Win tickets to Typhoon Texas!

Join in the summer fun!

It’s summer! Time for sunshine, cold drinks, and family time. We want to help you stay cool with a family 4 pack of tickets to the newly renovated Typhoon Texas in Pflugerville! It is super easy to be entered to win!

  1. Be a new patient
  2. Refer a new patient
  3. Post a 5 star Google review
  4. Post a 5 star review on Yelp
  5. Check-in, Tag, or post a 5 star review on Facebook

The winner will be drawn 07/28/2017

Good luck!!

 

Which comes first: Happiness or Success?

Which comes first: Happiness or Success?

Early in January we shared with everyone that as a team we like to set personal and team goals. Rather than the typical “New Years Resolution” we choose One Word to focus on in our personal and professional lives. If you haven’t had a chance to read the blog, Click here to check it out!

Well, here we are almost half way through 2017 and we wonder how everyone is doing with their goals. One way that the 12 Oaks Dental team achieves personal growth throughout the year is to read! Right now, as a group, we are reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. In the book Shawn asks “Which comes first: Happiness or Success?” So often we tell ourselves things like “If I could just get that promotion, I’ll be happy.” or “If I could just lose the weight, I’ll be happy.” but once the goal is reached, are we actually happy? Or, do we move on to the next thing we want achieve. In a blog written by Shawn he says:

“Now for the good news. Based on the findings in The Happiness Advantage: if you reverse the order of the formula, you end up with greater happiness and greater success rates. Happiness is an advantage, and the precursor to greater success. In every single relationship, business, and educational outcome improves when the brain is positive first. If you cultivate happiness while in the midst of your struggles, work, at school, while unemployed or single, you increase your chances of attaining all the goals you are pursuing…including happiness.”

How to put Happiness before Success

Who couldn’t use more happiness?! Shawn Anchor advised his Harvard student to stop equating the future with happiness. Success does not mean happiness. Happiness is a work ethic. He suggests that you try the 21 day challenge. The challenge is to pick one of these five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create a positive habit.

1. Write down three new things you are grateful for each day into a blank word document. Research shows this will significantly improve your optimism even 6 months later, and raises your success rates significantly.

2. Write for 2 minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours. This is a strategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker, to a meaning based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos. This dramatically increases work happiness.

3. Exercise for 10 minutes a day. This trains your brain to believe your behavior matters, which causes a cascade of success throughout the rest of the day.

4. Meditate for 2 minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out. This will help you undo the negative effects of multitasking. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time. It also decreases stress and raises happiness.

5. Write one, quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising a member on your team. This significantly increases your feeling of social support, which in my study at Harvard was the largest predictor of happiness for the students.

Try it!! What the worst that could happen? We hope you will share with us your story of triumph!

A Word to the Wise: Don’t Let Wisdom Teeth Cause Trouble

wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth usually begin to develop and show on x-rays in our early teens. And that’s the best time to start monitoring their growth to see if your wisdom teeth can stay, or if it’s better to get them removed. While all wisdom teeth don’t necessarily have to be extracted, all of us at our dental office in Austin want our patients to know that if wisdom teeth removal is recommended, it’s for a good reason.

When Can Wisdom Teeth Stay?

Sometimes, wisdom teeth are growing in just fine and there is no reason to discuss or consider removing them. In most cases, if your wisdom teeth are healthy, completely grown in, positioned correctly so they don’t affect your bite or neighboring teeth, and are able to be cleaned properly, they can stay right where they are. However, it’s more common that they will need to be removed, sometimes before they’re fully erupted.

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

Proper Care Becomes Difficult

Even if your wisdom teeth came in without a hitch, you may not necessarily get to keep them. In fact, one of the main reasons wisdom teeth need to come out is that they are difficult to care for. Your wisdom teeth, the four molars in the back of your mouth, are hard to reach with a toothbrush, and even harder to floss. This tends to increase the likelihood of gum disease and cavities. If any issues are noticed during your routine checkups with your Austin dentist, removal may be recommended to reduce the risk of more cavities and infection later.

There’s No Room For Them

Another reason – the most common reason – why wisdom teeth need to be removed is because there isn’t enough room in your mouth. This can often be handled with an easy wisdom teeth removal before any teeth begin to erupt through the gums. However, if the procedure is delayed or avoided, the teeth can get trapped in the bone and become impacted. Once wisdom teeth are impacted, the surgery is a bit more complicated, but still fairly easy.

Keeping up with your regularly scheduled appointments at our Austin dental office is an important step in monitoring your wisdom teeth and making sure that everything in your mouth is healthy, functioning correctly, and looking great. If you need someone to check out your wisdom teeth, or your smile as a whole, give us a call today.

Serving patients in Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park

“Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?”

sensitive

Do you experience shooting pain through your teeth when you drink something hot or bite into something cold? If so, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. It’s a common problem for many people, but our dental office in Austin wants to help explain some possible reasons behind your sensitivity and how we can fix it.

Reason #1: Clenching & Grinding

Although tooth enamel is really strong stuff, it can be worn away by chronically scraping teeth together through clenching or grinding (also known as bruxism). When enamel erodes it leaves the middle part of the tooth exposed and sensitivity results. Tooth clenching and grinding can not only lead to sensitivity, but also other dental problems like cracked or chipped teeth which require restorative dentistry to repair.

Solution: Tooth clenching and grinding can be treated. Typically a custom-made bruxism mouthguard is recommended. These mouthguards keep your teeth from scraping together, protecting them from damage.

Reason #2: Brushing Too Hard

Although it seems to make sense that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner your mouth will be, that just isn’t the case. Using a side-to-side motion or scrubbing too vigorously will make enamel wear down more quickly than normal, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity.

Solution: Revise your brushing technique. You should brush using small, gentle circles while holding your brush at a 45 degree angle. You may also want to make sure your brush has soft bristles for an even gentler clean.

Reason #3: Gum Disease

One of the common symptoms of gum disease is sensitivity. Why? Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the tooth roots. These roots contain nerves and if these nerves are unprotected, it can be very painful.  In addition to sensitivity, signs of gum disease can include red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Solution: See your dentist in Austin as soon as you can. Gum disease is a serious concern that can not only cause tooth sensitivity, but also contributes to whole body problems like strokes and heart disease.  

If you have sensitive teeth, give our Austin dental office a call to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll work with you to determine the cause and discuss relief options.

Accepting new patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and beyond. 

Today you are you, that’s truer than true! Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Today is World book day. Schools across the globe are celebrating Dr. Seuss’s whimsical writing by dressing up and celebrating how wonderful it is to read and be inspired.

“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

What are you reading right now? Does it inspire you?! The 12 Oaks Dental team is reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Anchor. Everyone could use more happiness in there lives! This book breaks down the ability to be happy in all areas of your life by applying 7 principles.

“Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.” 

We suggest you pick up a copy and join us reading this great book!

“Why Do I Bite My Lip All The Time?”

biting

Whether it’s your lip, your cheeks, or your tongue, biting the tissues in and around your mouth is a troublesome habit for many. Mostly brought on by stress or as a nervous habit, cheek or lip biting can be hard to break. At our dental office in Austin, we’d like our patients to know just how harmful this habit can actually be and provide them tips on how to stop.

Explanations to Why We Bite

If you’re a chronic nibbler, the cause may be nerve related and should be resolved through actively recognizing when you do it and working consciously to stop it. Sometimes, a bite to the oral tissues is accidental, typically occurring when trying to multitask eating and talking. Although we all know how painful it can be, the occasional bite usually isn’t a big deal and should heal on its own.

However, there are times when lip or cheek biting can be unavoidable. An abundance of accidental bites could be a sign of something more serious like a misaligned bite (malocclusion) or even TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). When teeth don’t align properly, the likelihood of your cheek, lip, or tongue getting in between them increases.

Why is Chronic Biting Bad?

No matter what the underlying cause is, biting any part of the mouth hurts! And the discomfort sometimes lasts much longer than the initial zing of pain upon contact. What’s more, after a bite, a mouth sore usually develops. These sores can become infected if proper oral hygiene isn’t maintained, and infection in the mouth is never a good thing. If malocclusion is the main cause behind your accidental bites, a whole host of other potential problems can arise including headaches, tooth shifting, and jaw pain.

How Can You Stop?

Like we’ve discussed, if you’ve identified your biting as a nervous habit, try to consciously work at stopping it. Also chew more deliberately and pay attention while eating to reduce the chance of sustaining an injury. If this is an ongoing problem, talk with your dentist in Austin to determine if your bite may be misaligned.

At our Austin dental office, we’re always here to help current and new patients with any concerns they may have. If you’re experiencing the pain of chronically biting your cheeks, lips, or tongue, give us a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll determine the cause of your biting and work with you to help correct the problem.

Welcoming patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and beyond. 

All you need is love….But a little bit of chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!

All you need is love….But a little bit of chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!

For as long as we can remember, people have associated a box of chocolates with Valentine’s Day.

But did you know that eating dark chocolate is actually good for you?  Here at 12 Oaks Dental, we strive not only to keep you smiling, but to increase your overall health awareness.heart

Dark Chocolates have many health benefits you may not be aware of.

 Here are just a few:

Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure, per a study that appears in the Aug 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, dark chocolate can actually lower your blood pressure.

Antioxidants are Found in Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolates, but not milk chocolate is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants eat up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments. Heart disease is proven associated to periodontal disease.

Improve Cardiovascular Function- known to raise HLD levels, in the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries.

Protect Your Skin Against Sun Damage -the flavanols found in dark chocolate can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.

Improve Brain Function – is known to improve cognitive function in the elderly with mental impairment. It also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may improve short term brain function.

So, go ahead and treat yourself and your Valentine to a box of dark chocolates this year, you may have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things, but the benefits of chocolate may just be what the doctor ordered! Of course, great brushing habits and regular dental visits with our hygienists are a must!

So, have some chocolate today! We are! Happy Valentine’s day!!

Simple Ways to Limit Your Exposure to Sugar

reduce sugar

There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar indulgence every now and then. We get it, sometimes you just need a little fix with a sweet treat. But as most people know, sugar is something every dentist really doesn’t like. And with good reason (more on that in a bit). At our dental office in Austin, we want to help our patients limit how much sugar they consume with these simple tips.

What’s The Big Deal About Sugar Anyway?

Sugar is needed in order to have our bodies function properly. But too much of it can lead to some pretty serious issues. An abundance of sugar ingestion contributes to tooth decay and enamel erosion. When this happens, patients tend to need dental treatment like cavity fillings and perhaps even root canals to protect teeth from more damage. But that’s not all. A diet high in sugar also negatively affects the whole body. Too much sugar can cause headaches, lead to overeating, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to cardiovascular disease.

How Much Sugar Do You Need?

The amount of sugar someone should consume varies as we get older and even depends on our gender. Recommendations from the American Heart Association start at 12 teaspoons per day for anyone 3 and under, 21 teaspoons from 4 to 8, and increases to 29-34 grams in boys 9 to 19, and 23 to 25 grams in girls in the same age range. Once we reach adulthood, maximum daily sugar intake for men is 37.5 grams and 25 grams for women.

What Are The Best Ways to Limit Sugar in Your Diet?

  • Eliminate sweets, or enjoy them in moderation. This tip seems obvious, but we do understand how difficult this may be. When you crave something sweet, opt for a piece of fruit.
  • Know what you’re eating. Sugar can hide in some surprising places, and you may be unaware of just how much you’re actually eating. Get in the habit of reading the nutritional facts on your groceries.
  • Enjoy home cooked meals. Making your own meals at home allows you to control what ingredients you use and can help you not only limit sugar, but eat healthier overall.

Taking these steps to decrease your sugar intake can help keep your teeth and body healthy. But that doesn’t mean other parts of your oral health care routine can take a backseat. It’s still, and always will be, important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist in Austin two times a year.

If you’re experiencing a dental problem, or if you’re looking for a new dentist, we welcome you to call our Austin dental office to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to help.

Welcoming patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and beyond. 

Dental Care is Important for Pets Too

pets teeth

At our dental office in Austin, we have a soft spot for fuzzy animals. Which is why we think it’s important to talk about dental care for pets. Dental care for our furry family members is just as important as dental care for humans. And while we don’t accept four-legged patients in this office, we do want to provide you with tips for proper pet dental care.

Signs of a Problem

Before we discuss how to keep your pet healthy, it’s extremely important to know the signs of some serious dental concerns. Keep a lookout for the following:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bleeding
  • Refusal to let you near his mouth

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your vet as soon as possible as they may be signs of something serious.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

You heard us correctly. Pick up a toothbrush that’s right for your animal at your local pet supply store, apply some pet toothpaste (do NOT use human toothpaste — it can cause stomach issues in animals), and scrub gently in soft circles. It may take some practice, but brushing your pet’s teeth two or three times a week can be beneficial to his dental and overall health. It’s also recommended that all pets receive professional cleanings at the vet once a year.

Allow Puppies to Chew

It’s an unavoidable reality — puppies chew everything. From shoes, to table legs, and even clothes, there’s nothing a new puppy won’t sink its teeth into. Part of the natural desire to chew has to do with teething, and it’s actually beneficial. It helps strengthen teeth, massage gums, and scrape away tartar. So stock up on chew toys and encourage your pup to chew only on those toys, not only for the health of his teeth, but also for the health of your shoe collection.

Pick an Appropriate Diet

Your pet’s diet can affect his dental health, just like your food and drink choices can affect yours. There are a variety of pet foods available to help reduce tartar and plaque buildup. Talk with your vet to see what’s best for your buddy.

Following the advice above can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy for a lifetime. But don’t forget about your own oral health. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and maintain visits to our Austin dental office at least every six months. Don’t let dental problems plague you or your pet. Make the commitment to proper oral health for you both.

 
Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and the surrounding areas.

Saying Goodbye to Laura

Saying Goodbye to Laurafarewell

Today marks the end of an era at 12 Oaks Dental. Laura Howard has been a dedicated hygienist with us for over 30 years. She is starting a new adventure in Portland, OR with her husband Charles, who accepted a job in the city of roses. We are so sad to see her go but as the quote says:

“Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.”

She has been truly touched and overwhelmed by all of the loving patients that have taken the time to come by, send a card, write an email, or pick up the phone to tell her how much her care has meant to them over the years. She will forever be a part of the 12 Oaks Dental family.

She will be missed!!

 

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