise, and there will be a certain, undeniable energy behind it.
So, let’s consider what different types of smiles might be saying.
A Quirky Half-Smile
This is akin to a mischievous wink and hints at a more playful mood or sly intentions. In some people it could seem a little condescending, but in others it could be a sign of familiarity.
A Smile without the Eyes
This is the type of smile that we naturally interpret as a phony one or perhaps belonging to someone who is a little more smug than tolerant.
An Open-Mouth Smile
This is one of the more natural smiles that conveys a sense of warmth and friendliness. It is read as being more relaxed and having a lighter temperament.
A Closed-Mouth Smile
These smiles are more restrained and so they can give off sense of professional politeness, but in some situations might come off as a little negative.
Of course, all of these interpretations are just that: interpretations. We’re certainly not claiming that this is an exact science, or that you should overthink what your smile is telling the world around you. In fact, you can find other sources that categorize smiles in a somewhat different way, breaking it all down into reward smiles, affiliative smiles, and dominance smiles.
In the end, what really matters is not what your smile might be saying, but that you are smiling.
Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Smile
Many people hold back their smiles specifically because they don’t want to reveal anything about themselves. They want to keep their mood and their emotions hidden behind a wall.
That, of course, is all up to the individual, but here at LeDowns Dentistry we want to encourage everyone to take advantage of the psychological and emotional benefits of a smile.
We linked to the page earlier in this blog (so definitely check that out), but, essentially, a real smile has been documented to lead to a happier and healthier life, higher self-esteem, more confidence, better relationships, and peace of mind.
On the other hand, there are people who choose to hide their smile because they feel anxiety over some cosmetic flaws.
You don’t have to let those concerns stop you from sharing your smile.
At LeDowns Dentistry we offer a number of cosmetic dentistry and restorative services in our comprehensive dental solutions, so you never have to hide your smile from others. Be sure to contact us and set up an appointment for a happier, healthier smile.
Did you know that a simple smile can say a lot about you, your temperament, and even your personality? Find out what a simple reveals about you.
The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most unexpected and impactful years most of us will ever see. On top of that, it is going to have a lasting impact on 2021 as we still try to work our way back to something that resembles pre-pandemic “normal.”
In other words, a lot of the changes made in 2020 are going to impact the trends in dentistry that we expect to see throughout 2021.
So, let’s get right into it and explore some of the changes, some of the developments, and some of the new things we expect to see this year.
2021 is the Year to Focus on Change
For whatever reason, more people than ever are deciding to take the plunge and get the cosmetic dental changes they’ve been considering for some time. Many other people are also taking the opportunity to correct some flaws in their teeth, gums, and jaw with a number of restorative procedures.
Maybe all the things that happened last year gave people a reason – and the time – to slow down and take a closer look at their dental situation.
And maybe many of them found a reason to want to make a change.
Whatever the reason, we’re already seeing more and more people take the opportunity to just go for it this year and take care of their dental concerns.
Some of the procedures are simple, while others are more involved, but the majority of the changes people are seeking involve:
Procedures like these are great for those who want to address some concerns and get a healthier, brighter smile. For those who need to correct some other, overriding issues, a full mouth rehabilitation may be the way to go.
Tech-savvy Patients Expecting Tech-Savvy Dentistry
Patients expect a lot of modern conveniences when they interact with their dentists these days. Whether it’s using a variety of online/social media strategies to market their office or making it easy to log in to pay a bill or set up an appointment, dental offices are striving to make the necessary changes.
Patients aren’t going to put up with any miscommunications, either, so offices have to use high-end software to manage the entire practice and ensure that any necessary information is ready at a moment’s notice.
Keeping in Touch with Patients
In previous years, keeping in touch with patients usually just involved a quick text or phone call to make sure they remember their appointment.
Things are changing, and telemedicine is becoming a very popular option. This allows dentists to provide some initial diagnoses, or renew prescriptions, or determine if there is a dental emergency that needs to be addressed in-office.
For patients who are searching for dental solutions that minimize contact, this is going to look better and better.
A More Natural Look
Do you remember that episode of “Friends” when Ross left the whitening solution on his teeth too long and ended up with absurdly white teeth?
It’s a funny little story, but there’s something about it that is reflected in the dental trends we’re seeing this year.
When your teeth are too white, it can look unnatural. And while no one wants to have yellowing, dingy teeth, people also want to avoid the overly perfect and patently fake look, too.
So, rather than going for teeth white enough to blind the casual onlooker, many patients are opting for a more natural look – one that highlights a healthy smile and not a fake one.
Finding New Ways to Cope with COVID-19
2020 caught everyone by surprise. No one could have predicted that this situation would occur all over the world, and it left every industry scrambling to find new ways to keep their businesses running and better ways to help their clients and customers feel safe.
While some places are people are making small steps toward returning to normal, and the vaccine developments are all very promising, there are still many people who don’t want to leave their house for any reason – including their dental care.
2021 will continue to see new developments in the dental office so patients can feel more comfortable and be safer.
This means certain procedures and processes will have to be instituted. While we’ve got a handle on that here at our office, we understand that many people still feel anxious about the current world-wide situation.
We don’t want you to put off your necessary dental care anymore than necessary, so be sure to ask us about our safety procedures, contactless payments, flexible scheduling, and more.
Get in On the Trends
Is this your year to make a change that will give you the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted?
We understand concerns related to the pandemic, but we’ve done everything we can to make you as safe as possible in our office. Contact us today to set up your next appointment with an outstanding Denver Dentist.
As if catching the cold or the flue wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that these viruses could just have an impact on your oral health, too.
Most of us don’t really think about how a cold virus might affect our overall dental health, but there is a potential risk here that really underscores the need for great oral hygiene, even when we’re feeling under the weather.
So, what are some of the most common dental issues that can be exacerbated by a simple cold (or the flu)? Let’s consider some of the following.
Increased Dry Mouth
Nasal congestion is a common symptom that many people suffer throughout cold and flu season. It’s so common, in fact, that it’s the main thing that tips people off to your condition, since the change in your voice or speech patterns make it “sound like you have a pretty bad cold.”
This kind of congestion could actually impact your oral health, too.
First, the more that nasal congestion blocks up your airways – especially while you sleep – the more likely you are to experience dry mouth. When your nasal passages are blocked up, you don’t have any choice but to breathe through your mouth.
The more your mouth dries out, the less saliva you have to help break down foods and wash away all the particles that could cause severe dental problems (namely, cavities and gum disease) down the road.
Second, even the medications you take to combat congestion may be causing dry mouth. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Also, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbes that multiply and lead to disease.”
Unexplained Tooth Pain
A toothache can be a terrible experience all on its own. Add it to a severe cold or flu, and things get really miserable really fast.
Many people don’t realize, however, that the sudden and unexplained tooth pain may be directly related to a virus that impacts your sinuses.
Pain in your upper teeth – especially when it seems to affect multiple teeth – and tenderness around your sinuses could be a sign of sinusitis that has been cause by the cold virus or a bacterial infection.
Often, sinusitis will take care of itself, if you do everything you can to stay healthy, but if the symptoms and pain don’t resolve themselves after some time, you may need to talk to a doctor about some antibiotic solutions.
How to Protect Your Oral Health When You’re Under the Weather
There are several simple things you can do to keep your teeth in great shape while you’re fighting off the symptoms of the cold or the flu.
- Continue taking nasal decongestants to keep those airways open and reduce the amount of time in which dry mouth is possible. So even if the medications do contribute to dry mouth, it’s better to clear up the source of the problem as quickly as possible.
- Keep a water bottle nearby and sip from it regularly. This is especially important at night, so that if you wake up and feel a complete lack of moisture in your mouth, you’ll have an immediate remedy.
- Suck on sugar-free cough drops or vitamin lozenges to help stimulate saliva production. There are a lot of cold remedies out there that are filled with sugar since that “helps the medicine go down.” It’s worth the effort to find medication with alternative sweeteners or to follow it up with a good brushing and rinsing.
- Consider using a humidifier in your home to increase the moisture in the air in your bedroom while you sleep. This can also help to soothe your dry throat.
- Drink more liquids. This is something people have always recommended to those suffering from a cold, and for good reason. Hydration is important for your healing process, so by upping your liquid intake, you’re helping that process along while combatting dry mouth.
- Keep up with your regular dental hygiene routines. Sometimes you may just want to lay in bed and revel in the misery, but this is an important time to stick to your routines. If the bacteria has a chance to start building up, it’s going to take that opportunity – so don’t give it that chance.
- On that note, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as you start feeling better. It may be harboring a couple bacterial fugitives that are just waiting for a chance to reinfect your mouth.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Your Health
The cold and flu season can be miserable for many people, but it’s important to stay on top of your situation to be as healthy as possible.
This includes the state of your teeth and gums. It may not be the first thing on your mind when all you want to do is curl up under a blanket with a warm beverage and wait it out, but the more proactive steps you take to protect your teeth when you start to feel common cold symptoms, the easier it will be to take care of your teeth while you’re in recovery mode.
If you’re concerned about your oral health, you can find a trusted Denver dentist here at LeDowns Dentistry to help you get your teeth and gums back in good health. Contact us today.
This autumn, we encourage everyone to fall in love with your smile again.
You should never underestimate the power of a simple smile, and if you feel like yours has started to fade a little, or if you catch yourself hiding your teeth from others, then this might be the best time to chat with us and discover some great options for a brighter, healthier smile.
So, where do you even start?
Obviously, that all depends on your individual situation and your personal goals, but we can recommend a few of our regular services.
Cosmetic Dentistry for You
The latest in cosmetic dentistry can include a wide range of solutions – and the best part is that most of them also have a significant impact on the overall health of your teeth, too.
Let’s start with the simplest solutions.
- Teeth Whitening – Even if we never ate or drank anything that could stain our teeth, simply aging will dull their former brilliance. In other words, anyone can use our whitening services.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings – It may be time to replace those old metal fillings with a material that is almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
- Deep Cleanings – We use the latest high-tech devices to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth.
Now, what if you’ve had some slight damage to your teeth? Something that would require a little more attention to fully repair.
In those cases, we would recommend some other cosmetic services we offer locally, such as:
- Veneers Denver – This is a top service in our office and a great way to cover teeth that simply don’t respond to traditional whitening methods while covering chips and cracks (perhaps restoring some functionality there, too).
- Dental Crowns – A crown serves to restore a broken tooth without removing it, or to cap a tooth with a large filling. It can provide more structure for your teeth and improve its appearance.
- Denver CO Dental Implants – Missing teeth are more than a cosmetic problem, and it’s critical that you replace them as quickly as possible. Modern dental implants are very strong and look just like your natural teeth.
Then again, perhaps your teeth haven’t been damaged, and you’ve kept up with your daily oral hygiene – but through no fault of your own, your teeth are just a little crooked. In this case, we could recommend:
- Denver Invisalign – This is an extremely popular option for patients of all ages. It’s a great way to get straighter teeth (which means healthier teeth) in a subtle way that no one has to know about.
- Braces – Fast Braces are an option for those who have teeth that require significant realignment or want results faster than the Invisalign aligners can provide.
There are, of course, some cases in which a whitening procedure just won’t help you get the results you want. Sometimes, whether it’s because of damage or neglect, we need to go a bit further to reach that perfect smile.
If a patient is in severe pain, or is experiencing serious loss of functionality, we may recommend a full mouth rehabilitation.
Make no mistake, this is a serious set of procedures and may include all the services necessary to completely rebuild the teeth, restore jaw mechanics, and contribute to a healthier gum line.
This isn’t just about a better smile – it’s about your complete oral health.
Of course, coming out of it with a beautiful, new smile is an added benefit.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for You?
Whatever your goals, you can get a skilled cosmetic Denver dentist that can help you fall in love with your smile again. We have extensive experience, and our results speak for themselves.
You don’t have to put off these procedures any longer. We have taken all the necessary steps to keep you and our staff safe as you get the dental care you need.
There is a really good chance that your daily routines have changed somewhat over the past few months.
The unprecedented situation that we’re all currently living in has turned lives upside down as we all adjust to the “new normal.”
Unfortunately, we’re starting to get the impression from some of our patients that with all of these changes, a lot of the good oral care habits that we’ve spent a lifetime establishing are starting to slip a little bit.
Our old routines may have involved brushing, flossing, and rinsing right before heading out the door to work. After all, you want to make sure your breath is minty fresh before heading out to work, or to drop the kids off at school, or getting to college classes in the morning.
These days, it just may be that your college class is held online, your kids are doing their school at home, and your job may have gone remote. You’ve traded in your business casual attire for sweat pants and a t-shirt. If you don’t have a video-chat scheduled for the day, you may have put most your morning routines off until later in the day – including brushing and flossing.
It’s not like anyone’s going to notice while you’re stuck at home anyway, right?
Well, it’s important to remember that your oral care routines go beyond fresh breath and a bright smile.
It’s about keeping your teeth and gums nice and healthy.
So, if you – like many others – are sensing that some of your better habits have started to slip, it’s time to take a step back and make sure you are prioritizing your own dental health.
Getting Back on Track
Many habits begin to slide when the structure that surrounded and supported them begins to show some cracks.
The best way to counter this is to build a new structure that helps you get your regular routines back on track.
For children who are schooling at home, you may make it a necessary step that happens after breakfast and before booting up the computer. And just because the cupboards with the tasty treats aren’t that far away, that doesn’t mean they get to up their snack intake for the day. Such things should only be portioned out sparingly.
For adults that are working from home, the same can apply. You can still take advantage of the work-from-home situation and enjoy getting the job done in more comfortable clothes, but stay strict on your dental hygiene routines. Give yourself a time by which you must brush and floss every day.
You can also create a simple checklist or a daily log on which everyone (including adults and kids) can track their successes. This will make it easier for everyone to keep at it, because a little accountability can go a long way.
Your Daily Dental Routine
Let’s just take a quick look at all the things we, your friendly Denver Dentist, want to make sure we’re covering every day.
- Brushing – You need to brush at least twice a day, for 2 minutes each time.
- Flossing – You should floss at least once a day, making sure you get the spaces between all your teeth.
- Rinsing – Mouthwash can be particularly useful to help clean your mouth after a period of less-than-effective oral care.
- Eating right – Always remember which foods are bad for your teeth and which can actually contribute to a healthier mouth.
- Tongue cleaning – There is a lot of bacteria building up on your tongue right now. Use a tongue scraper or your tooth brush to clean it off and avoid embarrassing bad breath.
Is Your Current Routine Enough?
Here’s how to spot whether or not your current routines are doing the job:
- Do your teeth feel clean against your tongue, or is there a definite sense of fuzziness there?
- Are your gums pink and healthy, or do they bleed when you brush?
- Do those you interact with shy away from you as you speak?
Is It Time for a Checkup?
We recently discussed how delaying your dental care could have some very detrimental effects on your oral health.
We also talked about the challenges of getting your regular checkup in the middle of a pandemic.
So, we’ll just reiterate it here: getting in to see the dentist is a crucial part of getting your oral care back on track. We’re here to help catch you up on your overdue check-up and dental cleaning in Denver CO.
However, if you are experiencing any of the known COVID symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has, it is okay to postpone your visit for a little while.
But not too long.
Especially if you’re feeling pain or have any other sort of dental emergency.
We are taking all the necessary precautions to keep you and our staff safe.
Contact us today if you still have questions about dental care in our office or if you need help getting back on track at home
These are, without a doubt, unprecedented times.
It seems like every day we’re learning something new about how to cope with the current circumstances.
There’s a lot of information out there on staying safe – unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation out there about the virus, how it acts, and how it moves from one person to the next.
These kinds of misunderstandings can often stop people from getting the care that they actually need (whether medical or dental).
As your trusted Denver dentist, we highly suggest that you don’t delay your dental care any longer than absolutely necessary. Remember, your teeth are connected to your overall health and well-being, so let’s take a closer look at some of the current regulations and requirements on dental offices so you can get a better picture of the current situation.
An essential service is usually defined as those that are critical to the health and welfare of the population and so they are allowed (or expected) to maintain operations throughout the pandemic.
The most obvious cases of essential services include health care, law enforcement, food and agriculture, public works, supply chains, and other related industries. This brings us to one important question:
Is Dentistry an Essential Service?
The simplest answer to this question is that some aspects of dentistry are absolutely essential.
Let’s face it, there is almost no pain quite as excruciating as dental pain.
But what about all those other dental services? While it would be hard to call a teeth whitening essential, what about your regular checkups? How critical are they? Should you come in to get a cavity checked, or should you wait until a root canal is your final option?
Obviously, our answer is that there are many dental services that are essential for your ongoing health and pain-free lifestyle.
To that end, we have, of course, taken precautions to ensure your safety and ours so that you can feel comfortable and confident when you come in for your appointment.
Following the CDC’s Recommendations for Dental Offices
The CDC has released several guidelines for dental settings to help prevent problems during the pandemic. These guidelines are extensive, to say the least, so we won’t go over them all here. But we did want to take a look at some of the specifics because we want you to know that we are doing everything possible to provide the care you need in the safest environment possible.
First, it is important to point out that the CDC does recommend postponing elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent outpatient visits in certain circumstances. This means prioritizing dental care for the highest need or the most vulnerable patients (i.e. those who may be at serious risk if they don’t receive treatment).
Having said that, though, we are here and ready to provide important dental services. We’ve just added a few of the procedures recommended by the CDC. These recommendations include:
- Contacting all patients prior to the appointment. This will help us screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19 before you come all the way into the office. This is also a chance for us to determine together whether or not it’s time for treatment or if postponement would be prudent.
- Watching for signs and symptoms. Everyone (staff and patients) in the office is expected to follow the general guidelines for minimizing risks of infection. This means wearing face coverings (ask us if you need us to provide one for you) and getting screened when you enter the office for any relevant symptoms.
- Patients with suspected or confirmed cases can be treated but only under very strict precautions. Any staff member with symptoms will be sent home immediately.
- Our staff regularly monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms and are encouraged to put their own health first.
- Implementing control measures. Beyond just using face coverings, there are several things we can do to control the environment. Of course, our staff will wear face coverings at all times, and we will ask patients to wear theirs everywhere except in the dental chair.
- Obviously, a dentist or hygienist is going to get pretty close to you at your appointment. However, we are working to make distancing possible throughout the rest of the office. This means scheduling appointments to minimize the number of people in the waiting room and limiting the number of visitors that accompany the patient.
- Making use of personal protective equipment. There are a lot of new procedures in place at our office. Extreme attention to disinfecting our hands and tools will help maintain a safe environment, and we are careful to follow all the recommendations for proper use and disposal of protective gear.
This is just a sample of all the rules and regulations that dental offices are expected to follow, and at LeDowns Dentistry, we are firmly committed to providing the dental care you need even in these difficult times.
To Postpone or Not to Postpone
As we mentioned earlier, if you’re experiencing any kind of dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us and set up an immediate appointment.
And, of course, if you are experiencing any symptoms at all related to COVID-19, we recommend calling us before coming in for any kind of appointment, including emergencies.
On the other hand, if you’re healthy, then don’t postpone your dental care any longer than absolutely necessary.
Our office is following procedures, our staff is trained, and we know what has to be done to provide the services you need while keeping everyone safe.
Dental bonding vs porcelain veneers: both offer great solutions for anyone who wants to restore their beautiful smile and/or correct some slight damage or discoloration that may be present.
While both options tackle some of the same problems, the procedures are very different.
So, let’s take a closer look at each solution to determine which one will be the most effective for your individual situation.
What are Veneers?
A veneer is a type of crown made up of a certain type of ceramic that is placed over your remaining tooth structure to restore the overall function, appearance and strength of your teeth. Every veneer is custom-made by an elite technician at our dental lab to fit perfectly onto your tooth.
Veneers do require extra preparation of your natural teeth to allow for caries removal, alignment of where the final veneers needs to be and to allow for a certain thickness of the veneers to be made so that they do not break. This means that it will take more than one appointment to complete the procedure.
Veneers are most commonly used to:
- Cover up any severe stains or discoloration
- Close up any large gaps in between the teeth
- Restore cracked and/or chipped teeth
- Restore overly worn teeth back to its original function (Full mouth rehabilitation)
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is used to enhance or restore the appearance of your teeth and to fix slight chips/cracks on your teeth. It uses a composite resin that can be sculpted or formed into any shape to address a number of potential issues.
So, you could say that “bonding” is a more general term that is used any time this special filling is applied to the teeth, but it is mostly used when the resin is placed on the front surface of the tooth.
The goal is to slightly improve the shape, size, and color of the tooth (or teeth).
This is a great option for patients who have a single irregularity that they want to repair or some slight chips/cracks on one or several teeth.
The most common uses for dental bonding include:
- Repairing chips, cracks, and other damage such as cavities
- Covering minor stains and discoloration
- Reshaping teeth
- Treating roots that have been exposed
Which is Right for You
Each of these procedures are valid choices in a range of different circumstances. Which one you choose can depend on a number of variables. (Be sure to contact us for a consultation on all your dental options.)
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each procedure to create a more complete picture and help determine which will be right for you.
There are a lot of pros to veneers. First, they create a beautiful, uniform appearance almost immediately. They can cover up most cracks or stains easily, and most consider them more effective at doing so than bonding.
The materials used to create the veneers are also more resistant to staining. So the shade that the veneer is made, will not discolor in the future even with wine, coffee or tea drinking. Due to it being made in the dental lab, the added strength of the veneers mean they can also be more resistant to chips or breaks.
It is important to note, that veneers require your dentist to reshape your tooth/teeth to make room for the veneer to be put on or to remove any cavities, discrepancies before the veneers are permanently cemented on. This is important because veneers need to be made at the correct form, fit and function in order for it to last you a long time. On average, veneers can last you anywhere from 5-25 years.
Bonding is usually considered a faster procedure than getting veneers, because it can generally be completed in a single appointment (rather than two or more). The esthetic outcome all depends on the materials that your dentist uses and whether he/she is a true dental artist. Once bonding is placed, the maintenance is similar to what you woul normally do for your natural teeth. Bonding is less expensive than veneers.
However, since the bonding material is a composite resin, it won’t be as strong as the porcelain veneers. It is much more porous than porcelain, so it is more likely to stain sometime down the road. Most patients who choose to go with bonding, usually need to have it redone every 2-5 years on average due to the staining and/or chipping aspects of this material.
A Direct Comparison
So, after all that, let’s look at the main points and see how they stack up:
- Costs – Bonding tends to be the more affordable option
- Durability – Veneers are the stronger
- Coverage – Veneers are a more efficient choice if you’re working on several teeth at once
- Appearance – While both options are capable of delivering great results, most tend to prefer the smooth and natural appearance of veneers
Dental bonding can offer a temporary solution while dental veneers offer a powerful solution to help restore your smile. If you’re ready to learn more about your options for restorative or cosmetic dentistry, be sure to set up an appointment today.
The long hours in the office can sap your energy fairly quickly, so much so that all you want to do when you get home is to collapse on the couch. If you have kids, the start of the school year brings a new level of chaos and busyness to your schedule. In the midst of the exhaustion and busyness, healthy and nutritious lunches go by the wayside in place of sugary, starchy, ready to eat lunch packs that have little to no nutritional value and can take a toll on your pocketbook.
You may have tried to make yourself healthy lunches in the past, such as salads only to go off-course by driving to the fast-food burger place a mile down the street. When it comes to your children, you try to encourage healthy eating, but shopping for nutritious lunch items they will actually eat only adds to your exhaustion. The busier your schedule gets, the more convenient, unhealthy lunch foods sound appealing.
Oral health is important for your whole family, yourself included. Whether you’re going to the office or taking the kids to school, there are easy ways to pack a lunch that helps your teeth (and won’t break the bank).
For a while, carbohydrates were shunned by dieters who believed these starches were heavy contributors to obesity.
Your body, however, needs carbohydrates for energy. These “good” carbohydrates help you and your children to physically and mentally get through the day. These kinds of carbohydrates are found in whole wheat products such as breads, tortillas, bagels, pita bread, brown rice and quinoa.
It is the “bad” carbohydrates you need to avoid. These are heavy starches that contribute to weight gain and heart problems. “Bad” carbohydrates are found in white bread, pastries, and rice.
Some lunch ideas include using whole wheat bread, tortillas or pita bread and make your favorite sandwich. An alternative lunch could be soup mixed with brown rice or quinoa or even grilled vegetables mixed with brown rice or quinoa.
Protein is necessary to keep one’s muscles healthy and strong. Protein comes from a variety of sources including meats and dairy products. Sandwiches with lean meat such as chicken or turkey make for great tasting sandwiches that are also packed with protein. In addition to the protein found in the lunch meat, a stick of string cheese and a handful of nuts on the side can add to one’s protein intake.
Despite what various diets say about fats and people’s avoidance of fats, certain fats are important and necessary for proper body functioning. The brain and eyes are two parts of the body that greatly benefit from the consumption of healthy fats. Leftover fish from dinner, a handful of nuts and using avocado on one’s sandwich instead of mayonnaise can help your body get those healthy fats.
Your teeth are like bones in that they need calcium to remain strong and hard. In addition, your teeth are anchored to your body via the jawbones, which are made of bone tissue. Calcium helps keeps the jawbone strong to keep supporting the teeth. Calcium is found in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Low-fat varieties of these dairy products help avoid the consumption of “bad” fats. Yogurt also has phosphates in it that is essential for the remineralization of teeth. Vitamins A and C also have calcium. Apples, bananas and oranges are some fruits that have these vitamins. While citrus does have important and essential vitamins and minerals, they should be consumed in moderation as their acidic juice destroys tooth enamel. Salad and streamed vegetables are other sources of calcium-rich vitamins A and C.
Many fresh vegetables that include fiber are hard and crunchy, which act as great toothbrushes. The act of chewing celery, carrots, pepper and broccoli produce saliva, which is the body’s built-in natural mouthwash and the chewing also prevents food particles from getting stuck and lodged on and between teeth. Raw veggies with hummus is a great way for you and your kids to get much needed fiber.
Besides raw vegetables, hard, crunchy nuts also provide the body with fiber and result in the same saliva production and chewing that keeps food particles from sticking to teeth. Nuts also contain vitamin D that helps keep teeth healthy and strong.
If you or your children are craving something sweet, there are many crunchy, juicy fruits that also contain fiber and other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Apples and raw pears stimulate saliva production and helps neutralize enamel destroying acid.
The best way you and your family dental health can start off on the right foot is through regular, twice yearly dental exams and check-ups. If it has been longer than six months since your family’s last visit to our office, or you haven’t yet made a back to school dental check-up for your kids, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.
It’s a brand-new year, and a great time to look back and see what we’ve accomplished and look forward to set new goals for all the great things we want to do in the next 12 months.
New Year’s Resolutions, though, are notoriously difficult to keep. We go into them with the very best of intentions, but tend to lose interest and motivation all too quickly.
However, if there’s one resolution we can unreservedly recommend it’s this: to get and maintain a great smile.
Why is this such an important resolution?
Let’s just consider some of the benefits of a simple smile.
First, there are physical benefits. A smile can help you look younger (actually proven in studies) and feel better. People who smile a lot seem to have lower stress-hormone levels, which leads to a number of other health benefits.
There are also a number of psychological benefits. A smile can help improve your mood. For that matter, it can help boost others’ moods.
For you, a smile tells your brain that there is a reason to be happy, so it will accommodate you by releasing some natural “feel good” chemicals. But it’s also important to note that a smile is literally contagious. The more you smile the more others will want to smile back.
Finally, there are many social benefits to sharing your smile. People often report improved work situations, more confidence, and better relationships when they more readily smile at others. Smiles can reduce conflict and help others feel more comfortable around you. That means people are more open to honest conversations and new ideas.
As you go into the new year, just imagine how such a thing can improve your relationships, re-energize your body, and open you up to a whole bunch of new opportunities.
How to Get a Great Smile
Don’t let self-conscious feelings keep you from experiencing these great benefits. It’s easier than ever to deal with a wide range of cosmetic dental concerns and get the smile you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s stained or discolored teeth, chips or cracks, or even completely missing teeth, we can help you take care of it.
Just a few of the potential treatments that can help you get a great smile include:
- Teeth Whitening – One of the most common cosmetic procedures that can produce immediate results.
- Implants – Replace missing teeth with strong and durable titanium implant and custom crown.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings – Replace those old metal fillingswith a material that mimics your natural teeth.
- Veneers – Cover up damage and discolorationwhile reshaping and reinforcing your teeth.
- Dental Crowns – Misshapen, broken, or worn-out teeth can be treated with these custom caps.
- Teeth Straightening – Invisalign is an effective way to reposition your teeth and improve your bite.
More than Just Looks
A great smile is actually about more than just looks. While we already mentioned the physical feel-good benefits of smiling, these services actually go beyond that.
Things like missing teeth, cracked or crooked teeth, and a misaligned bite can have an unwanted impact on your overall dental health. You can protect yourself from infections and cavities by taking advantage of these treatments.
A New Smile for a New Year
If you are going to make a new resolution this year, let us recommend one that involves a healthy new smile.
A smile may seem like a small and simple thing, but it may be a lot more important than you think.
Contact us today to see how we can help you keep this resolution.
LeDowns Dentistry was happy to join the Green Valley Ranch community in their annual Trunk or Treat event this year.
This is a fun and safe way for kids to go trick-or-treating, and we love handing out “treats” that are good for your teeth! (Would you expect anything less from your favorite Green Valley Ranch Dentist?)
We had the “tooth fairy” there for the kids to meet, and nearly 400 children came to the event. This is something that we enjoy doing every year and are already looking forward to next year’s event.
View photos from the event and other current happenings on our Facebook page: