307 East State Highway 71
Llano, TX 78643
Search our useful articles and topics.
- April (4)
- March (5)
- December (4)
- November (5)
- October (4)
- September (5)
- June (3)
I must confess to mixed feelings about modern day parenting. There are times when I feel we’re on the right track with encouragement and nurturing. Other times I feel we coddle our kids too much nowadays. Of course, both of these sentiments are probably just a repeat of how every generation feels.
Back in my day...
When life is said and done, the wins and losses and multiple ties really won’t matter. The question of pushing too hard or not prodding enough will hopefully all shake out to produce great kids. All any of us parents can do is teach some discipline and respect. We can lead by example. We can be parent or friend when the situation calls for each. We can love unconditionally give a lot of hugs. We can doctor the many injuries that we fail to prevent. We can tell them over and over not to touch the hot stove, but the experience of that first burn must happen at least once to gain real knowledge.
In reality, we just hope and pray the we are saying and doing the right things. Only time will tell.
Looking back on my own childhood, I can remember very few victories or defeats or great achievements. Somehow, though, I distinctly recall the few times when I learned a bit of character. The proudest moments I have as a father are when I see moments of character developing in my own kids.
Cue the flashback music.
It was a beautiful spring day and I was running sprints up the driveway between sets of lifting weights. Calling my pace a sprint is a generous term, but sounds better than really awkward fast jog with arms and legs flailing about. Mom was inside and the kids were out with me enjoying the perfect weather. After mostly ignoring my huffing and puffing, Parker (age 7) spoke up and challenged old Dad to a race. I offered him a head start and his sister gleefully offered to be the judge. After a lengthy song and dance on the rules, Peyton (age 5) said, “ReadySetGo!” and we were off. It looked like the handicap was too much for me to overcome when, suddenly, Parker looked back to see how much he was going to win by.
This was a split second parenting decision where I had to decide to teach a lesson or to back off. Subliminally, a decision was made and I won the race and kisses from the now princess/mermaid/judge. Parker was crushed and sulked to the side, not willing to talk. I tried to explain about not looking back and running through the finish line, but my words seemed to fall on deaf, disappointed ears.
My own heart sank. I figured I’d made a bad parenting decision.
Since no words could be had, I went back to my workout. After a few minutes, out of the corner of my eye, I spied movement around the side of the house. Upon investigation, Parker was running sprints between two fences. He was staying low and running through an imaginary finish line. I snuck off, smiled, and left him alone.
Some time later, he bounded up and asked for a rematch. I offered him the same head start and he was ready to go. Our princess/mermaid/judge had long gotten bored with this boy stuff, so it was just us two. Before we started, I knew what I had to do.
Of course, my sand-bagging was unnecessary. Damned if I couldn’t catch him, even though I tried my hardest. He beat me fair and square. I couldn’t get close. The look on his face said it all. He was so excited, we raced again. I got closer, but failed the second time as well. He beamed from ear to ear and went inside to brag to his sister.
Maybe practice and hard work do pay off. Maybe, we added a block of character this day.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.
Your Dental Team…
Everything in our body is connected. Modern medicine teaches us that dentists and doctors should not be on an island. Dentists routinely consult with a variety of non-dental practitioners to figure out how to best treat our patients. We rarely consult a medical doctor about a routine filling, but we do like to talk to other doctors about some of the more complicated conditions that we treat. We live in a time where it often takes a team to determine the best course of action for complex health problems.
It seems like every day a new study comes out that links some form of dental problem to some sort of overall health problem. Also, it is quite common for dentists to see patients on a more consistent basis than physicians. For this reason, most dentists perform some basic health monitoring to include blood pressure checks, pulse oximetry, oral cancer and sleep apnea screenings. Any abnormal findings are referred to a patient’s doctor for further evaluation. Here are a few types of doctors that your dentist may recommend you seeing.
Primary Care Doctors – Our healthcare system is maintained by these frontline physicians. They are the key to steering and managing your overall health. Dentists often send patients back to their family doctor to have potential health issues checked out that we observe in our office.
Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists – You would be amazed at how many airway issues dentists discover. From adults with symptoms of sleep apnea to kids with oversized tonsils affecting their jaw growth, we see all sorts of breathing problems. Many of our dental x-rays actually reveal some of these problems. We don’t diagnose, but we do refer to the experts.
Chiropractors – One of the most life affecting problems we treat is TMD or jaw joint pain. Nobody lives happily dealing with constant pain. Often, the way the jaw is working can have a negative effect on your spine. Imagine a stack of poker chips. Now imagine the top few chips (your head, upper jaw, lower jaw, and neck) are all out of line with the rest of the stack. What is the rest of the stack going to do? We often catch these problems early when diagnosing kids for braces or later for adults with jaw problems. A good chiropractor can often help with these spinal issues.
Physical and Massage Therapists – See the above paragraph. When the parts aren’t lined up, the muscles get stretched or knotted in all the wrong directions. Massage and exercise therapy can do wonders.
This is but a short list of people who help dentists to take care of their patients. We’re lucky to have some great referrals around. Thanks to them all.
Until next time, keep smiling.
-Comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.
Getting Things In Order...
One of the first things a newborn teaches it’s parents is that babies appreciate consistency and order. To this day, I remember the schedule well. Up at 7:00 for bottle, diaper dirty by 7:45, playtime until 10:00, quick nap, then bottle again at 11:00. Repeat until 11:00 at night, or sometimes 3:00 am, depending on their mood. The more consistent we parents were, the smoother things went. Changes in schedule led to sleepless nights.
At five and seven, our kids still do best when kept on schedule. Ask any teacher what the school day is like the day after Halloween and you’ll know what I mean. When dealing with kids, schedules prevent chaos.
When it comes to teeth and oral health, there’s also a natural and logical way to schedule from start to finish. Ideally, dental teams strive to help patients find and follow their personalized path to health.
A healthy mouth starts with the treatment of any acute (immediate) pains or problems. To do this, your dental team needs a variety of x-rays, pictures, and possibly models of your teeth to evaluate pressing concerns. Initial treatment can be as simple as gum therapy (a prophylactic cleaning). For others, removal of infection may involve treating severe gum disease, root canal therapy, caries control (cavity removal), or removal of hopelessly diseased teeth. For any treatment to last long term, a strong foundation of healthy gums and reduced oral bacteria must be established.
After disease is removed, the next step is to re-enforce and strengthen the remaining teeth. This often includes new fillings to replace defective, corroding silver mercury fillings. Often, a few teeth should be protected with crowns or onlays to splint cracks and fissures that develop over the years.
The third step is where the fun begins. That’s when we dentists get to make beautiful, white, straight, healthy teeth surrounded by pink, healthy gums. Tooth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, tooth replacement with implants, cosmetic dentures and partials, and orthodontics all fit in here. There are many ways to the perfect smile.
Finally, after all is said and done, the real at home work begins. Most every dental treatment plan will include a lifetime of maintenance to help that beautiful smile last as long as possible. Nighttime appliances, routine cleanings, fluoride delivery, and impeccable home care will all help to make things last as long as possible.
Even with teeth, a tight schedule can prevent chaos. Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.
The Perfect Toothbrush…
Patients live with their own teeth 100% of the time. We, in the dental field, can only contribute to oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) a minuscule amount. Semi-annual or quarterly cleanings do a lot of good, but the brunt of the work must be done at home on a daily basis.
So what is the best toothbrush to perform this maintenance?
If you walk down the “dental” aisle in any store, you’ll realize that oral hygiene is big business. The different sizes and colors and styles of toothbrushes mean that someone, somewhere, must be making a little money selling those bristled sticks. There are cheap toothbrushes, expensive toothbrushes, red toothbrushes, and blue toothbrushes. There are “ultrasonic” models and models that tell you how long to brush. So many brushes, they make your head spin.
Speaking of, there’s even a Spinbrush.
The secret is that no matter what brush you choose, almost all will work. It’s not the type of toothbrush that matters. It’s how you use it. A toothbrush is like a good pair of boots. Every individual has a certain size, shape, and style that fits them the best. Once you find your style, go with it.
We really only stress one attribute in a toothbrush…soft bristles. They wear out quicker, but they keep you from brushing too aggressively. Hard bristle brushes can cause gum recession and a mess of related issues.
After soft bristles, the rest is personal preference. Manual, electric, big handle, small brush head...it doesn’t matter so much which one you choose, as long as you are using it regularly and effectively. Two minutes, twice a day, with the bristles on your teeth and you’ll see results. Also, make sure to get all of the surfaces of all of the teeth. You’d be amazed how well right handed people brush their right teeth and often neglect the left. Fluoride toothpaste also does wonders for preventing cavities.
Until next time, keep smiling.
-Questions and comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.
Let’s talk kids and crooked teeth and braces.
The philosophy of orthodontics has evolved through the years. Today, the buzzword for straightening teeth is functional jaw orthopedics. That’s a fancy way of saying that we no longer just make teeth straight. Modern orthodontics looks at the big picture to include teeth, jaw bones, bedwetting, skull bones, posture, ADHD, jaw joints, airway, sleeping and breathing habits. There’s a lot more involved with a child’s crooked teeth than just crooked teeth.
The goal of functional orthopedics is to bring all of the different parts together in harmony to make a beautiful smile with healthy jaw joints and open airways.
Traditionally, kids got braces when they got their permanent teeth around twelve years of age. In certain cases, treatment has now changed. Studies show that at twelve years of age a child’s jaws are mostly done growing. That means dentists are limited as to how much we can expand jaw size to fit in all those big adult teeth. In the past, this lead to having to pull perfectly good teeth to make room for the remaining to line up. As a younger dentist, this never made sense to me. As a parent, it makes even less sense. Today, we see too many adults with jaw joint problems and extracted premolar teeth for us to feel comfortable treating our patients this way.
Today, we strive to catch early jaw problems and guide jaw growth so that teeth rarely have to be pulled. This is functional jaw orthopedics.
Dentists can check your child’s bite as soon as they get all of their baby teeth. As they continue to grow, we monitor their occlusion and jaw growth with exams and x-rays. We also look for and intervene with other problems like thumb sucking, airway issues, and tongue thrusting that can disrupt proper development. If things aren’t matching up, we can step in and place a special appliance that can help things develop evenly and correctly. This doesn’t always prevent your child from having to get braces, but it can make their time in braces shorter and hopefully, prevents them from having teeth pulled, or major jaw surgery.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Questions, comments, or suggestions can be emailed to Drs. Chip and Jennifer Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.