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Tips for a Braces Friendly Halloween in Vaughan

October 27th, 2014

Halloween is right around the corner and everyone knows what that means, candy! Scary!

Vaughan Orthodontics Halloween Tips

Although Trick-or-treating is one of the favorite Halloween activities for kids, it can be a little problem for your child’s braces. All that candy can damage them by loosening or breaking the brackets. In order to avoid this problem, here is a list of treats you should try not to eat when in orthodontic treatment.

• Chewy candies
• Hard candies
• Jelly beans
• Taffy
• Licorice
• Tootsie Rolls
• Bubblegum
• Hard Pretzels
• Nuts
• Popcorn
• Carmel and Candy Apples
• Caramel

These treats may seem like they are harmless, but they all have the potential to damage braces by bending or breaking them.

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats

If you or your children are in orthodontic treatment with Vaughan Orthodontics, it may seem as if you don’t have any treats to enjoy, but there are a lot of treat options that are brace-safe to choose from, including the following:

• Soft chocolate (regular M&Ms, Hershey Bars, Kit Kats, Hershey Kisses, Three Musketeers, Malt Balls, Cookies and Cream Bars)
• Peanut butter cups
• Snow Caps
• Gelatin treats
• Smoothies
• Ice cream
• Root beer floats
• Apple cider

These a just a few brace-friendly treats, there are many more. If you follow these tips, having a fun Halloween while protecting your Woodbridge braces can be easy.  So enjoy the holiday without having to worry about your Richmond Hill braces. Happy Halloween!

Got braces? Here are some great soft foods ideas and recipes you should try!

March 20th, 2014

People with brand new braces from a Vaughan Orthodontist are always full of questions. One of the most common questions we hear at the office is “What can I eat with braces on?”

This is a good question to ask. Certain foods can be hard on your braces. A craving for corn on the cob can quickly cost you a trip back to Vaughan Orthodontics for repairs, or it might just give you a sore mouth and a tough cleaning job to do. Either one is a bad Saturday afternoon, so knowing what you should and should not eat is important.

Soft Foods – Less Sugar

Eating with Vaughan braces is a lot like eating without braces. You want a balanced diet, with a healthy amount of vegetables and fruit. You also need your protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. You need vitamins and minerals from A to Zinc (especially when you feel like H), and you want to avoid junk food as much as possible.
When you wear Thornhill braces, you want the same things – only softer. Tough foods can be uncomfortable for new braces. So how do we get the best of both worlds?

Steam Cook Your Vegetables

Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are all healthy snacks with a crunch. That crunch can be tough on your braces, so try giving them a little steam bath to soften up before eating them. Frying, and boiling will also soften them, but the general consensus is that steam keeps the flavor and nutrients locked in, making it the best option for cooking healthy greens.

The Slow Cooker Is Your Friend

When it comes to softening foods, there might be no better way to prepare a meal than by using a slow cooker. Choose your ingredients in the morning, place it on the required setting, and let it stew for the day. Typical stew meat can be quite tough and stringy, so try using the slow cooker with other foods like boneless chicken breast, or softer cuts of beef.

No Pain Grains

Grains are a big part of a balanced diet, but early morning toast will be a bit more uncomfortable to crunch on than it was before. It’s time to explore the alternatives.
If you’re craving some baked goods to start your morning, there’s nothing wrong with a warm croissant or a fresh muffin. Try to skip out on muffins with excessive sugary toppings (that’s a cupcake you’re holding).

Try Something Different

First week of Richmond Hill braces can be quite challenging so why not start of your day with a smoothie.

Breakfast Smoothies - Strawberry, Mango, and Yogurt Smoothie
A fresh fruit smoothie is also a great source of natural fiber. Use banana as a base, and add in a mix of fresh berries. Scoop in some yogurt, and a spoonful of honey, and you’ve almost got a dessert!

What Role do Elastics (Rubber Bands) Play in Orthodontics?

August 1st, 2013

Wearing orthodontic braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile, and that’s why you’ve come to see Dr. Chen at Vaughan Orthodontics. Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.

The Purpose of Elastics Customized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.

These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth. It’s common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.

The Do’s and the Don’ts

DO – Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces.

DON’T – Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.

DO – Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.

DON’T – Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.

DO – Call us if you run out of rubber bands.

DO – Have fun with your braces and elastics. There are many different colors available that can let you show off your soon-to-be perfect smile.

Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we’ll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact our Thornhill, ON office, and our staff will be happy to assist you!

I got my braces. Now what?

July 25th, 2013


We love when patients ask us that question! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s even more important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you begin your orthodontic treatment.

Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why our team at Vaughan Orthodontics recommends that you brush and floss after every meal. We also encourage you to use a proxabrush to help with the smaller areas where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. The use of a fluoride rinse is recommended as well; ask Dr. Chen for a recommendation.

When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive. You may experience discomfort for up to three to five days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will have.

You may also be thinking, “Okay, so what can I eat?”

Here are a few soft foods that do not require you to do much chewing and are easy to chew on when your teeth are sore:

Ice cream, yogurt, pudding, cool soups, Jell-O, scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, baked potatoes, soft cooked pasta, soup, bananas, cottage cheese, smoothies, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, soft cheeses, and milk are all foods you can eat safely without having to worry about pain or breaking your brackets.

Dr. Chen, as well as our team at Vaughan Orthodontics will tell you it’s crucial to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our Thornhill, ON office immediately to schedule an appointment for repair.

Lastly, in addition to visiting Vaughan Orthodontics during your orthodontic treatment for adjustments, you should visit your dentist for professional checkups and teeth cleaning appointments about every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

Questions? Please let us know below, on our Facebook page, or by giving us a call!

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Dr. Austin Chen Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics | 1611 Rutherford Road, Unit 5 | Vaughan, Ontario L4K 0C6

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