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Welcome to
Holistic Happenings in Health & Orthodontics! 

In Harmony Orthodontics - Dr. Catherine Murphy, DDS, MSD 

This month’s topics:

  • ❓ Riddle time
  • 🎂 Inspiration
  • 🍀 Luck of the Irish
  • 💜 Periwinkle - April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month
  • 🍴Feeding Beatrice Series

Have Your Thinking Cap On?
It's Riddle Time!

Riddle:  What country is the slipperiest?


Dr. Tom, my father, is celebrating his 85th birthday. His activity level is high, from cutting up firewood, tapping maple trees and gathering the sap to make maple syrup.

Additionally, he’s been practicing dentistry for 58 years. However, what impresses me is that he continues to enjoy his work, supports his dental organizations and wants his patients’ results to last.

Working in the same office as family presents its challenges but the benefits of his inspiration outweighs them by far.

Luck of the Irish 

This year’s St Patrick’s Day permitted more celebration than last. At the office and home, we celebrated the luck of the Irish and continue to send you and yours many more years of good wishes.
Click on images below to watch the fun Instagram Reels, be sure to have your sound on!

We’re looking for our lucky 1,000th follower on Instagram (IG). It could be you!

Help support our efforts to reach more people. The more you like our posts and comment, the more IG will show our posts and the faster we can break that 1,000 mark which is a BIG deal in social media. TIA for your help 😊

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

Loving. Smart. Family oriented.
Active. Thin. Healthy eater.
Uncle. Father of two. Devoted husband.

These are a few of the words to describe my Uncle Monte Mordecai.

Monte’s life was shortened due to esophageal cancer. Throughout his fight, he remained positive and loving. Monte battled his Stage III esophageal cancer with an excellent team at Johns Hopkins university. 

Despite using every possible modality, Monte passed away the following year. What started as his daughter’s mission to promote awareness about the dangers of heartburn has grown into the Esophageal Cancer Action Network,

The year following Monte’s passing, ECAN launched the first Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month effort and since then governments, businesses and other organizations throughout the nation have continued to recognize April as esophageal cancer awareness month.

A few facts:

Periwinkle is the color for the awareness ribbon
Esophageal cancer takes the lives of more Americans than melanoma skin cancer or cervical cancer.
A common symptom is trouble swallowing.

Other warning signs:
Chest pain
Food getting stuck
Weight loss
Chronic cough

Continue reading for more important information about Esophageal Cancer and the organization that was formed to help save other families from losing their loved ones far too early.
Thanks to Mindy Mintz Mordecai for her contribution this newsletter to help increase awareness.


April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month
By Mindy Mintz Mordecai

If only we had known.”

It’s refrain we hear too often from supporters of the Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN). It’s the reason this non-profit patient advocacy organization was founded 12 years ago with a commitment to prevent the tragedy that has befallen too many families because they didn’t know that heartburn or acid reflux might lead to a life-threatening cancer.
Lack of Awareness
ECAN’s mission is to save lives – and one of the most important ways ECAN accomplishes its goal is by making more folks aware that persistent heartburn or reflux symptoms should not be taken lightly – that they may put their lives in danger.
ECAN commissioned a poll by IPSOS to determine just how many Americans are aware of the link between reflux and cancer. The results were not surprising. Only 14% of Americans were aware that reflux disease could lead to cancer.

Most of those surveyed could only point to heartburn as a symptom of reflux, with little understanding that symptoms like a hoarse voice, sore throat, persistent cough, or choking upon lying down could be signs of GERD. That’s why ECAN continues its relentless efforts to increase awareness about Esophageal Cancer.
Proclamations in the Halls of Power
Even though Esophageal Adenocarcinoma was the fastest increasing cancer diagnosis in the United States back in 2009, it did not receive much attention or research funding. That’s why ECAN started Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month in 2009 with the first Gubernatorial proclamation coming from the state of Maryland.
Since then, nearly every state in the nation has declared April Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month at least once over the past 12 years. Possibly even more important, the media, business entities, hospitals, and governmental and professional groups reach out in April to raise awareness about Esophageal Cancer and its link to reflux disease.
Sharing Information       
In 2021, ECAN is making it easy for citizens to educate everyone they know with opportunities to share important awareness messages about Esophageal Cancer.


Among those opportunities are lawn signs you can order to post in your own yard, and ECAN’s Text-a-Day service. Participants in the free texting program will receive a text every day during the month of April with easily sharable social media posts, videos, stories, and infographics that they can share with their friends and family - providing a potentially life-saving message every day during Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. Those opportunities for individuals to raise awareness can be found at

Taking Steps to Save Lives      
More than 400 supporters of the fight to end Esophageal Cancer are expected to participate in ECAN’s second Virtual Steps to Save Lives 5K Run, Walk or Roll from April 18 – 25th! Anyone anywhere can participate and ECAN will send those who register a great “swag bag” with a medal, racing bib, t-shirt, and lots of awareness materials to share along with some other little gifts.
The 5K competition is run on an honor system. Runners who win in their respective age and gender categories will receive medals and overall winners get crystal awards.
Fundraisers earn nice prizes as they work toward their goals and top fundraising individuals and teams get very special prizes.  But fundraising is not required to participate. You can get all the details and register at
Reward of Raising Awareness
ECAN’s goal is that one day a repeat survey of Americans can be conducted and will show a much increased understanding among the general public about the risks posed by persistent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. 
Just as we all know the importance of sunscreen to head off skin cancer, ECAN is working toward the day when everybody understands that reflux disease is not a mere annoyance so they get the medical attention they need to avoid ever having to say, “If only we had known.”
Mindy Mintz Mordecai is the President, CEO & Founder of the Esophageal Cancer Action Network, Inc. (ECAN). She can be reached at

Healthy Mouth from the Start

New moms have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to feeding their babies. I can relate. I was overwhelmed when my first child was born. When it came to starting solid foods, I wanted to make sure to make the right choices. My courses in holistic orthodontics discussed baby-led feeding but putting those ideas into practice was a challenge.

When my second child was born, I experienced the same feelings of being overwhelmed.  However, I reached out and got connected with resources which helped.

I’m on a mission to decrease the need for orthodontics and I want to share the fact that eating influences our children on many levels.

As I increase my efforts to educate and inform more new moms, I’m incredibly thankful for my mentors and my mother. This includes (but is not limited to):


Dr. Button graciously agreed to share her knowledge regarding how food impacts our children’s oral and overall health.

Feeding Beatrice Chapter Two: 
Nutrition Guidelines & Baby Food Reports

By Dr. Tammy Gierke Button, DDS, MSD, MA
I will be very honest up front and tell you I believe the best option for baby foods is the ones you prepare in your own kitchen.

It is so difficult to navigate the prepared food market these days for many reasons. If you prepare it, you know exactly what you are giving to your baby. Before you dismiss this notion because you don’t have enough time or you don’t like to cook, sometimes preparing your own food is as simple as microwaving a sweet potato, boiling an egg, or cutting up an avocado. Sure, someone else can prepare that sweet potato for you in the form of packaged foods, but you may want to read this new congressional report that details the heavy metal content in many baby food products.
Some of the better known baby food companies didn’t even bother to cooperate with the study!

If you are thinking about giving your baby rice cereals make sure you read this report. Rice cereal can be one of the most contaminated baby foods you buy. In my opinion, rice cereal does not add much nutritional value or texture excitement anyway so maybe just skip the rice cereal all together.   
In addition, new dietary guidelines just released in 2020 recommend no added sugars before the age of 24 months. According to Dr. Michael Goran, author of the new book SugarProof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar that are putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What you Can Do, almost 40% of ALL baby and toddler food products contain sugar of some form as the first or second ingredient.   
One of the goals of baby-led feeding is to allow your baby to experience a food on its own in whole form when they are just starting solids to learn about taste and texture. Many of the baby food pouches are mixtures of vegetables and fruits, which makes them sweet. Because all of the foods are pureed together, your baby/toddler won’t learn anything about the individual textures or tastes of the individual components.

Your baby/toddler will also expect vegetables to always be sweet if fruit is part of the puree and may never develop a taste for vegetables on their own.  Pouches are great for “emergency” snacks or meals but not on a regular basis. 
The same is true when it comes to fruits. Fruit juice is not recommended for babies under the age of one according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Eating fruit in its whole form is how its nutrients are absorbed by the body – not through juice. Serving your toddler juice is one of the quickest ways to turn them off of water and teach them to expect something sweet in their cup. 
In my fifteen years of treating children with early childhood tooth decay, the number one reason for the decay was overconsumption of fruit juice. Unfortunately parents think fruit juice is a healthy drink for their child and if a little is good a lot must be better. One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself and your child is simply do not introduce them to juice! Unless your pediatrician tells you there is a specific reason for juice, do not buy it. 
Next time: Baby-led feeding versus “traditional” spoon feeding

About Dr. Tammy Gierke Button DDS, MSD, MA
Pediatric Dentist
Executive Director, Southshore Skipping Stones
Perinatal Oral Health Education Consultant

Dr. Button has been a pediatric dentist for over 13 years. She founded and directs Southshore Skipping Stones which is a prenatal and infant oral health education foundation. Dr. Button focuses her professional expertise on the perinatal time which is during pregnancy and the first months after a baby’s birth. This time is of great importance because of the impact mom’s oral health has on her overall health, the health of her pregnancy, and the oral health of her baby.
Did You Solve the Riddle?

Answer: Greece

Greek Independence Day was March 25. The Greek Revolution of 1821 is celebrated annually on March 25.


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