THE STRAIGHT UP
You may have noticed there are no TVs in any of the Pitner Orthodontics offices. Believe it or not, this detail has nothing to do with budgetary constraints. In fact, about 10 years ago, a salesman came into the office, and he offered to give us a free TV in exchange for running ads for the company he represented. When our front desk girl came back to tell me about the free TV, I declared, “That’s the last thing I want! I am morally opposed to having TVs in this office.” Apparently, SHHH ... The Sound of Silence
I declared this a bit too loudly, because we haven’t seen that salesman since.
Plato once wrote, “A wise person speaks because he or she has something to say; a fool speaks because he or she has to say something.” Appreciating sound as communication or entertainment is wonderful, but how often are we guilty of using noise as a crutch because we can’t stand the silence? Our aversion to silence might actually be bad for our health! A study from Duke University found that two hours of silence per day for mice encouraged cell development in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory and the senses. Enjoying some silence might help our brain cells regrow! Last year, when I visited a friend of mine in Australia, the best part of the trip was the time I spent at Jamberoo Abbey, which is home to Benedictine nuns. The hours of silence were so peaceful, and my brain had the opportunity to calm down for the first time in a long time. I spent the days just laying on the front porch like a cat, letting myself be present in each moment. A decade ago, if someone told me I would spend a few days not talking at all, I would have told them my head would explode. Now, not talking or hearing unnecessary noise sounds amazing! If anyone knows where I can spend time with some Benedictine nuns, let me know! I’d love to get some silence in.
I’ll admit to being a bit dramatic regarding my “moral opposition” to television. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of TV, and we certainly have one at my house. However, I’ve always assumed that if a dentist has a TV in their office, it means their patients have to hang out for a while. I don’t intend to let my patients be trapped in the office long enough to watch TV!
“APPRECIATING SOUND AS COMMUNICATION OR
ENTERTAINMENT IS WONDERFUL, BUT HOW OFTEN ARE WE GUILTY OF USING NOISE AS A CRUTCH BECAUSE WE CAN’T STAND THE SILENCE?”
More importantly, I believe we don’t need to be assaulted by noise all the time.
I love silence. It’s become harder and harder to enjoy a moment of quiet in this crazy, loud world. When I’m by myself, I don’t turn on the TV or the radio for background noise. I just want to enjoy the quiet. All day long, we’re surrounded by noise. Ads break through the music on the radio, there are TVs in restaurants reporting the most troubling news stories, and the phone rings with work calls even when we’re on vacation. When do we have a moment to stop having our attention dragged every which way, and instead, just focus on ourselves?
–Dr. Leslie Pitner
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
FOR YOUR FAMILY
Finding the perfect babysitter can be daunting. But as most parents know, sitters are a necessity. Here are some tips to help you find the best sitter for your family.
hourly rate. If you have online candidates, you can read parent reviews to get a better idea of a sitter’s performance and personality. Make sure to run a basic background check on each candidate. Next, check out your potential sitter’s references. Online profiles almost always require them, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Call their references and check your sitter’s other social media profiles to learn more about their personality and hobbies. Finally, run an enhanced background check through your local police department or through a private online service. Once you have compiled a list of candidates, it’s time to conduct interviews. When communicating with candidates you don’t know, remember not to give out too much personal information. Set up phone interviews for the first round, and if you like the candidate, set up an in-person interview in a public place.Your questions should be you’ve lost a separator, just call our office to get a replacement. LOOSE BRACKET Loose brackets can have a negative impact on your treatment progress if not quickly addressed. If a bracket comes off your tooth, call our office andmake an appointment to have it repaired. If the bracket comes loose but is still attached to the wire, you can carefully cut the wire using a pair of nail clippers sterilized in alcohol. WIRE IRRITATION It’s common for patients to experience pain when wires rub against the inside of their cheeks or gums.You can use a cotton swab tomove the wire away from the irritated area of your gums, cover a sharp edge with cotton or dental wax, or carefully clip the wire with scissors or nail clippers sterilized with alcohol.
geared toward your lifestyle and the expectations you have for a
sitter. Make sure you’re on the same page about job specifics, discipline, and responsibilities. If you’re still sold on the candidate after the in-person interview, consider introducing them to your kids to get their opinion on the sitter. Once you’ve decided on the perfect babysitter, make sure to monitor the relationship and ask your sitter and child open and upfront questions after every session. The most important thing to remember is that your sitter must be compatible with the needs of your family. Sometimes, you learn that a perfect candidate is not the right fit
Many people turn to family friends or neighbors to find a trusted sitter, but
searching for a candidate online is also a great option. No
matter where you look, you should start by creating a short list of potential caregivers and screening
for your family. But that’s okay! Once you’ve gone through the process once, finding another sitter will be a breeze.
them for your family’s needs. Review their experience, education, certifications, and
HOW TO HANDLE AN ORTHODONTIC EMERGENCY
Orthodontic treatment can be stressful, and it’s easy to panic if things don’t go according to plan. While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, there are still a number of mishaps that can occur. Here are a few common problems we see at the office and what you can do to remedy them. SORE TEETH Aching teeth or general discomfort around the mouth and jaw are common after orthodontic treatment. Dr. Pitner recommends ibuprofen to help alleviate the pain. Make sure to follow safety guidelines on the bottle.You can also gargle with warm salt water or place a heating pad or warm washcloth around your mouth or jaw. LOST SEPARATOR Patients regularly lose separators during treatment, so it’s no cause for alarm. If you notice
If you are experiencing wire irritation, make sure
it’s not being caused by a loose wire, as this is another situation that can harmyour treatment if not fixed right away. Like with a loose bracket, you shouldmake an appointment to have it fixed in office themoment you realize there’s a problem. There are some commonminor issues most patients are able to correct at home. If you fear you’re experiencing amajor issue, don’t hesitate to call the office at 803-781-5225 right away. Even if you do correct aminor issue at home, you should still schedule an appoint to confirm the problemwas addressed properly and that you are not in danger of negatively affecting your orthodontic treatment.
BOX OFFICE BRACES Orthodontics for the Stars
impossible. At age 40, the Hollywood star donned a pair of ceramic brackets. Not only were his braces subtle, but he only had to wear them a few months. That’s a small price to pay to ensure his trademark grin stays paparazzi-perfect for years to come. RYAN LEE He may not be the biggest star on this list, but Lee’s dedication to orthopedic authenticity deserves special mention. Lee is best known for his role as Cary in
Movie stars are far from pictures of perfection. Acting skills and public relations can always be brushed up, but what happens when a celebrity’s smile isn’t IMAX ready? More stars have needed orthopedic correction over the course of their careers than you might think. Here are our picks for the top celebrity ortho patients! DAKOTA FANNING Actor and model Dakota Fanning has appeared in movies and television shows since she was a child. During her career, the “Twilight” antagonist went through extensive orthodontic repair, requiring multiple sets of braces. Even vampires care about their smile! EMMA WATSON Starting your career as a child actor presents numerous challenges, especially because your body is changing. Watson has openly talked
about her struggle to maintain her body image while going through adolescence. “I had terrible skin at one point and had to wear braces at another,” she reflected in 2012. “When you’re growing, your body is still figuring itself out.” It’s a valuable observation for any young person considering
JJ Abram’s 2011 thriller “Super 8.” Both Lee and the character he played in “Super 8” wore braces. The only problem was that the movie was set in the late ’70s, requiring the young actor to ditch his modern bands for bulkier, period-accurate braces. Worse still, the braces were props, not actual dental supports, meaning Lee had to put his realignment on hold until after filming. Now that’s commitment!
braces. TOM CRUISE
Cruise is proof that getting the perfect smile in your adult life is far from
Z E S T Y Z U C C H I N I ENCHILADAS
• • • • •
4 large zucchinis
2 teaspoons chili powder 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken 2 cups shredded cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Add chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce. 2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini. Lay out three slices, slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. 3. Cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!
Adapted from delish.com.
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
5953 Wescott Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 803-781-5225 Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.drpitner.com
Breaking Through to the Quiet
Finding the Perfect Babysitter
Emergency Guidelines: Braces Edition
4 Celebrities With Braces
Go Carb-Free for Dinner
Fall in Love With These Great Local Events FOLLOW YOUR HEART
36th Annual St. Pat’s in Five Points Where: Five Points, Columbia, South Carolina When: Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Columbia City Ballet Presents ‘Cleopatra’ Where: Koger Center, Columbia, South Carolina When: Saturday, Feb. 17, 12–4 p.m., 6–10 p.m.
SouthCarolinaTaco Festival Where: HistoricColumbia Speedway, Cayce, SouthCarolina When: Saturday, April 7, 12 p.m. Admission: $14.99 general admission Website: tasteofyourtown.com/sctacofest The first annual SouthCarolinaTaco Festival invites you to celebrate your love of tacos! Over 25 taco vendors will gather at the Historic Columbia Speedway to serve up a variety of amazing tacos and beverages. Plan to stay for the whole day of entertainment and livemusic including authentic Mexicanmariachi bands, a chili pepper eating contest, a kids fun zone, a giant nacho bar, and a tequila sampling tent.This is sure to be one fun fiesta!
Admission: $20 general tickets Website: stpatscolumbia.com
Admission: See website for admission Website: kogercenterforthearts.com
Hold on to your shamrocks, because St. Patrick’s Day is back again! One of the nation’s largest green and Gaelic celebrations kicks off with a musical parade at 10 a.m. Then, spend the rest of your day enjoying live bands on five different stages, indulging at food courts and a food-truck rodeo, browsing local vendors, and rocking out at the silent
The last queen of ancient Egypt sets her sights on Columbia in this spellbinding ballet. Even centuries after her death, Cleopatra's name still evokes an air of power, regality, and grandeur. In her farewell performance, ballerina ReginaWilloughby brings the legendary queen to life one more time. With breathtaking music and a dazzling choreography, audiences will bow before the Queen of the Nile.
disco. A festival for all ages, this is the best St. Patrick’s Day celebration outside of Ireland!
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