Keep Your Smile Healthy…Pack a Healthy Lunch!

Eating on-the-run can be troublesome. In the morning, grabbing a bagel or a sugary donut is much easier than making an omelette. But taking the time to plan and prepare what you’re eating for lunch is very important for both your oral and overall health, especially if you’re wearing braces or an orthodontic appliance. Whether you’re planning your own lunch, or you’re making lunch for your kids to take to school, we here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics would like you to keep these three smile- and braces-friendly lunch tips in mind.

1. Ditch The Troublemakers

Chewy, sticky, sweet foods like gummy candies or dried fruits such as raisins (or Craisins) can be really bad for your teeth because they stick! To satisfy that sweet tooth, choose sliced fresh fruit or even a little bit of dark chocolate.

Processed, starchy crackers or chips can cause problems. Once chewed, they can stick to your teeth and convert into sugars very quickly. Pack healthy, whole-grain snack options instead—or even better, choose healthy nuts or seeds (just nothing too hard!).

2. Rethink What You Drink

Sodas and sports drinks are poor beverage options for healthy teeth, and they’re definitely NOT recommended while you’re wearing braces. Many fruit juices are loaded with sugar and acid, as well. Consider milk or water instead. Chocolate milk may be a good option, too. It offers protein and almost half of your daily calcium intake.

3. Choose Natural Tooth Scrubbers

There are certain foods that actually help your teeth. For example, cheese and yogurt can cut the acidity making something like fruit juice a little less harmful. Plus, there are great fruits and vegetables that scrub or clean your teeth when you eat them and help get rid of those built-up sugars and starches from your lunch. These foods include apples, celery, carrots, cucumbers, and pears.

Having a hard time eating these foods now that you’re wearing braces? Simply cut them up into small, bite-size pieces.

And, always remember to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste, and be sure to brush after you’re finished eating that healthy lunch!

Planning for the Cost of Braces and Orthodontic Treatment

For many families in the Sioux Falls area, paying for braces can be a significant investment. That investment can become even larger when multiple family members need braces or orthodontic treatment. Additionally, some types of orthodontics can be more expensive than other types. Understanding the various options for paying for braces can help to remove some of the financial stress.


Insurance is one of the most common methods for paying for braces. It is important to understand that not all dental plans offer coverage for braces, but the right plan can help to defray a significant portion of the cost for braces. In choosing a dental insurance package, it is important to focus on finding a package that specifically covers orthodontists. The precise coverage provided will vary among plans, but many dental insurance plans will help to shave approximately 50 percent off the total cost of braces. In shopping for a dental plan, it should be understood that most plans will not provide coverage if the patient already has braces. Also, some plans require a waiting period, so it is important that you do not wait until orthodontic treatment is necessary. Otherwise, you may find that treatment is not covered or that you need to delay treatment until the waiting period has passed.

Affordable Payment Plans:

The cost of your orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your individual needs and treatment plan. The staff here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics will discuss with you the cost of your treatment and each available payment plan option so that you can make the best choice for you and your smile. We will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget, and you will know what to expect before beginning treatment.

For your convenience, we are flexible on our payment plans and we accept payment from insurance companies. Payments are also accepted on Visa and Mastercard. Our staff are happy to assist you and your family whenever possible to choose the best payment plan for you.

As another convenience to you, we offer electronic payments through OrthoBanc Payment Services. Please ask us about this service.

Your smile is yours forever, and at Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to receive the best orthodontic care whenever you need it.

3 Orthodontic Tips When You Have A Cold Or The Flu

When the cold and flu season hits, your teeth and braces are most likely the last things on your mind as you reach for another blanket or some tissues! But some things regarding that cold or flu that can adversely affect your oral health. Believe it or not, your teeth, your braces, and that nasty cold are connected.

Since tooth decay and gum disease can be especially risky during orthodontic treatment, you need to be aware of these three things:

Tip 1: Stay Hydrated To Avoid Dry Mouth
Dry mouth increases cavity risk. Most colds come with an annoying stuffed-up nose, causing us to breathe through our mouths. Mouth-breathing, combined with decreased saliva production during sleep, makes our mouths more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

Tip 2: Keep That Icky Stuff Off Your Teeth
• Are you sucking on cough drops all day? Most are chock full of sugar. Choose sugar-free cough drops if possible, and, DON’T bite down on those super-hard drops.

• Cough syrup has lots of sugar too. If you take cough syrup, be sure rinse out your mouth before going back to bed.

• Stomach acid is hard on teeth. Sorry to mention this, but if you’re throwing up, be sure to keep your teeth rinsed and clean.

Tip 3: No Matter How Tired You Are
We know it’s hard when you’re sick, but don’t neglect your normal brushing/flossing routine just because you’re feeling lousy and really tired. Your oral health while you’re wearing braces is just too important to ignore.

Some More Tips For Staying Healthy
Stay healthy this flu season! Remember to sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often to keep viruses from spreading.

If you are sick, we hope you feel better soon! And thank you for placing your trust with Horner Barrow Orthodontics.