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To all of our Easter Bunnies: A Few Tips for Braces Friendly Easter Treats

April 10th, 2017

Easter is always a special time of year. It’s a holiday that all ages enjoy together. One thing that is symbolic with Easter is the eye-appealing baskets that are usually chock-full of sweets, treats, and goodies galore. But for the person who has braces, there are some treats that should be left out of the Easter basket. Some of the treats you put into the baskets can lead to discomfort, or even a trip to the orthodontist. The good news is that steering clear of those treats is not difficult, and your child will still end up with a really great Easter basket!

Tasty Treats
There are some treats that are off limits when it comes to wearing braces, and you will want to avoid those for sure. When you put the treats into the Easter basket just think for a moment if they are foods that are particularly hard or sticky. This means you will want to bypass the jelly beans, which may be a tradition in the baskets, but can cause problems with braces. Sticky or chewy foods can be especially difficult for people who have braces. When it comes to choosing what will go in the basket, here are a few safe options to consider:

Most kids are going to want some chocolate in their Easter basket. Heck, most adults want some, too! Be sure to avoid any chocolates that are hard or may be filled with things like chewy caramel. Opt for those chocolates that are soft and will melt in the mouth. There are usually small balls of chocolate available every Easter. Other options include Hershey kisses and peanut butter cups. Another tip to keep in mind about selecting chocolate is that dark chocolate is a healthier option. Dark chocolate, which comes in many varieties, contains riboflavin and antioxidants that provide health benefits for the teeth and gums.

Most kids love fruit, so putting some in their Easter basket should be a great treat. Think about those fruits that are soft and will make an ideal addition to the basket, such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries. All of these are soft, easy to eat when you have braces, and they are healthy. In addition to containing vitamins, strawberries are also an astringent and act as a natural tooth whitener.

While marshmallows can be a little sticky, they are also soft and shouldn’t be a problem because they dissolve in water. Putting a few of the traditional marshmallow Peeps in the Easter basket is fine for your kids, but it would be wise to have them brush their teeth after eating them.

Hard-boiled eggs
Because this traditional Easter food is so soft, it should not pose a problem for those with braces. Decorated hardboiled eggs will make a nice addition to any basket.

Pop a few iced sugar cookies into that basket and your kids will love you even more. Whether you make them at home yourself or you buy some from the store, this will be a tasty treat that won’t be a pain. Brownies No kids can resist brownies. You can find some in stores or bakeries that are decorated for Easter, or you can make them yourself. If you make them yourself consider getting creative with making them healthier. There are plenty of recipes online for turning ordinary brownies into ones made with black beans. While they may sound odd, they have become popular and the kids seem to like them, too.

Other foods
There are a lot of foods that you can add to your child’s Easter basket, keeping their age in mind of course. Think of things like bottled smoothies, pudding cups, and grapes. There are snack packs of crackers, chips, and graham crackers. You can even find a few varieties of soft cereal bars, such as those by Kashi, Udi’s, or Nutri-Grain that are perfectly braces-safe.

Of course you can always opt for non-food items in your Easter baskets as well, which often go over even better that food treats.

Happy Easter and Happy Basket Stuffing from our Family to Yours!

(Adapted from Dustin S Burleson, DDS)

Some Tips for Eating Thanksgiving Dinner with Braces

November 21st, 2016

Here at Linaker Orthodontics, we’re very thankful and we love our family and food, so Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. We thought we’d share some tips for enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with braces.

As always, cut your foods up into small bites, this not only makes chewing with braces easier but is also healthier than taking larger bites. Be sure to cut the meat off of the turkey leg! It may be tempting to chomp into that great big delicious leg of dark turkey meat that your Mom or Grandma has painstakingly spent hours preparing for you family feast – but your braces may come loose if you bite too close to the bone. We know Thanksgiving only comes around once a year and sometimes you just can’t help yourself from being tempted, but please use caution! Most other traditional foods, such as sweet potatoes, dressing and green bean casserole are soft and easy to eat with or without braces. (OK, now our mouths are watering.)

Make sure to be careful with Pecan Pie and any hard candies or cookies that may catch your eye for dessert – biting into one of these delectable morsels may also bend your wires or cause a bracket to come loose. Go for something soft & delicious like a slice of pumpkin or apple pie with an extra scoop of ice cream or whip cream…yeah that is just what the doctor ordered!

Remember to brush and floss after every meal. If you’re like us that means you’ll be brushing a lot because we eat all day long.

Please know how thankful we are for each and every member of our Linaker Orthodontics Family!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

October 4th, 2016

October is National Orthodontic Health month and we think it's no coincidence - for Linaker Orthodontics it's a perfect time to remind our patients with braces to put some thought into the treats you enjoy this Halloween. We want our patients in braces to enjoy the holiday and not feel that they are missing out. They can choose among the many treats that are brace-friendly, avoiding ones that are hard, sticky, gummy or chewy. Brace-friendly ones include soft, nut free candies, soft candy bars, peppermint patties, and peanut butter cups. There are lots more that will keep your braces safe and still let you enjoy the holiday! Remember the beautiful smile that is in your future will be much sweeter than the momentary pleasure from candy that damages your braces or your teeth.

For everyone, a gentle reminder that sugar, when left on the teeth creates a perfect breeding ground for damage to your teeth and gums, including cavities! Brushing and flossing continues to be an important habit that is even more critical when your intake of sugary foods increases. For those in braces, this means brushing carefully around all the brackets and wires and concentrating on areas where the teeth meet the gums and where the braces attach to the teeth!

Orthodontic Health month is also an opportunity for us to remind everyone of the positive impact orthodontic care can have. Regardless of your age, orthodontics can improve how you look and also have a positive impact on your health. If you have crowded teeth, having braces can improve your ability to keep everything clean, reduce periodontal problems and tooth wear. If you experience pain or discomfort from TMJ, orthodontics can offer long term relief. Orthodontics can also have a positive impact on your confidence; no more hiding your smile or feeling less than fabulous! There are many other benefits to orthodontic care and we're happy to talk to you about the benefits you or your child can have from orthodontic care.

At Linaker Orthodontics we have many treatment options including metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. Your complimentary consultation will give you an opportunity to see our office, meet our team, and find out all about your treatment options and our affordable treatment plans. We have two convenient locations in the Tucson area. Call our office to schedule your initial exam and consultation today!

Farm to Table Recipes for Orthodontic Patients and Their Familes

August 10th, 2016

Nutritious and delicious dishes to make you smile

One of the most common questions adult patients ask their orthodontist is, “What can I eat?” The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) found some answers.  The AAO asked a personal chef to cook up a few ideas that patients could bite into without harming their braces, aligners and retainers.

Taking advantage of the freshness of the season, these three delicious farm-to-table recipes are easy on orthodontic patients, loaded with nutrients and simple to prepare.

“Soft, tender foods like those in these recipes are ideal for orthodontic patients because they don’t risk breaking brackets, wires or other elements, which could prolong treatment,” according to Morris N. Poole, DDS and president of the AAO. “It’s a wonderful thing when the foods that are good for your health happen to be great for your orthodontic treatment, too.”

These recipes feature fresh, quality ingredients that can be grown at home or obtained at local farmers’ markets, such as oregano, basil and spinach, and require no more than thirty minutes to prepare.

Ready to get cooking?

Summer Corn-Tomato-Basil Orzo Salad with Shrimp

  • 1 pound of orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 to 3 ears of fresh corn, husks and silk removed, kernels cut off of cob
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan and cook the corn, salt, and pepper for 7 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring until pink.
  3. Toss the orzo, corn and shrimp, tomatoes, and fresh basil together. Taste for salt and pepper and serve with grated Parmesan cheese, hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Farm Stand Frittata

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach or broccoli
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350o and spray pie dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter on the stovetop in a pan and sauté the onion over medium heat until tender.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie dish.
  4. Bake 30 minutes or until frittata is set.

Farm Stand Zucchini-Garlic Fusilli with Feta (not pictured)

  • 1-pound fusilli, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • ¾-1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. When the oil is warm but not hot, add the sliced garlic and stir for two minutes.

3. Add the sliced zucchini, kosher salt, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and sauté until tender.

4. Add the fresh oregano and cook one minute.

5. Toss zucchini and garlic with the pasta and top each serving with the crumbled Feta cheese.

About the American Association of Orthodontists

Founded in 1900, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization.  It represents 17,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.  The AAO encourages and sponsors key research to enable its members to provide the highest quality of care to patients, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws.  Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education in orthodontics beyond dental school at an accredited orthodontic residency program.