water splashing with text: better hydration for better smiles

Better Hydration for Better Smiles

With the heat of summer on the horizon, many of us will need to drink more water than ever to stay hydrated. How does drinking water affect our teeth? Here are some ways that consuming water not only increases your overall health, but your dental health, too.

No Sugars, No Acids

Water is the best beverage partly because of what it doesn’t contain instead of what it does—that is, sugars and acids! These can erode your enamel over time and cause tooth decay, but drinking water helps cleanse your mouth and remove these substances from your teeth. It can reduce the amount of damage done over time and help keep your smile looking younger.

Decreases Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common occurrence that can be lessened by drinking enough water. It can lead to uncomfortable side effects like bad breath, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing. It is important to note that increased water intake is not a permanent solution to dry mouth but is a first step toward better oral health. It is a good idea to talk about permanent dry mouth solutions with your dentist at your next appointment.

Fantastic Fluoride

If you are reading this, then the odds are good you live in a town or a city that includes added fluoride in their drinking water! According to the CDC, as of 2016, over 200 million people drink fluoridated water, which has been proven safe over the span of more than 75 years to help reduce cavities. To find out whether you have fluoridated water in your area, you can contact your local water utility provider or check if your state participates in the My Water’s Fluoride program and look up the information on the CDC’s website. If your water does not have added fluoride, speak to your dentist about how you can best supplement fluoride in your routine.

carbonated water

Carbonated Water

For people who prefer fizzy drinks, carbonated water is a popular way to stay hydrated and healthy. But does carbonated water make an ideal substitute for plain water? Mostly, the answer is yes, but there are some differences to keep in mind.

  • Sparkling water is more acidic than regular water, with a lower pH value. However, the good news is that studies have shown that the lowered pH value of plain carbonation is not enough to erode enamel! This can vary slightly depending on the flavor of the water—citrus flavors, because of their naturally occurring citric acid, are more likely to cause mild enamel erosion.
  • As a rule, carbonated waters do not contain added fluoride, nor do most plain bottled waters, so consuming a lot of sparkling water can mean you are not getting enough fluoride to provide cavity protection. This is a good reason to mix up your water intake and include tap water.
  • Some sparkling waters add sweeteners for flavor, and this takes carbonated water from a healthy beverage to one that can increase your risk of cavities.
  • Plain sparkling water or non-citrus, unsweetened flavored sparkling waters are the best for pearly white and healthy teeth, though citrus unsweetened waters are fine in moderation.

As you can see, staying hydrated is full of dental benefits, and is an all-around excellent idea for your health. Keeping up on your water intake can lead to a happier, healthier you!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

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 even 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 wind down. 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.1

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.3.png

EATING

When you are busy and, on the go, it’s easy to just swing through a drive-thru. Then eat 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!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388