LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

Toothpicks

Five (New) Things I Learned From My Dentist

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Let me preface this post with some transparency.  I LOVE the dentist.  I have never dreaded the flossing, the scraping, the prodding.  Even as a kid, all of my dentist visit polaroids feature me with a huge smile on my face.  I loved having braces. I thought getting my wisdom teeth pulled was actually kind of cool. #ThanksLaughingGas And I'm 100% the kind of dental patient who asks all the questions during my cleaning. Yes, I'm that person. Because of this, I'm always asking my dentist, Dr. Lauren Izadi and her West End Dental team alllllll the questions.  Huge plug necessary: If you're looking for a dentist in DC, check this place out. They're all absolutely wonderful. So let's talk about some of the topics I learned about at my last visit. 

1. I'm Brushing Too Hard

Hi my name is Libby, an I am an "aggressive brusher."  According to my dentist, I get a little too into brushing. I know I'm supposed to brush in light, delicate circles, but sometimes it just feels good to scrub those bad boys clean.  Well, in my case, this isn't doing my teeth any favors. I'm actually wearing down my enamel and putting a lot of pressure on my gums.  Dentist's Orders: Get a soft toothbrush, like a really soft one. And start brushing with my opposite hand.  *sighs loudly* Okayyyy fine.  

2. Those Floss Sticks, Don't Do Sh!t

This one surprised me the most. In spite that New York TImes article that said we might not need to floss? (ew) I still stuck to my daily routine (give or take) of flossing with floss sticks.  My dentist's suggestion, toss them.  Why? Because they really don't do anything more than a toothpick would.  It doesn't hug the teeth the way dental floss does.  If anything, it almost just pushes plaque up into the gums. Gross.  Here's a great article that backs this up.  Also, why bother with wasting the plastic? Here's a great biodegradable floss option that I've started to use. 

3. ...And Neither Does Mouthwash

Unless you are gargling to rid your mouth of bad breath, few mouthwash products actually live up to their promises. Mouthwash does not actually cure dental disease, bad breath, or tooth decay. It works to promotes dental health or simply mask bad breath.  According to many dental studies, if you are brushing and flossing regularly to maintain your dental health, some dentists would say that you’re wasting your money. Unless you have gum disease, dental decay, or bad breath, you’re honestly better off spending your $5 elsewhere.

4. Guard Your Mouth

Oh you know, just another fun perk of getting older. Stress and teeth grinding. I'm not sure when I do it (when I sleep) or how bad it is, but I know it's enough that my dentist has noticed.  While I'm not really ready to commit to the pricier custom guard that my dentist can make, I did find a pretty good alternative with this Oral B Night Guard. I don't wear it religiously, but on nights I suspect I might clench or grind my teeth (when I'm stressed or drink) I'll pop it in before bed. 

5. You're Never Too Old For Fluoride

If you thought you didn't need the occasional fluoride treatment as an adult, think again. Each day, our bodies take in and lose fluoride.  The way we take it in is through foods (like shellfish, grapes, raisins) EVEN WINE (?!) and water. The way we lose it is when acids caused by plaque, bacteria, and sugars in our mouths attack our enamel. We get get that fluoride back into our enamel layer by eating the right foods, drinking fluoride water and through treatments at your dentist's office. Upon learning that, I scheduled a fluoride treatment for my next appointment. The downside: most insurance plans don't cover the treatment. The upside: its only $30. No brainer here.  

Have any of you ever tried switching up your dental routine? After going sugar free the past few weeks, I realized that a lot of the toothpastes we use have sugar in them! Here are a few organic toothpastes to try!

DIY: Decorative Party Food Picks

DIY, Entertaining, FoodLibby RasmussenComment

So the other day I was making these Mini Chicken and Waffle Sliders and realized that the toothpicks I was using were a little well, boring.  Then I remembered spotting some adorable ideas on Etsy.  See here here and here. With limited supplies and time, I took to my craft supply box and got started.  I seem to always have a stockpile of streamers and tissue paper in my apartment, so I decided to make these tissue paper food picks - inspired by my favorite, Studio DIY. 

Supplies

Toothpicks
Tissue paper or Streamers
Scissors
Glue

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I chose to use streamers for timing and convenience and was shocked at how good they looked. Better yet, they really were so easy.  Consider this my next sitting-on-the-couch-craft-project. Thanks Studio DIY for yet another great craft idea! 

Photography by Libby Rasmussen and Studio DIY

Mini Chicken & Waffle Sliders

Entertaining, FoodLibby RasmussenComment

If you've been searching high and wide for an easy, fun, and delicious appetizer that your friends will rave about, and I mean, will really talk about months after your party, then you need to make these mini chicken & waffle sliders.  In this recipe, we paired crispy popcorn chicken nuggets with frozen, yes frozen, mini Eggo waffles and they are a hit. 

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There you have it! This classic comfort food is transformed into easy, portable appetizers that can be tailored to anyone's specific tastes.  For my 25th birthday, I made these sliders but with Chick-fil-A nuggets. With my birthday falling on a Sunday (when CFA is closed) I made sure to pre-order and pick up the nuggets later on Saturday and popped them into the oven with the waffles the day of the party.  They were a huge hit. Make sure to have plenty of condiments and toppings on the side for your guests.  These could include, but certainly aren't limited to:

Chick-fil-A Sauce
Mayo
BBQ Sauce (Salt Lick)
Honey
Maple Syrup
Honey Mustard
Ranch
Blue Cheese
Green Onions
Hot Sauce
Sriracha
Homemade Coleslaw


Make sure to have the right serving platters and condiment dishes for a neat and organized presentation.  I love my serving ware from CB2.  Here are just few of my favorites: