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Middle School Lunch Ideas

Lunch Ideas for Middle Schoolers in Braces

Congratulations, your middle schooler just got braces! There will be lots of changes to help them complete their treatment successfully, and what they eat is only part of the puzzle. Fortunately, there are still lots of options for a middle schooler in braces, regardless of how far along they are on their journey to a healthier smile.

Here are a few recommendations to make lunchtime easy and comfortable:

Right After Appointments
If your child just got braces or recently had an adjustment, their teeth may be a little bit more sensitive than usual. Stick with especially soft lunch foods for a couple days after visiting the orthodontist, including soup, jello, applesauce, cottage cheese, or hummus with vegetables.

Throughout Treatment
Other than directly after an orthodontic appointment, your child shouldn’t be worried about discomfort – but that doesn’t mean they’re free to eat whatever they want! Continue to pack foods that are not sticky or super crunchy. Traditional lunches like sandwiches, lunch meat and cheeses, and salads are all great choices.

Kids and teens in braces are more likely to end up with cavities after treatment, so help combat infection with low-sugar foods. Though they can enjoy fruits and certain candies, keep them to a minimum and make sure your child is equipped with everything they need to brush and floss after lunch.

During Hot Lunch
Fortunately, being in braces doesn’t mean your middle schooler has to skip the hot lunch line! While they may want to avoid especially crunchy meals like nachos or thin crust pizza, they should feel welcome to softer foods like hot dogs, burgers, chicken nuggets, tacos, pasta, and more. Don’t worry, a soft cookie or ice cream sundae will also be a special treat that is easy on their braces (but don’t forget to brush afterward!).

Things to Avoid
There are a couple foods that cause the majority of broken brackets and wires. Regardless of whether you’re packing or purchasing lunch, be sure to avoid these top 5 culprits:

1. Whole apples and carrots
2. Hard candies and caramels
3. Corn on the cob
4. Popcorn
5. Granola bars

Kids in Sports

Braces and Sports

School is back in session, and with it come all our kids’ favorite extracurricular activities! Are you worried about letting your child enjoy school sports due to their new braces or retainers? No worries! With a couple easy tips they will be ready for a great season and a great smile.

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions as kids in braces start their sports season:

Can I still play contact sports?
You may be afraid that any sport that includes the possibility of physical contact would jeopardize the safety of your child’s braces. However, a mouth guard is a great way to protect their teeth even during high-contact sports like football or soccer.

Even if they play a sport with limited contact like baseball or volleyball, it’s still a good idea to keep the mouth guard in, just in case. A foul ball or stray elbow can quickly become a danger to orthodontic treatment, so keep safety first.

How can I care for my teeth while I travel?
Now that your child’s teeth are protected with a mouth guard during the game, teach them how to continue their oral healthcare even while they’re on the road. Make sure they have the proper cases to store their retainer and/or mouth guard, preferably in a bright and clearly labeled case to avoid loss or mix-ups.

Kids and teens with braces can be especially susceptible to cavities, especially during busy school and sports seasons. Help your child pack an on-the-go tooth-brushing kit so they can keep their smiles clean, even during away games or overnight tournaments.

What should I do in an emergency?
Even if your child take every precaution to protect themselves during a contact sport, accidents can happen. Most times, damage to orthodontic treatment like a broken bracket or a loose wire is not considered an emergency – in these cases, you can wait till the next business day to schedule a repair or check-in.

However, if there is a break that causes severe pain or an inability for your child to open and close his or her mouth, these can be more serious and you should call your orthodontic provider right away. Finally, in the very rare scenario where a piece of your child’s orthodontic appliance is inhaled or interferes with breathing, call 911 immediately. But rest assured, these situations are extremely rare in youth sports.

At Alizadeh & Schreiner, we look forward to making sure your child is ready for any sport or season, without disrupting their orthodontic treatment. To learn how we can help, schedule your free consultation today!

Why Should I Look for an Office with a Lab?

Orthodontic offices come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and depend heavily on the personal preferences of the practice’s doctors. Some people prefer a very traditional style of treatment, and others like to utilize all the latest technologies to help patients reach their goals. At Alizadeh & Schreiner Orthodontics, we believe that technology is the key to efficient treatment that gives our patients amazing results, and we invest in the tools, education, and equipment that creates this world-class care.

One of the greatest assets within the office is our on-site laboratory. Our specially-trained team is able to utilize the lab to create appliances that fit any patients’ needs, without paying the price of outsourcing to another specialist. Here are 3 reasons an on-site laboratory helps our patients, and can make all the difference in your orthodontic treatment:

1. Quick, easy turn-around
After meeting your orthodontist for the first time, you’re probably excited to begin the path to a beautiful smile. Nothing curbs that enthusiasm quite like a 3-month waiting period! By creating our own appliances right in our office, we’re able to offer quicker service and a fast turnaround in the case of an emergency.

2. In-house adjustments
Everyone’s teeth are different, and so are the accessories we need to create and maintain a straight smile. Because our teeth are constantly moving, sometimes a retainer or other piece that used to fit can become less effective, or begin irritating parts of the mouth. When your orthodontist has direct access to a lab, you’ll be able to get appliances adjusted without shipping them off or paying for something brand new. Orthodontic treatment doesn’t have to be painful, and with in-house adjustments we make sure our patients leave comfortably every time!

3. Highest quality appliances
At Alizadeh & Schreiner, we pride ourselves on having some of the top doctors, team members, and technology in the country. As great as the convenience of an on-site lab is, the best part of being our patient is your access to cutting-edge technology like 3D printing, indirect bonding, and treatment time reducers. Our laboratory allows us to fabricate custom space maintainers, retainers, and habit appliances with an unmatched level of precision and quality control.

Does high tech, big fun, and great smiles sound like your kind of orthodontic office? Schedule your free consultation today for a chance to learn more about the Alizadeh & Schreiner difference!

Invisalign Patient working with Orthodontist

Caution: DIY vs. Professional Clear Aligners

In a world where there’s a how-to video for just about everything, families are able to take on all kinds of projects at home. But some things are best left to the professionals – like your orthodontic treatment. Those DIY teeth-straightening trays may seem like a quick and easy way to a healthier smile, but there can be serious consequences for skipping the orthodontist’s office. Here are three reasons to consider making an appointment before buying in:

  1. One Size Does Not Fit All

    When it comes to something as personal as your smile, it’s important to work with a professional to outline what your goals really are. Maybe you want to close a gap, or straighten only your most noticeable teeth, or perhaps you want the perfect Hollywood smile. Everyone is different when it comes to the look and feel of their smile, which means a do-it-yourself kit may not get you where you want to be.

  2. Time and Price

    The #1 reason people opt for an at-home program vs. going to their orthodontist is the belief that they will save time and/or money. That is almost always false! With insurance, flexible payment plans, and different levels of treatment, Invisalign has never been more affordable. And if you want to work through your treatment as quickly as possible, an orthodontist can monitor your progress closely and make changes based on your progress, rather than a pre-determined program.

  3. Overall Oral Health

    The appearance of your smile is certainly important, however, there are a lot of other things to consider when it comes to your mouth’s health. While an orthodontist straightens your teeth, he or she also considers the spacing in your mouth, potential medical issues like TMJ/TMD, and how your clear aligners are affecting your gums and jaw.

If you’re wanting to straighten your smile in a convenient and discreet way, Invisalign may be the perfect fit for you! Schedule a consultation to work with an experienced orthodontist at Alizadeh & Schreiner Orthodontics to guarantee your best, most beautiful smile.