Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Doctors & staff at Orthodontic Associates are animal lovers. Above is a picture of our Team Mascot "Angel". This post is about dog's dental health. Did you know that regularly brushing your dog's teeth and providing her with a healthy diet and plenty of chew toys can go a long way toward keeping her mouth healthy? Many pooches show signs of gum disease by age 4 because they are not provided with proper mouth care. Bad breath is the first sign of a problem. Give your dog regular home checks and follow the tips below, and you'll have a very happy puppy with a dazzling smile.
* THE BREATH TEST: Normal doggie breath isn't fresh smelling. But if his breath is especially offensive and is partnered with loss of appetite it is a good idea to contact your Vet.
* LIP SERVICE: Weekly, with your dog facing you, lift his lips and examine his gums and teeth. The gums should be pink and show no signs of swelling. His teeth should be clean without without any brownish tarter.
*CANINE TOOTHBRUSHING KIT: Purchase a toothbrush made for canines. There is also toothpaste made for dogs. At home you can make a paste out of baking soda and water. Never use fluoride on dogs under 6 months of age. Please do not use human toothpaste on your dog as it can give them a tummy ache.
*CHEW TOYS: Chew toys can satisfy your dog's natural desire to chew, while at the same time making his teeth strong. Gnawing also reduces your dog's overall stress level and prevents boredom.

Dentistry for canines also includes Orthodontics. Yes, braces for the family may now include the family dog! A Dental Veterinarian can tell you if Ortho treatment would be beneficial for your pet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in the United States today. No matter what you are giving thanks for this year, it's a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends!

While the harvest has been celebrated since time immemorial, the modern holiday that we call Thanksgiving dates back to 1621. The Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest in the New World with a Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln officially established the last Thursday in Novemebr as such.

Over 84% of adults in the United States will attend Thanksgiving dinners this year. Over 94% of those dinners will include cranberry sauce.

TURKEY TRIVIA...*Can fly up to 55 MPH over short distances. *Run up to 25 MPH on the ground. *Have excellent hearing but no ears. *Have a poor sense of smell. *Can see in color. *Have a 270 degree field of vision, making them difficult to sneak up on. *Sometimes sleep in trees.

Over 45 million turkeys are prepared and eaten in the United States for Thanksgiving each year. The five most popular ways to eat leftover turkey from your holiday dinner includes: soups/stews, sandwiches, casseroles, stir-fry, and salads.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Handling Orthodontic Emergencies at Home
What can you eat??? Lots of things, so let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! During your time in braces avoid food that you have to bite into: corn on the cob, whole apples, and raw carrots. You may cut the corn off of the cob and eat it that way. With other items, slice into very small pieces and place in your mouth. Also avoid hard and sticky foods like gum, caramels, nuts, and popcorn. Chewing on hard items (pens, pencils, fingernails) and the foods mentioned above can damage your braces and wires. This can cause treatment to take longer. Of course from time to time a bracket may become loose or a wire is poking. Always call us and we will promptly schedule you an appointment for necessary repairs. There are some things you can do at home to stay comfortable until your appointment.
Poking Wire: Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the patient's mouth. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with some dental wax.
Irritation of Lips or Cheeks: Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when the patient is eating. A small amount of relief wax makes an excellent bufer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. Not to worry if the wax is accidentally ingested. The wax is harmless.
Remember: Always give us a call and we will get you scheduled to make you comfortable!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October is National Orthodontic Health Month and Halloween

To recognize National Orthodontic Health Month we distributed wax to the school nurse at the Elementary, Middle, and High School level. We did this for 8 towns in the area.

At Halloween many treats can cause havoc for trick or treaters with braces. The hard, sticky, chewy candy can cause damage to your braces which may prolong treatment time. For a brace safe Halloween try our recipe listed below.
We will be distributing orange pumpkin frosted cookies in our Norwich, Waterford, Groton, and Pawcatuck office locations. In addition, on Friday October 29th from 5:00-7:00PM OASECT will participate in the "Trick or Trunk" at Eastern Point Beach in Groton giving out other goodies.
On Thursday October 28th all staff in the Waterford and Pawcatuck offices will be dressing up in PINK from head to toe! This will celebrate Halloween as well as recognize Breast Care Awareness Month. The highlight of the day will be when Dr. Hack dyes his hair pink! The rest of us are wearing wigs, but his hair will be the real deal.

Peanut Butter Eyeballs
Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons powered sugar, 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 1/2 cups rice krispies, 12 oz. white chocolate, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, Food coloring (2 colors).
Directions: Combine the butter, sugar, and peanut butter in a bowl then mix in the rice krispies. Roll mixture into 1/2 oz. balls and refriferate until firm. Melt the white chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments until smooth, adding oil to the melted chocolate halfway through. Dip the balls in melted chocolate and set on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Color the remaining chocolate two separated colors. Dollop one color for the iris and the other for the pupil. When the chocolate has set, place the balls in mini-muffin papers. Makes 36 eyeballs. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Damon Clear

The Damon Clear System is here! - This "self-ligating" bracket system greatly reduces the amount of friction between the bracket and the wire, allowing teeth to align much more rapidly than was the case before. Since incorporating the Damon System into our practice in 2002 we have noted that our patients' treatment completion times have shortened significantly. We have also noted a reduction in patient discomfort, as well as a reduction in the need for dental extractions in conjunction with treatment.

The Days of having braces tightened are over. The Damon System uses tie-less brackets that reduce pressure on your teeth, allowing them to move more comfortably to their correct positions. This innovative approach to orthodontics ensures greater comfort throughout treatment.

*Extraordinary results for smiles and faces.
*Fast treatment time and fewer offfice visits.
*Outstanding comfort.
*No headgear or extractions in most cases.
*Easy to keep clean.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Light the Night

Tonight the Doctors and staff will be participating in our second Light the Night walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Light the Night is an annual evening walk that celebrates and commemorates lives touched by cancer. Survivors carry illuminated white balloons, while supporters carry red. Gold balloons remember those who have lost their battle.
Light the Night is a two mile noncompetative walk and is held in over 240 communities throughout the United States and Canada. Together we enjoy an evening of family fun and celebration as we take steps to finding a cure.
The Light the Night walk events are evenings filled with inspiration. Orthodontic Associates staff enjoy an evening of fellowship and fun with each other. We raise money within our four offices. We hold raffles, lunches, and dress down days. We also place donation jars in businesses that we frequent for lunch.
Funds raised by teams and individual walkers provide:
*Lifesaving blood cancer research
*Free educational materials
*Local programs such as Family Support Groups
*Comprehensive, personalized assistance through a Resource Center

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summer is Winding Down- How We Spent It

Thanks for submitting your photos for our Summer Photo Contest. We got some really great entries! Before we post the winners, we would like to share some photos from our doctors and staff. Dr. Hack wants to lead off, so here we go!

Dr. Hack spent time in Europe, where his son Austin was competing in the World Rowing Junior Championships near Prague, Czech Republic. After several days of intense international competition, Austin's boat (the men's 8) won GOLD to become Junior World Champions!!!

It was really special to hear the US National Anthem at the awards ceremony following the race.

If you want to watch the final race, check out this video and scroll to 1:48. Beware, the commentary is in Czech! Also, the check out the US Rowing website, it has a more about the teams victory.

Following the racing, Austin joined the rest of the family for a victory celebration for a few days in Austria and Munich, Germany.

Be sure to check out the pictures of the national team, and also, here are some of Dr. Hack's pics from Prague and Austria.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Braces Story: Brenda

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brenda, and I am the newest member of the team here at OASECT- I work in the IT department. Although I’ve worked here for just over a month now, OASECT has been part of my life for a long time- I got braces here as a teenager.

I actually didn’t get my braces on until winter of my senior year of high school, which I thought was a little untraditional, but was totally fine with nonetheless. I remember many details of the morning I had them put on. I was dismissed from school during art class, which I had first period, and I was wearing a pink striped rugby shirt- I got bands (this was before we started using the Damon system here) to match.

I was more excited than nervous to have them put on. After, I was a little sore, but it wasn’t too bad, nothing a little ibuprofen wouldn’t cure, and it usually would go away after a day or so. I got clear brackets in the front, which was cool because you could hardly tell I even had braces (except for those hot pink bands I sometimes got!)

My sisters and me in 2002. I had my braces on for a few months at that point.

The following fall, I started college at Boston University. I always remember how accommodating the office staff was in scheduling my routine appointments. We always made it work, scheduling around long weekends and breaks. I would come home for a weekend, and have an appointment late Friday, or early Monday morning, and still make it back to Boston in time for classes.

Me, and my friends Zahra and James, in college, just a few months before I got my braces taken off.

Let me mention that I had headgear- even though it wasn’t anything like Lisa Simpson crazy cartoon headgear- it still makes me shudder to think of it. My roommate my freshman year made fun of me every night- good naturedly though. I wasn’t the best headgear wearer- I think my treatment was slightly longer because of it- but I wore it often enough. I had braces on for just over two years.

Getting them off was stranger then getting them on. Sometime before I got them off, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who had gotten his braces off a couple of years earlier. He said that it would be weird, because you’re used to having braces on and when you get them off, your teeth feel so smooth- it was like night and day. It was February of 2004, and I headed back to Boston during the spring semester of my sophomore year with a brand new, brace-free smile. Six years later, I look in the mirror sometimes and smile- at my smile.

I still have my retainers- I even used them as part of my “Ugly Betty” Halloween costume a couple years ago- I was “Betty” to a T. I wrapped some tiny strips of foil around the wire to make the brackets. People even came up to me halfway through the night and said they’d JUST realized it was me.

Me dressed as Ugly Betty for Halloween, complete with "braces" made by wrapping foil strips around my retainer.

So that is my braces story. I liked having them on (except for occasional soreness), loved all the staff in the office (especially my mom, Dilphia, who works in the lab here), and now, almost ten years after I got them on, I work here.

Me in May of 2010 at Disneyworld. Six years later, I still absolutely love my smile.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life with Braces...

*When you first get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. If the tenderness is severe take any pain reliever that you normally take for a headache or discomfort.
*Your braces may rub on your lips, tongue, or cheeks. Place silicone (wax) over the rubbing bracket before these spots get raw and painful. The tissue will soon toughen up so that you don't need the silicone. The silicone adheres better if the area is dry.
Common Orthodontic Emergencies:
*A broken bracket usually does not need to be repaired immediately, but can often wait for several days. Please call our office during normal business hours so we can schedule you to come in. Please save the brace and bring it with you to the repair appointment.
*A poking wire is irritating. If you experience this, use a blunt tool (pencil eraser) to gently push the wire away from the sore area. A poking wire can also be cut using fingernail clippers.
*If you have a lost or broken retainer, we should replace it as soon as possible so your teeth do not shift.
*Food caught in between your teeth is not an emergency but can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for the brace wearing patient. It is easily remedied with a piece of dental floss. Use your floss threader or proxy brush.
Please visit our website for illustrated instructions and much more!

Friday, April 30, 2010

AAO "How Orthodontics Changed My Life"

The AAO is sponsoring the "How Orthodontic Associates Changed My Life" video contest. Two winners will be awarded a $2500 schloarship to be used for educational expenses post high school. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to create a video story of their experiences and have the chance to win. Tell your story on a two minute video answering questions such as...
* What were you like before you had Orthodontic treatment?
* How proud are you of your new smile?
Submit entries by May 31, 2010. Complete contest guidelines found at

Friday, January 29, 2010

Smile for a Lifetime...only New England Chapter

Orthodontic Associates of Southeastern CT are the founders of the first chapter of the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation in New England. Through this non-profit foundation Dr. John Kozlowski, Dr. James O'Leary, and Dr. Gregory Hack are eager to help individuals with financial challenges, special situations, and orthodontic needs. The doctors, who will be treating these patients in their offices at no charge, feel this program is an excellent way to give back to the community that has given them so much.
At Smile for a Lifetime it is our mission to create self confidence, inspire hope and change the lives of children in our community. The gift of a smile can do all of this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn can use this gift to better themselves and our community.
If you have any questions please contact our Chapter coodinator at 860-443-1827 ext. 212.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Monday to everyone. Working in our Pawcatuck office today!!! Having fun putting braces on and doing our routine wire changes. Stay warm and cozy. :) Judy, Lisa, Becky, Melissa, and Dr. O'Leary.

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