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Braces-Friendly Super Foods

4 Braces-Friendly Super Foods for Strong Teeth

By Community, Dental Care No Comments

With the new year comes a fresh resolve to boost your health. And although you’ve already taken a big step in healthy teeth — getting braces — take it one step further by eating foods that strengthen your teeth, too. 

So what foods strengthen teeth that you can eat while wearing braces? To help you figure that out, the teeth experts at Richard Chan Orthodontics have created a list of 4 braces-friendly super foods:

1. Brightly Colored Fruits and Veggies

Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables are a good place to start when it comes to good nutrition for oral health. Dr. Chan recommends taking small bites, or cutting up your fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces. This helps avoid bits getting stuck in your braces.

Vivid-hued fruits and veg contain vitamins C and A, both of which contribute to a healthy oral environment. Let’s talk about each here:

Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps build and maintain healthy oral tissue and gums. Strong connective tissue in your gums keeps teeth firmly in place and helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Foods to eat with braces that are rich in vitamin C include: 

  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli (feel free to steam or cook to soften)
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Bell Peppers

As a bonus, many braces-friendly foods with vitamin C can also whiten teeth. Strawberries contain a stain-fighting enzyme called malic acid. And the tartness in citrus fruits causes extra saliva production that helps wash away sticky, stain-causing bacteria and sugars.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A strengthens your teeth by helping maintain a healthy amount of saliva. Saliva lowers the acidity in your mouth after you’ve eaten to a more neutral or alkaline pH, helping prevent tooth enamel erosion and making your teeth less susceptible to tooth decay.

Fruits and vegetables with lots of vitamin A include leafy greens like spinach and kale, and “orange” fruits and vegetables like:

  • Oranges
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots (steam or cook to prevent the risk of braces damage)
  • Sweet potatoes


Say, “Cheese, please!” when you want braces-friendly food that also strengthens your teeth. Cheese has both naturally occurring health benefits and is fortified with several powerhouse vitamins and minerals. Your oral health is boosted with cheese’s calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and protein. And we can’t forget to mention that the calcium in cheese helps protect your teeth and gums.

When reaching for cheese, opt for soft cheeses to avoid damaging your braces. Braces-friendly cheeses include:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Brie
  • Thinly-sliced or cubed Cheddar, Swiss or American cheese
  • Mozzarella

Eating cheese also helps neutralize the pH balance in your mouth, reducing the acids that can damage your tooth enamel, cause stains, and contribute to tooth decay. Cheese helps clear out mouth sugars and bacteria that trigger acids after you eat, making it a great food for maintaining healthy teeth.

Pro tip: Make the most out of the calcium in cheese by also eating foods with lots of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body better absorb calcium. 

3.  Lean Protein

Poultry, fish, eggs, and lean beef are all protein foods that are good for teeth. Lean proteins have lots of phosphorus, a mineral that helps strengthen teeth by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel. Protein also helps heal gum tissue and the mucosal lining of your mouth faster.

When eating lean proteins with braces, Dr. Chan suggests cutting your protein in small, bite-size pieces, then chewing with your molars. Don’t tear chunks with your front teeth. 

4. Water

Though not a food, water is Nutrition 101 for supporting good oral health over any other beverages when you have braces. Why? First, no sugar. 

Second, your saliva is about 99% water and 1% protein and salts, so ensuring you drink plenty of water keeps your saliva at optimal levels. As we mentioned previously, saliva’s job is to wash away sugars and bacteria, and bring down the acidity in your mouth. 

Third, saliva helps you avoid dry mouth, an issue that causes bad breath.

Lastly, drinking or rinsing your mouth with water helps wash away plaque and food debris from your teeth and braces if you’re not able to brush and floss right away. 

Tap water or bottled?

Which is better for nutrition and oral health? Typically, clean tap water is preferable over bottled water because most tap water contains added fluoride — while bottled water does not. Fluoride is a mineral that helps rebuild and strengthen tooth enamel.

A Straight, Healthy Smile From Richard Chan Orthodontics

Now that you know more about braces-friendly foods that strengthen teeth, we hope you enjoy good teeth health while waiting for your fantastic, new smile. 

But if you haven’t started braces treatment yet, now’s the time! At Richard Chan Orthodontics, we’ll help you get a beautiful, functional smile that suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. 

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Chan, your orthodontic specialist in Bothell, Monroe, and Mill Creek, WA, and Juneau, AK.

8 Ways to Celebrate Getting Your Braces Off in Juneau, AK

By Community, Orthodontics No Comments

 Getting your braces off or finishing Invisalign® treatment is a big deal! After committing to taking care of your teeth and your appliance, you’ll have a fantastic smile to show for your efforts. 

Of course, if you’re a patient at Richard Chan Orthodontics, we’ll make you feel special when your treatment is complete. But we also think it’s a great idea to mark the occasion with your friends and family too. 

Not sure how to celebrate getting your braces off? Our Juneau, AK orthodontist is sharing eight fun ideas!

1. Enjoy Some Braces Un-Friendly Foods 

As you’re well aware, there are certain foods to avoid with braces, including anything really hard, chewy or sticky, such as popcorn, gum, licorice, hard candy, nuts, caramel and toffee. When your braces are removed, go ahead and indulge in the food you missed during treatment (in moderation, of course). Here are a few places to get treats in Juneau:

  •  Alaskan Fudge Company – 195 S. Franklin St., Juneau, AK – Try the delicious, homemade fudge, cashew brittle or chocolate covered pecans without worrying about breaking a braces bracket. 
  •  Coppa – Get a baked good or grab a pint of ice cream since all flavors are back on the menu!
  •  Zerelda’s Bistro – 9106 Mendenhall Mall Rd, Ste B, Juneau, AK – Zerelda’s freshly baked desserts are perfect for celebrating the end of orthodontic treatment. 
  • Alaskan Sweet Thing’s – Treat yourself to some candy or their gourmet popcorn. You can order online or find the popcorn and sweets in these Alaskan retail stores

2. Go Out for a Celebratory Meal 

Speaking of food, go out to eat or get some takeout from a Juneau restaurant. How exciting will it be to not worry about what you can eat on the menu or have to take your Invisalign aligners out before your meal? Try:

3. Whiten Your Teeth     

When your braces come off or you remove your last Invisalign tray, round out your smile makeover with whitening treatment. While over-the-counter products may get you a few shades brighter, professional whitening with your dentist will give you much more dramatic results for the straight, white teeth of your dreams. 

4. Do a Photoshoot     

Whether you have a friend take pictures or you hire a professional photographer, you’ll want to capture your brand-new smile. 

5. Throw a Party

Throw a braces off party to show off your results. Be sure to serve some of the things you couldn’t eat with braces. 

6. Go on an Adventure

After finishing Invisalign or braces treatment, you deserve a daycation. Play tourist in Juneau for a day and visit some of your favorite spots, eat amazing food and take part in fun activities (we have a round-up of things to do in Juneau in the winter, here). Alaska.org also has some excellent recommendations

7. Highlight Your Smile

Reward yourself with something that complements or highlights your healthy, beautiful smile. Get a facial at a Juneau spa or head to a barbershop or salon for a fresh haircut. Book a visit at:

8. Laugh and Smile! 

If you felt self-conscious about your smile before braces or Invisalign, make up for lost time by finding as many reasons to laugh and smile as possible. A good starting point? Catch a comedy at Goldtown Theater or Glacier Cinema

Ready for a Smile You’ll Want to Celebrate?

Now that you know how to celebrate getting your braces off, we hope you end your smile journey on a high note.

If you haven’t started treatment yet, schedule a complimentary consultation with our Juneau orthodontist, Dr. Richard Chan, today!


Second Opinion

Should I Get a Second Opinion From an Orthodontist?

By Community, Orthodontics No Comments

While general dentists and online companies sometimes offer teeth-straightening services, getting care from an orthodontic specialist is key. A certified specialist in orthodontics undergoes extensive training after dental school solely focused on preventing, diagnosing and treating irregularities of the teeth and jaw

But how do you go about finding a good orthodontist? And, should you get more than one opinion? Juneau, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek orthodontist Dr. Richard Chan is weighing in on the topic. 

Why Should You Get a Second Orthodontist Opinion?

Orthodontists, just like any type of doctor, can have different opinions about a diagnosis and different preferences when it comes to treatments. The cost of braces or Invisalign®, the length of treatment, the technology used, and the insurance plans they accept can also vary depending on the practice. 

If you visit an orthodontist for a consultation, you love the office, and you’re happy with the proposed treatment plan and fees, you might not need a second opinion. However, getting a second orthodontist’s opinion can be incredibly helpful if:

  • You don’t feel a connection with the doctor or team members.
    Orthodontic treatment is an investment and you’ll spend a good amount of time at your orthodontist’s office. You should feel comfortable and confident that the orthodontist and staff have your best interest at heart. Ultimately, you’ll want your smile journey to be a positive experience. Dreading every appointment will make you miserable.If the doctor or team members aren’t accommodating, don’t take the time to listen to your concerns or needs, or your instincts are telling you that it’s not a good fit, schedule an orthodontic consultation at another practice before committing.
  • The practice doesn’t use modern technology.
    Dated decor is one thing, but dated technology is entirely different. When a doctor is still using old technology and older treatments, it means that they haven’t kept up with innovations in orthodontics. It will impact your results, your treatment experience and, in some cases, even your oral health.Getting braces or Invisalign from an orthodontist who stays on the leading-edge of the field will help you achieve the best outcome more efficiently and comfortably. So, consider scheduling another visit at a more modern practice.
  • You’re told your young child needs lengthy interceptive orthodontic treatment.
    Interceptive orthodontic treatment, also called early orthodontic treatment or phase 1 orthodontic treatment, has become more popular over the years. This is where the orthodontist uses appliances while a child is still growing and has some baby teeth to guide jaw development and make room for the permanent teeth to erupt properly.There are absolutely cases where interceptive orthodontic treatment will help your child get the most stable results and avoid the need for jaw surgery or extractions later. However, often times, we can achieve outstanding results without interceptive treatment.At Richard Chan Orthodontics, we treat young patients very conservatively and only recommend phase 1 treatment in rare cases. So, we’d highly recommend a second orthodontist’s opinion if you’ve been told your child needs early interceptive orthodontic treatment, especially if the treatment seems long, elaborate or unnecessary.
  • You’re diagnosed with a complex orthodontic problem that will require extensive and/or costly treatment.
    If you have a complex case and the treatment plan is expensive or complicated (i.e., involves tooth extractions, years in braces, etc.), it doesn’t hurt to get another quote. This will help you decide if the costs and treatment plan are reasonable.
  • The orthodontist recommends surgical orthodontics.
    Surgical orthodontics is when we combine braces or Invisalign with corrective jaw surgery. It’s reserved for adult patients with certain severe skeletal issues that can’t be corrected with braces or Invisalign on their own. The process takes several years, involves major surgery and a serious recovery period, and it can be expensive.While sometimes it is the best option, whenever surgery is involved, you should always get a second opinion. With today’s technology and techniques, surgical orthodontics is becoming less common and many cases that would have required surgery in the past can be treated with orthodontics alone.
  • You’re told you’re not a candidate for Invisalign.
    A second Invisalign opinion is important if it was determined that you’re not a candidate for clear aligners. Of course, some orthodontic problems respond better to one treatment versus another.However, many times, patients are told Invisalign won’t work for them because the orthodontist doesn’t have the product familiarity or case experience to feel comfortable using the treatment for anything more than a mild issue. Getting a second Invisalign opinion from an experienced provider could mean that you can actually get clear aligners without compromising your results. Today more and more complex cases can be treated with Invisalign.
  • You don’t feel confident about the treatment plan, cost of braces or Invisalign, or any other aspect of your care.
    Listen to your instincts. It’s your smile and oral health, and you shouldn’t feel bad about wanting a second opinion from an orthodontist. If you’re not comfortable about any aspect of a proposed treatment plan or a practice, schedule a consultation at another orthodontic office.

Does Insurance Cover a Second Opinion on Braces or Invisalign Treatment?

Insurance coverage for orthodontic treatment varies greatly depending on the dental insurance plan. You’ll want to check with your insurance provider about coverage for treatment, as well as diagnostics, consultations, and second opinions on braces or Invisalign. 

That said, many orthodontists offer free consultations and second opinions, Richard Chan Orthodontics included. Whether you have insurance or not, the exam, diagnostic records, and treatment recommendations are complementary at our practice. 

If you’re wondering how to get a second opinion from an orthodontist, in most cases, it’s as simple as calling the practice and scheduling a consultation. We can’t speak for every office, but at ours, no referral is necessary to book a visit. 

How to Choose a Good Orthodontist

Here are some things to look for when choosing an orthodontist:

  • Location
    Even if you find the best orthodontist, if the office is an hour away, committing to appointments can be tough. At Richard Chan Orthodontics, we have convenient locations in Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek, WA and Juneau, AK. You can choose the office that’s closest to you.
  • Orthodontist’s Training and Experience
    Be sure the doctor you’re seeing is a certified specialist in orthodontics. Don’t be afraid to ask how long they’ve been practicing and if they’ve treated cases like yours before.
  • Braces or Invisalign Cost
    When Dr. Chan started Richard Chan Orthodontics, his goal was to make high quality treatment accessible to everyone. Our braces and Invisalign are affordable and we accept most insurance plans. We also offer flexible, in-office financing options, including braces and Invisalign for as low as $129 per month.While the braces and Invisalign cost will vary depending on the severity of your case, the practice, your location, and other factors, you shouldn’t have to feel stressed about affording it. When you have treatment that works for your budget, you can focus on doing your part to get great results instead of worrying about the cost.
  • Modern Technology
    When choosing an orthodontist, ask about the technology the practice uses. Orthodontic technology has really evolved and staying up-to-date on it is essential. At our practice, we use advances like digital x-rays, the iTero digital scanner, treatment planning software, and even 3D printers. This allows Dr. Chan to design a smile for you based on your unique facial features. It also helps him achieve the results he promised in a way that’s safe, comfortable, and effective.
  • Treatment Options
    Being happy with your treatment modality will make for a better experience. If you have your heart set on clear braces, be sure the orthodontist offers them. If you want Invisalign, check that the orthodontist is an experienced Invisalign provider.
  • Clean Office
    The pandemic really put a spotlight on hygiene and disinfection practices. But, the truth is, that has always been important in oral health fields. You want an office that’s clean and follows all guidelines for infection control. Any good orthodontist will make your safety a top priority.
  • Friendly Team
    Last, but not least, when choosing an orthodontist, look for a practice with a friendly, welcoming team. If the doctor and staff are nice, informative, and willing to answer your questions, it’s a good indicator of the kind of care they’ll offer.

Book a Free Second Opinion at Richard Chan Orthodontics

The bottom line is, you should feel confident and informed about your treatment and excited to get started. If you’re unsure of an orthodontist’s diagnosis or treatment plan, schedule a complimentary second opinion with our Juneau, AK or Monroe, Bothell, Mill Creek/Everett, WA orthodontist today! There’s nothing to lose with this no-obligation, no-pressure visit and peace of mind to gain. Still need a first opinion? Schedule a complimentary consultation here.


Eat Local: Top Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek Restaurants With Braces-Friendly Food

By Community, Orthodontics No Comments

Now, more than ever, it’s so important to support local businesses since many were hard hit by the coronavirus shutdown, particularly restaurants. A delicious and simple way to help if it’s within your means is to order a meal for takeout or delivery. To give you some ideas of where to eat, we’re sharing some of our favorite local restaurants. Of course, since we want our Bothell, Monroe, Mill Creek and Everett braces patients to be able to enjoy some delicious food too, we’re highlighting establishments with braces-friendly food. We can’t mention every restaurant, so we would encourage you to patronize your personal favorites as well.

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We’re Reopening!

By Community No Comments

Dear patients and friends of Richard Chan Orthodontics,

We cannot believe it has been two months since we have seen you at our office. We’ve missed seeing your smiles, but we’re excited to welcome you back to our Washington offices on May 18th, 2020! We are still waiting word in Alaska that we are allowed to perform non-urgent procedures and will let you know when this can happen in Juneau. When you visit us in the office, you will notice that things might look a bit different. All the protocols we have in place are to keep our team and patients safe.
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Mother and child baking together

7 Fun Educational Activities to do With Kids at Home

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As we all try to practice social distancing and many of us are now homeschooling our kiddos while balancing working from home, it can be tough to keep little ones engaged, learning and having fun. Dr. Richard Chan isn’t just an Alaska, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek orthodontist, he’s also a dad, so he knows exactly what you’re going through! That’s why the Richard Chan Orthodontics team thought we’d share some fun educational activities to do with kids at home.

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Richard Chan Orthodontics is Celebrating Chinese New Year!

Richard Chan Orthodontics is Celebrating Chinese New Year!

By Community No Comments

When you come to Richard Chan Orthodontics, our team plays a big part in your smile journey. Every staff member at our Alaska, Bothell, Mill Creek and Monroe orthodontics practice has an important role. As we ring in 2020 and the Year of the Rat, I thought it was the perfect time to help you get to know my team a little better. Every year at our practice, we celebrate Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year. So, what better way to give you a glimpse into our personalities here at Richard Chan Orthodontics than have each team member share which animal they are on the Chinese zodiac and the trait they identify with? Read More


Braces-Friendly BBQ Ideas

By Community, Orthodontics 3 Comments

What do the end of the school year, July 4th and Labor Day have in common? They’re all the perfect cause for a summer celebration. And for the team at Richard Chan Orthodontics, summer parties are synonymous with summer BBQs. We’re talking juicy burgers, grilled chicken, and corn on the cob! Summer food really is the best food.

We’re sure you love chowing down on all your summer faves as much as we do, but many of the patients at our Alaska, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek orthodontic practice have braces, making it trickier for them to eat certain things. Soft treats like ice cream or fall-off-the-bone meats like grilled ribs are perfectly safe foods for braces — but hard, crunchy or sticky things are a no-go. And if you have braces, you’ll want to cut your corn off the cob before diving in.

While there are definitely foods you’ll need to avoid with braces, there are so many yummy things you can still enjoy. Braces or not, we want you to get the most out of your summer, so here’s a list of summer BBQ ideas that are safe for the whole family.

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Cool Off at Our Top Seattle Area Water Parks and Pools

Cool Off at Our Top Seattle Area Water Parks and Pools

By Community No Comments

Cool Off at Our Favorite Seattle Area Water Parks, Pools and Splash Pads

Summer is almost here at last. After months of rain, we’re ready for warm, lazy days under the Seattle sun. We don’t know about you but at Richard Chan Orthodontics, our favorite thing to do when the weather heats up is to get in the water. Fortunately, Seattle (and the surrounding area) is full of water parks, pools and splash pads.

There’s plenty of warm weather activities for kids in Seattle to keep you and your family cool this summer. The best part? Most splash pads and spray parks are free and have longer hours than local wading pools. So grab your suits, pack a lunch and take the kids to a local swimming hole. Here’s our guide to the best water parks, pools and splash pads in Seattle and beyond.

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mom on computer with baby on lap

Mom Blogs and Mom Groups in the Seattle Area

By Community No Comments

We see a lot of moms at our practice, either when they bring their kids in for treatment or when they visit us for their own smile. As a Mill Creek, Monroe and Bothell orthodontist, a husband and a father myself, I have a tremendous amount of respect for moms and I know that having support and a network of fellow parents is incredibly important. That’s why I’m sharing some of the best mom blogs, mom meetups and mom groups in the Seattle area.

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