Our Blog

Happy Fall!

September 17th, 2021

Happy Fall, everyone! Even though fall has not officially begun, we are super excited to get our fall decorations up around the office. We love fall but more importantly, we love sweater weather season! We are happy to celebrate new additions to our office family! Both Betsy and Natalie welcomed new additions this month! We are wishing each of them lots of rest!


With school starting, we want to give our patients updates to scheduling and safety protocols during the flu season. During this time, we have after-school and Saturday appointments available for all of our students. Although there may be certain appointments that will need to be during a weekday morning, we will try our best to accommodate. We promise to do our best to meet your scheduling needs. 


With COVID-19 cases going up once again and the start of flu season, we continue to take our safety protocols seriously. The dental environment is one of the safest when it comes to COVID-19 protocols. As a profession, we have always been obsessed with infection control. We have multiple hand sanitizing stations and air purifiers throughout the office. Our central HVAC system is also amplified with extra filtering for everyone’s safety. Please wear a mask when you come, regardless of your vaccination status. We are doing our best to ensure we are respecting everyone’s safety during this time. And, since masking up is still normal, now is the perfect time to straighten your teeth if you are self-conscious about treatment!


As we start getting closer to the holiday season, we will be excited to share all of our favorite traditions. But for now, we are excited for National Coffee Day on September 29th! Iced coffee seems to be a team favorite across the board in our office, even when it's super cold outside. However, we do want to caution all of our patients that drinking coffee often is not great when it comes to staining teeth. For those in treatment with Invisalign, remember to take aligners out when drinking and eating. For this reason, try to avoid sipping beverages throughout the day to limit the amount of time your aligners are out of your mouth. 


We hope to see everyone soon and cannot wait to see everyone’s beautiful smiles!

Looking—and Feeling—Your Best in Braces

September 15th, 2021

It’s normal to be a little self-conscious when you first get your braces. Even though you really want to straighten any crooked teeth, or correct a bad bite, you might still be a bit hesitant about sharing your new orthodontic work with the world. What are some ways to get over those under-confident feelings?

  • Keep It Clean

Make sure you brush after every meal to reduce the chance of food particles and plaque sticking to your enamel and brackets. Brushing and flossing is particularly important now, not only to prevent cavities, but because nobody wants to see food stuck in your braces—especially you! If you absolutely can’t brush, rinse with water right after eating.

And carry a small bag filled with all the essentials for gleaming braces: a travel toothbrush, floss, a small tube of toothpaste, an interproximal brush, and a handy mirror to make sure you’re good to go. When you know your teeth and braces are their cleanest, you can’t help but feel more confident.

  • Express Yourself

Braces are no longer the one-style-fits-all appliances of the past. Traditional metal braces at our Andover office are more compact, and now come in different colors and shapes. Metal brackets are typical, but ceramic brackets are an option for an almost unnoticeable look. And don’t forget to accessorize!

You can choose from a rainbow of band colors to make a fashion statement that’s uniquely you. Show your spirit with school colors, celebrate the holidays with festive tones, or choose shades that do wonders for your coloring. Whether you go for bold contrast, mono-chromatic subtlety, or “just because I’m in the mood” quirky combinations, let your braces showcase your style. And remember—you can change that style with every adjustment!

  • Smile with Confidence

Nothing looks better on you than a confident smile. If you’re a little unsure, practice! Some mirror or selfie time will get you used to seeing yourself in braces. Break them in with friends and family before you go public. Remember that any difficulties with talking or eating should only last a little while.

Above all, you’re still your unique and valued self. You can wear braces and be a good friend, a student, an athlete, a lovestruck Juliet on the theater balcony, a star at your after-school job. Don’t let wearing braces hold you back from the activities you love.  Act like your old self, and you’ll soon feel like your old self!

It’s normal to feel a little self-conscious when you first get your braces. But when you care for yourself and your braces, good things happen! If you’re having difficulty adjusting, talk to Dr. Kathleen Chan and Dr. Ivy Chen. We want to help make sure your journey to a beautiful, healthy smile is as rewarding and as positive as it can be.

How to Choose the Best Mouthwash

September 8th, 2021

As we all know, or should by now, the key to maintaining great oral health is keeping up with a daily plan of flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash. These three practices in combination will help you avoid tooth decay and keep bacterial infections at bay.

At Chan & Chen Orthodontics, we’ve noticed that it’s usually not the toothbrush or floss that people have trouble picking, but the mouthwash.

Depending on the ingredients, different mouthwashes will have different effects on your oral health. Here are some ideas to take under consideration when you’re trying to decide which type of mouthwash will best fit your needs.

  • If gum health is your concern, antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce bacteria near the gum line.
  • If you drink a lot of bottled water, you may want to consider a fluoride rinse to make sure your teeth develop the level of strength they need.
  • Generally, any mouthwash will combat bad breath, but some are especially designed to do so.
  • Opt for products that are ADA approved, to ensure you aren’t exposing your teeth to harmful chemicals.
  • If you experience an uncomfortable, burning sensation when you use a wash, stop it and try another!

Still have questions about mouthwash? Feel free to ask Dr. Kathleen Chan and Dr. Ivy Chen during your next visit to our Andover office! We’re always happy to answer your questions. Happy rinsing!

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest!

September 1st, 2021

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at Chan & Chen Orthodontics hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Andover area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

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