Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

smiling selfieAs we roll into 2018, we all make grandiose lists of resolutions. In our minds we think of all of the things that we want to do to improve upon ourselves, our health, our finances, or our lives in general. But let’s be honest, by the end of February, most of those resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Our Georgetown dental office has some suggestions for some health- related resolutions that you can actually keep… and feel really good about at the same time.

1 – Quit Smoking

Ok, so this one might be the hardest of all to keep, but we know you can do it. Both regular and smokeless tobacco comes with increased risk of heart disease, any number of cancers, yellow teeth, plaque buildup, and general stinkyness. If you need help or resources for putting down the pack, just ask at your next visit.

2 – Turn off the Tap

We’ve told you all year long about our ‘Save 90 a Day’ program in partnership with the Eco-Dentistry Association. Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth wastes almost 90 glasses of water A DAY. A DAY! Make an effort to turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth to help conserve water and help the environment.

3 – Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots can remove tooth plaque and freshen your breath. Plus, these healthy snacks are packed with antioxidant power to help kill bacteria and prevent inflammation, not only in your teeth and gums but in your whole body.

4 – See Your Dentist

Your 6 month cleaning is much more than ‘just a cleaning’… we’re checking for decay, cavities, and also gum disease. We’re also looking for early warning signs of larger, whole-body issues that can first appear in your mouth. Plus, this is a great time to talk about any cosmetic concerns that you may have, or plan out treatments to improve the look of your smile.

There’s never been a better time to make some resolutions that you can actually keep, and improve your health and the environment while you’re at it! Schedule your appointment at our Georgetown dental office today and let us help you make 2018 the best year ever!

The Great American Smokeout

great American smokeoutThe mission of the American Cancer Society is to eliminate cancer as a widespread health problem through research, service, and education. One of their larger events of the year, the Great American Smokeout, occurs on the third Thursday in November. This annual event strives to encourage all tobacco users to designate a quit date and work towards a smoke-free life. The mission at our dental office in Georgetown is to help our neighbors live a healthy, happy life, and not using tobacco is directly related to us fulfilling that mission. So this November, we’re going to highlight a few benefits of quitting as well as a few tips to help.

Smoking & Oral Health

Most people are aware of the various health issues that go along with smoking. And those are absolutely serious. But your dentist in Georgetown focuses more on the many oral health problems that tend to accompany years of tobacco use. Some of these concerns include:

  • Dry mouth and, in turn, decay
  • Yellowing teeth and bad breath
  • Slowed healing time after dental treatment

Tips to Quit

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, and sometimes people try several times before they stop once and for all. And that’s ok. Whether this is your first try or your twentieth, we believe in you and want to help by providing a few of the best tips we’ve found to help you quit.

  • Gather a support system by recruiting friends and family to help you manage cravings. Having a solid support team is one of the key ingredients to a successful quit plan.
  • List out your reasons for quitting and refer back to them whenever you feel yourself start to slip. Reminding yourself of the money you’ll save or the health you’ll get back can snap you out of a potential fallback.
  • Be aware of your triggers and work to either avoid them or change your habits surrounding them.
  • Keep healthy options handy to keep your hands and mouth busy. Chew sugar-free gum or snack on crunchy carrots to help satisfy your cravings.

If you’re looking for help to finally quit smoking, or perhaps you’re ready to get your mouth healthy after quitting, we welcome you to call our Georgetown dental office to schedule an appointment. Even it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist or you’ve been a smoker for years, you don’t need to worry about a lecture with us. We believe that supporting you through your journey is much more helpful to getting you healthy.

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!

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.

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. 

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!

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!