Helpful Tips for Kids with Braces

When parents hear the words, “you may want to consider getting your child an appoint with an orthodontist”, they probably cringe. Not only is it a TON of money for orthodontic work, but lets face it, it’s a pain in the butt having to hound your kids to follow the braces directions. I’ve already been through braces with my son, now we are embarking on that journey with my daughter. Here are some helpful tips for kids with braces.

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kids with braces

Image via Pexels by Pietro Jeng

Did You Get Multiple Quotes?

If you’re like me, you got many different quotes for braces for your kids. Your quotes probably ranged from $3500 to $6500. Lucky me, my sons braces cost us over $6000. The frustrating part…you pay all this money to fix the teeth in their mouth, yet it does nothing for the actual teenage mouth! I’d totally pay extra to fix that teenage mouth! All joking aside, get multiple quotes.

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Agree with the Treatment Plan

This probably seems obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how some people just go with everything and don’t ask questions. My son had a very narrow jaw and barely any room in his mouth for his teeth. One consultation we went on, the orthodontist wanted to pull 6 adult teeth to make room for the rest of his teeth. That did not make sense to me. The next consultation wanted to use an expander. That made sense to me and we ended up going with that office.

kids with braces
This week, my daughter got braces. She is one of those crazy kids that is super excited to have them! She thinks it’s fun to be able to pick different colors for the brackets. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but she went with dark green. Dark green is the color for her travel soccer team!

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Braces are really no fun for anyone involved. They are no fun for parents having to pay the bill and they are no fun for kids going through the treatment. These tips for kids with braces are things I have found, either from my personal experience with braces or from my kids experience, that have helped us get through the different stages of treatment.

Tips, Tips, and More Tips

  1. Flossing – Such an important aspect of taking care of our teeth. Probably more so when we have braces. Food gets stuck around the brackets, in between the teeth, and just sit and fester. Not good. The ortho will give you flossers that you thread under the wire to floss your teeth. They are time consuming and really hard to get right. Your best bet…get a Waterpikkids with braces. They are amazing and work so much better than floss.
  2. Mouthwash – There is a mouthwash by ACT that is specifically for braces. It has aloe in it to help soothe the gums. Get it! I found ours at Walmart.
  3. Wax – Pick up some dental wax for braces (in the toothbrush section of the store). It takes a bit for kids to get used to having the brackets on their teeth. There will be some rubbing on the gums. The wax helps kids with braces by placing the wax on the area that is rubbing funny.
  4. Eating Tip #1 – Soft foods are your friend. The first three days after they get them on and after each adjustment, are the worst. I always got my kids ice cream the first day. After that, soft foods are easiest for them.
  5. Eating Tip #2 – If you are eating finger foods, break the food with your fingers into bites or cut with a fork and knife. The last thing you want to do is pop a bracket off or get food stuck in your braces at school. My husband has been making my daughters lunch for school and he cuts her sandwich into strips so it’s easier for her to break bites off.
  6. Good Foods vs Bad Foods – It stinks to not be able to eat your favorite things. Make sure to have good foods available. Foods like fruit you don’t have to bite into, soft Nutri-Grain bars, etc. Things like chips, popcorn and sticky foods are no no’s.

Sound Helpful?

These six tips have been super helpful for my kids. Especially the Waterpik. I highly recommend that. At any rate, the hardest part (at least I think so) is getting the kids to not eat the foods that are banned and getting them to wear those rubber bands. I’m really hoping things go smoother for me (and my daughter) this time around. My son gave me a run for my money!

What are your best tips for kids with braces?


How to Use the Trello App

One of my goals for 2018, was to use my time wisely and write more. Getting myself organized and pre-planning my posts was something I really needed to get better at. Having my son go to a private high school about 35-40 minutes from the house, and a daughter currently in the middle of her travel soccer season, planning is paramount. The Trello app has helped me pre-plan and, as a result, I began writing more.

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trello app

Image via Pexels by Jessica Lewis

What is the Trello App?

The Trello app is an organizational app that allows you to make various boards for your various projects and lists. You have the ability to add others to your boards when collaborating on a project, or you can use the Trello app by yourself. Not only is this app available on your iPhone, iPad and Mac, but it is also available through Google Play.

How I Used the Trello App for Blogging

trello app

The first thing you want to do is press the plus sign in the upper right corner. That will allow you to add a board. Since I have this blog and my book site, I made sure to make a separate board for each site. You can also color code each board so you don’t confuse anything. Once you click on your board, you can then add cards to the board to organize your thoughts and projects.

trello app

The image above shows what it looks like within each board. Since I joined an October blog challenge where we needed to try and write a post every single day (Monday through Friday). I had knee surgery on October 10th, so I knew that if I wanted to be successful with this challenge, I needed to start pre-planning my posts. I used the Trello app to do this.

trello app

As I mentioned above, you can add cards to each board. In this case, each card for me was a blog post. You will notice in the image above, this particular post was about 5 dieting tips. Since I was pre-planning my posts, I was also able to make a checklist within each card to plan out the individual posts. This made the writing process go a lot quicker.

I’ve been blogging for over 10 years. Over the course of the last 10 years, I have tried every which way to figure out a process for me that worked when it came to pre-planning. Nothing seemed to work for me. I can’t tell you how many planners I bought, thinking that was finally going to work. Nope! Nothing worked until I tried the Trello app. Give it a try! It’s a FREE app found in the app store and the Google Play store.

Have you used the Trello App before?

WW Mobile App – How to Add Exercise

As you know, I have been doing WW (Weight Watchers) for the last couple months. I’m really liking it. Switching from Keto to WW was a big decision for me. If truth be told, I was scared to make the switch. Keto has worked so well for me. But it’s been a good switch! Being apart of various WW online Facebook groups, I’ve noticed a lot of questions about activity tracking. If you’re having trouble with your WW mobile app, then this post is for you!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

ww mobile app

Image via Pexels by Lukas

WW Online vs WW Meetings

Choosing whether to do WW online or to go to meetings is a personal decision. For me, I tried the meetings route years ago and it was not for me. It could have totally been the place I went, but I felt like I was being judged when I had a slight gain. I didn’t like feeling that way. So doing it solely online, especially after my success with the Keto diet, it just made better sense to me. I have much better self control now, than I had years ago. Only you know what is best for you!

 

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Using Your WW Mobile App

Getting used to your WW mobile app takes a little time. Adding food is relatively easy. Type in the food you ate or scan it, select your serving size and click to track it. Where things get a little tricky is when the activity needs to be added. Adding your activity (exercise) for the day is very similar to adding your food. However, what happens if you forgot to add your exercise and it’s now the next day? Can you still add it? Should you still add it? The answer to all of those questions are YES!

ww mobile app

As you can see, I currently have 5 Fit Points (I’m recovering from knee surgery so I am getting around very slowly). Let’s say I am sitting here and I realized I forgot to add to my exercise the day before. Adding it the day after is super easy.

ww mobile app

Simply type in the exercise you did and it will pull up a screen like the image above. Put in the appropriate duration, intensity and then select the day you completed the activity. That’s it! Your Fit Points will be added to your total.

What If Your Fit Points Don’t Show Up?

On the WW Facebook pages I belong to, there was a question about the Fit Points not showing up in the total. Assuming there is not a glitch with the ww mobile app, and lets be completely honest here, it can happen…I mean, it’s technology! But…assuming no glitch, the ONLY reason I can find that your Fit Points would not show up in the total is if you are currently on your weigh in day and you are trying to add the exercise for a day prior to your weigh in day. Once you hit your weigh in day, a new week starts, so you will not get credit for that exercise for the current week. Make sense? I’d still add it because I like to make sure I add everything, but in the grand scheme of things, you don’t really need to if you don’t feel like it. Adding it will just reinforce the habit of adding everything to your tracker.

Want to Join WW?

Are you thinking about joining WW? I would love for you to use my link to sign up. By using my link, you receive a free month and I receive a free month! How great is that?!?


Fixing an Apple Screen Time Error

This past Sunday, I spent around four hours messing with my daughters new iPhone. Some of that time was spent on chat with Apple Support and another part of that time was on the phone talking with Apple Support. What was the problem? An Apple Screen Time Error. My daughters apps were set to turn back on at 7 am, yet they were all grayed out still, two hours past that time. Finally, at the end of that four hours, I had a fix of sorts for the problem and I wanted to share that with you so you don’t have to spend four hours with Apple Support on your Sunday morning!

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apple screen time error
Image via Pexels by Math

About Apple Screen Time

If you are going to give tweens and teens a smartphone, you really should consider some sort of app that allows you, the parent, to control the device. Prior to iOS 12, we used Our Pact to control our kids devices. Our Pact is excellent. We have been very happy with it, however, instead of continuing to pay for Our Pact, we decided to give the Apple Screen Time a try.

 

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With Apple Screen Time, you have the ability to set a start and end time for the apps to be available on your child’s device. For example, for my sons phone, apps shut off every night at 8:45 pm and turn back on every morning at 6:25 am. Aside from controlling that aspect, you can also set app limits, all while determining which apps are always allowed. Those controls, as well as setting content and privacy restrictions, you are able to really lock down their iPhone.

Apple Screen Time Error

Like I mentioned, this Sunday, the apps did not return when they were supposed to. Nothing I tried fixed it. So I hopped on the Apple Support chat. The person I spoke with on chat had me do the following:

  1. Turn Apple Screen Time off and then back on. Did not fix it.
  2. Reset the settings on the phone. Did not fix it.
  3. Factory reset the phone and then set the iPhone up as a new iPhone. Did not work.

Once it became apparent that we exhausted all of the things she knew to do, she scheduled a call for someone in engineering support to call me. That call was scheduled for 15 minutes later. I was pretty impressed with how fast they were willing to help me.

So…What Did We Do Next?

As soon as I told the support person that they had me factory reset my phone, she told me that was a good idea, but we actually needed to reinstall the operating system. To do this, she had me doing the following:

  • Press the up volume, then let go and press the down volume button and let go.
  • Next I immediately held in the button on the other side. The “slide to power off” will appear, but I was instructed to continue holding.
  • When I saw the Apple symbol and the words “connect to iTunes”, I was told to plug the phone into my computer.
  • From there, I went through the steps to reinstall the operating system. Took abut 25 minutes total, if that.

The hope was that by doing this, if there was a glitch in the system, it would be fixed. Unfortunately, it did not fix the issue. At this point, she had me turn Apple Screen Time completely off my daughters phone, through my phone (settings>Screen Time ->scroll to the bottom and click to turn it off). Once I turned it off, her apps appeared. Then we turned the Apple Screen Time back on with her phone (you can set a passcode so the kids are not able to disable it). This time the apps turned on and off like they were supposed to. So we determined the issue was with my phone.

How to Fix It

While the issue was technically with my phone, there is nothing wrong with my phone. The issue actually stems from me being the organizer for our Family Share account. Apparently they are working on a fix. Right now, in order for my daughters phone to be locked down, I need to do it from her phone. All in all, it’s OK. The only problem is that I have to actually ask her to hand over her phone when I want to shut the apps off early. I was assured a fix is being worked on. Apple is aware of this issue. So, for now, we will use this work around.

Setting Up Apple Screen Time

New to Apple Screen Time? It’s so easy to set up!

apple screen time error

  • Go to settings, scroll down and click on “Screen Time”.

apple screen time error

Yes…I realize 9 hours is a bit ridiculous for social media usage, but when you’ve been laid up from knee surgery and can’t do much of anything…don’t judge!

  • From here, if you have the family share set up, you will see your kids names.
  • Click on the child that you want to set up the Apple Screen Time.

apple screen time error

  • From this screen, you can set your downtime. You can set it for whatever you want it to be. I set it for 15 minutes before bedtime.
  • Next, if you would like to set app limits, you can do so here. This allows you to choose different app categories like games or social media and dictate how long they can use those categories in a day.
  • The “Always Allowed” area is simply the area where you choose exactly what apps are always allowed on the phone, despite downtime.
  • Content and Restrictions is where you determine the type of movies they an watch (PG, PG-13, etc.), whether Siri can use explicit language, etc.

All of this is set with a pin code that is personal to you. Do not use the same pin code that your kids use to get into their phone. That will be the first thing they try when they want to try to get into the Screen Time area to change things. And…trust me…they will try. Many times! And remember, if you find yourself with an Apple Screen Time error, refer to the above directions for a work around until the update comes through that Apple is working on.

Have you given the Apple Screen Time a try yet? What are your thoughts?


Knee Surgery Recovery Tips

On October 10th, I had knee surgery. I have been dealing with this bad knee since I was 12 years old. I’ve dislocated it a few times over the years and really did a doozy in July of this year. It finally became apparent that I need to do something about the knee. In talking over things with my surgeon, he came up with a very good surgical plan. Despite all of that, my nerves were shot the day of surgery. I was nervous as all get out! Hopefully these knee surgery recovery tips help you!

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knee surgery recovery

About the Knee Surgery

Like I mentioned, the surgeon had a good plan for my surgery. Since I deal with very little cartilage, the first thing he wanted to do was clean up my kneecap and take a biopsy of the cartilage. That biopsy will then be sent to a lab so they can grow more of my own cartilage! Unfortunately, in doing that procedure, it means that I need to have a second surgery. During that second surgery, I will have the new cartilage implanted and then the surgeon will use donor tendons to reconstruct all of my tendons so my knee is more stabilized.

Since I had my gallbladder removed in January of this year, my deductible was gone and my out of pocket was nearly gone. In working with me, my surgeon made sure that my surgery was the last of his day so that in case I was not a candidate for the Maci procedure (the biopsy), then he could go ahead and do the tendon reconstruction at that time.

 

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The Knee Surgery

Everything went well. I woke up very weepy and freezing, but the nurse told me that is very common. The pain I had was a bit much more than I thought it would be at that time, but they gave me something and covered me with some sort of heater thing. I warmed up quickly and thankfully, the tears stopped! Other than that, I felt amazing. I had no anesthesia “hang-over” feeling like I did with my gallbladder surgery. The nurses kept remarking how good I looked. I take it I had a good anesthesiologist! I ended up being a great candidate for the Maci procedure so I will be having a second surgery some time in 2019.

Knee Surgery Recovery

Knee surgery recovery has not been that bad. I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised. Friday (two days after surgery) was the worst day. I could not get comfortable to save my life and I took the most pain pills that day. Other than that, I haven’t really needed the pain medication.

So…What have I been doing?

I am, by no means, an expert, but here are the knee surgery recovery things I’ve been doing that has helped me tremendously over the course of the last for days.

  1. One of the things my surgeon told me to do, was take Tylenol three times a day. If I need a pain pill in between taking the Tylenol, then take it. So that’s what I did from day one. Total, since surgery, I’ve only taken four pain pills.
  2. Another thing the surgeon recommended is that I take magnesium. Apparently there are studies that taking magnesium with the Oxycodone will help prevent the patient from needing to up their pain pill dose due to tolerance.
  3. If you are having surgery and your hospital does not send you home with an ice machine, ASK for one or BUY one. I have the DonJoy Iceman Clear3knee surgery recovery and it is amazing. For the first four days after surgery, I was able to continuously ice my knee. It really helped with pain and swelling.
  4. Do your exercises. My surgeon gave me a list of four exercises that he wanted me to start the very next day. Do them. Even if they hurt…do them. It will get better, but it will help the recovery process.
  5. Take Colace. Trust me on that one. Take it. The last thing you want is to be laid up and constipated. Pain medication will constipate you.

Aside from those five knee surgery recovery tips, I have been keeping myself busy by reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. I have to say, after being as busy as I am on a daily basis, it is rather nice to be able to sit back and taking it a bit easy for a little while!

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