Dietrich & Hilliard Orthodontics

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What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems?

August 8th, 2012


Visibly crooked teeth are not the only reason to take your child into the orthodontist. There are some subtle things to look for as well, which may indicate the onset of more serious orthodontic issues. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to address if treated and corrected during a child's development.

Waiting until facial development is complete or until the permanent teeth have come in can make correction of many orthodontic issues more challenging. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic care at any age, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice.

If you're wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, there are some things you can be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common warning signs of orthodontic issues:

• Difficulty when chewing or biting
• Chronic mouth-breathing
• Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits that continue after the age of six
• Overbite - when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm
• Top front teeth that cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth while biting
• Underbite - when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth when biting
• Crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, misplaced teeth or extra teeth of any size
• Crossbite - when one or more teeth tilt toward the cheek or toward the tongue causing excessive stress on the jawbone
• The center of the top and bottom teeth don't line up
• Uneven teeth-wearing
• Baby teeth coming out too early for the child's age
• Pain in jaws
• Clicking in the jaw joints
• The jaw shifts off-center while chewing or biting
• A jaw that protrudes, or recedes, too much
• Difficulty speaking or enunciating clearly
• Chronic biting of the inner cheek or roof of the mouth
• Asymmetrical facial structure
• Grinding or clenching of the teeth

If you notice that either you or your child has one or more of these conditions, they could be signs that there is a risk of orthodontic or health problems. The sooner these problems are addressed, the wider and brighter you will be able to smile going forward!

-Independence Day Facts, Tips, and Party invitations!

July 2nd, 2012

It’s hard to believe, but July is already here and half of 2012 has already passed! As July 4th approaches, our team thought it would be fun to share some facts and safety tips for celebrating our country’s independence day.

Fun Facts:
• Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
• The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
• The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.’
• The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
• And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents. Check out American Fact Finder.

Safety Tips:
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• To prevent a trash fire, be sure to douse the spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose after fireworks complete their burning and before discarding them.
• Make sure fireworks are legal before buying or using them.

What are your plans this 4th of July? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you and the rest of the community will be doing to celebrate! (Don’t forget to make sure there are no restrictions on fireworks! Check out this link to see if fireworks might be an issue for you this year.)

Also, check out these 4th of July party invitations, eGreeting cards, and delicious recipes!

July 4th eCard invitations!

Happy Independence Day eCards

Independence Day Recipes

Photo by shawnajean
Photo by shawnajean

Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

June 27th, 2012



Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. What’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

Watermelon Sorbet

Ingredients
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind
Directions
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Happy Summer!

Orthodontic Emergency? We can help!

June 22nd, 2012


True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment with our office.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you get in to see us…

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:

Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it’s worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

June 15th, 2012




The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.


Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.


Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!


Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

Dr. Keith Hilliard, helping you save face in April

March 29th, 2010

Dr. Hilliard and our team have blogged about the advantage of wearing a mouth guard when playing sports in the past, and we thought a reminder today wouldn’t hurt. You see, April - wich is only two days away - happens to be National Facial Protection Month, and it’s a good time to remind our young athletes about staying safe on the field this spring. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults will have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events this year. By simply wearing a properly fitted mouth guard, these accidents could prevent this along with other traumatic facial injuries.

The above video from our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists outlines five ways you can protect yourself this spring. If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our team. And remember to stay safe and have fun this spring!

What Do You Love About Hilliard Orthodontics?

December 1st, 2009

From your very first visit to Hilliard Orthodontics, Dr. Hilliard and his team strive to provide superior treatment in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Have you been especially impressed by Dr. Hilliard? Did our team go out of their way to make your day? Do you love your new smile?

Whether you’ve just come in for a consultation or your family has been visiting our office for generations, we’d love to hear your feedback on our networks. Or, you can tell us by giving us a call!

Thank you,
The team at Hilliard Orthodontics

Happy Thanksgiving from Hilliard Orthodontics!

November 25th, 2009

Dr. Hilliard and team would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. It's a big food holiday, so be careful what you eat! If you have any stories or pictures to share with us, we'd encourage you to send them along or call our offices and ask how.

Gobble Gobble!

Dr. Hilliard and team want to know: What are you up to in November?

November 19th, 2009

Believe it or not, we’re almost in full holiday mode! But before you go celebrating, Dr. Hilliard and and team want to know: What are you doing this month? Anything exciting happening in your life? If so, Hilliard Orthodontics would love to hear all about it!

You can share your stories with us here, on our social networks or by giving us a call!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season, from Dr. Hilliard

November 12th, 2009

Traditionally cold and flu season starts in Fall, but this year it seems to have started much earlier and with the number of patients canceling appointments because of flu and H1N1 symptoms our office is taking additional precautions to help prevent the spread of germs.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, we give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces.

For the protection of other patients and staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

Maintaining and protecting oral hygiene equipment is also important this flu season. To protect your toothbrush from bacteria follow these steps:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace toothbrush after every cold or flu or every 3-4 months when bristles appear worn

Hope this helps! Stay healthy!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions...Answered!

September 30th, 2009

We get a lot of questions about oral health and treatment, so we wanted to answer a few for everyone to see!

“How will my child benefit from orthodontic treatment?"

Properly positioned teeth are much easier to care for and clean. Correction of the bite, in addition to helping with improved chewing and speech, also plays and important role in reducing future wear of the teeth and stress on the supporting bone and jaw joints. Aesthetics and good-function also can improve a person's self-image!

“I have always been afraid that it will hurt to have braces. Do patients have really sore mouths while they are having orthodontic treatment?”

The orthodontic techniques and appliances used today are the most comfortable ever! Many of Dr. Hilliard's patients report that they had absolutely NO discomfort during their treatment. Dr. Hilliard also provides 24/7 emergency coverage for all of his patients (and even gives you his home phone number when you start treatment!) We're only a phone call away if you need us!

“I don’t see a list of insurance companies on your website, so what is the best way I can find out if you work with my insurance provider?”

Our office is very "insurance friendly" and we pride ourselves on helping each patient and family maximize their insurance benefits! Nan is our insurance expert and she will be happy to talk with you about the plan you have and the benefits you can expect.

Do you have other questions? Ask them in the comments section!

Summer Word Scramble Contest WINNER!

September 23rd, 2009

Allie was the Grand Prize Winner of our "Summer Word Scramble" Contest which ended August 20th! She successfully unscrambled all of the words throughout the summer months and won a $100 Back-To-School Gift certificate to Areopostle. Be sure and watch for our next office contest beginning in October!

Congratulations Allie!

--Hilliard Orthodonics

The Myths and Facts of Orthodontics

September 10th, 2009

There are quite a few myths about orthodontists circulating around. Before you buy into those myths, you should get the facts! We came across a great site that helps set the record straight. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have some excellent information on the myths and facts of orthodontists, check them out today!

Hope this helps,

--Dr. Hilliard

Dr. Hilliard answering all your burning questions about mouthwash

September 2nd, 2009

While mouthwash is not an alternative to regular brushing and flossing, it can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. There are several different types of mouthwashes available, and all of them will help do different things for your smile. The most common types of mouthwashes are:

• Fluoride - fluoride is the most used type of mouthwash available, and is used to strengthen the enamel of the teeth while preventing cavities and tooth decay.

• Antiseptic - an antiseptic mouthwash is used to kill bacteria and germs in the mouth. Most commonly used before and after a dental surgery, antiseptic mouthwashes can also help to fight gum disease, and halitosis (chronic bad breath). Antiseptic mouthwashes can affect your sense of taste and may stain the teeth, so it is recommended that you consult your dentist before using this type of mouthwash.

• Combination - a combination mouthwash is designed to help prevent tooth decay, freshen the breath, and maintain the health of your smile.

• Prescription - for patients with gum disease, or any signs of gum disease, you may need a prescription mouthwash. Prescription mouthwashes, like Peridex of PerioGard, are used to treat gingivitis, and other forms of decay.

There are also many different brands of mouthwash. Some common brands include:

• Scope
• Listerine
• Act
• Crest
• Tom’s of Maine (all-natural)
• Plax (anti-plaque rinse)
• Breath Rx
• Orajel
• Targon (special mouthwash made for smokers)
• Rembrandt (whitening mouthwash)

If you are curious about which kind of mouthwash would work best for you, be sure to ask Dr. Hilliard at your next dental appointment. If you have a favorite mouthwash, let us know by posting a comment for others to read!

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush, from Dr. Hilliard

July 24th, 2009

You know your toothbrush is a vital tool for the proper care of your teeth – but do you know the best way to take care of your toothbrush? Following are some guidelines for toothbrush care from Dr. Hilliard:

One toothbrush should have one owner.

If you share your toothbrush, you could also be sharing bodily fluids and bacteria, increasing your risk of infection.

Toothbrushes need privacy, too.

For the same reason, when storing brushes, make sure they are placed in such a way that they can't touch each other.

Give your toothbrush some space.

Keep your brush in a clean, well-ventilated spot and make sure it has time to dry in between uses. Keeping your toothbrush in a closed, moist space regularly can encourage the growth of germs.

Showering is good for your toothbrush.

Before and after each use, rinse your toothbrush under running water to eliminate excess toothpaste and other residue. Rub your fingers along the bristles – but only after washing your hands; no use substituting one set of germs for another. When you're finished, shake out the brush to accelerate drying.

Let your toothbrush indulge in a nice bath.

You may be able to reduce the amount of bacteria on your brush by soaking it in anti-bacterial mouthwash after each use.

Don't get too attached to your toothbrush.

Swap your old toothbrush for a new one at least as often as every three to four months. Keep an eye out for frayed bristles and replace sooner if necessary. The more worn the bristles, the less effective brushing is. Of course, if you've been sick with the flu, a cold, or a mouth infection, say goodbye to your toothbrush and move on to a new, germ-free one immediately.

Beware of too-good-to-be-true toothbrush-cleaning products.

Some products profess to being designed to "sanitize" your toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no conclusive evidence that these products provide any particular benefit to your health. The ADA also encourages consumers to be wary of products claiming to "sterilize" your toothbrush, as there is currently no data to support such claims.

Don't trust Aunt Minnie's toothbrush-cleaning advice.

Although they certainly mean well, and they're clearly creative, your friends and relatives with home-cooked ideas about cleaning toothbrushes may not be the safest sources of information. Dishwashers, microwaves, and boiling water are no substitute for simply buying a new brush – and in fact could damage your brush, rendering it less effective.

Remember – what's good for the toothbrush is good for the teeth!

--Dr. Hilliard

Cardiodontics: The Heart Mouth Connection from Dr. Hilliard

June 29th, 2009


If you have been told you have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease or periodontitis), you're not alone. An estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of the disease! Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Research is also pointing to health effects of periodontal diseases that go well beyond your mouth. So we at Dr. Hilliard want to let you know some interesting facts and ways to treat the disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

"Perio" means around, and "dontal" refers to teeth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums and the bones that hold the teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis – an infection of the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved, including the bone. Bacteria that live and reproduce on the teeth and gums cause periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Symptoms may include the following:
--redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth or using dental floss
--halitosis, or bad breath
--gum recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth
--"pockets" between the teeth and gums indicating that the bone which holds the teeth in the mouth is dissolving
--loose teeth
Gum inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Hence, people may wrongly assume that painless bleeding after teeth cleaning is insignificant, although this may be a symptom of progressing periodontitis. If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it's normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss.

Periodontal Disease Affects Your Health

Periodontal disease is a putrid, festering infection of the mouth. Bacteria and inflammatory particles can enter the bloodstream through ulcerated and bleeding gums and travel to the heart and other organs. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:
--Heart disease: Gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
--Stroke: Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke caused by blocked arteries
--Diabetes: People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
--Premature births: A woman who has gum diseases during pregnancy may be more likely deliver her baby too early and the infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.

Combating Periodontal Disease

--See your dentist! See your dentist every six months for a checkup! Regular professional cleanings and checkups make you feel good, look good, and could be a lifesaver!
--Brush and floss daily. Take your time and do it right!
--Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Daily use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash helps to disinfect the teeth and gums, and reduces the number of bacteria.
--Straighten your teeth. Crowded teeth are nearly impossible to keep clean. Orthodontic treatment can greatly reduce inflammation and periodontal disease.

--Dr. Hilliard

More Interesting Information On Sour Candies from Dr. Hilliard

May 22nd, 2009


It’s no secret that sweet, sugary candies and drinks have an adverse effect of the health of your smile, but what about sour or tart candies? We at Dr. Hilliard's office thought you might want to know what kind of an effect does eating or drinking something sour have on my smile?

Recent research from the Minnesota Dental Association suggests that the amount of acid in sour candies is enough to eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Here are a few souring facts about sour candies, and some helpful tips on how to protect your teeth from Dr. Hilliard(even if you cannot give up sour candies all together).

Facts

-Sour candies can be very acidic, and may actually burn the gums and cheeks, while weakening and wearing down the enamel on your teeth. (Check the acid levels in some of your favorite candies)

-It can take almost 20 minutes for the acid in sour candies to become neutral. Holding the acid in your mouth by sucking on sour hard candies or chewing sour gummies can keep the acid active for more than 20 minutes.

-The acid in sour candies can cause cavities and severe tooth decay.

Protect your teeth

-Limit the amount of sour candies that you eat on a daily basis, and if you do indulge, remember not to suck or chew on sour candies for long periods of time.

-After eating sour candies, rinse your mouth out with water, drink milk, or eat a couple slices of cheese. This will help neutralize the acid in your mouth (wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, as this can actually increase the effects of acid on your teeth)

-If tooth erosion has already begun, ask your dentist about ways you can help reduce sensitivity and continue to protect your teeth.

Hope this helps! From Dr. Hilliard's office.

Take This Fun Soda Pop Quiz From Dr. Hilliard

May 15th, 2009


We at Dr. Hilliard's office want to know, where does all that soda pop go?

On average, the typical person consumes over 50 gallons of soda pop per year! The amount of acid and sugar found in a can of soda can cause serious tooth decay and lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss!

We at Dr. Hilliard's office know that you don’t want to lose your teeth, so take the soda pop quiz, presented by the Minnesota Dental Association, and learn more about how to keep your smile healthy.

It’s a fun interactive quiz, so enjoy! From Dr. Hilliard.

Adults Improve Your Dental Health With Orthodontics From Hilliard Orthodontics

April 30th, 2009


Like the millions of adults who have already completed orthodontic treatment, the current one million adult orthodontic patients in the U.S. and Canada are looking forward to improved dental health and beautiful smiles. Dr. Hilliard wants you to know that age need not be a consideration in orthodontic treatment; healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age.

With longer life expectancies than previous generations, and a greater awareness among adults that teeth can last a lifetime, today's adults are taking better care of their teeth, as evidenced in a survey released by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. This study showed that the number of people ages 55-64 with missing teeth has dropped by 60 percent since 1960.

Orthodontics can improve the overall health of teeth and their supporting structures, leading to a properly aligned and functioning bite. By aligning your teeth, orthodontic treatment makes it easier to remove plaque – a colorless, sticky film of bacteria, food particles and saliva that constantly forms in the mouth. Plaque feeds on sugars and starches to form an acid that endangers teeth and gums. With proper alignment, the likelihood that your teeth will last for a lifetime is increased.

Orthodontic technology has come a long way in the past few decades. The major advances in orthodontic tools and techniques mean that the options for adult patients are far greater than ever before. And adults – just like teens and pre-teens – can benefit dramatically from the enhanced self-esteem that comes with a confident smile.

If you’re considering straightening your teeth, give us a call at Dr. Hilliard's Office and come in for a consultation to discuss your options.

Nifty "Eggs"periment from Hilliard Orthodontics

April 21st, 2009


Summer is near. If the little ones aren’t at camp, you may run out of ideas to keep them occupied. Why not use a fun and simple science experiment to focus their attention for a while? At Dr. Hilliard's office, we found one that includes a lesson about why it’s important to brush teeth to make plaque go away.

Gather the items you will need for this experiment:

* 1 hard-boiled egg with the shell on
* 12 ounces of Coke, Pepsi or other dark-colored cola
* 1 container large enough to hold the cola and egg
* 1 plastic bowl
* 1 toothbrush
* 1 drop of fluoride toothpaste
* Clean-up supplies

Explain to your child that plaque is a sticky layer of germs that collects on her teeth. If she doesn’t brush, plaque can cause serious problems for her teeth, for example holes in the teeth (cavities) or swollen gums (gingivitis). Tell her that you are going to do an experiment to see how plaque coats her teeth, and why brushing twice a day is important for healthy teeth and gums.

Conduct the experiment:

1. Make the comparison between the white color of the egg and the white color of your child's teeth.

2. Place the egg into the container and pour the cola over it, so that it completely covers the egg.

3. Let the egg sit in the cola for 24 hours.

4. Remove the egg from the cola. The egg will be stained and yellowish.
5. Explain to your child that the colored layer that has appeared on top of the eggshell is just like the layer of plaque that occurs on her teeth.

6. Place the egg in the plastic bowl and give your child the toothbrush with the drop of toothpaste on it.

7. Let her brush the "plaque" off of the egg. The yellowish film will disappear, exposing the white eggshell. Explain that the same thing happens when she brushes her teeth.

--Hilliard Orthodontics

Soft Drinks -- Trouble For Your Teeth: What you can do to quit the bubbly from Dr. Hilliard

April 8th, 2009


At Dr. Hilliard's office, we know that when you sit down to dinner or grab a sandwich for lunch, you wouldn’t have a side of nine teaspoons of sugar. But that’s exactly what you’re taking in when you pair a meal with a 12-ounce can of soda pop.

Soft drinks are a poor choice for your overall health, since they have no nutritional value, and they contain sugar and caffeine. And when it comes to your teeth, soft drinks can cause big trouble. The steep servings of sugar create the perfect condition for cavities to form, while the phosphoric and citric acids in soda pop can erode and weaken your enamel – the outer coating on your teeth – making it tougher for your teeth to withstand the onslaught of sugar.

Both the Canadian and American Dental Associations recommend limiting your intake of soft drinks. And if you do occasionally indulge in a fizzy beverage, it’s a good idea to drink it with a straw, to reduce exposure to your teeth. Brushing your teeth afterward, or at least swishing with water, can help remove the sugar from your teeth.

Having trouble cutting back? Try these tricks to help wean yourself from a steady diet of soft drinks:

--Don’t quit cold turkey: Start by swapping one soda each day with an alternate drink, preferably water. Gradually increase your swaps until you’re down to one soft drink a day, then one every two days, then one a week, and so on.
--Switch to tea: If you’re looking for a source of caffeine, tea is much healthier than soda pop. Just remember not to add nine teaspoons of sugar to it.
--Switch to seltzer: If it’s the fizz or the flavor you’re after, try a sugar-free flavored water or seltzer.
--Remember your goals: If you’re wavering in your commitment to cut back on soda pop, remember the health problems it can cause.
--Be patient: Adjusting a habit doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to change your diet.

Have more questions? Let us know at Dr. Hilliard's Office!

Everybody's Brushing With Dr. HIlliard

April 1st, 2009

These days everybody is brushing their teeth. Here's a fun video Dr. Hilliard found to show your kids and teach them about the importance of oral hygiene!

Gummy Tummy--Dr. Hilliard

March 25th, 2009


We know the rumors going around – mostly among young people – that once you swallow a piece of chewing gum it will stake a claim and take up residency in your stomach for at least seven years! We really hate to take all the fun out of the mystery, but the truth is that chewing gum, when swallowed, will enter the stomach and move through the digestive system just like any other piece of food and leave the body long before seven years! So, if you ever have accidentally swallowed a piece of gum, there is no need to worry!

This being said, gum does not have any dietary benefits, so while it’s not harmful to swallow, you still want to avoid swallowing it. If you are a gum-chewer, make sure you chew sugarless gum, because gum with sugar can lead to cavities. Sugarless gum still has the same amount of flavor, but with less cavity causing ingredients. You see, when the bacterium in your mouth breaks down sugar, what’s left behind is acid. This acid eats away at the enamel coating of your teeth, causing holes that we call cavities. Cavities can lead to other long term mouth problems if they are not treated in time, so it is best to try and avoid overexposing your teeth to too many harmful substances!

--From Dr. Keith Hilliard

Marvelous Molasses Cookies for Dr. Hilliard's Patients

March 18th, 2009

The wisdom of the ages tells us that necessity is the mother of invention. Brenda Waterman, age thirteen, offers new proof of this proverb. When getting braces mandated cutting a list of foods out of her diet – including her much-loved treat of caramel apples – she devised a work-around recipe that let her indulge her craving. This clever replacement for caramel apples was the inspiration for The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You (And Your Orthodontist) Will Love, which Brenda created along with her mom, Pam Waterman.

Anyone with braces knows that it's important to avoid sticky foods, crunchy foods, hard foods, chewy foods, and so on. It's easy to look at the list and think, "What can I eat?" The Watermans' new book tackles that question with creative and thorough answers in the form of 50 braces-friendly recipes, plus additional tips and advice – enough to reassure any doubter.

Neatly divided into chapters such as Definitely Deserved Desserts and Be-Nice-To-Me Beverages, The Braces Cookbook offers a broad assortment of recipes from main courses and sides to breakfasts and snacks. An all-around guide, the book also offers suggestions for packing lunches, preparing quick meals, and handling parties and restaurants, where the food selection isn't under your control. There's even a section of tips for dealing with the soreness that can arise in teeth and gums when braces are adjusted.

Purchase The Braces Cookbook for your kitchen, and pick up an extra copy or two – they make great gifts!

Get a sneak peak with the following recipes:

Marvelous Molasses Cookies

They smell wonderful even before baking, they melt in your mouth, and they never harden up. Yum – the best of gingerbread and ginger snaps in one!

* 1 cup shortening
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1/2 cup warm water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp ginger
* 2 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baking time 11 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine shortening, brown sugar, egg, salt and molasses, using an electric mixer and beating until fluffy. Add cinnamon and ginger. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir the baking soda into the warm water; add water mixture to the molasses mixture alternately with the flour until well blended.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about four dozen. Store in a covered container.

Enjoy from Dr. Hilliard!

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