Kyle R. Childers, DMD, MS & Team Orthodontics

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Braces-Friendly Recipe: Lunch

October 22nd, 2014

Getting braces comes with a lot of rules. No sticky candies, watch out for popcorn, and steer clear of chips. These rules leave many braces-wearers wondering what they can still eat without hurting their teeth or their expensive orthodontic appliances. Fortunately, constructing a braces-friendly lunch is straightforward once you know which foods to avoid.

Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces

There are a few food categories to avoid when you have braces. Sticky foods also stick to the metal in your braces, and can potentially break wires or individual braces. For example: bubblegum, candy bars, caramel, licorice, fruit roll-ups, and Starbursts should be avoided. Many of these foods also contain high levels of sugar, which can cause plaque build-up if not brushed away properly.

Also, be wary of hard foods that can harm your orthodontic appliances. Avoid eating hard taco shells, chips, Rice Crispy treats, hard candy, beef jerky, and popcorn. Some healthy foods, such as carrots, apples, corn on the cob, and nuts, are hard on braces. To eat these foods safely, cut them into smaller pieces before eating.

Remember that certain habits may be harmful to your braces. For example, crunching on ice cubes may be a reflexive response when you’re enjoying a cold beverage, but this can significantly harm your braces and extend treatment time. To stay on the safe side, Dr. Kyle Childers and our team at Childers Orthodontics recommend you drink beverages without ice or add crushed ice whenever possible.

Lunch Recipe

Even with braces, it’s easy to enjoy a healthy, nutritious lunch. For example, make a panini on whole wheat bread with slices of turkey deli meat, a piece of Swiss cheese, and tomato slices. Spread 1 tbsp. of mustard or mayonnaise on the bread before toasting the sandwich in a panini grill. Serve the panini with ½ c. low-fat cottage cheese and a sliced pear or apple for a balanced meal. Then grab a pudding cup or some JELLO for dessert. Wash it all down with water containing a lemon wedge or all-natural fruit juice. Make sure to brush your teeth or rinse with mouthwash after lunch to wash away sugars and food residue that can get trapped in braces and cause decay.

If you have any questions about what you can and can’t eat with braces during your treatment at Childers Orthodontics, be sure to ask our team during your next appointment at our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office!

Are you ready for orthodontic treatment?

October 15th, 2014

If you’ve been hiding your smile because you have crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth, it’s time to consider orthodontic treatment with Dr. Kyle Childers. Preparing for treatment is an important part of getting the smile you want.

Basic exams

The first step of preparation is the examination. An oral exam and X-rays taken at our office are necessary to identify potential problems and ensure the right steps are taken to prepare for orthodontic treatment at Childers Orthodontics.

Dr. Kyle Childers will first examine your teeth and take X-rays to determine if it is necessary to extract any teeth or additional work is necessary before braces are possible. You will be prepared for the next step of treatment after your exam is complete and potential problems are identified.

Model for bite

The next step in preparing for orthodontic is taking a plaster model of the mouth. With the model, Dr. Kyle Childers will be able to determine how the jaw is aligned so that appropriate adjustments can be made to the mouth and jaw with braces.

Depending on the situation, the model may be used to help evaluate your jaw and make decisions about appropriate treatment for your specific needs. Dr. Kyle Childers can create a model of your mouth with the bite indentation that is taken during preparation.

Extracting teeth

If it is determined that a tooth extraction is necessary, then the final step of preparing for orthodontic treatment is the removal of teeth. Only Dr. Kyle Childers can determine if it is necessary to remove any teeth before moving forward with the procedure to put on braces.

When your teeth are crooked, have a gap, or otherwise make you unhappy, orthodontic treatment at Childers Orthodontics may be an appropriate solution. Although it may take time to prepare for the actual procedure, making the decision to seek treatment can provide the opportunity to show the world a beautiful smile.

For more information about orthodontic treatment and its benefits, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kyle Childers, please give us a call at our convenient Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office!

Tips to Avoid Common Problems Associated with Braces

October 8th, 2014

While braces play an important part in helping to create a healthy mouth and teeth, you might experience a few side effects while wearing them that are common and can be easily treated.

Even with the best of care, braces can cause soreness to your mouth. As your teeth begin to move, it is natural for your teeth to feel aches and your jaw to develop soreness.

If there are broken wires or loose bands on your braces, a sore tongue, mouth, or canker sore will occur. Canker sores are a common occurrence when braces rub inside the mouth. There are ointments available to reduce the pain and irritation associated with mouth sores. We urge those who experience a sore mouth or any of the following problems to call our office to schedule an appointment.

  • Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket temporarily. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.
  • Loose bands: These must be secured in place by your orthodontist. Try to save the band for repair.
  • Protruding or broken wires: The eraser end of a pencil can be used to move the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, rinse with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.
  • Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned and sometimes replaced.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods can also help or hurt you while you’re wearing braces. Remember to cut your food into small pieces that can be easily chewed. You will want to avoid hard and chewy foods that can break your hardware. Foods such as corn on the cob, nuts, carrots, apples, ice, and bubble gum should be avoided.

Braces, rubber bands, springs, and other mouth appliances associated with braces will normally attract food particles and plaque. Without the proper care, this could cause staining of your teeth.

Our staff at Childers Orthodontics recommends brushing after every meal or snack and carefully removing any food that might be lodged in the braces. A fluoride mouthwash might be helpful as well as flossing. At your next appointment, Dr. Kyle Childers can advise you how to floss with a brush specially designed for braces!

Team Member Spotlight on Heather!

October 2nd, 2014


  1. I LOVE to scuba dive!
  2. My favorite day would be spent at the lake catching fish-as long as my husband is there to take them off the hook!
  3. I was a cheerleader in grade school and played the clarinet in band.
  4. I have 4 AWESOME kids-1 daughter and 3 sons.
  5. My granddaughter, Lily, is 10 days older than my youngest son, Remy.  My daughter and I were expecting at the same time.
  6. My favorite color is green. However, I decorate with red.  I have no idea why….
  7. My favorite sport is soccer.  The best game I ever saw was when my son Gage played in the Got Milk National 3v3 tournament at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.  His team placed 4th in the nation that year!
  8. I grew up in Ewing and moved to Logan my freshman year of high school.
  9. I have an Associates of Applied Science in Criminal Justice from Rend Lake College.
  10. Reading is one of my favorite things to do.  A good book is better than a movie any day!
  11. My son Aiden and I have movie marathons.  We pick a series like Hunger Games or Narnia and watch a little bit at night until we get thru the whole series.
  12. The first concert I ever went to was Bon Jovi with Skid Row.  Skid Row was awesome and Bon Jovi was so-so-who would have thought!
  13. I like all kinds of music but my all-time favorite is Aerosmith.
  14. I lived in California briefly-SO not for me!
  15. My husband and I are avid gardeners.  We enjoy growing our own food and storing it for the winter.  NOTHING beats garden green beans in December!
  16. I started deer hunting about 7 years ago.  I didn’t get a deer until the second year.  We had it mounted and it is almost exactly the same size as my husband’s first deer.
  17. I live out in the country around Ashley and can’t imagine living in the city ever again!
  18. We like to go sledding in the snow.  However, we use a 4-wheeler and an old car hood for a sled!
  19. My favorite movie is Hope Floats. Favorite quote from the movie “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts.  So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will”.
  20. My daughter Kelsea and I are scary movie junkies. We LOVE them. My husband has never watched one and says he never will J
  21. I have a younger brother and sister. My sisters’ birthday is March 8th and mine is March 9th. We are exactly 4 years and 364 days apart.
  22. I have 5 nieces and 4 nephews, a great niece and 2 great nephews!
  23. We love to ride UTV’s and 4-wheelers.  My 3 year old son, Remy, takes a ride at least four nights a week-he is hooked!
  24. I started walking 5ks this year.  My goal is to actually run one by then end of the year.
  25. I try to go to the gym 5 days a week and have become a Spin fanatic!

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