Trailridge Family Dental - December 2019 January 2020

Dec 2019/Jan 2020

Happy Trails

Allan W. Stevenson, DDS General Dentist 205 W. Highway 95, Parma, ID 83660


As we head into the new year, Trailridge Family Dental has a lot of exciting events to look forward to. We plan to continue our philanthropic efforts to support communities both close to home and around the world, and these are what make the days we spend working together at our practice so meaningful. In preparation for Trailridge Family Dental’s annual trip down to Guatemala to provide citizens with dental services and products, we’ll be hosting an event to pack hygiene kits on Jan. 30 at The Lodge at 411 N. 7th Street in Parma. Starting at 6 p.m., we’ll be welcoming anyone who wants to help put together kits full of oral hygiene necessities like toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, fluoride rinse, and new born kits. We’ll be taking these kits down to Guatemala with us in early March to bring dental care to communities that aren’t as fortunate as we are here in the U.S. Our trips to Guatemala have become a highly anticipated annual event. I and several others from our office volunteer our services to patients who have been putting off dental care they need because they can’t afford it or don’t have access to it. It’s always inspiring to see how some simple dental care, like cleanings, fillings, and anything in between, can brighten the moods of those around us after they’ve suffered from poor hygiene and pain for so long. It truly humbles all of us and gives us an appreciation for the things we’re fortunate enough to have access to in our own country. We can’t wait to head down there and help those in need, and we look forward to giving our patients and members of the community the opportunity to volunteer some of their own time when we put together those valuable kits. We’re also looking forward to another annual event that’s actually a nationwide program. Since its launch in 2003, which is also the year Trailridge Family Dental began participating, Give Kids a Smile has helped over 5.5 million underserved children receive free oral health services. The parents of these children are often without proper dental insurance and aren’t always able to provide Cheers to the New Year! What a Meaningful Year It Will Be

Guatemala second day dental group volunteers

their children with the care they want to give them. The state of Idaho has always been an enthusiastic participant in this event, and Trailridge is eagerly awaiting another meaningful chance to serve our community by helping kids feel a little more healthy and happy. If you or someone you know has children who need dental services, send them to Trailridge on Feb. 7 for Give Kids a Smile day. A huge thanks to everyone who helped with the Christmas Giving Tree. With your help, we were able to provide Christmas for three families. You really made them feel loved.

Dr. Stevenson & Lucy doing triage in Guatemala

None of the volunteer work we cherish and look forward to every year would be possible without the efforts of the incredible team at Trailridge Family Dental. When the work you do is supplanted with uplifting attitudes and inspiring expertise, the result is not only a team built to last but also an atmosphere welcoming to team members and patients alike. Our culture of providing care and giving back translates into the relationships we share with every single one of our patients, whether they’re young, old, local, or global. When our team is presented with the unique opportunity to bring a little health and happiness to this world in whatever way we can, it always thrills me to see us do it with so much enthusiasm. I can’t wait for all the opportunities this new year will bring us.

–Dr. Stevenson



The Legend of the Tooth Worm ONE OF DENTISTRY’S STRANGEST MYTHS T oothaches are uncomfortable enough without getting slimy critters involved. However, for the majority of human history, “tooth worms” were believed to be the actual source of little creature? One theory suggests premodern dentists removing dental crowns mistook the underlying nerve for the worm. However, more recent research from the University of Maryland Dental School has revealed “wormlike” structures inside molars that could have inspired the myth.

toothaches and other oral health issues. Where did this belief come from, why was it so pervasive across cultures, and how did the precursors to modern dentists treat the problem? The answers might surprise you. UNEARTHING THE WORM The first mention of a worm that fed on human teeth can be found in an ancient Babylonian cuneiform inscription. The tale depicts a conversation between a worm and Mesopotamian

TURNING TO MAGIC AND RITUAL Before modern medical science, people turned to the supernatural to cure their dental issues. After all, the tooth worm was thought to be a semimagical being, so why not fight magic with magic? Some of the less graphic premodern treatments included trying to smoke the worm out by using honey to lure the worm out of the tooth or banishing the evil creature through ceremonial chants.

gods, in which the worm declares, “The blood of the tooth I will suck, and of the gum I will gnaw its roots!” While it is unclear if this inscription was the genesis of the myth, Babylon certainly wasn’t the only place it appeared.

Today, we know tooth worms don’t exist, and our dentists won’t cast any magic spells on you (we promise). However, every story has a nugget of truth: While much smaller than worms, bacteria do feed on our tooth enamel. That’s why regular cleanings twice a year are important to keep your smile happy and healthy!

WORMING THROUGH HISTORY This hungry little worm appears again in Mayan legends, Sinhalese folk charms, and even 18th- century books on dentistry. How did so many cultures from around the world believe in the same pernicious




With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. SET A CURFEW Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen-time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. HAVE A CHAT Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age- appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. CONSTRUCT A ‘MEDIA DIET’ Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values.

There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world.



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205 W. Highway 95 Parma, ID 83660 208-722-7924

Inside This Issue

Gearing Up for the New Year

Page 1

The Mythical Tooth-Eating Worm

Page 2

Tips to Establish a Family Media

Page 3

Use Plan

Hoppin’ John

Page 4

Give Kids a Smile: Brave Patient!



• 1 cup dried black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)

• 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice


1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. Inspired by Epicurious



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