Healthy, Fun, and Practical Holiday Gift Ideas

With the holiday season descending upon us, the race is on to find that one meaningful gift that’ll surprise your loved one and let them know you care. And since good ideas are hard to come by, we decided to ease the pain a little and put together a few ideas! Each gift has the recipient’s health in mind, and is so universal that anyone on your list can appreciate them. Ready to get pickin’? Here we go!

  • Professional Kitchen Scale: Every adult understands that a key component of maintaining a healthy weight is portion control, and yet most of us have absolutely no idea what a portion should look like. That’s a problem. What’s worse, when it comes to advice about how to eyeball portions, we’re left with the not-so-scientific suggestion to “measure against the size of a fist” – hardly the best caloric measurement tool. The best solution is to use a nutritional scale. They’re affordable, easy to store, and simple to use. Spend a few extra dollars and go digital (trust us on this), and be sure to get one that measures in both grams and ounces to accommodate better baking measurements. And, heck, while you’re at it, pick one up for yourself as well. A good scale becomes a fixture in a kitchen very quickly, and everyone benefits.
  • Big Ol’ Box of Fruit: Who wouldn’t love the surprise arrival of a brightly colored box of fruit to brighten up the winter doldrums? A box of fruit is great gift for any couple or family with a healthy appetite (single folk might have some trouble eating too big a box), and given that it’ll be on the kitchen table, or in the fridge for at least week or two, your thoughtfulness will extend far beyond the initial gift-giving day. There are many places to buy fruit baskets and boxes these days … a far cry from the day when perhaps your mom bought a box or two from the local kids selling them for a school fundraiser. Shop around and find something festive!
  • Dental Gifts: There are all sorts of gifts you can pick up for a loved one at supermarket or even at your dentist’s office. Anything from whitening kits to electronic toothbrushes and water flossers to pre-paid custom mouthguards. If you’re really feeling creative, you might even be able to pick up dental gift card for your loved one – many dentists offer them these days. Just fish around as to who their dentist is by talking about your own teeth, and before you know it you will have successfully snagged the name of their doctor. Then, simply ring the dentist’s office and ask if they have gift cards for purchase. Many dentists offer promotional discounts on certain procedures like whitening and Invisalign toward the end of the year as well, so your gift card might help your friend get over the financial hump that’s been holding them back from moving forward on a planned procedure.

You see, gift giving doesn’t have to be that hard! The above three gifts are so timeless you can dig them out of the gift giving opportunity file from now until forever! Have a wonderful holiday season.

Is Your Smile Ready?

Make sure your smile looks great in this year’s holiday card! Schedule an appointment today!

Black Friday Deals

 

As much as we like to see you at our office, we know that we’re just one part of the equation when it comes to your dental hygiene. That’s why we’re big believers in giving you the tools you’ll need in between your visits. One of the tools we wholeheartedly support is the Philips Sonicare: a toothbrush that can eliminate up to seven times more plaque in a two-minute session than your regular one. The secret behind its success is the three engineering innovations that make up Philips’s patented Sonic Technology.

Bristle Tip Velocity – Through a combination of high frequency and high amplitude bristle motions, the Sonicare brush moves in your mouth in ways your hand cannot duplicate. In addition, Sonicare literally makes more strokes in two minutes than you can make in a month using a conventional toothbrush.

Brush Heads – Contoured brush heads fit the natural shape of your teeth, covering a larger brushing surface. Bristles are then placed at precise angles to maximize coverage. A Sonicare brush also uses soft bristles that are rounded at the top to create a safe and gentle brush head that delivers a powerful clean.

Dynamic Cleaning Action – By directing liquid between and behind teeth, even under the gum line, where plaque bacteria flourish, the Sonicare gently massages the gums and stimulates blood circulation while helping to dislodge plaque.

We think you’ll be impressed when you try Sonicare. You can pick one up at your local retailer, or you can drop by our office, where we have them available at a discounted rate.  BlackFriday is a great time to find deals on dental care products for the whole family!  Happy brushing…

Happy Thanksgiving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Easy Tricks That Will Help You Avoid Overeating

You know that stuffed feeling that follows a wonderful holiday meal?

The one that sends you looking for a cozy place to lay your head and take a snooze?

It’s a wonderful treat on special occasions. But when it happens all too often, and you find yourself feeling guilty, then it might be time to acknowledge that you’re overeating.

It’s easy to do, and you’re not the only one looking for a remedy. Luckily we’ve got five tried-and-true tricks that can help.

Eat When You’re Hungry

Our bodies are smart. If we need to eat, a hormone called ghrelin causes hunger. When we are full, the hormone leptin causes satisfaction.

Seems simple enough, right?

Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

But we often eat for many other reasons than hunger alone. Food is at the center of almost every human interaction, and it can be hard to pass up a delicious treat when offered.

We also tend to overeat when we are sad, bored, or even just thirsty.

What’s important is tuning into your emotions and asking what’s driving your next bite. If you’re not that hungry, try to find something else to do or talk to a friend about what’s bugging you.

Eat Fat!

That’s right, folks. If you’re still on the low-fat kick, you can rejoice!

The world of nutritional science agrees: low fat diets don’t work. Fat is a key component to satiety – that full, satisfied feeling after a nice meal.

Biologically speaking, fat is responsible for releasing the proper appetite hormones that tell your brain when you’ve had enough.

It is also slower to be digested, helping you feel full for longer.

For more information on the science of it all, see this study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and this resource from WebMD.

Don’t Starve Yourself

If you go too long without eating, you’re bound to overeat.

Instead, if you follow our first rule (eat when you’re hungry), this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Keep a protein bar in your bag at all times, or make sure you always buy low maintenance produce, like apples, to eat on the go.

Don’t Buy It

If you’re prone to overeating potato chips, or licorice, or cookie dough, then don’t tempt yourself.

Keep these things out of the house, or make it a rule of thumb to decline them if offered.

Instead of constantly testing your self-control, make it easy on yourself and just don’t buy the foods that tempt you.

Instead, stock your fridge with as much fresh stuff as possible, so that when you are hungry, you have a better option.

Reset Habits

Sometimes the best thing is cutting out entire food groups for a time in order to get rid of old habits and start new ones.

This is similar to the idea of going cold turkey from junk food, but it’s a temporary measure that can help you become reacquainted with your body’s hunger cues, tastes, and needs.

For example, go without sugar for a month and you’ll discover how sweet plain ol’ carrots are. Then try a piece of cake and balk at the sugar overload.

There’s even research to suggest this alters your gut bacteria, which sends signals to your brain to keep loading up on the fresh stuff.

If you’re looking for a specific plan to help you reset habits, this one works wonders for shifting your focus onto nutrient-rich foods.

Whatever you choose to go without (sweets or dairy, for instance) know that you’re not giving up these foods for life; you’re simply hitting the reset button and allowing yourself to tune in to what your body may be telling you.

Find a partner to help encourage you on your journey to being free from overeating. And if you think you may have binge eating disorder, know that you are not alone. Support is just a click away.

© 2017 Revenue Well Systems, LLC

FSA 101: Use it or Lose it

Maximize your FSA so you don’t lose any of that money when the year comes to an end.

Ding ding ding! Your time is coming up! If you have money set aside in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), but have no clue what your current balance is, now’s the time to look it up!

In most cases, money in your FSA is forfeited at the end of the calendar year. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! And if you lose it, that’ll be sad. And we don’t want you to be sad.

If you’re confused on the specifics of your account, that’s perfectly okay! This is insurance after all, things can get a little confusing

You don’t have to be an expert on all things FSA. All you need know is how much money you have. From there, you’ll need to know what it can be used for.

Here are some tips for maximizing your FSA and not losing any money at year’s end.

Your FSA can be used for dental expenses

Your FSA dollars can be used for anything that “treats or prevents a dental disease.”

This includes regular cleanings and checkups, as well as bonding, bridgework, crowns/caps, dentures, extractions, fillings, gum surgery, root canals, sealants, and in most cases, orthodontia.

Your FSA cannot be used for anything considered cosmetic, including whitening and veneers.

Inquire about your balance

On the back of your FSA card is a telephone number.  You can call it to receive balance updates and learn what procedures are covered by your FSA.

The person on the end of the line is there to help you, and is a very good resource to answer specific questions. Make use of them!

Ask if your employer allows a grace period or carryovers

In most cases, you forfeit any leftover dollars as soon as the new year begins.

Sometimes, however, your employer will offer a grace period of 2-and-a-half months, or will allow you to carry over $500 (but no more) into the next year.

If you aren’t sure if your company offers these, ask!

Your FSA doesn’t come with you after changing employers

Your FSA is company-specific. The only way you can still use your FSA is if you continue your health insurance under COBRA.

Once you begin new health insurance with your new employer, you will no longer have access to your previous FSA.

Keep all receipts and documentation

For IRS purposes, just keep them all in a file somewhere. This will also help you plan your FSA contribution for next year.

If you still have money left in your FSA account, now’s the time to schedule your appointments!

Remember: Keeping up with regular dental cleanings and preventative care will save you big bucks in the long run. Prevention is always cheaper than treatment!

For more information on Flexible Spending Accounts, visit Zenefits and the FSA Store.

© 2017 Revenue Well Systems, LLC10

Yummy Holiday Baking Recipes Without the Sugar Guilt!

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies, derby pie, Apple PiePUMPKIN BREAD! – you can almost taste them now, right!?  … okay, sorry.  We probably just made you very hungry, didn’t we?

Here’s how we’ll make it up to you: by sharing four great websites chock-full of delectably-sweet, moist, and tempting recipes you can look forward to making.

Each uses only natural sugar substitutes (or no sugar at all), and are designed keep your palate pleased, and your dentist smiling. So, fire up your oven, and let the baking begin!

The Best Advice Always Comes From Mom

After Brenda Bennett’s children were diagnosed with food allergies, and her own intolerance for dairy and gluten became more unruly with each passing year, this mother of three decided to take a radically different approach to home baking.

It must be paying off, considering she’s the de-facto voice in sugar-free cooking online. Check out the bounty at: sugarfreemom.com

Sweet & Skinny

Marisa Churchill knows a thing or two about healthy cooking. The classically trained “Top Chef” and Food Network star has been cooking since she was old enough to reach the stove.

Her eponymously named website will also keep you busy with ideas for fall. You can visit Marisa at marisachurchill.com

Oh, Pinterest, How We Love Thee

There’s hardly be a more tempting site to visit when you’re hungry than Pinterest.

Rows and rows of every imaginable type of food – properly plated and photographed by the best food stylists on earth. It all looks so good.

So why not actually cook some of it? We’ve got a collection of recipes that’ll whet your appetite right this moment: have a look!

Greatist

A health site with enough chutzpah to borrow its name from Muhammad Ali must have a few good recipes for baking without sugar, right?

They do.

Thirty, in fact.

Check out their wonderful list of “30 Sugar Substitutes for Any and Every Possible Situation,” and thank us later. There are some real gems in there!

We hope you enjoy the recipes!

© 2017 Revenue Well Systems, LLC

Ditch the candy……

Trade in your Halloween treats for cash!

 

Children that stop by our office on

Wednesday, November 1st thru Friday, November 3rd


will receive $1 for every pound of unopened candy they bring in.

Candy collected will be sent to Operation Minnesota Nice
for our Soldiers serving overseas.

 

Follow us on Facebook for all event details.

 

Tooth Friendly Halloween Treats

The joke every Halloween is that your friendly neighborhood dentist hands out either toothbrushes, floss, or referral cards, right? Well, there’s a way to still have fun on Halloween without going too deep into sugar overload, and we’re here to help!

We’ve got a list of Halloween treats you can pass out to trick-or-treaters that are teeth-friendly while still being fun. No toothbrushes allowed!

Before we get to the list of dental-friendly treats, let’s look at some that you may want to avoid. The following items tend to interact with your pearly whites for longer periods of time – leaving them vulnerable to decay.

Halloween Treats That’ll Drive your Dentist Batty

  1. Lollipops – A lolly pressed against your teeth for all that time is a recipe for cavities.
  2. Bubble gum – If you must, go with sugar-free (but see our note below!)
  3. Caramel – You might as well have a lump of sugar plastered to your tooth!
  4. Gummy candy (especially the sour ones) – The acid in these wears down your enamel.

Fear not, though! Here are some teeth-friendly treats that are kind to your teeth.

Great Alternatives for the Candy Bowl

  1. Chocolate – Chocolate-lovers rejoice! Chocolate tends to rinse more quickly off teeth than the sticky/gummy stuff. Plus, dark chocolate has antioxidants and fiber!
  2. Individually-wrapped snacks – Think crackers, pretzels, even pureed fruit pouches. You can usually find these in bulk. If you don’t get too many trick-or-treaters this year, at least you’ll have some snacks stocked up!
  3. Gums, candies, and lollipops made with sugar-alternatives (not artificial sweeteners) – Glee Gumtreats made with stevia, and Zollipops are just a few we found.
  4. Mini bottles of water – Trick-or-treaters and their parents will thank you for providing hydration for their adventures!
  5. Dollar store trinkets (not quite edible but still a treat!) – Spooky spider rings, mini Slinkies, bouncy balls. Kids will get excited when they take a “prize” that stands out from all the other trick-or-treat swag.

There you have it: An easy way to make this Halloween a little less cavity-inducing. Enjoy!

Beer, Wine and Whisky? Good or Bad for Your Mouth?

Those of us who enjoy an adult beverage from time to time are, no doubt, privy to the research that suggests such consumption is, surprisingly – good for us! Of course, with every endorsement of a habit that might not really be “too” good for us, there is “but” in there somewhere. And when it comes to alcohol, there is little debate that whether it’s whisky, beer or wine, alcohol just isn’t that great for your oral health. So if you’re drinking more these days to help your heart, you may want to re-think that strategy a bit. Let’s take a look at why.

  1. Drying effect: Unlike water, which hydrates your mouth and protects it from cavity-causing bacteria and acid, alcohol dries it out. When paired with alcohol’s acidic nature, this drying effect provides the perfect low pH environment for bacteria to feast. And if that weren’t all, because we’re prone to sip alcoholic beverages for hours on end, doing so keeps the pH in our mouths low for hours at a time – not a good scenario for our teeth and gums.
  2. Staining: Wine, like coffee, can stain your teeth. In most cases, the staining is temporary, and is caused by a number of things like its acidity, which etches the teeth allowing color to “stick,” and tannins, which love teeth so much they bind to the enamel and trap the wine’s color along with it. Joy! How’s that for a festive party? The good thing is, you can keep discoloration at bay by munching on food while drinking, and chewing gum once you’re done consuming for the night. This will bathe your mouth in saliva, and bring your pH back to normal. Also, as an aside, hold off on brushing your teeth until at least a half hour after you’re done consuming. If done too early, the soft nature of your enamel after drinking can cause unwanted enamel abrasion.
  3. Long term effects: Of course, it goes without mentioning, that if your alcohol consumption habits are more frequent, and of larger amounts than “recommended,” you should be aware that these effects are compounding, and can even result in oral cancer. In fact, if you are prone to combining alcohol with smoking, your oral cancer risk is six times greater than if you just smoked, or just drank. Scientists believe the effects of alcohol on the mouth enable cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke greater access to our oral tissues resulting in a favorable environment for cancer to develop.

As is often the case, your health is within your control. Therefore choosing habits wisely, and being informed of their consequences is always knowledge worth possessing. As the sage is known to say … everything in moderation.

© 2017 Revenue Well Systems, LLC – Ultimate practice marketing and communication suite