4 Ways to Keep your Teeth Holiday Proof

Dr Greenberg Orthodontics | Blog | Holiday Tips

Dr Greenberg Orthodontics | Blog | Holiday Tips

Nut Crackers Exist for a Reason!

Those cute little bearded figurines aren’t just there to guard your mantle, they’re here to help you guard your teeth against tough nuts. No need to prove how macho your chompers are by shredding nutshells with them. Real nutcrackers are meant to do the job to help you avoid cracking teeth & damaging gums. If you see a tasty-looking bowl of nuts that haven’t been pre-shelled, find a nutcracker before digging in. This also goes for bottles & other packages, use the right tools for opening – not the ones in your mouth.

Yes to Carrots & Apples

Take after Rudolph & go for those carrots. This super strong veggie helps clean out your mouth & palate especially if you’re going in for seconds. The grainy texture of apples does the same & provides a refreshing taste. Your teeth will thank you!  Holidays are like the Olympics for our mouths, so it’s our job to stay on top of our oral health in order to eat like champs. Staying hydrated is also very important. If this season’s drinks get too sweet for you, water + fluoride helps keep your teeth strong & healthy…don’t have fluoride lying around your house? Just drink some water and stay away from the sugar for a while!

Extra Sticky = Icky

Keep your mouth pain-free & your dental fixtures safe by steering clear of extra sticky holiday foods. Things like taffy candy or dried cranberries force your teeth & jaws to work overtime. Sticky foods also tend to get rrreeeal comfy in your mouth, thus residing in there longer. We know they’re yummy… But letting a chewy candy dislodge a wire is never fun! We love seeing our patients, but prefer you avoid emergency care & maintain oral safety over the holidays by avoiding sticky candies.

Sugar Free Chewing Gum

As much as everyone says gum is bad for you, it’s not the case if it’s sugar free! As long as it doesn’t become a bad habit, sugar-free chewing gum actually fights against tooth decay. Especially on holidays & big family gatherings that make way for extra heavy meals, our mouths are going to need extra protection. The beauty of sugar-free chewing gum is that it stimulates more saliva to assist in flushing out bacteria. It also hunts & traps food particles that would otherwise build up & become plaque. Make the most of its benefit with 20 minutes of chewing after each holiday meal.

 

 

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When is the best time to see an Orthodontic Specialist?

When to see a Specialist by Dr Vickie Greenberg Blog

When to see a Specialist by Dr Vickie Greenberg Blog

How do You Know When to see a Specialist?

We recommend getting a check up with an orthodontic specialist at the first sign of jaw pain, tenderness, or bite problems. If you have issues with your jaw or bite and your general dentist or current orthodontist says that surgery is the only way, get a second opinion with Vickie Greenberg. A quick visit & you may find out that your case can be treated without being put under! Dr. Greenberg is an expert in severe orthodontic cases and our practice is actually famous for our non-surgical & non-extraction techniques. Of course, if your child is experiencing jaw problems & trouble with their bite, see a specialist as soon as possible. Don’t wait for it to get worse as the child develops; the earlier you deal with it, the better results you can expect. Every orthodontist is different and sometimes surgery is the only way, but it’s crucial that you check off all other options before undergoing surgery!

What is Your Two-Phase Treatment?

The Two-Phase Treatment starts with developing the patient’s jaw size in order to accommodate all of the permanent teeth & to relate the upper & lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow & develop. An upper & lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children around age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. The First Phase of treatment consists of developing the jaw to accommodate all of the teeth. The Second Phase involves making sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

Early Orthodontic Treatment: Planning Now Can Save Your Smile Later!

Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper & lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper & lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.

 

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Family Budget & Flex-Spending Accounts

Family orthodontics budget & Flexible Spending insurance program

 

Family orthodontics budget & Flexible Spending insurance program

Although many patients view dental work as a strictly “aesthetic procedure”, there are actually many oral health advantages that go beyond the cosmetic benefits. Many families are unaware that their Flexible Spending Accounts can be used toward orthodontic treatments. To take advantage of this financial remedy, set aside your future pre-tax dollars upon enrollment & start on your treatments at the beginning of 2017. The earlier the better, as oral problems can worsen which will require more attention & visits to the dentist over time. Maximize your benefits & reduce out-of-pocket expenses!

Say goodbye to “use it or lose it” because the IRS is now allowing unused dollars to carry over. Bring up to $500 to the following year’s funds! In addition, more insurance plans now cover families for orthodontic treatment. We can check your eligibility during your next visit to Dr. Greenberg’s in Pasadena. & Yes, Invisalign® therapy counts! But wait, there’s even more good news…

invisalign-faq-header

To thank all the loyal parents for trusting us in caring for their children, Greenberg Ortho is giving a family discount. After taking care of the kids, your teeth need some love too. It’s never too late to improve your own oral health & you won’t have to worry about all the metal. Advanced orthodontics allow us to treat adults with more comfortable & discreet aligners.

To find out more, drop in for a FREE consultation!

& For even more information, learn about Flexible Spending Accounts.

 

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Each February for the past 63 years, our friends at the American Dental Association have sponsored National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health at a young age, and especially during your orthodontic treatment. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular visits with your dentist—even while you’re wearing braces—helps our young patients get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For kids wearing braces, brushing and flossing can become more difficult, requiring extra time and effort to remove food particles that accrue on and between your teeth and braces. If you ignore your oral health during your treatment, the results can be significantly compromised. We are happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is so critical during orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, ask us on Facebook or ask us at your next adjustment appointment!

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Avoiding Common Problems Associated With Braces

While braces play an important part in helping to create a healthy mouth and teeth, you might experience a few side effects while wearing them that are common and can be easily treated.

 

Even with the best of care, braces can cause soreness to your mouth. As your teeth begin to move, it is natural for your teeth to feel aches and your jaw to develop soreness.

 

If there are broken wires or loose bands on your braces, a sore tongue, mouth, or canker sore will occur. Canker sores are a common occurrence when braces rub inside the mouth. There are ointments available to reduce the pain and irritation associated with mouth sores.

 

If you experience a sore mouth or any of the following problems, call our office to schedule an appointment.

 

· Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket temporarily

 

. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.

 

· Loose bands: These must be secured in place by our dentist. Try to save the band for repair.

 

· Protruding or broken wires: The eraser end of a pencil can be used to move the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, rinse with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.

 

· Loose spacers: These will need to be re positioned and sometimes replaced.

 

Foods to Avoid

 

Some foods can also help or hurt you while you’re wearing braces. Remember to cut your food into small pieces that can be easily chewed. You will want to avoid hard and chewy foods that can break your hardware. Foods such as corn on the cob, nuts, carrots, apples, ice, and bubble gum should be avoided.

 

Braces, rubber bands, springs, and other mouth appliances associated with braces will normally attract food particles and plaque. Without the proper care, this could cause staining of your teeth.

 

We recommend brushing after every meal or snack and carefully removing any food that might be lodged in the braces. A fluoride mouthwash might be helpful as well as flossing. At your next appointment, we can advise you how to floss with a brush specially designed for braces!
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Foods That Can Harm Enamel

 

Many people who are careful about brushing and flossing their teeth wonder how they still end up with cavities or tooth decay. Several factors affect wear and tear on tooth enamel. Diet is a major factor, with certain foods increasing the likelihood that your enamel will become discolored or decayed. Pay close attention to the foods you eat to keep your pearly whites looking healthy and clean.

 What Causes Enamel Damage?

Tooth enamel refers to the hard, semi-translucent, whitish part of the tooth that shows above your gums. The enamel is primarily composed of minerals that are strong but susceptible to highly acidic foods. When acid reacts with the minerals in enamel, tooth decay results. Strongly pigmented foods can also damage enamel by discoloring the surface of the tooth.

 Foods that Harm Enamel

Acidic foods are the greatest source of enamel damage. To determine whether a food is acidic, look up its pH. Scientists use pH, on a one-to-seven scale, to define the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Foods with low pH levels, between a one and three, are high in acidity and may damage your enamel. Foods with high pH levels, such as a six or seven, are far less likely to cause enamel harm.

So which foods should you avoid? Many fruits are high in acidity, including lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, and apples. The high sugar and acid content in soda makes it another huge contributor to enamel decay. Moderately acidic foods include pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, cottage cheese, maple syrup, yogurt, raisins, pickles, and honey. The foods that are least likely to cause enamel damage include milk, most cheeses, eggs, and water.

Beverages such as red wine and coffee also damage the enamel by discoloring it. Although stains do not necessarily undermine the integrity of your teeth, they can be unsightly.

 What Can I Do to Prevent Enamel Damage?

Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent your enamel from discoloring or decaying. The easiest way to avoid decay is to steer clear of high-acidity foods. This may not always be possible, but eliminating sugary fruit juices and soda from your diet is a good start. Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing frequently also preserves your enamel. Another good idea is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating to wash away high-acidity particles.

Although enamel damage is common, it does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. Knowing the foods that harm your teeth gives you the tools to prevent discoloration and decay. With some easy preventive measures, your teeth will stay strong and white for years to come.

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Some great Before & After Photos

Here are some great before and after photos from Dr. Greenberg. Those are some beautiful smiles!

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Dr. Greenberg visits the AAO Annual Session in Honolulu


Patients at Vickie Greenberg Orthodontics can feel confident they are receiving the best in orthodontic health care. Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date technology and techniques using the best equipment possible. We are devoted to continuing education and further her learning through reading, attending conferences and continuing education courses.

Isn’t it nice to know you have a complete dental expert in Dr. Greenberg taking care of your perfecting your smile?

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Dr. Vickie Greenberg, helping you save face this spring

Wouldn’t you believe it, it’s springtime already! The spring months, however, bring an increase in outdoor activities and a greater chance of kids damaging their precious mouths and pearly whites. If you play sports, it’s important that you consult Dr. Vickie Greenberg for special precautions. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing spring sports such as baseball and soccer. Be sure to avoid mouth guards that custom form to your teeth as these will resist any tooth movements Dr. Greenberg is trying to achieve. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, please schedule an appointment with Vickie Greenberg Orthodontics. And don’t forget to ask us—Dr. Greenberg may recommend the best mouth guard for you.

Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Please give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment at Vickie Greenberg Orthodontics.

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Carol is our contest video winner!

Congrats to Carol, our latest contest winner! Your smile looks great, and we hope you enjoy your gift!

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