Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Braces FAQ

eating with braces
You may have some basic questions about braces on your teeth. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about braces asked by patients.

Are braces painful?

Braces were once bulky and more painful than they are today. Nowadays, braces use high-tech wires and smaller brackets to produce shorter treatment times. While wearing braces in not pain-free, many people experience little pain. The most pain occurs right after the orthodontist adjusts your braces, but that pain remains only for a short time and is easily treated with over the counter medications.

How long will I need to wear my braces?

The average length of time people wear braces is between six months and three years. Your orthodontist will be able to give you an estimate of the amount of time you will wear your braces.

How frequently will I need to visit the Orthodontist?

Office visits occur about every four to six weeks.

Can I use a device that looks like a retainer instead of wearing braces?

Retainer-like teeth adjustment devices are usually for people that need only a slight adjustment in their bite. Braces are for individuals who need more serious teeth adjustment.

How long do I need to wear my retainer after my braces come off?

Because teeth are set in bone, you’ll need to wear your braces full time for a while. Eventually, you’ll only need to wear retainers at night. Retainers help hold your teeth in place until the bone around them grows and solidifies around the teeth. Your orthodontist will tell you if can discontinue wearing your retainer.

How often do I need to brush my teeth with braces?

Brushing and flossing are important when you wear braces. If you don’t routinely clean your braces, food and other debris will become stuck around the brackets. You should brush your teeth after every meal and before bed to keep your teeth as clean as possible while wearing braces. Also, routinely use a fluoride rinse to protect your teeth from cavities.

What foods should I avoid eating?

Hard, sticky foods like caramel and gummy bears should be avoided. These treats stick to teeth and give you a greater chance of getting cavities. Hard foods like carrots and apples take a lot of effort to chew. They may break off the brackets or snap the wires of your braces.

More questions about braces? Visit your local dentist. For me, that's Daniel J. Derksen, DDS, PLLC, my dentist in Lansing, Michigan. He was happy to walk me through all of my options when I had to get braces. Years later and my smile is the best it's ever been!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

5 Ways to Explore the Art Scene of the Berkshires

The Berkshires is home to a thriving art scene that rivals those found in other parts of Massachusetts. Many of the local museums, art galleries and special events give people the chance to learn more about the area’s thriving art community. Here are five ways to explore the art scene of the Berkshires.

Spend a Day at the Berkshire Museum

Located in Pittsfield, this museum features precious artworks and artifacts from all around the world. Some of these pieces even date back to ancient times and offer a glimpse into how people once lived. There is also an extensive collection of American artworks that were created by some of the nation’s most iconic artists. More information about the museum’s collections along with visiting hours and prices can be found at

Explore Chesterwood

This quaint country home in Stockbridge is where acclaimed artist Daniel Chester French created many of his sculptures. Some of his most impressive masterpieces sit on display for visitors to behold. Guests can also tour his studio and explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the home. Anyone wanting to visit can find more information at 

Take a Trip to the Mission House

Also located in Stockbridge, this house has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Inside the home, visitors are allowed to explore the different rooms that are adorned with decorative artworks. Mohican Indian art pieces and artifacts have also been salvaged and are displayed inside the home’s Indian Museum. Further details about the home’s visiting hours along with other important information can be viewed at 

Visit the Clark Art Institute

This museum in Williamstown is open to visitors who want to learn even more about the art scene in the Berkshires. Collections include some of the finest examples of British and Dutch artwork. The museum also has American paintings, sculptures and photographs on display. Old master paintings dating back to the 14th century can be viewed as well. The museum even features special exhibitions that give art lovers even more opportunities to see unique pieces. More details about the museum and its collections can be found at 

Attend the Berkshires Arts Festival

This summertime tradition regularly attracts art lovers from all parts of the region who want to see unique art pieces that were created by notable American and Canadian artists. The event is usually held in early July and was started by Richard and Joanna Rothbard as a way to add even more depth to the local art scene. The website for this festival is 

This blog post is a guest contribution from Brook Farm Inn, a Berkshire bed and breakfast in Lenox, MA.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Palm Springs - A Shopper's Mecca

Like most affluent communities, the desert paradise of Palm Springs, CA, offers a wealth of shopping options to the throngs who visit each year. Besides the obvious choices of the malls and name brand shopping centers that line Highway 111, there is variety to suit every taste and budget.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Celebrate Your Anniversary

The longer you've been married, the harder it is to find novel ways to rekindle your relationship. Some couples don't even think about this important milestone, especially when they've been together for so many years already. But that's where problems can begin -- from a small tear to one big gaping hole that will be harder to sew back again.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Countries that Will Demand the Most Steel in the Next 10 Years

Nightscape of the high-rise section of Dubai, ...
If there’s a physical substance that builds nations, then it has to be steel. Steel is used in the construction of highways, bridges and buildings, and is used in a variety of vital products to grow, such as household appliances and cars. Here are a few of the top countries that will be demanding the most amount of steel in the next decade.


It should come as no surprise that China is posed for super expansive growth in the next decade. The largest population in the world continues to see rises in household income, which allows them to spend more on luxury products, which drives large amounts of industrial activity – all of which require large amounts of steel. Luckily for China, they have large quantities of iron ore internally, and are in fact the largest steel producer in the world. Without having to pay larger premiums for steel, they can use steel to build their nations at a lower rate than other countries.


Vietnam has been considered as a country with a huge population with not enough income to support industrial growth for far too long. The country continues to see an increasing demand in cars, and has seen a sharp reduction in cars per 100 people throughout the country. With a continuing demand in luxury items, and a high population that has more money to spend, Vietnam should see a sharp increase in growth in the next ten years.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai seems to have finally caught the world’s attention, and propelled the city as the unofficial capital of the Middle East. With an ever expanding demand for oil, and an ideal physical location for trade, the United Arab Emirates will expect to have a large amount of economic growth for their relatively modest population size. Additionally, the immigration rate for the country is the highest in the entire world, and all of which are primarily wealthy individuals or individuals with high training and skills.

For more information on steel, visit Capital Steel & Wire's website.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MBA Human Resources Programs

When it comes to being a lawyer or a doctor or accountant, there always seems to be a clear and set path for you to follow. You graduate from undergrad, apply to graduate schools or take necessary exams, and then achieve a title or certificate that gives you necessary credentials to practice your profession. Organized and clean. However, things seem to be farther from the case when it comes to making a profession in human resource management.

The Human Resource Management Program at MSU is one of the top Human Resource MBA programs in the country, and many would dream to work there. However, what happens if you also get accepted to work in the human resources program at Boeing - One of the most highly sought after programs for human resource professionals in the world.

It isn't an easy choice, and it isn't the only profession that's like that. Many marketing and sales professionals also face the choice of going off to work at a great company where they will make money and possibly have a promising future, or enrolling at their dream MBA program.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Christmas Shopping is Almost Done!

Nebraska Huskers
And thank goodness. I'm tired of shopping bags and packages already. The second-to-last person on my list was my sister-in-law (who will not be named even though I don't think she would ever come across this blog). My sister-in-law and I are best friends. We go to Husker games together with our husbands whenever we can. She is what you would definitely call a die-hard fan and I’m not taking the phrase lightly. She’s often screaming and cheering louder than our husbands! 

Despite her love for Huskers football, she, unfortunately, doesn’t have much Husker gear. She’s always sporting my brother’s shirts and hats, but doesn’t have any Husker swag of her own. Well, for Christmas, I thought I’d change that. I found the husker planet store online and they had all sorts of items she had on her wish list. Little does she know, they will be all Husker football-oriented! 

First, I picked out some Nebraska pajama pants. She’s the type that likes to get cozy for bed, so I knew she’d dig these flannel, plaid pants. They’re 100% cotton flannel and they’ve got the embroidered “N” on the left front leg. The colors of the plaid are tints of the team colors, so even on her lazy days, her team spirit can still be there! 

Next, I picked her out a Husker t-shirt. This shirt truly has a more feminine appeal to it….and it should, because it’s actually made for women! It features a stylish scoop neck and distressed screen print graphics across the front chest, featuring the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers logo. It’s also 100% cotton and tag less, so it’s stylish and comfortable! It’s also pre-washed, so that makes it super convenient and I know it will fit her after she washes it. 

Then, I picked out a Nebraska shirt….perfect for game day! It’s got the look and style of a jersey, but it’s fitted and designed for a woman. It’s called the “Football Slub Tee”. Its relaxed, vintage clothing with that familiar vintage soft feel because it’s 100% cotton. I know she’ll definitely love what she unwraps from me this year, thanks to the husker planet store!