Anderson Dental Care - April 2020



7525 STATE RD., STE. A, CINCINNATI, OH 45255 | 513-438-8152 | WWW.ATOWNDENTAL.COM | APRIL 2020


April is Stress Awareness Month, and stress is something I think a lot of us struggle with. When I started writing this article in late February, my intention was to discuss how we can balance our stresses with all the different hats we wear and our limited time. But prior to the final publication of this newsletter, our world as we know it in Ohio shifted drastically with the onset of COVID-19, and writing about “how I balance being a dad, dentist, and business owner” suddenly didn’t seem relevant or important. I don’t know about you, but I went from having most of my time spent in my dental office and having to be very intentional about how I spent my limited time with my family to all of the sudden having tons of time to focus on family and house projects and connecting with friends and family far away. But new stresses arose about keeping my family safe and healthy, caring for my patients and team without my physical business doors open, economic concerns both locally and globally … so many things I hadn’t had to think much about in the days and weeks leading up to the COVID-19 preventive measures. We all handle stress in different ways, and we will all experience different stressors as a result of the COVID-19 interruptions. But there are some things we can do to help ease the stresses, whatever they may be, and they seem to work pretty universally. 1. Get up and MOVE! This one can be hard for me when I have nowhere to go, no pressing deadlines, and no need to get dressed … but it’s one of the most important things we can do.

Stress builds up inside us, and we have to give it a release. One of the best releases is exercise. Don’t worry — that doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym (well, you probably can’t right now anyway); anything that gets you moving counts. If you’re able to get out and go for a walk or run, the fresh air will also help. 2. Take a hot shower! Another one that may take some self-motivation when you really could just stay in PJs all day. But taking a hot shower soothes muscles, reduces stress-associated headaches, gives you time to think, and helps your body and mind relax. 3. Connect with your family and friends! I’ve been trying to spend more time with my kids, but since all of their favorite places and activities seem to be closed or canceled, we’ve had to get creative at home. If you can’t connect in person with family and friends, try connecting via video chat so you get the face-to-face interaction we truly all need to ease our minds. Laughing together is one of the best ways to reduce stress and associated fatigue. Our team has been enjoying the app Marco Polo — you leave video messages for each other and take turns responding. It’s keeping us connected while we can’t be in the office together. 4. Tell yourself ‘It’s okay.’ For me, this sort of works like meditation — I focus on breathing while telling myself “it’s okay.” Sometimes that means “what I’m going through will be okay,” sometimes it means “it’s okay that I’m not doing everything I should be doing right now.” I think

both are applicable right now. Telling ourselves our situation will be okay helps us believe it’s true, relieving our stress and clearing our minds to be able to think about how we can make it okay. The latter statement is also so necessary in a time where we feel we have so little control over our situation, are thrown into irregular routines and tasks, and have so much uncertainty. Allowing ourselves to feel that and just be okay with what we’re doing is invaluable. Nothing about this period of time is “normal,” so expecting ourselves to behave normally, follow a rigid routine, make all the perfect meals, create activities for kids who are now home all day, maintain our level of lifestyle in uncertain financial times, etc. are all unreasonable expectations for ourselves in this circumstance. Telling yourself “it’s okay” to not feel normal, reasonable, at peace — those are all completely acceptable, and acknowledging them allows your stress over them to dissipate. While my article took a drastic turn in the wake of COVID-19, the challenge I had included remains the same. This month, for Stress Awareness Month, my challenge to you is to take the pressure off yourself to get things perfect every single time. Instead, focus on doing the best you can within the time and resources you have available. Be fully present. And be okay with it. Over the long term, you might be surprised how far those habits can take you.

Stay safe and healthy. We’ll see you back in our office soon!

– Dr. Brooks

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It’s hard to imagine kids as anything but carefree, happy, and eager to explore the world around them. However, children experience stress just like adults do, which can severely impact their typically cheerful dispositions. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, now is an opportune time to familiarize yourself with tools and information that can help you alleviate your child’s stress.


Any number of everyday factors can lead to stress, and stress can plague anyone who feels overwhelmed. Toddlers and young children going to day care or school for the first time may experience separation anxiety due to being apart from their parents. Older kids and teenagers may feel mounting social and academic pressure. Even something as simple as overhearing loved ones arguing or seeing a sad news report can add to a child’s stress levels. When a kid is stressed, they will exhibit odd behavior and even undergo physical changes. Depending on your child’s age, watch for mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, headaches, trouble focusing, or withdrawal from the people around them. According to, younger children may also pick up habits like twirling their hair or sucking their thumb, while older kids may start to bully others, lie, or rebel. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS STRESSED?

HOW STRESS AFFECTS ORAL HEALTH April is National Stress Awareness Month. You probably already know that stress is bad for your general health, but did you know that it’s specifically bad for your oral health, too? If you are dealing with high levels of stress, pinpointing its exact cause and working to reduce it will have widespread health effects — on your weight, your relationships, and, yes, even on the health of your mouth! It has been well-documented that stress impacts what we eat. Study after study shows that stressed people are more likely to choose more calorically dense foods, including sweets. Stress also has a nasty habit of derailing the dental hygiene habits that help keep our teeth healthy — things like flossing and brushing. What’s more, stress depresses the immune system so people who lead stressful lives are more prone to periodontal disease over the long term. Stress has also been linked to bruxism, which is the clinical term for clenching or grinding one’s teeth while asleep. Aside from having the potential to drive your sleeping partner crazy, over the long-term, bruxism wears away at the protective enamel of your teeth, exposing the inner layers of your teeth. Bruxism can also cause things like jaw clicks and sensitive teeth. Stress is something we all have to deal with. The sooner you can nip it in the bud, the better off you will be. If you are living a chronically stressful lifestyle, in honor of National Stress Awareness Month, what is one thing you can do for yourself to help manage it? For most of us, reducing the stress in our lives takes time. If you are managing a high level of stress, it is more important than ever to attend to your oral health. Visit to learn more or to schedule your appointment!


According to, good nutrition, proper rest, and healthy attention are great ways to help kids manage their stress. Set time aside each day to talk and spend time with your children; talking about worries will

reduce or relieve anxieties. If you know about an upcoming stressful situation, like a school exam or a health checkup, prepare your child by studying with them or talking to them about what to expect. Don’t stop here. For more tools and information regarding stress reduction in children, visit or contact your doctor.





It can be tough to figure out how to switch up family game nights. Kids can be very attached to their electronics, making it hard to get them invested in anything else. With Earth Day coming up this month, you have the perfect excuse to put down the phones and get outside to save the planet. If you’re looking for ways to spend time with your kids on Earth Day, try these eco-friendly family activities! You can teach your kids a lot about downcycling and upcycling through recycled art. Downcycling is when waste is recycled to become a new product, but there’s a loss of quality as a result. Upcycling is the opposite: Whatever you recycle becomes a product with a higher value. One way to upcycle is to create recycled art. Use old newspapers or magazines to create collages or papier-mâché bowl sculptures around balloons, jars, or your own custom shape with chicken wire. You can also use old plastic or glass bottles as beautiful hanging planters or create a memorable wind chime from jar lids, tin cans, plastic silverware, and old rubber bands. PICK UP TRASH AND MAKE ART WITH IT.

Gardening is one of the most rewarding ways to spend time outdoors. Your kids can learn about caring for another living thing and grow their own vegetables and fruits! A great way to start is to find out what’s in season in your area. If you don’t have an outdoor garden, you can pick out some indoor plants or create a hanging garden with recycled bottles!


If you have a garden, the next best thing you can do is start composting at home! Did you know that you can compost your cardboard products? Instead of waiting for the recycling truck every other week, you can use your spare green and brown waste to create incredibly nutritious soil for your garden! Green waste includes vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, nutshells, coffee grounds, etc. Brown waste includes cardboard, dead leaves, paper egg cartons, wine corks, and more. Get a bin and maintain a green-to-brown ratio of 1-to-2. Layer, water, and turn the compost to keep it healthy. It can take anywhere from two months to a year, depending on what you put in and how often you turn it.

We hope you and your family have fun with these planet-loving activities! Stay clean!




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2 1/4 cups cake flour 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

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1/2 cup butter

1 cup milk

DID YOU KNOW THAT STRESS CAN LITERALLY BREAK YOUR HEART? It’s called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome” and it’s caused by a sudden temporary weakening of the muscular portion of the heart. Triggered by hormones, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy can be caused by the death of a loved one, a break-up, rejection from a partner, or constant anxiety. Postmenopausal women are most vulnerable to the condition, with 90% of cases occurring in women. IN THE MEANTIME: Since you can’t be seen for a cleaning in our office, learn what you can be doing at home to care for your teeth by visiting our education blog, on our website.

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

4 egg whites


1 lamb-shaped, 3D cake mold


1. Heat oven to 375 F. Coat lamb cake mold with vegetable oil and wipe clean after a few minutes. Then grease again and flour cake mold. 2. In a bowl, sift cake flour, then sift flour again with baking powder and salt. Set aside. 3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together to form a batter. 4. Add flour mixture and milk to the batter alternately. 5. Stir batter until smooth and add vanilla extract. 6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. 7. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into batter mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. 8. Fill cake mold with batter and avoid air pockets. Place the lid on the cake mold, secure it tightly, and place it on a cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour. 9. Let cake cool completely before decorating with frosting, candy, and edible Easter grass.

Inspired by

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April is Stress Awareness Month INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1 2 2 3 3 4

Helping Your Child Manage Stress

How Stress Affects Oral Health

Eco-Friendly and Kid-Friendly Activities for Earth Day

Lamb Cake

The Simple Tooth: Fun Facts About April!



summer takes over, energy levels increase and metabolisms get a little boost. It’s also easier to get pregnant in the spring — studies of couples who undergo IVF treatment have shown a 5% increase in success during spring!

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, and chances are high that you’ve carried around his likeness in your pocket — after all, it’s etched onto the modern nickel. Jefferson is best known for his role as a two-term president and for his role in writing the Declaration of Independence. When Jefferson wasn’t busy writing history-altering documents or running the U.S., he also played the violin, oversaw two vineyards, and worked on the architectural plans for both his own home at Monticello, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond, and the rotunda at the University of Virginia.


Although April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for many centuries around the world, the holiday’s exact origins are murky. According to the History Channel, some speculate that April Fools’ Day harkens back to the spring equinox, when the seasons change and nature “fools” people with unpredictable weather.



According to “Reader’s Digest,” spring fever is real. Scientists believe the condition is linked to the way our bodies respond to the abrupt increase in light, temperature, and direct sun- to-skin contact. As spring kicks into full gear and

When most of us think about severe weather, we think of winter. But according to, spring is the season with the most extreme weather, like thunderstorms. As the sun warms the ground and the air around it, warm air rises and mixes with the cold air above, causing exactly the kinds of unstable conditions in which storms thrive.


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