PREMIER DENTAL N EWS L E T T E R
Why Are Sugary Treats so Bad for Your Teeth? SUGAR’S SECRETS
Well, folks, Halloween is just around the corner. We all want our children to have a good time this year, but, at the risk of sounding like a buzzkill, I want to highlight the dangers of sugar. The No. 1 culprit for tooth decay is sugar. While it’s disappointing that something so good can do so much harm, the mechanisms are pretty simple. Many different types of bacteria live in your mouth. Some are beneficial, and some are harmful. (For my fellow science nerds out there, two of the bad bacteria in your mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus.) Some harmful bacteria produce acid in your mouth when they digest sugar. This happens after eating, when the sugar sticks to your teeth in the form of a colorless film commonly called plaque. These acids then remove minerals from tooth enamel, creating a weak environment where a cavity can take hold. If plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic, and cavities start to form. A cavity is a hole in the tooth. It slowly spreads into the tooth’s deeper layers. This can cause pain, and, depending on the size of the cavity, treatment may involve a filling or, more drastically, a root canal. When left completely untreated, the cavity will lead ultimately to tooth loss. The signs of tooth decay are toothache, pain when chewing, and sensitivity to sweet, hot, or cold foods and drinks. Keep in mind that if you do not eat many sweets but take several medications, you are at higher risk of cavities because the medication can dry out your mouth. Without saliva to wash away normal food, teeth become prone to cavities. In addition, what you eat matters a lot in controlling cavity formation. If you have an occasional sugary snack, it’s not the end of the world. We’re all human, and we need to enjoy our food. Personally, I like to indulge in chocolate, and among my favorite treats are these cream crackers I find at the Korean food store paired with a slice of cheese or peanut butter. They’re my guilty pleasures. But I know that I have to rinse my mouth out
after indulging to avoid dangerous plaque from wreaking havoc on my teeth.
High-sugar snacks, sweets, and drinks ingested frequently will result in tooth decay. It may be surprising to learn that foods like cookies, potato chips, pretzels, bagels, tortilla chips, and flavored crackers also do harm. Why? Because they are carbohydrates, which break down to sugar and stick to your teeth. So, how can you help prevent cavities? Well, obviously, cut down on sugar. And, when you do indulge, rinse your mouth out with plain water. Another way to prevent cavities is to eat sugary foods with your meals instead of in between them. They cause less harm when eaten with other foods, as the sugary plaque has a better chance of being wiped away. Opt for a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. You can also chew sugar-free gum to increase your salivary flow. When it comes to your children, instill good sugar habits early! Don’t allow infants to sleep with bottles containing sweetened liquids, including fruit juices and milk. And, of course, stick to the dentists’mantra. Brush twice a day and floss once a day. Keep up with cleanings twice per year or more to thoroughly remove bacteria, and take care of cavities when they are small.
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OFFICE STAFF: PATIENT COORDINATORS MICHELE JOHANNA DENTAL
ASSISTANT CATHLEEN HYGIENIST CHARLENE PRACTICE MANAGER PETER
Now for the good news: Chocolate is okay! Why? It doesn’t linger on your teeth.
So, now that you’re armed with this sugar knowledge, don’t be afraid to indulge this holiday season and consume sugar responsibly. Have a safe and happy Halloween!
—Hema Gopal, DMD
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HOW’S THAT FOR ODDS? Reggie ‘Mr. October’ Jackson’s Legendary Game
The leaves are turning, the weather is changing, and the holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s time to bring out the fall decor! To make this season especially memorable for your family, create your own decorations with these fun ideas below. PINE CONE PAINTING Go on a family walk through the park to pick up a few fallen pine cones or take a quick trip to the store to buy a bag. Once everyone has their own hand-picked pine cone, grab a paintbrush and a few colors and have at it! For extra flair, add some fixings like glitter, beads, sequins, string, and more. LEAF PAINTING Take a trip outside with the kids to pick out some large, unbroken leaves, then head back inside and get creative! You can pull out the construction paper and paint trees, using handprints and “arm prints” as the trunks and branches. Paint the leaves you found to spruce up your trees or use them as decorations on their own. You can also use them for leaf printing or leaf pressing. FUN FINGER FOOD When you’ve got multiple friends and family members coming over and you need snacks, edible decorations are the way to go. You can get a little creative and make elaborate treats, or you can opt for delicious and easy-to-make finger foods with your kids. A good starting treat for your family is a batch of pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats. Add orange food coloring to the mix and get your kids to shape the treats like pumpkins before using a few pretzel sticks to make sturdy stems. THANKSGIVING CRAFTS Thanksgiving is only a month away, and your possibilities for holiday- themed crafts are endless with just a few supplies like paper, scissors, markers, and string. You can make turkey placemats, tissue paper trees, pumpkin garlands, paper pumpkins, or leaf mobiles to hang from the ceiling. Compile a list of ideas and have your kids pick out which craft they want to do first, then get to work together to create as many decorations as you want to display for Turkey Day. FALL FAMILY FUN Decorate Your House With Your Own Creations!
“I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.” –Reggie Jackson
Some people shine brightest in the spotlight. When put to the test, they deliver every time. Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is one of those people. During the sixth game of the 1977 World Series, Jackson hit three home runs in a row, securing the Yankees’ victory over the Dodgers and winning them their 21st World Series title. The legendary playoff game also earned Jackson the nickname “Mr. October,”which has stuck to this day. Like many stories of greatness, Jackson’s featured a lot of hard work behind the scenes. He dedicated himself to his sport and constantly worked to improve his play. Growing up, Jackson played baseball, basketball, and football and excelled at all three, though football was his strong suit. He was scouted and given opportunities to go pro straight out of high school, but, on the advice of his father, he went to college on a football scholarship. Thanks to a $5 bet, he tried out for the baseball team at Arizona State University and made it. Jackson was the first black person on the team, and, even though he experienced discrimination, he never let it stop him.
From the minor leagues into the majors, Jackson’s ambition got him through many tough times, as did the constant support of his father and
of Oakland A’s manager John McNamara. Jackson always dreamed of playing for New York, and, eventually, his dream came true when he signed with the New York Yankees in 1976. To this day, Jackson holds many prominent records, including being the first player to earn more than 100 home runs for three different teams
(the A’s, Yankees, and Angels). He even has his own candy bar, the “Reggie! Bar,”which debuted during a Yankees game in 1978. Let’s see if any of this year’s playoff games stir up as much excitement as Reggie
With these engaging craft ideas, the whole family will be eager to make their own decorations and show them off for months to come!
Jackson’s did in his heyday.
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TAILS FROM THE PAST Mythical Cats of the World
caught in a rainstorm while hunting and took shelter under a tree near the temple. Nakaota spotted Tama near the temple, and the cat raised its leg, beckoning the noble to come toward him. Curious, Nakaota complied, stepping out from beneath the tree just before a bolt of lightning struck it down. The lord’s life was saved, and to this day, the Maneki-Neko (the beckoning cat) is a symbol of wealth and good fortune.
Most owners will tell you their cats act like ancient deities. Majestic, scrupulous, and utterly unpredictable, these fascinating creatures have long captured our imaginations. Even before cat videos took the internet by storm, humans have been idolizing felines, placing them alongside some of their most important mythological figures.
BASTET — EGYPT
Of course, a list of mythical cats has to start with Egypt. While many people know the pharaohs and their followers thought cats were sacred, you may be surprised by how deep the connection goes. The earliest depiction of Bastet, the feline deity of protection, is a lion-headed woman in battle. But, over the course of 2,000 years, Bastet evolved to resemble the domesticated, pointy-eared cats we know and love today. Legend has it that in the 17th century, a monk living in a small temple in Edo (now Tokyo) was struggling to survive, but he still split his meals with his cat, Tama. One day, Lord Nakaota Ii got TAKE A BREAK 招き猫 (MANEKI-NEKO) — JAPAN
FREYA’S SKOGKATTS — NORWAY
In Norse folklore, the goddess Freya had a unique means of travel: a chariot pulled by two cats. These
were skogkatts, or Norwegian Forest cats, that were only a little larger than your average house cat. Still, these small felines towed Freya around battlefields as she gathered warriors to send to Valhalla. On top of being the goddess of war, love affairs, and magic, Freya may well have been Midgard’s first cat lady.
LEFTOVER CANDY SNACK MIX
Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine
This recipe fromMomofuku Milk Bar chef and “Master Chef” judge Christina Tosi makes great use of those extra Halloween goodies. It’s a quick and easy way to both elevate and get rid of unwanted leftovers.
2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely broken
1/3 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp granulated sugar
12 oz mini candy bars, such as Snickers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Heat oven to 275 F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, fold together pretzels, sugars, milk powder, and butter. 3. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. 4. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and mix in candy bar pieces before serving.
Solution on Page 4
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Avoid Costly and Painful Repercussions of Sugar This Halloween
Fall Crafts for the Whole Family ‘Mr. October’: The Legendary Reggie Jackson
Amazing Cat Tales Leftover Candy Snack Mix
The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow
HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN Halloween Celebrations in Sleepy Hollow
In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home
Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows”will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins. Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.
alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.
This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of
North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big
If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!
Halloween party during the month of October.
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