Managing Pain The First Few Days After Braces

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By Dr. Nima Hajibaik

dentistWhat are the best methods of managing pain and discomfort from the application of new braces?

The application of braces can sometimes cause minor sensitivity, and discomfort for your teeth, and irritation to the lips and tongue for the first several days, but there are ways to ease into the transition.

You have scheduled your appointment and discussed the different types of braces available, and now you are ready to have them placed. Is there anything you can do to prepare beforehand? Yes, there is. Take some time to be prepared for your orthodontic braces by purchasing a few items you will need for the first few days such as:

• Salt

• Over-the-counter-pain medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen

• Dental wax (This is also provided by your orthodontist.)

• Ice pack

• Soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream, etc.

• Smoothies or protein drinks

• Purchase oral hygiene implements such as toothbrush, floss, etc., as recommended by your orthodontist

Braces, day one: Take the recommended age-appropriate dose of an over-the-counter pain meds such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen 30 minutes before your visit to the orthodontist to have your braces applied. This can help to lessen any discomfort you may experience during and after you get your braces. This applies to children or to those who are having adult braces applied.

Once you get home, you can resume normal activity but you will want to stick to a soft food regime over the course of the next few days until you become adjusted to the new appliance. Taking sips of ice-cold water or eating frozen popsicles or ice cream can help to ease the discomfort. If you experience any sores on your tongue or lips, gargle with a mild salt water rinse to help heal the irritated areas.

Try to avoid citrus fruits or drinks at this time as they can cause further discomfort. Do not attempt to remove any bands or wires from your braces if they give you trouble; apply dental wax to the area to help alleviate any irritation.

After a week or so: you will become used to your new braces and they should not bother you as much. Continue to rinse with mild salt water and use your dental wax as needed. All of these tips can apply to the application of all types of dental braces. It is always a good idea to sit down and talk with a professional, your orthodontist has years of experience in this field, and will help you to make this transition as easy and painless as possible.

Learn More

Dr. Nima Hajibaik works at Newpark Orthodontics, located in Alpharetta, Ga. To learn more about Dr. Nima Hajibaik or Newpark Orthodontics visit or call (678) 389-9400.

Dads Are the First Mentors Of Responsibility

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

fathersonbaseballJune is the month we celebrate dads, and with that thought in mind, I congratulate all engaged and responsible dads! I cannot think of my dad without thinking of all the lessons he taught me. The biggest lesson was that of being responsible. His quips about the early bird getting the worm, and the importance of being responsible for your family and yourself are woven into my work ethic.

Teaching our children to be responsible is difficult if we aren’t responsible parents. There will always be helpers along the way, but allowing your children to face the consequences when they mess up can save them a lot of chaos in adult life. No matter where you work you will be surrounded with people blaming others for mishaps at work. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you take responsibility for your actions. If you miss the boat or can’t afford the toy you want, or have to go to summer school because you didn’t finish your homework, it’s no one’s responsibility but yours.

The great thing about responsibility is it is never too late to begin teaching your child. If you feel as though your children feel entitled and are spoiled, the month of June is a great month to set things straight. Below are few suggestions that can help.

• Assign chores and follow through with consequences if your child doesn’t do them. They don’t have to like doing them, or like you, but they do have to do them and respect you.

• Limit the social media, computer games, and phones. If your child spends two hours on the Internet, make sure he/she is spending three with the family. The virtual world is more influential if the family world is less engaged.

• This summer, insist your child get a job. Working for extra credit for a teacher or project is a wonderful summer job. So is working at a coffee shop or doing dishes at home. The job type isn’t as important as the concept of working for someone. Volunteer work is an excellent idea as well, but make sure your child is accountable for their hours there.

familyrun• Never do for your child what they can do for themselves. This is a golden rule. Kids who grow up with supportive parents who believe their children need to learn how to cope with defeat have an advantage over kids who grow up believing the world will cater to them because of the magnificent person they are.

When I see kids who have been enabled or entitled, I pity them. They will have a rude awakening when they find out the real world doesn’t care about who their parents were or where they live. You succeed when you are accountable for your actions and don’t make excuses for why you missed the deadline. The boat/car, bus or train leaves on its time, not yours. This is a wonderful lesson to teach your kids in June. Happy Father’s Day to all of my dads, and have a wonderful month of June!

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Typical Immunization Schedule For The Babies First Year

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babyDuring your baby’s first year, the pediatrician’s office can begin to feel like a second home. It seems that even if your baby is perfectly healthy all the time, you still have to be there quite often for well visits. During these check-ups, parents are often told their babies will be receiving shots. Typically, pediatricians hand the parents some literature on the vaccines scheduled to be given at the beginning of the visit and send a nurse in at the end to administer them. This does not allow much time to go over the paperwork and obtain a good understanding of the shots or the diseases they’re meant to prevent. It also does not allow much room to mentally prepare for the baby’s inoculations and the cries that will surely follow.

In order to feel better prepared and to ensure you are on track with your baby’s shots, here is a typical immunization schedule for your baby’s first year.

* Birth – The first immunization is generally given at the time of birth, and this first shot contains the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis is a serious illness that affects the liver and can be fatal if contracted. This vaccine contains thimerosal, also known as mercury. Your baby will eventually need another dose at one or two months of age.

* Two Months – This well visit usually contains a high number of vaccines being administered. Sometimes, doctors will combine more than one vaccine into one shot in order to reduce the number of injections. At this age, you can expect your child to receive the second dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. Additionally, the first dose of the rotavirus vaccine will be administered. Rotavirus is an illness that most people refer to as a stomach flu that causes of severe diarrhea. While not usually fatal, rotavirus is more dangerous to infants and the elderly. Next, the first dose of the Hib to prevent haemophilus influenzae, a disease that typically affects children under the age of five that can cause meningitis, pneumonia and infections of the blood, bones and joints, is given. This injection contains trace amounts of formaldehyde. An initial dose of DTaP for Diphtheria and Tetanus is also administered. Diphtheria is an upper respiratory infection that can be deadly, while tetanus is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. This vaccine contains aluminum hydroxide and thimerosal. IPV is given for Polio, a disease that can cause paralysis and even death. This vaccine also contains trace amounts of formaldehyde. Finally, an initial dose of PCV13 for pneumococcal will be given. Pneumococcal is known as the number one preventable cause of death in infants and children under five, according to the World Health Network. This disease can cause pneumonia, infection of the blood (bacteremia/sepsis), middle-ear infection (otitis media) and bacterial meningitis.

* Four Months – At four months, your baby will receive the second doses for all the first dose shots she was given at two months. These include rotavirus, diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP), haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and polio.

* Six Months – Yet a third round of immunizations is given when your baby is six months old. Your child’s doctor will probably also suggest an annual flu shot. If you opt for her to receive the flu vaccine, it is often split into two shots because it is the first time the child is receiving it. You can usually request this shot in the thimerosal-free version, which has much less mercury in it than the regular vaccine. So again, your child will be receiving Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, PCV13 and IPV.

* One Year – When your baby turns a year old, she will be due for the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Var (Varicella or chickenpox), PCV and Hib vaccines. Measles, mumps and rubella were once quite common childhood illnesses, and all three can lead to serious and potentially fatal complications. Chickenpox, also known as varicella, was also very common until fairly recently. While most recovered fully, this disease could occasionally lead to severe skin infections, scars, pneumonia, brain damage or death. The varicella vaccine contains aluminum.

Now that you have a brief overview of what vaccines you can expect to be given to your baby during her first year, you can prepare by doing further research into the vaccine, its ingredients and the disease it protects against. You can also write down any questions you have for your doctor before heading into the appointment. Don’t ever feel bad about asking questions or obtaining second opinions when you visit a medical professional; after all, your child’s health and wellbeing are at stake. Ultimately, your child’s well-being is in your hands, and obtaining objective information on your child’s health is one of the best things you can do as a parent.

Submitted by Kaitlyn Johnson of Newborn Care

Use Your Bag Of Tricks For Your Child’s First Trip To The Dentist’s Office

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By Aaron Schulman

brushteethEvery parent needs to have a good bag of tricks so use when stressful events are in the plans. Since so many people have anxiety about going to the dentist and many children learn about the anxiety from their friends and from television. These are a few easy tricks to throw into your figurative bag:

1. Honesty is the Best Policy: Parents should not trick their children by telling them they are going somewhere else and then showing up at the dentist. Children need to trust their parents, so when you are taking them to the dentist, tell them. If you do not tell your child about the dentist, your child could develop more anxiety and fear about maintaining their teeth.

2. Bribery Does Work: Parents use bribery all of the time and there is nothing wrong with using it regarding the dentist. The bribery should not be contingent on whether or not your child’s behavior is good. If your child knows that he will be getting an ice cream cone or a special toy at the end of the appointment, it gives you something to use to remind him that a good thing will come at the end of the appointment.

3. Story Time: Everyone feels better about their experiences if they know that someone else has had a similar experience. So, your child will be more relaxed if she hears about your first experience at the dentist. It does not really matter if the story is completely accurate – especially since you might not really remember the first experience – but keeps it positive so your child knows that the dentist is helpful and kind.

4. Know Your Child’s Schedule: If you plan the appointment when your child should be napping, you will probably have a horrible experience. Make sure that you schedule the appointment during a time that your child is awake and fed. This will help ensure that your sanity will be preserved.

childteeth5. Sing a Song: Kids love to be silly and they love to sing silly songs. The best songs are the ones you make up together and a silly song about the dentist’s office can make the even more enjoyable. You could record the song and put it on a YouTube channel to share with the dentist or record it on your cellphone and play it when you get there.

6. Decorate the Dentist’s Office: Along with singing, kids love to draw. Your child could draw a picture for the dentist before visiting and the hand deliver it to the dentist, receptionist, or hygienist. It can be fun for your child if you secretly call the office in advance so let the office know and then they can hang the picture up for your visit. Your child will feel so important and it will make the office visit go more smoothly.

7. Share a Skill: Kids love to show off their skills. Before you visit the dentist, encourage your child to practice telling a joke or doing some other fun skill to share with the dentist. Your child could bring in her softball glove to talk about the last game or bring in his soccer ball to talk about the latest goal he scored. Your child will feel so important and the dentist will have something to talk about during the appointment.

When it comes to parenting, it is helpful to anticipate a variety of outcomes. When it comes to going to the dentist for the first time, you never know what to expect. A little careful planning goes a long way!

– Aaron Schulman has worked in the dental industry for years. He currently works with 5th Avenue Acquisitions who help show dentists how to sell a dental practice. He and his wife Jennifer are the proud parents of 3 wonderful girls: two of which are getting ready for their first visit to the dentist. You can read more about Aaron and 5th Avenue Acquisitions at