EGG-STRA Special Easter Ideas For 2021

If you’re celebrating this year with a traditional Easter or still hunkering down with a virtual celebration, we have some egg-citing ideas to brighten your weekend!

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas & Gifts

5 Clever Gift Ideas for Easter:

  1. Electric Toothbrush. From superheroes and princesses to tech-savvy Bluetooth compatible, electric toothbrushes are great for kids and adults of all ages! PRO TIP: electric toothbrushes, when compared to ordinary manual toothbrushes, decrease more plaque.
  2. Floss or Flossers. Not all dental floss is created equal! There’s unwaxed floss to fit between teeth that are very close together. Waxed floss is the standard and least likely to break. Dental tape is broad and flat, yet also comes in waxed and unwaxed options. This is the perfect option for those with more space between teeth. Can’t get your family to floss? Gift them a water flosser and stay out of the splash zone!
  3. Lip Balm. From kid-friendly fruity flavors to bacon balm and all-natural beeswax, be sure to surprise your bunnies with an option that moisturizes and includes SPF.
  4. Dental Hygiene Survival Kit a.k.a Travel Kit. These are easy to find at Walmart, Target, and discount stores. They’re also fun to make and personalize! Be sure to include a small toothbrush that has a cover over the bristles, toothpaste with fluoride, floss or flossers, dental wax if they have braces, and pop them into a little, fun travel case.
  5. Water Bottle. The more personalized to what they’re into, the more they’ll love to hydrate! Not sure what they’ll like? Solid color with a secure top is always a safe bet. Then boost the fun with permanent markers or stickers so they can decorate to their heart’s content.

Fun Easter Crafts & Games

Classic Easter Egg Hunt:
If everyone is safe and able, create the most epic egg hunt ever! From real confetti eggs to plastic ones, fill them with candies, small toys, and surprise money.

Virtual Egg Hunting:
How does this work?? So glad you asked! It’s on Zoom or FaceTime or Google Duo, whichever your friends and family like best. Each family hides the same number of eggs in a room. If the kids are smaller, this is a fun I-Spy game. You’ll want to keep the eggs semi-hidden yet easily spotted from where your camera will be set up. For older kids and adults, you can step up the camouflage game and hide them completely. Be sure to make clues. To keep the game fun (and fair if necessary): set a timer for everyone to have equal time. The family that finds the most eggs wins. Victory dances and showcasing each egg found Vanna White style is highly encouraged!

Scavenger Hunt:
If you feel like going a little above your average egg hunt, take it to the next level with a scavenger hunt! Create clues and a map that leads to the prizes (or eggs) throughout your home and/or backyard. Here’s a few ideas for all ages: decorate an egg, peep like a chick, smell a flower, find a plastic egg. From clue cards to do-it lists, scavenger hunts are a great way to get everyone involved.

Egg Decorating Contest:
This is a great option for Zoom as well! Everyone sets up their egg decorating stations and camera. Then you can all chat and visit with one another while decorating fancy Easter eggs. In the end, everyone can vote on their favorites.

Easy Easter Food

Deviled Eggs:
Classic! Use your favorite deviled egg recipe. Make them fancy by using a fun cake piping tip to pipe the egg mixture into the sliced egg whites and top with a paprika sprinkle for a pop of color! If you are feeling ambitious, transform them into little chicks using small pieces of black olive for eyes and carrot shavings as a beak.

Cherry Coke Ham:
Sure to be an instant favorite! Before putting your ham into the oven, pour cherry coke over the ham and rub it with brown sugar. Repeat this process 2 more times while the ham cooks. Depending on how large your ham is, it usually times out to be repeated every 45 minutes to an hour. Pro Tip: leftovers are amazing with yellow mustard on Hawaiian rolls… DELICIOUS!

Twinkie Mobiles:
Take a Twinkie. Laying the Twinkie flat side down, carve out some of the fillings from the middle. This will serve as the “car”. Next, take a bunny Peep, trim a little from the bottom, and stick the bunny into the area carved out of the Twinkie. The Peep is your “driver”. Use mini cream-filled cookies (like mini-Oreos), twist off the cookie part, stick one side of the cookie to the Twinkie (using frosting) to create the “wheels” of the car. Finally, use pretzels (chocolate covered are also wonderful) and place this in front of the Peep for the “steering wheel”!

Robbins Egg Rice Krispies Baskets:
Whip up a batch of home-made Rice Krispies treats. While they are still warm, mold them into cupcake trays so that they resemble bird nests. Let them cool completely. Put down a little layer of the edible Easter grass (or make your own using coconut flakes mixed with a little green food coloring). Fill with your favorite egg-shaped candies, such as the colorful malted Robbins eggs, or pastel multi-colored mini-M&Ms.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
Put an Easter spin on chocolate covered strawberries. Use white chocolate and add some orange food coloring so that the dipped strawberry now looks like a carrot!

Hope you decide to try out some of these “EGG-STRA” special ideas for a “HOPIN” good time!  Whatever you decide to do this year, have fun, be safe, get creative, share your pics with us, and Happy Easter!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524

The Truth About Bad Posture and Tooth Fractures

It’s officially March 2021, and one of the lesser-known impacts brought on by the pandemic is the rise of tooth fractures. Our dental practice would normally see a small number of fractures from ice chewing or biting into a rogue popcorn kernel; however, that is no longer the case. As more people than ever before working from their sofas and hastily thrown together home offices, ergonomics has gone out the window. A large part of ergonomics in the workplace revolves around posture, which plays heavily into stress induced tooth fractures and other jaw-related issues such as TMJ.

While broken bones can heal, it is important to note that a tooth fracture never will. The cure, rather treatment, will depend on the severity of the crack and location. This is why an early diagnosis can be essential to saving your tooth. Treatment can be as simple as a crown or require a root canal if the fracture is below the gum line. As with all dental issues, avoiding treatment as things progressively worsen and can lead to tooth loss.

Now, let us revisit posture. The average person tends to not consider their posture and how it deeply affects their bodies and overall long-term health. Having poor posture places stress on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Practicing good posture is one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep the spine healthy and improve blood flow. Most people sit slumped, curve their spine, lean forward on the edge of their seat, or sit leaning more to the left or right. All these positions can affect our spine, neck, nerves, and shoulder muscles which can all translate into possible TMJ problems!

Ever wonder the kind of effect stress can have on the body and everyday life? It is another factor that negatively impacts our bodies. Chronic stress is also linked to the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide). Of course, stress is probably on the top of everyone’s lists, along with poor sleeping habits. These two things combined, cause us to clench our jaw and grind our teeth at night while sleeping. Clenching and grinding of the teeth and jaws contribute greatly to tooth fractures, chipped teeth, and wearing down the surfaces of your teeth (short teeth). All of which is an obvious reason to schedule a dental visit.

It is important to be mindful of these things, at least as much as we can. Let us all try to make sure that we check-in with ourselves by asking daily:

  • How have I been feeling?
  • Am I anxious about anything particular?
  • What am I stressing about?
  • Have I been sleeping well?

The first step is at least being aware. If we can catch ourselves when we are stressing, we can prevent those long-term issues that creep up on us down the road. For example, sometimes we notice our fists are clenched. Maybe not because we are angry, but because that is where our stress accumulates. Our stress can also accumulate while we are sleeping. You see, stress comes out in different ways and often unconsciously. After thinking about all these factors, realization hits and we start thinking about all the things that we can do to improve ourselves and our health. We do find ourselves in a constant state of stress, even if nothing major is going on, there is constantly something on our mind. Our health is finite and requires regular attention and maintenance. Be mindful of what your body is saying to you and take action.

Taking action is as easy as catching ourselves slumped in front of our computers rather than sitting upright with our feet on the floor. There are loads of options on Amazon designed to help reinforce healthy posture. For your workspace, be sure your computer monitors are at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse accessible while your arms are at a 90-degree angle. This should allow your elbows and forearms to rest on the arms of your chair.

Try and get relaxed before going to bed. Stop thinking about work. Stop thinking about what we did and did not get accomplished. Try taking a bath or hot shower. Unwind. Drink some chamomile tea. Anything to put you in a calm state-of-mind before dozing off. And, if you have trouble falling asleep, focus on clearing your mind and concentrate on breathing deeply.

If you are a teeth grinder or a jaw clencher, ask us about a mouthguard or sleep options to help prevent grinding and ease those achy jaws from clenching.

We know this will not solve a pandemic, but it will help to avoid a nasty dental visit, TMJ problems, or having to repair fractured or chipped teeth!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524

2021: Reinventing Valentine’s Day!

February, a month full of new possibilities! There are so many things to celebrate this month. The most notable, of course, is Valentine’s Day! Yes, Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating love, happiness, and appreciation. With COVID restrictions, this year will be a little bit different and can be just as memorable as that past. Since we all should be staying at home as much as we can, here are some simple ideas to make this Valentine’s Day your best one yet!

Celebrate with Your Sweetie
Are you and your Valentine stuck in a basic day-to-day routine? Here are 3 sweet and simple ideas for a fabulous date night:

  1. Pretend it’s your first date, and kick things off with one of you ringing the doorbell! Take a long drive and enjoy a picnic at a pretty park. If the weather isn’t nice enough to sit outside, keep things toasty in the car. Pro Tip: pack a warm drink like tea, cocoa, or coffee in a large thermos to share.
  2. Dinner for two! Order in from your favorite local restaurant or create an easy gourmet meal together at home. This can be as expensive or budget friendly as you like. Keep it cheap and spice things up with aromatic herb combos like garlic and rosemary or thyme, cloves, and orange peels. Pro Tip: splurge on dessert.
  3. Game night! From board games to a simple deck of cards, the options are endless. Need something a bit more exciting? Play video games together. Pro Tip: winner gets to control the TV, and the loser makes dessert.

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids
Tired of virtual learning and being locked up for almost a year? Time to shake things up with these 4 family friendly activities:

  1. Themed Meals! Quick and easy breakfast: heart-shaped pancakes OR keep it simple and let the kiddos doodle with their own icing pen. Lovely Lunch: grilled cheese with tomato soup OR finger sandwiches and strawberries. Simple Supper: pizza. Order in, make your own personal pies, or just bake some pizza rolls. Decadent Desserts: build your own cookie or ice cream bar. Pro Tip: even the littlest of hands would want to help. Get the kids involved in making and cleaning up!
  2. Get Crafty! If glue sticks, glitter, and foam cutouts are too ambitious, keep it simple with crayons and colored pencils to make Valentine Cards for each other and neighbors.
  3. Share the love! Gather everyone together and sit comfortably. Have everyone take a turn saying what they love and appreciate about each person there. Pro Tip: this is fun to do during meals, and a great way to encourage family conversations.
  4. Relax! Have a family movie night. Vote on Valentine-themed movies like Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, Beauty and the Beast, or The Princess Bride.

Celebrate with your pets
Show your fur babies some EXTRA love this V-Day. Take that extra long walk, buy that special treat they looove but can’t have often. Give them a bath, brush them out, and spring for a new toy.

Celebrating solo – NO PROBLEM!
Valentine’s day is about YOU! And, the perfect time to indulge and pamper yourself. There’s a quick list to jump start your Me-Day:

  • Foot massage bubble bath soaker.
  • Face mask — from charcoal based and firming to plumping and brightening, you have options!
  • Watch your favorite movie (or binge your favorite show). Whether it makes you laugh, cry, or everything in between, enjoy!
  • Splurge for dinner! What don’t you get to eat often? What’s that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? If you’re ordering in or making a three-course gourmet French meal, enjoy the experience and top it off with a fancy drink like champagne OR a cherry in your sparkling water.

However, you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, relax, enjoy, and make it special because you really can!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone! We FINALLY made it out of 2020 and coming into 2021 full steam ahead!

Now, we all realize that just because we are starting a fresh new year, doesn’t mean all the COVID craziness will magically disappear (we all wish, right?). However, this is the perfect time to reminisce and start the new year off in a positive and optimistic direction.

As 2021 begins, we all feel like at least a bit compelled to start making changes in our lives. Whether it’s starting new things, letting go of old habits, or setting new goals to achieve. A new year feels like someone hit a reset button and we can all restart. So, take some time to reflect on all joy and struggle you experienced in 2020, and think about what you’ll do differently over the next few months ahead. Even with the uncertainty, we will all continue to do our part by limiting our bubble interactions, BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve great things this year. If you’re still playing with the idea of creating new habits or (gasp!) even calling them resolutions, here are four simple ideas to commit to.

  • Drink more water. Try starting off small. Drink 2 cups of water every morning. Maybe even replace one of your many cups of coffee for water. If drinking water is just too bland, try add ins like fresh lemons, fruit, or cucumber or Propel flavored electrolyte water packets.

  • Cooking. Since it looks like we’re still staying indoors for who knows how long, try out a new weekly recipe. Pinterest offers a smorgasbord of inspiration for every picky eater imaginable!
  • Hobbies. Finding a new hobby can be greatly beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Hobbies give you something to look forward to. Find something that sounds fun and give it a go, because doing new things solo or with your immediate people is always an adventure!

  • Exercise. Exercising or any physical activity improves your muscle strength and works to create long-term health benefits. Exercise is good for your health, body, and mood so try out new exercises or activities to get you in a good mindset for 2021! YouTube offers a plethora of workouts for anything that takes your fancy, AND don’t undercut yourself! Even a daily stroll to the mailbox or around the block counts.

Now, resolutions tend to be easier said than done. So, start by simply trying out something new. Set small milestones, and once you have that habit built up, set a bigger one to accomplish something challenging. Now is the time, after everything we’ve been through this past year, GO FOR IT!

Happy New Year! Let us know how you’re doing. Take 2021 by the reins, you’re a boss!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524

There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays

Happy Holidays everyone!

As the year FINALLY draws to a close, we are looking hopefully to 2021. As COVID cases continue to rise, now is the perfect time to try and ENJOY the holidays. And even though we are in this crazy and uncertain world, it is something GOOD to look forward to. Don’t you love the feeling in the air when you can swap over your pumpkin spice candles, for fresh balsam? And hang up the lights outside. Along with all the other traditions that go along with it.

If you’re just not feeling festive, let’s start looking at the holiday season as an exciting challenge, and create new holiday traditions. There are so many fun things to do at home, here are a few of our favorites!

  • Setting up the Christmas tree! Here’s our secret to a well-balanced tree… start with the big stuff, you can also add holiday plushies to fill up some of those bigger gaps. Then lay out the rest of the ornaments and go to town! Be mindful if you have pets as many ornaments are easily breakable.

  • Light up the house with decorations! People usually wait the day after Thanksgiving to start decorating the outside of their homes. You can decorate the outside of your house with lights, candy canes, and snowflakes, snowman’s, and of course, Santa! We like to go all out. It’s so great when it starts getting dark out and all the lights come on. The inside of the house is decorated as well, and those lights pop on around the same time. Decorate and enjoy that holiday feeling when they are all on, shining and casting that warm glow.

  • Decorating cookies. Whether you pick up sugar cookies from the store or rollout gingerbread men, frosting and decorating cookies is a great activity no matter how many people are in your home. Take a spin on the traditional decorations by creating funky designs or use fun cookie cutter shapes. Using colorful frosting and a multitude of fun sprinkles, you can even turn it into a lighthearted contest!

  • Painting ornaments is great family fun. Create drawings and use pictures to personalize ornaments and make them extra special. Pick up a simple painting kit at your local store and get to work! Decorating your tree with your loved ones creates those lasting memories. And that’s something we can all use especially during this year.

  • Giving gifts to loved ones is always one of our favorites! This year, of course, is a little different for everyone. But it’s the thought that counts! Relish the moments that you get when you watch your family open gifts even if it is over Zoom. Share the cookies and ship the handmade ornaments.

  • While pets are the big winners of 2020 for anyone now working from home! Even though they have no idea what’s going on, it’s fun to include them in the Christmas spirit as well. You can buy them gifts, make them stockings and ornaments as well.

  • Spread some cheer with homemade Christmas or Happy New Year cards. Send them out to loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Paper, glue, pens, and a little glitter… you can create just about anything! Getting a card in the mail from someone special is always a treat! It’s really these small gestures that have the biggest impact.

No matter how you decide to do this holiday season, or who you choose to spend it who, safely enjoy. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
           

Practicing Gratitude

As the weather gets cooler and we start planning our Thanksgiving feast, now is a good opportunity to share some positive messages. A little bit of a push of encouragement during these uncertain times.
While we, as a collective nation, continue to head into the unknown, there is a lot of negativity and regular anxiety spikes based on what we see in the news and read on social media. A little spark of light would be a breath of fresh air right about now!

It is important to make sure we are trying to keep a positive headspace. Keeping tabs on ourselves by checking in with our brains as well as our hearts. I know that sounds funny, but it is true. Sometimes we find ourselves consumed with worry and fear and we need to take that step back and say, “How am I REALLY feeling?”  “Why do I feel this way?” “What can I do to make myself feel better or get out of this rut I seem to be stuck in?”

Myself, I like to make lists. Lists help me organize the chaos I am trying to keep track of and also improves my odds of not forget things. Being able to check things off that list feels SO good.  I know there are tons of outlets out there that are my version of a list. Give it a shot, make sticky notes, log your lists in a diary or notebook, download and app, or ask Siri for help.

If lists aren’t your thing, there’s other outlets to help you quite your mind like yoga, meditation, journaling, even sharing what you’re up against and what’s going on in life with others. I also like to keep a little collection of sayings, phrases, affirmations, that make me smile, or stop and think “Woah… That’s so true! I never thought of that.”

Here are 15 inspirational lines to ponder that we’ve gathered along the way…

  1. “What am I grateful for today?”
  2. “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
  3. “Stop being so hard on yourself. No one is perfect, but you are human.”
  4. “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
  5. “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” – John Wooden
  6. “Who you are inside is what helps you make and do everything in life” – Mr. Rogers
  7. “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” – Dr. Henry Link
  8. “Good riddance to decisions that don’t support self-care, self-value, and self-worth.” – Oprah
  9. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
  10. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  11. “Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.”
  12. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
  13. “The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.”
  14. “It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.”
  15. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – CS Lewis

Life revolves around perspective. If you can remind yourself of these things, and try and keep a good outlook, you’ll feel much better about taking on all of life’s challenges. If you focus on the negatives, or walk into situations with fear and doubt, disappointment isn’t too far behind. It’s easy to read these things, but actually doing them and putting them into action, THAT is a measure of success. There will always be things we are afraid of. There will always be roadblocks. But remember that humans were designed to struggle. So, with confidence and determination, our greatness emerges.

Try and keep these things in mind going forward. When you find yourself drifting, read the quotes again. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, this is a great time to put some of these things to the test. They are also great topics to discuss with family. Talk about the things you all value in yourself, as well as sharing what you adore about each other. Share your goals, share your hopes. Say something you’re afraid of. Push yourself to connect with those dear to you and have truly meaningful conversations.

Remember YOU are GREAT. Be thankful. Be gracious. Be authentically you.

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
           

Halloween 2020

Halloween doesn’t have to be a bummer this year just because we are in a pandemic. First off, remember, everyone’s holiday season is being affected. Just keep an open mind and let’s get creative!

If you’re in an area allowing trick or treating, think of some clever ways to hand out candy safely while maintaining social distancing. For example, have a COVID Candy Toss. Put out a sign that is clearly visible with simple direction. Something like “Knock. Then stand behind the caution tape. Be ready to catch!” Mark out some sort of line that is 6 feet from your front door. Once you answer the door, you can have a candy toss where the kids can catch candy from behind the line. This keeps everyone safe, socially distant, and the candy is flowing!

Another idea is to set up a candy slide. Create a tube set up, think paper towel tubes. You get to drop candy down the tube for trick or treat buckets waiting below to catch the goodies!

If you are in a location that has prohibited trick or treating this year, don’t fret! There are plenty of things that you can do during a night in at home:

1.  Have a pumpkin carving contest with your family! Even if it has to be a Zoom Halloween contest! Lay out the rules, set a time limit and then everyone can share what they have come up with.

2.  Google some ghoulishly delicious recipes! Make it fun! Appetizers, entrees, and desserts. There are loads of Halloween themed selections with a quick Pinterest search, even down to the eyeball fruit punch.

3.  Set up some fun Halloween games! Bob for apples! Make witch slime! Craft up some fun décor!

4.  Have a costume contest! Have more than one costume? Turn it into a Halloween Fashion Show!

If you want a more zombie and chill type night, put on your favorite Halloween movie. Then make a game of it. For example, one of our favorite movies is Hocus Pocus. So, start with a cauldron of candy – all different kinds. Every time Winifred Sanderson says “BoOoOoOk!” blindly grab a piece of candy out of the pot. This will be your at home version of trick or treating. At the end of the movie, see who made out with the best kinds of candies and who got the worms!

If you don’t feel like staying in, but you also aren’t fully comfortable trick or treating (or letting your kids go door-to-door), there are virtual Halloween activities as well as Halloween drive-thru options, and even your classic haunted house. Do a quick online search of the area to see what’s going on in your neck of the woods for some Spooktacular fun!

No matter what you end up doing, have a thrilling time! This is already a year to remember, so add some oomf to your Halloween and make it a POSITIVE memory! Be safe and enjoy that candy in moderation.

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
           

Expectations VS Reality: 4 Dental Myths DEBUNKED!

Let’s have a little chat about myths revolving around dental health. Sometimes dental health isn’t treated with a high level of importance. Oftentimes we push it by the wayside. And then we completely forget to reschedule appointments. Hey, we’ve all been there…

Look, staying on top of your dental hygiene and health is necessary for both your mouth and the rest of your body. Believe it or not, your oral health impacts many different areas of your total well being. For example, did you know your oral health can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, blood cell disorders, and bacterial pneumonia? It can also cause complications in pregnant women. We’re not looking to alarm you, those are just the facts. So, of course, things like maintaining a healthy diet and showing up to regularly scheduled dental check-ups are ideal for keeping both your chompers and your body well.

We’ve found that as people gradually lose good brushing and flossing habits, they start to buy into these “quick-fix” myths. So, without further ado! Dental Myths Debunked:

Myth #1 If your mouth doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to go to the dentist.

If your car isn’t rattling do you skip the oil change? There is always the potential for underlying dental issues even when pain and sensitivity aren’t present. Calculus and tartar have no problem building and building with zero pain association. And before you know it – HELLO! gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease! Stick to your 6-month check-ups, which is the standard for routine dental care.

Pro Tip: if you DO have oral pain or a dental problem, call us. On the call, we’ll chat about the discomfort. Then we take into account your dental history and immediate needs. We are all about personalized care for your unique needs.

Myth #2 The harder you brush and floss, the cleaner your teeth and gums will be.

Brushing and flossing rough is NOT good, nor is it recommended… ever. Flossing roughly can create small lesions and cuts in your gums. This can cause discomfort as well as bleeding gums. Healthy gums should not bleed. The same with brushing. You can cause some serious damage including receding gums, by consistently brushing vigorously. Remember that receding gums can get you into some dangerous waters. In severe cases, it does cause tooth loss. This then leads to a whole new gamut of problems.

Pro Tip: Do floss daily, gently sliding the floss in a “C” shape up the sides of your teeth and down to your gums. Brushing your teeth twice a day is the recommended standard. Again, be intentional and gentle. Firm circular motions for 2-minutes gets the job done.

Myth #3 Chewing gum can replace brushing your teeth.

Chewing gum is a good trick for minty fresh breath. Not an acceptable replacement to brushing your teeth. End of story.

Pro Tip: chew sugar-free gum after meals to help loosen food particles until you’re able to brush.

Myth #4 Diet drinks are better for your teeth.

While the sugar content may be lower in diet drinks, they are still very acidic. Acid softens the enamel on teeth leading to demineralization and tooth sensitivity.

Consider that water has a pH level (acidity level) of 7. This is a neutral pH level and does not cause harm. Battery acid’s pH level is 0. This is the worst of the worst. Now consider that diet sodas can have a 2-3 pH level! That is a lot closer to 0 than it is to 7.

Pro Tip: It takes your body about 20 minutes to neutralize your mouth from the acid intake. Your safest bet is always water. Milk is also acceptable.

Consistent and proper dental health care is a must within your daily routine. Avoid cutting corners, and remember… you only have to care for the teeth you’d like to keep! So be diligent. Stick to a daily oral health routine. Strive to eat, healthy. And, be mindful to take immediate action if you’re having dental pain or sensitivity. Call us at (831) 443-3524

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
           

Pandemic Living: Why Routines Are Important

Never in my lifetime did I think I would be experiencing a worldwide pandemic! The stories we once read in our history books, will now have a new chapter that WE are experiencing. Tensions are high and patience is low. But remember, your children, partner, and even pets, are all feeling and going through this change and new lifestyle. So even though it is really easy to focus solely on our own internal feelings, you aren’t alone. Which is even MORE of a reason to establish a daily routine, for everyone. Starting NOW!

SLEEP

Sleep management is as important, right now, as it was before this pandemic (maybe 1.pngeven more so). Try and stick to your normally occurring schedule. If you normally woke up at 6:00am and started getting ready for bed around 10:00pm – continue to do so. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule will keep your body in balance. At least as much as possible. Everyone’s system is different, and sleep cycles for that matter. But make a solid effort to get your full 8 hours, it is crucial. If this is where you struggle, make it simple! Set an alarm. Set one for when you need to wake up in the morning to get yourself going and set another to let you know it’s time to winddown. Then for those of us that need it, set another to turn off all electronics and really focusing on clearing your mind and falling asleep.

When the world straightens itself back out, your body will thank you. It can be rough to retrain yourself into a “morning person” again. It starts by giving yourself the time in the morning to shower, dress, and mentally prepare to work – or study, or clean out that one closet again.

GET UP AND MOVE AROUND

Everyone’s favorite topic – exercise! Now when I say exercise, I am not saying to get yourself a home gym and work your body into a frenzy. This is more of a “get your body moving” type of thing. When it’s cool out, go for a nice walk with your kid (fur babies included). Or even just by yourself if that works for you. The fresh air is always a good thing, a little vitamin-D, sunshine, and some quiet time for yourself. You’ll get a nice little jaunt, some family bonding time, and a boost to your mental peacefulness.

If you are working from home on a computer, be sure to take your breaks. Whether it is a 10-minute break or your lunchtime, make an effort to mentally clock out as well. Put your phone down and step away from your workstation altogether. You need to be distraction-free and able to clear your mind, even for a short while. Find something that makes you happy. Something that washes a sense of calm over you while you are doing it. Something such as painting? Crocheting? Reading? Whatever it may be and make that your “happy place”. Don’t make it a last resort. Run to it whenever you find stress creeping in.

HYGIENE

Consider this one an unspoken “must”. At some point, we have all pushed our personal hygiene aside here and there. Aim to give yourself enough time to shower either before starting your day or before bed. Not only is it hygienically sound, but it makes you feel better! If you find yourself not really caring what you look like, that’s a good warning sign to step back into the habit of bathing daily. Again – this is not a good rut to be in. When you maintain your hygiene, not just showering, but grooming, brushing your hair, flossing and brushing your teeth, and changing into fresh clothes (even if they are pajamas!). There is a different feeling you get by doing these things compared to just basking in your own aroma. Not to mention, there can be some health-related issues by going too long without taking care of yourself.

HEALTH including Mental Health

Your physical health is one thing, but now I am talking ALL around health, and this includes your mental health.  Do not push this to the side, wistfully promising you will deal with it later. Keep tabs on how you are feeling and be honest with yourself. If you are fearful of medical offices right now, there are plenty of great resources online to reach out to. Shoot your primary care physician an email. Avoid excuses. If something is going on, mentally, a scab that won’t heal, an irregular spot on your skin, get help from a professional. AND – if you are taking daily medications, keep yourself on track. Keep a schedule of daily habits and be sure to set alarms to support you.

EATING

When you are busy and, on the go, it’s easy to just swing through a drive-thru. Then eat3.png as fast as humanly possible all while you are in the car zipping to your next adventure in life. Convenience seems to be our way of life. However, with the pandemic, this is the perfect time to get your eating schedule in check. How do you get structure? It starts with researching healthier at-home options. Then making your grocery list and meal prepping. We find ourselves moving at a slower pace, so plan your meals, and even your snacks. Now is your chance to track what you’ve been consuming daily. See your habits in all their glory and get clear on what you want to change. Give it a go! And, if the grocery store offers too much temptation, try online ordering! 😉

 

If your mind starts drifting back into a rut, snap it back to attention by reminding yourself, you are not alone. This is new for everyone. It can be scary, it can be depressing, and it is just another wave passing for fear of the unknown. We are all going through this together, different paces and a roller coaster of ever-changing emotions. Hang in there. There will be an end to all of this. We are all learning as we go. We WILL get to the light at the other side. Hopefully, happier, healthier and with a wealth of new knowledge.  Be optimistic by being mindful of your thoughts, stay positive by being mindful of what you say, be kind to yourself and others, be well by analyzing and creating your routines!

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

 

Gum Disease: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No doubt 2020 has made us change our way of life, and yet, our dental care needs remain the same. Your teeth, much like any other key part of your body, need special care. Bacteria and plaque build on and below the surface of your teeth and gums when oral hygiene is neglected. The longer it sits there increases your risk of developing gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontitis.

Stages of Periodontitis healthy-tooth.png

Gingivitis is where plaque and other by-products irritate the gums. It makes them tender, swollen, and much more likely to bleed while brushing. Periodontitis is stage two. Here, the gum tissue starts to deteriorate, detaching from the teeth to form noticeable pockets around the roots. This leaves teeth exposed and susceptible to decay. Finally, advanced periodontitis. Tooth pockets get quite deep as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss. In turn, this causes loose teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.

 

Periodontitis is also linked to heart disease. When the bacteria attached to your teeth loosen, it then seeps into your bloodstream. Eventually, it reaches your arteries. There the plaque hardens, restricting blood flow to your heart and other organs.

 

Health Risks of Periodontitis

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Preterm babies

Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Genetics – it’s hereditary and some of us are just unlucky! While you may be more susceptible to periodontitis, having a good oral hygiene routine helps keep your smile in a healthy state.
  • Health – underlying medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses and treatments often affect gum tissue. New medications should always be discussed with your dentist.
  • Bad Habits – chewing on ice, inconsistent brushing, not flossing daily, using tobacco, and even vaping are the most common dental aggravators we encourage you to ditch.
  • Stress – hello 2020! In all seriousness, do keep an eye on exactly how much it’s weighing you down. Both high levels and chronic stress leads to poor hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower your immune system from fighting the gingivitis causing bacteria.

While there’s no at-home cure, thankfully periodontitis is preventable. And in every case, it is treatable! Your dental treatment plan is always based 100% on your unique needs.

 

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501