Elkins Dental May 2018

ROAD TRIPS DON’T HAVE TO BE PAINFUL

be fun for the whole family: a traditional road trip game. If you have a car full of storytellers, try “Fortunately, Unfortunately.”The rules are simple. The first person starts by saying, “fortunately,” and mentioning something good about the road trip or the destination. The next person (moving clockwise) then follows by saying something “unfortunate” about the previous person’s statement. Take turns with every passenger in the car. If someone stumbles, they get a strike; three strikes and you’re out. The last passenger standing wins. PLAY AN AUDIOBOOK OR PODCAST We get it. Sometimes passengers don’t want to play games. Occasionally, they’d rather relax or take a nap. However, your listening material doesn’t have to be limited to Dad’s favorite music. Instead, consider listening to a family-friendly audiobook or podcast, which can make the longest and most boring parts of your trip an entertaining or educational experience. Almost any popular book is available in audio form, but it can be hard to find an enjoyable podcast. “Transistor” is a science-focused podcast that explores subjects kids and adults will find fascinating. Or if you’re looking for something fictional, try “Storynory,” in which the narrator tells fairy tales and legends from all over the globe.

Summer is right around the corner, which means you’ll soon pile the whole family into the car, ready to brave the road for a vacation. Everyone knows that riding in the car for hours can be torture. But with a little creativity, you can turn the worst part of

a long trip into a fun event. PACK A TRAVEL GAME When the excitement of the family vacation starts to wear off, keep the peace and entertain your kids with a travel game. Many board game manufacturers offer travel-sized versions that are easy to pack and play in the car. Before your next road trip, consider purchasing digital Yahtzee, which packs all the fun of the classic game without the dice, or IQ Fit, a logic game with over 100 challenges. Both games cost around $10 and can provide hours of entertainment.

INCLUDE THE WHOLE FAMILY Once the travel games no longer pique anyone’s interest, try an activity that can

A Word From

Kalie and Caryn

opportunity to switch up their home care to reverse the symptoms of gum disease. We always go case by case. Our office offers laser therapy to treat gum disease and help establish a healthy environment for teeth.We run our state-of-the-art laser, the Gemini Diode, through the gums and take layers of disease off, encouraging healthy tissue growth, tightening up tissues, and killing bacteria that’s developed in the gum pockets. There are a number of reasons people develop gum disease, some of which is beyond their control. For example, some people are simply genetically predisposed to it. Often, though, home care and regular preventive care are the solutions. If plaque is not being removed by brushing, it mineralizes and begins to go under the gums, creating bad bacteria. Our best-case scenario is to handle that bacteria in the beginning stages before it releases more toxins. It’s pretty crazy what some bacteria can do beneath your gums! That’s why it’s so important to treat patients at the first sign of gum disease. So, what’s the best way to prevent periodontal disease? Keep up with your home care — flossing is crucial — and keep your reservations.We’ll hopefully never have to go subgingival.

It’s time to go deeper — into professional cleanings, that is. We’re covering the first type

of deep cleaning: scaling and root planing 1-3 teeth. In the first two professional levels of cleanings, prophylaxis and gingivitis, we focus on the area above the gums. When we notice bleeding gums and bone loss, though, it signals to us that it is necessary to go below the gums for a deep cleaning. To determine the right course of treatment, we take digital X-ray pictures so we can see buildup. We also explore each tooth to confirm the presence of gum disease, looking for bleeding pockets and checking bone levels. With most cases, if it’s localized — only a couple teeth are affected — patients have the opportunity to go back to prophylaxis cleanings once we resolve the symptoms. If bone levels are okay, patients have the

–Kalie and Caryn

2 | Elkins Dental

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