oral hygiene

June is National Smile Month

June 6th, 2017

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

Tips for keeping your smile clean with braces!

January 9th, 2017

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces. Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:

1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

Hope this helps!

Dr. Kennell and Team

Fun spin on Holiday Treats to enjoy with braces!

December 21st, 2016

When the holiday season comes around, there's no need for kids with braces to miss out on the traditional treats! Some candies can damage braces, but there are plenty of safe and tasty snacks to satisfy young taste buds without interfering with orthodontic treatments. In fact, when preparing fun holiday treats with your child, you can include numerous healthy options that build strong teeth at the same time.

Treats to Avoid:

When supermarket shelves are full of brightly packaged treats for the holidays, it's hard not to fill your cart. But for the sake of your child's braces, you still need to scoot past the hard, chewy and sticky foods. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises that children with braces should avoid caramel, licorice, lollipops, bubblegum, popcorn, taffy, jelly beans and hard pretzels. Those types of food can easily bend or loosen the brace brackets.

Kids can enjoy the holidays without risking their braces by sticking to soft snacks and by paying extra attention to oral hygiene. The AAO suggests chocolate, peanut butter, milkshakes, gelatin-based candies and ice cream are all fun holiday treats that won't damage braces. Brushing twice a day is especially important during the holidays.

For added assurance that the food you serve is safe on braces, consider making your own!

The Colgate Oral Care Center has some great recipe ideas:

Strawberry Santas:

Slice the bottom off the large end of a strawberry so that it stands upright, and cut off the top quarter. Squirt some whipped cream onto the strawberry's top flat surface, and add two chocolate sprinkles to make the eyes of Santa's face. Place the top quarter of the strawberry back onto the whipped cream to form Santa's hat, and dab some cream on the very top of the strawberry to give his hat its white bobble.

Marshmallow Snowmen:

Melt some white chocolate candy coating in the microwave, and push a stiff straw or wooden skewer through three marshmallows for the three parts of the snowman's body. Dip the marshmallows in the candy coating, and before it sets, press chocolate chips into the top marshmallow to make the snowman's eyes. Add a tiny piece of carrot for his nose – but not too big that one crunch can damage a braces bracket.

Reindeer Cheese:

Cut strips of yellow bell pepper to the shape of antlers with a sharp knife, and push them into the wide end of a soft cheese triangle. Use two pieces of olive to make the reindeer's eyes, and half a cherry tomato to make Rudolph's nose.

Christmas Tree Brownie Lollipops:

Not every lollipop needs to be hard or sticky. Cut brownies into triangles, and decorate them with lines of frosting for tinsel and sprinkles for baubles. Push a brightly colored, stiff straw into one edge of the triangle, as far as it will go without poking out the other side. Snip off the end of the straw to form your lollipop stick.

Sometimes it's hard for kids to understand why they have to endure the fuss and bother of wearing braces, and it can be especially difficult during the holiday season when they can't eat the same treats their friends enjoy. By offering your child enticing alternatives, he or she can have just as much fun as everyone else while benefiting from the long-term bonus of beautifully straight, pearly white teeth.

Happy Holidays!!

Have a safe Halloween!

October 28th, 2016

October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and with Halloween on Monday, we have compiled a list of specific treats that are ok with braces.  As with anything else, always in moderation and make sure to brush and floss very well after!

Good Treats:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Kit Kats
  • Plain M&M’s
  • Oreo’s & Soft Cookies
  • Hershey Bars & Hershey Kisses
  • Candy Bars without caramel or nuts

Those will keep your braces safe, but don't forget to keep these Trick-or-treating safety guidelines in mind while you are out there filling your candy bags:

  • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
  • Carry a flashlight
  • Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
  • Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
  • Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

It's NH Pumpkin Festival Time here in Laconia!

October 20th, 2016

The second annual PumpkinFest is this weekend! There are so many fun events for the whole family to participate in! Keep posted on the latest information by visiting the official Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/NHPumpkinFestival/.

Tell Dr. Kennell and the staff what you did this weekend to be part of the fun!

When should you call Kennell Orthodontics?

September 30th, 2016

Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have put together a helpful list that outlines when you should call Dr. Alan Kennell. Here are some early warning signs indicating it’s time to check in with us:

1. Early or late loss of baby teeth
2. Difficulty of chewing or biting
3. Mouth breathing
4. Finger sucking or other oral habits
5. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
7. Speech difficulty
8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
9. Protruding teeth
10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry
12. Grinding or clenching of teeth

Do any of these warning signs fit you? If so, give us a call as soon as possible!

Hope this helps,

The team at Kennell Orthodontics

Summer Care Plan for your Smile!

May 27th, 2016

Summer is right around the corner!  There's no better time to make sure you have a safe and healthy summer.  Pool parties, BBQ's, summer camps, vacations galore!  With summer comes a time to slow down, take a break and soak up a little extra family time.  That being said...Summer is NOT the time to skimp on your dental care routines.  Whether your child is heading off to summer camp with new orthodontics or you, yourself, have transitioned into a new retainer - Don't take a vacation from your healthy smile!

Make an appointment with Dr. Kennell today for a quick check up before heading out on your summer trips.  Remembering good orthodontic care during your summer activities, caring for your braces and avoiding sugary drinks and sticky, chewy or hard foods, are all part of a smart plan for maintaining your healthy Summer Smile!

Here's what you've been waiting for..2016 Refer-A-Friend contest details!!

February 2nd, 2016

A New Year means a NEW REFERRAL CONTEST!!

Here at Kennell Orthodontics, the greatest compliment we can receive is one of our patients referring a friend or colleague to our practice.

A successful practice doesn't just happen. It is the result of a strong commitment to excellence in our treatment and in our relationships with patients and doctors. We'd like to take a moment to thank you for showing your confidence in our practice by recommending us to your friends  and colleagues. We're gratified to find how many new patients regularly call on us based on your words of advice.

To show our appreciation, we are kicking off our 2016 patient referral program!

If Kennell Orthodontics begins a treatment plan with a new patient (child or adult) from your qualified referral, you will receive a $50 VISA cash card and be entered to win the 2016 GRAND PRIZE!

What is the 2016 GRAND PRIZE?!?!

One lucky name will be drawn and the winner will have the luxury of choose one of the following

Overnight Boston Family Adventure including FOUR BlueMan Group Tickets

Or

$1000 Credit towards an existing or future treatment plan.

How to Avoid Plaque

January 7th, 2016

At Kennell Orthodontics, we know nobody likes getting plaque on their teeth. Here are five other ways you can avoid that dreaded enemy of the teeth during orthodontic treatment, courtesy of WebMD.

Let’s start with brushing regularly. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste is vital to a healthy mouth. Make sure you softly brush all the surfaces of your teeth.

Next on the list is flossing daily: a simple daily flossing between teeth clears away plaque before it can cause damage and can also clean plaque at the gum line. Plaque is known to reach the spaces between teeth.

Also, evading a trip to the dentist is probably not a great idea. Let’s say you brush and floss daily. You’re still at risk for plaque. With time, the plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Consider visiting your general dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist, and you have a lower chance of getting cavities or losing your teeth while wearing braces.

You’ll also want to stop avoiding those fruits and veggies. Believe it or not, there are foods out there that play a key role in keeping plaque off our teeth. They include apples, carrots, cucumbers and other raw fruits and vegetables. You can still eat these types of fruits and veggies if you have braces, but be sure to cut them up into bite sized pieces to avoid breaking off brackets.

Finally, before you pick up that candy bar, remember to not give in to your sweet tooth. Consuming sugary drinks or eating candy or other junk food allows sugar to stick to our teeth. The bacteria, then, becomes plaque, which turns into acid and damages our teeth. Avoiding these five bad habits keeps your plaque in check and your mouth as healthy as can be during your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Alan Kennell. If you have any questions, give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Giving 'Thanks' with Braces

November 19th, 2015

Holidays can feel like a challenge with braces, especially if this is your first holiday season with them.

With Thanksgiving coming up next week we made a short list of holiday food favorites that are safe for you to eat; as well as ones to avoid when you have braces.

These should be safe for you to eat with braces:

  • Ham and/or Turkey
  • Corn: this can be tricky, while you shouldn’t have corn on the cob, cream corn is fine
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing (as long as there are no nuts or crunchy foods hidden within it)
  • Green beans (with the same warning to be on the look out for crunchy items in casseroles)
  • Most desserts are safe as long as they aren’t too crunchy or have anything to sticky like caramel etc on them.

Here are some foods to avoid this holiday season, and the rest of the year!

  • Caramel (as mentioned above)
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Nuts

Today is World Smile Day! :)

October 2nd, 2015

Happy World Smile Day!

As is well known by now throughout the world Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet.

As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.  The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.  He declared that the first Friday in October each yearwould henceforth be World Smile Day®. Ever since that first World Smile Day® held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley's hometown of Worcester, MA and around the world.

Nail Biting and Your Oral Health

September 10th, 2015

We’ve all heard that biting your nails is an awful habit, but you many wonder- really- what’s so bad about it? This interesting article discusses how biting your nails affect your teeth and oral health.

Nail biting, also known as Onychophagia, is a common habit among various age groups, including primarily children, teens and young adults. Nail biting is generally triggered by stress and most often decreases with age. That being said, nail biting is unsanitary, unattractive, as well as unhealthy for your teeth!

Here’s why:

It’s unsanitary. Your nails are dirty, almost twice as dirty as your fingers! Hence, biting your nails is just asking for germs and bacteria.

No good things come to your teeth. Nail biting causes your teeth to constantly be chewing, which is not good for them. This excessive motion wears your teeth down faster than a non-nail biter’s and puts a large amount of stress on your front teeth- contributing to teeth misalignment.

Braces don’t love it either. Braces already put pressure on teeth, nail biting ads unnecessary pressure, further stressing your teeth and weakening their roots.

It can be costly. Nail biting can result in up to $4,000 in additional dental bills over one lifetime, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Yikes!

What can you do about it?

Now that you know how harmful nail biting can be, it’s time to take action to break your nail biting habit. Try to be conscious of your fingernails and to keep them looking good- this will help you resist the temptation.

Ask Dr. Alan Kennell or visit the article for tips on how to break a nail biting habit.

Breaking bad habits, with Kennell Orthodontics

August 27th, 2015

At Kennell Orthodontics, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Alan Kennell.

Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Kennell if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact Kennell Orthodontics or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/KennellOrtho

Ask Dr Kennell: Why is it so important to have straight teeth?

July 23rd, 2015

Some people wonder why Laconia orthodontist Dr. Kennell and his team work tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s nice to have a smile full of evenly-aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth at Kennell Orthodontics can keep them healthier? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime!

Straight teeth are less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque—the sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth and leads to tooth decay; and they are easier to keep clean!

If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, please give us a call to set up a consultation. Dr. Kennell can help you decide whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment.

10 Frequently Asked Questions!

April 16th, 2015

Check out these 10 Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any questions, that are not answered below just ask us!

1. What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

2. What is an orthodontist?

All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Only dentists who have successfully completed an advanced specialty education may call themselves orthodontists.

3. At what age can people have orthodontic treatment?

Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics, because healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if treated early. An orthodontic evaluation at any age is advisable if a parent, family dentist or the patient's physician has noted a problem.

4. Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This may contribute to conditions that cause not only tooth decay but also eventual gum disease and tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints, which can result in chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck.

5. How long will orthodontic treatment take?

In general, active treatment time with orthodontic appliances (braces) ranges from one to three years. Mild problems usually require less time, and some individuals respond faster to treatment than others. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take only a few months.

6. What are orthodontic study records?

Diagnostic records are made to document the patient's orthodontic problem and to help determine the best course of treatment. Complete diagnostic records typically include a medical/dental history; plaster study models of the teeth, photos of the patient's face and teeth, and appropriate radiographic films. This information is used to plan the best course of treatment, help explain the problem, and propose treatment to the patient and/or parents.

7. How have new "high tech" wires changed orthodontics?

In recent years, many advances in orthodontic materials have taken place. Braces are smaller and more efficient. The wires now being used are no longer just stainless steel. Some of the new wires are heat-activated. These new kinds of wires cause the teeth to continue to move during certain phases of treatment, which may reduce the number of appointments needed to make adjustments to the wires.

8. How do braces feel?

Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed.

9. Do teeth with braces need special care?

Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard and sticky foods. They must not chew on pens, pencils or fingernails because chewing on hard things can damage the braces. Damaged braces will almost always cause treatment to take longer, and will require extra trips to the orthodontist's office.

Keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time, and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.

The orthodontist and staff will teach patients how to best care for their teeth, gums and braces during treatment. The orthodontist will tell patients (and/or their parents) how often to brush, how often to floss, and, if necessary, suggest other cleaning aids that might help the patient maintain good dental health.

10. How important is patient cooperation during orthodontic treatment?

Successful orthodontic treatment is a "two-way street" that requires a consistent, cooperative effort by both the orthodontist and patient. To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must carefully clean his or her teeth, wear rubber bands or appliances as prescribed by the orthodontist, and keep appointments as scheduled. Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time and may undesirably affect the outcome of treatment.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

March 20th, 2014

Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets.

Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque, which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, and popcorn can also bend or break your braces. On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can't always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
It's important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.

As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

It's Almost A New Year!

December 26th, 2013

The year is almost over, and we reflect on the year that was. With a new office coming this spring to Plymouth's Boulder Point (in addition to our Laconia office), we know that we are looking forward to serving our amazing patients with even more great care in 2014!

A new year can mean a new you! It is never too late to get that beautiful smile you have always wanted. Nothing is as important as a genuine and heartfelt smile. Whether in your professional life or when you are out socializing, an attractive smile can make you feel happier and more relaxed –as well as making the right impression.

A beautiful smile is an amazing asset. It contributes to self esteem and positive self image – important qualities for any age group. As well as having teeth that look nice, orthodontic treatment can also improve the function of your jaw and aid chewing efficiency of your teeth by enhancing the way your teeth bite together. Crowded teeth can be very difficult to clean. They provide areas for bacteria to grow and food to stagnate and therefore require a rigorous oral hygiene routine. Straight teeth are much easier to clean as there are no awkward gaps to get between and improved accessibility, making oral hygiene routines straight-forward.

So go on... treat yourself this new year with a beautiful, bright, straight smile!  Schedule your consultation today!

Have a safe and happy New Year from our family to yours!