1406 Hwy 35 N, Suite C, Rockport, TX 78382 |
Screens That Divide Us
Being More Present in 2020
Text Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. My family enjoyed an amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas together, with good food and great company. I love sharing the holidays with my husband and our boys. We made a lot of lovely new memories. As we start a new year, my husband and I have been talking about ways to be more present in our lives. Recently, we realized we both spend way too much time on our phones. We’ll be in the same room together, but we’re on our devices, off in our own digital worlds. That’s not really spending quality time with the people you’re with. I know so many of us struggle with a dependence on technology. It’s one thing to watch TV after work, but having a phone in our pocket with access to the internet means we can be glued to our devices literally all day. While I’m not anti-technology, or even anti-social media necessarily, I think we all, myself included, spend too much time looking at our screens. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family members who live far away. Unfortunately, like with all the technology that was supposed to make our lives better, we end up getting pretty addicted to it. I realized that when I get on Facebook, I’m not even posting or commenting; I’m just scrolling, aimlessly looking for something I never find. What I do find are people’s frustrations. Everyone’s mad about something, be it something in the news or something in their personal lives. A lot of times, they’re frustrated about something I never would have heard about if I hadn’t seen their post on Facebook. I get on Facebook to unwind, but I just get wound up about something else! We have our own struggles and issues, and I don’t think we need to be absorbing other people’s frustrations, too.
My other big social media struggle is Pinterest. I love going on Pinterest to see all the neat projects and pin things to my board. But then I realized that everything I pinned made me want to go out and buy more stuff. I already have everything I need! I don’t need to buy more stuff just because I saw it on Pinterest. The reality is that we don’t need Facebook or social media to keep us connected. We can look up and talk to the people around us. It’s important to make real conversations and not dive back into social media looking for some satisfaction that isn’t there. My New Year’s resolution is to be more present in my own life. I won’t be quitting cold turkey and cutting technology out of my life completely, but my family is taking steps to reduce our dependence on our devices. There will be no more phones at the dinner table; when I’m a passenger in the car, I’ll keep my phone in my pocket and look out the window or talk to the people I’m with; and we’ll be replacing our screens with more relaxing hobbies. I’d almost forgotten how nice it is to read a real paper book! Technology and social media are great in small doses, but they’re no replacement for making memories while spending quality time with your family. –Dr. Valerie Sperry Sabal General Dentistry • 361-729-1333 • 1
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Screen-Time Strategies HOW TO SET A FAMILY MEDIA USE PLAN
With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. Set a Curfew
they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be
smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. Construct a ‘Media Diet’ Take an active role in what your
children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world. they’re accessing online.
Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen-time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no
screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. Have a Chat
Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything
What Our Patients Are Saying ...
“Not only are they very professional but they are also friendly and caring. I left there after a pain- free experience feeling like I’d had known all of them for years. I recommend this dentist and the entire team.” – Rita Wendell “Going to the dentist is not a favorite experience of mine, but going to Sabal Dental is where you will find friendly and professional service. Nellie is a fabulous hygienist. She is very thorough and always ready to smile. The girls up front are very helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable about insurance.” – Pam Edwards
“Always a good experience throughout. Time taken to explain everything. Everyone pleasant and knowledgeable. Also enjoyed the conversation exchange during the clean. Thank you!” – Patty Mcculloch
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Worming Through History This hungry little worm appears again in Mayan legends, Sinhalese folk charms, and even 18th-century books on dentistry. How did so many cultures from around the world believe in the same pernicious little creature? One theory suggests premodern dentists removing dental crowns mistook the underlying nerve for the worm. However, more recent research from the University of Maryland Dental School has revealed “wormlike” structures inside
The Legend of the Tooth Worm One of Dentistry’s Strangest Myths
Toothaches are uncomfortable enough without getting slimy critters involved. However, for the majority of human history, “tooth worms” were believed to be the actual source of toothaches and other oral health issues. Where did this belief come from, why was it so pervasive across cultures, and how did the precursors to modern dentists treat the problem? The answers might surprise you. Unearthing the Worm
molars that could have inspired the myth. Turning to Magic and Ritual Before modern medical science, people turned to the supernatural to cure their dental issues. After all, the tooth worm was thought to be a semimagical being, so why not fight magic with magic? Some of the less graphic premodern treatments included trying to smoke the worm out by using honey to lure the worm out of the tooth or banishing the evil creature through ceremonial chants.
The first mention of a worm that fed on human teeth can be found in an ancient Babylonian cuneiform inscription. The tale depicts a conversation between a worm and Mesopotamian gods, in which the worm declares, “The blood of the tooth I will suck, and of the gum I will gnaw its roots!” While it is unclear if this inscription was the genesis of the myth, Babylon certainly wasn’t the only place it appeared.
Today, we know tooth worms don’t exist, and our dentists won’t cast any magic spells on you (we promise). However, every story has a nugget of truth: While much smaller than worms, bacteria do feed on our tooth enamel. That’s why regular cleanings twice a year are important to keep your smile happy and healthy!
Have a Laugh
A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.
Ingredients • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)
• 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice
Directions 1. Wash and sort peas.
2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.
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Inside This Issue
Dr. Sperry’s New Year’s Resolution Page 1 Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan Page 2 Our Clients Say It Best Page 2 The Mythical Tooth-Eating Worm Page 3 Hoppin’ John Page 3 Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig Page 4
MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT THERAPY PIG How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers
Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through
Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!
crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does
your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets.
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