I forgot about Mom and Dad!

Proper oral hygiene is normally learned when we’re kids, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be someday forgotten. As we age, particularly as we really climb up there in years, some of the same motor challenges that inhibited us in brushing our teeth as children suddenly give us trouble all over again. 

 

Let’s say you have kids at home, or even grandkids who come to visit, and you’ve shown your stuff in educating them on how to keep good oral hygiene. That’s great, really it is. But, have you thought about aging family members? 

 

As people get older, the aging process inevitably affects the mouth. This means that tooth care becomes even more crucial—but with declining motor skills or memory, it can be hard for some aging members of the family to stay on top of it. And yet, we don’t have the same culture of helping (re)educate our parents on oral health when the time comes, despite how necessary it sometimes is. 

Taking care of Mom and Dad
Remind Mom and Dad about the need for good oral health—and the diseases they can help prevent by taking care of their teeth 

 

  1. No matter whether your parents still have their natural teeth or prosthetics (or a combination), they absolutely have to keep on brushing their teeth two times per day. Care should be given to each tooth as they brush.
  2. There’s no “get out of jail” card on flossing just because you’ve aged. Make sure your parents know that they have to floss at least once per day—this doesn’t change, no matter what their diet.
  3. Mouth dryness is a bigger issue among older generations, which can lead to periodontal diseases. The best way to combat this is by drinking enough water every day. For those aging adults who do still find it comfortable to chew gum, a pack of their favorite flavor is another ready stimulant for a boost in saliva production.
  4. Dental check-ups are even more important as people age—the minimum is two per year. Additionally, any change they notice in their mouth should be an alarm that it’s time to make an appointment for any family member. 

 

Dental challenges among older populations 
With age, natural saliva production decreases, and the oral mucosa that the mouth produces to keep the cavity healthy becomes thinner. And with slowing and blocked blood flow, nutrients aren’t carried into the soft tissues to heal sores and dry lips as quickly as they would in a younger patient’s mouth. 

 

Taste buds begin to respond differently, too, so be sure to maintain an open dialogue about what sounds “good” to eat and what doesn’t, and try to accommodate personal taste where you can, and encourage healthy meals that include the preferred ingredients. 
Combined with the use of medications that bring side effects like dry mouth and other symptoms, the aging-related oral irregularities and waning oral hygiene can lead to serious oral disease. It might start with gum tissue becoming inflamed, sensitive and prone to bleed. If not treated, these symptoms can lead to teeth loss and even the loss of bone tissue. 
It’s an exciting, and sometimes exhausting, prospect at helping the young ones learn good oral hygiene. We celebrate the mental image of “Father/Mother of the Year” as we help kids establish oral hygiene habits that we’re hopeful will stick. We enjoy our successes, and even more we enjoy those sweet smiles that show our job’s been well done. 

 

But what about Mom and Dad? 

 

Aging has enormous effects on oral health, and it’s often necessary to reaffirm oral hygiene habits with aging family members. Bear all these points in mind, and call our office if you have any questions! It’s our pleasure to serve our community of every age.

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Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Getting Braces Off

Braces can be worth celebrating when you get them glued on. Maintenance though they’ll require, you know that these little miracles are designed to help you align your smile. But whatever the initial excitement, after a couple of months you start dreaming of the moment where you’ll have them taken off—as much to see your straightened smile, as to do away with the uncomfortable metal contraption you’ve just committed to. 

 

The moment when you get your braces off is a major milestone, and for good reason. When the time comes, you prepare for a newfound sense of confidence in your smile, and for the prospect of eating absolutely whatever you want without worrying about picking it out of braces later. Just think about the last time you chowed down on raw nuts without finding pieces the next morning. And you can fearlessly welcome back chewing gum, too! This is your day. 

 Finally the braces come off!

Celebrating the removal of braces is totally reasonable, both ahead of time and after the fact. You can imagine the smiles that will ensue as soon as your braces are removed, but we do have some other, more deliberate celebration ideas for you to consider: 

 

  1. Throw a party

    It’s time to show off the results of months (or years) of wearing braces. The last time your friends saw you smiling without the wires, your teeth were…well, less straight—and now, you can smile, laugh and make merry over a few cold ones with friends or family.

    The party can be a “just because” event, or you can come out and say it’s in celebration for your braces removal. In the latter, you can even buy a special guestbook and ask your friends to write down comments about you with and without braces—stories, memories, observations. Whatever!

  2. The new you” deserves lots of selfies

    Removing your braces is a Hallmark change in your appearance, so why not present your new braces-free smile to your social media friends and followers? Take a selfie, or go all-out and schedule a shoot ahead of time with a professional photographer.

  3. Buy ALL THE CHEWING GUM!

    OK—we still recommend you stick to sugar-free chewing choices, but this is still a celebration to be had. The freedom to stockpile some fresh or fruity flavors and make up for months or years of lost bubble-blowing is something that we can all enjoy, no matter our age. Start with favorite flavors, or go crazy with new flavors that have come into vogue since your departure from braces-free chewing.

  4. Take a moment to journal the day-to-day of wearing braces

    You might think we’re crazy—the memory is so fresh in your mind, and you’re so thrilled to be done with them, why would you want to list the nuisance of the contraption that caused you so much pain, adjustment after adjustment?

    Braces have been compared more than once to a larger metaphor of life. Of all the things we do…it’s the worthwhile stuff that’s usually a little painful along the way. Take a moment to jot down some of the things that defined your experience with braces, because in the future you might benefit from the memory of what a battle worth fighting feels like in the heat of it all.

    And, much though you’d like to (and probably will) forget the minutia of the day-to-day of braces, it can be interesting to look back on these details later—most patients say that their braces defined much of their image for the time that they had them.

  5. Treat yourself with just about anything else that inspires your newfound smile

    Take a short trip out of town, go to the spa, or go out to eat something that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Whatever floats your boat—you’ve earned it. 

Adventures In Dallas: You’ve probably never…

Do you ever get the feeling that you have done everything there is to do in Dallas? Well, you might not be thinking creatively enough. Dallas is full of adrenaline-pumping and awe-inspiring activities that are waiting to be discovered. Set aside a weekend, or just a couple of hours to explore the hidden gems Dallas has to offer. And we promise, the Netflix show you were binging on will still be there when you get back. 

 Wings Over Dallas 2017

Indoor Skydiving 

 

If jumping out of a perfectly good plane seems un-doable, but you still seek the rush of free falling, check out iFLY for indoor skydiving. Using a vertical wind tunnel, jumpers will experience the sensation of jumping out of a plane—without actually having to jump! These wind tunnels give amateurs and professionals a consistent and practical way to hone their sky diving skills.  

 

With introduction classes targeting beginners, there’s no reason to not try it out. Love it and can’t get enough? Consider competing in local competitions in either solo or formation flying! 

 

Need for Speed 

 

If you have a need for speed, you won’t earn any racing stripes on I-35. Instead, drive (the speed limit) over to the Texas Motor Speedway and sign up for racing school! Team Texas is the NASCAR Cup Driving School that operates year-round at the speedway. 

 

Students can choose to practice one-on-one or in a class setting. Once on the track, you can race against your fellow classmates and leave the slower drivers in the dust as your hit speeds of up to 150 mph. If you don’t want to take the wheel, then sign up for a ride along where you will be paired with a professional driver and complete up to ten laps. Don’t hit the breaks and miss this opportunity! 

 

Fly Away—Wings Over Dallas 

 

Sitting in the cockpit of a World War II plane while flying over the Dallas sky is no longer reserved only for those that have their wings. This October, Wings Over Dallas will be at the Dallas Executive Airport and will offer plane enthusiasts the opportunity to co-pilot fighter plans, biplanes, and open-air cockpit planes that were used during World War II. Led by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Wings Over Dallas is a three-day family-friendly event that meshes history with adventure. In addition to taking to the skies, participants can meet World War II veterans, take place in historical reenactments, and tour authentic military vehicles.  

 

Drive-In 

 

If the thrill and adventure seeking has caused you to want to unwind, then check out the Coyote Canteen. Taking its cues from the traditional drive-in movies of the 50’s, the Coyote Canteen offers a modern twist on this nostalgic pastime. Boasting five screens and an extensive food and drink menu, this drive-in theater will be a beloved outing for all members of the family the minute you arrive. The screens show first-run movies, and in total can fit about 1,500 cars. It is encouraged to bring lounge chairs, blankets and pillows to ensure your experience is as comfortable as it can be. And don’t forget to turn off your car lights, so everyone can enjoy the show! 

 

Dallas is filled with activities for everyone from the thrill-seeker to the movie buff and everything in between. Take time this fall to explore and then tell your friends, “I bet you have never done this before!”  

6 Local Hotspots for Dog-friendly Dining

Dog-friendly restaurants in Arlington

You know the look—you say, “walk,” and Fido goes crazy. Most pooches love a good car ride, too, and get just as excited when it’s time to run errands together. But take either of these and add a meal to the mix, and you’ll have the happiest pup possible.

There are loads of dog-friendly bars, restaurants and cafés in Arlington, Texas. Add this go-to treat to the list of things that get your boo excited from the word go. Turn a walk or ride with Fido into a destination with a family feast!

 

Fishbone Grill & Sports Bar (http://thefishbonegrill.com/)  has six outdoor tables where the pup is always welcome. See what your dog thinks of crab cakes, and chill together while you drink a cold beer.Fishbone Grill & Sports Bar

 

 

Which Wich (https://www.whichwich.com/) in Lincoln Square is the perfect place for a mix-and-match sandwich with your pup at your side. Dogs are welcome outdoors, and the cold cuts give you a quick lunch to share pieces of with furry friends.

Black cats may be unlucky, but what about black #pugs? #FridayThe13th #PugsofInstagram #TGIF

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R. Bentley’s English Pub (http://jrbentleys.com/) has been filling bellies for almost 40 years in downtown Arlington. With over a dozen beers on tap, be sure to keep your wits about you, or Fido might have to walk you home.

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Twisted Root Burger Co. (http://www.twistedrootburgerco.com/) is an impressive burger bar with everything from beef, elk or boar to vegan and gluten-free burgers. Whatever you choose, your dog can tag along—the patio is always open to four-legged companions.

There are problems and then there are REAL problems. #trbstallsayings

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The Grease Monkey (http://greasemonkeyburgers.com/) has a patio open to pooches, making for an unforgettable outing together over cheese fries, angry burgers, and loads of other bacon-topped options.

Best company EVER!

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Snuffer’s (http://www.snuffers.com/menu/south-arlington) is perfect for sniffers, with an outdoor patio open to you and your dog. Check out their chicken fried steak and Texas style chili as the weather cools down this autumn!

SAY CHEESE! Celebrate National Cheeseburger day with a $5 Cheeseburger all day with coupon! Grab yours: Link in bio

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Halloween Alternatives People Will Actually Want

The jumbo-sized bags of candy at the grocery store serve as a constant reminder (and temptation) that Halloween is right around the corner. Boxes full of sticky, gummy treats and caramel filled chocolate are staples handed out at most front doors. While candy is the traditional favorite, it isn’t the only option on the night of Trick-or-Treat (and at all the Halloween parties leading up to it). Due to the growing number of food allergies, coupled with an increasingly health-conscious society, many parents are opting to hand out other treats at their houses. In addition to being better for your teeth, non-sweet treats add a new twist and surprise for trick-or-treaters. 

 Healthy…or at least healthier trick-or-treating

For the allergy-friendly 

 

If you are concerned about food allergies, try to hand out non-edible items. For example, Play-doh for the younger kids is a huge hit, and is a good toy for the cold winter months waiting just around the corner. Glow sticks are another alternative that are fun for all ages and can be used while out that night. Glow sticks can be bought inexpensively in large quantities, so stock up, because they could be a popular item. Bubbles are another easy alternative that can be popular with all ages. Finally, stickers, pencils and erasers for arts and crafts can be distributed for future play. If you choose to not offer a food item, consider placing a teal pumpkin in your front yard or on your door. This will indicate that your house is serving allergy-friendly surprises this year.  

 

Munchies 

 

If you aren’t quite ready to give up handing out food, then try to find something more redeeming than a candy bar. While most kids would turn up their nose to carrot sticks or an apple—which could result in no trick-or-treaters next year—most will happily accept other snacks. Head to a big-box store where they specialize in large quantities of single serving snacks. Goldfish, Pirate’s Booty, and popcorn are alternatives that are both parent and kid approved. Yogurt covered raisins can also be a treat that is easy to pass out, and is still sweet enough to trick most kids into enjoying. If you choose to go this route, remember to buy individually-packaged treats so they pass the parent-safety test! 

 

A real departure from tradition 

 

Finally, consider handing out small bottles of water or no-sugar added fruit juices so that kids (and parents!) can partake while walking the neighborhood. If you really want to knock it out of the park, cartons of reduced fat milk have been known to be popular. 

 

If you decide to take the plunge and hand out alternative treats, it may seem daunting to provide something fun and still desired by kids of all ages. Don’t let the stress tempt you into buying the ten-pound bag of chocolate. Many party stores, dollar stores or large discount stores like Oriental Trading specialize in large quality, popular items for a low cost. Take a look around their websites before throwing in the towel. Who knows, you could become the most popular house on the block! Well…at least you’ll always be more popular than the creepy house on the corner that gives out apple slices and black licorice! 

Satisfy Cravings the Healthy Way

The cooler air is a reminder that fall is officially on our doorstep. This season is filled with occasions that encourage you to splurge and eat foods that you know are indulgent, and might generally be successful at ignoring. For instance, Halloween buckets filled with taffy, hard candies and oozing caramel apples can do a number on your enamel and gums. However, to keep your teeth healthy, do you have to give up every festive treat? Below are the top five worst offenders of dental health this season, and options for alternatives to enjoy their place. 

 

And here’s the best part: these alternatives can really help to satisfy these cravings so you can be healthy without missing out! 

 Healthy alternatives to cravings

Hard Candies  

 

Hard candies are not normally at the top of people’s list of favorite sweets, but they can be hard to resist when you’re presented with buckets full of them. Filling the jars in offices and waiting rooms, too, it is hard to avoid a Jolly Rancher or sucker. However, these candies are not just bad for teeth when you bite into them (which can risk chipping a tooth or filling), but the real harm is caused by the sugar in such a sticky form. Prolonged sucking on the surgery treat actually gives extra time for the sugars to penetrate your teeth and sink into your gum lines. If you are looking for something that will stick with you, try sugar-free gum. Many brands are approved by the American Dental Association, and chewing will actually improve your oral health!  

 

Coffee 

 

Cool mornings are meant for coffee and a good book on your back patio. Unfortunately, your daily (or more) cup of joe might be staining your teeth and causing irreversible damage. In addition to stains, many people start their day with a sugary version of the classic morning coffee. The sugar from sweetened mochas and the rest will stay lodged in your teeth all day, causing plaque buildup, which leads to cavities. If you must start your day with coffee, try drinking it black, or just with milk. If you are concerned with teeth staining, try using a straw. In addition, there are various forms of tea (such as white tea) that can help wake you up without the negative effects on your mouth.  

 

Dried Fruit 

 

If you are trying to avoid sticky, sweet candy, turning to dried fruit seems like a logical alternative. Unfortunately, many dried fruits are incredibly sticky and filled with sugar, and can leave a residue on your teeth for hours after eating. In lieu of dried fruits, aim to consume raw fruits. They will be less sticky and have a higher nutritional value than their dried counterparts.  

 

Popcorn 

 

Caramel corn, kettle corn, and popcorn, oh my! This seemingly everyday food is one of the worst offenders. Not only are the rock-hard kernels a killer on your molars, the shells easily get stuck in between teeth and become embedded in the gum line. Without thoroughly brushing and flossing, these scraps of food can cause oral issue as severe as bone and tooth loss. If you are craving the salty crunch of popcorn, try substituting nuts. Nuts are a healthy alternative and less likely to lead to severe dental problems. 

 

Soda 

 

In order to protect your teeth, it is time to say sayonara to sodas—both regular and diet. The acids and sugars in these beverages attack your teeth and can cause real, lasting damage. Instead, create your own flavored water by squeezing fruit juices. If you miss the bubbles, try sparkling water instead of flat water. This alternative will protect your teeth and ensure you are well hydrated! 

Fall Trips and Your Teeth

Summer has come to a close, and summer vacation with it. Somehow, once you’re back to the grind, all you can think about is the next trip. Maybe you have something planned with your family over one of the long autumn weekends. Or maybe you’ll be traveling over the holidays. 

 

Whatever the case, travel will always mean a disruption to your oral habits. This will have its effect on your teeth, which makes it all that much more important to maintain good health habits while you’re away from home. Here are some tips on how to go about it. 

 Travel and your teeth

Healthy travel diet 

 

Wherever you travel, you’ll have options to include veggies in your diet. Whenever you have the chance, even if it’s a substitute that costs an extra dollar at the restaurant, try to include servings of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower in your diet. These veggies have a strong, fibrous texture that naturally cleans your teeth as you eat. Fruit salads and parfaits are great substitute for sugary desserts, too. A rich parfait, in particular, will be packed with the Calcium you need to keep your teeth strong. 
Incaseof (dental) emergency 

 

Make sure you have your dentist’s number saved to your phone so you can contact the office if you experience any issues while away. Even if you’re headed to a destination only a few hours out of town, imagine if something were to happen and you were left without this crucial resource. Having an accident, losing a tooth, having a crown fall off or any other number of dental emergencies could completely undo the joy of your vacation. Imagine if any of these things happened to one of your children! 

 

Whatever the emergency, your dentist will be able to tell you what can be done right away, and whether it’s necessary to seek emergency attention before you come home. 
Forgetting your dental products 

 

Your toothbrush is your single most important piece of dental equipment. What’s more, you get pretty attached to the toothbrush you call your own. So, what can you do if you forget it on a trip? The easy answer is to buy yourself a new one, but in case you’re trapped in an airport, or arrive to the hotel too late and don’t know what’s open nearby, there are other fixes to keep tartar buildup at bay. 

 

One quick trick is to rinse your mouth out with warm water a few times until the next day when you buy a new toothbrush. Or, if you at least remembered to pack toothpaste, put a little on your finger for brushing. This won’t remove much, but it’ll help you feel fresher. Sugar-free chewing gum is another quick-fix way to stimulate saliva production and wash a little tartar away. 

 

Most importantly of all, once you do have a new toothbrush, be sure to stay on top of brushing after every meal. Especially after missing a couple of brushings, you’ll have to be diligent to clean your teeth of all tartar before it turns into plaque. 

 

There are all sorts of things that can happen to your teeth while you’re away on vacation. What will you be eating? Will you be participating in sports wherever you’re going? If you’re traveling with the whole family, do you have a child who might lose a tooth while you’re gone? Do you have your Tooth Fairy alternatives or spin-offs at the ready? 

 

Everything about travel changes what’s going on in your mouth. You eat and drink different things, keep different habits, and probably have different oral hygiene products on you. Just remember that your teeth will thank you if you don’t take a vacation from your oral health, too!