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Paying it Forward

illustration of concept Pay it ForwardHave you ever been zipping through the drive through to get your morning cup of coffee, already stressing about the meetings and tasks to complete that day, and as you pull up to the window, you receive the pleasant surprise that the person in front of you has paid for your coffee? A total stranger just chose to do a nice thing for you, and that positive feeling makes you smile and perhaps changes your entire outlook on the day. At Trade Winds Dental, we know all about this concept and call it by it’s more well known name….. Paying it Forward.

You may be thinking, what in the world would my Georgetown dental office know about paying it forward? You may be surprised to know that our team tries to perform random acts of kindness whenever possible. You might not know about it, because we aren’t looking for recognition or anything in return. That’s why we wanted to tell you how these little things in life can not only give you an incredible feeling of satisfaction, but also can create a ripple effect from one recipient to the next.

Take for example our toothbrush donation program. If you are replacing your toothbrush (as the ADA recommends every three months or so), bring the old one into our office for recycling. In addition to removing that plastic from landfills, we also take the time to donate $ 1 per toothbrush to Hope Alliance. It’s not something that we HAVE to do, it’s something small that we CAN do that makes a big impact.

Dr. Hennington and his staff also donate dentistry throughout the year to people in need right here in our community. For example, a local veteran on a reduced income who also takes care of his mother had put off dental work to the point where it affected his ability to chew properly. The team at the Georgetown dental office was more than happy to assist this man at no cost to him…. We simply asked him to pay it forward.

So the next time you’re in line to buy your coffee, or maybe having lunch at a diner, consider picking up the tab for a stranger. Or spending the day volunteering at a shelter instead of another Netflix binge day. Or simply helping your neighbor out and mowing the part of the lawn that you share. You never know, this simple act of Paying it Forward could result in something life changing.

Call our Georgetown dental office today to schedule your next appointment, or to ask for suggestions to perform your own random act of kindness.

Start This School Year with a Healthy Smile

back to school baby
As we all gear up to head back to school, loading up on folders, notebooks, pencils, and backpacks, the team at our dental office in Georgetown wants to send a friendly reminder to our patients and neighbors about the importance of getting your child (or yourself) to the dentist before school starts.

Dental Checkups Help with Overall Health, Too

While we encourage all of our patients to see us at least biannually, we also like to see them prior to starting a new school year. Visits to your dentist in Georgetown not only help keep smiles healthy, they also help keep whole bodies healthy. Poor dental health has been linked to:

In fact, the National Institutes of Health reported that 20-30% of children have chronic health conditions due to oral health. Regular dental exams and cleanings are key in catching any problems, or potential problems, early to avoid these serious diseases. It may also be recommended that your child receive protective sealants to aid against decay and cavities.

Keep Kids in School

It’s our goal to keep kids healthy and in school so they can learn, thrive, and get good grades. However, recent research has suggested that poor oral health has been linked to poor grades. According to the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry, children in elementary school missed 6 days of school on average each year. Of those 6 days, 2 of them were because of dental problems. As we all know, when kids aren’t attending class, they’re missing key elements of their education. What’s more, when they’re in pain due to a toothache brought on by a cavity, their ability to pay attention to lessons diminishes.

Hygiene at Home

Back to school dental visits are a great preventive step to ensure your child is starting the school year off healthy. But a good hygiene routine at home is equally important. Make sure your child is brushing every morning (after breakfast!) and every night for two minutes each time. Also, don’t forget to have them floss once a day.

Following a proper hygiene routine and maintaining appointments with our Georgetown dental office can keep you and your child smiling and in good health all the way through to summer break.

If you’re looking for a Georgetown dentist, schedule an appointment today!

Top 10 Habits That Ruin Teeth

woman opening bottle with teethAt our dental office in Georgetown, we like to focus on preventive dental care to ensure the health of our neighbors. This usually means seeing us for regular dental visits at least every six months and following a proper hygiene routine at home. But there are other things you may be doing on a daily basis that are harming your smile and you don’t even know it. In this week’s blog, we’d like to cover the top 10 most common habits that ruin teeth.

Brushing Too HardYour dentist in Georgetown recommends brushing your teeth twice a day using small, gentle circles. If you vigorously scrub away at teeth, you can damage gum tissue and cause it to recede, making teeth super sensitive.

Crunching Ice Cubes – Ice cubes are hard and aren’t meant for crunching. Their tough texture can cause you to break teeth, damage dental restorations, or create tiny chips in the enamel where bacteria can thrive.

Eating LemonsThese bright yellow fruits are packed with acid, and when the acid comes in contact with teeth, it can easily erode enamel.

Biting NailsThe angle your jaw adjusts to while nail biting can cause problems with your jaw, also known as TMJ or TMD. Nail biting may also result in chipped teeth.

Using Teeth as ToolsYour teeth are meant for chewing, not opening packets or holding things. When they are used in this manner, cracked teeth are incredibly common.

Playing Sports without a MouthguardPlaying any sport without a mouthguard isn’t only potential dangerous for your smile, it’s also dangerous for your brain. Mouthguards protect teeth from elbows, hockey pucks, or baseballs and can help minimize the risk of concussions.

Drinking SodaSoft drinks are usually packed with sugar, and as we all know, sugar is terrible for teeth. When sugar is in a liquid format as in soda, it can be even more damaging since it’s being exposed to the entire mouth, usually over a long period of time.

Chewing on PencilsJust like you should use your teeth as tools, you also shouldn’t hold or chew on your writing utensils. Pencils and pens alike are hard and can damage teeth pretty easily.

Smoking or Using TobaccoNot only is tobacco use bad for overall health, it’s also detrimental for oral health. Smoking or chewing tobacco can discolor teeth and has been linked to gum disease and oral cancer.

Clenching or Grinding TeethWhether you clench or grind out of stress or while you sleep, you’re essentially banging your teeth together over and over again. Habitually clenching or grinding can result in broken teeth or jaw problems(TMJ).

If you found yourself identifying with any of the habits above, we would encourage you to work on breaking them. In the meantime, if you happen to damage your teeth, whether from a bad habit or any other reason, we’ll be happy to get you back to smiling. Give our Georgetown dental office a call to schedule an appointment.

Yoga For Mental Health? YES!

young woman in yoga poseMost of our Georgetown dental office patients are aware that both Dr. and Mrs. Hennington are professional yoga instructors. Xenia is actually a Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer,  teaching Kundalini yoga classes at Yoga Yoga in Austin, and Dr. David volunteers his time teaching yoga to Safe Alliance employees. Both understand the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga, from physical flexibility to meditation and spiritual growth. But did you know that there are specific mental health benefits from practicing yoga?

You may be thinking to yourself, how could laying on a mat in a weird pose help my mind? It all comes down to way your body physically reacts to the specific body postures and alignments of yoga. As you pose and breathe deeply, your body lowers your brain’s response to threat and stress, turning OFF adrenaline and causing sodium to leave your body’s cells. This immediately relaxes your brain, your heart, and your muscles, as well as oxygenating your blood to reduce your heart rate. Studies by the American Psychological Association have discovered that relaxing through yoga can reduce depression, symptoms of schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. One study was performed on adult caregivers taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They found that performing yoga for 12 minutes a day over an 8 week period reduced their stress and increased levels of life satisfaction.

Think about how you feel during a relaxing weekend or after a really great night of sleep. That state of calm and balance that makes you just sit back and smile? Those same biological reactions can be achieved through the relaxation of gentle yoga poses.

The staff at Trade Winds Dental knows that yoga has a variety of benefits, from elongating muscles to helping spinal nerves, to even aiding in digestion. But your Georgetown dentist also wants you to know that a sun salutation can do more than strengthen your body… it can also help to strengthen your mind.

If you’re curious about yoga and it’s benefits, please feel free to ask questions during your next dental appointment. And until then….. Namaste… Sat Nam.

I Haven’t Seen The Dentist in Years. Now What?

anxious woman in dental chairAt our dental office in Georgetown, we generally advise patients to see the dentist regularly, about every six months, to help maintain excellent oral and overall health. However, sometimes things happen in our lives and we just forget to keep up with appointments or schedule a checkup. We see and treat many patients who have not been able to see the dentist for many years because of many different reasons, but we’re always happy to welcome them!

Why Patients Don’t See The Dentist

These are common, valid reasons people tend to avoid the dentist – for a few months to a few years.

  • A bad experience at the dentist in the past makes you nervous
  • You’re afraid to find out what is wrong or what repairs you may need
  • You’re feeling embarrassed because it’s been awhile since your last visit
  • You just simply don’t have time to make it to an appointment or cleaning

Let’s Get Your Smile Back on Track

Your dentist in Georgetown is here to help! You don’t have to feel embarrassed or nervous about coming to the office. Thanks to so many advancements in dentistry and a wealth of state-of-the-art technology, going to the dentist is a whole new experience compared to even just a few years ago. If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, we will talk about your options. You’ll never feel pressured to proceed with any treatment you don’t feel comfortable having. We definitely understand how busy your life can be. That’s why we’ve made it easy to schedule an appointment. From the moment you walk in the door, we will make sure you’re comfortable and that you feel at home. We owe it to you and your smile!

What Will Happen At The Office

When you come to see us, we will be there to help you every step of the way. First, we will make sure we have all of the necessary paperwork on file. We can also work with your previous dentist to obtain any past records or x-rays you may have on file there. If you’ve moved or that office is no longer open, it’s no big deal! We will get you set up and comfortable at the office for a thorough exam (including a new set of state-of-the-art x-rays) to get a better understanding of what’s happening with your teeth. Our team will also take a look at your gums too! This way we know if you need extra special care and treatment for gum disease. We will take the time to get to know you and your needs.

Our Georgetown dental office is your new home for comprehensive dental care that you can trust. Our team is educated and excited to work with you to get your smile back in the best shape possible, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve sat in the dental chair!

The Power of Purple Food

purple foodsPut Some Purple Power on Your Plate!

Purple is calming, uplifting, spiritual, and creative, and is the color of the crown chakra, the chakra linked to the brain, the nervous system, and the representation of pure thought. It gives you both the stimulation of red and the calm of blue. In feng shui, purple can be used in any direction to boost creativity, success, wealth, and love. But the power of purple doesn’t just stop with its mystical and psychological effects. Purple is also one of the best colors to EAT!

Which Purple Foods to Choose

When the team at Trade Winds Dental talks about eating purple, we clearly aren’t talking about grape lollipops or mixed-berry taffy. We mean the real thing – grapes, blueberries, plums, eggplant, and carrots.

But carrots are orange, you say? Orange carrots are a fairly new thing. Up until the 17th century, all carrots were purple! Purple carrots are gaining popularity again and can often be found at the local farmers market. You can also try purple cabbage, purple potatoes, and more exotic additions like acai berries.

How Purple Foods Boost Health

According to one of our favorite holistic food blogs, theholisticingredient.com, purple foods are super high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals and oxidants and can:

  • Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • Help to prevent obesity and diabetes
  • Lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases and cognitive declines
  • Reduce inflammation and therefore chronic disease
  • Assist in preventing urinary tract infections, fight ulcers, reduce liver damage and prevent other diseases contracted from cell damage

Purple foods also contain the age fighter resveratrol and can keep your arteries and blood clean, keep you looking younger and feeling stronger longer than you thought possible.

Eat the Rainbow

So while eating green is still one of the best things you can do for your body, don’t forget to add some of the mysterious and delicious beauty of purple to your everyday plate. Your body will thank you…and your family will too!

Please feel free to give our Georgetown dental office a call to ask us about tips and tricks for getting more purple in your diet. We don’t just offer eco-dentistry, we offer tips for better living everyday. 

Different Types of Dental X-Rays

male dentist examines dental x-rayWe get asked a lot of questions at our dental office in Georgetown, and we don’t mind answering them one bit! We believe that the more our patients know, the healthier their smiles will be. One of our more frequent requests is for more information on dental x-rays – why we use them, different types, and especially their safety.

The 3 Most Common Types of Dental X-Rays

There are several different types of x-rays that your dentist in Georgetown may use to look at various parts of the mouth’s anatomy. Each type is used for a different reason and can show different problems. Let’s take a look at each one.

  • Bitewing X-rays. These x-rays are helpful in catching cavities early on as they allow the dentist to see places in between teeth that are not visible to the naked eye. Bitewing x-rays can also help identify variations in bone density caused by gum disease as well as help catch any excessive wear in restorations like fillings.
  • Periapical X-rays. Along with bitewings, periapical x-rays are quite common. The images obtained through this type of x-ray show the entire tooth — from the top of the crown to the tip of the roots. This allows your dentist to examine each tooth’s individual structure and bone level. Periapical x-rays can also help catch cysts and abscesses.  
  • Panoramic X-rays. Panoramic x-rays show the entire set of teeth, both top and bottom and from left to right, in one photo. They can also display the jaw joints as well as the upper sinuses. These photos can help determine if wisdom teeth are impacted and can even help diagnose a tumor.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Safety is our top priority with everything we do, including x-rays. Advancements in technology have reduced exposure to the already low amount of radiation emitted by dental x-rays. Additional preventive measures, such as the use of lead vests, are also taken to help limit the exposure even farther. We try to follow the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle which basically says that dental professionals should limit x-rays to only when necessary in order to achieve proper diagnosis and aid in successful treatment.  

How often you should get dental x-rays taken depends on a variety of factors. The team at our Georgetown dental office will take a look at your oral health and any history of dental problems to determine how often you should have x-rays taken. If there’s been a history of cavities or a higher risk of decay, x-rays twice a year may be appropriate.

My Morning Ritual

woman meditating against dark wallGetting out of bed in the morning can be hard. The alarm rings and you hit snooze. Then you hit it again. We have all done it. But maybe there is a way to make getting out of bed something to look forward to while also decreasing stress, and giving you an emotional, physical, and spiritual jump-start for the day – a morning ritual! “But,” you may say, “I have a morning ritual. I brush my teeth, wash my face, eat a wholesome breakfast. I even go for a quick run before I shower and dress for work. “

That’s a morning routine, not a morning ritual.

A ritual is a deeper level of self-care, one that focuses on preparing emotionally for the day, boosting your happiness quotient, and truly showing some love for yourself.

Five Things You Can Do Before You Get Out of Bed:

  1. Express gratitude
  2. Set your intentions for the day
  3. Take five, deep, long breaths
  4. Smile for no reason
  5. Forgive Yourself for yesterday’s mistakes

These take just a few minutes, and can get you started moving toward your own personal ritual.

The Benefits of a Morning Ritual

According to the online wellness hub The Holistic Ingredient by Amy Crawford, a personal morning ritual can:

  • Lift your mood, every morning.
  • Start the day with achievement.
  • Boost your focus, productivity, and happiness.
  • Give you control of your day.

Now isn’t that a wonderful way to show yourself some love?

Planning and Incorporating Your Morning Ritual

A morning ritual doesn’t have to be complicated.

  • Go to bed at a time that will give you enough full sleep cycles to get you rested. This handy sleep cycle calculator can help you choose a bedtime that fits perfectly with wake-up. http://sleepcalculator.com/
  • Consider buying or making something special to eat or drink that might tempt you out of bed and make you feel a little pampered.
  • While you are enjoying your organic tea or sprouted-grain waffle, try writing down you think might improve your health and wellness or make you happy. Anything can be added to your ritual time as long as it leaves you feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to face the day. Journaling? A bit of daily meditation? How about some yoga? We love the simple but effective sun salutation because it doesn’t take long yet uses all of your major muscle groups. Check it out here: http://www.yogajournal.com/category/beginners/how-to/sun-salutations/
  • Write down exactly what you want to incorporate in your morning ritual. A written reminder not only keeps you from forgetting your goals, it also serves as a way to make you accountable to yourself.

For more morning ritual tips,  please give our Georgetown dental office a call. The team at Trade Winds Dental is here to help you get the most out of your smile – and your life!

All About Oral Cancer

oral cancer risk

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and our dental office in Georgetown thought we should dedicate a blog this month to help educate our patients and community on the prevalence of oral cancer in America, what increases someone’s likelihood of developing the disease, and how to spot signs of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Statistics

Like any other cancer, oral cancer is a complicated disease that takes the lives of many individuals. While scientists continue researching cures and treatments are always improving, the data surrounding the oral cancer epidemic is still scary.

  • According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 50,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017.
  • Of those, only a little over half are expected to live longer than 5 years.
  • This year alone, oral cancer will kill one person every hour of every day.
  • Across the globe, an estimated 450,000 oral cancer diagnoses are made each year.

Oral Cancer Risks

While anyone can develop oral cancer, there are several factors that increase the likelihood of diagnosis. Of these, there are few we can control and others we can’t.

  • The top risk factor is tobacco use. An estimated 80% of oral cancer patients are, or have been, tobacco users.
  • As we get older, our risk of oral cancer increases. The majority of oral cancer patients are over the age of 55.
  • Gender can also play a role. Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.
  • Drinking alcohol heavily also increases your risk.   

Oral Cancer Symptoms

  • Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Changes in voice
  • A sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away after two weeks
  • A lump inside the mouth or neck
  • Chronic bad breath

Signs of oral cancer can be similar to other non-serious oral health issues. If you notice any of the symptoms above, we strongly encourage you to call your dentist in Georgetown as soon as you can. Early detection of oral cancer greatly increases the chance for successful treatment. This is also one reason why you should see your dentist at least every six months.

At our Georgetown dental office, we care about keeping our neighbors healthy. If there are any questions we can answer, or if you’re looking for advice on oral cancer treatment, give us a call.

Make The World a Better Place This Earth Day

Earth DayApril 22nd is Earth Day, a worldwide celebration where we all take a moment to reflect on the natural world around us and do what we can to help preserve it.  At Trade Winds Dental, we strive to live green every single day, but we’re especially observant advocates on this annual holiday.

So think about it, what can you do to make the world a better place? The answers may be simpler than you think. Here’s a few suggestions:

Plant a Tree in Your Community – Plenty of organizations, such as the Arbor Day Association, the National Wildlife Federation and even many local nurseries have trees or seedlings available at low or no-cost. Trees are not only beautiful, they also help to clean the air, prevent soil erosion, and provide us with the oxygen that we need to survive. Plant a tree in your backyard or see if there’s a community planting event.

Head to the Farmers Market – We have a fantastic farmers market here in Georgetown. Buying fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more from our local farmers helps support both your community and the natural, beautiful world right around us. 

Support Ethical Trade – Have you thought about where the goods in your home or the clothing and accessories wear actually come from? Try to frequent businesses that support artisans with fair wages and services to third world countries, like StriveGreen in Austin. 

Advocate for Change – You may have heard the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Remember that nothing changes until someone has the courage to stand up and say something. Start a recycling program at work or at home, set up a carpool, or ask your boss how you can help to make your workplace more green.

See, that’s not so hard! Connect to your favorite social media and blog feeds on Earth Day and see what other suggestions for environmental action are out there that you and your family can do. And be sure to ask the staff at Trade Winds Dental for ideas as well – we’ve got TONS of ways to help the environment in your everyday living.

Make it Local! Make it Green! Make the world a better place!

HAPPY EARTH DAY!