Sabal Dental - Rockdale - March 2020

March 2020

307 Childress Drive Rockdale, TX 76567 | | (512) 446-5886

A Perfect Balance

The Life and Times of a Dental Hygienist

Finding your path in life can be tricky. Some people know exactly how they want to spend their lives while others need a bit more soul searching. I was fortunate to know precisely what I wanted to do with my life by the time I was in high school. I was one of those unusual kids who loved going to the dentist, especially for my hygiene appointments. As a kid, I was blessed to be in an office with a lot of patient care. My visits were an interesting, comfortable experience. In high school, one of my chemistry teachers recognized my interest in teeth and pushed me to become a dentist. I said to her, “I don’t want to be a dentist; I want to clean teeth! I’m going to be a hygienist.”

softball on top of running track, so I love seeing my kids find their passion in athletics today. I am incredibly blessed to have found the path I want to take in life. Today I’m able to enjoy plenty of quality time with my family while also enjoying the work I do at a place I like to be. My favorite part about going to work is the interactions with my patients. When I started out, I thought I would go into pediatric dentistry and actually worked in a pediatric dentistry office part time, but I missed the adult conversations.

I like to hear about their families, check in on their health, and go through life with my patients. They make coming to work fun, and that is why the whole team at Sabal Dental works so hard to take care of all our patients. Quality patient care is the reason I fell in love with dentistry in the first place, and I’m so glad to work in an office that puts patient care first. There’s so much everyone does behind the scenes to make sure patients feel cared for and loved during the whole visit. When we say our patients are members of the family, we really mean it. My kids and my husband are all patients at Sabal Dental because I know they’ll always get the highest quality of care. I’ve been a dental hygienist for 20 years. It’s great to be part of helping my patients enjoy coming to the dentist as much as I did as a child.

A lot of things about dental hygiene as a career appealed to me. Dental hygienists get a lot of one-on-one time with the patients. You have the opportunity to build relationships with people, and I love being able to make those connections. Dental hygiene also offered a strong work-life balance. I learned that being a dental hygienist is also a good occupation for a woman who wants to get married and raise a family, which is the path I knew I wanted to take. celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this summer. My husband is a basketball and football coach, and my kids are involved in a lot of sports, so athletics are a huge part of our lives. When I’m not at the office, I’m usually in the gym or at the softball or football field watching my kids play. I grew up playing volleyball and I married my high school sweetheart. We have two kids together, Kelsey and Kaden, and we’ll be

–Kelly Kovar

Sabal General Dentistry • (512) 446-5886 • 1

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Studies show that up to 50% of young children have imaginary companions, ranging from entirely conjured entities to beloved stuffed animals. The popular social stigma around imaginary friends is that psychologists disagree. In fact, if your child develops an imaginary friend, most psychologists say it’s an activity you should promote instead of discourage. these children must be shy or lonely, but

There are also many ways parents can take part in interactions with

imaginary friends to strengthen their own relationship with their child. Imaginary friends can make interactive play more meaningful and can be useful in accomplishing daily routines, like cleaning up or getting ready for bed. They also provide a window into the way your child’s mind works by encouraging the vocalization of thoughts and feelings they may not otherwise share. Imaginary friends are often a proxy for the children who invent them, so the conversations your child has with or about their friend can provide a lot of insight into how your child views the world and themselves. Imaginary friends are so important to how some children learn and grow that they’ve been featured in pop culture for many years. Entertainment like “Calvin and Hobbes,” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” and even adult shows like “Supernatural” — which featured an episode about a main character’s childhood imaginary friend returning to teach him valuable lessons as an adult — portray the inventors of imaginary friends as outgoing and creative. It just goes to show that letting the imagination run wild not only encourages healthy development but can also lead to lots of fun.

Psychologists claim that the invention of an entire friendly persona points to the fact that the child is both creative and highly social. Imaginary scenarios also give kids an opportunity to indulge in their wildest aspirations, like going to the moon or inventing a time machine. Their creativity gives them the ability to dream, explore, and experiment in useful ways. Imaginary friends can also be there to comfort your child when they’re feeling down or experiencing a tantrum, which is helpful when they are learning how to manage their emotions.

OUR PATIENTS SAY IT BEST “I have such anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist, and they are so patient and understanding with me and work with my budget as well! The staff is just awesome!” – Jennifer Ann “The staff was friendly and caring. The dentist was very informative. The entire visit was enjoyable.” – Rick R.

“The team did a great job from start to finish. It was fast, friendly, and, as I paid in cash, it was quite inexpensive to say the least. I will definitely return there in the future before I was to go somewhere else.” – Dale J.

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3–6 Years Old These are formative years for your child and their teeth, so instilling good habits is important. Continue to brush their teeth every day to prevent tooth decay and acclimate them to the routine so they’re ready to take over when they’re old enough — usually around 6 years old. Also, while it’s normal for kids to suck their thumbs during this period, it’s a good idea to curb the habit before they get much older because alignment issues can occur as adult teeth grow in. 6–12 Years Old This is when the tooth fairy gets to shine. Over this period, your child should lose all 20 baby teeth and grow their molars. They’ll also be ready to take over brushing and flossing duties, so be sure they stick to the routine. Consider visiting an orthodontist during this period to get ahead of any potential alignment issues as adult teeth come in. The Teenage Years

A Toothy Timeline Dental Milestones Every Parent Should Know

Kids really do grow up fast. One moment they’re teething, and the next they’re getting their wisdom teeth removed in time for college. Along the way, they encounter so many changes that it’s overwhelming to keep track of them all. However, staying up to date on your kids’ dental developments is worth it. Here’s all the important milestones you can expect for your kids and how to keep their teeth healthy at each stage. Newborn to 3 Years Old Even before your child’s teeth come in, you can care for their oral health. Using a soft, damp cloth, gently wipe their gums to clean away bacteria. Once their first tooth emerges, start brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Once they have teeth side by side, begin flossing regularly. By 3

If your child needs braces, their teen years are generally the time to use them, and it’s important they adjust their brushing and flossing habits to account for the brackets. Your child may also need wisdom teeth removed anywhere from 17–25 years old. Hopefully by then, they will possess the

years old, they should have a full set of baby teeth, and you can increase the amount of toothpaste to pea-sized. At this point, begin scheduling biannual dental cleanings as well.

positive dental habits to make this the only major dental surgery they’ll ever need.

Have a Laugh

Irish soda bread is a staple of many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but it was born out of necessity for the impoverished citizens of Ireland way back when. Celebrate their ingenuity and grit with this easy, modern version. Easy Irish Soda Bread Ingredients • 4 cups all-purpose flour Directions 1. Heat oven to 375 F, and lightly grease a large baking sheet. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and margarine. 3. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and egg, and mix until dough comes together. 4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a round before placing it on baking sheet. 5. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. 6. Brush the raw loaf with this mixture and cut an “X” into the top. 7. Bake loaf for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into center of loaf. You may need to continue brushing the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes. • 4 tbsp white sugar • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 tbsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 cup margarine • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, divided • 1 egg • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Sabal General Dentistry • (512) 446-5886 • 3

Hours: M–F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


307 Childress Drive Rockdale, TX 76567 (512) 446-5886

Inside This Issue

Kelly Kovar on Finding Your Path Page 1 Forging Imaginary Friendships Page 2 Our Clients Say It Best Page 2 Dental Developments Every Parent Should Know Page 3 Easy Irish Soda Bread Page 3 Stay Stateside With These Little-Known St. Patrick’s Day Page 4

STAYING STATESIDE FOR ST. PADDY’S? Celebrate With These Little-Known Festivities

A Little Luck in America’s Heartland O’Neill, Nebraska, is home to the world’s largest shamrock and more unique St. Patrick’s Day traditions. This Irish community doubles down on its heritage every March with a traditional parade, music, and Irish dancing. But the town also hosts a popular dodgeball tournament and donkey basketball. What could be better than pummeling your opponents in dodgeball and outpacing the competition while riding a donkey in the school gymnasium? Perhaps enjoying a pint or two with your teammates afterward. And O’Neill is just the spot to do it. Ohio’s Little Piece of Ireland You may not be able to fly to Ireland, but you can visit a little piece of it right in the U.S. Head to Dublin, Ohio, this St. Patrick’s Day for a traditional celebration sure to put a wee bit o’ pep in your step. Partake in a traditional Irish breakfast or enjoy a parade complete with bagpipers and Irish dancers. Boasting one of the largest celebrations in the U.S., Dublin is an affordable alternative for those looking to celebrate the Irish way.

There’s no place quite like Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. What was once a purely religious holiday to honor the legend of St. Patrick chasing all the snakes out of the country has turned into a global celebration. But if a trip to Ireland isn’t in the budget, check out these three little- known stateside destinations that are just as festive.

Short and Sweet in Arkansas Thanks to the clever thinking of some Irish friends meeting for a pint at a bar on one of the shortest streets in the world, Bridge

Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade will travel 98 feet once again this year. Don’t assume the turnout isn’t robust just because the distance is staggeringly low. The parade lasts for hours, drawing thousands of people to watch celebrities, musicians, bands, floats, and Miss Arkansas glide by. The event also features a Blarney stone kissing contest and a parade king and queen.

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