Elkins Dental - October 2017


Sausage and Barley Soup page 3 The Origins of Fear page 3

How Farmers Grow Giant Pumpkins page 4

Do Kids’ Menus Do More Harm Than Good? page 2 A Word From

Kalie and Caryn page 2

October 2017


The air is crisp, the leaves are turning bright colors, and the kids are getting into fall sports season. Russell is enjoying his last year with his football team; next year, he’ll be playing for the junior high. It’s been a great few years for him, and I know he’s going to miss his teammates when he goes. Jocelyn is also hitting the field this fall, trying her hand at soccer. It’s a new sport for her and for us. She’s the first of our children to play. So far, she’s really loving it! As for the younger kids, they’re just getting excited for candy with Halloween just around the corner! I always have fun taking the kids out on Halloween, but every year, I find it more and more remarkable how much some things have changed since my own days going door to door with a trick- or-treat bag — mostly, I think, for the good. The costumes are a pretty good example of this. We were pretty low-key about costumes back in the day, and instead of buying a whole ensemble, you usually just bought the mask and then figured out what you had around the house that went with it. While that sounds great on the surface, in practice it didn’t always work out so well. Masks really make it hard to see — especially the ones we had back then — and that’s definitely a hazard if you’re already walking around in the dark! The general attitude toward kids and safety has changed too. One of my favorite Halloweens was the time my brother

and I rode neighborhood to neighborhood with my friend and his father, who was a police officer. He drove a police van around and gave out candy to the kids in different neighborhoods. We’d all hop out when he pulled up, ring a few doorbells, get some candy of our own, and then get back in the van and head to the next neighborhood. Well, toward the end of the night, my friend’s dad took off without us! I ran back to the van and barely made it, but my brother and my friend were stranded, high and dry in a neighborhood I didn’t even know! “They’ll be fine,” my friend’s dad said. The miracle is, they were fine — and better than fine. When they got back, they had gigantic bags full of candy, because they’d hit every house on the way back home! Today, my wife and I handle the kids’ Halloween activities a little different from how it was when we were growing up. Instead of masks, our kids usually have face paint or something that doesn’t make it hard for them to see. And you can bet we aren’t dropping them off in any strange neighborhoods and letting them find their own way back! We’re a little more cautious, and the kids seem to enjoy Halloween just as much as I remember enjoying it. I hope you enjoy yours as well this year.

Happy Halloween!

– Dr. Elkins

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Do Kids’ Menus Kids can be picky eaters. This is a fact recognized by parents and restaurants alike. This picky nature popularized the classic children’s menu featured at many restaurants around the country. These menus are virtually the same: chicken tenders, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, french fries, and so on. Kids’ menus are loaded with fried foods and cheap carbs. Some parents love the kids’ menu. It makes deciding on food easier. Or, at least, that’s what we tell ourselves. Kids’ menus are populated with foods practically every kid loves. But they have a dark side. Aside from poor nutrition, the kids’ menu changes the family dynamic. In an interview with Eater.com, television chef and host Alton Brown (who you may know from “Good Eats,” “Iron Chef America,” and “Cutthroat Kitchen”) said, “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever let your kid eat from the children’s menu at restaurants and never, ever, ever make your kid special food to allow them to avoid whatever the family is eating.” Why? During his “Alton Brown Live!” tour, he explained that it comes down to control. By giving kids the option of the children’s menu, you relinquish culinary control to your kids. The next time you go out as a family or you make a


delicious meal at home, they are more likely to demand “their” food.

This is a habit a child can quickly adopt — and a habit

that’s tough to break. Kids are picky eaters because, as parents and adults,

we let them be picky eaters. We perpetuate bad habits. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In a Mom.me article, Dr. Cara Natterson suggests kids eat what the rest of the family eats. For instance, let them indulge in the appetizer menu, then build up to the entrée menu and let them share and sample your food. Encourage culinary exploration. When you encourage your kids to avoid the children’s menu, you give them an opportunity to expand their flavor horizons. More importantly, it helps them make healthier choices that aren’t loaded with fat and empty carbs. Make going out to dinner a learning experience, and before you know it, the phrase “kids’ menu” will have disappeared from your family’s vocabulary.

A Word From

Kalie and Caryn

The Time Is Right to Treat Gingivitis

This year, we saw the introduction of a new CDT code for gingivitis, which is awesome. That means we’re officially

that far, it quite often does. Periodontitis results in the loss of bone around the teeth, a problem that is very hard to correct and can lead to serious health repercussions. Gingivitis, on the other hand, is quite easy to treat. Between cleanings in the dental office and at-home treatment, your gingivitis could be gone in as little as two weeks (yes, that’s right, two weeks) as compared to months or even years of treatment for periodontal conditions. That makes treating gingivitis a no-brainer, and we strongly encourage everyone to do so if they have some form of gingivitis. As always, if you have more questions or want to know how to address your own gingivitis, you can give us a call, send an email, or come on in for a checkup!

recognizing the serious issues that gingivitis can cause, especially if left unchecked for too long. And it couldn’t come at a better time. Seventy-five percent of American adults have some form of gingivitis, making it one of the most common (if not the most common) oral diseases in the country. Gingivitis presents as swollen, inflamed gums that also frequently bleed. Your gums might be tender, but they also might not be. The swelling is the No. 1 symptom of this condition. Gingivitis is common, but it also commonly leads to further periodontal issues. Periodontitis is always preceded by gingivitis, and although gingivitis doesn’t always progress

Keep flossing, and we’ll see you soon!

– Kalie and Caryn

2 | Elkins Dental

It’s a great time of year to warm up with a cup of soup, and this comforting, guilt-free dish comes together in a flash.


• 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian- style stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped • 1/4 cup uncooked quick- cooking barley • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach 3. Add stir-fry puree, tomatoes, and barley to sausage in

• Cooking spray • 6 ounces turkey breakfast sausage • 2 1/2 cups frozen bell pepper stir-fry • 2 cups water 1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat. 2. While sausage cooks, place stir-fry and 2 cups water in a blender; process until smooth. Instructions


pan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts.

Join us for our 6th Annual ... Food Drive! OLD IDAHO PENITENTIARY PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION WHERE: Idaho State Penitentiary WHEN: Friday, October 13, 9 PM - 2 AM TRUNK-OR-TREAT WHERE: Gem County Fire & EMS WHEN: Tuesday, October 31, 6PM - 8PM Gem State in the WHAT’S HAPPENING

WHICH FEARS ARE INSTINCTUAL, and Which Are Learned? Recipe courtesy of CookingLight.com.

Where does fear come from? As the jack-o’- lanterns show their grinning, glowing faces and skeletons, cobwebs, and gravestones adorn yards around the neighborhood, it’s a question hanging in many of our minds. When you recoil from the giant mechanical spider suspended above your neighbor’s garage, is that fear instinctual, or is it learned? According to the Association for Psychological Science, there are only two fears we inherit at birth: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds.

A 1960 study, conducted by psychologists Gibson and Walk for Cornell University, sought to investigate depth perception in human and animal species. They suspended a sheet of transparent plexiglass about 4 feet off the ground and covered one half of it with a checkerboard-pattern cloth, creating a simulated cliff. Infants, both human and animal, were then encouraged by their caregivers, usually their mothers, to crawl off the “cliff” onto the clear half of the platform. Both avoided stepping over what they perceived as a sharp drop, and pre- crawling-age infants showed heightened cardiac distress on the “suspended” side. Coupled with this innate fear of plummeting to the ground is something called the Moro reflex, one of several involuntary reflexes healthy newborn infants have at birth. Often called the “startle reflex,” it occurs when a baby is startled by a loud sound or movement, especially a falling motion. The reflex usually triggers the newborn to lift and spread their arms as if grasping for support, followed by crying. Though the Moro reflex usually disappears at around 5 to 6 months of age, our instinctive aversion to sudden loud noises stays with us throughout our lives.

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Forklifts and cranes may be used mainly for construction work, but every fall, thousands of backyard gardeners use them as gardening tools — or rather, harvesting tools — for their largest single crop. Massive pumpkins aren’t practical, but they can become a minor tourist attraction in your hometown, and even win a few thousand bucks if they’re really huge. However, with the time and effort it takes to get them that big, farmers aren’t in it for the money. They’re in it for the glory. Growing these monstrous fruits (yes, they are technically fruits) is kind of like breeding a racehorse. It takes practice, cultivation, and even good genes. Competitive growers will often purchase the seeds of the previous year’s champions for their plant. After preparing the soil to make it extra fertile, they’ll plant the pumpkin in late winter or early spring.

Before the gourd starts growing, flowers on the plant need to be pollinated. Farmers will usually take it upon themselves to pollinate, using pollen from plants with proven genetic lines. Winning pumpkins usually claim their “father” plant and “mother” seed, like racehorses. Growing a great pumpkin is practically a full-time job, with some farmers reporting spending 40 hours a week on it. Using heated soil, installing fences to reduce wind, adding sand, and other specific cultivation techniques give the pumpkin a fighting chance to grow into a monster. But, in the end, there’s an element of luck. The competitive growing industry is getting bigger (pun intended). In 1979, the largest pumpkin on record was 438 pounds. Since 2008, the world record has been broken every year. The reigning heavyweight champion was grown in Germany last year, weighing in at 2,623 pounds. That’s the weight of a 2018 Toyota Yaris or 1,748 standard pumpkin pies.

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