December 11th, 2019
You know the school day’s over when you hear these seven little words: “I’m home! Is there anything to eat?”
And before your child got braces, you had the answer: simple, tasty snacks that provided not only an energy boost, but nutritional elements to help build strong teeth and strong bodies. But now whole carrot sticks and unsliced apples are out. Nuts and crunchy peanut butter? Not in your pantry. Hard cheeses and crunchy whole grain crackers? Also off the shopping list.
Because any foods that are crunchy, chewy, or hard to bite into can damage brackets and wires, it’s time to freshen up your go-to snack list. Luckily, Drs. Margo Brilliant, Jeff Rothenberg, and Daniel Meister can recommend many healthy and braces-friendly choices when children need something to tide them over until dinner.
- Fruits and Vegetables for Vitamins and Minerals
Soft fruits like berries, melon, and bananas provide essential vitamins and minerals while going easy on your child’s braces. Make it a blended smoothie for a cool treat—you can even add a healthy handful of spinach or kale without interfering with that fruity taste. If your child still loves apples and carrots best, keep them on hand—but remember that thin slices are the only way to go.
- Dairy Delivers Calcium
Cottage cheese, string cheese, and other soft cheeses provide essential calcium and vitamin D. Yogurt in all its many flavors is another great option.
- Meats Provides Protein
Lean meats such as thinly sliced ham, chicken, or turkey provide flavor and protein, and don’t require the chewing that bologna, roast beef, and salami do. And nothing packs a protein punch like eggs—hard boiled, deviled, or diced up in egg salad.
- Grains, Legumes, and Vegetables for Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates—the “good” carbs—are important sources of energy for our bodies. Snacks such as hummus with soft whole grain pita wedges or blended black bean dip and soft crackers are a delicious, energizing option.
You are constantly looking for ways to make your children’s lives better. Mix and match any of these foods for a snack that’s not only good for their braces, but good for their teeth and bodies! Let us know your child’s favorite snack the next time you visit our Aventura, FL office!
December 4th, 2019
Brace-ism: believe it or not, it’s a concept. The Urban Dictionary defines brace-ism as “acting mean to people who have braces on their teeth.” Phrases like metal mouth, brace face, and train tracks are common jokes uttered by gap-toothed fools who like to make fun of people with braces.
While ignoring these comments and taking the high road is the best thing to do, there’s nothing wrong with having a few clever retorts and quick-witted comebacks up your sleeve.
- The next time someone calls you train tracks, break into an obnoxious train imitation, with lots of toot-toot and chuga-chuga-chuga. Finish off your crazy locomotive impersonation with some sort of deafening train horn. That’ll keep the bullies at bay.
- “It’s better to be a brace face than a space case.”
- Counter with a ridiculously childish joke that makes the schoolyard tormentor feel even smaller than he already is. “Oh. Yeah. Why did the deer need braces? Because he had buck teeth. Hahaha.” Top it off with an exaggerated eye roll.
- “Yeah, my brother tells that joke. He’s six. You guys should hang out.” That’ll stop the haters dead in their tracks. Or would that be train tracks?
- Here’s one from the sarcasm grab bag. “Well, I’m just glad there’s a way to fix what’s wrong with my face.”
- “I can’t wait to discuss this formative moment at our ten-year class reunion, when my teeth are razor-straight and you’re wearing adult braces.”
November 27th, 2019
If you’ve never been to an orthodontist before, you might be wary of what to expect during your first visit. Your dentist may have recommended an orthodontic appliance if it could improve the state of your oral health. More often, you may suspect that you or your child should have orthodontic work done if the time is right financially.
Understanding the various options your orthodontist can perform will be helpful to know before your appointment.
Your initial appointment usually lasts at least an hour. It’s common that diagnostic work will need to be done. This might include getting X-rays so Drs. Margo Brilliant, Jeff Rothenberg, and Daniel Meister can better understand the overall structure of your mouth. A quick mold of the mouth may also be taken if braces are a possibility.
Your first appointment is intended to find out how we can efficiently give you a great smile! Here’s a list of common questions you might ask during your first visit:
- Is now the right time for treatment, or should it wait?
- What is the estimated length of time for the treatment?
- How much should I expect to pay? What are the payment options?
- What can I do to prevent or minimize pain?
- Is it likely that I will wear extra appliances in addition to braces to correct my overbite, underbite, or other problems?
- Are there specific foods I will need to avoid?
- Will braces prevent me from playing my favorite sport or musical instrument?
- How can I keep my teeth clean with braces?
- How often will I be expected to come in for checkups and other appointments?
Don’t be afraid to ask these and other questions before you or your child commits to getting braces. Drs. Margo Brilliant, Jeff Rothenberg, and Daniel Meister and our team are happy to answer any of them before or after your visit.
Once you’ve had your initial consultation, our team will be here throughout the entire process if any problems arise. We look forward to seeing you at your first appointment in our Aventura, FL office!
November 20th, 2019
Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic treatment is not just for older children and teens who have alignment and spacing issues. At our Aventura, FL office, orthodontic treatment offers many benefits for children at a young age.
Drs. Margo Brilliant, Jeff Rothenberg, and Daniel Meister can identify your child’s alignment issues early, and provide treatment as the teeth begin to develop. It’s crucial to start dental care early, not only for proper dental health and cosmetic benefits, but to improve your child’s overall health.
The Benefits of Straighter Teeth
Aside from cosmetic benefits, starting orthodontic treatment at a young age offers many other advantages. A pediatric dentist can help guide the teeth into their proper position to prevent teeth extractions or bite problems, and even reduce the extent of orthodontic treatment later on.
Your youngster will enjoy the confidence of having straight teeth that, as an added bonus, will be easier to clean. Parents will be happy to hear the earlier your child gets treatment, the less your orthodontic expenses could be; plus, it is often covered by dental insurance.
Stages of Orthodontic Treatment
Multiple stages are included in early orthodontic treatment, but there are three main stages.
Stage 1: Treatment starts around age two or three until the child is around six. This stage includes preventive measures to avoid habits that lead to crooked teeth, and monitoring how the teeth grow in.
Stage 2: The first permanent teeth appear around age six to 12 years old and the dentist looks at possible early treatment for misalignment or bite issues.
Stage 3: Any further problems with permanent teeth are corrected during adolescence.
Drs. Margo Brilliant, Jeff Rothenberg, and Daniel Meister and our staff are able to see early on whether your child will need to have braces in adolescence. Early treatment means fewer procedures, cleaner teeth, and less expense for parents. It’s a win-win for everyone!