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!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Does Your Dentist Know How To Treat Kids?

Parents, this one is for you. When searching for anything for your kids, we know you want the best. Whether it’s a piano teacher, soccer coach, or medical professional, you want to know that those professionals are specifically trained to handle the unique needs—and sometimes, the comfort or fears—of a child. Finding a dentist for kids can be especially challenging. As adults (and dental professionals), we know the fear and apprehension that can come along with a trip to the dentist. So just imagine that from your child’s perspective! What you see as an outburst or as bad behavior could be the manifestation of fear. As a parent, you want a dentist that has experience handling children and all their mannerisms, and who can get on the level of a child with regard to explaining what is happening. 

 Does your dentist know how to treat kids?

To ensure you set your child up for the best success in oral health, we’ve complied a one-stop, quick guide on how to choose a children’s dentist that can both take good care of your child’s teeth and create a low-stress experience for everyone. 


Ask around 


Word of mouth (pun intended) is sometimes the best way to find a children’s dentist. Ask your friends with kids or folks at daycare, or even your adult dentist. Don’t let yourself think that asking your dentist for advice on other practitioners is wrong. As professionals, we are happy to give our opinion on the best specialists in the area. 


Prior to making an appointment with a new children’s dentist, feel free to ask questions to the receptionist or even ask if they have any open house hours. Having the opportunity to take you child to the office can be invaluable to see if you could ease those day-of jitters. 


Are pediatric dentists best? 


All dentists are capable of cleaning a child’s teeth as well as advising their parents on oral care. And because this is true, we are frequently asked if it is necessary to seek out a pediatric dentist. One of the benefits of a pediatric dentist (which, for our purposes, includes family dentists with stated experience with kids) is that they are working on children’s teeth on a regular basis and are forced to keep up on all pediatric dental literature and advances. In addition, pediatric dentist offices are equipped to handle kids, and offer distractions to keep kids busy pre-appointment. In many offices, this includes TVs, gaming systems and toys. 


No number of amenities can make going to the dentist easier for some kids, so once you find the right family dentist, it’s important to keep coming back. Remember that even pediatric dentists can follow your child throughout adolescence. They can guide you through decisions like fluoride treatments, sealants, and timing for a visit to the orthodontist—and a familiar environment will make every visit a little easier as the years go by. 


Great allies 


We know that parenting is sometimes a mixture of “gut instinct,” winging it, and Google. Bringing in professionals that are experts in child development (in this case in the mouth) make for great allies in parenting. In addition to providing professional dental services, pediatric dentists can provide you, as the parent, educational resources on proper oral hygiene and dental care at home. This can include the benefits of fluoride in toothpaste, or answer questions on when to introduce mouthwash. The right dentist will also be available for emergencies like knocked-out or missing teeth.  


Finding a great pediatric dentist will put your child on the right path for great oral hygiene. Early preventive measures are important to not only protect and strengthen baby teeth, but to ensure that adult teeth below the service are healthy. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist or unsure of your options, give our office a call today. Our goal is for your whole family to have a healthy smile!

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Questions You’ve Always Been Curious To Ask Your Dentist

Ever dreamed of being on Jeopardy, or maybe just winning trivia night at your local watering hole? We doubt too many questions about oral health ever make the cut, but we are always hopeful that something you read here could make you a big winner! 


In addition to trivia questions, sometimes we get questions from patients that make even us scratch our head or revert back to medical literature to find the answer. Below is our “Best Of” list comprised of SIX questions we have heard—or great trivia that may come in handy someday. We only ask that if you win a game thanks to what you learn here that you let us know! 

 Ask your dentist THESE questions

Why do my teeth hurt when I run? 


Ankles, knees, and shins all commonly hurt on our runs, but what about teeth? Even avid runners have raised concerns that long distances are accompanied by tooth pain. There are several reasons why this happens. First, many runners unconsciously grit their teeth when they run. When you are working hard, like running up a hill, you automatically grit your teeth. Over time, this can lead to pain and other issues such as enamel erosion. Another cause of pain could be from the cold air. Each person has different levels of sensitivity when the cold hits their teeth. Try breathing though your nose to prevent cold air from hurting your teeth. 


Is my problem the worst you have ever seen? 


Some patients ask—and we know others are thinking or worrying—if their teeth are the worst we have ever seen. As dentists, let’s just say we have seen it all. You shouldn’t be worried about coming in to address lingering issues or even for a cleaning. The most important thing is you coming in. We’re here to help you rejuvenate your smile and alleviate any pain you are experiencing.  


Can you tell that I am lying about flossing? 


Yes, we can absolutely tell if you stretch the truth about your flossing routine. Without flossing, you are not cleaning 35% of the surface of the tooth. Due to this, your gums will be inflamed and tartar will have built up on your teeth. We won’t admonish you or embarrass you for this, but we will remind you that flossing is an integral part of your oral health routine. 


Can I get my teeth whitened without appearing vain? 


Of course you can! When a patient asks about tooth whitening we are excited that they are interested in the state of the smile and want to make it better. Wanting whiter teeth doesn’t make you appear vain or image-conscience. Brightening your smile increases confidence levels which can lead to better performance and work or in your home life. There are so many benefits to teeth whitening that we highly encourage all patients to consider it. 


Does oil pulling really work? 


With the craze around all-natural and holistic options for dental care, we have been asked many times about the benefits of oil pulling. Some believe that oil pulling (a process where you swish certain types of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes) help prevent gingivitis, plaque build-up and bad breath. This technique dates back 3000 years to ancient forms of medicine. 


It is important that patients understand that this process doesn’t reverse the effects of tooth decay nor should it replace your day-to-day dental care routine. While there are some studies to show that it does remove bacteria, it shouldn’t be the only preventive measure you employ. Also, it is vital that if you try oil pulling that you do not swallow any of the oil since you would also be consuming all the bad bacteria pulled from your teeth.  


Why do dentists ask so many question when my mouth is open? 


This question is just a bit of fun and to poke fun at our profession. We do have a tendency to ask a lot of non-dental related questions to patients while they lay in our chairs. We understand it’s hard to respond, but it is also human nature to engage with the patients we care so much about. We don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, but prolonged silence can always be a little awkward. If you don’t want to talk, don’t worry, it won’t hurt our feelings, but unless we hear otherwise, we will probably still attempt to talk your ear off!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Bike Trails Within Pedal Distance of Arlington

Warmer weather is right over the horizon. It is so close you can almost taste it. With the start of spring comes the opportunity to take your exercise routine outside or simply to explore new areas accessible to our Arlington, TX community. 

 Arlington, TX and DFW bike trails that will wow you

If you are looking for an adventure, try out one of the many bike paths that this area has to offer. From paved trails perfect for beginners to off-road trails that call the adrenaline junkies, there is something out there for everyone. Just remember, if your bike has been in the garage all winter you may need to inflate the wheels and check the breaks to make sure they are tight. Simple bike maintenance will ensure you have an enjoyable and safe ride. And don’t forget your helmet!  


For those that like the open road 


For bikers with road bikes that do best on smooth concrete or newer rides that are looking to get a few more miles under their belt, consider heading to Trinity Trails in Fort Worth. Following the Trinity River, this 40-mile trial can accommodate all levels of cyclists and provides miles of trail without ever having to interfere with traffic. 


If you don’t mind heading into Dallas to look for a similar experience that provides nice views without the fear of riding with cars, then White Rock Lake Park Trail would be your best option. The 9.4-mile loop follows the parameter of the lake and features playgrounds, picnic facilities and easy to enter trail heads. This is the perfect area for a short weekend ride with the family. 


Take it off road 


For bikers looking for a challenge—and have a bike built to withstand a rugged terrain—Dinosaur Valley State Park located an hour from Arlington will give you the thrills you need. Some riders think this could be the best mountain biking area in all of North Texas. There are 16 miles of trail accessible for bikers and hikers alike. It is important to note there is an entrance fee and the park could close if the conditions are hazardous. It is best to give them a call prior to heading out.  


If you are looking for a tamed-down adventure then the Oak Cliff Nature preserve is a place to check out. There are eight miles of trails situated on 121 acres in the heart of Dallas. The trials are well maintained and can be handled by those of average cycling ability. Be prepared to get wet though! Two creeks run through the preserve and the trail crosses water 14 times.  


Can’t get enough? 


Just like a runner’s high, cyclists experience the same sense of euphoria after dismounting their bike. If you are looking for other cycling enthusiasts then it may be time to join one of the DFW bicycle clubs. Located in every city across the metroplex these clubs build community through riding. Here you can learn more about the sport, gain confidence, and meet new people. For a list of all clubs in the area, check out BikeDFW 


Cycling is a lifelong activity that is great for your cardiovascular health and muscle development. Whether you are reliving your childhood with rides throughout the neighborhood or taking your skills on the road, this is something all ages can enjoy! Let us know your favorite locations to ride in the area.

Monday, 26 February 2018

How Do You (Or Should You) Bribe Your Kids For Good Oral Health?

Parents, can we let you in on a little secret from us in the dental community? We have used candy or other sweets as bribery to get our own children to eat their vegetables or get out the door on time. Are we proud of it since, as professionals, we advocate for fewer sugary treats that damage your teeth? No, but we are humans and we can be weak when it comes to the power gummy bears hold over our kids. We get it. At the end of the day we are all tired and the thought of one more argument over eating dinner just isn’t doing it for you. 

 Bribing and healthy smiles

However, creating a good oral hygiene routine is just as important as finishing greens on a plate, so how can you ensure your kids get in the habit of brushing and flossing without the lure of candy? To prevent you from having to research that on your own, we have compiled a list of the best ways to bribe, err incentivize, your children to create a lifelong good oral health routine. 




What’s better than a sweet treat for a bribe? A free one! Sometimes the best rewards for kids are not the most expensive, but the most innovative. To reward good brushing or continued flossing, try some of these examples.  


  • Extra screen time. 
  • “Play” the parent – this one is fun and allows your child to be the parent for 15 minutes (or however long you can stand it). Let them guide you through your routine and pick out your clothes.  
  • Cook their favorite meal for dinner. 
  • Ride in the front seat of the car without having to swap with siblings (only if they are old enough and meet the height/weight requirement). 
  • Family game or movie night where the child gets to choose what you play or watch. 


Small prizes 


One of things we hear frequently is that Skittles or M&Ms are such an easy treat because they are affordable and small. You can’t reward daily adherence to good oral hygiene with a toy or an adventure since it is cost prohibitive. If you have a child that succeeds through tangible rewards, try out some of the smaller (and cheaper) suggestions below. 


  • Instead of reaching into the candy jar, reach into a jar of marbles. Each marble represents a completed task, and when the jar is full it can be redeemed for a bigger reward. The bigger the jar, the longer compliance is required. 
  • Stickers! 
  • For kids that like to craft, give a jewelry bead for time spent brushing. You child can add the beads to a string and have a necklace when they are done! 
  • Pennies! Younger children love change, and before they fully understand the value of a dollar, they can easily bet persuaded by your cast-off pocket change. Consider giving a penny or nickel for their piggy bank to reinforce good behavior. 


Bigger rewards 


Reinforcing good oral hygiene for kids can be a long process. Once you think they have the fundamentals cemented, you can shift away from the small trinkets to one larger reward for a job well done. This can also signify the transition away from bribing for compliant behavior to just expecting it. These are a few of our favorites, but let us know what your family enjoys so we can add to the list! 


  • Choose a special adventure with a friend such as a trip to a museum or amusement park. 
  • A toy or gadget that you child has had their eye on. 
  • A trip to the movies or a sporting event. 


If you child has demonstrated a good oral hygiene routine, then let us know! At their next appointment feel free to let us know quietly (if they would be embarrassed you told us) and we can heap on the praise and encouragement. We are all in this together and we want to reinforce the routines that are being set at home! 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Cleft Palates and Cleft Lips

It would not be uncommon for you to know someone who was born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate. It is estimated almost 2 in 1000 babies, or less than 1% of all children born in the United States in a year have this birth defect. In many cases, mothers who receive prenatal care learn about the complication prior to the birth of the baby through ultrasounds, otherwise it is easily identifiable upon birth.

 Cleft Palates and Cleft Lips

Children born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate struggle with eating, speech development and hearing; however, it is expected they will go on to live normal lives if the condition is treated. Below we have provided a brief overview of the condition, as well as what is to be expected with treatment options and long-term care. If you have a child that was diagnosed with a cleft lip or palate, we would be happy to work with you and address their unique needs.




For anyone that has experienced pregnancy, you know ultrasounds can be both an exiting and nerve-wracking endeavor. While it is thrilling to see your little one wiggling on the screen, there is always the chance that you will find out there could be a complication or abnormality that needs to be addressed. Cleft lips can be detected by ultrasound as early as the 13th week by identifying irregularities in the facial structure. If your doctor sees this, they may recommend screening for other genetic conditions that commonly co-occur. However, in most cases the cause of the cleft lip or palate are unknown.


Since the cause is unknown, it’s difficult to prescribe how it can be prevented. While many times it is caused by genetics, doctors still advise taking certain precautions in pregnancy to lower your chances of your child developing this condition. It is recommended that pregnant women abstain from smoking and alcohol as well as increase their intake of folic acid and other nutrients.




The most common treatment for a cleft lip or palate is surgery. In general, the first surgery occurs prior to one year, with follow-up surgeries that could occur throughout childhood and into teenage years. The cleft lip surgery will close the separation in the lip while a cleft palate surgery will close the separation on the roof of the mouth and rebuild both the hard and soft palate. Many providers also recommend ear tubes to reduce the risk of reoccurring ear infections that are common in these cases. Finally, reconstructive surgeries might also be necessary to improve the appearance of the lips and mouth.


Long-term effects


It is common for babies born with this condition to have difficulty with feeding. To ensure babies are getting the needed nutrients, parents may work with feeding coaches to find special bottles or feeders specifically created for children with cleft lips or palates. Speech therapy will help correct problems with speaking that are a consequence of the condition.


Finally, children will need intensive dental care due to issues affecting both baby teeth and the development of adult teeth. In addition to routine check-ups, the positioning, size, and number of teeth need to be closely monitored to ensure proactive measures are taken to prevent oral health issues. In addition to seeing a dentist, many children might also require significant orthodontic work. It is important your dentist works collaboratively with all the providers a child with this condition sees.


Cleft lip and cleft palate are both birth defects that need significant early intervention and long-term coordination between providers. If you have a child that has been diagnosed or who is in the recovery stage, we would be happy to work with you and all of their doctors to ensure their unique medical needs are met. Please give our office a call today!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Teeth Grinding…In Children?

Stress can manifest itself in many ways. You might have experienced it by way of sleepless nights, weight gain or moodiness.


However, have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like your teeth and jaw were sore? This uncomfortable feeling is often the result of grinding your teeth, or “bruxism.” More commonly done unconsciously while you sleep, teeth grinding can also occur when you are awake, and is commonly a result of stress. For those that grind their teeth during daytime hours, it’s often done unwittingly during intense concentration, like when you’re driving through traffic, working on a presentation at work, or lifting heavy objects. 


But, is teeth grinding only a thing of adults? No! Your kids can suffer from bruxism, too, which can have an even more serious impact on developing palates and mouths. 


In this article, we’ve outlined the common problems associated with teeth grinding, and what to be on the lookout for if you suspect your child is doing it. 

 Dental technician working on false teeth

Symptoms and causes 


The most common symptom of bruxism is headaches. Unfortunately, many patients admit that when they wake up with a headache, they don’t think about teeth grinding—they almost always assume it’s from allergies or poor sleep. But if you’re constantly waking up with a headache, don’t just pop an Advil and move on. In company with other symptoms such as a stiff neck, ear pain, jaw problems and sleep disorders, it can all be attributed to teeth grinding.  


Unfortunately, just like with constant morning headaches, these symptoms can easily be written off as the signs of an impending cold or the result of Texas’s long allergy season. If you notice a pattern that isn’t alleviated by a change of seasons or sleep habits, it’s time to give us a call so we can determine the root cause. 


Experts believe that 70% of people clench their teeth as a result of stress. However, other causes include anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol use or depression. Teeth grinding is also commonly associated with people who suffer from sleep apnea. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it is important to be aware of the signs and seek help at the first symptom.  




While bruxism doesn’t cause immediate complications, over time it will lead to tooth damage that could necessitate crowns, tooth restoration, or jaw surgery. It can also lead to TMJ syndrome, which occurs as a result of the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects your jaw to your skull) becoming injured or damaged. In severe cases, TMJ sufferers may need jaw surgery to relieve the pain. 


Teeth grinding in kids 


Teeth grinding is quite common in children. Some experts believe 20-30% of children experience it at some point. Unlike its manifestation in adults, many children outgrow teeth grinding over time. Children are most likely to clench their jaws or grind their teeth as a result of poor tooth alignment, or as a result of pain experienced during teething, or even an ear infection. If you suspect your child is doing this, it’s important to visit the dentist to determine if their enamel is chipped or if they are experiencing any sensitivity. 


Most bruxism in children is mild and doesn’t have long lasting side-effects. However, it is important to be on the lookout for complications and seek help at the first signs of TMJ. 


Teeth grinding is a condition that can easily be fixed with the help of your dentist. Your dentist may recommend a custom-fitted night guard that fits over your bottom teeth to protect the jaw muscles and prevent TMJ. In addition to dental guards, practicing relaxation techniques before bed to ease stress can help relieve the grinding of teeth. If you or a family member—big or small—has been suffering with this and wasn’t sure what to do, give us a call today so we can lay out all the options and get that mouth on the road to recovery!