Allan W. Stevenson, DDS General Dentist
www.trailridgefamilydental.com 205 W. Highway 95, Parma, ID 83660
The Power of the Unexpected How a Pleasant Surprise Turned Into a Practice Tradition
It’s the start of a new year. For many of us, that inevitably entails talking about goals and plans for 2019. While making resolutions and setting objectives is a great practice, I want to encourage you to leave some space for surprises and unexpected adventures. Sometimes the events we don’t plan for end up being even more momentous than the ones we do. That’s certainly the case with our annual mission trip to Guatemala, which became an integral part of our mission at Trailridge Family Dental through the happiest of accidents. My connection with Guatemala began some 30-plus years ago when I traveled to the country as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was an incredible opportunity, and one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. But when I returned after completing my mission, I honestly never expected to step foot in the country again. That is, until 2015, when a friend of ours, Cindy Atkinson, told me about an opportunity to return to Guatemala for dental missionary work. Her cousin, Dr. Nathan Tollman, also happens to be a dentist who served a mission in the Central American nation. When I told her about our parallel lives, she could hardly believe it. “You have to give him a call,” she said. “I’m sure he’d love to have you come along.” A few months after speaking with Cindy, I was on a plane to Guatemala sitting next to Dr. Tollman. Once I touched down, I had the chance to do dental work for those who desperately needed it. We treat patients dealing with serious issues all the time, but they’re nothing compared to what people in rural areas in developing countries are facing. Many of the folks we treated
had never been to a dentist in their lives. Seeing the way their faces lit up after treatment is something I’ll never forget, and that experience inspired me to make these trips an annual event. Since that first mission in 2015, I’ve returned to Guatemala every spring. The last two years, I was able to bring along some of our staff members. This year, I’ve invited my family as well. I’ve grown so much from these trips, and I want to share that growth with the important people in my life. One of my daughters is currently serving a mission in Lubbock, Texas, but everyone else is excited to help in Guatemala however they can. In addition to reconnecting with a place where I spent a crucial period in my life, the trips are a chance to observe and partake in the generosity of the human spirit. It’s meaningful to give of yourself, but it’s also heartwarming to see others give. When a community of people works together to help others, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Our upcoming trip to Guatemala is an event we’ve been anticipating for months. However, that never would’ve been the case if I hadn’t jumped at the random chance to join Dr. Tollman in 2015. With that in mind, I encourage you to leave space for the unexpected this year. You never know where it may end up taking you.
The proceeds from all of the oral cancer screenings we perform between now and the end of March will go toward supplying tools, treatment, and education to the people of Guatemala. Call us today to schedule a screening and contribute to this great cause.
E very night, children in houses all over the U.S. crawl into their beds with anticipation, their recently lost baby teeth stashed carefully under their pillows. Why? They await the arrival of the tooth fairy, of course! Nearly everyone has at least one memory of falling asleep with a tooth under their pillow and waking up a dollar or two richer. While the tooth fairy we know and love didn’t flutter her way into the American social consciousness until the 1920s, other countries around the world have their own tooth-centric traditions dating back several centuries. MY DOG ATE MY … TOOTH? Rather than sliding the tooth under your pillow, throughout Central Asia, it’s traditional to put the tooth into a The Tooth Fairy Goes International TOOTHY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
EL RATÓN DE LOS DIENTES One of the most beloved myths in many Spanish-speaking countries involves a magical mouse. This mouse goes by Ratón Peréz or El Ratón de Los Dientes, and he is exactly what his name suggests: a mouse who collects teeth. Like the tooth fairy, Peréz gets the teeth only after they’ve been lost and put under children’s pillows. In Argentina, a lost tooth is placed in a glass of water before bed. When Peréz shows up, he’ll drink up the water, grab the tooth, and leave his gift in the empty glass. TOSS THOSE TEETH In countries like China, India, and Japan, kids will toss their teeth rather than hide them under their pillows. Teeth lost from the lower jaw are usually thrown up onto a roof, while teeth from the upper jaw are tossed onto the floor or ground. The logic behind this practice is that the strategic placement of the old tooth will help the new tooth grow in strong.
delicious fatty snack and feed it to a dog. Children take part in this tradition to ensure that their adult teeth grow in to be as strong as the dog’s teeth. No dog? No problem! The next best practice is to bury the tooth by a tree so that the new tooth has strong roots.
Double Trouble CLEAN YOUR SMILE AND ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE FOODS
Who says multitasking is impossible? Well, brain science does. But dental science says you can enjoy a snack and get some dental cleaning done at the same time. Check out some of these treats that pull double duty as both yummy snacks and superfoods for your smile. CHEESE, PLEASE (AND OTHER DAIRY TOO) In addition to providing your bones and teeth with calcium, cheese, yogurts, and other dairy products can be low in sugar. Dairy lowers the acidity level in your mouth and creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria looking to ruin your perfect smile. Plus, chewing cheese promotes saliva production, which is effectively nature’s toothbrush. As long as you don’t go overboard, dental experts say there’s nothing wrong with cutting the cheese. A FEAST FIT FOR RABBITS Few people get excited about bland treats like celery or carrots, but your teeth just might. The physical action of eating carrots and celery stimulates your mouth to produce more saliva. Plus, the textures of these vegetables can help brush gunk off your gums
and pearly whites, aiding your saliva in its mission. As a bonus, the vitamins these veggies contain are great for your gums and bone health. (Though teeth are not bones, they are very similar in composition.) So, follow Peter Rabbit’s lead and get in a daily serving of teeth-brushing vegetables. THINK ABOUT YOUR GUMS Since the purpose of gum is to be mashed between our teeth for long periods of time, it’s natural to produce buckets of saliva while enjoying a piece. But dentists warn that in order to get the full benefits for your gums and teeth, you should be chewing sugar- free gum to avoid caking your mouth in enamel-gnawing sugars. Although the sugar content in most gum flavors isn’t high enough to completely outweigh the pros of the chewing motion and saliva production, it’s still wise to be mindful of the sugars your favorite gum contains. The best way to get the perfect smile is with regular dental cleanings, brushing, and flossing, but if you’re craving a treat, you can’t beat one that multitasks for you.
The response from our patients and team members was amazing for our giving tree. We were able to deliver over 88 gifts to families in need. The Parma High School basketball team also collected food and asked us to deliver the baskets, so we were able to help two more families. It was an honor to work with them.
Members of our team and their families also helped prepare food baskets for the Sunshine Cupboard food bank in Parma for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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205 W. Highway 95 Parma, ID 83660 208-722-7924
Inside This Issue
The Power of the Unexpected
The Tooth Fairy Goes International Page 2
Foods That Clean Your Teeth
Citrus and Avocado Salad
DIRECTIONS INGREDIENTS CITRUS AND AVOCADO SALAD
1 blood, cara cara, or navel orange, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded 1 Meyer or regular lemon, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a rimmed baking sheet, toss citrus slices with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast citrus until lightly charred and caramelized, about 10–15 minutes. Let cool. 3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine onion and lemon juice. Season with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. 4. Add citrus, arugula, and mint to onion mixture. Drizzle with remaining oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss thoroughly. 5. Add avocado, combing very gently to not crush avocado.
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1 bunch arugula
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves 1 avocado, cut into wedges Salt and pepper, to taste
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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