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Your Dental Office News, December 11, 2021: Happy Holidays!

We’re hopeful that this holiday season you are able to enjoy it with friends and family and that the stress of these past two years is lightening up. Thank you for your continued support of our office and we look forward to seeing your smiles in the new year!

In This Issue: 

  • Holiday Schedule Reminder
  • “Best of the Best” Finalist – Thank you!
  • Cavities: What are They and How Do We Prevent Them?
  • Holiday Poem
  • Honoring Our Team Members
  • Recipe of the Month

UPCOMING HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

December 24-25 – CLOSED
December 31-January 1 – CLOSED

 As always, if you are experiencing a dental emergency while our office is closed, please call 301-663-8300 and listen to the prompts.

 **ROUTINE CLEANING REMINDER** We have just opened our Saturday schedule through Spring 2022. If you have been in recently and were unable to schedule your 6 month cleaning appointment for a Saturday, please give us a call to schedule. Our Saturday appointments are booking quickly!

Effective January 1, 2022, we are delighted to report that we will go back to treating our patients with special needs every Tuesday morning from 9 AM -1 PM. We truly appreciate your patience through the restrictions we’ve had to implement. This is a change from 2021 where we were only able to schedule two Tuesdays per month. These appointments book quickly — we are currently scheduling May and June 2022 — so please call soon to schedule. 

Thank you to all who voted for us as Best Dental Practice in the Frederick News Post’s “Best of the Best” contest. Your votes got us to the top three dental practices in Frederick county, among more than 40 practices that were nominated!

As challenging as this year has been (and still is!), we’ll always remember 2021 as the year we were honored three times for the services we provide the community: the Human Rights Achievement award (through the Human Relations Commission of Frederick County), the Best Places to Work in Frederick County award (through the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, Frederick County Workforce Services, The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development, and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce), and last but not least, YOU made us finalists in the Best of the Best.

We do not take these honors lightly. Though next year other workplaces will be honored, we promise to continue providing an excellent level of care to all our patients, in an accepting and caring environment, with the very best team members you will find in Frederick. 

CAVITIES: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO WE PREVENT THEM?

 Source 

By Caitlin Rosemann 
A.T. Still University – Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health

Did you know tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body? Enamel is the protective outer layer of our teeth. Bacteria in our mouths use the sugar we eat to make acids which can wear away this protective layer, forming a cavity. Once enamel is gone, it does not grow back. This is why your dentist and dental hygienist are always telling you to brush with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth! You can learn more about cavities and how to prevent them below.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth. A cavity in an early stage can look like a white spot, which can be healed. Over time, it will look like a brown or black spot. Cavities can be tiny or big. Cavities can form in many places, but they often form on the tops of your teeth where you bite and in between your teeth where food gets stuck. Cavities that are not fixed can cause sensitivity, pain, infections, and can even cause you to lose your teeth. The best way to keep your teeth and keep them healthy is to prevent cavities.

What Causes Cavities?

Do your teeth ever feel “fuzzy” after a meal? Do you notice when you brush and floss this fuzzy feeling goes away? When we don’t brush and floss the bacteria and foods we eat build up and form a sticky substance called plaque (plak).

Throughout the day, bacteria feed off the foods we eat. When we eat or drink sugar, the bacteria in our mouths use it to live and make acid. This acid stays on our teeth and attacks the outer surface of our teeth. Over time, the acid wears down our teeth, causing a cavity.

To understand how a cavity forms, let’s look at what makes up a tooth. Enamel is the outside hard covering that protects our teeth. Below the enamel is the dentin. Dentin is not as hard as enamel. This makes it easier for cavities to spread and get bigger. Below the dentin is the pulp. The pulp is where the nerves and blood supply for the tooth live.

If a cavity is not fixed, the bacteria can travel from the enamel to the dentin and can reach the pulp. If the bacteria from the cavity get into the pulp, it becomes an infection.

Dental infections can be serious and life-threatening if not treated. See your dentist right away if you notice any of the following:

  • Swelling on your face or in your mouth
  • Redness in or around your mouth
  • Pain in your mouth
  • Bad taste in your mouth

Who Is At Risk For Cavities?

Children, teens, and adults can all be at risk for getting cavities. You might be at increased risk if you: 

  • Snack between meals
  • Eat sugary foods and drinks
  • Have a personal and/or family history of cavities
  • Have cracked or chipped teeth
  • Take medications that cause dry mouth
  • Have had head or neck radiation therapy

How Are Cavities Treated?

Cavities should be treated by a dentist. A dentist is trained to see cavities. A cavity in an early stage can be repaired with fluoride. If the cavity is deeper, the only fix may be for dentist to remove the cavity and fill the area with a silver or white colored material. If a tooth has a large cavity, it might need more complicated treatment.

How Do I Reduce My Risk of Cavities? 

  • Drink water with fluoride
  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste 2 times a day
  • Stay away from sugary foods and drinks, like candies and soda. Don’t sip or eat on them all day. If you are going to eat or drink things that are sweet do so at meal times.
  • Limit sweet snacks between meals
  • Clean between your teeth daily
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Sealants can be placed on back teeth to better protect them from bacteria causing cavities in the grooves.

May your holidays
Be happy days
Filled with love
And laughter

And may each day
Bring joy your way
In the year
That follows after

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,
and our warmest wishes for a sane and happy 2022 to all! 

 HONORING OUR TEAM MEMBERS

To learn more about our team members, visit Our Team page on our website. 

MVP – Kristen and Brandon

Every month we recognize a team member who has gone above and beyond for our patients or other team members.

In November we honored two dental hygienists.

We recognized Kristen for her positive attitude, her good time management, and for making sure our hygiene supplies are always stocked, so that all our patients can receive an appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste and floss (or other interdental cleaning tool) after their cleanings. Beyond her kind heart and compassion for our patients, we appreciate her for being funny and entertaining.

We also recognized Brandon, a very gentle hygienist who, whenever he has downtime, does whatever is needed in our office, especially in the sterile room. In the past year he has helped as a triage assistant, identified educational resources for our patients, trained a new hygienist, installed software updates for our new x-ray sensors in all our treatment rooms, and did myriad other things that needed doing.

Service Recognition

We are proud of our outstanding team of professionals, many of whom have been with Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates for several years. In November, we recognized dental assistant team leader Annette for her 23 years with us, and front desk helper, Mette, for her first anniversary.

A dedicated advocate for our patients with special needs, Annette is the main coordinator for all the dental procedures Dr. Levy performs in hospital operating rooms, both at FHH (Frederick Health Hospital in Frederick) and MMC (Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown). Annette spends countless hours every week working with hospital representatives to schedule cases and prepare necessary paperwork, and supporting scheduled patients and/or their caregivers to make sure all the necessary steps are completed. Annette assists Dr. Levy in the O.R., so her caring touch is present from start to finish.

Mette is a college student who is helping us with data entry as we migrate our forms to a different electronic patient record system. Detail-oriented and very serious about her work for us, her eye for accuracy ensures that your important health information is entered correctly in your electronic chart. Though she is quiet much of the time, her sense of humor and quick wit keep us entertained.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH 

 Christmas Tree Spinach Dip Breadsticks 

Ingredients (Vegan, GF)

  • 12 oz Frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry
  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar OR mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tube refrigerated thin crust pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the spinach and cream cheese.
  3. Add garlic, salt, onion powder, chili powder, pepper, and Italian seasoning and beat to combine.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the cheddar or mozzarella cheese and beat to combine. (The other half of the cheddar or mozzarella cheese will be sprinkled over the filling when you shape the Christmas tree.)
  5. Unroll the pizza crust on a piece of parchment paper. This recipe used the “thin” style pizza crust. Using a pizza slicer, cut from the bottom of one corner and then the other to the middle of the top. This should create 1 large triangle and 2 small triangles
  6. Transfer the smaller triangles to a second piece of parchment paper, placing the long side edges together, to make another large triangle. The dough will stretch out a little as you move it around – no biggie, just gently tug it into the shape you want, pressing the two halves together in the middle. This will be the base of the breadsticks.
  7. Spread the spinach dip over the base.
  8. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, and then top with the first triangle of dough. You’ll likely have to tug at the dough a little bit to make sure it completely covers the base triangle.
  9. Using a pizza cutter, cut slices from the middle to each edge about every inch down the triangle as shown below. Don’t slice all the way across; leave about an inch down the middle of the tree intact.
  10. Grab each “slice” and twist it to form a tree shape. For the top slice that’s very short you’ll just give it a half twist; as you go further down the tree and hit longer slices you’ll give them two or three full twists.
  11. Bake for about 22 minutes until quite golden brown on top and cooked through on the bottom.
  12. Melt butter and stir in garlic salt and seasoning, then brush over breadsticks.
  13. Serve warm.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share with your friends and family!

Be safe, stay well, be well. We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season, hopefully with your friends and family!

Dr Harvey Levy and Associates

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