Golden Kids Dental & Orthodontics


Ortho-Friendly School Lunch

As school is back in session parents often stress about what to pack their kiddos for lunch, having a child in braces can be even more stressful when it comes to lunch and snack time. Here At Golden Kids Dental And Orthodontics, we want to ease your stress and provide helpful tips for a healthy and ortho-friendly lunch. Below are some examples of meals and snacks to keep your kiddo energized and happy throughout their school day. 

Foods to avoid when packing your child’s lunch:

When packing your child’s lunch you want to avoid sticky and crunchy foods that may cause the hardware in your child’s mouth to break or even loosen. Sweet foods are often restricted during treatment because of the increased risk of decay. Foods that we want to avoid are:

  • Hard Pretzels
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Nuts
  • Beef Jerky
  • Corn on the cob
  • Gummy Sweets
  • Gatorade or sweet sports drinks
  • Begals
  • Meat on the bone
  • Popcorn

Some of these foods seem a little weird to be on this list right? Healthy foods like carrots and apples are off limits because biting into one of them can cause broken brackets or hardware. If you’re packing lunch be mindful of how certain foods may be healthy but if they are hard and require you to bite into them then they aren’t the best choice.  

Good Food Choices For Packing School Lunch:

Foods that have a soft texture and are high in nutrition are great choices for school lunches. There are more food options than you think when it comes down to good choices for School Lunch. 

  • Pb&J
  • Tuna Sandwich
  • Chicken
  • Casseroles
  • Green beans
  •  Sliced Lunch Meats
  • Applesauce
  • Pudding
  • Jello
  • Avocados
  • Canned  Fruits
  • Soft/ Boiled Eggs
  • Yogurt

These foods are all good examples of fulfilling foods that are still friendly enough to not cause any harm to your braces. Eating foods like the ones listed above can help you get through your orthodontic treatment in your estimated time frame or even sooner than expected! 

Hot Lunch Go-Tos:

If your child eats hot lunch at school it may seem like they’re going to have more restrictions when it comes to lunch. Although Schools provide a variety of braces-friendly choices. Foods to look out for are:

  • MacNCheese
  • Pasta
  • Soft Pizza
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Fish Sticks
  • Fruit Salads
  • Rice
  • Soft French Fries
  • Hamburgers with a soft bun
  • Chili or soups

On Days that School lunch isn’t provided such as field trip days make sure that your kiddo has a braces-friendly lunch. 

Snacks for kids in braces: 

  • Oranges
  • Gogurt
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Peanut butter
  • French toast sticks
  • Hot Pockets 
  • Bean and cheese burritos
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon 
  • Soft Cereal bars

Snack Time is important and with braces, there are only a few things that we have to leave out of the mix of options. Now that we showed you the dos and don’ts of School Lunch we want to wish each and every one of your kiddos a happy and safe school year!

White Crowns for Children

It is great now that children have the option of all white crowns. In the past, stainless steel crowns were used and sometimes a stainless steel crown with a white facing was used for front teeth.

Our office uses Sprig fully white prefabricated ceramic crowns especially designed for children. These crowns are made of solid zirconia , a biocompatible material. From every angle, these crowns are extremely esthetic.

If a child has a cavity that is still small, the dentist can do a filling. When front teeth especially, develop a lot of decay, it is nice to have the option of a fully white crown. This option frees children from feeling self conscious and even from being teased by other children as they grow and wait for their grown up teeth to come in. Your child’s smile will look healthy and natural, while raising self confidence. These crowns can be used in both the front and the back of your Childs mouth.

These white crowns are more difficult to place, require special skill and can take more time to do. If a child needs multiple white crowns and the child has extensive decay, sometimes it is recommended to do treatment under general anesthesia.

Metal free, highly durable and aesthetically superior, make Sprig white crowns a wonderful choice for children.

Eating with Braces

What you should and should not eat is an important topic when starting orthodontic treatment. Eating the wrong things can cause the different parts of your braces to break, slowing down treatment and causing parents more trips to the orthodontist office. What you eat while in braces also effects your oral health. Braces need extra care when cleaning and when food gets stuck in there, cavities can follow.

Sugar: To much sugar is never a good thing for your teeth or health. Limit sugary drinks and sticky sugary foods. Sugar can feed and create more plaque releasing acid, causing more destructive bacteria around orthodontic appliances. There are many more nooks and crannies for plaque to hide and build up, causing decay and weakened enamel in these areas.

Starch: Breads, crackers and anything flour can make a sticky paste in your mouth. Starch can really get into places and stick. After enjoying those pretzels and golf fish crackers, we highly suggest you brush and floss after.

Hard and crunchy: I love crunchy potato chips and admit that I would miss this the most while in braces. It is suggested to cut harder stuff into small pieces and to never bite down directly into crunchy or harder foods. Not only can you cut things up but you can substitute foods that you like for something less hard that you like. Thin lays potato chips are soft and instead of a hard candy, eat some milk chocolate.

Remember there are plenty of great foods you can eat, like cheese! Be mindful of what and how you eat it. Take extra good care of your teeth and braces with all the great cleaning tools that are available for people in orthodontic treatment.

Self Esteem and your smile

It takes twelve muscles to smile and 113 to frown. There are so many important moments in a persons life that begin with a smile. A beautiful and healthy smile can effect many aspects of ones appearance and personality.

If you have a great smile already, you might take it for granted. There are many people, including teens, that feel the need to hide their smile. When crooked teeth, staining or missing teeth are the case, self esteem can be greatly impacted by this. A wonderful smile is linked to good self esteem and good self esteem is linked to happiness.

Not just straight teeth, but healthy teeth also plays a role in how we feel about our smiles. People who avoid going to the dentist have higher rates of gum disease, missing teeth, staining and over all poor hygiene. You and your family need to make it a priority for regular dental check ups with cleaning. Physical health can be effected by gum disease along with feeling self conscious about the appearance of your smile.

How can you improve your smile and your families too?

  • Go to the dentist twice a year for exam and cleaning
  • Brush 2 to 3 times a day and of course floss. Having a flosser in a convenient place like your car or your favorite chair by the TV can increase the chance of you doing it.
  • Get orthodontic treatment for crowding, spacing and/or bite issues. Make sure to wear your retainer at night for life!
  • Whiten your teeth with the many products available.
  • Cosmetic dentistry is a great option for some people that have certain concerns about their smile. Choose a dentist that is certified in this area.

Feel better about yourself and give your child the gift of a beautiful and healthy smile!

Why? How? When? to use a rapid palatal expander (RPE)

Why a palatal expander:

An RPE is a great appliance that can be used in youth to correct some common bite issues.

  • Crowding – Not enough room for all of the permanent teeth to erupt in an ideal position. The upper jaw sometimes is very narrow, contributing to not enough space.
  • Impacted teeth – When there is not enough space, permanent teeth can become trapped and will not erupt ( come in ) without orthodontic help. Widening the upper jaw can create more space, giving teeth some more room to move.
  • Crossbites – Upper teeth should fit over the lower teeth, like a lid on a jar. A crossbite happens when one or more of the teeth in the upper jaw are on the inside or inward of the teeth in the lower jaw. Expansion of the upper jaw puts these teeth where they are suppose to be.

How does a palatal expander work?

Once bands are placed, a mold is taken and an the RPE appliance is made for the patient. Once glued into position, a key is given and instructions are given on how to turn and how many times to turn.

The upper jaw has a suture dividing it. Before puberty, it is possible to expand the upper jaw and push this suture apart. The RPE needs to stay in place for a good 4 to 6 months because new bone will grow into the space created. Each turn widens a very small distance, but over time, the palate becomes wider.

When is the best time to use a palatal expander?

The orthodontist likes to work with children’s natural growth. After an evaluation and a treatment plan are put together, the orthodontist will consider tooth and skeletal development along with growth spurts to determine the best treatment time for children. The majority of malocclusion’s ( bite problems ) are easiest to treat before a child hits puberty.

Sippy Cups and tooth decay

The connection to tooth decay and sippy cups is logical but yet it seems pacifiers and bottles get more of a bad wrap. Sippy cups were developed to transition from bottles to regular cups. When toddlers drink from these cups, they immerse the six front upper teeth in a drink that contains some sort of sugars. The convenience of these sippy cups leads children to sip on them throughout the day and all day long. This means sugars on the teeth for long periods of time which leads to the breakdown of enamel and cavities.

Even healthy juices and milks contain natural sugars that can decay these teeth. It is recommended that you give your child water throughout the day and only give other beverages at meal time. Like bottles, sippy cups should not be given when a child goes down for a nap or for the night. Sippy cups should be used as a transitional step for children, not as a long term solution for convenience.

This topic brings up a further point of getting young children to the dentist by 1 year of age. Pediatric dentists provide information on all topics for oral health care. Teaching parents important habits for their children and going over growth and development, an extremely important part of long term oral health. Dentists assess diet and feeding patterns that may contribute to tooth decay. Baby teeth are very important because they hold the place for permanent teeth and help guide them into correct position, so keeping these baby teeth healthy is very important.

We offer a free happy visit for children under the age of 3 years old if the child does not have dental insurance that covers regular check ups. Our pediatric dentists want to establish early care and prevention.

Click HERE for a link to Delta Dental and why they recommend your child see a pediatric dentist by the age of one!

Why does a child need a space maintainer?

A child may need a space maintainer due to the early loss of a tooth or teeth.

  • Trauma has caused the early loss of a tooth
  • Severe decay that has made the tooth nonrestorable
  • an abscess has formed and the tooth must be extracted
  • severe crowding is present and an orthodontist recommends an extraction(s)

Regardless of how a primary tooth has gone missing, it is important for the pediatric dentist or orthodontist to evaluate for a space maintainer. Teeth that are left without one will start to drift and possibly block out the permanent tooth below the gum.

There are both removable and fixed space maintainers. Our doctors prefer the fixed ones, so that they know they are placed securely for as long as needed. The location of the missing tooth and how many teeth are missing are the deciding factor in what type of space maintainer is needed. The patient is fitted and the appliance is sent to a lab to be made custom.

Space maintainers are cemented into proper position and children adjust quickly within a few days. Extra oral hygiene care is needed around the bands and your dental provider will go over these instructions. Space maintainers are checked at regular 6 month dental cleanings or at regular evaluations from your orthodontist. The doctors will let you know when the proper time to remove the space maintainer will be.


How teeth move with braces

Careful manipulation of force that is used to guide the teeth into a new and improved position is what allows orthodontics to move teeth. Together, the cells of the ligament, cementum and bone continually form and reform in response to the normal forces of the bite. Compression causes resorption (melting away or dissolving) of bone and cementum. Tension causes the cells to respond by depositing bone and cementum. Teeth have ligaments made from fibers. These fibers join to the root surfaces that are inserted into the cementum and on the other side of the ligament, the fibers insert into the bone. The total ligament is like a hammock that allows teeth to move in their sockets and to respond to stresses of biting forces.

Wires provide a force as it interacts with each specific bracket. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Each bracket is custom made for the particular tooth on which it’s supposed to fit. Brackets have small slots where we insert the wire and small elastic ties fit around the bracket to hold the wire in place.Pressure at the bracket produces pressure and tension at the root of the tooth, causing remodeling of bone and tooth movement. Elastics are worn at some point during orthodontic treatment, connecting from upper jaw to the lower jaw and creating force as well. Brackets, wires, and elastics work together to move teeth over time to achieve an optimal bite and beautiful smile.

Shark teeth?

We often get calls to our office with worried parents about their child’s permanent teeth coming in behind their baby teeth. Shark teeth (compared to a sharks two rows of teeth) are most common with lower incisors. This happens much more then you think and is nothing to be worried about.

As children grow in their permanent teeth, they dissolve the roots of the baby teeth. Once the root is close to being dissolved, the baby tooth becomes loose. These loose teeth eventually fall out and the adult tooth grows in its place.

With shark teeth, the root of the baby tooth doesn’t dissolve quickly enough or the permanent tooth forms behind the baby tooth. Most of the time the baby teeth will eventually become loose and fall out on their own. With this space now open, chances are great for the teeth to self correct and move forward.

Sometimes these baby teeth do not become loose and need to be extracted. An x ray may be needed to determine if any treatment is necessary. If your child’s regular check up is close, just wait and bring it up to the dentist at this visit. If your child’s dental check up is a ways away and you have given the baby teeth time to become loose and they haven’t, call us for a quick check.

Have your child give this area extra attention while brushing. Two rows of teeth leave even more places for plaque to accumulate and gingivitis can easily start. Having regular check ups with your child’s pediatric dentist is always important for prevention and overall oral health.