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How Orthodontic Patients Can Avoid a Sticky Situation this Halloween

October 12th, 2018

Five orthodontic-friendly recommendations from Dr. Lohner

October is National Orthodontic Health Month. And each October, thousands of kids have one thing on their mind: Halloween candy!  For orthodontists, the Halloween season is all about helping patients avoid potentially sticky situations.

October is the perfect time of year to learn about orthodontic health and how an orthodontist helps patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. Besides, everyone knows that Halloween candy can give any orthodontist a scare!

Here are five timely tips to help protect braces, aligners and other orthodontic “appliances” while protecting teeth from decay.

  1. Let sticky foods RIP. If it’s hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy, stay away! Avoid caramel, taffy, bubblegum, licorice, gummies or any snack that can damage brackets or wires. Also, be sure to say “boo” to hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels).
  2. Choose “spooktacularly” soft foods. Opt for soft chocolates, peppermint patties, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties.
  3. Dare to take extra care. Sweets can cause cavities, which is why brushing and flossing are even more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing immediately after eating sugary or starchy foods.
  4. Set yourself up for success. Keep acceptable treats on hand to substitute for “off limits” candies for trick-or-treating.
  5. Commit to oral health. Deciding to avoid hard and chewy sweets before the Halloween season increases your rate of success – and reduces the likelihood that you’ll break wires.

We want kids to have fun on Halloween and there’s no need to feel left out. Patients are free to enjoy acceptable treats in moderation. The payoff is a healthy, beautiful smile. It’s always worth it in the end!

Besides straight teeth, what are the benefits of braces?

July 25th, 2018

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces and aligners can help deliver one.  However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth.  You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces. This may make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease.  With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, allowing for more effective brushing.

Your teeth play an essential role in speech.  When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, it can affect your speaking patterns and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

Bone and gum tissue begin to erode when there are no teeth to support.  This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With proper alignment, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth.

Your teeth play an important role in digestion.  Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth.  If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

Call us at 973-764-2266 or 973-729-9923 to schedule your free consultation and get started on a beautiful and healthy smile today!

What's the best way to achieve the smile of your dreams?

April 13th, 2018

After the eyes, the smile is the most noticeable feature of the human face. Well-aligned teeth and jaws have an extremely positive effect on overall physical and psychological health. Everyone wants a dazzling smile, but with so many products and quick-fix promises on the market, what’s the best way to achieve the smile of your dreams? For nearly five million people, the answer is orthodontic treatment. The goal of treatment is to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and a lifetime of improved dental health. Here are Dr. Lohner’s answers to some questions about orthodontic care:
• How do I know if my child needs braces?
It’s not always easy to tell if your child has an orthodontic problem, so the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends all children see an orthodontist no later than age 7 for a simple checkup. This exam can identify potential problems and ensure that any future treatment is timed appropriately. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who correct improperly aligned teeth and jaws. They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school.

Some signs that may indicate the need for an orthodontic examination are early or late loss of baby teeth; difficulty in chewing or biting; mouth breathing; thumb or finger sucking; crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth; jaws that shift or make sounds; biting the cheek or roof of the mouth; teeth that meet abnormally or not at all; and jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face. If parents observe these problems in their child, regardless of age, they should consult an orthodontist.

• How old is too old for braces?
Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. Currently one in five orthodontic patients is an adult – and many are over age 50. Given technological advances and the affordability of treatment, orthodontic patients can enjoy comfortable and simplified treatment. Adults appreciate today’s next-to-invisible treatment options.

• What is the difference between braces and veneers?
Braces are used to align teeth and correct the bite. Veneers do not straighten teeth or correct underlying orthodontic problems. But, veneers can be placed after orthodontic treatment to correct misshapen or discolored teeth.

Find more information on dental health and orthodontic care on our website

Crushing the Ice-Chewing Habit

June 29th, 2017

It's a habit many people have and not only can it be annoying to the people around you, it can be detrimental to your dental health. Chewing ice is so common that it even has its own name, pagophagia. We're not talking about a slushy or shaved ice (although those artificially sugary treats should be avoided too!) but more like the hunks of ice rattling around in the bottom of your glass.

Ice chewing can be a sign of emotional problems like stress or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can also be a marker for iron deficiency anemia and other physical problems. Then again, some people just like to have something to chew on. For whatever reason you find yourself chewing on it, it's a habit you need to break.

Chewing on ice can cause:

  • Chipped and cracked teeth
  • Damaged enamel
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Damage to dental work such as crowns, fillings, or other appliances

If chewing on ice is becoming a problem in your life, don’t hesitate to speak with Dr. Joseph Lohner about it. But if you find yourself still wanting to chew on something, here are a few alternatives to ice:

  • Baby carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Sugar-free (xylitol) gum

We know you need to chill sometimes, but chomping down your entire glass of ice is not the way to do it. If you have any other questions on the topic, feel free to talk with a member of our Vernon or Sparta, NJ team. It may be beneficial in solving the issue and helping to remediate any damage to your teeth.


  • “Dr. Lohner is awesome and his staff is great! We always felt welcomed at the office and everyone is always so friendly! Highly recommend him and his staff! Thank you for Jaylan’s beautiful smile!”

    Lourdes V.

  • “The staff went above and beyond! More than generous in working out fees. We are over the moon with treatment results! What a difference from where my daughter started. Wonderful staff and personal attention – it’s been the best experience!”

    Leslie R.

  • “Well organized, well-run office. Everyone is very nice. We like the raffles, and the magic show made it fun! Keep up the good work!”

    Jennifer C.