Thursday, December 18, 2014

Every Relationship Takes Work

...and the relationship between you and your Braces is no different.

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You and your braces will become besties over the upcoming months.  There will be some bad days, but there will be good days too. And if you stick with it and work through those bad days, the good days will be that much better. 

To prevent any ill feelings between you and your braces we recommend...

  • Avoiding sticky or hard foods. You don’t want to do anything that could cause your bestie harm. And even though it may seem like the best foods are the foods that are sticky and/or hard…sticky or hard foods can break a bracket or wire. 
  • Chewing with your back teeth. Taking a large bite of food with your front teeth can leave your braces vulnerable to damage. Cut large foods into pieces and use your back teeth to chew. 
  • Flossing. We know that it can be a pain to floss around your braces…your braces may even fight you on it.  But flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. If you find flossing with braces difficult, don’t give up on it. There are tools that can help. Ask us about Floss Threaders. Floss Threaders definitely make flossing with braces much easier. 
  • Smoothing things over. When you first get your braces, sore spots may develop on your cheeks. To protect your cheeks, place wax on the bracket or wire. Rinsing with warm salt water several times a day is also very soothing to your gum and cheek tissues. Don’t worry…the soreness from your braces won’t last long, so try your best not to get mad at your braces.  
You and your braces will go through a lot together. When all is said and done, you’ll smile at yourself in the mirror one day, remembering your braces fondly and you'll know that the relationship was totally worth it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Life With Braces: Frosty's Untold Story

It's a little known fact...but a fact none the less. 
Frosty the Snowman wore braces (as pictured below).

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We all know that Frosty is a jolly happy soul, but what we didn't know is that he wasn't always that way. Growing up, Frosty felt very self-conscious about his smile. He never smiled in photos and always put his hand over his mouth when he talked. And forget about selfies...Frosty didn't dare take a selfie for fear a being made fun of by the other snowmen in his town.

But that all changed the day his mom took him for an initial consultation at his local orthodontic office. "It was made very clear to me, that I could have the smile I always dreamed of, in a short amount of time with high-tech, light-force brackets and wires that create less pressure and are more comfortable...Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity." 

Frosty (Before) Provided by

Shortly after his initial consultation, the orthodontist placed Damon Brackets on Frosty's teeth. "Treatment time went by so fast, and I had fewer appointments due to the Damon System's innovative technology", says Frosty. "This was important to me as I have a very busy schedule and can really only go outdoors four months out of the year."

Frosty (After) Photo Provided by

Today, Frosty is the jolly happy soul with two eyes made out of coal that we have all come to know and love...and he owes it all to his orthodontist and Damon System Braces.

If you have always dreamed of smiling with confidence, schedule you initial consultation with Dr. Lenz today. Dr. Lenz and his team specialize in the Damon System and will work with you to achieve a magical smile!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Happened to November?

Doesn't it seem like we lose November each year? Going right from Halloween and jumping in Christmas. Where did November go? When did we decide to stop caring about November?

We asked around...and for the most part everyone said that the reason they go from Halloween to Christmas is because Thanksgiving decorations are boring. 

Well, well, well...we think it's high time we put November back on the calendar. So for all of you out there that say there aren't enough decor ideas for Thanksgiving...try these on for size.

Creative Cornucopias
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A cornucopia is a must have item during the month of November. You can fill them with just about anything.  The best part about making a cornucopia is that everything you need to make it look amazing can be found at your local craft store. One stop shopping for a huge wow factor during the month of November. How can you go wrong? You can't.

Amazing TableScapes
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Fall themed tablescapes are not only gorgeous, but warm and inviting. And the colors during fall are some of the best colors around. A tablescape designed using the warm rich tones of fall just scream, "Please...come in and sit awhile". Long runners, garlands and candles are all you really need to take your ordinary dining table from just alright to outta sight!

Marvelous Mantles
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Talk about warm and cozy...fall is definitely the time to snuggle up next to a fire. Why not have a mantel that makes your guests stop and take notice? Grape vine, twigs, wheat, flowers, name it. Get creative. And really, let's be honest...whoever said less is more, probably didn't have a marvelous fireplace mantel for the fall.

So come on everybody...
if we all do it together, we can bring November back!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Spirit of Giving

This is the time of year when we all start to think about what we are truly thankful for. Something about the holiday season makes us take a look at our lives and we begin to appreciate everything we have. We also begin to realize how lucky we are and then consider those that may not be that lucky.

The holidays bring out the giver in all of us. 
Why not give back, if we can? And what better time than this time of year?
Saturday, November 29th is Racine's Stuff the Sleigh 5K Event. Proceeds from this event go towards helping the Racine County Food Pantry

Dr. Lenz's office will be there. Some of us may be walking, others of us may be running, but all of us know that we are going to have a blast!

If you are interested in participating in in the fun...the run starts at 10:00am.
Let's all come together and stuff the Food Bank before the holiday rush! 
Every little bit helps.

Monday, November 17, 2014

We're Instagrammer's Now

Social Media...who knew?
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It seems like only yesterday when we posted our first blog for the world to see...but it was actually 1 year ago. Can you believe it?

We were excited to have an outlet to keep our patients, their families and their friends up to date on all of the new and amazing things happening at Lenz Orthodontics. And we think our Blog and our FaceBook Page have been great at doing what we were trying to achieve. 

But as Sue Ellen reminds us..."Times, they are a changin'." That said, Lenz Orthodontics now has an Instagram Account! Follow Us to see awesome photos of our patients and all of the fun activities that we do around the office and throughout our community. And who knows...maybe there may even be exciting contests coming your way very soon!
Lenz Orthodontics Instagram

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Affording Braces...No Money Tree Needed

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Quality orthodontic care is about more than just aesthetics, a mouth that is crowded or contains crooked teeth can hamper your overall dental health. And let’s face it…most people aren’t born with straight teeth and a perfect bite. 

Braces can correct moderately to severely crooked teeth, as well as underbites and overbites. Having crowded or crooked teeth can inhibit good brushing and flossing, making it harder to keep teeth and gums healthy. Furthermore, severe overbites or underbites left uncorrected can cause jaw pain. Proper orthodontic treatment can prevent you and/or your child from experiencing mouth pain or discomfort later in life, not to mention, promote better self-confidence. 

Some people hesitate to get braces because paying for them can be surprisingly difficult.  For most families, paying for braces can be a significant investment. That investment can become even larger when multiple family members need braces. At Lenz Orthodontics our goal is to provide you and your family with affordable, high-quality orthodontic treatment that fits your budget. That's why we offer competitive pricing with a variety of payment options, including a no-down-payment option, interest-free monthly payment plans, credit card payments and outside financing. 

The cost of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the length and complexity of your treatment.  But with some smart planning and budgeting the cost for orthodontic treatment will be easier to manage. 

Get Covered - If you don’t have dental insurance, look into plans that include orthodontics. A good resource to help you get started is

Know Your Insurance Policy - If you have health insurance, it may include dental treatment, and possibly, orthodontic treatment. So contact your insurance company to check your benefits. 

Establish a Payment Plan - Most orthodontists offer monthly payment plans extended over the time of treatment with no interest or other charges.

Consider Credit – In many cases, the fee for orthodontic treatment can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. 

While braces can be a significant investment, understanding the various payment options available can help families to finance orthodontic treatment while looking forward to a bright future with a beautiful smile.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spook-tacular Ideas

Halloween is tomorrow people! Are you ready?

While many of you might be totally and completely prepared for the festivities tomorrow, others of you may have saved everything until the last minute. And for those "why do today, what I can put off until tomorrow" people...this blog is for you. 

You at Lenz Orthodontics, we are all about helping those in need, be it through posting about eating and oral hygiene tips or through posting last minute DIY ideas for a great Halloween party...we've got your back.

Scary Seating
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In need of some scary decor? White sheets will do the trick in a pinch. And you have to admit, there's something to be said for furniture covered in white sheets...It's scary and practical at the same time.

Fun Focal Points
Photo Provided by inspiringpretty

No one really knows why, but things in jars submerged in tinted water are super scary. Turn your home into Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory in an instant. Put just about anything in an old-timey looking jar, fill it with water, add a few drops of food coloring to it and slap on a label...done.

Boo-tiful Buffets
Photo Provided by yourcozyhome

You were planning on setting up a buffet anyway, might as well take a few extra minutes to tie it in to the spook-tacular theme. Drape tables in cheese cloth...Spray a couple candle sticks black...pick up some black silk rose and toss in a vase...and you've got yourself one heck of a Halloween Buffet.

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When all else fails, just remember the three C's...Candle, Cobwebs and Crows. And when decorating for Halloween, keep in mind...less is NOT more.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Carving 101

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Carving Pumpkins is one of the best ways to get into the spirit of Halloween. However, carving a pumpkin could seem like a daunting task…the scooping, the design, the tools…not mention the clean up. But come on, even with all of that, carving pumpkins on Halloween is so totally worth it. the spirit of our Rewards Hub Contest, we thought it might be a good idea to give you all a few pumpkin carving tips and tricks. 

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1. Pumpkin Selection: When shopping for pumpkins think about the shape and what sort of a face you could carve to really bring the shape to life. Pumpkins that might be considered “ugly” sometimes make for the most interesting faces. 

2. Flip Your Lid: You don't have to take off the top, consider taking out the bottom or even the back of the pumpkin. Sometimes the stem of a pumpkin makes a great nose when you turn the pumpkin on its side. Regardless of where you choose to make your lid, you just want to be sure you have a big enough space to get in there and remove all of the seeds. 

3. Create the Perfect Fit: After you have selected the best spot for your lid, don’t just cut a simple circle. A circle makes it difficult to figure out how the lid fits back on. Cut the lid into a cone shape or put a little notch in it, so that it comes out easily and fits back easily too. 

4. Scoop the Goop: A large metal spoon or an ice cream scoop works well for this. Forget about purchasing those Pumpkin carving kits that include the plastic scoops. For one thing the, the handle on those are way to small and for another, the thick plastic makes it hard to really get all of the goop out. Also, keep your arms fairly clean by starting the scraping from the lid hole, down the sides and then then bottom.  Then, after all of the walls are scraped, dump the pumpkin goop into the trash.  

5. Design the Face: Dry erase markers work best when drawing on the face, because if you don't like your work, you can erase it! 

6. Cut it Out: An old kitchen knife with a serrated edge works best…even if it is slightly dull. Small, paring knives are great for carving detailed designs into the pumpkin. But for the young carvers in the family, a carving kit knife will do the trick. 

7. Think Outside the Box: Great pumpkin props can be found anywhere. Look for fun props at the grocery store, hardware supply store and the craft store. Twizzlers are good for hair, wood chips for teeth and Laffy Taffy makes a great tongue. 

8. Preserve Your Pumpkin: Most of us get excited and want to carve our pumpkins the minute we bring them home. But the fact of the matter is…Pumpkins rot. Try your best not to carve your Pumpkin until the Day before Halloween. To help preserve your Pumpkin, spray the inside and all exposed carved areas with bleach…this keeps the bugs and mold away. Before Dehydration sets in, covering the carved areas and interior of pumpkin with petroleum jelly. This will keep the pumpkin from drying out. But, If your pumpkins start to show signs of shriveling, bring it back to life by soaking it in the tub for a few hours. This re-hydrates the pumpkin and makes it looks like you just carved it.  

9. Light it Up: Candle-free options are the safest and are great for showcasing your pumpkin designs. These days you can find color-changing strobe lights, battery-operated tea lights and rainbow LEDs that are made specifically for pumpkins. And Battery-operated tap lights are a great option for a small pumpkin or gourd or use several in a larger pumpkin. But if you’re a traditionalist, nothing beats the old standby…votive or pillar candles. A good tip when illuminating a pumpkin with a candle is to cut a small hole in the top of the pumpkin, like a chimney, allowing the heat to escape.  

10. Proper Placement: Organize your carved pumpkins in darker areas of your yard…not right on your well-lit porch.  Walkways and flower beds make great stages for your Pumpkins and really showcase the glow and design.

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No matter what...make sure you have fun! Invite your friends over and carve pumpkins together. Turn on a scary movie and get inspired. Pumpkin carving is a blast and truly is the kick off to Halloween. 

Don't forget to participate in our Pumpkin Carving Contest. The winner will Receive 75 Rewards Hub Points!! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Trick-or-Treating Nightmare

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Halloween candy can be like Nightmare on Elm Street for Trick-or-Treaters with braces.  The candy list below can help you keep your braces safe and intact this Halloween.

Halloween Candy to Avoid:

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- Caramel & Taffy
- Bubblegum
- Hard Candy
- Licorice 
- Popcorn & Nuts
- Jelly beans
- Candy corns
- Chewy candy 

The above candies can damage braces and retainers and should be avoided. Now we know…you’re probably thinking…What other candy is left? There are plenty of other things that Trick-or-Treaters who wear braces can enjoy…like chocolate! Soft chocolates such as peanut butter cups, 3 Musketeers, plain M&M's and candy bars without caramel and nuts are perfectly fine. Basically, any candies that aren’t  hard and crunchy or soft and sticky are safe.

We want you to have fun this Halloween, but remember, braces are fragile, and strong forces from hard and sticky candies will damage them. And damaged appliances can extend treatment time. So ask yourself…is that Snickers Bar really worth it?