Green Orthodontics Blog

Braces Friendly Recipes

April 8th, 2021

The first few days of braces may cause a little bit of soreness. Many people think that they are limited to only eating mashed potatoes, Jell-O, smoothies or yogurt. That is not the case! Felicia, one of our registered dental assistants, put together some braces safe recipes for you to enjoy!

Taco Soup
Ingredients:
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 envelope taco seasoning
• 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, undrained
• 1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn, undrained
• 1 can (15 ounces) light red kidney beans, undrained
• 1 can (10 ounces) rotel diced tomato with green chiles (any flavor of spice I personally use mild)
• I envelope ranch salad dressing mix
Directions:
1. Cook beef until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Add taco seasoning and mix well.
2. In crockpot add all can ingredients; juice and all. Stir in ranch salad dressing mix.
3. Stir in cooked meat. Then cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Then serve

Taco Soup is great paired with sour cream, avocado, chives, shredded cheese, and/or jalapenos.

This next recipe is another great one especially if you like spaghetti noodles.

Chicken Spaghetti
Ingredients:
• 2 pounds frozen boneless chicken breast
• 1 (16 ounces) package of spaghetti noodles
• 2 (10.5 ounces) cans of cream of mushroom
• 2 (10.5 ounces) cans of cream of chicken
• 1 (16 ounces) package of Velveeta Cheese
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 cup shredded cheese
Directions:
1. Place chicken in a large pot and just cover with water. Cook over medium heat until cooked through. Allow to cool enough to handle, then shred using two forks.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
4. In a large pot, combine the cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and Velveeta cheese. Heat over a low temperature until cheese is fully melted. Add the garlic powder and onion powder. Add the shredded chicken and cooked noodles. Mix well. Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish and sprinkle shredded cheese.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Remember, we do NOT want to eat hard or sticky foods such as nuts, candy, and hard breads. So be sure to enjoy that spaghetti, but leave the baguette for a friend without braces!

 

Understanding Your Orthodontic Insurance

October 22nd, 2020

Understanding Your Orthodontic Insurance
Orthodontic insurance is very different from medical insurance! Our insurance specialists here at Green Orthodontics have gathered up some common questions about navigating orthodontic insurance. If you have any questions that were not discussed in this blog, please feel free to call us at 931-542-9940 any time and a friendly insurance specialist will be glad to assist!

Do You Accept My Insurance?
Green Orthodontics accepts ALL insurances! We can verify your insurance prior to the consultation to ensure we are maximizing benefits.

Do I Have to Have Insurance to Schedule a Consultation?
Nope! Patients are not required to have insurance in order to be seen. We offer 100% complimentary consultations. There are no charges for this visit and even the x-rays are free!

What is a DPO or HMO insurance?
In some rare cases, a workplace may be contracted out with specific orthodontists within a certain radius. In this case, even though we accept payments from the main insurance company, the “group” may not be willing to pay benefits. If you have an insurance policy like this, we encourage you to contact your insurance company for more information on specific coverage. You are always welcome to come by our office for a complimentary consultation, regardless of the type of insurance!

What Are My Benefits?
Every insurance company offers different benefits. Medical, dental, and orthodontic insurance are all considered different benefits. In most cases, orthodontic insurance has a “one-time use” benefit, called a lifetime maximum. Your insurance company may pay up to this amount towards braces.

Should I Purchase a Second Insurance Plan for Braces?
This is a tough question!  There are hundreds of policies with many exclusions. Policies and coverage may change on a daily basis. We recommend that you first contact the HR department at work, or a representative for the insurance company to get a layout of their plans. Please be aware that secondary insurance may sometimes have fine print that they will not pay if there is a primary insurance. It is important when contacting an HR representative or an insurance company representative that this question is specifically addressed so you can rest assured the secondary insurance will provide coverage.

What is a Lifetime Maximum?
Unlike other dental benefits, most orthodontic benefits do not renew each year. Insurance companies call this a lifetime maximum. This means the orthodontic benefit can only be used once per duration of having that insurance.

Does My Insurance Company Pay for Each Appointment?
It is important to remember that orthodontic benefits are typically paid over the course of treatment in monthly, quarterly, or even yearly installments. This is why it is very important to keep your coverage throughout the course of treatment in order to receive the full benefit.

How Do I Check My Eligibility?
Some employers offer orthodontic coverage, but they have rules about who may or may not receive those benefits. Some policies require you to work a minimum number of hours per week, or there may be a waiting period for new employees. Our insurance specialists will verify your orthodontic benefits before your free consultation to let you know if you are eligible for orthodontic benefits!

Work in Progress
If you get a new insurance company while in treatment, or if you transfer to our office from another location to continue treatment, your new insurance company will consider the braces as a “work in progress”. Most insurance companies will prorate your benefit based on what the prior coverage paid and/or the remaining treatment time. Not all plans allow for work in progress. Every insurance company has their own little formula that they use to determine how much they will pay for a work in progress claim. We can help you navigate that tricky slope!

Primary vs. Secondary Insurance
When a patient is enrolled in two active insurances, this is called “dual coverage.” Our office will do our best to help determine how much each policy will pay towards braces. Some insurances have special rules or exclusions on the policy that may make it impossible to collect the maximum amount on both insurances.

The plans determine which insurance is primary and which is secondary; we as providers and you as the patients are not able to determine or choose which is primary. Sometimes they use a “birthday rule.” This means the parent whose birthday comes first in the calendar year may be considered to be your child’s primary coverage. Since each insurance has their own set of rules, it is important to have a knowledgeable insurance specialist to help navigate the systems!

Additional Procedures
If extractions or other dental work is needed throughout orthodontic treatment, your policy may charge your “dental benefits” or your “orthodontic benefits”. These are typically separate benefits and each insurance company has their own rules about which one will apply.

 

Foods you Can and Can’t Eat With Braces

August 25th, 2020

Are you wondering what kinds of food you can eat while you’re in braces? Can you still have pizza? What about gum? Are you only going to be eating soft foods for the next two years? What do you avoid completely with braces? These are all great questions to think about if considering braces in the future!

The good news is you do not have to stick to a completely soft diet for the next two years. There are plenty of good foods you can still have while you have your braces on. Awareness of “good” and “bad” food is very important so you are able to take care of your braces throughout treatment and have the best results.

Why certain foods need to be avoided with braces
Your braces may have brackets, bands, and arch wires that can all be damaged by certain foods. Avoiding very hard or sticky food is a big priority. Along with avoiding certain foods, having proper hygiene is essential to making sure cavities do not form around the braces. If the teeth and braces are not properly cleaned of food debris, tartar and plaque can accumulate which can cause white spots on the surfaces of the teeth.

Foods you can’t eat with braces
Crunchy and sticky foods such as nuts and bubble gum, hard candies like lollipops and candy canes can loosen brackets and wires which may cause delays in treatment. Foods to avoid with your braces are:

  • Nuts
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn
  • Crunchy veggies
  • Hard candies (such as jolly ranchers or lollipops)
  • Gum (Sugar-free gum is okay)
  • Sticky candies (like laffy-taffy or gummy bears)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples
  • Beef jerky
  • Pizza crust

It’s not just hard foods can break the appliances in your mouth! Other items and habits to avoid that could damage brackets are:

  • Pen chewing
  • Pencil chewing
  • Nail biting
  • Toothpicks
  • Straw Chewing

It is important to not chew on any hard objects!

Foods that you can eat with braces
Now that you know what you can’t have with braces, we can talk about all the good things that you can have! Though there are many things that must be avoided with braces, there are many yummy things that can still be enjoyed. For example, you can still enjoy:

  • Pastas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Meats with no bones
  • Soft veggies
  • Fruits
  • Soups
  • Dairy products
  • Soft breads and sandwiches
  • Casseroles
  • Pizza (without the crust)

Even with braces, we can still enjoy the good things in life! At every visit, Dr. Green and your dental assistant will evaluate the braces for damage to brackets or plaque build-up. All of our patients receive a short class after braces are placed to review how to best care for your appliances to ensure they stay in top shape throughout treatment. Remembering the “do’s” and “don’ts” can have a big impact on your treatment outcome and will help to get the beautiful smile you have always dreamed of!

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February 24th, 2020

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