The Blog of Kennell Orthodontics

It's Back to School time again!

August 29th, 2016

As much as we hate to admit it, the beginning of August is a reminder in a few short weeks, Back to School activities will be in full swing!  Kennell Orthodontics wants to send your children back to school prepared for school life with braces or new orthodontic treatments. Pack your child their very own "Back to School with Braces" kit - something as simple as a ziplock plastic bag including items such as:  Orthopicks, orthodontic rubber bands, mini toothbrush and toothpaste, orthodontic wax, small mirror, floss, retainer case and tissues. This kit can easily be tucked into their backpack or locker and will help as a reminder of orthodontic care even when at school.  Start the school year off right with these reminders:

  • bring retainer cases to lunch room and keep retainer in it to avoid accidentally throwing it away with lunch trash;
  • always wear protective mouth guard for all fall sports - this will help prevent brackets from breaking and inner lip from rubbing against braces.

Stay ahead of the Back to School shopping rush by preparing these orthodontic kits now - kick back and enjoy the last weeks of summer!!

What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Treatment?

August 12th, 2016

Visibly crooked teeth are not the only reason to take your child into the orthodontist. There are some subtle things to look for as well, which may indicate the onset of more serious orthodontic issues. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to address if treated and corrected during a child's development.

Waiting until facial development is complete or until the permanent teeth have come in can make correction of many orthodontic issues more challenging. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic care at any age, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice.

If you're wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, there are some things you can be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common warning signs of orthodontic issues:

• Difficulty when chewing or biting
• Chronic mouth-breathing
• Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits that continue after the age of six
• Overbite - when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm
• Top front teeth that cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth while biting
• Underbite - when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth when biting
• Crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, misplaced teeth or extra teeth of any size
• Crossbite - when one or more teeth tilt toward the cheek or toward the tongue causing excessive stress on the jawbone
• The center of the top and bottom teeth don't line up
• Uneven teeth-wearing
• Baby teeth coming out too early for the child's age
• Pain in jaws
• Clicking in the jaw joints
• The jaw shifts off-center while chewing or biting
• A jaw that protrudes, or recedes, too much
• Difficulty speaking or enunciating clearly
• Chronic biting of the inner cheek or roof of the mouth
• Asymmetrical facial structure
• Grinding or clenching of the teeth

If you notice that either you or your child has one or more of these conditions, they could be signs that there is a risk of orthodontic or health problems. The sooner these problems are addressed, the wider and brighter you will be able to smile going forward!

Meet Dr. Kennell!

August 11th, 2016

Introducing Dr. Alan Kennell

SPOTLIGHT on Dr. Kennell

Dr. Kennell grew up in Frankfort, NY – a small town in central New York. He is the youngest of 4 children (3 older sisters). Dr. Kennell spent many summers picking (and eating) strawberries and corn on his uncle’s farm.

He attended Frankfort-Schuyler Central High School (go Knights!) and graduated in 1993. He was a smarty pants in school and was the valedictorian of his class. After high school Dr. Kennell attended Union College – a small liberal arts college in Schenectady, NY. He really liked science (OK - so he was a little geeky…) so he decided to major in Biology and minored in Chemistry. Dr. Kennell loved being in school so much that he decided to go to dental school after college.

He attended The State University of New York at Buffalo Dental School (or “UB” to central NY folks!) While at dental school in Buffalo, Dr. Kennell got to explore all aspects of dentistry (and hot wings) including extracting rotten teeth (yuk!) and even doing root canals and making dentures (boring). But one area that fascinated him the most was orthodontics.

After graduating from dental school he decided to specialize in orthodontics. Orthodontics is one of the hardest (and coolest) specialties to get acceptance into – fortunately Dr. Kennell was still somewhat of a smarty pants and graduated in the top 1% of his dental school class. He was accepted into UB Dental’s Orthodontic program and stayed in Buffalo for another 30 months (more hot wings) to complete the orthodontic program.

In his first year of his orthodontic residency at UB, Dr. Kennell met Dr. Missy Kennell (Scarpino at the time…) – who happened to be in her first year of dental school! A couple years later they were engaged, and married shortly after that!

In 2006 the Kennells moved to the Lakes Region of NH – a long-time vacation spot for Dr. Missy’s family. The Kennells have 2 kids -Vivian & Preston, and a Bernedoodle named Isla (that’s “eye-la”). The Kennell household is a hectic one - with both doctors running off to manage their practices and the kids involved in activities including figure skating, skiing, music, swimming, tennis, golf and summer camps. But they still manage to find time for fun on the lake, traveling and staying healthy together. Their favorite activities are working out, hiking, skiing, and of course anything on Lake Winnipesaukee!

In the coming months, we'll be spotlighting our other Kennell Orthodontics team members in our Blog posts.  We thought this would give our patients a chance to get to know us a little better.  Please check back - you never know who our next team member is!

SPOTLIGHT August. Dr Kennell

What can I eat?

July 31st, 2016

We love when patients ask us that question! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s even more important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you begin your orthodontic treatment.

Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why our team at Kennell Orthodontics recommends that you brush and floss after every meal.

When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive. You may experience discomfort for up to three to five days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will have.

You may also be thinking, “Okay, so what can I eat?”

Here are a few soft foods that do not require you to do much chewing and are easy to chew on when your teeth are sore:

In the first couple of days, stick to liquid-based foods like yogurts, pudding and soups. Mashed potatoes are a good option as well. You can also cook fruits and vegetables to make them softer. Ice cream, cool soups, Jell-O, scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, oatmeal, baked potatoes, soft cooked pasta, soup, bananas, cottage cheese, smoothies, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, soft cheeses, and milk are all foods you can eat safely without having to worry about pain or breaking your brackets.

It’s crucial to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our office immediately to schedule an appointment for repair.

Lastly, in addition to visiting Kennell Orthodontics during your orthodontic treatment for adjustments, you should visit your dentist for professional checkups and teeth cleaning appointments about every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

Here are some helpful tips for anyone with braces:

  • Cold foods and drinks are very soothing to sore gums, try drinking milk as it neutralizes acids in your mouth and soothes your gums.
  • Do not eat sticky or hard foods and make sure to brush, floss, rinse with mouth wash, and rinse with salt water every night. Rinsing with salt water will help ease pain and irritation in your mouth.
  • Wear lip salve when you go for checkups and braces tightening. It will prevent you from getting crinkly lips afterwards.
  • Taking a pain pill before bed will make it easier to sleep, as braces usually hurt most when you are lying down or on your side.
  • Don't keep on eating something if it starts hurting.
  • If you can't brush your teeth after meals, at least rinse your mouth.
  • Avoid soft drinks, as most have lots of acid and sugar. This can erode teeth and dental equipment and can also leave white spots. Excessive drinking of soft drinks can lead to cavities.