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?


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!

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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?!?


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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Top 5 Tips for Dieting Success

Making the decision to make drastic lifestyle changes can be a difficult one. If we’re being honest, it’s WAY too easy to not make changes. However, my about three years ago, my husband and I made the choice to drastically change our lifestyle. We were done being fat and out of shape. Over the course of the last three years, I have learned a lot about my body and what I needed to do for dieting success. These are my tips.

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dieting success

Pre-Plan Your Day

One of the first things I found to help me be successful day after day, whether I was doing the Keto diet or Weight Watchers (WW), was to pre-plan my day. Whether you are using apps like My Fitness Pal, Carb Manager, or the WW app, start your day out right by pre-planning it out. What I do is, I eat breakfast, log that information, and then I input my dinner. That way I know what I have left for the rest of the day. I used to say I didn’t have will power. However, I think that by pre-planning my day, it taught me how to have will power. I never ate something I didn’t have tracked in my app. Try it…it’s a great tool for dieting success!

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Drink Your Water

I know…I know…this is one of those dieting success tips that we are always hearing about, but it’s so true. Not staying hydrated is so bad for us, for so many reasons. If you are like me, you may get bored drinking water. One of the things I do every day is fill my glass water bottle with ice, put a few drops of Young Living lemon oil, and fill with water. I find that drinking the lemon water helps me get my daily intake of water in, and not get bored with plain old water.

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Take Measurements

This is probably one of the most important dieting success tips. So many times, people (me included) will get discouraged when they are making lifestyle changes because the number on the scale is not budging. The day you decide to make your lifestyle changes, take measurements. Write them down. Once a month, take new measurements. Even if the scale doesn’t seem to be moving, I promise, if you are sticking to your diet, you will see your measurements changing. For almost one entire year, the scale didn’t seem to budge. However, I dropped another pant size and I went from needing an XL shirt to needing a L or sometimes a M. So pick up a measuring tapedieting success and get measuring!

Don’t Worry What the Scale Says

This next dieting success tip goes right along with the last one. You will never hear me say, “don’t step on the scale” because I don’t believe that. I believe we should weigh ourselves. Shoot, when I did the Keto diet, I was so freaked out that it wasn’t going to work, that I weighed myself every single day for a few months. The idea of eating fat to lost weight was one I could not wrap my mind around in the beginning. However, if your scale is not budging, don’t worry. Remember, take those measurements. Plus, at the end of the day, if your clothes are fitting looser, then you know you are doing something right, despite what that scale says!

Tomorrow is a New Day

We all slip up. It happens. Don’t let it completely derail you. At the end of the day, remember that tomorrow is a new day. If you allow a slip up to completely throw you off course, it will be harder to get back on track. Simply finish out your day and start your next day back on track with pre-planning your day, etc. I know you can do it!

Figuring out what works for you takes a little time. These 5 tips are what helps me stay on track. I have one more tip for you. We can call it a bonus tip. For me, paying for a service, whether it be the premium version of My Fitness Pal or Carb Manager, or signing up for Weight Watchers online, has helped me stay accountable. I don’t like to waste money!

What are your dieting success tips?

How to Break the Diet Coke Habit

If you’ve been following along, you will know that, over the course of the last three years, I have really been making improvements in my life. I was able to successfully get rid of my sugar addiction. It wasn’t easy, but what was easy was physically feeling how much better I felt without the sugar. The one vice I still had was my Diet Coke habit. I’m finally at the point in my life that I want to break that habit.

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diet coke habit

As you know, my husband and I embarked on a new lifestyle a few years ago. The Keto diet helped us lose a combined 215 lbs. We felt better, looked better, it has been amazing. Recently, we decided to change things up a bit and give Weight Watchers a try. I had been stuck in a place of not losing so I wanted to jumpstart my body and give a new lifestyle a change for a bit, while hanging on to a lot of the principles that I learned from doing the Keto diet for so long.

While I felt like I mastered the ability to not want or care about sugar any longer, I was still not great about drinking enough water. I am amazing at drinking Diet Coke. I could drink that stuff all day long, like it was water. That’s one of the main reasons I don’t buy a case of pop at Sam’s Club to have at home. I would drink way too much per day. It was time to break that Diet Coke habit.

Breaking the Diet Coke Habit

As addicted to sugar as I was, I am probably more addicted to Diet Coke. I don’t drink coffee, so my only source of caffeine comes from pop. Believe me, I wish I liked coffee. For many reasons. The caffeine being one of them, but also so I can drink out of fun coffee mugs like this mugdiet coke habit. But more than needing caffeine to get through each day, or wanting to drink out of fun coffee mugs, I need to up my water intake.

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Back before I started the Keto diet, I was really into Young Living essential oils. I still use the oils for things, but not like I did. That changes now! One of the ways I got my water in then, was putting my favorite Young Living essential oils in my water. Not only did the flavor help, but the oils are good for you!

Why Essential Oils?

Grapefruit essential oil (my favorite) is very high in D-Limonene. If you are not sure what D-Limonene is or what it is good for, check this out. While all of those benefits are great, I like that it makes my water taste good, as well as benefit my health at the same time. As a side note though, not all essential oils are created equally. I would only add Young Living oils to my water (and only those approved for ingesting). Other Young Living essential oils that I like to add to my water are lemon, orange, and lime.

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So What’s My Plan?

Am I giving up my Diet Coke habit for good? No, probably not. I want to break the habit of feeling like I “need” a Diet Coke to get through my day. Which, let me tell you, I’ve been up since 5 am and I’ve yet to have any caffeine and I’m still wide awake! However, with that said, I see the Diet Coke habit the same as I used to see my sugar addiction. I want to get to the point that I don’t care about whether or not I have it. Once I get to that point, then I know I can have a pop and it won’t trigger me to have more, just like I can have a piece of candy and not eat another for days, weeks or months. To me, that would be breaking the Diet Coke habit.