Your Dental Office News, October 22, 2022: We’re the Best of the Best! Halloween Candy and Other PSAs

Happy Fall! Happy Halloween! This is one of our favorite times of the year, and not because sticky candy might mean an extra trip to your friendly neighborhood dentist. We love this time of year because of the crisp cool weather that is perfect for a firepit surrounded by family and friends, and also for the beautiful change in the color of leaves (almost at peak in our area!). We also can’t forget about soup season! Abbey has shared a delicious recipe that we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we did. 

In This Issue:

  • We’re the Best of the Best!
  • Halloween Poem
  • National Dental Hygiene Month
  • Halloween Candy: Your Dental Survival Guide
  • Honoring Our Team Members
  • Holiday Schedule
  • Recipe of the Month (from Abbey, Front Desk Coordinator): Mexican Chicken Soup
  • Extra Recipe: Gluten-Free Zucchini Brownies
  • Public Service Announcement: Saturday, October 29 – Rx Disposal Day
  • Public Service Announcement: Spotted Lanternfly
  • Please Leave us a Review!

We’re Best of the Best!

The results are in! Thank you for voting us as the #1 Best Dental Practice in Frederick! WOW! We are honored that you have chosen us above all the other dental practices. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

We promise that we won’t let this win go to our heads! We will continue, as always, to strive to make you feel welcome, comfortable and safe under our roof, and to take our time to ensure that you receive excellent dental care.

Dental Hygiene Month

From left to right: Kristen, Brandon, Debra, Wendy, Brandon, Flora

Everyone loves a clean mouth, right? We believe that keeping your teeth clean and your gums healthy are worth celebrating. In fact, we think that’s worth celebrating not just for a day, but for an entire month; hence, the recognition of the month of October as National Dental Hygiene Month. This month is dedicated to promoting healthy mouths all across the country, and celebrating the hard work your favorite dental hygienist does to keep your pearly whites squeaky clean.

Please join us in thanking our stellar team of dental hygienists for keeping our teeth, gums, and mouth healthy!

Halloween Candy: Your Dental Health Survival Guide

Source: ADA Mouth Healthy

With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies – and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.

Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid contributes to cavities.

But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth each day, all year long.”

A regular oral hygiene routine using products that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance can go a long way in helping keep your mouth healthy all year round, which is key during high treat times like Halloween. To earn the Seal, products are independently evaluated by dental experts to verify that they are safe and effective.

You can also choose wisely when it comes time to sort through the trick or treat bag. Here’s a rundown of common candies and their impact on your teeth:


Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”

Sticky and Gummy Candies

Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.

There is one exception to this rule, however, and that’s sugarless gum. Studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. And if you see the ADA Seal on the package, you’ll know it’s sugar free and a safe treat for your teeth.

Hard Candy

Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.”

Sour Candy

You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”

Popcorn Balls

Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says. “They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”

After the Sugar Fix

Remember, Halloween is only once a year, and you can always start fresh with a good oral hygiene routine on November 1, which is National Brush Day.

The One Who Invented Trick or Treat

By Shel Silverstein

Yes, I invented “Trick or treat”
So you could fill your mouth with sweets—
Candy bars and lemon drops,
Marshmallows and Tootsie Pops,
Butterscotch and bubble gum.
Hold out your hand—they’ll give you some
Chocolate kisses, Jujubes,
Sourballs and jelly beans.
Have a cake—some cookies too.
Take a couple—grab a few
Peppermint Sticks and Mary Janes, 
Licorice whips, and candy canes,
Slurp some soda, munch a pie,
Don’t let those M&M’s go by,
Chew that toffee, munch those treats,
Get that caramel in your teeth.
Then come see me, I’ll be here- 
I’m your friendly dentist, dear.

Honoring Our Team Members

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

MVP – Dani (August) and Kristen (September)

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

In August, we recognized our dental assistant Dani. Dani has always provided exceptional care to our patients, but this month we wanted to highlight her excellent phone skills while supporting the Front Desk team as well as her professionalism, patience, grace, and kindness when dealing with difficult situations. 

In September, we recognized dental hygienist Kristen! Kristen has been holding down the fort while we have been short-staffed in the hygiene department, especially on Tuesday mornings. We appreciate her efficiency without sacrificing care when it comes to getting patients seen so that we can accomodate everyone in our schedule when we have last minute disruptions. 

We couldn’t be the best of the best without Dani, Kristen, and all of our exceptional team members!

Invisible Worker Recognition

As we continue to battle the onset of flu season and COVID, our team has continued to prove how amazing they are by shining under pressure. We admire their hard work and dedication to our patients and this practice. We would also like to separately acknowledge Dr. H for stepping out of her comfort zone and assisting the Front Desk when they were down several team members. She didn’t hesitate to jump in to answer phone calls and triage patients. If she ever gets bored with treating patients, we have a full time position for her at the front desk! 

Holiday Schedule

We are currently scheduling routine cleanings and new patients into February. Appointments with the doctors for restorative treatments are being scheduled several weeks out. 

We will be closed:

  • Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th. 
  • Christmas on Monday, December 26th
  • New Year’s Day on Monday, January 2nd.

If you can’t schedule an appointment on your preferred day, schedule for the next available date and ask to be added to our “ASAP list.” We will call you if we get an opening in our schedule, and hopefully be able to get you in sooner. You can also give a call a couple of days in advance of your preferred day to see if we had any last minute cancellations. The holidays are a tumultuous time and our schedule is constantly changing. We hope that we’ll be able to see you soon!

Mexican Chicken Soup


This Mexican chicken soup is tender chunks of chicken with vegetables, chiles and potatoes, all in a savory tomato broth. A great way to warm up on a cold day!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 300 Kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled, halved and sliced
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 2 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Russet potato peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup corn frozen, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add the green chiles, chicken, tomatoes, and taco seasoning to the pot, along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the chicken broth and potato. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Cook for 20-25 minute or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the corn.
  5. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, then top with cilantro and serve.


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 1125mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5570IU | Vitamin C: 45.8mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3.6mg

Reader Suggested Extra Recipe: Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies

Thank you to patient Louise Cox, who recommended this delicious gluten-free alternative recipe for brownies. She suggests that the sugar be cut to ⅔ of a cup.

Public Service Announcement: Saturday, October 29 – Rx Disposal Day

Most people flush unwanted, unused, expired medications down the toilet, which ends up contaminating our water supply. Flushing pills down the toilet “can be a water quality issue because wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to remove pharmaceuticals from the wastewater. Those medications could affect the environment and endanger public health.”

Learn more here:

The next DEA National RX Take Back Day will be on Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 10 AM – 2 PM. The link to locate a site near you is 

Public Service Announcement: Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive species that kills trees. They host in the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), another invasive species (–tree-of-heaven/)  

The spotted lanternfly is primarily a threat to Maryland’s agricultural crops. All Maryland residents (except for those in Cecil or Harford Counties) are urged to report sightings of Spotted Lanternfly to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) as soon as possible. We’ve been seeing many of them in Washington County.

Please report a sighting of the spotted lanternfly to . You will be required to upload a photo of your sighting.

To combat the spotted lanternfly, combine 1/4 cup liquid soap to a quart of water plus a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a spray bottle. The soapy water will suffocate and kill the bugs. Or step on them if they’re low to the ground, as one of us did (photo).

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