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
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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
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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?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Your Halloween Vibe

There is something to be said for decorating the exterior of your house on Halloween. And if you haven't started is the time.
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What sort of vibe do you want your house to give off when the 
Trick-or-Treaters come a callin'? 
Spooky yet Approachable, Cute and Whimsical, Seasonal...

It's a pretty tough decision, especially if you haven't given it much thought before. But no worries, as always, we are here to help. We found some great images to get you inspired this Halloween.

Photo provided by hybridsmaine
Spooky yet Approachable
Nothing says haunted house like cob webs, spiders and mummies.  And if you're not into the super scary Halloween decorations, but still want to give off a spooky vibe, try boarding up a few windows to make it look like the house has been abandoned for years.

Photo provided by homedesignspro

Cute and Whimsical
Create a whimsical outdoor theme with pumpkin topiaries and colors in purple orange and white. You can even line your driveway in custom made luminaries that you carved out of pumpkins.

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Outdoor decorating for the season and not just for Halloween makes your house approachable to Trick or Treats, but also always you to enjoy all of your hard work well into Thanksgiving. And if you don't carve out your pumpkins, you'll be able to keep them around longer.


Point of the story...
No matter what your Halloween decorating style is... it's time to get to work!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October and Orthodontics...What a Team!

When you think October, you naturally think Halloween. 
But did you know that October is also a time for celebrating Orthodontics? 

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Every year, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recognizes October as a time to raise awareness of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. 

If you have never been to an orthodontist before, you might not know what to expect. Meeting with Dr. Lenz and his staff is a great way to find out what kind of people you’ll be seeing during your treatment. This is also a time to get your questions answered and to learn more about what an orthodontist can do for you and your family. 

In a month full of sweet treats, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of your braces and/or your orthodontic appliances. Try to avoid hard and sticky candy. If you can’t keep yourself away from the sugar, choose soft candies that melt-in-your-mouth.

As always, remember to brush and floss after eating sugary foods. Exposing your teeth to sweets increases your risk for cavities…and allowing sugar to sit on your teeth can lead to decalcification (permanent white discoloration of the teeth). 

If you have any questions about what foods are best during orthodontic treatment, feel free to ask during your next visit! 

Healthy teeth and gums mean an amazing smile! 
We look forward to seeing you and your family this October!