Low Sugar Snacks To Pack On The Go

healthy food

When you’re on the go a lot, whether you travel for work, run errands, or are chasing after kids all day, you burn a lot of energy and often need to replenish this with food. Many of us take the convenient route of fast food or sugary snacks at convenience stores, and often times the energy we cling to is in the form of a caffeinated (and probably sugar-filled) beverage.

You Deserve Better

If you want your body to retain the energy that you put into it, then you need to fill it with good energy. Washington Periodontics, a periodontist in Fairfax, VA, helped us put together this list of low sugar snacks that you can grab or prep for when you’re on the go.

Snacks That You Can Prep

Sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes of preparation on a Sunday night to have healthy snacks ready for the entire week. Here are some great snack ideas that you can prep during the weekend.

Celery and Cheese – Buy celery in stalks, wash it, and slice it up into manageable snack sizes. Get a brick of your favorite cheese and cube it up. Place into snack-size food storage containers or into Ziploc bags.

Veggies and Hummus – Slice up some of your favorite veggies – carrots, peppers, cucumbers, celery. Pack them up with a small container of your favorite hummus (make your own so you know exactly what is going into it, or buy a kind you are familiar with for convenience).

Trail Mix – Make your own trail mix with a variety of nuts, like pistachios, peanuts, cashews, and almonds. You can add sunflower seeds, raisins, and semi-sweet chocolate chips for more variety. The protein in this snack is great to keep you up and running all day.

Cucumber Sandwiches – Peel your cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Fill with your favorite deli meat – turkey is a good lean meat with great protein – and add light mayo or cream cheese for a little more flavor.

Finger Salad – These are just what they sound like – salad that you eat with your fingers! Pack a small snack size container with all of your favorite chopped veggies – broccoli, peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers. Add seasonings like oregano, salt, or garlic powder to add some more flavor.

Hard-boiled Eggs – Hard boil a carton of eggs at the beginning of the week. Peel a couple the night before you plan to eat them, salt them, and place them in a food storage container. Give yourself a great protein boost and a yummy snack all in one.

These are all great options for snacks that you can prep in your home. But what happens if you forget to prep snacks? There are still healthy options for you.

Snacks That You Can Buy

Healthy options exist everywhere, it’s just a matter of overcoming the initial temptation to get that chocolate bar or muffin. Here are some healthy snacks that you can find in most convenience stores and grocery stores.

  • Cheese sticks
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Pretzel and hummus snacks
  • Cheese, meat and fruit packs
  • Fresh fruit cups
  • Apple sauce
  • Babybel cheese wheels
  • Luna bar
  • KIND bars

There are many more than just the few that we’ve listed. You just need to know what you’re looking for and you’ll find it. Convenience stores often have a small refrigerated section with string cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Most of the healthy options will be close by.

12 Things To Declutter Your Busy Mind

relaxing

How many of you have a busy mind? You’ve constantly got something that you are thinking about, there’s always something to do – an errand to run or a child to take care of.

Sometimes this busy mind can get in the way of achieving anything at all. It causes you to stress about everything that you have to do that you spend too much time worrying and not enough time doing.

Maybe if you spend some time decluttering those busy, distracting, and often stressful thoughts, you’ll find that you are able to get more done, breathe easier, and enjoy life a little more.

Try a couple of these things to lift that burden from your busy mind.

Journal

 

Get those busy thoughts out of your head and down on paper. Write down your stresses and worries – and then let them go. Writing can be a good method of therapy that allows us to visualize all of our thoughts in one place.

 

Another tactic is to instead focus on writing positive things – things you are grateful for, happy experiences. Use this tool to reflect upon the things that make you happy in your life. This will help you to cultivate a more positive outlook.

Exercise

 

Go for a walk! Clear your mind as you walk outside or do some physical activity. Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise, which physically make us happier. If you’re doing a difficult workout, you tend to focus more on the workout than the daily stressors that clutter your mind.

Sleep

 

Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes a change in sleeping habits is all you need to get you back into the right mind-frame that you need to function each day. Make sure you get the amount of sleep that your body and mind require.

Eliminate

 

Do you have a stockpile of stuff in your home that is always on the back of your mind? Get rid of it! Take some time to go through the things in your home – donate old clothing and items to Goodwill, recycle old car batteries sitting in the garage, whatever you have lying around that you don’t use, eliminate it.

Declutter

 

Physically decluttering can help declutter your mind as much as any of these other methods. Take the time to organize your desk at work or your counters, table, and shelves at home.

Single-task

 

Instead of stressing yourself out while trying to multi-task and doing two things at a mediocre level, try focusing on one task at a time and excelling at it.

Prioritize

 

Pick one or two of the most important things you need to get done that day and focus on them. Prioritize the bigs things and let those drive your motivation rather than stressing about all the little things.

Let Go

 

Let go of the little things. Make a list of everything you need to do that is stressing you out – and cross half of the list off. Not everything needs to get done in one day. Get one or two things done and be proud of that, knowing that you accomplished something good that day.

Breathe

 

Take a minute to breathe. Physically stop yourself from doing anything and literally just sit and breathe for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing and allow your thoughts to drift away for those few precious moments. Also known as meditating, this allows us to bring our thoughts to the present moment and refocus on what is truly important.

Limit Media

 

How much time do you spend on your phone, watching TV, on the computer? Cut some of that time out of your day. Not only will it free up your time to do something more productive, but it will help limit your intake of information. Media is consumption of information, and not all of it is useful and only takes up space in our already busy minds.

Go Slow

 

Literally slow down. We’re often in a hurry to make it to our next destination – work, home, the grocery store. When we’re in a hurry, we tend to get it in our heads that something really bad will happen if we don’t make it to our destination by a certain time. But when you slow down and take a second to breathe and think, that stress often goes away.

Take a Break

 

Sometimes we just need a break. Take a nap. Take a vacation. Do whatever you need to do to relax and recover.

Why Do I Have Nasal Blockage?

tissue

Nasal blockage or congestion is more commonly referred to as a stuffy nose. Although many people think nasal blockage is caused by excessive build-up of mucus in the nasal passages, this problem is actually the result of inflamed blood vessels. Nasal congestion is often a symptom of the common cold, the flu, a sinus infection, allergies, or any other health issue that can trigger the irritation and consequent inflammation of blood vessels in the sinuses.

Nasal blockage is marked by:

  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Mucus build-up
  • Inflamed nasal tissue
  • Sinus pain

Causes of nasal blockage

Nasal congestion is when a patient’s nasal passages become stuffed-up and inflamed. Minor health conditions like the flu, cold, and an infection of the sinus are the most common causes of a stuffy nose, but illness-related blockage will almost certainly abate within a week. Any nasal congestion that lasts for more than a week might be indicative of an underlying health problem. There are many possible explanations for long-term nasal blockage, including:

  • Exposure to environmental irritants
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Allergies
  • Development of benign tumors or noncancerous growths known as nasal polyps on the lining of nasal passages
  • Hay fever
  • A deviated septum
  • A long-lasting sinus infection called chronic sinusitis

Increase in blood supply and hormonal fluctuations, both commonly associated with pregnancy, can also cause long-term nasal congestion. These changes can have a drying and irritating effect on the nasal membranes, causing inflammation and bleeding. As such, expectant mothers are likely to experience nasal blockage, especially towards the end of the first trimester.

Regardless of the cause, there are a number of ways to relieve nasal congestion.

Home remedies for a stuffy nose

Natural home remedies can help alleviate nasal blockage, especially if it is not chronic. Here are a few things that can help you feel and breathe better.

Use a humidifier: Humidifiers can help relieve a stuffy nose. By adding moisture to your indoor air, these devices offer a quick and easy solution. Besides thinning and breaking up the mucus in your sinuses, moist air can help soothe inflamed nasal tissues and blood vessels, reducing sinus pain and restoring your breathing to normal.

Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated can help thin the mucus congesting your nasal passages, allowing you to push these fluids out. This will, in turn, decrease the amount of pressure exerted on your sinuses, meaning less irritation and inflammation.

Use a nasal saline spray: Saline is a saltwater solution that can help increase the amount of moisture in your nostrils, which will, in turn, break up the mucus congesting your nasal passages and soothe inflamed blood vessels. Saline sprays are also safe for all ages. When it comes to babies, however, the use of a nasal bulb or aspirator is necessary to clean any remaining mucus from their noses. Also, some saline sprays contain decongestant medication and can worsen the congestion if used for more than a few days. So, consult your doctor before you use this type of saline spray.

Drain your sinuses: Although it might not be an alluring task, you can use a neti pot to flush clogged nostrils. This container is ideally designed for the purpose of flushing fluids out of nasal passages. The FDA advocates the use of sterile or distilled water, and not tap water.

Take a hot shower: The steam from a hot shower can help relieve a stuffy nose and restore your breathing to normal by thinning the mucus clogging your nose and reducing inflammation. This is, however, a short-term solution.

Use a warm compress: Warm compresses can help unclog your nose by opening your nasal passages from the outside. Soak a towel in slightly hot water, squeeze out the water, fold the towel, and then place it over your face, specifically over the nose and forehead. Repeat as often as necessary. The warmth can help relieve inflammation and provide comfort from any pain.

When should you see a doctor?

Home remedies are not always enough to relieve nasal congestion, especially if it is not associated with a minor health issue. Medical treatment might be necessary for chronic or long-term congestion. You should also seek medical attention if you are in pain or can no longer perform your day-to-day activities as you should. See your doctor right away if any of the following applies to your case:

  • Nasal blockage lasting more than 10 days
  • Blockage along with high fever for more than three days
  • Bloody nasal discharge
  • Green nasal discharge accompanied by sinus pain and fever
  • Constant clear discharge
  • A weakened immune system, asthma, or emphysema

Also, it’s imperative that you seek immediate medical attention if you’ve suffered any recent head injury.

Nasal congestion in infants and older children

Nasal blockage can be more of a health risk to infants than it is to older children and adults. Apart from interfering with infant feedings, a stuffed-up nose can lead to breathing problems that might be fatal. Nasal congestion may also inhibit the development of normal speech and hearing in children. For these reasons, it’s imperative that you contact your pediatrician the soonest possible if your child has a stuffy nose. In this way, your doctor can work together with you to determine the most appropriate treatment option for your baby.

Medical treatment

If you are suffering from chronic nasal blockage, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan once he/she has established the cause. Treatment plans will in most cases include prescription medications to help alleviate or resolve the symptoms.

The following are some of the medications used to treat long-lasting nasal congestion.

  • Nasal sprays that contain antihistamines
  • Oral antihistamines for treating allergies
  • Nasal steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription or over-the-counter strength decongestants

Surgery might be the recommended form of treatment for patients who have nasal polyps or benign tumors in their nasal passages, or sinuses that keep mucus from draining out.

Prognosis

Nasal blockage is not likely to cause major health issues. With proper treatment, the symptoms don’t usually take long to improve.

Becker Ear Nose and Throat Center strives to provide specialized and personalize care to all patients. You deserve the best treatment and care that is tailored to your individual needs. With their internationally recognized doctors, you are assured of quality health care.

Flu season is well underway in most of the United States. Ensure you are diagnosing your illness correctly when comparing nasal blockage to the common cold or flu. Consider some of the remedies mentioned above to ensure you are staying ahead of the season and taking care of yourself!

Smartphones Affecting Psychological Well-being

Let’s face it, many people of the world can be described as being addicted to their iPhone or Android device and as unhealthy as it sounds, you’re probably reading this on your device as we speak. Smartphones have become our gateway to the world, but recent studies are indicating that it could be detrimental to your health, mentally.

About a year ago, the University of Illinois conducted a study that found high interaction with mobile technology is associated to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. In this study, more than 300 university students were surveyed. The goal was to seek out whether their engagement with their mobile devices affects their psychological wellness and turns out that students who identified as having addictive behaviors with their smartphones scored higher on the anxiety and depression spectrum, according to psychology professor Alejandro Llearas and honors student Tyana Panova.

There are many benefits to utilizing your mobile device. Many of us use it for connecting with others, placing orders, or passing time; however, too often users turn their device into something that barricades them from the rest of the world; which can hinder a healthy face-to-face interaction. With this being said, here are a few suggestions to help break the negative habit and strive for a healthier mental state of mind:

Take a Trip

Social media has made it easier than ever to share memories that last a lifetime and we often tend to like other’s post about an exotic trip or adventure. Instead of scrolling through your feed take advantage of the new year by saving for an affordable vacation. Consider asking a few friends to join in order to reconnect and even split the cost.

This is a great opportunity to break free from the cold and enjoy some warm weather somewhere else. It may even benefit you to consider taking a road trip instead of flying in order to spend more quality time with the people you care about. Again, if you decide to take a road trip, be sure to go unplugged. Countless people are hurt and even killed on the roadways due to distracted driving. Be sure to navigate your route before getting on the highway.

Go Unplugged

If your finances won’t allow you to take a trip, consider something more financially affordable. Consider turning your phone off for a few hours after work or if needed, leave your phone at home for the day and spend time with friends and family. Social interaction can be a healthy activity and gives you the opportunity to reconnect. Perhaps you could venture out into your own community and give back by volunteering or experience a new local attraction with your friends or family.

Reconnect with Yourself

Putting the phone down can also allow for the opportunity to connect with yourself. Over time we experience new things about ourselves that can elude to great discoveries. Perhaps you might find something that you really enjoy that sparks a new passion within you. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to reconnect with yourself. If you enjoy our alone time, this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with activities that you’ve always been passionate about or discovering something you never knew you would like.

Mobile devices are great advances in technology and help us in so many ways, but we have to keep in mind that our mental and physical heath is a priority. Maintaining a healthy mental state of mind will allow you to be your best self.

6 Excellent Stress Coping Techniques

stress

We’re coming into a high-stress time for the majority of the U.S. population – tax season. On top of work, kids, finances, health, and any other stressors you might have, this time of the year can be really stressful. Too much stress can be detrimental to your physical and mental health, so it’s important to find ways to deal with that.

Rachelle Jones, a doctor in Rexburg, ID, has helped us compile this list of ways that you can use to help cope with your stress.

Everyone copes with stress differently. Try a few of these out and see if they help lower your stress and anxiety levels. The goal is relaxation.

Meditation

This is one of the top coping mechanisms for stress. A lot of people might think of this as more of a spiritual mind and body connection and get lost in how it can actually help them. When you can learn to clear your mind and focus on the present, you can change your mindset completely and learn to relax and realize that it’s not the end of the world.

If you’re new to meditation, try doing a little research to learn what it really is and how it can help you.

If you want to try a guided meditation, Calm is a great app that you can download on most mobile devices to get started.

Massage

Stress can literally cause us physical pain. It can build up into knots in your neck, back, and shoulders. If you’re unusually overloaded with stress and find that you have aches and pains in these areas, schedule an appointment with a massage therapist. Sometimes all we need is a little physical relief to help us keep moving.

Make a List

Make a list of everything that is stressing you out – chores and errands that need to get done for example. Now, initially this might cause a little more stress, but it’s when you start checking these items off of your list that you can relax.

Our minds are funny, and sometimes just this little visual representation of getting things done can help immensely. It shows us that we are being productive, and sometimes that’s all we need.

Do Things You’ve Been Putting Off

What is it that you’ve been wanting to do forever but can never seem to get around to? Maybe you’ve been wanting to see a certain movie, try out a new recipe, or read a new book. Do it!

Take a break from the daily things that are causing stress and try doing that thing that you’ve wanted to do forever to relieve some of the stress.

Take a Bath

You know that physical stress we mentioned earlier? A nice warm bath and some essential oils can do wonders for this. Just take 20 minutes out of your day and draw yourself a bath. If possible, make sure it’s during a time when you can be completely uninterrupted, so you can reap all of the benefits of relaxation that this will offer you.

Exercise

Are you one of those people who just has to keep moving? Then try exercising to relieve stress. Head to the gym or go for a run. If possible, do your stress-relieving workout away from home or wherever the majority of your stress is generating from.

Exercising releases endorphins and helps us to mentally feel better. So plug in some tunes and get moving. After your workout you might find you have the energy and motivation that you’ve been looking for.

5 Foods You Should Eat Every Day

spinach

I hope you’re all still doing great on your New Year’s resolutions. And if not, that’s alright, just continue back up again and push forward. It’s hard to implement new habits into our lives, especially when it involves diet and exercise. Maybe we can help you out a little on the diet front.

Dallas Rindfleisch, a family doctor who offers coolsculpting in Idaho Falls, knows just how important it is to eat good foods, so he helped us put together this list of superfoods that you should be eating every day!

1. Black Beans

Black beans are a great source of protein, and you should be eating them often. With iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus, black beans can be a great contributor to strong bones. Black beans are also low in sodium, making it a good option to help reduce blood pressure.

How to eat:

Try adding rinsed black beans to your salads. They are also great in most Mexican dishes – enchiladas, tacos, burritos. You can also try making black bean brownies. All you need is a box of brownie mix and a can of black beans. Mix them together and bake according to the box instructions.

2. Spinach

Spinach is the superfood we all know about. But it’s also green and not always pleasant for many people. Spinach is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. If you don’t like spinach, good replacements include kale, bok choy, and romaine lettuce.

How to eat:

There are tons of ways you can incorporate spinach into your diet – even if you don’t like the taste. Add a handful of spinach to your smoothies (apple juice drowns the flavor of the spinach out well). Add it into an omelet or scrambled eggs. Eat it in a salad. You can even blend it up and add it to sauces for meals that you make.

3. Yogurt

Were you ever told to eat yogurt as a child when you were taking antibiotics for a bad cold? That’s because yogurt is loaded with probiotics, replenishing the good bacteria that you need for your body to function properly. It’s also a good source of calcium. Greek yogurt even gives you a little boost of protein.

How to eat:

Add yogurt to smoothies or top it with berries and granola for a yummy breakfast. Yogurt also makes a great dip for fruit like melons, apples, pineapple, and berries.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are another great source of omega-3s and protein. They also make a great post-workout recovery snack. All you need is a serving a day – that’s about seven nuts.

How to eat:

Eat them plain or make a fun little trail mix snack by adding peanuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. You can also add them to salads.

5. Tomatoes

Because red tomatoes have a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant, they can help decrease the risk of different cancers and coronary artery disease. A glass of tomato juice or about eight cherry tomatoes will give you all the lycopene you need for one day.

How to eat:

Make your own soup or pasta or pizza sauce with canned or fresh tomatoes. Add tomato juice to smoothies. Use cherry tomatoes in your salad, or eat them as a snack on their own.

7 Bad Habits That Harm Your Teeth

mouth

Your teeth are pretty important. You need them to help you speak. They start the digestive process by chewing up your food. And quite often, we take that for granted because it’s not something that we really have to think about on a day-to-day basis.

But if your teeth are that important, shouldn’t you treat them like it?

A dentist in Twin Falls helped us put together this list of habits that are harming your teeth. Do you have any of these habits?

Nail Biting

You’ve been told not to bite your nails since you were a kid, but did it help? Maybe having a little more knowledge of why this is bad will help. Biting your nails can chip your teeth, even ever so slightly that it’s difficult to tell at first. This habit also places your jaw in a set position for a prolonged period of time, if you’re an excessive nail-biter, and that can cause dysfunction with your jaw too.

Some possible solutions are using a bitter nail polish and reducing your stress. Nail biting is typically a nervous habit. If you find ways to relieve your stress and calm your nerves, this can help. If you’re having trouble calming your nerves, carry something to keep your hands busy instead of biting your nails.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing your teeth is good, brushing too hard is bad. The bristles on your toothbrush can start rubbing away at the enamel of your teeth if you brush too hard. It can also cause your gums to bleed.

Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brush your teeth gently. It shouldn’t hurt or cause your gums to bleed.

Thumb Sucking

Do you have children who suck their thumbs? This can cause developmental problems in their teeth as they get older, like an excessive overbite or crooked teeth.

Thumb sucking is usually done as a soothing method. It’s a source of comfort during stressful situations and it can help reduce their anxiety. Help your child find other ways to soothe anxiety, like a blanket or stuffed animal to hold close. And help them become aware of the habit so they can make the choice to stop rather than pulling their hand out of their mouth every time you catch them doing it.

Chewing Ice

For some reason, chewing on ice is particularly satisfying for many people. But this habit is a risky one. It can cause a chipped tooth or break a filling.

To resist this temptation, order drinks without ice or use a straw.

Chewing Pen Caps

When we’re bored or working on something, it’s common for many people to start chewing on the end of their pen or pencil, their glasses, or the aglet of their sweatshirt string. When we’re concentrated on something while doing this, it’s easy to not realize how much pressure you are putting between your teeth and the object. This can cause your teeth to chip or break a filling.

Try to make yourself aware of this habit when it is occurring. Awareness in itself can help you break the habit.

Using As Tools

When you don’t have scissors, do you use your teeth to tear off a tag or open a new bag? Your teeth are not tools meant for cutting and tearing. They are meant for chewing food – which should be soft enough already that it doesn’t harm your teeth.

Keep a small pair of scissors or nail clippers in your purse, on your desk at work, and in a central area at home. Having these items close by or on hand will lessen the temptation to use your teeth.

Clenching and Grinding

It’s no secret that clenching and grinding are bad for your teeth and jaw. It can cause pain in your jaw, misaligned teeth, and tooth erosion. The problem with this one is that we can’t always control when we are doing it – especially if you do this while you sleep.

Clenching and grinding is often a result of stress. If you can find some ways to help relieve that everyday stress, you might discover that you don’t fall back to this habit as much. Another solution is to wear a mouth guard at night. This will help protect your teeth even if you start to grind them while you sleep.

If you’re concerned about how one of your habits might be affecting your teeth, talk to your dentist about it at your next appointment. They can examine your teeth and see if there is any damage and give you some advice for moving forward.

7 Tips to Avoid Dangers While Walking this Winter

winter

Now that we’re in the dead of winter, ice on the ground is pretty common. Whether you have to shovel your driveway, walk the dog, walk from the parking lot into work, or go outside for any reason, slipping and falling on the ice is something that we all want to avoid this season.

Biddulph, Huntsman & Dalling Orthopedic Surgery in Idaho Falls put together this list of ways to help you avoid falling on the ice this winter.

Wear the Right Shoes

Wearing the right shoes in the winter is so important! For one, you don’t want your feet to freeze, and for two, you don’t want to fall because you wore the wrong shoes. Wear shoes that have traction on icy surfaces – like snow boots or tennis shoes. If you have to wear dress shoes for work, wear your snow boots or tennis shoes for the commute and then change into your dress shoes when you get into the building.

Watch the Floor/Ground

Watch wear you walk. When walking outside, watch the ground ahead of you as you’re walking so you can brace yourself for an ice patch and avoid falling, or walk around it altogether. When walking inside, keep in mind that the ground outside is wet so it’s likely that some water was trailed inside. Watch for wet patches on the ground and take care to walk around them in order to avoid slipping and falling.

Exercise

You can exercise to improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Improving your balance will obviously help you stay on your feet and avoid falling. Improving your flexibility and strength will be helpful to you if you do fall because you can minimize the injury.

Avoid Carrying Things

We need our hands and arms for balance, or to catch ourselves if we do start to fall. Try to avoid carrying things when you’re walking into work or walking outside. If you do need to carry something, take a backpack or a purse to hold it in so your hands and arms are still free to help keep you balanced.

Use Handrails

This is when your hands are helpful. If there are handrails walking up the stairs into your building (or even inside the building wear the floor could be wet), use them. It’s always better to be cautious than to take the risk of injuring yourself. If you’re concerned about hygiene and sanitation, take hand sanitizer with your or wash your hands afterward.

Salt the Ground

Use salt to clear icy driveways and walkways. If you have a sidewalk in front of your home where people are often walking, or if there is a lot of traffic on your walkway or driveway, this is definitely something you should do. Many businesses in climates with icy winters are required to ice their parking lots and walkways as well.

Stay Inside

If you don’t have anything pressing you to go outside, then don’t. The safest place you can be during bad weather is in your own home.

New Year’s Resolutions For Your Teeth

new years

The new year is a time to end bad habits, set new goals, start over, and hope that this is the year that we finally stick to it. In the spirit of making new goals, a Durango dentistry put together this wonderful little list of New Year’s resolutions for your dental health.

  1. Schedule Your Dentist Appointments

Has it been a while since your last cleaning? Do you have a tooth that’s been bothering you every now and then? Take this time to get on top of your dental health and schedule your dentist appointments. It is recommended that you have a professional cleaning for your teeth every 6 months. At these cleanings, your dentist will let you know if there is any other dental work that you might need. And then you won’t have that constant nagging in the back of your mind telling you to get to the dentist. Your teeth and your mental health will thank you.

  1. Floss More

Flossing is one of those things that a lot of people just don’t do. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), only four out of 10 Americans floss daily, and 20 percent never floss (and that only includes those who actually reported that they don’t floss).

If you are one of the many who needs to work on your flossing habits, take the new year as a time to start. If it helps, make a checklist to hang on your bathroom mirror or set a reminder on your phone. Decrease cavities and keep your gums healthy with good flossing.

  1. Brush Your Teeth

More people are better at daily brushing than daily flossing, but how many of you brush twice a day? If you know that you can be doing better about brushing your teeth, then add it to your list of resolutions for the new year. You can add this to that checklist on your bathroom mirror or set a reminder. Do whatever you can to help make the habit stick. After a few weeks of daily brushing, you’ll establish a routine that you will learn to depend on.

  1. Healthy Eating Habits

Establishing healthy eating habits is a general item on most New Year’s resolution lists, but typically for another purpose. Eating healthy and cutting out sugars will help improve your dental health as well. And this gives you another incentive to eat healthier.

  1. Improve Your Smile

Have you always wanted to try teeth whitening? Or maybe you’ve had crooked teeth for years and are finally in a position to correct them with braces? The new year is a time for you to plan and decide what you will do over the next 365 days, and improving your teeth can be on the agenda. Talk with your dentist about recommendations for teeth whitening, or a referral to an orthodontist. Discover the options that you have before you to obtain the smile of your dreams.

Don’t keep putting these things off. Now is the time to say goodbye to the old and begin with the new, starting with your dental health.

3 Things to Do For First Time Dentist Visits

A terrifying experience that most have, especially children, is walking into a dentist’s office for the first time. Tools and sharp objects do not help the situation. We go to the dentist because we know that our teeth do not stay all pearly and shiny forever. A time comes when we must go to the dentist to get some work done.

For us as adults, we have gotten used to the dentist. It is no longer a scary experience. But what about the little ones who have never been to the dentist? Sure, we could just go with the flow and take them without providing any knowledge about what is happening. You could always sugarcoat it to make it seem like a painless experience. Or, a better solution would be to prepare young kids for the dentist. This will help ease their nerves, and it might just help them feel more comfortable sitting in a dentist chair with sharp objects near them.

Knowledge

One of the reasons why children get nervous about the dentist is because they don’t know what to expect. Most of the children’s pop culture nowadays give the demeanor of a dentist like he is a mad scientist. It would be wise to introduce and help your child learn about who is going to be operating on them. Also, your first impulse might be to take your child to your own personal dentist. However, kid dentists in Idaho Falls are available and are dedicated to making children as comfortable as possible.

Pediatric dentists do an excellent job of describing the practice to little kids, but being the parent brings better trust and confidence in a child than a stranger. Research for yourself a little bit more about what dentists do, and then work your mommy and daddy magic to explain it the best to your kid.

Action

Nothing really sticks with us unless we apply an action repeatedly. If you take the example of preparing for the dentist, then creating daily habits before going would make the practice easier. Parents.com features a wonderful article about acting, by making good habits at home. When a child begins to understand the importance of brushing teeth, avoiding sugary snacks, or flossing, then the habits begin to take place. Soon your child will see the reward of keeping their teeth clean, without having to worry about the dentist.

child

Reward

Your child has now obtained knowledge and has been keeping up with some teeth cleaning habits, so now it is time for the reward. Every child who is finished at the dentists knows that they can choose a special reward. Make this a daily habit in the home as well – even with something as simple as a sticker on a chart. Kids will start to see what a joy and reward it is to brush their teeth, to floss, and to go to the dentist. No need for thoughts of mad scientists experimenting on your children’s teeth, the dentist can now be an exciting experience.