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

 

Why, When, What Type, and How to Floss

Did you know that by simply brushing, you’re only getting 50% of the job done? That’s because when you brush the bristles can only reach 60% of your tooth’s surface. That means 20% between your teeth is a hot spot for bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. When you don’t floss it gives the bacteria longer to build up and bind with your teeth creating a firm sticky substance known as plaque. Flossing, however, removes those food particles before they can harden into tartar, also known as calculus, which cannot be removed by regular flossing. After the tartar begins to build up it will take over the surface of the tooth under the gum line. Once there, tartar causes inflammation and irritation that leads to the development of gum disease.

When to Floss

Now that we know why we should floss; do you know why only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day? The largest percent says that it’s too time-consuming but once you get the hang of it, flossing takes just a couple minutes. Since we only floss once a day, it’s recommended to do it before you brush. When you floss after brushing all the loose plaque and bacteria floats around your mouth, giving it the chance to reattach to the tooth’s surface. So, at the very least, rinse your mouth.

 

How to Floss

We’ve got the basics down, why it’s important to floss, and when we should floss. Can you guess what’s next? That’s right, the correct way to floss. If you are flossing every day and still see a lot of plaque buildup, chances are you’re missing some crevices. When you floss incorrectly it can cause bleeding and damage to your gums and any surrounding dental work. Now before we get into the proper ways to floss, we really need to go over the different types of floss and what they are used for.

 

Types of FlossBody (2).png

  • Floss can come waxed or unwaxed and everyone can use it! It’s great to get those food particles in tight spaces. Typically, it comes rolled up in a small plastic box. Which makes flossing on the go much easier!
  • Dental Tape: This is similar to regular floss where it comes in either waxed or unwaxed. However, dental tape is much wider than floss and can clean more surface. If you have bigger hands or more space between your teeth, it’s recommended to use this.
  • Floss Picks: Are small plastic flossing sticks that are somewhat shaped like a candy cane. Used in the same way regular floss is, floss picks make it easier for people with less dexterity and they are great for kids!
  • Floss Threader: This is a firm stick with a loop at the end. It is used to thread the floss through dental appliances, which can make some teeth hard to reach. Typically, floss threaders are used with braces or bridges.
  • Interdental Brush: This is a pick with wired or non-wired bristles at the tip. These can be used for regular flossing; however, they are also useful in cleaning dental implants and braces.
  • Superfloss: Has a floss threader at one end, regular floss in the middle, and a soft spongy floss at the other end. The thread is used to pull the floss between an appliance then the regular floss is used on the adjacent tooth. The spongy floss is then used to clean around an implant-supported bridge or under a normal bridge.
  • Wooden Plaque Remover: Looks a lot like a toothpick but it has a tapered end with a triangular shape. Set the tapered end in your mouth for a few seconds to soften it. Then place the softened side between your teeth with the flat side on your gums. This is to stimulate blood flow which helps fight gum disease. Gently move the pick in and out to break up any food particles and disturb any forming plaque. This can be used by anyone and is preferable for flossing on the go.
  • Body (1).pngWater Flosser: The water flosser is a different type of device known as an oral irrigator. Instead of manually scraping the plaque off, the water pressure does it for you! If you have braces it’s an easy way to make sure you are fully cleaning those pearly whites, however, anyone can use a water flosser.

How Really to Floss

  • Flossing: Pull 18-20 in of floss from the container, then loosely wrap it around both middle fingers. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 in of floss in the middle. Hold the floss taut with your thumb and index fingers and glide it gently up and down the side of your teeth. When you get to the gum line form a C-shape and slide the floss down. Finally, remove the floss and continue with the same method on the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing with Braces: It’s recommended that you use waxed floss to avoid getting strands stuck in the brackets. Pull 18-24 in of waxed floss out of the container, thread it through the floss threader and carefully pull it through the wire; then continue to floss as normal. You can also use interdental brushes by pushing the bristles in an out 2-3 times for every tooth.
  • Flossing Dental Implants: Since implants can’t decay the plaque will still stick which can cause swelling and implant failure known as Peri-implantitis. This means it is still vital to floss around your implant. Use a non-wired interdental brush to avoid scratching the titanium or porcelain. Gently push it in and out 2-3 times, then continue to floss the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing a Dental Bridge: Start by pushing the threader end of Superfloss through the space between the bridge and the real tooth. Use the regular floss on the real tooth, then gently slide the super floss under the bridge 2-3 times and repeat on the other side. After, floss the rest of your teeth normally.
  • Flossing Implant-Supported Bridges: Use Superfloss to thread the spongy floss under the bridge, and gently use the spongy side to clean around the titanium implants. You can also use a non-wired interdental brush to clean them.
  • Flossing and Cleaning Implant-Supported Overdentures: Remove the dentures from your mouth, brush the dentures with detergent and place them in water. Then take a one-tuff brush and gently clean around the part of the implant that sits above your gums, commonly known as an abutment.

 

Flossing is simple, yet so crucial for your dental health. Remember, the floss most dentists recommend is any type that you will use every day!

 

 

 

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