Giving Back for the Holidays

At High Point Family Dentistry, we are always looking for new ways to give back to our community and the residents of Elgin. This year, we organized our very own Toys for Tots drive. The holiday season is the perfect time to share with those in need and we felt the Toys for Tots drive would be an easy way for our patients to get involved as well!

About Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is directed by the U.S. Marine Corps and is designed to collect new, unwrapped toys to distribute to children in need during the holiday season. Campaigns usually run from the beginning of October through mid to late December. This provides community members with ample time to save and contribute to the cause. A coordinator will then pick up the donations and take them to a central location where toys are sorted. Once Christmas arrives, coordinators and local community groups work together to distribute the toys.

stuffed toy bear wearing a christmas has

How to Get Involved

You can find your closest drop-off location on the Toys for Tots website. If you’d like to make a monetary donation, you may mail a check to their headquarters or make a donation via credit card on their website. If you’re a business owner and you’d like to set up a donation box at your location, use the Toys for Tots website to find your local campaign and get in touch with its coordinator.

Our Contribution

In our office, we set up a donation box where patients could drop off new and unwrapped toys. We also welcomed monetary donations at our front desk, for those who did not have time to go gift shopping or were unsure what to purchase. Our donation box was overflowing with new toys!

We would like to thank everyone who donated to our drive and made this event such a success. Thanks to you, we’re certain there will be several happy kiddos on Christmas morning! To keep up with our future community involvement, please visit our community events page. For events you’d like our team to get involved in, please speak with a member of our team. We look forward to seeing you around the community and at your next routine dental appointment!

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How Do Astronauts Brush Their Teeth?

Astronaut floating in outer space

You’ve probably had freeze-dried ice cream or another different astronaut-style snack, or you’ve at least heard about the unique ways that astronauts eat in zero-gravity environments. But how do astronauts carry out normal everyday tasks, like brushing their teeth?

What You Need to Brush Your Teeth in Space

Astronauts can use the same types of toothbrushes and toothpastes that we use here on Earth, although it’s easier to use toothpastes with fixed caps so that there’s one less thing to worry about floating around while they’re brushing their teeth. They may also prefer special toothpaste that they can swallow to avoid a mess and extra waste. Another item that astronauts need to brush their teeth are drink bags, which are small foil pouches that are filled with water and come with an attached straw.

The Brushing Process

First, the astronaut attaches their toothpaste tube to a nearby wall. With the toothbrush in one hand and the drink pouch in the other, they squeeze a small bead of water from the pouch while simultaneously gliding their toothbrush over it. The toothbrush will instantly suck up the water. Then, the astronaut takes their toothpaste and repeats the same process. They will brush their teeth like usual! Once they are done, all they have to do is squeeze some water over their brush and wipe it off with a towel to clean it. Then they can pack up their things and get on with their day.

The key difference between brushing your teeth in space and on Earth is that astronauts don’t have the luxury of doing so over a sink, which makes spitting difficult. Instead of spitting, they just have to take a couple sips of water from their drink bag and—you guessed it—swallow their toothpaste! That certainly must take some getting used to.

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Whether you’re in space or down here on Earth, brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best ways to maintain your oral health. And for all of you who aren’t traveling around our galaxy, don’t forget to pop into the dentist for your regular dental check-ups!

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Tonsil Stones: Do You Have Them?

illustration of open mouth with question mark next to it

Many people are familiar with the condition of stones forming in the body, such as kidney stones or gall stones, but did you know that stones can also form on your tonsils? Here is what tonsil stones are and how to tell if you have them:

What Are Tonsil Stones?

As with other types of stones that appear in the body, tonsil stones are deposits of calcified dead cells and bacteria. Tonsils are lymph nodes intended to block infections from reaching the lungs, and when the white blood cells inside of them leave behind debris while fighting off infections it can build up on the glands over time and form what we see as tonsil stones.

Tonsil stones form in the grooves on the surface of the tonsil glands themselves and usually appear as hard, white bumps. They can be very small or quite large if left in place for a long time, though this is rare.

How Do You Know If You Have Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones are most common in people who have chronic inflammation of the tonsil glands or who have poor oral hygiene. If you have swollen tonsils and suffer from bad breath and a sore throat, you may want to see if you have tonsil stones by checking the back of your throat in the mirror.

How Are Tonsil Stones Treated?

If you have mild or moderate tonsil stones, no medical treatment is necessary as they can usually be easily removed. Many people gently dislodge them using a toothbrush, cotton swab, or water flosser, followed by gargling with warm salt water to clear away any leftover debris.

Larger tonsil stones may be more difficult to remove by yourself and may require surgery, particularly if they occur along with tonsillitis. If you have recurring tonsil stones and inflammation of the glands, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy to prevent further issues.

A good oral care regimen is one of the ways to prevent tonsil stones from forming. Don’t forget to brush, floss, and use a good mouthwash daily. High Point Family Dentistry looks forward to helping all of our patients keep their mouths clean and healthy.

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How Phở Can Benefit Your Teeth & Whole Body

bowl of pho

Pho is the traditional Vietnamese soup that is made with a slow-cooked bone broth and is served with vermicelli noodles, protein, and a number of fresh toppings, such as Thai basil, mint, fresh lime juice, and bean sprouts. Although there are many delicious variations on the original recipe, this traditional version is becoming increasingly popular. Not only is pho a fantastic winter comfort food, but it is also a nutritious meal that has some surprising health benefits for your teeth and the rest of your body.

Collagen

Bone broth, the soup base used for pho, has received a lot of attention lately for its curative properties and one of the reasons is that it contains collagen, a protein found in bone marrow. When boiled, the collagen is hydrolyzed into gelatin, which is extremely beneficial for connective tissues in the gums as well as strong bones, teeth, hair, and nails.

Minerals

The long, slow boiling process of making bone broth extracts the maximum amount of minerals from the bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Rich in calcium, iron, and phosphorus, the ingredients in a bowl of pho are essential for maintaining healthy dentin and tooth enamel, and some advocates claim it can even aid in the remineralization of teeth.

Vitamins

The crunchy bean sprouts, squeeze of lime juice, and fresh herbs like mint and basil that are offered as toppings for pho give you an added punch of essential vitamins like A, C, and E, which all contribute to strong teeth and gums and overall health. The more fresh herbs and vegetables you include, the more nutritious it is for you so be sure to fill your bowl with plenty of them.

Protein & Fiber

Traditional pho is served with thinly sliced beef, but it can be made with any type of meat. Including a serving of meat gives you added protein and combining it with plenty of vegetables gives you a healthy dose of fiber, both of which help you to feel satiated longer. Opt for whole grain noodles if possible and skip the high sodium sauces and you’ve got a wonderfully nutritious meal that your teeth and the rest of your body will appreciate.

High Point Family Dentistry knows the importance of taking good care of your teeth through proper diet and good oral hygiene. We offer gentle and compassionate dental care for you and your entire family and strive to build positive relationships with all of our patients.

We’re here to help you maintain lifelong dental health!

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