Greeley Endodontics - December 2018

THE ROOT ISSUE

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DECEMBER 2018

BRIGHT LIGHTS AND BIG LAUGHS How I Know That the Christmas SeasonIs Officially Here

The festivities surrounding any fun-filled holiday usually conjure up sentimental memories of past family customs. Christmas traditions, for example, are passed down like heirlooms through generations. If your mom handmade you a new stocking to hang above the chimney each year, you might find yourself doing the same for your kids. If your dad asked you and your siblings to open one present at a time on Christmas morning, you might uphold similar expectations now that you’re an adult. One tradition that I loved as a child and was particularly excited to pass down to my own boys as an adult involved the bright lights and spectacle of T.J. Mullins’ Heritage Square Music Hall.

mashed potatoes with brown gravy, green beans, and carrots — but I never heard any complaints. After dinner was over, the crowd would squeeze its way into the playhouse, which was quite small for how popular the shows were. We would sit on wooden chairs, and although we were packed into the room like sardines, any claustrophobia we may have initially felt quickly dissipated once the actors lit up the stage.

runs alongside all of the backyards in the area. One year, everybody started decorating the trees by the pathway with lights. The next year, people decorated the fences and the bushes. The year after that,

Whenever I think back on my memories in that music hall, my ears are instantly filled with the roar of laughter. Hearing thousands of people laughing together in a tiny room always brought a palpable happiness; that was the feeling that brought me back year and after year. One time, after the actors finished a hilarious spoof of “A Christmas Carol,” they took the stage to put on an interesting but more personal type of encore. The entire cast came out donning mouse-like costumes and carrying balloons. They each took a big swallow of helium from their balloon, and sang songs in the highest octave I have ever heard. If I ever wondered what a musical mouse sounded like, that night I knew for sure! While my family and I were disappointed when the musical hall closed for its final show several years ago, we’ve now taken on a tradition a little closer to home. Throughout our neighborhood, there is a pathway that

entire houses became decorative. Now, the pathway is advertised through the community newspaper and online. So we set up hot chocolate stands and bake plates of cookies to hand out to the people who come to admire the setup. Truth be told, it’s become a bit of a competition among my neighbors. We haven’t quite reached the “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” level of intensity, but we’ll see how this year goes! Even though this new tradition might not hold the same dazzle and splendor as the Heritage Square Music Hall, it’s become equally as important over the years.

“IF I EVER WONDERED WHAT A MUSICAL MOUSE SOUNDED LIKE, THAT NIGHT I KNEW FOR SURE!”

I was 11 years old the first time I entered this playhouse, and from that first experience, until they closed their doors five years ago, I never missed this tradition a single time. Like I mentioned in last month’s edition, indulging in my aunt’s Aebleskivers signaled that Thanksgiving was on the horizon. But it was these musicals that signaled the official arrival of the Christmas season. Before the actors took the stage, all the playgoers would share dinner together. It was always funny to me that everyone was given the exact same meal every year — chicken,

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s!

– Dr. Scott Lowry

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Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat. SURVIVING THE SEASON OF SWEETS How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar

Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate-based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come New Year’s, you won’t have to spend the first fewmonths of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN A GREAT FISHING SEASON? Fishing All Year-Round!

In 2001, famous country singer and songwriter, Brad Paisley released, “I’m Gonna Miss Her,” a song about a man whose wife gives him an ultimatum. He has to choose — it’s either his wife or fishing. Given the title of the song, you can guess which option won out. When it comes to national hobbies, fishing has withstood the test of time. While the vast majority of casual fishermen only enjoy the sport when the weather cooperates, one of the most fun wintertime experiences is ice fishing. Contrary to popular opinion, you actually don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. After you apply for a fishing license within your province, you’re going to need an auger, which is your key to getting through the ice to the fish below. Augers

come in a number of different sizes, and although power augers are more efficient for drilling several holes, an inexpensive hand auger in the 6–8-inch range is sufficient to get started. Later, when you’re choosing a rod-and-reel combo for ice fishing, a simple setup with a stiff rod and an eight-pound fishing line will cover the bases for lake trout, walleye, perch, and plenty of other species. Once you’ve sorted out your equipment, add an ice scooper, minnows, rod holders, and a bucket to your list. Also, don’t forget a portable barbecue, food, and drinks for a top-notch experience! Once you have all your gear, make sure the ice is at least 4 inches thick before you go out. To find out if the ice is safe or not, you can check with your local tackle shop

or check to see if other people are already on the ice. For safety’s sake, make sure you auger a hole as soon as you get on the ice, just to double check its thickness. If you are looking to try your hand at something new this winter, ice fishing is a great option. And despite Brad Paisley’s advice, it makes for great experience for the whole family.

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WHAT’S ON DR. LOWRY’S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST?

3 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Do This Christmas

This time of year, Santa Claus isn’t the only one making a list and checking it twice. With the influx of delicious holiday desserts being passed around, Dr. Lowry has a few wishes of his own to share with all of you this Christmas season. WISH NO. 1: FOCUS ON THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS Even though you spend loads of time picking out the perfect presents for your kids, preparing the delicious holiday ham for that Christmas Eve dinner, and brainstorming new mischievous ways to position the Elf on the Shelf around your house, be sure that you set aside time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. For example, if you have a big family dinner planned, take the time to converse with each of your family members, and let them know why you appreciate them. If your holiday celebration is a bit smaller this year, consider sending a card to let friends and family know you are thinking of them. WISH NO. 2: BEWARE ALL THE SUGAR It’s easy to get caught up in the merriment and forget about the effects that holiday festivities can have on your dental health. Between sampling the three (or eight) pieces of the homemade fudge you made for your coworkers and the leftover candy canes that didn’t quite make it on the tree, your sugar intake tends to exponentially grow in the days leading up to these end-of-year

celebrations. However, some sweet indulgence is all but required this month, so Dr. Lowry’s second wish is that you brush your teeth a little more often than usual. If you normally brush twice a day, perhaps you could add in a third session and rinse with Listerine mouthwash as well. WISH NO. 3: DON’T FORGET TO FLOSS This last wish tends to be on Dr. Lowry’s radar all year long but is especially relevant during the holiday season: Floss, floss, floss! Whether you opt for the Waterpik water flosser, the floss picks, or the good old-fashioned dental floss, just make sure that you find an effective way to clean out the spaces between your teeth. Regular flossing will help prevent the cavities caused by the excess sugar. 30-MINUTE CAULIFLOWER SOUP

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This hearty soup is a quick, easy, healthy addition to your holiday table. It can also be made vegetarian by substituting chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Ingredients

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

• • •

1 leek, chopped

• • • •

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter into warm oil. Add onion and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. 2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. 3. Using a blender, purée in batches until smooth. 4. Top servings with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper.

Candle Cookies Decorations Family

Gratitude Holidays Snowflake Snowman

Snowstorm Tradition Travel Winter

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE What Signals Christmas to You? PAGE 1 How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar Have You Ever Tried Your Hand at Ice Fishing? PAGE 2

What’s on Dr. Lowry’s Christmas Wish List? 30-Minute Cauliflower Soup PAGE 3

Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas PAGE 4

A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow! UGLY SWEATER PARTIES

It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly- sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind. YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER UGLY sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a

top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest.

This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!

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