Michael Ling DDS - September 2019


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SEPT 2019

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Dr. Meg Specializes in Oral Appliances for Families With Restless Children T

to find out there are so few resources for families who are kept awake each night and struggling with their children’s behavioral issues. It’s even more surprising when you consider the fact that 9 in 10 children suffer from these symptoms. But then again, I was one of those moms who didn’t connect these symptoms my son was showing to a larger issue. It wasn’t until I took this the course to become certified through Healthy Start that I realized the very same issues that I was becoming an expert in were symptoms that my son was displaying! As a mom, I get it. It’s hard to balance everything you have to do on top of working or any other tasks you may take on. The connection between my son’s lack of focus in school and his crazed sleeping patterns just didn’t occur to my husband and myself until I took this course. Now my son wears an oral appliance to bed each night, and at the time of writing this, we are only a few weeks into his program. But we’ve already seen an improvement in his mood and his sleep schedule. (As a bonus, we now get to sleep through the night, too. Well, mostly. We still have a baby at home!) The last thing you need as a parent is less sleep. I’m proud to offer Healthy Start oral appliances for children because I have seen the direct impact these devices can have on children and their families. As parents, we just want our children to grow up happy and healthy. And I know that begins with a Healthy Start. Get started with this program by contacting our practice, and learn more about Healthy Start at TheHealthyStart.com. I guarantee we can help your home find peace each night.

As every parent knows, when your child doesn’t sleep, you don’t sleep. Being the parents of five young kids, my husband and I

understand this all too well. Last year, we began to notice that our 6-year-old son was regularly struggling to focus in school, waking up in the middle of the night, obscenely snoring, and running laps in his bed. My husband, my son, and I were all groggy from his restless behavior, and the rest of our children were suffering because of it, too. To make matters worse, we have a baby at home, who already wakes up at random hours of the night.

But it wasn’t until I took a course through Healthy Start that I realized why this could be happening.

I was introduced to Healthy Start by a group of dentists in the U.S. The organization offers safe oral appliances to treat the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in children. This includes snoring, trouble concentrating, irritable behavior, constant movement in their sleep, and various other conditions. (Sounds familiar, right?) The oral appliance persuades a child’s teeth and tongue to sit properly in their mouth, allowing for proper airflow during sleep while also encouraging proper development for a child’s impressionable mouth. This prevents further conditions from developing and can help your child avoid extensive treatments and issues with their cardiovascular health, mental well-being, and cognition. Oral appliances are common for teens and adults, whose mouths are nearly fully formed, but formulating these appliances for children, who are constantly developing, is a new area of dental sleep medicine. In fact, in our region, there were only four other practitioners who offered this care for children. It was shocking

—Dr. Meg Ling



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What You Can Do to Help

C h A new school year is a prime opportunity for kids to make new friends among their classmates. Unfortunately, kids also form connections during the school year that aren’t always positive, and many children become the targets of school bullies. If you suspect your child is being bullied, there are a few things you can do to help. Know the Signs Kids usually don’t open up about being bullied right away. However, there are some common signs that your child is being harassed. Here are a few of them: • If they’re refusing to go to school or ride the bus, they may be dreading their bully. • If they’re rushing to the bathroom after school, it may indicate that they’re being bullied in the bathroom, which is a common tactic bullies use

to avoid teachers. • If their grades

suddenly change, it may be the result of constant harassment. • Anxious or depressed moods can be the result of bullying as well. If you spot one or more of these signs, it’s time to talk to your child about what’s happening to them at school.

Listen When your child does open up, the best thing you can do is listen. It can be tempting to try to give them advice or question the way they handled the situation, but doing this can give your child the impression that it’s their own fault they are being bullied. Let them tell you the whole story, without judgment, and then help them come up with ideas on what to do next. Finding the Right Solution Once you’ve been informed that your child is being bullied, you should inform teachers as soon as possible. Apart from that, there are several ways you can help your child to deal with bullies, so talk to them about what approach they would be most comfortable with, such as de-escalation strategies or a buddy system with their friends. As with most conflicts, the sooner you handle the situation, the better.

tear. Your dentist could have taught you preventive methods or applied a coating of sealant for extra protection. Instead, you are shelling out hundreds of dollars for completely preventable cavities. Still not convinced? Consider this as well: You may be paying money every paycheck for dental insurance. Why let that money go to waste and spend extra money for painful conditions that your dentist could have caught at a regular appointment? Don’t let your dental benefits go to waste. Oral health care is as much about preventing cavities, oral cancers, missing teeth, and other painful conditions as it is about diagnosing and treating these conditions. Dental science has made significant strides in recent decades to offer patients top-of-the-line treatment options, but it’s also made detecting warning signs easier than ever. Don’t let your busy lifestyle dictate when your oral health matters. Schedule your dental appointment today, and smile brighter as you save money and your oral health.

Life is busy. You may think there’s no way you could possibly fit a regular dental exam in between juggling your family’s schedule, completing tasks for your job, and maintaining a clean home.

Think again! In fact, your finances may require it.

Attending regular dental cleanings is the best way to prevent costly and painful conditions from developing and festering to the point of dire treatment. Skipping a dental appointment could cost you thousands of dollars, and dangerous conditions may not be caught until the problem hits crisis mode. Consider this: The date for your yearly exam rolls around, and you think you are just too busy to attend. Eight months later, a piercing toothache forces you into the dental chair, and as the dentist peers into your mouth, you learn of a few cavities that have eaten away at your teeth. If you regularly brush your teeth, you may be shocked! But if you had attended your dental appointment eight months ago, you might have learned your teeth were showing signs of wear and





Dr. Meg’s Supermom Tips Packing Teeth-Friendly Snacks for Your Children Getting your child to eat a snack that they enjoy and is good for them can feel like an impossible feat. As the mother of five children, Dr. Meg understands this challenge. She has compiled a list of teeth-friendly snacks for the whole family, so you can enjoy the sweet sounds of happy eaters.

Laughing Gas! Q. What did the tooth say to the departing dentist?

A. Fill me in when you get back.

Q. What does a dentist do on a roller coaster?

A. He braces himself.

Lots of Moo Juice

It might be gross, but saliva is a blessing for your teeth. Your body creates saliva to continually rinse your mouth of all the gunk that gets lodged in your teeth. Foods that require more chewing stimulate this production, and one of the best foods to use


is cheese. In fact, cheese slices, milk, and low-sugar yogurt are some of the best snacks for your child and their growing mouth. In addition to its saliva-inducing qualities, dairy is best known for its high volume of calcium, which can create stronger teeth. But there is a caveat to eating dairy for oral health: Opt for low-sugar items to avoid tooth decay.


DIRECTIONS • 1/2 cup onion, diced • 1 red pepper, diced • 2 strips bacon, cut into squares • 1 large sweet potato, spiralized or grated • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 cups spinach • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (optional: substitute with water) • 1 tsp paprika • 6 eggs • Salt and pepper, to taste and sweet potatoes until bacon is completely rendered and onions are translucent. Then, add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Finally, add spinach and continue cooking for another 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer to a greased casserole dish. 4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and pour them over casserole. 5. Bake for 20–30 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes, and serve. 1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté onion, peppers, bacon,

An Apple a Day

Apples don’t just keep the doctor away; this handy fruit also promotes proper oral health! Apples rub away the grime and plaque other food leaves behind on your teeth, but unlike other crunchy foods, apples are not just

supplying you with an edible toothbrush. While they can taste sweet, apples tend to be lower in sugar than other crunchy foods, such as granola or crackers. Apples are also packed with nutrients that specifically target the health of your teeth and gums, making the apple an oral superfood.

Go Green

Raw vegetables are some of the best foods for your teeth. Much like apples and cheese, vegetables can scrub away bacteria and plaque that stick to your teeth and rot your mouth. In addition, crunching produces more of that handy saliva that scrubs your teeth naturally. Lastly, raw vegetables are packed with vitamins to support oral health. Leafy greens, like kale or Swiss chard, boost your oral health with calcium, while carrots boast vitamin A, a gum-building nutrient. Steer clear of sugary snacks and high-citrus foods, and instead, pack your children’s lunchboxes with delicious snacks that promote their mouth’s defenses. Learn more supermom tips from Dr. Meg and our dental experts by visiting our website.



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Just One More Bite Get More Sleep! 1 How to Respond to School Bullies Save Money by Going to the Dentist! 2 The Best Snacks for Your Child’s Teeth Paleo Breakfast Casserole 3 The Clean Plate Conundrum 4

eat three cookies, and afterward, researchers asked each of them if they wanted more. Those who had only one or two cookies left on their plates were more likely to indulge in a fourth or fifth cookie, while those who had no cookies left or had too many cookies left said they were full. Despite what you think about your own diet, this isn’t a problem sequestered to certain parties. Studies have found that plates and portion sizes in the U.S. have increased by about 20% since the 1970s. The same psychology that propelled humans to eat just a little bit more to survive is now contributing to serious overeating and a staggering calorie intake. There are a few simple tricks you can use to break this habit. Use smaller plates or measure out your food portions so you can clean your plate without guilt. You can also get into the habit of leaving a few bites on your plate to retrain your brain that it’s okay to not finish your food. (You can use your leftover food for compost or save it for later!) With a little effort and intention, you can break free of the pressure to clean your plate.

As you celebrate your last backyard barbecue, consider this: If someone puts three helpings of potato salad on your plate, would you feel pressured to finish it? According to nutrition experts, this pressure to finish your plate is making people indulge a little too much. Dubbed the “clean plate phenomenon,” this overindulgence is troubling. Researchers have discovered that people feel pressured to clean their plates even when they feel satisfied or full. Even people who don’t fill their plates all the way often reach for that last piece or second helping because “one more bite won’t hurt.” Experts speculate that this compulsion could have stemmed from habits passed down from World War II, when rationing food was required for most, or from a fear of wasting food. Most people have, at some point, heard an adult say to a child, “Eat up; there are starving children in the world.” But all those “one more bites” add up. Researchers from Vanderbilt University conducted a study in which participants were served individual plates with any number of cookies piled on top. They were instructed to

How the Clean Plate

Phenomenon May Be Killing Your Diet



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