Michael Ling DDS - January 2020


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JAN 2020

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Dentistry Isn’t My Only Passion

I’ve always been passionate about my career. I believe I was meant to be a dentist, and every day that I get to help patients with their smiles is another

lesson. I can’t let the passion I have for physical fitness and exercise slip away again. Since then, I make sure I find time each week to run, walk, or lift weights by myself. I do this just for me. Losing 30 pounds wasn’t the first time I committed myself to a lofty goal. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to learn guitar. I already knew how to play the piano and glockenspiel, so the capacity for an instrument was there. But I needed to really dedicate myself to learning this new technique. Now, I don’t think I could have been a professional musician, but I did enjoy the work it took to become proficient on the guitar. If anything, it was all in good fun.

day living my dream.

But sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what life would have been like if I made a different choice. I had always thought that I might become a teacher someday, but a day of volunteering in my child’s first-grade

“We don’t have to be pigeonholed into one role in life.”

classroom told me otherwise! Teachers are saints, and they have more patience than myself. Then I thought I might become a police officer. I have always respected those who work in law enforcement, and I was particularly proud of the women who serve. While I’ve always been grateful to have gone into dentistry, like everyone else, I’m a person with many passions. I like to think that in some alternate life, I may have been able to make a career out of one of these passions.

Sometimes I think I could have been a professional stand-up comedian. I enjoy making people laugh, and I am naturally friendly and talkative. I enjoy the witty banter that comedians have. It reminds me of the hilarious conversations I have with many of my friends! Of course, as the mom of five children, I have plenty of material to pull from, too. I always say that one of these nights, I’m going to have finally worked up the courage to get up there during amateur night at a comedy club and just do it! (Maybe I’ll start with an improv class or two first.)

As humans, we’re complex. We don’t have to be pigeonholed into one role in life. Take my husband, Dr. Michael Ling, as an example. He’s a wonderful cook who is dedicated to physical fitness in addition to being a compassionate and knowledgeable dentist. It’s fulfilling to find and pursue other passions, and I can’t wait to see what goal I tackle next. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be inviting you to an amateur night appearance!

For example, I have always wanted to try competitive fitness events. I highly respect the athletes that can dig into the extreme depths of themselves and do some pretty amazing stunts. I used to be very fit through my 20s, but as I started having children and working full time, committing time to myself became more difficult. I had to let myself take a backseat to my children, work, and, frankly, sleep. But after my fourth child, that changed. I decided I was going to commit time to myself, and I lost 30 pounds! I was incredibly proud of myself, but I also learned an important

—Dr. Meg Ling



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The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

History’s Sweetest Theft

barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly

Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves. Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis- de-Blandford, Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as

glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year.

At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only

inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the

Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in

detrimental to your children’s oral health. Instead, we will assess the individual health risk of every member of your family and make recommendations for the frequency of cleanings each person needs. Think about it this way: How much does your child change over the course of a year? At 1 month old, they may start registering sounds and sights, but at 1 year old, most babies are crawling or walking, gabbing away with baby sounds, and exploring their world in ways they never could before. Likewise, your child’s oral health changes rapidly. It’s imperative they see the dentist on a regular basis as established by the dentist. As an adult, your physical growth and development are much different than a child’s. Your individual needs vary as you age and common aging conditions and circumstances take a toll on your oral health. Once again, it’s crucial that you and your dentist establish a timeline that fits your needs and health risk. Our team can work with you and your family to establish a timeline that fits into your schedule. Learn more by giving us a call. the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself. Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.

barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000

How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?

As a parent, you’re busy. You have to prepare lunches, get your kids ready and sent to school on time, and remember that there’s piano practice tonight and youth group tomorrow. When you get a message from our dental practice that it’s time to schedule your next dental appointment, you may think you don’t have time to squeeze one in. How could you possibly need to see the dentist again ? When it comes to dental appointments and the frequency they occur, every schedule should be unique. It is financially beneficial and healthy to attend regular dental appointments based on your individual needs. Your teeth and mouth’s susceptibility to tooth decay is reliant on many factors, including your genetics, diet, and oral health habits. As a result, your neighbor may only need to see the dentist twice each year, but your dentist may recommend you visit every three months. Many families opt for one or two days out of the year when the entire family is seen for dental cleanings and care. While this is a busy mom’s dream, it could also be You may want to rethink that.




A Tooth’s Secret Weapon What’s the Deal With Flossing Anyways? If you have ever been to the dentist, you have likely heard them singing praises about flossing. But for something so small and simple as a string of floss, does it really matter if it glides between your teeth twice each day?

Laughing Gas! Phil: Howare false teeth like stars?

Hank: Tell me.

Phil: Both only come out at night!

Yes. It does.

Flossing cleans the 33% of your teeth that regular brushing cannot reach. Your teeth have five surfaces, and when you don’t floss, you are missing the two surfaces that can capture and trap plaque. That plaque quickly hardens and calcifies, making it harder to remove from the surface of your teeth. These bacteria put you at risk of bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and chronic pain.

Simple Pancakes From Scratch Inspired by The New York Times

This is where flossing comes in handy.

That tiny piece of string — or water stream if you prefer a water pick — glided between your teeth will loosen these pieces of plaque and clean those two hidden surfaces of your teeth. The entire process of flossing takes about two minutes of your day, but it could be one of the most beneficial things you do for the health of your smile. However, if it’s been a while since you flossed, you may notice pain or bleeding after flossing. This does not mean your gums are reacting poorly to flossing. Instead, it means you should have been flossing regularly sooner! Your gums are reacting to finally receiving some relief, and as you continue this new routine, the bleeding and pain should subside. If it doesn’t, then there is a larger issue with the health of your gums. Seek help from your dentist as soon as possible.


• 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 1/4 tsp salt • 1 tbsp sugar, optional • 2 eggs • 1 3/4 cups milk • Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet

If you’re new to flossing, our team can help you get started! Learn about finding the

right size of floss for your smile, a dentist-approved way to hold the floss, and alternative options to the string with our dental


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.

experts. There are water picks, stationary items that can hold the floss, and more, each designed to make flossing easier than ever.

Our team can help you and your family with more dental tips just like these. Learn more and schedule our next appointment by giving us a call.



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3 RED FLAGS TO WATCH OUT FOR Medical Miracle or Health Hoax? The Sweetest Crime in History Do You Know How Often You Should Go to the Dentist? 2 The Power Behind Flossing Simple Pancakes From Scratch 3 These Health Hoaxes Will Sink Your Resolution 4 What Would Dr. Meg Do if She Wasn’t a Dentist? 1

the use of a special rolling pin to banish the little lumps of fat on women’s thighs and buttocks. Since then, cellulite has been used as shorthand to mean “bad body fat you need to remove.” But cellulite is not an indication of poor health. Furthermore, there’s no cure for cellulite because it’s not a disease. It would be like using a special lotion that claims it can remove the wrinkled skin on your knuckles! Most people, especially women, have cellulite. It’s perfectly natural! If you want to get in shape this year, avoid diets or products that claim to melt cellulite. This is a clear indication these treatments aren’t based on real medical science. Cure-Alls Cure Nothing A “cure-all” is any product, treatment, or diet that claims to cure a bunch of unrelated medical problems. Cure-alls have been a problem for centuries, claiming to help with weight loss, migraines, heart disease, anxiety, depression, and even baldness! This isn’t how medicine or the human body works. One change cannot magically fix many different, sometimes unrelated, problems. A good way to determine if something is a cure-all is to check if it claims to help treat, prevent, or cure cancer. That’s a big red flag you want to avoid.

The new year is a great time to make your health a priority again, and there are a bunch of workouts and diet plans to choose from. Too many, some might say. It can be difficult to determine exactly which health plan will help you reach your goals, but there are some pretty obvious red flags that you’ll want to avoid. Beware the Dreaded ‘Detox’ Plenty of diets, supplements, and products claim to “purify” your body by removing unspecified “toxins.” These “detoxes” conveniently forget that your kidneys and liver are already removing substances your body doesn’t need! The human body has been capable of cleansing itself for thousands of years. It doesn’t need a special smoothie or footpads to get the job done. Most detox products are nothing but snake oil, and some of them can leave you feeling worse than you did before you started using them. Unless you have been diagnosed with a disease that would impair your liver or kidneys, you don’t need to spend extra money to keep your insides clean. A healthy diet is enough. Cellulite Isn’t Real In 1968, Vogue magazine introduced American women to the word “cellulite,” warning them of a terrible “diagnosed” condition women suffered from. They encouraged



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