Fun Holiday Treats Even when you Have Braces

December 12th, 2019

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!!

It's Back to School Time Again!

August 20th, 2019

As much as we hate to admit it, August is a reminder in a couple of 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!!

Keeping Your Teeth Clean with Braces

August 13th, 2019

 

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

Don't Forget Your Retainer!

July 18th, 2019

Once braces come off we know it is exciting to see how great your new smile looks.  And you want to keep it that way, right?  However, some patients forget how important it is to wear their retainers to maintain that beautiful smile after orthodontic treatment is complete.  At Kennell Orthodontics, we give specific instructions to all of our patients on how to properly wear retainers.  Typically, retainers are worn 24/7 for the first three days after braces are removed, then just during sleep thereafter.

Retainers must be worn for life in order to maintain the teeth in position.  Minor tooth movement can occur throughout life, which is why we strongly encourage our patients to always wear their retainers.  Oh - and remember to keep those retainers away from the dog.  Dogs don't just eat your homework, they eat retainers too!

Say Hello to Lizza!

June 4th, 2019

Lizza Taylor joined our team in 2019.  She has spent the last 18 years working as an assistant in a General Dental office. Lizza enjoys spending time with her lovely wife Kim and son Liam. Lizza enjoys kayaking, hiking, swimming and playing croquet among many other things.  She recently earned her Shodon (1st degree black belt) in Uechi Ryu style Karate.

Cold and Flu Season

January 25th, 2018

This seasons Cold and Flu epidemic has been featured more recently on local and National news.  Here are some simple steps you can take to help yourself avoid colds and the flu this season.

  • Wash your hands before and after brushing
  • Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
  • Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
  • Replace toothbrush after every cold or flu or every 3-4 months when bristles appear worn

To promote a healthy and clean environment, our team gives a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces.

For the protection of other patients and our staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others. We hope this helps and give us a call if you have any questions!

But if you do catch a cold or the flu, here are some suggestions on how to care for your dental health.

If you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority—and that includes your mouth.
Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well:

Practice Good Hygiene

When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. Do not share your tooth brush!

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Read the label before you pick up a bag at the drug store with an eye to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. The longer you keep a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on that sugar, which produces the acid that can leave holes in your teeth.

Swish and Spit After Vomiting

One unfortunate side effect of a stomach flu, among other illnesses, is vomiting. You might be tempted to brush your teeth right away, some dentists say it’s actually better to wait. When you vomit, stomach acids are coming in contact with your teeth and coating them. If you brush too soon, you’re just rubbing that acid all over the hard outer shell of your teeth.

Instead, swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away. Spit, and brush about 30 minutes later.

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth

When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable—dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu—such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers—can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.

Choose the Right Fluids

When it comes to your mouth and your body, one beverage is always best. Water!  Sometimes sports drinks might be recommended to replenish electrolytes when you’re sick, but drink them in moderation and don’t make them a habit after you’ve recovered because unless they are a sugar free version, they contain a lot of sugar.

You might also want something to warm you up.  Try a hot tea, but avoid sugar or lemon if you can.

For more tips on good oral care: check out the ADA American Dental Society Mouth Healthy website.

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