Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Beat Bad Breath and Breathe Easy

According to studies, most people don’t know if they have bad breath. Others can smell the odor, but the person whom the odor belongs to is clueless. That makes bad breath even more embarrassing!

Bad breath is clinically known as halitosis. While it can come from the stomach, most often halitosis is the result of bacterial waste products in the mouth. Bacteria are alive, and you have over 600 types of the little critters in your mouth at any given time. Certain types of bacteria emit a smelly sulfur compound in plaque. The best way to beat this type of halitosis is to keep your mouth clean.

To make sure that your breath is not offensive, follow these tips:

  • See the dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups
  • Get tooth decay and gum disease treated immediately
  • Brush twice a day with a medium toothbrush
  • When brushing, clean your tongue with a tongue scraper
  • Floss once a day
  • Avoid mints and mouthrinses that contain alcohol
  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water
  • Away from home, don’t eat smelly foods, like garlic, onion, and curry
  • Keep a mini toothbrush and handheld flosser in your car or purse, and use it after meals or odiferous drinks, like coffee and alcohol
  • Keep your dentures and partials very clean
  • Ask someone on my team about BreathRx products to use at home and on the go

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and in my Livonia dental office, we help patients overcome bad breath and other dental problems every day. If you need a general or restorative dentist, call 734-425-4400 to schedule a consultation with me. You might also visit my website,, to learn more about my practice, services, and dental health in general. I want to personally invite you to come in for a consultation. Whether you need checkups and cleanings or you’ve lost teeth and need a more comprehensive dental treatment plan, I’d like to help you enjoy better health and higher quality of life.

We are happy to welcome new patients in the new year!

Thumbprint Holiday Cookies

Whether you are baking cookies for Santa or bringing treats to a holiday party you can not go wrong with this traditional favorite!

2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts of choice
1/3 cup jam (any flavor)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla extract and salt. Gradually stir in flour. Form dough into 1-inch diameter balls. Dip in lightly beaten egg whites, then roll in nuts. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Press down center of each with thumb. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Just before serving, fill centers of cookies with jam. Or, fill centers with 1/2 teaspoon of jam before baking.

Staying in Check as a Health-Conscious Senior

People over 50 are advised to monitor their blood pressure and get their cholesterol checked. They’re told that screenings for cancer, diabetes, bone density, skin health, and, of course, sight and hearing are important. As a dentist to many Baby Boomers, I want to tell you, oral health screenings are just as important as we age. Here’s why…

What’s the main reason that adults lose teeth in our nation? Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. An estimated 80% of Americans have gum disease, and the condition is associated with risk of stroke, heart attack, respiratory disease, diabetes complications, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and more. Experts believe that the infection and inflammation caused by gum disease can enter the blood stream, thus the whole-health connection. (more…)

The Light Before Christmas in IMAX® At the Detroit Science Center


Infuse a little magic into your holiday season with the stunning, stop-animation film The Light Before Christmas. The film begins with a cold, blustery Christmas Eve, when two lost children, Katie and Makean, are rescued by their friend, The Candleman, an old sage who imparts wisdom, hot chocolate and stories. The Candleman opens a weathered book and begins to read the classic tale, The Night Before Christmas. To their astonishment, Katie and Makean find themselves as characters in the poem, where they experience the wonder and delight of Santa’s visit to their home, complete with Hob the Elf and full team of reindeer. This is a perfect film to take the kids and the grandkids to and you just might discover the magic of Christmas all over again!

10 Million Undiagnosed Cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

According to, there are 12 million Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). That’s one in 22 or nearly 4.5% of the population. The startling statistic is the undiagnosed cases, though. About 10 million Americans don’t know that they have obstructive sleep apnea. They live with the symptoms and problems from OSA, yet they never seek treatment because they don’t realize the problem or they think that what they’re experiencing is normal.

However, obstructive sleep apnea is serious. It can increase the risk for heart attack and premature death. If you or your loved one shows one or more of these symptoms, please call my office, James Stewart, DDS, PA, in Livonia, Michigan. I have helped many people realize improved sleep and better quality living with non-invasive dental sleep medicine.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring
  • Abruptly waking while choking or gasping for air
  • Tiredness, fatigue
  • Irritability (more…)

Dental Emergency Tips from Dr. Stewart

Do you know what to do if a crown or filling falls out? What should you do if your child knocks out a tooth? I’m Dr. James Stewart. Through the years I’ve seen patients with just about every dental emergency you can imagine. If you find yourself in a dental emergency situation, I hope these first-response tips help you. It’s important that you call your dentist and explain the problem, so that you can know the next steps to take.

  • Knocked Out Tooth
    If you can find the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and take it to your dentist’s office. In some cases, a tooth can be replaced and naturally reattached. Be sure to not touch the nerve of the tooth. If the tooth or the socket from which it came are dirty, gently rinse with water. If your tooth’s socket is bleeding, place a damp, soft rag over the area, but do not press down. You don’t want to damage the nerve.
  • Crown Falls Out
    If you can find the crown and it is in one piece, you can put a small drop of toothpaste inside it, then re-attach it to your tooth. It may hold until your dentist can see you. If the crown is in pieces, or if you lost a filling, you can take the pieces in to the dentist, but you’ll need a new restoration. Be ginger with the affected tooth until you can get to your dentist’s office. Do not try to replace a broken crown or filling. If it comes loose, you could choke on it.
  • Cut On or In Mouth
    In most cases, a cut anywhere on your head will bleed significantly. Rinse the area gently with water, then apply a soft, moist towel to the laceration. If your skin has been peeled back, replace the skin over the wound after rinsing with water. A small cut will heal on its own, but a deep or wide cut may need stitches. If bleeding does not stop in a few moments, go to the emergency room.
  • Toothache, Swelling, Pain in the Mouth
    If you aren’t allergic or sensitive to it, take Ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling. You can also place an herbal tea bag on the affected area in your mouth; this may help reduce the pain and swelling, as well. If your discomfort is to be expected (for instance, following a dental procedure), your doctor should have provided postoperative instructions. If your pain is unexpected, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.

If you don’t have a dentist or need a new one, feel free to call my dental office in Livonia. I serve patients from Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and surrounding areas. Just dial 734.425.4400, and my front desk will fit you in as soon as possible. Should you experience significant pain or bleeding, be sure to go straight to the nearest emergency room for immediate assistance.

Holiday Foods that Help Your Mouth

The temperature here at our office in Livonia has dropped and snow is on the ground. At James Stewart, D.D.S., we know what that means.  It is time for the holidays!

Everyone loves delicious holiday foods and sweets and treats. Sitting down to the table with family and friends for a great meal is a joy unmatched by anything else in life. Unfortunately, your mouth might not agree.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I want to tell you how to protect your teeth during the holiday season.  First, it is important to know what you are trying to protect your teeth from. Our mouths contain hundreds of bacteria, some good and some harmful. Streptococcus mutans, also known as S. mutans, are a type of harmful bacteria that live and thrive inside the oral cavity. Pies, cakes, and cookies are often staples in the holiday meal. As we enjoy these yummy desserts, so do S. mutans and other bacteria, causing the sugars to stick to our teeth and eat away at tooth enamel — causing cavities. There is, however, good news.

Some foods common at the holiday dinner table have the power to help prevent tooth decay. Recent research has shown that compounds in cranberry disrupt enzymes that S. mutans and other bacteria use to build glucans. Without these enzymes, bacteria in plaque can’t stick to teeth and cause decay. It has been proven that the production of S. mutans decreased by up to 70% and cavity formation decreased by up to 45% when the cranberry compounds were present. Surprisingly, red wine also has an effect on cavity prevention. The abundant waste made from the red winemaking process, such as fermented seeds and grape skin, contain compounds that also fight bacteria. Like cranberry, these compounds inhibit the activity of the bacterial enzymes by as much as 85%.

Taking care of your teeth is a year-round job. Brush your teeth, avoid foods filled with sugars as much as possible, and don’t snack often. Your mouth will thank you 24/7.

Keeping up with regular cleanings and exams is also part of taking care of your teeth. To schedule your post-holiday dental cleaning, please contact my office. Happy holidays to you and your family from James Stewart, D.D.S.!

Dr. Stewart and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

I’m honored to be one of the very few dentists who are part of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This organization is involved in health policy legislation that affects sleep disorder patients and treatments. AASM is dedicated to making certain that sleep medicine receives the attention it deserves — for the benefit of people who suffer from sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

Members understand the details of sleep disorder treatment, from insurance billing to the most contemporary treatment options and research in the field. We continually research, read, and share information about sleep medicine. Members are committed to providing high quality care that truly helps patients overcome sleep apnea and enjoy higher quality of life.

I attend many courses and meetings held by the AASM, and I’ve found them immensely beneficial to both my knowledge and the quality of treatments I can offer my patients. As part of my commitment as a doctor, I appreciate the opportunities presented by AASM. If you have questions about my training or association memberships, don’t hesitate to ask. I want you to have full peace of mind that I’m the right sleep medicine doctor for you!

Detroit Welcomes the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Where has this year gone? The holidays are already ready upon us, and that means it’s time to officially ring in “the most wonderful time of the year.” Here at James Stewart, DDS, we like to promote activities for the whole family in Livonia and the surrounding areas.

The official tree lighting of Detroit will take place tonight (Friday, November 19). The event is hosted by the city of Detroit, the DTE Energy Foundation, Campus Martius Park, and the Detroit 300 Conservancy. Tickets for preferred seating will be on sale at Fountain Bistro until 1pm today. Preferred seating will open at 4pm and remaining tickets will be sold at the entrance on Monroe. Preferred seats are $5 for children and $10 for adults. All proceeds support the events and activities at Campus Martius Park, also known as “Detroit’s gathering place.”

The event begins at 6pm at Campus Martius Park, located just 20 minutes away from our office in Livonia. This event is completely family friendly, so bundle up the whole gang to enjoy special ice skating performances, seasonal activities, musical entertainment, and of course, the annual tree-lighting ceremony. If you don’t want to brave the chilly, winter weather, the ceremony will be broadcast online at beginning at 6:30pm.