THE HEIGHTS SM I L E Herald
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2021: A Year of Optimism
New year, new everything ? 2020 is said and done! As a Browns fan, it seems like every season is a rebuilding season for the team. Now, it feels like we’re rebuilding as a country as we try to get back on track for what we hope to be a good year. While we’re still a few months away from spring, I already feel that sense of rejuvenation. As the COVID-19 vaccine gets closer to becoming available to the public, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is enough cause for celebration. While we’re not quite out of the woods yet, we can feel hopeful and optimistic as we welcome 2021. Our family is already looking forward to our next vacation. We don’t have anything scheduled just yet, but we’re hoping to get one more summer vacation in before our oldest heads off to college. Only one more semester of high school left! I can’t believe it. We’re also looking forward to making up for lost time. I know this has been on a lot of people’s minds. From playing school sports to visiting family, everyone is looking forward to so many things. We just want to get back on track. It’s hard to remember the last time we had a big family gathering. I can’t wait to do that again. Who knew how much we would miss having a cookout in the backyard with all of our family and friends? It will be nice just to spend quality time with my parents again and for our kids to hang out with their cousins.
can hop into the car, drive to the store, grab a shopping cart, and get everything I need without thinking about wearing a mask or sanitizing my hands every time I touch something. As a dentist, I’m looking forward to the day when patients don’t have to call in ahead of time as we walk them through our COVID-19 procedures. I can’t wait to see people’s faces again and to have face-to-face conversations without a mask. Along those same lines, I’m looking forward to in-person staff meetings. Who loves meetings? Most people don’t (it could have been an email, they say), but when it’s been so long since having a normal meeting, it’s become something I actually want to participate in. I’m sure afterwards it will lose its luster, but for now, I can’t wait for the day when we can finally have a normal team meeting. While I’m looking forward to so many different things, there’s one thing I’m looking forward to more than anything else. I’m looking forward to the day when we don’t have to worry anymore — when friends, family, and neighbors are no longer living with uncertainty and they can finally spend time with their loved ones once again. We have many celebrations ahead of us. We have so much to look forward to in 2021. The best thing we can do is hold our heads high and come together as a community as we welcome the new year and look ahead with optimism.
-Dr. Jason Schermer
It’s gotten to the point where I’m looking forward to a calm, boring, routine trip to the grocery store. It’s going to be a good day when I
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3 Dangerous Dental ‘Hacks’ on TikTok Don’t TryThis at Home!
TikTok, the popular smartphone app for making short videos, has become life-hack central. You can find all kinds of videos showing you how to make
products and following instructions. However, TikTok users are applying hydrogen peroxide directly to their gum tissue, which can do serious damage. Hydrogen peroxide destroys living cells, which can
your life a little easier, including clever makeup and fitness tutorials. However, there are also life hacks that are downright dangerous, especially when
include the cells in gum tissue, and damages enamel. While most stores sell highly diluted hydrogen peroxide, TikTok users are buying higher concentrations online. Do not do this! Always consult your dentist before whitening your teeth. Removing Plaque and Tartar Buildup Dental scrapers are readily available online and at the supermarket, but they should not be used at home. In recent months, TikTok users have been showing viewers how to use these tools at home to scrape away the buildup that can accumulate around the gum line and between teeth. Without proper training, doing this at home can result in injury or damage to teeth and gums. The bottom line is that, in a vast majority of cases, people can simply avoid plaque and tartar buildup by brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day and visiting their dentist every six months. It doesn’t get any easier — or safer — than that.
it comes to dental care. If you want whiter teeth, buildup removed, or chips fixed, talk to your dentist and see what options are available for you — and don’t try these methods at home!
Tooth Filing On its own, that sounds downright
horrifying, but some TikTok users have created videos showing people how to “repair” chipped or broken teeth at home. The videos feature teens using nail files on their teeth, though some have used metal files, which is even worse. Many of
these videos are not faked and have spawned copycats that further spread misinformation. As a result, people do serious damage to their teeth. Filing wears down enamel and can even damage the dentin layer under the enamel, leading to painful sensitivity and infection. Teeth Whitening With Hydrogen Peroxide Teething whitening is a very common procedure that can be done at home or at the office when using approved
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Dr. Schermer is a great dentist. Very gentle. My oral health is great thanks to the attention to detail he and his whole staff provide. His equipment is amazing, always up-to-date. He and his staff are so kind. Really a great experience every time I see them! ”
MARKETING MISINFORMATION 3 Common ‘Health’ Foods to Rethink
Grocery store shelves are lined with foods claiming to be “heart healthy” and “all natural.” Food makers love to throw buzzwords at consumers in order to convince us that one product is better than another. The problem is a lot of the foods that manufacturers are selling us aren’t as healthy as the labels lead us to believe. In some cases, they can border on deception, and when you dig deeper, you discover the buried truth. Fruit juice is a prime example. Many parents buy it as an alternative to soda. It has some essential vitamins and minerals, but most of the nutritional value is stripped out in the juice- making process, and fruit juice is loaded with sugar — even the “no sugar added” varieties. Many experts note that there is almost no nutritional difference between fruit juice with sugar added (generally labeled as “juice cocktail” or “juice drink”) and 100% fruit juice. It’s bad for your teeth and your overall health. Smoothies are often advertised as being chock- full of fruits and vegetables, but consider what else you’re getting: sugar. There are countless ways to make smoothies, so watch out for mass-
marketed varieties. When you want a smoothie, stick to making your own or find a shop that offers smoothies with wholesome ingredients and no added sugar. And drink it through a straw in order to protect your teeth from acidic and staining ingredients! Agave nectar has become the sweetener of choice for many people. It’s been marketed as less processed than white sugar. Agave nectar, which is just sugar syrup (nectar is a marketing term), is paired with buzzwords like “organic” and “all natural.” But here’s the kicker: The sugars in agave nectar are almost entirely fructose. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that consuming high amounts of fructose leads to insulin resistance. It gets worse: Agave nectar actually contains more fructose per serving than high fructose corn syrup! There are countless more foods on grocery store shelves that marketers want you to believe are good for you when they’re really not. In the end, it’s best to read the nutrition label and ingredient list to know what you’re eating or drinking — especially when sugar is involved.
Easy One-Pot Lentil Soup This delicious plant-based soup is loaded with vegetables, so it’s a healthy way to stay warm on a winter night! This recipe makes four servings, and you can freeze the leftovers for up to a month.
Leah’s Bad Dad Joke of the Month
2 tbsp coconut oil
• • •
3 cups red potatoes, cubed 4 cups vegetable broth 2–3 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped 1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and drained
• • • • • •
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced
4 large carrots, sliced thin 4 stalks celery, sliced thin
What do cows celebrate on Dec. 31? Moo Year’s Eve!
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups chopped kale
Directions 1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté garlic, shallots, carrots, and celery for 4–5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. 2. Add potatoes to pot, along with more salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. 3. Add vegetable broth and herbs, then bring soup to a simmer. 4. Add lentils, stirring until soup returns to a simmer. Then, turn the heat to low and cook soup uncovered for 15–20 minutes. 5. Finally, add kale and additional salt and pepper as needed. Cook for 3–4 minutes, thin soup with additional vegetable broth as needed, and serve! Inspired by MinimalistBaker.com
If you would like your favorite joke featured, email Office@ExceptionalSmiles.com . You may see it in our next issue!
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INSIDE 5825 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 124 Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
What Are You Looking Forward to in 2021?
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3 Dangerous Dental ‘Hacks’ on TikTok
What People Are Saying About Us
‘Healthy’ Foods That Are Far From Healthy
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Easy One-Pot Lentil Soup
Don’t Miss These Cooking Shows!
Streaming services are booming right now, and there’s no shortage of entertainment between HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and more. But the important question is this: What are the best binge-worthy cooking shows? Here are four streamable culinary shows you’ll love. ‘The Chef Show’ Get cozy at home and turn on Netflix to watch Chef Roy Choi, the man responsible for bringing the food from the movie “Chef” to life, on “The Chef Show.” You’ll get incredible home-cooking tips while enjoying appearances from your favorite celebrities, like Tom Holland trying oysters for the first time. This show travels all over the world to explore recipes and honor the tradition of sharing good food. Four seasons are out now! ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’ If you’re not familiar with the late Anthony Bourdain, you’re missing out on one of the most influential, internationally lauded chefs of the past few decades. “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” one of his longest-running TV shows, filmed 12 seasons over seven years, and all 12 seasons are streaming on HBO Max. The show follows Bourdain as he travels and discovers little-known places in order to celebrate diverse cultures by exploring their food and dining rituals. ‘Gordon Ramsey: Uncharted’ Want something a little more recent? Hop on Disney+ to watch Chef Gordon Ramsey of “Hell’s Kitchen,” who has seven Michelin stars, leap out of Don’t Get Lost in the Sauce THE 4 BEST COOKING AND TRAVEL SHOWS
helicopters to take some of the most epic adventures you can imagine — ranging from the icy waters of Alaska to the plains of New Zealand — all while learning to cook local food along the way. The latest two seasons are available right now! ‘Great Chefs of New Orleans’ Whatever your favorite cooking show may be, it was likely influenced by this classic. One of the oldest cooking shows in the U.S., “Great Chefs” has aged like a fine wine. In this series, you’ll meet some of the best chefs in New Orleans and learn how they create and prepare an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Two seasons are available to Amazon Prime members!
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