Eagle Dental March 2018

YOUR DINNER TABLE MIGHT BE THE KEY

TOAHAPPIER FAMILY

CALL ALL HANDS ON DECK Mom or Dad shouldn’t be expected to cook by themselves for every meal. This is family time, after all, so call in the kids! Make sure their tasks are age-appropriate — leave sautéing vegetables to the high schooler and let your first-grader set out the cups instead. This is the perfect opportunity to teach kids valuable kitchen skills and to take some of the burden off your plate. Plus, if your kids are picky eaters, inviting them to be part of the cooking process can make themmore inclined to try the finished product. DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT It’s okay if you’re too busy on a Monday to cook dinner. There’s always Tuesday. Or you can take a trip to your favorite family restaurant. Family meals should be fun, and that can’t happen if you’re stressed. Don’t feel pressured to make each meal perfect or to prepare a three-course dinner every night. Chicken and rice can get the job done as long as you’re all sitting around the table as a family.

The family dinner is a staple of years gone by. These days, the only time you see a family sit together and break bread seems to be at Thanksgiving. This is a shame, because regular family dinners are incredibly important! It’s a time to bond with your loved ones that can have a positive impact on your kids’ lives. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that kids who regularly partake in family meals are less likely to experience depression or engage in drug use. Furthermore, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University determined that kids who eat family meals five to seven times a week bring home better report cards.

Even when schedules are busy, you can make family dinners fit into your agenda with these tips.

BE FLEXIBLE ABOUT MEALTIMES Dinner doesn’t have to be at 6 p.m. on the dot. If Kamala has a karate tournament in the evening or Peter needs to stay late at school for art club, why not break out the healthy snacks and make dinner happen a little later or earlier? Plus, the meal you share as a family doesn’t have to be at dinnertime. If there’s time in the mornings, sit down for breakfast. If you have the opportunity on weekends or during a school break, grab lunch together.

No matter how hectic your schedule may be, making family meals a priority is always worth the investment. Who’s in the mood for meatloaf?

KARA’S CORNER

TOOTHBRUSH HYGIENE

bristles and a head size that will fit your mouth comfortably. Even better, ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend a brand or model.

When it comes to storing your toothbrush, limiting possible exposure to bacteria should be your primary concern. After brushing, thoroughly rinse your entire toothbrush (not just the head) under warm water to wash away any lingering plaque. Store your toothbrush upright so the bristles don’t come into contact with any surfaces. If you have multiple brushes in one location, make sure the heads do not touch. If you’re traveling, avoid airtight covers, as they tend to trap germs. It’s much better to buy a cheap toothbrush for your trip and throw it out when you head back home. Toothbrushes should be replaced as soon as the bristles begin to fray, which should be about once every three months. If you find that they are fraying much earlier than that, it probably means you are brushing too vigorously. Taking the time to maintain and replace your toothbrush can provide significant benefits for your oral care. After all, the best brushes create the best smiles, and that’s what we all want.

Regular brushing with proper technique is the foundation of great oral health, but you shouldn’t discount the importance of toothbrush care. A musician would never take the stage with an out-of-tune trumpet, but many people try to clean their teeth with a toothbrush that’s in rough shape. Don’t let a broken instrument hamper your oral care. Here are a few tips for toothbrush maintenance.

Buy a good toothbrush. There are dozens of toothbrushes on the shelf of your local pharmacy, but they’re not all created equal. Look for soft

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