Livingston Dental - April 2020

800 South Washington St., Afton, WY 83110 (307) 885-4337 |

April 2020

Life With Livingston Dental

e G e n

My Recipe for Laughter

You can’t really put a price on the benefits of a good laugh. Did you know that one minute of anger weakens the immune system for up to five hours, whereas one minute of laughter strengthens the immune system for up to 24 hours? A little laughter goes a long way. You gain significant health benefits from having a positive attitude and being willing to laugh — mostly at yourself. A woman and her husband rushed into the dentist. They were on vacation and had interrupted their trip to make the visit. The woman told the dentist, “I want the tooth pulled right away. No need for Novocaine — I’m in a hurry.” Impressed, the dentist asked, “Which tooth is it?” I’ll leave you with this last thought:

With a birthday on April 1, I’ve been on the receiving end of innumerable pranks. Have you heard about the origins of April Fools’ Day? The holiday came to exist because we switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar around 400 years ago. The new system meant that New Year’s Day, which had previously been April 1, was now Jan. 1, as we all know it today. Well, news still took a long time to make its rounds in those days, and not everyone got the memo about the new dates, so a number of people still celebrated the new year on April 1. They were called fools, and the tradition of April Fools’ Day was born. Since then, mischievous folks have a heyday every April. I can say that I’ve been the fool of many a prank. While I don’t think it’s worth pulling a prank or making a joke if it comes at anyone’s expense, I can appreciate a good laugh, and I’ve found that a few components of humor can help make someone laugh. I tend to use humor almost daily in my line of work. I know that patients may already feel a little nervous just to be in our office, so I try to bring humor into the dental setting to help people feel more at ease.

Sometimes I talk about having disabilities. You may not be aware of it, I tell patients, but I have over 70% hearing loss. I was born two months premature, and as a result, some of the nerve endings in my ears were lost. I want you to know, though, that I don’t necessarily consider it a disability. There have been times I’ve slept as soundly as a hibernating bear because I couldn’t hear the kids fighting. Another component of humor is dealing with extremes. For example, a couple weeks ago I saw a patient who has silver fillings that need to be replaced. I told the patient, “Gosh, you have a lot of metal in your mouth! If we remove all these fillings, you’re going to walk out of here 20 pounds lighter!” Of course, you also have to know your audience and be sensitive. I wouldn’t have made the joke if I thought the patient might take it too much to heart.

The woman then turned to her husband and said, “Show her your tooth, dear.”

Nothing like the healing power of laughter, right?

When I make a joke, I try to make it about myself rather than the other person.

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