Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Countdown!

It seems like the month of November has really flown by! Thanksgiving is just a week away and we’re all looking forward to time with family and friends – not to mention all of the delicious food! While some holidays spotlight foods that might traditionally be a challenge to manage when you have braces, Thanksgiving is typically filled with foods that are braces approved!

If you’re looking to add a new side dish or two to your Thanksgiving table this year, we’ve found two contenders that will not only look spectacular but might also become a new favorite for your family. Both of these would be perfect to bring to a potluck meal since they can both be assembled in advance and each takes less than 30 minutes to heat.  

Maple Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Place whole sweet potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover and one teaspoon of salt. Heat to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook just until cranberries pop, typically about 5 minutes.
When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, overlapping slices if necessary. Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until hot.
Green Bean Cheddar Casserole
  • 3 lbs. green beans
  • 2 cups stale bread
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepot of salted water to boil. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse bread into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil and sliced green onions. Toss to combine and set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until all cornstarch is dissolved. Add nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. Heat slowly over medium heat, and slowly whisk in remaining 2 cups of milk. Allow sauce to boil for 2 minutes, keep whisking! Reduce heat to low, and add in cheeses one handful at a time, waiting until cheese melts before adding the next handful. Once all cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, remove from heat. Toss with green beans until well coated with sauce. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish until ready to bake.
When ready to bake:
Sprinkle reserved breadcrumb mixture over green beans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Recipe Swaps:
·         To save time, purchase fresh green beans in a microwaveable bag and skip the boiling all together!
·         Use your favorite store-bought breadcrumbs to save additional time in lieu of making them yourself. Panko breadcrumbs are also an excellent substitution, adding even more crunch to the topping of this dish.


We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! All of us at Wentz Orthodontics are thankful for each and every patient we’ve had the pleasure of serving. Now, what are you going to make with all of the leftovers?


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Out With The Old & In With The New

With cold and flu season starting, germs seem to be lurking everywhere! While it’s difficult to avoid catching the office cold or flu bug, you can help keep your number one oral hygiene accessory in great shape by replacing your toothbrush regularly. Toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean, but how long should you a keep a toothbrush? It is recommended that you switch out that old toothbrush for a fresh new one every 3 to 4 months, and directly after any cold or flu. Replacing your toothbrush is essential since they are constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush have become worn, that is a clear sign that you need a new toothbrush. People who wear braces will likely need to replace their toothbrushes frequently, as braces break down and fracture bristles which makes the toothbrush lose its effectiveness.

It's helpful to keep a pack of toothbrushes available in the house at all times for easy replacement. You may be thinking "My toothbrush is fine, I have it broken in just the way I like it”. While that could be true, did you know that your old toothbrush could actually be harming your mouth?

3 Reasons to Change Out Your Old Toothbrush
1.     Bacteria - Your toothbrush is a tool for removing bacteria from your teeth…but it doesn’t actually kill bacteria. Some of the bacteria from your teeth stay on your toothbrush after you are done brushing. Now, this isn’t a problem initially, but imagine three to four months of bacteria build up on your toothbrush. That old bacteria ridden toothbrush is in your mouth at least twice a day…yuck.
2.     Bristles - Like any tool, a toothbrush wears down. Worn bristles are tough on your enamel and can wear it away over time. Not only that… an old, worn toothbrush can be up to 95 percent less effective at removing plaque.
3.     Illness - Always change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, even if it’s not “technically” time to switch out your toothbrush. Germs and bacteria in your mouth require you to brush twice a day, every day.
If you feel like changing your toothbrush every three months is wasteful, we’ve got a solution! Put that old toothbrush to work doing odd jobs around the house. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning around facet fixtures and tile grout. They can even be used to clean tools, computer keyboards, and tennis shoes! Make sure to mark your calendar as a reminder to replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months. If you need a few tips on keeping your smile in tip-top shape, make sure to ask at your next appointment at Wentz Orthodontics.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Four Flavorful Fall Smoothies

With Fall in full swing and with it the hectic holidays just a step further down the road, we thought we’d put together a list of a few fall-themed smoothies that can serve as a great (and easy!) breakfast or after school snack.

Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
If you’re a pumpkin fan, this smoothie is for you! While pumpkin is a trendy item, especially this time of year, what you might not know is pumpkin has both fiber and protein which makes for a healthy and filling smoothie.

  • 2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup ice

Helpful tip: If you’re finding that you have several over ripened bananas that you aren’t able to eat in time, toss them in a freezer bag! Frozen bananas are the perfect addition to smoothies and help make preparation even easier for those hectic weekday mornings. 

Cranberry, Pear, & Orange Smoothie
That’s quite a mouthful, and trust us, you’ll love this nutrient-packed smoothie!  It chocked full of filling fiber from the pear, Vitamin C from the orange, and antioxidants from the cranberries. If you’re using whole cranberries for the first time, this smoothie might be a bit tart! Add a bit of extra honey to tone down the tart zing.

  • ¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pear, core removed & chopped
  • 1 small orange
  • ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Feeling adventurous? Add in any of the items below to give this smoothie even MORE flavor!

  • A handful of fresh spinach
  • A frozen or fresh banana
  • A few frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango, or pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Caramel Apple Smoothie
This smoothie is a great alternative to the traditional sticky treat and delivers all of the delicious flavor! Smoothie staples Greek yogurt and almond milk add filling protein and frozen banana adds plenty of sweetness.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼  tsp caramel extract
  • Caramel sauce & cinnamon for topping

Recipe swap: This recipe is very adaptable - the trick is to use what you have! Experiment with different types of milk and yogurt. If you don’t have caramel extract on hand, add a bit of caramel sauce right to the blender! Many of the applesauce pouches that are so popular with kids come in fun flavors too. The options are endless, have some fun with it!

Green Monster Smoothie
When you are ready to move on from using spinach in your green smoothies, Swiss chard is a great next step. Swiss chard has a delicate flavor and softer leaves that blend well in most blenders. It is actually in the same family (amaranthaceae) as spinach and beets!

  • 2-3 cups Swiss chard, destemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tart green apple, chopped
  • 1 medium whole grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup white cranberry juice or water
  • 2 cups ice

This recipe makes plenty, so freeze individual portions for those extra hectic mornings!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Braces For Kids

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an orthodontic evaluation at the age of 7. This is the recommended age because typically the first of the adult teeth appear, and when some of the more important problems of dental development can require treatment. Treatment for young children is usually aimed at dealing with functional problems that immediately threaten the health of the teeth. The conditions that we treat in early childhood are problems of tooth eruption, crossbite, overcrowding, jaw growth problems, snoring, thumb sucking, tongue thrust and open bite.

Orthodontic issues can develop very early in childhood, which is why early treatment is important for a number of specific conditions to prevent damage to the adult teeth or to limit the effects of a developing growth problem. One of our guiding principles at Wentz Orthodontics is to keep the amount of treatment required to produce a great smile to an absolute minimum. For more information on orthodontic treatment for children, click here to visit our website or give us a call.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Process Of Clear Smiles


Whether you’re considering Invisalign treatment for yourself or someone else, knowing more about the entire process can help you be more confident in your decision to choose Invisalign.


During your initial consultation, you and Dr. Wentz will discuss your concerns in detail to determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign. We will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which will be used to create a digital 3-D image. From these images, Dr. Wentz will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth and tell you the approximate length of treatment. While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately 12 to 18 months.

Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners is then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won't
irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear your aligners throughout the day and remove them when you eat or brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place.

Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with our office, usually only every six weeks or so. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment.

Wentz Orthodontics is an Elite Top 1% Provider for Invisalign.  This means that Wentz Orthodontics is part of the top 1% of all North American Invisalign providers and are among the most experienced. We have worked hard to provide our patients with the best Invisalign care for adults and teens, allowing us to become the only office in the south plains region to have the Top 1% provider designation. If you have any questions regarding the Invisalign process please contact our office today.


Monday, August 14, 2017

August Recipe

Here is everything you need to know to make your own rainbow smoothie! Enjoy!

Ingredients

RED LAYER
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • water or liquid for blending
ORANGE LAYER
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • water or liquid for blending
YELLOW LAYER
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • water or liquid for blending
GREEN LAYER
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 handful (or more) spinach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • water or liquid for blending
BLUE LAYER
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • small amount of blue food coloring
  • water or liquid for blending
PURPLE LAYER
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • water or liquid for blending
MAGENTA LAYER
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup sliced beets
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries
FOR EACH SMOOTHIE
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid to help it blend if it's too thick.
Transfer the smoothie to a bowl or container, rinse the blender and prep the next smoothie.

TO ASSEMBLE THE RAINBOW SMOOTHIE
Carefully layer each color smoothie in glasses in rainbow order. If desired, blend the smoothie using a straw or stir stick. Top each smoothie with a toothpick filled with leftover fruit.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Is There An Age Limit For Braces?

Braces do the job of straightening teeth, regardless of age. More common than ever these days, you see adults wearing braces, and when you do, one question instantly pops into your head - do braces work for adults? The answer is YES. In fact, adults aged 20 to 40 years represent at least 40 percent of the population of people wearing braces. The reason why so many current adults skipped wearing braces during their youth is that they often feared of being bullied and teased because back in the 80's and 90's, braces we not as aesthetically pleasing as they are now. Trust us, braces have evolved since then now more than ever adults are wearing braces or aligners to get a picture perfect smile.

Nowadays, wearing braces has become more socially acceptable, affordable, and routine for our adult patients. We even have patients with close to straight teeth that want to try out braces just too perfect minor flaws. Adults can skip the traditional metal braces and opt for Invisalign clear aligners, ceramic braces, or other less obvious orthodontic treatment when being seen at Wentz Orthodontics.

For more information about braces for adults, you can always contact Wentz Orthodontics located in Lubbock, TX.