2975 Westchester Avenue, Suite G02, Purchase, NY 10577
Life Lessons from Dr. Sanford Blecker BE LIKE THE UNC
“‘Think twice and react once,’ he always said. ” “
“What’s it going to be: a doctor or a lawyer?”
When I was a child, my grandfather would ask this question to each and every one of his grandchildren. For me, it was a no-brainer. From the time I was 8 years old, I wanted to be like my uncle, Dr. Sanford Blecker. “The Godfather” or “The Unc” as my family called him, passed away last year on Oct. 30. He was like a second father to me, and I want to share some stories about this amazing man. The Unc was an oral surgeon and the best man I’ve ever known. I looked up to The Unc my entire life. He was smart, loving, caring, successful, and always down for a good time. Wherever he went — whether it was his monthly trips, his wild car rides, hitting golf balls over a major highway at my Nan and Pop’s bungalow, the restaurants, boxing matches, card games, or skiing — The Unc was on the hunt for the action. All he wanted to do was have a good time. We should all live that way. One of my defining memories of The Unc was his arrival at his 45th birthday party. It was a surprise party, and all his friends and family members, over 100 people, were crowded at his house in Whitestone. We were so excited to surprise him with this gorgeous Peugeot mountain bike everyone chipped in for. From the backyard where everyone waited in silence, we heard an extremely loud rumbling pull up the driveway. There was The Unc, jumping out of his brand-new Porsche he’d bought himself for his birthday. He surprised all of us that year. It was at that point that I knew I really wanted to be like him. It wasn’t the beautiful cars or the exciting lifestyle that made me idolize The Unc. He was a true mensch. As Leo Rosten put it in “The Joys of Yiddish,” a mensch is “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” This was The Unc in every way. He always wanted to help everyone. The Unc probably handed out tens of thousands of dollars throughout the homeless community in New York City.
most stressful conditions, and he would never lose his cool. Even after I crashed his car as an adolescent, he didn’t even blink an eye.
I became an oral surgeon because I wanted to be like The Unc. It was my mission for 22 years, and The Unc guided me through my journey. He taught me how to study, to condense everything on one sheet of paper. I worked for him for four years in college, and I learned a lot about the person he was both in and out of the office. He treated his patients and his staff the same way he treated his family, with kindness and support. I’ll never forget how close The Unc was to my grandparents. He talked to them multiple times a day. As a child, I thought that was a little crazy; as an adult, I see how special it is to have that kind of bond with your parents. A fewweeks ago, I was lying on my bed with my son, Derek, speaking on the phone with my parents. When I hung up, my son asked, “Daddy, do you talk to Nanny and Pop-Pop every day? Why do you talk to them that much?” I told him that one day he’ll do the same with me. At that moment, I realized I’m a lot like my uncle after all. Life is too short, but The Unc knew how to live it. He touched so many people’s lives, and his spirit will live on through us all. Like my mom always says, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
–Dr. Michael Graffeo
The Unc knew how to roll with the punches. “Think twice and react once,” he always said. He stood by that saying. I saw that man under the
Westchester Office • 914-251-0313
Yelp and Small Business Does the ReviewSite Do More HarmThan Good?
“Yelp is destroying my small business.” These words are becoming more and more common. Small-business owners are taking their stories public, claiming Yelp is hurting their brand. But is this true? Can Yelp harm businesses? At a glance, Yelp is a website and app where people can promote their businesses, and consumers can post reviews of those businesses. Yelp can be a consumer’s deciding factor in which restaurant to visit, which cleaning service to hire, which grocery store to shop at, and so on. Business owners claim that Yelp tries to extort them. For example, Yelp calls a business to sell ads. The business declines and, suddenly, good reviews get buried. Some business owners have even claimed that the best reviews disappear
altogether. In their place are the lowest reviews, or even poor reviews that weren’t there before. When people search for the business, the worst reviews are front and center. Additionally, business owners have noted that Yelp cold-called themwith the news that they have won an award for exceptional reviews. However, Yelp charges for the award, which is a plaque that can be displayed in the business, costing hundreds of dollars. While the second example certainly isn’t extortion, it raises questions. The fact is that Yelp does cold-call businesses to get them to sign up for advertising packages, and in this, Yelp has leverage. If you don’t comply, they can alter what people see when they search for your business.
Business owners also point to discrepancies in reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. They may have four- or five-star reviews on Google and Facebook, but their Yelp reviews may be noticeably lower. It’s no secret that advertisements represent Yelp’s primary source of revenue, and cold- calling businesses can help drive that revenue. But can businesses defend against ad extortion? The answer is not really, unless businesses are willing to pay a big expense. Instead, the best defense is focusing on stellar customer service — and directing customers and potential customers to Google and Facebook reviews, ignoring Yelp altogether.
Outrageous Ancient Teeth Whitening Methods SHOW OFF THOSE PEARLYWHITES T he quest for whiter teeth isn’t a new phenomenon. While certain Southeast Asian and Oceanic cultures blackened surface of the teeth and then apply a strong nitric acid. This process was extremely effective for both whitening and rotting teeth. The teeth would become eroded, leading to quicker decay. for whitening teeth, so Dr. William Klusmeier, an orthodontist from Fort Smith, Arkansas, introduced the customized tray bleaching in the last 1960s.
their teeth for traditional or religious purposes, many ancient peoples viewed white teeth as a sign of beauty and wealth. And they developed a number of creative solutions to achieve those pearly whites. The ancient Egyptians were well ahead of the curve and created a whitening paste made of ground pumice stone and wine vinegar. But the ancient Romans were not to be outdone, and they created a whitening concoction using urine and goat milk. The ammonia in the urine acted as a bleaching agent, though we certainly don’t recommend this method. Another whitening strategy we don’t recommend became popular in the 17th century, a time when barbers were the only dentists in town. Europeans who wanted a whiter smile could turn to their barber, who would use a metal file to wear down the
Dr. Klusmeier’s trays wouldn’t become widely accepted until 1989 when Drs. Haywood and Heymann published an article about the method in the journal Quintessence
Modern teeth whitening methods developed when dentists were attempting to improve gum health. In the early 19th century, dentists realized hydrogen
International. After the article, the modern whitening craze really took off with a flood of at-home whitening treatments along with special toothpaste, mouthwash, and chewing gum that claimed to whiten teeth. Today, dental professionals have a number of whitening methods available to offer their patients in-office — and none of them call for urine or filing down a patient’s teeth.
peroxide was great at treating gum disease while also whitening teeth. By 1918, it was discovered that a heating lamp used in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide would help lighten teeth even more. Eventually, an overnight soak was found to be one of the best methods
Does Orthodontics Offer a New Cure for Halitosis in Children?
Being diagnosed with chronic halitosis can happen at any time in someone’s life, but studies have shown that it is most prevalent in children. An article published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine noted that anywhere from 5–75% of children test positive for halitosis. Since most cases of halitosis can be cured with good oral maintenance or a change in diet, it’s tempting to just wave off “temporary bad breath.” However, this same article notes persistent halitosis “creates social and psychological disadvantages for individuals, and these situations affect an individual’s relation with other people.” On the subject of childhood halitosis, researchers from Kirikkale University in Turkey believe they have identified an effective treatment for certain cases of chronic halitosis. In a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, researchers described how rapid maxillary expansion (RME) could be a treatment option for patients with maxillary transverse deficiency and halitosis.
children in the RME group were treated with a hyrax appliance while the children in the control group received no treatment. The children were evaluated for halitosis using a halimeter and the organoleptic method, had their plaque index and gingival index scores recorded, and their nasal volume was measured with acoustic rhinometry. The measurements were taken twice, once prior to the start of RME treatment and again after retention at four months. While there were no statistically significant differences for the plaque index between either group, halitosis decreased significantly in the RME group, while the control group showed no significant changes of halitosis. Additionally, gingival index values were significantly decreased and nasal cavity volume increased significantly in the RME group (P ≤0.05 and P <0.01 respectively). Based on these results, the research concluded that “RME was shown to lower halitosis values,” potentially opening the door for more research into this treatment option.
Researchers randomly divided 30 children aged 11 to 15 into RME and control groups. The
Watermelon Cucumber Skewers
Have a Laugh
Inspired by CookingLight.com
Skewers are a Fourth of July favorite, but these are not your classic kebabs. They’re a fresh, light, and fun way to start a barbecue. Oh, and they don’t require any actual cooking.
• • • • •
1 medium-sized watermelon, cubed 2 cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1. In a small saucepan, heat butter over 1. Assemble skewers by placing one watermelon cube, one cucumber round, one feta cube, and one mint leaf on skewer in that order. Repeat until skewer is full. 2. Lightly season with salt and chill in fridge until right before serving.
1 block feta cheese, cubed 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Salt, to taste
1 packet of bamboo skewers
Westchester Office • 914-251-0313
2975 Westchester Avenue Suite G02 Purchase, NY 10577
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INSIDE This Issue
Remembering a Real Mensch
Is Yelp the Enemy of Small Business?
How Did the Romans Whiten Their Teeth?
Recent Study Examines Effect of Rapid Maxillary Expansion on Halitosis
Watermelon Cucumber Skewers
Avoid the Summer Heat Somewhere Cool
As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. Alaska No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature
tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve. Iceland Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat. With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? Norway Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.
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