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Packing for travel with braces or retainers

3 Travel Tips When You’re in Treatment

The holidays are quickly approaching, and for many of us, that means lots of visiting with family and friends! How do you make sure that all your holiday fun doesn’t interfere with your orthodontic treatment? Here are a couple of trips to keep your teeth healthy during your travels:

1. Use color to remember your retainers

There’s no worse feeling than being hours into a car or plane ride, and realizing you left something important behind. Help yourself keep track of your retainer by choosing a brightly colored case (which is easier to spot if accidentally left out), and putting your name and phone number inside the case (so you can be contacted if someone else finds it). Retainers can be pricy to replace but are absolutely vital to keeping your smile straight post-braces, so take every precaution to hold onto them through your travels!

2. Keep up with your routine

Just because you’re on a holiday break doesn’t mean your oral hygiene should be. Continue with your regular orthodontic routine like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and wearing your retainer every night. That way, even if you’re staying up late or indulging in celebrations you usually don’t indulge in, you’ll know you aren’t undoing months of diligence and hard work.

3. Enjoy treats with moderation

The holidays are a time that’s full of yummy, decadent food – most of which is not great for your oral health. But that doesn’t mean you can’t partake! Feel free to enjoy delicious holiday treats like pies, ice cream, and chocolates. But for the sake of your orthodontic treatment, avoid those bracket-destroying culprits like peanut brittle, candy canes, and extremely sticky baked goods.

Once your travels are through, be sure to schedule your follow-up appointment. Get in contact with us here, or call our office at (636) 394-5455. Happy holidays and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Working in the Alizadeh & Schreiner Orthodontic Laboratory

Behind the Curtain: What Goes on in an Orthodontic Laboratory?

Most orthodontic offices have the same basic layout – a waiting room in the front, a couple of chairs in the back, and some offices and reception space for staff and doctors. At Alizadeh & Schreiner, we have all that and a whole lot more! Most of our patients are familiar with our unique spaces like the movie theater, our fun photo booth, and the quiet, comfortable area for adults-only. But once area you probably haven’t seen is the one we’re most proud of – our very own in-office laboratory.

Some amazing things happen in this in-office lab. We have specially trained technicians who help us make custom orthodontic appliances like retainers, space maintainers, and habit appliances. In addition to their incredible attention to detail and precision, they are right on-site and able to work on your device right away! This reduces the need to ship appliances over long distances, and allows you to start your treatment right away.

Because of our high-tech equipment, we can ensure each and every device is perfectly shaped to give a comfortable fit. What kind of machinery do we use to create these custom appliances? Our laboratory is fully stocked with the latest orthodontic technology, including 3D printers, tools for indirect bonding, and molds for treatment time reducers.

Caring doctors combined with world-class technology is the key to great orthodontic treatment, which is why Alizadeh & Schreiner continues to invest in both. To learn more about how Alizadeh & Schreiner’s in-house lab helps you, visit our blog post ‘Why should I look for an office with a lab?’ here!

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!