Smile Tips for All Parts of Life from a Mom, Wife, and Dentist

January 31, 2017

Espresso at Home

DeLonghi Espresso Maker

Our recent trip to Rome definitely inspired the purchase of our new DeLonghi Espresso Maker! Hubby and I are having too much fun making each other cappuccinos and lattes. The frother is super easy to use and the no-drip design makes for simple clean up.

Lavazza Espresso

Of course we had to opt for Lavazza ground espresso, Italy's favorite brand and one that is also popular throughout Europe. The rich bodied coffee is full of flavor and the aroma alone is enough to get you out of bed.

The Cornucopia Espresso Cups are ideal for espresso. Packaged in a set of four with saucers, these two ounce porcelain ceramic cups are perfect in size and design.  

January 28, 2017

Fun Things for Kids to do in DC | National Portrait Gallery

This weekend we finally had a chance to visit the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery! The many colorful exhibits are fun and exciting for the whole family.

Of course, our first stop was Explore! with the Portrait Gallery. Designed for young children, the Explore room has many activities to stimulate the imagination and introduce kids to the concept of artistic representation of people.

Visitors are able to draw, design, and record each other's likenesses to examine characteristics that we share as well as those that make us unique.

We were easily drawn towards the many other captivating exhibits at the Gallery, especially the portraits in Experience America and In the Groove, which showcases the celebrated faces of the Jazz Age.

Our trip to the National Portrait Gallery was a fun day of learning about history, art and culture. Click here here for more information and plan your trip today.

January 25, 2017

Sensodyne for Tooth Sensitivity

Sensodyne Toothpaste

Tooth sensitivity is a very common symptom among dental patients. Enamel erosion is caused by acidic beverages and foods. Heavy brushing and tooth grinding can also damage tooth structure and contribute to sensitivity. Sensodyne toothpaste contains potassium nitrate, a salt which has been proven to block dental rods and decrease sensitivity. Other ways to fight tooth sensitivity include:

  • Brushing in round gentle motions with a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Rinsing with water after consuming acidic beverages.  
  • Wearing a nightguard if you have been diagnosed with bruxism or tooth grinding. 

Be sure to discuss tooth sensitivity with your dentist to find the treatment that's best for you.

January 22, 2017

Red, White & Blue | Things to Like

The days are already getting longer and I'm anxiously looking forward to the rebirth of cool. Here are some fun and simple pieces that I've been considering to mix bold and brave into my casual style.  

January 15, 2017

3 Travel Items to Make Your Trip More Relaxing

This winter, our family has done quite a bit of traveling. My husband is super organized when it comes to packing and also very resourceful about finding good flight deals. I'm always packing up until the last minute and really enjoy the excitement of getting my wardrobe and fun travel items in order. When it comes to preparing for boarding, these are my top three must have items:

Travel Duffel Tote

1. Oversized Travel Bag. There are so many versions of my oversized canvas travel duffel tote, which is perfect size for a carry on as well as weekend bag. When it comes to handling the long lines at check-in, security, and customs, a large duffel tote is the best way to store your laptop, books, snacks, and other crucial items.  

2. Comfortable Footwear. My Adidas Neo Super Wedges have the softest soles. The classic black and white color scheme make them both stylish and still basic enough to go with any outfit.

3. Travel Apps. Smart devices have made modern travel much more manageable. Whether you want to check your flight's status, local weather reports, hotel deals, or news in the region, your updates are just finger clicks away.

What's on your travel list?

January 10, 2017

Outside the Box | Dear Dental Student...

The Profession of Dentistry

I'll always remember the first day of dental school. In her welcome, the Dean of Student Affairs congratulated our class on choosing to enter what she termed, "The Platinum Profession." She reviewed the financial highlights of dentistry as reported by Forbes Magazine and then briefed us on our academic schedules and responsibilities. What followed was our first formal lecture about the psychology of pain and how to manage pain in dentistry. Pain? I questioned. That's quite a welcome to the dental world.

The four years that followed indeed involved some pain and discomfort: growing pains of having to selfishly focus on this challenging academic and professional pursuit; painful break-ups and make-ups with friends and family; pain from limited hours of sleep and the dry eyes that accompany waxing-up teeth into the night; and of course pain as the most common chief complaint of my patients, which consequently aided me in obtaining my dental degree. Pain is the reason people fear the dentist and it's also a huge factor in the unhappiness of dental providers. Dental school taught me how to treat pain but managing my connection to that pain was something I've had to learn outside the box. 

Traditionally, most dentists spend most of their days in the same office and intimate operatory, working very closely with a small team of individuals. The fine margins of detail, money, time, and pain can often become burdensome and even unbearable. While dentistry is deemed a very prominent profession, it is also one that has also been linked to high rates of depression. However, I am grateful for the many advancements in dentistry that make it a more pleasurable delivery of care for both patients and providers. Here are just a few:

Technology. Digital x-ray delivery was just the beginning. Smart devices, computer simulated dental education, and other innovative programs not only help patients better understand treatment recommendations but also ease the experience of adults and children in the dental chair.

Expansion. I would have never imagined that my duty treating dental disease would prompt me to pursue my passion for writing and publish a collection of Children's Books that teach the importance of oral care. Design your own dental world exactly the way what you want it to be. Whether it's providing treatment, managing businesses, or teaching students, this very refined profession is actually quite wide in terms of dimensions for satisfaction.

Free Space. Dentists are trained to be regimented and detail oriented. Allow those good habits to occupy your lifestyle as well. Traveling, fitness, quality time with family, and other hobbies are things that other professionals often sacrifice for business. Being a dentist yields the opportunity to be your own boss and to create your own work schedule so you can make time for yourself and your family.

No dental prep is perfect and no profession is without its own set of flaws. However, when it comes to success in dentistry, I'm learning that integrity is as much about personal growth as it is the brilliance of your design.      

January 8, 2017

Safeguarding Your Child's Smile

I wish I could tell you there was a foolproof way to protect your child from ever chipping his tooth or damaging his smile but there is no way to prevent child's play and accidents are inevitable. Each day my three-year-old son is pushing limits, jumping higher, running further and faster. It's a bittersweet time for me as a mother because I'm excited to see him grow but I must accept that I can't control every action and every boundary. I'm thankful for the safety improvements of modern play facilities and I'm also comforted by the advancements in cosmetic dentistry. So what should you do if your child takes a fall?

1. In the event of facial trauma, be sure to have your child evaluated by a healthcare professional. Baby teeth may become loose or even lost from injury and it is important to also inform the dentist of such incidents. 

2. At the dental visit, x-rays may be necessary and treatment such as extraction may also be recommended. Of course parents worry that premature baby tooth loss can affect adult smiles. However, your child's front teeth typically exfoliate around age six and are already becoming loose in the arch around age five. I knocked out my front tooth when I was four and my older sister teased me for years. It wasn't until dental school, that I realized most young school age children have goofy smiles. 

3. When adult teeth are affected, there are a wide range of restorative dental procedures that can help rejuvenate your child's smile ranging from bonded fillings to root canals, crowns and even implants. Your dentist may suggest certain procedures immediately and others later down the road after full arch development has completed.

4. To minimize dental trauma during sports, the American Dental Association recommends that school age children wear sportsguards during organized athletic activities. These can be purchased over the counter or customized by a dental laboratory. Consult with your dentist about which type is best for your family.

Playtime is for fun and a broken tooth can be fixed. In the best case, play cautiously, practice good oral care at home, and visit your dentist every six months for check-ups.

January 7, 2017

Pass the Diaper

Last month, in my post My Favorite Baby Brands, I reviewed my favorite diaper bag but not my diaper brand of choice. A follower commented that her daily baby needs including diapering and feeding are most essential. I must admit the diaper game was one I hadn't even thought much about until I was knee deep in Pampers Swaddlers.

My parents used cloth diapers on me and my three sisters. The diaper man came to the house to pick up and deliver the diapers every week and I can still remember where my Dad put the pail on the front steps. As a child, I imagined that I would follow the same tradition but when the time came to prepare for baby, cloth diapers seemed like a foreign concept.

We found Pampers to suit our needs from the early months of swaddlers, through the year of cruisers and even into the last weeks of training pants. Luckily, for our Diaper genie and Munchkin Arm & Hammer diaper disposing bags, diapering wasn't too unbearable.  What's your favorite diaper brand?

January 2, 2017

On the Blog

When I first started blogging about a year and a half ago, it was to share my son's adventures learning how to talk in a bilingual environment of English and Serbian. I struggle with my own knowledge of Serbian but have always found fascinating how children can easily become versed in multiple languages and it has been a wonderful experience for our family. As the months rolled by and he moved from sounds onto words and then full verses, I began to discuss more topics on my role as a mom, wife and also as a dentist. The blog has since evolved into what I consider my smile tips on all parts of life.

What I didn't know about blogging, was that creating regular intriguing content is just one of the challenges that it entails. I have always enjoyed writing and blogging is much like a short introduction to a fun conversation. However, I bounced around a few different platforms before I found my comfort zone and I'm still learning the tricks to some basic computer coding as I tweak my style and engage with followers on the many arms of social media.

Blog really is life. Everyday something funny, memorable, or interesting happens and I'm really enjoying sharing my journey with all of you. Thanks so much for following along!

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