Monthly Archives: May 2008

My Kid Has Braces, Now What?

When your child has braces, it is necessary for you and your child to make time to maintain them. It is very important to brush and clean them whenever you eat, but also to be aware and careful of the food your child eats, because that can significantly affect the process and success of braces.
Below is a list of good foods that your child can eat. And below that, a list bad foods.

Good foods:
• Meatloaf or meatballs
• Tuna, chicken, or egg salad
• Lunch meat (plain, not in a sandwich — sandwiches can be too hard to bite)
• Soup
• Cheese slices
• Cooked eggs
• French toast, pancakes, waffles
• Soft cooked meat (pot roast, roasted chicken, etc)
• Baked or broiled fish
• Non-crusty bread without seeds or chunks
• Saltine crackers (they crumble on the roof of your mouth!)
• Cottage cheese
• Yogurt (custard-type is best; the less chunks the better — or just don’t eat the fruit chunks!)
• Cereal that gets soggy in milk
• Oatmeal or hot cereals
• Ice cream and cake (Why not treat yourself? But remember, no nuts!)
• Frozen cheese blintzes or potato pancakes

Bad foods:
• Ice….Definitely a NO!! It can damage braces
• Nuts
• Peanut brittle
• Soda pop
• Hard pizza crust
• Corn on the cob
• Ribs
• Doritos, corn chips, hard tacos, Cheetos, Fritos and anything similar to those foods.
• Popcorn
• Hard pretzels
• Hard rolls and bagels
• Raw carrots
• Bubble gum
• Carmel candy
• Beef jerky
• Suckers & Hard candy

A rule of thumb for braces is to not eat anything high in sugar, sticky, or hard. Something simple and easy to put together for your kids is a little dental kit. They can carry it to school and after school activities.

Your portable dental kit can contain: a travel or full-size toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, folding cup, dental floss, little spiral dental brush, dental wax, small mirror, packet of tissues, breath drops or spray and anything else you think could be useful. This little kit is very handy. Do we think a child will really use it every day? No. But at least it will be there for the day he or she eats a handful of Starbursts and can’t pry their mouth back open.

*Remember having braces is a good thing… sometimes it can get frustrating, but in the end it will be worth it!

Dr. Tipton’s patient, Pamela Waterman, a Phoenix-area engineer and author, is the author of The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You (and Your Orthodontist) Will Love. Dr. Tipton has endorsed this book. We recommend you try it out!


Veneers or Braces? Does Age Matter?

There has been some speculation lately about a certain young celebrity’s teeth. Miss Miley Cyrus, a young woman I have heard of, but never met, has suddenly appeared with a brighter, straighter, and more stunning smile. Overnight she has emerged with what appears to be veneers and a thousand watt smile. This will, inevitably, lead thousands of teens to ask why they have to get braces, when pop idol Miss Cyrus bypassed them and went straight to perfect teeth.

Veneers and braces are very different applications. Veneers require filing down the natural tooth, a permanent change. Committing to veneers is an expensive and life long commitment. Typically, they cost more in the long run than braces. It takes several weeks to get used to them, and it can be very uncomfortable. But the result is a beautiful one, but a bit unnatural looking. Veneers can be spotted in many wearers. The teeth are so perfect and noticeable that they do not appear to be natural.
Braces do take longer, but provide a more natural result. New technology has emerged that make braces more comfortable, faster, less obtrusive, and more predictable.  Techniques like SureSmile®, which integrates digital imaging, computer modeling, robotic technology and high-tech materials to provide a more accurate treatment plan, mean significantly less time with braces than other orthodontic treatments, fewer appointments and less pain and discomfort. This is a major plus for teenagers (and adults) dreading years of braces.
Even if you have Miley Cyrus’ pocketbook and entourage to get you through the recovery, veneers will not be recommended for a teenager. Until the patient is certain that their teeth will not shift or move, veneers are not a good option. Even filed down with a veneer over it, the natural teeth will shift and move.
So why did Miley do it if it isn’t a wise choice? That’s up to her and her parents. I can’t answer that. But I can answer your questions about your specific situation. Contact my office to find out what your best options will be to a better smile.