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Thanksgiving Trivia

November 25th, 2020

At Chan & Chen Orthodontics we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Kathleen Chan and Dr. Ivy Chen wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

What causes crooked teeth?

November 18th, 2020

Crooked teeth, more correctly called malocclusions, have reached epidemic proportions in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, approximately 80 percent of American teenagers are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Although advances in orthodontic devices and increased availability of such devices explain part of this increase, it still means there are a lot of crooked teeth in the world.

The theories about what is causing so many crooked teeth range from the ridiculous to the scientific. For years, oral health professionals believed that crooked teeth were an evolutionary result of the change in Western diets from raw, wild foods to soft, processed foods. That theory has since been debunked.

The truth is that crooked teeth can be caused by a number of things. Crooked teeth can be an inherited trait. Parents with crooked teeth and malformed jaws are more likely to have children with malocclusions. Ill-fitting or poorly-executed dental restorations, such as fillings and crowns, can also cause teeth to become crooked. Baby teeth that fall out early, gingivitis, and even a jaw that is too small to accommodate all of a person’s adult teeth are additional causes of crooked teeth. In addition, thumb sucking and the use of a pacifier for too long can contribute to crooked teeth.

What to do about crooked teeth

Fortunately, modern orthodontics offers a number of solutions for crooked teeth. Traditional metal braces are the most popular, though our Andover office provides a number of clear, aesthetic options as well. If you’re tired of hiding your smile because of crooked teeth, contact Dr. Kathleen Chan and Dr. Ivy Chen and our team at Chan & Chen Orthodontics and set up an appointment. We’ll have you showing off your straight pearly whites in no time!

Happy November!

November 17th, 2020

Happy November from Chan & Chen Orthodontics. We can’t wait to kick off the holiday season! As the holiday season begins, we should take a moment to reflect on things we are grateful for so we can truly appreciate the positive we have in our lives. For us, it’s our team’s good health and all our wonderful patients that make coming to work each day so enjoyable.

This year, Dr. Kathleen and Dr. Ivy will celebrate Thanksgiving Day at home with each of their families and they won't be doing any traveling as they often do this time of year. Like you probably do too, Dr. Kathleen and Dr. Ivy stay connected with their extended families via methods such as FaceTime and Zoom.

Do you have a favorite food at Thanksgiving? Dr. Kathleen has a recipe from the NYT Cooking for butter tarts to share. This is a classic Canadian treat (braces-friendly) that she grew up with:


INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY

⦁ 1 ½ cup/191 grams all-purpose flour, more for dusting

⦁ Pinch of fine sea salt

⦁ ½ cup/113 grams cold unsalted butter or lard (103 grams), cubed

⦁ ¼ cup/60 milliliters ice water

⦁ 1 large egg yolk

⦁ 1 teaspoon white vinegar

FOR THE FILLING

⦁ ¼ cup/36 grams raisins (optional)

⦁ 1 cup/220 grams packed brown sugar, light or dark (see Note)

⦁ ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

⦁ ¼ cup/57 grams unsalted butter, softened

⦁ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⦁ 1 large egg

PREPARATION

⦁ Make the pastry: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, rub butter or lard into flour until mixture is in pea-size pieces.

⦁ In a small bowl, mix water, egg yolk, and vinegar until well combined. Add liquid to the flour mixture, using a fork to combine. Add 1 tablespoon more water if it looks dry.

⦁ Knead dough several times by hand to bring it together and shape into a flat square. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

⦁ Once chilled, roll out the dough into a 16-inch-by-12-inch (40.5 centimeters by 30.5 centimeters) rectangle about 1/8- to 1/4-inch (3 to 6 millimeters) thick. Flour the work surface and rolling pin as you work with the dough.

⦁ Use a circular 4-inch (10 centimeters) cookie cutter (or a clean 28-ounce/496 milliliter can) to cut 12 pieces. Reroll dough if needed to cut more circles, but try to cut as many pieces on the first pass. With your fingertips, press each circle into the cup of a standard muffin tin, so that the edge of the dough is flush with the pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

⦁ In a bowl, cover raisins with hot tap water to plump. Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

⦁ Make the filling: In a bowl, mix brown sugar and salt, and then beat the butter into the sugar by hand until smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Do not use an electric mixer; it will add too much air to the filling.

⦁ Drain the raisins and place seven or eight raisins in each chilled tart shell.

⦁ Divide the filling evenly among the tart shells, filling each one about halfway. Place muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes for a runnier tart and 17 to 19 minutes for a firmer one.

⦁ A few minutes after removing the tarts from the oven, run a knife or offset spatula around the edge of each tart to loosen. Let cool completely in the tin. To remove, run a butter knife or offset spatula around and under each tart to pop it out of the tin. Enjoy!

Have a safe and lovely Thanksgiving everyone! We look forward to seeing you in the office again soon! Dr. Kathleen, Dr. Ivy and Team

Five Ways You Won’t—And One Way You Will—Get Your Braces Off Faster

November 11th, 2020

It’s only natural when you’re waiting for something good—you count down the weeks until your birthday, or until the summer holidays, or until your braces come off. But while your birthday and your vacation won’t come any faster no matter what you do, you can help determine just how fast that happy day arrives when you’re done with your orthodontic treatment.

When you first got your appliance, Dr. Kathleen Chan and Dr. Ivy Chen gave you an estimate of how long your treatment would take. Of course, that estimate is based on everything going according to plan. What are some detours that can delay your progress?

  • Missing Appointments

With every adjustment at our Andover office, you are moving closer to the ideal positioning for your teeth. If you miss or postpone appointments, it can take just that much longer to complete your orthodontic work.

  • Eating the Wrong Foods

You have a list of foods that are on the do-not-eat list. Hard, chewy, sticky bites are famous braces-breakers, but don’t forget that size also matters! Biting into a juicy apple or a buttery ear of corn can damage your brackets and wires just as much as chewy candy can. Be sure everything you eat is size-appropriate and braces-friendly. Obviously, damaged braces can’t straighten teeth as effectively as intact appliances!

  • Sticking with Bad Habits

Pressure from nail biting, chewing pencils, or crunching on ice can cause chips and cracks in your teeth, so just think what they can do to your appliance. Ask us for tips for quitting if you’ve picked up any of these habits. We know habits can be hard to break, but they are harder on your teeth and braces. If you bend or break a wire or loosen a bracket, you might be delaying your orthodontic progress. Which leads us to . . .

  • Ignoring Appliance Accidents

Accidents happen. Brackets or metal bands can become loose; wires can bend or break; spacers can fall out. If you notice a problem, call our office right away. Sometimes a minor problem can wait, but if your appliance is damaged, your teeth aren’t moving into position on schedule.

  • Blowing Off Bands

If you have bands to help correct your bite, be sure that you wear them as directed. If you skip hours or days of band-wear, you are adding to the time it will take to correct the bite problems they are meant to fix. And don’t double band to speed things up—that might put too much pressure on your teeth. Just follow our recommendations, and you will be done with those bands—and those braces—as soon as possible.

But, wait! We promised you one sure way to keep your orthodontic progress on track:

  • Follow Your Treatment Plan

If you keep your appointments, take care of your braces, call us promptly if they are damaged, and wear your appliance as directed, you will be doing your part to keep your treatment on track. And that happy day when your braces come off? It will arrive right on schedule!

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