Celebrating an Amazing Mom ALWAYS THERE
This month, I want to share some stories about an amazing person who has never gotten the credit she deserves: my mom, Paula. I know, everyone thinks their mom is the greatest mother ever, but my mom truly is a special kind of person. My mom is 92 years old, which is a feat worth celebrating in and of itself. Melody and I are her caretakers today, and while I won’t say it’s easy, I am glad I can be there to look out for her. My mom spent most of her life looking out for me. In junior high, I came down with a bad case of mononucleosis. I had to stay home for weeks, right in the middle of basketball season. It drove me nuts! When the doctor released me to go back to school and be active again, he told me, “You can play for a little while, but then the coach needs to take you out of the game. You can’t be running around for too long.” During my first game back, I completely ignored the doctor’s instructions. Whenever the coach suggested taking me out, I told him no and insisted I was fine. Since I was one of the better players on the team, the coach let me keep playing for the whole game. I’ll just say this was a bad decision on both our parts. My parents were there for that game, and later on, I would learn that my dad had to keep my mom up in the stands because she wanted to storm down to the coach right in the middle of the game. Mom was furious,
and after the game, she really laid into my coach. She wanted to protect her baby.
My mom was always like that. Mom’s No. 1 priority was taking care of our family and being there for people who needed help. People always went to my mom to talk about their problems. It didn’t matter if it was me or my brother or even one of our friends — whatever issues we were facing, Mom was always there to listen and offer guidance. She was kind and considerate like that. I never really thought about the struggles my mom might have been facing because she always put other people before herself. She had a pretty tough childhood, taking care of her brother and sister in the Marsh Foundation orphanage. In her senior year of high school, she met and fell in love with my dad. After he went off to fight in the war, they wrote letters to each other every single day.
today, though she struggles with dementia, Mom is still concerned about other people and wants to know how everyone is doing. She’s been a big influence in the lives of my brothers and me. I really don’t know where we’d be without her.
“Mom’s No. 1 priority was taking care of our family and being there for people who needed help.”
I love you, Mom. Thanks for everything.
All her life, my mom has been a strong, loving woman who went out of her way to make the people around her feel loved. Even
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Costume Safety Tips for Kids Best in Show or Halloween Hazard?
Test makeup first. Halloween is a great time to have fun with face paint, and makeup is a good alternative to masks, which can obscure a child’s vision. However, a lot of costume makeup isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Before letting your child cover their face in makeup from the Halloween store, test their skin for allergic reactions by putting just a little bit on the back of their hand first. Practice prop safety.
For many kids, picking out a costume is the best part of Halloween. Will they be a spooky witch, a wildcat, or their favorite superhero? There are so many options! But in all the fun, it can be easy for parents to overlook certain risks that Halloween costumes can pose. Here are important safety tips to remember when choosing the best Halloween costume. Look for fire-resistant costumes. Candles inside jack-o’-lanterns and other open flames are everywhere on Halloween night, so make sure your
What’s a Jedi Knight without her lightsaber or a wizard without his magic wand? The right accessories can really bring a costume together, but it’s important that props — especially weapon props, like swords, knives, or guns — are not mistaken for the real thing. Choose props that are obviously fake, with round edges made from soft, flexible material. And if your child wants to wear their Halloween costume to school or some other event, check the rules on props beforehand to avoid any trouble. Halloween is a night for ghosts and goblins to come out to play, and with these tips, your kids can safely dress up and join in the fun.
child’s costume isn’t a fire hazard. Most store- bought costumes are made from fire-resistant materials, but you should still check the labels on all costumes, wigs, and accessories. The same goes when you’re buying fabric for homemade costumes. And remember, fire- resistant is not the same as fireproof. While fire-resistant material takes longer to burn and can be put out quickly, it can still catch fire and cause serious injuries. Remind your child to use caution around open flames and avoid costumes with flimsy, hanging components, like flowing sleeves, long skirts, and capes.
Halloween Candy for a Good Cause
Help Us Support Heroes in Action
in costume. Last year, our patients helped us collect 126 pounds of candy! This year, our goal is to reach 150 pounds! What do we do with all that candy, anyway? No, Dr. Stuckey doesn’t stash it in his pantry, and we don’t throw it away, either. All the candy donated by our patients goes to Heroes in Action, an amazing local organization that sends care packages to deployed U.S. troops overseas. Founded by Dawn Heisler, Heroes in Action is a military support outreach program that exists to help servicemen and servicewomen from every walk of life know their sacrifices are appreciated and that someone back home cares about them. Heroes in Action also goes the extra mile, working with veterans and lending a hand to military families when their loved ones are fighting for freedom overseas. Since 2004, Heroes in Action has served those who need a little extra support in difficult times.
Donating Halloween candy isn’t the only way you can support Heroes in Action. When we send out all that Halloween candy, we also donate a bunch of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other supplies. Many people write letters to deployed troops, volunteer to put together care packages, or donate money to help support the organization in every area. Heroes in Action accepts heartfelt donations all year long, so visit HeroesInAction.org to learn how you can support this wonderful cause. Thank you again to all our patients who help us give back to Heroes in Action. We look forward to seeing everyone during our candy buyback this year!
It’s time for Briarfield Dental’s fourth annual candy buyback, and we couldn’t be more excited. Trick-or-treaters can trade in their leftover Halloween candy for $1 a pound (up to 5 pounds) and get raffle tickets for great prizes! Kids earn extra raffle tickets just for showing up
Thursday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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The Sugary Substance Dentists Actually Recommend
Xylitol Starves the Bad Bacteria in Your Mouth
If you’ve ever seen the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” then you are familiar with the fictional sugar- filled labyrinth from which some of the most scrumdiddlyumptious sweets are delivered to the world’s candy stores. To children, the chocolate river, Everlasting Gobstoppers, and Fizzy Lifting Drinks are the mouthwatering epitome of fun, but adults might look at all that sugar and run away screaming. According to the American Diabetes Association, added sugar may be the unhealthiest aspect of the modern diet. Fortunately, the natural sweetener xylitol provides a healthier alternative. What Is Xylitol? Xylitol is a white, crystallized sugar alcohol. It looks and tastes like sugar, but it has fewer calories and only has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels. You can find small amounts
of it in many fruits and vegetables, which is why many define it as “natural.” You can also find xylitol in birch trees, but more often than not, scientists make it in a lab using the plant fiber xylan. Xylitol is considered a healthier choice than fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup, which spikes blood sugar and insulin levels. This spike can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, risk of heart disease and cancer, and several other serious health- related issues. Why Do Dentists Recommend It? Many dentists recommend using xylitol- sweetened chewing gum — no, not the kind that turned Violet into a giant blueberry. Studies indicate
factors for tooth decay is a type of oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. Having traces of this bacteria on your teeth is normal, but when there is an abundance, your immune system starts attacking it. These attacks often lead to inflammatory gum diseases that can cause gingivitis. To stay alive, these bacteria feed on sugar from the food you eat, but oddly, they can’t process xylitol. If you replace your sugar intake with xylitol, the bacteria will still eat it, but their energy pathways will become clogged and they will starve. It is not often that a dentist recommends that their patients chew on sweets, but consuming this sugar can do wonders for your teeth and gums.
that xylitol can prevent tooth decay. One of the leading risk
Don’t Miss Kids’ Day
Dr. Stuckey’s Playlist
Have you heard about Kids’ Day? Once a month, Briarfield Dental Care throws a special celebration focused exclusively on our youngest patients. The office is transformed with fun decorations, the whole team gets dressed up, and there are lots of prizes for kids who come in to join the fun. Plus, we have special spin brushes and offers on sealants and mouthguards only available during our Kids’ Days. Upcoming Kids’ Day Schedule
Big Head, Small Ego, Smooth Sound
This month, I’m recommending a band most people haven’t heard about here in our neck of the woods but that has gathered a big following out in the Mountain States: Big Head Todd and the Monsters. I was lucky enough to see this band here several years ago at an outdoor concert held at the zoo. They were opening for another group, and I really enjoyed their set. Their sound is a sort of a rock/blues fusion with influences from early jazz. When you listen to their songs, you’d never guess there were only three guys up there; it sounds so much bigger. And their lead singer, Big Head Todd himself, has a really memorable voice. After the show, I got to meet the band and get a signed T-shirt, which I still have. Despite the band name, I wouldn’t say any of them have big heads or big egos.
The band is a trio of high school friends: Todd Park Mohr (guitar and vocals), Brian Nevin (drums), and Rob Squires (bass). They started out playing gigs at clubs around their college campus before they began touring the west in a van they dubbed “The Colonel.” They’ve been around since 1984 and have released a few charting singles and a platinum album, “Sister Sweetly,” but they’re still pretty underground. That said, when people hear them for the first time, they tend to become fans. They’ve been writing music and touring for decades. A few of my favorite songs by them are “Bittersweet,” “In the Morning,” and “Resignation Superman.” They recently put out a new album called “New World Arisin’,” which I haven’t heard yet, but you can bet I’ll be checking it out.
Oct. 18: Football Day
Nov. 15: Dinosaur Day
Dec. 27: New Year’s Party
Jan. 17: Snow and ‘Frozen’ Day
Don’t miss out! Mark your calendars for the next Kids’ Day celebration and be part of the fun.
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A Mother’s Love
What Parents Need to Know About Halloween Costumes Don’t Throw Out Your Halloween Candy! The Sugar You Should Be Eating Dr. Stuckey’s Playlist The Surprising Origins of Trick-or-Treating
Why There Are Kids on Your Porch Asking for Candy
The History of Trick-or-Treating
As Halloween looms and you load up your grocery cart with candy, you may ask yourself, “Why do I provide these spooky gremlins with a sugar high every Oct. 31, anyway?” Well, when your doorbell starts ringing around 6 p.m. this All Hallows’ Eve, you can thank the Celts for this tradition of candy and costumes. Halloween itself is a kind of mishmash of four different cultural festivals of old: two Roman fêtes, which commemorated the dead and the goddess of fruit and trees (not at the same time); the Celtic Samuin or Samhain, a new year’s party thrown at the end of our summer; and the Catholic All Saint’s Day, designed to replace Samuin and divorce it from its pagan origins. Long before there were young’uns on your porch dressed as Thanos with candy-filled pillowcases in hand, the Celts believed that
Samuin marked an overlapping of the realms of the living and the dead. To trick the spirits leaking into our world, young men donned flowing white costumes and black masks — a great disguise when ghosts were about. The Catholic Church was never a big fan of these pagan traditions, so they renamed it “All Saints’ Day” and gussied it up in religious garb. By the 11th century, people were dressing up as saints, angels, and the occasional demon instead of spirits. Eventually, costumed children started tearing through town begging for food and money and singing a song or prayer in return — a practice called “souling.” But when did they start dressing up as Minions? Starting in the 19th century, souling turned to “guising,” which gave way to trick- or-treating in mid-20th-century America, and
the costumes diversified. So put on some clown makeup and a big smile, scoop up a handful of sweets, and scare the living daylights out of ‘em — ‘tis the season!
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now that ’ s scary!! Letting your dental benefits expire?
Throwing hard earned money down the drain What ’ s scarier than Ghosts and goblins ?
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