Monday, 16 April 2018

2018 Spring Bucket List of Outdoor Adventures

With warmer weather and longer days, we are always looking for an excuse to get out of the house. While dining al Fresco is a great option for just spending time with friends, sometimes you need something a little different when smaller family members are around or if you want to include your furry family members! 


When you’re put on the spot it can be hard to think of fun, new things to do for a night out. To help answer the “what-do-you-want-to-do” endless circle of questions, we’ve prepared the 2018 Spring Bucket List of Outdoor Adventures upcoming events in our metroplex! 

 Create an adventure

  1. Dallas Blooms at the Arboretum: Featuring one of the largest floral festivals in the southwest, the Dallas Arboretum is home to more than 500,000 blooming flowers. This is a great place for your budding gardener to seek out new plant options or to snap a few spring photos for the grandparents!
  2. Safari Nights at the Dallas Zoo: Bring your dancing shoes to the zoo! Throughout the spring and summer bands will be filling the zoo with music. Come for the animals and stay for the tunes!
  3. Friday Night on the Green: If you’re looking for a lazy Friday night spent relaxing with good music, head to Magnolia Green in Fort Worth. This once-monthly concert series is going on its 10th year! In addition to music there’s also food and drink available.
  4. Baseball: Springtime means baseball time! North Texas has both major and minor league teams so there’s something for everyone. Head to Arlington to cheer on the Rangers or be on the look-out for promotional nights at the Roughriders that allow kids to run the bases before the game. Hit the concession stands, and you won’t have to plan dinner for a night!
  5. Dallas Pizza Fest: Have you ever met a kid that didn’t like pizza? Head to the Dallas Pizza Fest to get your fill and to taste samples from more than 20 local and national pizza restaurants. Also, if you have a child that seems to be a bottomless pit, there’s a pizza eating contest with a prize of $250!
  6. Dog Bowl: If your “kids” have four legs and are covered in fur, then head to the Cotton Bowl for the annual Dog Bowl! Here you can unleash your dog and let them run through agility courses, splash in kiddie pools and meet other canine friends. This event is open to dogs of all sizes.
  7. Dallas Children’s Theater: Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s theaters in the country, the Dallas Children’s Theater is a great option for rainy days. The Jungle Book will be featured next month, so get your tickets early for this childhood classic!
  8. Splash Parks: In Texas we know the mild spring weather won’t last long. As it gives way to the brutal heat, cool off at one of the dozens of splash pads in the area. While Celebration Park in Allen is a little bit of a drive, it’s worth the excursion. Boasting over 99 acres, this playground/park/splash pad will keep your kids entertained and, by the end of the day, wear them out!
  9. Six Flags: If everything is bigger in Texas, then Arlington, Texas must have the biggest and fasted rides in the country. Right? For a treat, take your kids to the amusement park and ride the roller coasters until you get dizzy from the fun of it all!
  10. Create your own adventure: One of the best parts of longer nights is the ability to come up with great family adventures on your own. Start your own family traditions that live on year to year. Let us know what you come up with! 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Lunchtime Workouts Possible In Arlington

We understand it can be hard to find time after work to go to the gym. With school pick-ups and cooking dinner, then bedtime, it’s no wonder that you just want to crash on the couch by the time 8:30 hits. However, we also know the importance of exercise for both your oral and your overall health (yes, even for your oral health)! 


Lack of exercise can lead to Type II diabetes, which can cause a host of health issues we treat including tooth decay and tooth loss. So, in order to get in those miles and raise your heart rate, we suggest getting in a lunchtime workout if you just can’t make it happen after work. Since many people have the opportunity to escape the office during the lunch hour, we have included our list of best tips and tricks on how to make this work and not come back a sweaty mess.  

 Killer Arlington workouts

Come prepared 


Since time is limited, it’s important to find a gym close to your office (if your office doesn’t have one of its own). If you’re looking for inspiration, try out Fort Worth’s many Orange Theory fitness locations for a heart pumping workout that will get you in and out fast. 


Try looking for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that are meant to be shorter in duration, but only because you push yourself to the max in every set of exercises. BURN Dallas offers 45-minute classes at noon. Make sure to book ahead since this is a popular time. 


In addition to choosing a gym with lunchtime options, it’s important to be prepared with all the things you will need to work out with. Pack a bag with your clothes, shoes and a pre-filled water bottle, and leave it in your car in the morning. This way you can easily move from work to workout. If you know how long it takes you change at the studio out of your work clothes, then don’t deviate from that routine. Keep your routine as consistent as possible to streamline it and shave off precious minutes. 


Freshen up 


How to freshen up after a lunch time workout is one of the biggest hindrances to incorporating this into your daily routine. Many gyms offer showers so you can quickly rinse off. Consider applying dry shampoo to your hair for another time-saving trick. If your gym doesn’t offer a shower, there are lots of fresh wipes on the market that you can wipe down with after your session, too. While it doesn’t fully make up for not showering, it will at least prevent you from stinking up a room. 


Dental benefits 


We all know the cardiovascular benefits of working out, but what about the benefits to your mouth? 


First, a higher body mass index (BMI) is correlated to oral health problems. For example, hypertension and diabetes reduce oxygen flow to the mouth, This leads to the constriction of blood vessels, which can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Studies have shown that individuals who maintained a healthy BMI were 40% less likely to have periodontal disease. 


It’s our goal to keep our patients’ whole body healthy. Getting the daily recommended amount of exercise is one way to accomplish this goal. Working out combined with a healthy diet is good for your teeth as well as the whole body. 


If you have any other tips to squeezing in a lunch time workout, leave us a comment!

Monday, 9 April 2018

What’s You Need To Know About Smiling

Have you ever met someone that was always smiling? Not the cheesy, fake smile, but a genuine and warm smile that made you feel like they noticed you and that you are important. 


In my college, there was a notoriously hard Organic Chemistry professor…the type of instructor that you heard stories about from upper-classmen. He didn’t believe in curves, and he wasn’t afraid to fail a whole class. As you can imagine, his reputation preceded him. 

 The new science of smiling

When it was time to sign up for Organic Chemistry, I realized, much to my dismay, that his class time was the only one that was going to work in my schedule. I tried to rearrange all my classes, but in order to graduate on time, this was the section I would have to take. 


On the first day of class I was positively filled with dread and fear. This professor could make or break me and my future professional career. While I had never met him, I imagined him to be a sullen grumpy type with a brooding personality. It was much to my surprise that, when he came in to the lab, he wore a huge smile across his face. In fact, it was a smile that didn’t leave his face the whole semester. Was the class difficult? Of course it was! In fact, it was the hardest I took in college. However, his smile every day proved his love of the subject and made me want to work hard to impress him.  


I can’t say that I got an A in that class, but I did learn more than Organic Chemistry. I learned that a smile can change my outlook of a semester and push me to work harder than I had ever thought. In fact, this mean old professor turned out to be more than that—he turned out to be a mentor, friend and confidant. And thanks to his smile, he’s still someone I still look up to today. 


What’s a smile mean? 


A bright smile is something we’re drawn to. But did you know that it’s an indicator for more than just happiness? Studies have shown that, by measuring smiles, experts can predict wellbeing in marriages and a person’s ability to perform well on standardized tests as well as general happiness. Another study that looked at the smiles of baseball players on their cards was able to predict their lifespan. Players with wider smiles lived on average seven years longer. A smile is much more than just a facial expression—it’s a window into your wellbeing.  


One of our favorite facts about smiling is that children smile more than 400 times per day. It has been said that children laughing is one of the sweetest sounds, and that might be because it has been proven to be contagious. 


Have you ever tried to frown when you’re looking at someone smiling? It is nearly impossible. The muscles in our face actually prevent us from doing it. Looking at someone smiling is literally more powerful than our own voluntary muscle movements. 


Smiling has been proven to significantly improve your life and the lives of those around you. Smiling makes you appear more trustworthy and genuine and causes those around you to smile, too. This is important for both your professional and personal life. A good smile can help you land new jobs or find the “perfect someone.” It can help lead you to a life with greater happiness overall.  


While I wish I could remember all the formulas and tidbits of knowledge from that Organic Chemistry class, as the years pass the small details have gotten pretty fuzzy. However, one thing that I will always remember is the drive and passion of my professor, all from behind that motivating set of teeth. He drove me to be the person I am today by learning how to do work hard, persevere, and do it all with a smile.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Learn The Top Foods (And WORST Foods) For Braces

Getting braces, whether as a child, teen, or adult, requires strict and diligent adherence to good oral health. While you might feel like you’re spending tons of time at the orthodontist, that time in the chair doesn’t allow for slacking at home with forgone brushing or flossing. Since plaque and other bacteria can easily become trapped inside and around the brackets and wires of braces, tooth decay can easily occur and go undetected. 


In addition to maintaining a good tooth cleaning routine, it’s also important to eat foods that will benefit your teeth and not set you back in your treatment, whether it be as a result of broken wires or cavities. We have comprised a list of foods that are good to eat with braces as well as those that should be avoided! Take a look. 

 Best and worst food for braces

The good 


If you’re looking for something quick to eat, it’s important to choose items that are soft in texture for the sake of your braces. This is especially important after you get your braces tightened and your teeth are sore. 


Experiencing pain isn’t a free-for-all to eat carb-dense food just because it is soft, however. Remember that carbs turn into sugar that spur bad bacteria growth on your teeth! Instead, turn to calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese. 


Since braces are attached to the enamel on your teeth, it’s important you keep your teeth strong so the braces can do their job. Increasing your calcium intake will help boost your enamel, too. It is also important to remember to eat protein-dense meals. These meals will keep you full longer and help keep you from snacking later. While dentists typically recommend nuts as a good source of protein, and a natural exfoliator for your teeth, we would suggest staying away from hard nuts (such as almonds) since they could harm or break your braces. Instead, incorporate soft meats such as chicken, turkey and fish into your diet. 


Finally, fruits and vegetables are always a good option! Try streaming vegetables on days where your teeth are especially sore. Soft fruits such as kiwi, peaches and tangerines are easy to eat and provide a high nutritional benefit.  


And here’s the best trick…no one expects you to avoid dessert during the course of your treatment! Treating yourself to soft-serve or other ice creams (without add-ins like bubble gum) are a good way to relieve pain after orthodontist appointments and stick to the “soft foods” rule. 


The bad 


Any food that is tough or chewy should be minimized or eliminated during your treatment. This includes foods like pizza crust, or raw vegetables like carrots or celery. While raw vegetables are normally recommended by dentists for the natural cleaning effect on the teeth, with braces, they are too hard and could break wires or brackets. 


Tough meats such as beef jerky or undercooked meat that makes it difficult to consume can also be problematic for those with braces. Just like with crunchy foods, these meats could do measurable damage in your mouth. 


Finally, avoid chewing on non-food items (including ice!) for the duration of your treatment. This could include pens, pencils or nails. Many times, we unconsciously gnaw on our pen out of stress or boredom, however this could adversely impact your braces and set you back on your treatment.  


The ugly 


Hard candies are bad for your teeth whether you have braces or not. While we would advocate for everyone to ditch these tooth-destroyers, those with braces need eliminate them most of all. The sugar in these candies can get lodged behind brackets, out of reach of any toothbrush, and lead to tooth decay. In addition, you may be tempted to bite down on the candy and cause serious destruction to your braces. 


Sticky foods are just as bad as hard candy. Taffies and caramel can get stuck in the wires and be nearly impossible to remove. 


Getting braces is a great catalyst to help you clean up your diet as well as your oral hygiene. Eating foods that promote strong teeth, healthy enamel, and reduce bad bacteria will ensure you have a bright, straight smile when you get your braces off.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Plaque? Tartar? What’s the deal?

When you’re at the dentist or listening to commercials on TV, you commonly hear terms like “plaque” and “tartar” thrown around. While we’re all generally familiar with the concepts and know these two things are detrimental to our mouth, how much do we really know about how tartar and plaque occur and what can be done about it? Also, once you have it, how do you get rid of it? 


In order to fully understand what is happening in our mouth, we will break down and demystify the harmful agents destroying your teeth and gum lines.  

 Plaque or tartar?

Are plaque and tartar the same thing? 


Although the two terms are sometimes used together, plaque and tarter are two different dental issues. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds on your teeth throughout the day. It increases as you eat, and sugary foods cause it to multiply even more quickly. To prevent plaque build-up, it’s important you brush and floss after every meal. The longer plaque remains on your teeth and gum line, the higher the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay. 


Tartar occurs when tooth plaque is not removed. When plaque forms, it’s soft and can be removed by a toothbrush, while tartar is hard and can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar left on the teeth can cause discoloration, decay, and more severe periodontal diseases. While we love to see you every six months to catch up on family and life, we’re also encouraging you to come in so we can remove the tartar from your teeth. Early intervention is key to prevention! 


Everyone in my family has bad teeth 


Many patients commonly use their genes as an excuse for poor oral health. While family history always can play a role into making you predisposed to certain ailments, the truth about plaque is that environmental factors are much more likely to cause problems with this kind of build-up. 


The number-one way to achieve plaque removal is by brushing your teeth. We all have bacteria in our mouths, and brushing early and often will remove the bad bacteria before it has the chance to adhere itself to your teeth. 


Another misconception is that many people don’t think they need to brush their teeth in the morning since they did the night before and have not have anything to eat since. Aside from the threat of walking around with morning breath, it’s important to brush your teeth to kill that bacteria that grows overnight. Since saliva production decreases while you sleep, bacteria are given the perfect environment to grow and multiply. 


Finally, your teeth can tell your dentist a lot about your diet. Foods that are heavy in sugar or carbohydrates increase the production of plaque. So, cleaning up your diet will also help clean your teeth.  


I can’t always brush my teeth: Am I doomed? 


We get it. It’s not always possible to brush your teeth right after you eat. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ll go hours without brushing, try eating tooth-friendly foods to naturally brush your teeth in the meantime. Choose crispy vegetables such as a salad filled with carrots and celery. These fibrous veggies act as a natural toothbrush and remove plaque while you are eating. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to wash away any food that lingers. And finally, pop some sugar free gum when you’re done with your meal. This will keep your mouth from drying out and help to remove any lingering plaque from your teeth. 


If your teeth are feeling grimy, that’s nature’s way of telling you it’s time to brush your teeth. Remember that plaque is a gateway to tartar, so it’s important to prevent plaque in the first place—or at least clean it up before it hardens into harmful tartar. Use these tips from above, and at your next six-month visit, we are sure we’ll see progress! 

Monday, 19 March 2018

4 Secrets To Make Teeth Brushing FUN

If a super villain ever needed a new way to torture someone, they should consider sticking them with a bunch of kids at bedtime and tell them to go brush their teeth. The kids’ stall tactics, bellyaching and general disobedience could break the most hardened person. Is it the time of day, the actual act of brushing teeth, or just a rebellious streak that strikes the elementary subset that causes this routine activity to become akin to negotiating peace in the Marvel universe? So, parents, we are here to help you overcome the bedtime slump. We want to help you not only make brushing your kids’ teeth bearable—we want to make it fun!

 The secret to making teeth brushing FUN


Spice it up


Sure, we get it…brushing your teeth isn’t as exciting as going to Six Flags. But most things that are important to your health aren’t that fun, really.


To increase the excitement for your kids’ teeth brushing, consider streaming music and dancing while you brush. The music serves as a great distraction and a good guide to how long you have been brushing. It is important to not let the dancing be too much of a distraction or deterrent to good oral hygiene, so make sure a parent is monitoring and that vigorous brushing occurs.


Pick songs that are around two minutes each so your child knows to brush the entire length of the song. Our hope is this will lead to a solid brushing routine and a tired kid after getting all their wiggles out before bedtime!


Switch roles


Switching roles with your kid can sound scary. However, letting them brush your teeth will set the stage for them allowing you to brush theirs. If you’re really concerned about toothpaste going everywhere then just use a wet brush (believe it or not, this works just as well). You can practice counting skills, too by having them count your teeth—or you can turn it into an anatomy lesson by discussing the makeup of the mouth. This is great for the toddler age since sometimes they are simply afraid of the toothbrush and act out since they have no other way to express themselves.


Retail therapy


For just a little money, you can take your kid to the drug store and pick out a toothbrush that they love. Whether it has Disney characters or Transformers, having something that is theirs and that they picked out could encourage a kid’s tooth brushing habit.


Also, check out the different flavors of toothpaste while you’re there. While adults associate minty freshness with toothpaste, many kids don’t like that taste. Thankfully, toothpaste companies have created flavors like strawberry or bubble gum just for little ones.




No parent likes to resort to bribery, but sometimes that is the last thing left at your disposal. Instead of bribing with sugary treats (that defeat the purpose of encouraging good oral health) choose other fun actives that your children like to participate in. Do they like going to the park? Maybe give them an extra 20 minutes there. Or let them choose the next restaurant you eat at. These don’t have to be huge things, just small rewards that keep them motivated.


Promoting good oral health starts with tooth brushing, and it begins in childhood. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy is important not only for the health of his or her mouth, but for the health of the whole body as well. Start early by implementing good habits and your children will reap the rewards in the future!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Early Morning Spots Near Arlington!

Ever have one of those days where you wake up really early and just can’t seem to get back to sleep? Instead of tossing and turning and getting frustrated trying to get a little more shut eye, consider getting up early to conquer the day. 


Before you laugh and say no way, we aren’t advocating for this to be a daily occurrence. And while we are all used to experiencing the metroplex city in regular daylight and nighttime hours, have you ever hit the town pre-6am? There is something magical about getting out before the sun rises and watching the city wake up together. There are also added perks to being the early bird: picking up breakfast before the crowds, or hitting the gym while it is still empty. 


If you find yourself staring at the ceiling in the wee hours of the morning, consider hitting the town and visiting some of these local establishments that keep the midnight oil burning. 

 Do you need a new morning spot?

Be the first for breakfast 


Cafe Brazil calls itself a coffee house, but the truth is that it’s so much more. With locations all over the metroplex—and many of them open 24/7—you always have the opportunity to get M&M-loaded pancakes or sip one of their dozens of brewed coffees. This local establishment has been a Dallas staple for almost 30 years. Most locations are smaller, so if you are up super early you are likely to get a seat.  


If you’re headed to work later in the morning in Forth Worth and looking for a place to grab breakfast before the sun rises, try Vickery Diner, which opens at 6am. This traditional-looking diner serves home-cooked classics plus dishes with a local Texas twist like the Stockyards omelet.  


Watch the sun rise 


If you’re rising early due to lots on your mind, then sometimes finding a quiet spot to watch the sun rise and meditate can lower stress levels and get your day started off right. The Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve offers a scenic surrounding to watch the sun come up. Featuring a unique wooden tower that you can climb, this preserve affords you unobstructed views of this beautiful area we call home.  


If you’re looking for somewhere with a little more activity, Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas allows you to both people watch and chat with other early risers as you wait for the sun rise. Klyde Warren is a favorite location for joggers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Be on the lookout for activities, like outdoor yoga, to join in with as well! 


Get sweaty 


If you’re up, you might as well start your day out productively by getting a workout in. The metroplex offers a diverse array of options that start as early as 5am. Clamp Gladiator is an outdoor fitness program with classes all over DFW. Started in Dallas, it has now expanded across the country and is lauded as a great workout and method to build agility and endurance. Another benefit to Camp Gladiator is the relationship-building aspect. The founders wanted to create a place to not only work on your fitness but to create friendships as well. For the early risers, this is a great place to start your day.  


Seizing the day by getting a jump start in the morning can be both productive and beneficial for your health. We are always looking for great places to start our day, so let us know your favorite spots in the comments below!