Michael Ling DDS - February 2020


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Honoring the Hardworking Man Who Makes Life Fun

If you’ve been to Newfoundland recently, or if you happen to live there, you may have noticed a man

with one of his stories. He would regale us with tales of getting into fights, getting the wooden spoon treatment after getting in trouble, or having to be the one to empty the bedpan because the family didn’t have plumbing. He always had a witty comeback

cruising down the street, scooting into the corner store for a Diet Pepsi, and catching up and cracking jokes as best as he can.

to anything we said too. Dad may have had a harder life than most, but he always had that positive outlook no matter what — even as recent ailments took their toll. After the birth of my third son, my dad suffered a stroke that left him nearly incapable of communicating. Traveling is difficult for him, and because of the distance, we really only get to see him and my mom for about a week each year. It’s not very much time to spend with your parents, but I cherish each day I get with him and my mom. Technology has made this distance easier too! Sometimes, over FaceTime or the phone, my dad will say the name of his sibling while watching a video of one of my kids. I know that’s his way of saying they are just like the siblings he grew up with. If he could, I’m sure he’d have a witty remark to accompany it.

“One of my dad’s greatest attributes had little to do with the way he was raised or the work he did. Instead, my dad is most known for his great sense of humor.”

I’m proud to call that man my dad.

My dad was the best father a girl and her siblings could ask for. He grew up as the youngest child in a big family. I can still picture the photos of my dad as a little boy, standing next to his older brothers while they smoked. Each one of his siblings, except for his sister who went into the convent, also had big families of their own. And while he and his family weren’t wealthy, my dad was rich in other ways. As many youngest siblings can relate to, my father was given all the crummy chores his older siblings didn’t want to do.

My mom recently bought my dad a scooter to cruise around town, and while it’s made me very nervous, my dad seems to enjoy this newfound freedom. I’ll often receive texts or messages from people back home, asking me if it really was my father they saw cruising past their window. Yes, that’s my dad, and if I could, I would be right there with him, enjoying a relaxing and laughter-filled day together.

As an adult, my dad worked nights, but he always made time during the day for his family. He was ready nearly every day at 6 a.m. to take my brother and me to hockey practice. As the sole driver in our family for a while — my mom didn’t get her driver’s license until she was 50 years old — my dad had no qualms about running errands and getting groceries. But one of my dad’s greatest attributes had little to do with the way he was raised or the work he did. Instead, my dad is most known for his great sense of humor. He was always known for cracking jokes or making my family laugh

—Dr. Meg Ling



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The Moon Isn’t Made of Cheese?

The Story Behind the Myth

We’ve all heard the silly statement before: “The moon is made of cheese!” Although we may not fall for it as adults, when we were children, our eyes twinkled with possibility as we gazed up at the full moon and wondered if it really could be made of cheese. While science says no, it’s still an entertaining phrase that holds a valuable lesson for adults and children alike. The motif first appeared in folklore during the High Middle Ages as a proverb invented by a French rabbi. The full phrase is actually “The moon is made of green cheese,” and serves to warn against the dangers of credulity, or the willingness to believe in things that aren’t based on reasonable proof or knowledge.

Regular brushing is crucial to maintaining strong, healthy teeth, and developing that habit while you’re still young is vital for forming healthy oral hygiene habits. Now that you’re older with your own children, you can set them up for success with this step-by-step brushing guide by Dr. Meg Ling! 1. Your Guidance: As an adult, you know more about proper brushing and oral hygiene than your kids do! Dr. Meg suggests brushing your kids’ teeth until they are about 10 or 11 years old. You wouldn’t expect your 3-year-old to keep their bedroom spotless, so don’t expect the same with their teeth. 2. The Right Tools: Look for soft-bristled brushes that won’t be too harsh on your child’s teeth and gums. Select a fluoridated toothpaste to protect your child’s teeth from decay, and find a flossing system that works best for you and your child. (Fluoridated mouthwash can be a great alternative to fluoridated toothpaste!) 3. All Surfaces: We are all pros when it comes to brushing the front surfaces of our teeth. Unfortunately, this means we The simplest version of the phrase’s origin tells of a cunning fox that advised a starving wolf to search for food among humans. The wolf listened, and he was attacked by the humans. The wolf escaped, and in his fury, he attempted to kill the fox. To save himself, the fox promised the wolf that he’d show him the location of an abundant food supply. That night, under the light of a full moon, the fox led the wolf to a well and pointed to the reflection of the full moon on the water’s surface deep in the well, claiming it was cheese. The hungry wolf jumped into the well to eat the cheese, forever trapping himself. Thus, the fox successfully escaped the wolf’s wrath. As with any ancient proverb, variations of the story have developed over time, but its message has remained the same: Don’t believe everything you’re told. In today’s world of oversaturated information and advice, this is a valuable tip to follow, no matter what age you are.

neglect the sides and back of our teeth. Teach your children about the sneaky places plaque hides — and how easy it is to clean up — by brushing the front and back of the teeth. In addition, don’t forget to floss to hit the remaining sides. 4. Gums and Tongue: In the midst of all this tooth-surface talk, people tend to forget about other important components in the mouth. Scrub the gum line softly and scrape the tongue with the brush, too. These surfaces see just as much plaque action as your teeth, and they are often neglected. 5. Time’s Up: The quality of good brushing is just as important as the quantity! At a minimum, you should brush a toddler’s teeth for 50–90 seconds, but the ideal brushing time is about two minutes. This gives you optimal time for each tooth while properly cleaning the whole mouth. Learning the proper toothbrushing techniques doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does take practice to master. Give us a call or schedule an appointment to learn more about proper brushing care for you and your child.

BRUSH UP! Dr. Meg’s Supermom Guide to BrushingTeeth



‘Is This Normal?’ The Most Common Pediatric Dental Questions Answered As a parent, you want nothing more than to see your child grow up healthy and happy. But for first-time parents, watching your child’s many stages can cause you to wonder “Is this normal?” Discover which dental curiosities are actually quite common below! ‘Why are my kid’s teeth yellow?’ Losing baby teeth and growing new adult chompers is always cause for celebration, but parents often express concern that their child’s new adult teeth are yellow. But this discoloration is normal! Adult teeth are comprised of more dentin than primary teeth, so adult teeth can appear “stained” in comparison to baby teeth. In reality, many adult teeth are just the right color when they first grow in! ‘How do I get my child to stop grinding their teeth?’ Many people grind their teeth out of stress or while they sleep, and this action can cause fracturing, pain, jaw issues, and dental damage. Today, there are solutions to prevent the dangerous side effects of teeth grinding, and they can be vital. Dr. Meg is certified with the TheHealthyStart.com, which produces a series of mouthguards to protect your child from grinding and foster healthy growth. ‘Why does my child have two sets of teeth?’

Laughing Gas! Jimmy: Knock Knock. Brandy: Who’s there? Jimmy: Dishes. Brandy: Dishes who? Jimmy: Dishes how I talk since I lost my teeth!

Easy Shrimp Scampi Inspired by The Blond Cook


• 4 tbsp butter • 4 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp minced garlic • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined • 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Sometimes our adult teeth are further along than baby teeth,

which could result in more teeth than normal in a child’s mouth. Parents have often asked Dr.

Meg if these extra teeth are a problem, but having adult teeth erupt before baby teeth have fallen out is normal. Typically, the baby teeth will fall out shortly after, but if necessary, Dr. Meg and her team can assist. ‘Why are there bumps on my

• 1/4 cup lemon juice • 8 oz cooked linguine • 1/4 cup parsley


1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2

tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

child’s tooth?’

Your incisors — or front teeth — are designed by nature for cutting through your food, but when these handy teeth erupt from the gums, they often come with mamelons on them. These are little bumps along the edge, typically appear in groups of three, and are harmless. As Dr. Meg often explains, these will smooth out over time, but can easily be sanded down by a dental professional if necessary. It’s normal to have many questions about your child’s progression and development, and our team has the dental answers you’re looking for. Give us a call to inquire about your most pressing concerns.



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Dr. Meg Honors Her Dad 1

Create Your Own Odyssey A Cheesy Myth About the Moon Dr. Meg’s Supermom Guide to Brushing 2 Get Your Questions Answered! Easy Shrimp Scampi 3 Your Epic Adventure Awaits 4


seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. Ithaca, Greece If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.

One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. Sicily, Italy One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. Gozo, Malta While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent



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