What Did You Say? The Importance of Communication in Our Lives
While looking at my calendar, I noticed that Benjamin Franklin’s birthday takes place this month on Jan. 17. He is such an important historical figure who changed the world with his many inventions. It got me thinking how we have so many people to thank for all of the devices and processes that make our lives easier and more efficient today, but none of them would have been possible if people didn’t know how to communicate with one another.
Words and phrases are also flexible, meaning that people can have fun with them and use them to entertain others.
Games like Scrabble and Bananagrams give people a chance to flex and improve their vocabulary while learning new words and definitions. Words can also hold meanings other than their literal definitions — an example of this is inside jokes between friends. Words can also have meanings opposite to their set definitions depending on the tone of voice of the person using them, such as with irony and sarcasm. Sometimes, my wife saying no actually means no. Other times, it actually means, “I’m not listening because I am very busy doing something else.” Words and phrases can have different meanings based on who uses them. If we know a person well enough, a single word can be all we need to know exactly what they’re thinking. I come across this quite often in my line of work. When dentists come out of dental school, their minds are filled with technical terms, but patients aren’t familiar with those. Dental school teaches young dentists their trade, inside and out, but they don’t teach you how to effectively communicate with other people who might not have the same expertise or education. Learning to communicate and connect with our patients is an art and something we learn out in the dentistry field. If I’m explaining something to a patient, I might not say a tooth has an abrasion, but instead that it has been worn down. Likewise, I’ll say “cap” instead of “crown” or “gum disease” rather than “gingivitis.” Without communication, none of us could connect and form irreplaceable bonds with the people around us in both our personal and professional lives.
Humans have been communicating since the beginning, and our communication styles have completely evolved over the years.Without
communication, we would have never progressed as a species or a society.Today, there are more ways to communicate with one another than ever before. Language is so versatile; words can be transferred digitally, expressed via sign language, written, and spoken.
–Dr. Kevin Norige
HOW L I LOU AND ANIMALS L IKE HER CALM STRESSED-OUT TRAVELERS Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig
happy Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60.The San Jose Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport.They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of theWag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets.
and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying.They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months.These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags.
So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip! Patients “Four kids, ages 9–3, in and out smiling and giggling from a phenomenal experience.Thank you!”
“Thank you to Dr. Norige and his wonderful team for bringing back my smile that I have been wanting to show for many years but couldn’t because of all the dental issues caused by my diabetes.”
“This is an aptly named practice.The staff and dentist are the nicest people I have encountered anywhere. Always upbeat, they provide highly professional care that goes beyond your teeth. For example, they check your blood pressure, for lumps in your mouth as well as your neck, and your ability to swallow.Things that are not always even done by your doctor. Since switching to this dentist over two years ago, I find I leave the office with cleaner teeth, which seem to remain so longer than before. So glad my husband and I found Dr. Norige and his staff. It has made a trip to the dentist a much more pleasant experience, and we have better cared for teeth as well! Can’t beat that combination. Highly recommend!”
“Thank you, SouthWindsor Smiles family!You’ve been taking great care of me and, now, my husband.The kids will be in soon, too! Never before was I excited to get dental work done until I started coming to your office! I cannot thank you all enough!”
“I always leave here laughing — yes, from a dentist!They’re all very friendly, understanding, and caring, and they always make me comfortable. Not to mention, they do a great job on my teeth!”
www . southwindsorsmiles . com
It’s Not All About Your Teeth
Sleep Apnea Affects Your Whole Body
A lot of people don’t know that sleep apnea, which stops a person’s breathing repeatedly throughout the night, often starts in the mouth. As oral health experts, dentists can determine the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea during dental visits and take action immediately to help you get better, more restful sleep. THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE One of the first signs of sleep apnea is the significant wearing of teeth. A person who has sleep apnea often grinds their teeth together at night, leading to worn or cracked teeth, as well as receding and inflamed gums.This grinding is the body’s way of telling the brain it needs to take a breath, causing the person to wake up. Dentists can also check the throat for irregular redness, which indicates constant snoring, or see if the tongue is too large for the jaw. When the tongue is too large, it will slip back into the throat during the night, causing a blockage to the airways. THE EFFECTS ONTHE BODY Not sleeping soundly throughout the night and getting inadequate amounts of oxygen impact the rest of your health. A person with sleep apnea may feel increased drowsiness throughout the day, which impedes their focus on their daily tasks. Decreased amounts of energy, gasping for air, dry mouth, and irregularly loud snoring are
also symptoms of sleep apnea.The lack of oxygen on the body can also increase other health risks, including high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, headaches, and depression. DENTAL APPLIANCES While dentists can’t diagnose sleeping disorders, they can take the steps you need to receive treatment. If your dentist suspects you have sleep apnea, they may suggest you take a sleep study and see your medical doctor. Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist can provide you with dental appliances that can be placed in the mouth to help open your airways.These custom-made appliances are easy to use and preferred over the discomfort of a CPAP device.
If you’ve noticed these types of symptoms, contact SouthWindsor Smiles by calling 860-787-5832 today for an evaluation.
Puzzle Your Brain
i ngred i ents
Inspired byThe NewYorkTimes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar, optional
d i rect i ons
1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.
P ublished by T he newsletter P ro | www .T he N ewsletter P ro . com
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th i s i ssue
How Do You Communicate?
Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig
Do You Snore at Night?
Simple Pancakes From Scratch
Helping Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions
Help Your Kids Achieve More This Year
With Simple, Actionable Goals
With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ NewYear’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. PRACTICEWHATYOU PREACH. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions.When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it?Your kids will assign as much importance to NewYear’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track too. KEEPTHINGS SIMPLE AND ACHIEVABLE. When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad.
Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day. DON’T DO ALLTHEWORK FORTHEM. While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry.The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.
www . southwindsorsmiles . com
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