MAY 2020 ISSUE
In this issue…
- How getting Iced in became a Special Memory
- Extra Time in the Morning? – Build Better Habits
- Bird-Watching for Beginners – Why May is the Best Month to Start
- Health Benefits of Family Gardening – Give Your Kid the Gift of a Green Thumb
- Unraveling America’s TP Tizzy
I started writing this on March 18, smack dab in the middle of the moment when America, and the world, really came to realize that COVID-19 is going…Read more
HOW GETTING ICED IN BECAME A SPECIAL MEMORY
KEEPING PERSPECTIVE DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK
I started writing this on March 18, smack dab in the middle of the moment when America, and the world, really came to realize that COVID-19 is going to change the way we live our daily lives, at least for a little while. By the time this piece runs, this might be old news, but right now, it still feels very new. For me, the best way to understand how to react to this situation is to think back to something that happened to my family when I was a kid.
I grew up in Indiana, and when I was 9 years old, we had a giant ice storm. The storm was so bad that it actually iced the door to our house closed. We had to have somebody from our local church come and knock the ice off to open our front door for us. We didn’t have any power for three whole weeks. All we had left were a few cans of food and whatever else was left around the house. We were iced in, and the power was out.
I grew up with a single mom. She had a demanding job — she taught orchestra — and she did side jobs with orchestra and music when she wasn’t teaching. When the power outage happened, I remembered thinking, this is great. My mom was stressed out and worried, but all of a sudden, I got to spend tons of time with her that I normally wouldn’t have had.
We got out candles so we could see. About a week into it, another member of our congregation brought us out a generator so we were able to cook again. My mom was so touched by that. We could only heat one little frying pan at a time, but I remember being so excited that we could cook again and that I was tall enough to reach so I could help. This all happened 30 years ago, and I still remember it so clearly.
Right now, my oldest child is nearing the same age that I was when my family was iced in, and I am doing everything I can to keep the COVID-19 thing in perspective. I want to make this time I have at home with my family — Anderson Dental Care is temporarily closed as of this writing — a special memory for her. We’ve been getting out board games and doing puzzles, because at some point, this is all going to be a memory. It’s going to be in the past. And when that time comes, I want my kids to feel just how I felt during that ice storm.
Events like this put our lives in perspective and give us the opportunity to reeavlauate priorities and time spent. At some point, we’re going
to look back at this and say, “Remember how ____?” What will be in that blank for you? Will
it be remembering how scared you were, how frustrating it was, how you were out of work, or how many memories were made during that unique time? Maybe it will be all of the above, and that’s okay too, but let’s try to take advantage of this moment in time when our world has slowed down and everything but family time seems to be canceled. We truly are all in this together.
-Dr. Nathan Brooks
UNRAVELING AMERICA’S TP TIZZY
According to the Los Angeles Times, Americans use less than half a roll of toilet paper a week on average. So, why the sudden grab for TP? As of this writing in March,
toilet paper is still being manufactured in factories worldwide at rates that will comfortably meet our demand, and there is no need to hoard. Still, as nerves continue to be on edge across the U.S., shelves are emptying.
The thing is that unlike products like hand sanitizer and cleaning products, which are
seeing an actual increase in use due to the virus, we aren’t going to see an increase in
use of toilet paper. Unless people suddenly find themselves desperately compelled to make mummy costumes, use will remain the same. Even if stores still constantly run out of toilet paper like they are right now, manufacturers will continue to produce new rolls of toilet paper at the same rate, and the toilet paper will keep coming.
Toilet paper manufacturers are unlikely to increase supply, as the global spike in demand for paper products is likely to be temporary. After this thing blows over, depending on how quickly you reacted to news of the spreading virus and how strong your hoarding urge was, chances are high that families across America aren’t going to need to buy paper products for a long, long time.
The next time you go to the store in search of yet another roll of TP to add to your collection, take a tip from your dentist: Check out the floss aisle instead. If your store is anything like ours, dental floss has seen exactly no increase in demand!
EXTRA TIME IN THE MORNING?
BUILD BETTER HABITS
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably been spending a little bit more time at home recently. In March, as social distancing recommendations roll out across the country and increasing numbers of Americans find themselves working from home, you’ll likely find yourself with a little more than your usual allotment of time to get ready for the day. If you’re like many people and have struggled your whole life to build a flossing habit that sticks, why not use the extra time in your morning routine to form a new habit?
In his book “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg identifies two things that you need to form a new habit: First, you need a simple and obvious cue. Second, you need a clearly defined reward. Since most of us already take care of our oral hygiene in the bathroom, ask yourself what you could put in that room to remind yourself to floss. Something as simple as a blank sticky note on your bathroom mirror would do the trick just fine. Every time you see the sticky, you’ll be reminded of why you put it there: your commitment to building a flossing habit.
For some people, just seeing the amount of gunk they clean out from between their teeth is enough of a reward to build a habit around. Others might need to focus on picking out a favorite flavor of floss or, with kids, on filling up a sticker chart that hangs on the bathroom wall. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you choose as a cue or a reward. What matters is that you have both of those elements.
At Anderson Dental Care, our hope is that we can all use any extra time we have as a way to care for ourselves just a little more thoroughly. Remember, habits aren’t formed overnight and real change takes time. But if you can take even just one step today to start working toward a lifelong flossing habit, that will be one good thing that comes out of this. To learn more about oral hygiene, visit our education corner at AtownDental.com.