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Fun Holiday Treats For Kids With Braces

December 4th, 2017

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 orthodontia. 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. How come? Biting hard foods can bend or even break your child's metal brackets.

Recipe for Safety

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. Hard fruits such as apples, however, should be thinly sliced. Brushing twice a day is especially important during the holidays. Encourage the family to do so in the morning before work or school and in the evening before going to bed using a thorough toothpaste such as Colgate® Fresh 'n Protect.

For added assurance that the food you serve is safe on braces, consider making your own. Santa, snowmen, reindeer and Christmas trees may provide inspiration for making fun holiday treats:

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.

Going on vacation? Remember these simple tips!

December 4th, 2017

If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, our team at Alexander & Martin Orthodontics would suggest that you be prepared. We put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town. They include:

  • Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
  • Travel toothbrush
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get him or her out of pain or discomfort.

We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels and hard rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Hard cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

Finally, if you are wearing clear aligners and happen to lose your tray, don’t worry! Simply put in either the previous tray or the next tray and contact us as soon as you get home!

Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!

Which retainer is right for you?

June 13th, 2017

If you like your smile, you must LOVE your retainers!

There is no perfect solution when it comes to retaining teeth! As with everything in our body, our teeth will move and change throughout life.  The only way to keep your teeth straight, is by wearing retainers at night.   As long as your retainers fit well and are worn at night, your teeth will stay straight.

There are many different options for retainers.  Retainers are custom-made for each individual patient.  At Alexander & Martin Orthodontics, the patient is always first, and we let YOU choose which retainer YOU would like.  Dr. Alexander or Dr. Martin will guide you if they feel a specific retainer option is best for your individual case.

Removable Hawley Retainer
Retainers
Advantages:
Very strong and durable
Allow "settling" of the teeth in the back which at times can slightly improve a bite
Wire part of the retainer can be adjusted to adjust tooth position as needed
Disadvantages:
The wire is visible
The acrylic covering the roof of the mouth can affect speech
They can be misplaced or broken

Removable Clear Retainer
Retainers
Advantages:
Clear plastic is virtually invisible
Minimal speech interference
If you grind or clench your teeth, the retainer will protect the chewing surfaces of your teeth
If you do forget to wear your retainers, at times this retainer is able to "recapture" a slightly crooked tooth.
Disadvantages:
They are more fragile than Hawley retainers
The plastic can wear thin and crack or break
Like Hawley retainers, you must remember to wear them and not misplace them.

Permanent Lingual Retainer (lower teeth only)
Retainers
Advantages:
A wire is permanently adhered to the tongue side of your lower front teeth
It is not removable, so you do not have to remember to wear it!
You will have to use a floss threader to adequately
Disadvantages:
clean around the bonded wire
Tarter tends to accumulate around the wire, possibly causing gingivitis
If you eat something hard, it can break requiring a timely repair

Welcome to Our Blog

May 28th, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!


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Robert M. Alexander DDS, MS &      &       Brandon D. Martin DDS, MS

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