Our Blog

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!

Essential Information About Essential Oils

essential oilsThese days, people think of essential oils primarily for their scent – and we don’t dispute the health benefits of aromatherapy at all! But there is more to essential oils than meets the nose. In fact, if an oil is called a fragrance or fragrant oil, it is probably not an essential oil at all and will not have the healing power of a true essential oil.

Most people don’t realize it, but essential oils are not really oils at all. They do not contain fatty acids. Instead, they are distilled or highly concentrated plants. The essence of the plant. An example of how concentrated these oils are is how many roses it takes to make one pound Bulgarian rose oil. Go ahead and guess – 10? 20? No, it takes 4,000 pounds of roses to make one pound of rose essence! Even the common lavender essential oil takes 100 pounds of plants to make a pound of essential oil.

Because they are so concentrated, they must be used with care. Most essential oils should not be used in their undiluted form directly on the skin. They must also be kept out of the reach of children, and should never be used during the first trimester of pregnancy without the advice of a healthcare practitioner. They should also never be taken internally.

Here at Trade Winds Dental, our Georgetown dental staff loves essential oils, both in the office and as something for patients to use at home. They allow patients to take some of their health care into their own hands to strengthen their bodily systems, protect against illness, lift their moods, and soothe their spirits. In other words, essential oils can help our patients heal – mind body and spirit, a principle that is at the center of our dental practice.

Here are a few “essential” essential oils to get you started:

Tea Tree Oil – Great for skin and hair, it is safe to apply topically. It does have a strong scent but is very effective against dandruff, fungus, and blemishes.

Calendula – Made from the petals of the Marigold flower, calendula oil has amazing healing properties. Very gentle on the skin, it can be used as a topical anti inflammatory, antibacterial, and general skin soother for bumps and bruises. Some people use a few drops in their baths to soothe psoriasis.

Lavender Lavender does much of its healing through its beautiful scent. A few drops in your bath or diluted with water and sprayed on your pillow can ease tension, soothe frazzled nerves, and help you get a good night’s sleep.

Peppermint – Feeling a little nauseated? Peppermint oil is a great anti nausea and digestive aid. It can also soothe coughs when applied to the chest, remove odors from shoes, and even help deter spiders! Plus it freshens our breath and can be added to coconut oil for oil pulling.

To learn more about the healing properties of essential oils, ask the team at Trade Winds Dental. We are here for more than just your teeth!

Want to Smile More? Take Your Vitamins!

vitaminsThe modern diet is sorely lacking in many of our most essential nutrients and our stressful and busy-but-sedentary lifestyles don’t help us feel great either. Add in all the toxic substances that we are exposed to on a daily basis along with a lack of proper sleep, and you have a recipe for health disaster. Even if you think you feel okay right now, the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle will eventually catch up with you.

Here at Trade Winds Dental, we want to help you easily and conveniently get on the path to ideal health. In a previous blog, we told you all about the benefits of raw foods. But while you are learning to add more raw foods to your diet, how to create delicious smoothies and juices, and how to flush toxins from your body, we want to suggest four important vitamins and supplements you can easily add to your diet RIGHT NOW for an immediate improvement in your well-being – and to protect your teeth and gums!

Vitamin C – Sure vitamin C can boost your immune system, but it can also help your body produce more collagen, burn more fat, heal wounds, help block damage from free radicals, and even protect your heart. A lack of vitamin C will also show up in your oral health – this vitamin helps your body maintain and repair bones and teeth.

Vitamin D3 – It might be called a vitamin, but D3 is actually a hormone that we get primarily from the sun. Now that we understand how much we need to protect our skin from the sun, most Americans are dangerously deficient and never realize it. Vitamin D3 helps our bodies fight infections such as colds and flus, it influences our immune systems, builds stronger bones, protects our hearts, reduces our risk for cancer, and improves muscle function, among many other benefits. It seems that Vitamin D3 can also help prevent cavities and gum infections.

Vitamin B12 – Stress is one of the primary factors in modern life, and chronic stress can really deplete us which can lead to feelings of lethargy, depression, low metabolism, and more. Introducing vitamin B12 through B12 shots, sublingual drops, or tablets can greatly improve your feelings of well-being. It lifts your mood and energy level, improves your memory, benefits your heart, helps with digestion and metabolic function, addresses adrenal fatigue, and supports the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular and nervous system. It is also great for your hair and skin. Here at Trade Winds Dental, Dr. Hennington also recommends B12 for periodontal disease – the lower your levels of B12, the higher your risk for tooth loss and gum disease! In short, B12 is a powerhouse when it comes to looking and feeling good.

It is important to remember that not all vitamins and supplements are the same. Some of the vitamins you find in the drugstore are not bio-available, which means your body can’t absorb and use them completely. Don’t throw your money away on useless supplements. Talk to your Georgetown dental team to find out which vitamins and supplements we recommend.

How Raw Foods can Play a Part in Healing

raw foodsEverybody has to eat. But sometimes, life gets moving way too fast and we just grab what we can here and there – sometimes even eating fast or junk food. When we eat without thinking, we are not only consuming unhealthy fats, preservatives, and artificial ingredients, we are missing out on all kinds of healing benefits food can offer.

One of those benefits comes from enzymes. Enzymes are not only crucial for good digestion, they also help our body properly use nutrients, assist with our bodies functions such as cell regeneration, and elimination of toxins. In fact, without enzymes, we wouldn’t be able to eat, swallow, digest our food, or breathe. Enzymes are life! And raw, living fruits and vegetables are full of these necessary enzymes.

The problem is, when food is heated the enzymes are destroyed or damaged. We recommend juicing in order to get an efficient, super dose of essential enzymes in their perfect state. Here are a few other ways to fit raw foods into your busy life:

  • Carry an apple, some raw carrots, or other non-perishable raw snack with you whenever you leave the house.
  • Raw nuts and seeds make another portable, enzyme-rich food for on the go.
  • Top your soup, salad, or sandwich with a handful of tasty sprouts – pea sprouts are especially delicious!
  • All kinds of things your family already loves are raw: Think fresh salsa, guacamole, fresh fruit salads.
  • Try topping celery with raw nut butter and raisins. It is great tasting and gives you an extra boost of protein.
  • Keep plenty of easy-to-grab raw foods in the house. If it is easier to find and more available than other snacks, your family will likely reach for the raw snacks. Try preparing carrot coins, celery sticks, apple wedges, and raw nut mixes ahead of time for easy snacking during the week.
  • Start browsing raw recipes online. You will see that preparing raw meals can actually save you time.

Here’s a great recipe from the Rawritarian that anyone can start with. It tastes like dessert so even your kids will love eating raw, plus prep time is only five minutes!

Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium avocado (ripe and at peak of perfection please!)
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water + 1/8 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Throw these raw chocolate avocado pudding ingredients into a high-speed blender. Start blending on slow and then crank up the blending speed to high.
  2. Blend this sucker until puddingy and gooooood! You might need to start and stop this a few times to get it to blend properly because the dates will require more blending than pudding recipes that don’t contain dates. If you have a good blender (AKA Vitamix or Blendtec) then you should be able to get this super smooth.
  3. You may need to add a tiny bit of extra water to facilitate blending. But if doing so only add TINY bits at a time! Try not to add extra water or it’ll end up watering it down and changing the consistency.

If you’d like to learn more about how nutrition affects your health and how eating the right things can actually help you heal, talk to Dr. Hennington at your next dental visit. The Trade Winds Dental team in Georgetown is here for more than your teeth – we are here for your total health!

Bringing Hope to Our Community

Hope AllianceIn 2015, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released a report stating that one in every three women worldwide have experienced some form of violence. And the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (http://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics) issued these statistics:

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

These are some pretty disturbing statistics. They are some of the reasons Trade Winds Dental has teamed up with Hope Alliance. We have a reputation for being eco-friendly, sure, but we aren’t just working for the planet, we are working for the people on it.  

What is Hope Alliance?

Hope Alliance was established in 1984 as a rape crisis center. Since then, the agency has expanded to serve all of Williamson County with outreach offices in Georgetown, Cedar Park, Taylor, Liberty Hill and Hutto and have included services for victims of domestic violence. Their goal is to inspire hope and healing with 24-hour emergency shelters, 24-hour crisis hotline, transitional housing, accompaniment services, legal advocacy, counseling, support groups, education, and prevention.

We join Hope Alliance in the belief that “physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse of one human being by another is unacceptable. We believe that all abuse diminishes or prohibits the full expression of life and growth that is every person’s right.” And now we are making it easy for YOU to join us in helping Hope Alliance: Bring your old, handheld toothbrushes to our office for recycling and we’ll donate $1 per toothbrush to Hope Alliance. For more information on Hope Alliance, please visit HopeAllianceTX.org.