Anderson Dental Care September 2019

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY CLOSE IN A BUSY WORLD STAYING CONNECTED

It’s time for lunch and all the clean plates are in the dishwasher. You go to pull one out and see the plate is still approximately 40% dirty. Would you still eat off it? All of us at Anderson Dental are assuming (and hoping!) your answer was “no.” The reason we had to ask is because if you’re forgetting to floss every day, you’re leaving your mouth just as dirty as the plate. Even if you are a thorough brusher, you’re still only able to reach 60% of each tooth, leaving a buffet of treats for the bacteria living in your mouth. Why does this matter? Because you have 6 million bacteria living in your mouth, and they are always hungry! When the bacteria snacks on the bits of food left in between your teeth, it starts reproducing, creating a plaque-filled home, and dropping acid on your teeth and gums, which leads to infection and bleeding. Your body will try to heal this bacterial infection by sending tons of healthy cells to the infected area, resulting in inflammation. While these healthy cells are helpful, the resulting inflammation causes your gums to thicken and bleed more. If that bacteria enters your bloodstream, it can wreak all sorts of havoc. In fact, several studies cite oral bacteria entering the bloodstream as a cause of heart disease and even Alzheimer’s. For these reasons, you absolutely need to floss regularly. You can drink all the celery juice and eat all the kale salads you want to try and boost your immune system, but something as easy as flossing will help exponentially more. When you first start out on your flossing journey, be brave! If you haven’t flossed recently, your gums may feel sore or bleed, but that will wane over time. FLOSSING CAN ACTUALLY BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM BUT ONLY IF YOU DO IT PROPERLY!

If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. My kids are still young, but I can already see it happening, and I hear it from friends and family all the time — “We’re way too busy.” In our society, from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s hard to not feel like there’s always more to do and never enough time. In fact, this issue is so common that it has a name: time scarcity. Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. I feel that keeping your family connected is far more important than any activity, and luckily all hope for close ties is not lost. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists for staying connected through the busy seasons of life.

REMEMBER YOUR RITUALS

Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some.

If you find you’re still experiencing trouble, you can give us a call. We can offer advice about

MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT

technique or suggest helpful gadgets that make the process even easier, such as GumChucks (yes, like miniature nunchucks for your gums) or the Waterpik.

As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship.

HUG IT OUT

As with any habit, flossing will get easier and more

comfortable with time. Even if you get frustrated, try to power on through. We promise it’s worth it!

Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!

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