Feeling more than a little down? You’re not alone. According to CDC data, nearly 8% of adults in the United States — about 1 in 12 — are struggling with depression at any given moment. Depression can steal your joy and zest for life, making you feel like you have no reason to smile. But the simple act of smiling alone can help you beat depression — and you’re much more likely to do so if you have a good smile to show off.
The Power of PositivitySmiling, in and of itself, isn’t a surefire cure or treatment for depression, but there’s a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking. Research has shown that training yourself to think positive thoughts — termed “positive automatic thoughts” — can act as a buffer against depression and anxiety. While choosing to adopt a positive outlook doesn’t mean you won’t experience depression, it means you’re less likely to have a serious reaction to the stressors that can trigger depressive episodes.
When you’re approaching life with a positive attitude, or trying your best to see the silver lining in whatever’s going on around you, you’re much more likely to smile. And smiling confers its own psychological benefits.
The Impact of a SmileOur physical actions signal our brain to start certain reactions. For example, smelling a delicious meal stimulates your appetite. That’s the result of a physical stimulus communicating to your brain to unleash a torrent of chemical signals to your nervous system that make you feel hungry and look forward to eating.
The physical act of a smile triggers a similar reaction, encouraging your body to produce “feel-good” hormones like oxytocin and serotonin. If you have a low self-image about your smile because of stains, yellowing or cosmetic issues, you’re much less likely to smile. Physical issues like pain due to cavities can also elevate your risk of succumbing to more severe depression symptoms.
Dental Care Can Improve Your MoodVery few people look forward to spending time in their dentist’s chair, but if you’re battling the blues, you should. A simple cleaning can make you much more prone to smiling, which will bring your mood up. The fact that a dental visit is time you make just for you — a form of self-care and a minor break from the stressors of your day-to-day life — can also make you feel better.
And if your self-esteem is lower than you’d like, working with your dentist to improve your smile can help you beat being down. Doing a teeth-whitening treatment to get a dazzling smile worthy of showing off every chance you get or using Invisalign to improve minor cosmetic issues like underbite, overbite or crowding can erase embarrassment over smiling. And nothing beats the relief that comes from having a painful cavity finally taken care of — being pain-free is one of the best reasons of all to smile.
In addition to the obvious ways a visit to your dentist can help elevate your mood, there are some not-so-obvious ones as well. For example, if you deal with mild sleep apnea, your dentist may be able to improve your oxygen levels overnight by fitting you with a custom positioner to allow air from your CPAP machine to flow better — affording you a better night’s sleep. And as anyone who’s ever cried after a long day knows, lack of sleep lowers your mood and makes everything feel much worse.
How We Can HelpYour dental care isn’t just about taking care of your smile — it’s about taking care of your body and mind as one whole self. By booking an appointment to address the issues that are preventing you from smiling as much as you deserve to, you’re taking an important self-care step that can improve your dental health, overall health and mood.
The offices of Drs. Krieger and Hur know that the last thing you want to do is fight for an appointment. We’ve made it easy to get in touch with us. Simply call the office at 201-560-0606 or click here to send us an email to secure your spot today. We can’t wait to help get you smiling, thriving and living your best life.
Whether you’re going down the shore for the holidays or jet-setting to Europe now that the kids are free from school routines, travel is no reason to let your dental hygiene lapse. In fact, paying extra attention to the health of your teeth and gums while you’re on the go can help you prevent a dental emergency when you’re far from home — an event that would certainly put a damper on your adventures.
Keep to the PlanBrush, floss and rinse as you would normally. Vacation is no reason to slack on the basics. Because you’ll be away from home, you’ll want to ensure you have adequate supplies — or plans to get them — on your trip. A dental emergency can be painful and miserable, and you’ll waste time you’d otherwise spend making priceless memories. Avoid having to find a dentist and pay for an emergency visit in an unfamiliar place by sticking to your regular routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing your teeth, tongue and gums.
At bare minimum, you’ll need to brush and floss upon waking and before sleeping. Grab a travel toothbrush and case and enough floss to make it through your trip without having to worry about running out. If you’re flying, pack these essentials in your carry-on luggage in case your checked bags get lost, re-routed or delayed.
Making PreparationsIf you’ll be embarking on a trip where water is scarce — such as camping or a vacation to an area where water quality is poor — think ahead with an eye toward what you’ll need to brush your teeth and stick to your routine. Whether it’s packing a biodegradable toothpaste so you can brush at your campsite or figuring out where to get bottled water at your location, make a plan so you’re less likely to ignore your teeth and gums.
If you’re traveling by plane, you’ll have a limit on how many and what size liquids you can bring. Either obtain travel-sized, TSA-approved versions of your favorite toothpaste and mouthwash or make plans to purchase some once you land. For those traveling abroad, research your destination’s options for toothpaste before embarking — that way you can grab a product off the shelves and go.
The exception is, of course, if you use a prescription rinse or toothpaste recommended by your dentist. If comparable equivalents exist at your vacation destination, ask your dentist where to obtain sample sizes or what else you can use for the duration of your trip.
Get Checked Before You GoJust like you’d get a checkup at your primary care doctor to ensure you’re in shipshape for a trip, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist prior to leaving on a long vacation to make sure your teeth and gums don’t have any issues that could interfere with your holiday. Your dentist can give you a good cleaning, too, to ensure your vacation photos need no filters and no touch-ups for you to feel as good looking back on them as you did taking them.
Book a checkup with your dentist prior to embarking on a vacation to cover the basics and pitch any questions you may have, such as what to do in case of an emergency while traveling and what self-care is important for your particular vacation — a vacation centered around scuba diving, for example, may need more attention paid to your oral health because you’ll be wearing a mouthpiece often.
Book Your Appointment TodaySchedules fill quickly at the office of Drs. Krieger and Hur, so call or email us today to book your pre-vacation checkup and cleaning. We’ll get you in before you leave to make sure your mouth is ready for a well-deserved vacation.
We know your schedule is busy, too. We’ve made it easy for you to snag your spot. Simply call the office at 201-560-0606 or click here to send us an email. We look forward to helping you prepare for your trip and can’t wait to see you in our chair.
When you’re planning your teen’s summer vacation, consider including some not-so-fun but necessary things, like making an all-important trip to the dentist. Without rigorous academic schedules to contend with, summer is the perfect time to book your teen’s appointment, especially for more intensive orthodontic care. Summer vacation is ideal for getting your teen started with Invisalign, as they’ll be free as a bird for their initial consultation and the first few follow-ups. Summer vacation will also give your child a chance to get used to the care of their new aligners without having to worry about the watching eyes of their peers.
Is Invisalign Right for Your Teen?
Not every teenager is a candidate for Invisalign, but most are. Invisalign requires a lot of commitment from the wearer. Because the aligners can be removed for eating and cleaning, it’s possible that some teenagers will leave them out and forget them.
Doing so doesn’t just set treatment back by the number of days the aligners are left out — it can set your teen back weeks and weeks. If your teen — or even tween — has all of their adult teeth and is responsible enough to keep the aligners in for at least 22 hours a day, they’re candidates for Invisalign.
Invisalign can correct mild to moderate bite issues, such as underbite or overbite, and spacing issues like teeth that are overcrowded or gapped. Severe issues or those not listed here may mean your teen isn’t eligible for treatment with Invisalign. The best way to find out if this treatment is right for your teen is to book a consultation.
What Are the Restrictions?
Traditional braces come with a lot of dietary restrictions that can make summer way less fun for a teen. Corn on the cob at cookouts or a delicious gummy snack can have you rushing your child to the dentist or orthodontist for an emergency visit. There’s no danger of that with Invisalign. Most of the time, your teenager will remove their aligners to eat, unless otherwise instructed by their dentist. Getting used to removing the aligners, as well as putting them back in after eating, is one of the reasons summer vacation is the best time to start: your teen will have the routine down pat by the time they’re eating in the cafeteria again.
Otherwise, there are very few restrictions when you have Invisalign in. Your teen can participate in the usual summer activities of swimming, sports and lounging in the sun. Best of all? They’ll be able to smile without a tin grin, meaning those family photos you’ll cherish for years to come won’t make them cringe when looking back.
Getting Your Teen Started with InvisalignThe first step to getting your teen started with Invisalign this summer is to book an appointment to discuss your options and see if they’re a good candidate for the treatment. Book your appointment now, as summer vacation spots fill up quickly.
If Invisalign is a good fit for your child, your teen will have impressions of their teeth taken, which will then be used to create the transparent aligners. You’ll need to come back to get your teen’s aligners, and we’ll check them then to make sure they fit properly. After that, you can expect your teenager to need an appointment every two weeks to get an updated tray. An entire course of treatment can run as long as a year.
Book Your Appointments NowGetting started with Invisalign requires an initial consultation, and the sooner you book your appointment, the sooner your teen can start their treatment. The office of Drs. Krieger and Hur know you’ve got a busy schedule and might be feeling overwhelmed with all the activities your children have as the school year comes to a close. We’ve made it easy for you to book your appointments with us on the go. Simply call the office at (201) 560-0606 or click here to request your spot via email.
Over 100 million Americans are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, a condition that tends to progress to full-blown diabetes given time. It can take a lot of effort to juggle the demands of this disease and other parts of a normal American life, so it’s not surprising that many diabetics have no idea that their smile can be severely impacted by their metabolic disease.
Summer cookouts and barbecues are full of family memories just waiting to be made, but don’t make this summer’s most notable BBQ recollection an emergency trip to the dentist. Chipped teeth, unsightly stains that undo your most recent teeth whitening and foods that are delicious but contribute to decay and bad breath are just some of the perils that await at the picnic table. Skip the pain and embarrassment by avoiding these top five offenders at the next family cookout.
It’s rare that someone enjoys flossing. Sure, the satisfaction of knowing every nook and cranny of your mouth is clean and debris-free is immense, but the act itself? Boring at best, tedious at worst. Fortunately, one of the great marvels of living in the time we do is that there are a number of gadgets on the market to make flossing easy and fun — yes, fun. Start your morning with a smile and get your kids flossing like champs with any of these five flossing devices.
Your children are watching you, even when you think they aren’t. And they learn a lot from what they see — both good and bad. While it can seem like you’re wasting your time when you try to instill good habits in your kids through lectures and teaching them, some of it gets through. The best way to ensure your kids pick up good habits, however, is to model them yourself. This is particularly true when it comes to good oral health. By holding yourself to at least the same standard of dental care that you’d like to see from your children, you’re sending the message that this is, truly, something that’s important throughout their lives.
Knowing your options when it comes to dental treatments is an advantage: you’re not just limited to what your insurance will cover or the newest fad that’s being discussed around the watercooler. While the standard treatments to keep your teeth and gums looking and feeling their best are staples — things like teeth whitening, orthodontic devices to better align your teeth and no-frills but necessary cleanings and cavity fillings — there are other services offered that you may not know a thing about but could dramatically change your life for the better.
Nobody likes dealing with acne. Whether you call them zits, pimples, blackheads or just plain blemishes, these unsightly breakouts cause embarrassment. You may be surprised to find out that your breakouts are caused by more than meets the eye. Although acne can have a number of causes, the one that’s often overlooked is the health of your teeth. Rather than stress about your newest bunch of pimples, check with your dentist to see if there’s anything you can do to relieve a breakout that just won’t seem to end.
What Causes Acne?
Acne can have a number of causes, including but not limited to:
- excess oil production
- dry or dehydrated skin
While your teeth have very little to do with how much oil your skin produces, your hormone levels or whether you’re drinking enough water, they absolutely can contribute to the bacterial load on your face. In fact, the same bacteria that causes breakouts — P. acne –naturally lives in your mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
How Teeth Contribute to Breakouts
Most of the time, your first stop in treating acne is a visit to your general practitioner, a dermatologist or even an esthetician. Unfortunately, some cases of acne baffle these providers. In those cases, it might be worth speaking to your dentist — especially if you’re already being treated for tooth pain or other dental issues.
Acne that is resistant to basic treatment may be caused by an abscess or an infected tooth. A basic dental exam can allow your provider to see if any of your teeth are presently infected. If so, you may find that your acne breakout subsides as you begin treating the tooth. This is because both the infection and the acne respond to the antibiotics commonly used in treatment.
What Can Be Done
Maintaining a blemish-free face and healthy teeth both require a normal self-care routine. You probably already wash and moisturize your face regularly. When it comes to your teeth, it pays to have a similar routine. You brush, floss and rinse according to your dentist’s guidelines. But just like the best skin care routine doesn’t always protect against zits, your normal oral health regimen won’t always protect against bacterial infections — some of which can lead to breakouts.
Setting up a dental appointment is your first step in warding off acne caused by tooth decay. Even during a routine cleaning, your dentist can assess your mouth and its needs and figure out pretty easily if anything is wrong. During a cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist may notice a tooth that has a cavity or other damage. If so, you’ll likely need to make another appointment to receive treatment for it. You may be prescribed a round of antibiotics to lessen the bacterial load in your body in the meantime, and that may help your acne disappear. Is it gone forever? No, so it’s important to keep any follow-up appointments; however, it is the first step in treating the underlying problem. Pretty soon, your complexion and your mouth will be in the best possible shape.
How We Can Help
If you suspect your treatment-resistant acne is being caused by an abscessed or infected tooth, we can help. While we’re not skin care experts, sorting out your oral health can potentially clear up a breakout if the underlying cause is, in fact, something related to your teeth.
The offices of Drs. Krieger and Hur make cosmetic dentistry easy and convenient, often completing procedures the same day! When your smile needs perfecting, but your time is limited, give us a call at 201-560-0606 or email us here and we’ll get you fast-tracked back to eye-catching confidence.
We heard your selfies could be a lot better, so we wrote a “How to Take a Great Selfie” guide to help you show off our great handywork. It’ll be our little secret! You don’t have to tell anyone that your dentist helped you perfect those iconic social media images.
Just click here, enter your email and download the PDF. Nothing could be easier. While you’re at it, go ahead and sign up for our newsletter for more tips for keeping that smile white and bright.
There’s no doubt that snacking is the number one enemy when you’re trying to maintain your figure: sugary sweets, sour confections and baked goods can send even the most well-intentioned diet careening over a cliff. But these lapses in good judgment could be doing more than setting you back a few pounds on the scales; snacking can actually be ruining your teeth.