Meet the Uncommon Team: Dr. Pickard

  1. What was your first job?
    My parents owned a grocery store. My first job was stocking and sacking groceries…and selling Christmas trees. Selling the first ones was not hard, but selling the last ones…well, that took some salesmanship!
  2. What is the best part of your day?
    The shower is absolutely the best part of my day! My shower is nice and big with a comfy marble seat and multiple spraying options. I have a set routine and always use the same soap, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc. Although I considered installing a television in there, I decided against it because my eyes are closed anyway…and because I do my best thinking in there. When I skip my shower, it is never a very good day.
  3. What has been your most fulfilling moment with a patient?
    In 40+ years as an orthodontist, I have treated tens of thousands of patients. Often I can recognize “my smiles” when I see various people throughout the area [they always look different all grown up, but I know “my smiles!”] The most rewarding thing, though, is when a patient looks me up after many years and tells me that I changed their life when I fixed their smile. That makes it worthwhile for me.
  4. Did you wear braces growing up? If yes, describe your experience.
    I had braces as a kid, but my case was not too tough.  It seemed that I got a good result in a pretty short time and I was fascinated by the physics of moving teeth around.  When I got into dental school, orthodontics was a great choice for me…hardly any blood involved!
  5. Do you have any children and/or pets?
    One of the biggest blessings of my life is our family: my wife and I have a son and two daughters, three sons/daughter in-law and seven grandchildren.  No doubt we could have been better parents, but I’ll stack my kids up against anyone’s kids!  They are amazing, smart, creative, good-looking and God-fearing kids…and they are all are raising their sons and daughters up to become responsible and powerful adults.
  6. What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
    If you’ve ever seen the movie Willow, you will either hate it or be a big fan.  I am a big fan and I really can’t say exactly why!  Directed by Ron Howard and premiered in the eighties, it is a quirky, campy middle ages fantasy tale of good vs evil and involves fairies, trolls, little people, and regular folks.  There is love, war, humor…well, you should just rent it and see for yourself!  Willow is our official family movie, and I am not kidding when I tell you that our kids routinely use at least 65 lines from the movie in normal conversation [we wrote them all down one day when one of our sons-in-law challenged us on the issue!]
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
    I’ve always wanted to live in Costa Rica…never been there…but it seems like a great place to land.  I can’t sell my wife on the idea though, b/c it is too far away.  I’d settle for anywhere sunny though.  I realize the sun is not great for your skin, but it makes me smile.
  8. What is the best vacation you’ve ever had?
    When our kids were growing up, we discovered Callaway Gardens, in southern Georgia about an hour south of Atlanta.  The Florida State “Flying High” Circus summers there and leads a kids’ camp, then performs each night.  We have all climbed to the top of the pea stand [it should be called pee stand, b/c that’s what you want to do when you get there], swung from the trapeze and dropped into the net.  I learned to walk the high wire [30 ft. in the air] holding a 50 lb. pole.  FYI: If you lose your balance you NEVER let go of the pole!  They also have miles of bike trails, and biking was one of our favorite family activities.  [You can play tennis or golf, but who wants to do that when you can risk your life learning circus tricks?]

Looking Forward Into 2015

After joining the Joplin community in August of this year, we have found that this is a strong, big-hearted city with “broad shoulders.” The whole area has come through some very tough times and has emerged lean and healthy on the other side. We foresee a bright future for the Joplin economy, although clearly many families continue to struggle with their finances.

As the area economy continues to improve, we are optimistic that 2015 will be a great year for an American economic recovery also. As we [at Uncommon Orthodontics] manage our finances, we routinely evaluate our costs and fees and—as it becomes necessary—we adjust them. However, for 2015, we have made a conscious decision NOT TO RAISE OUR FEES. We will maintain our payments at $179/month...LAST YEAR’S level…for as long as possible.

Some things will NEVER change: our “uncommon” ZERO down, ZERO interest, ZERO financing fees, and ZERO credit check financial policies are “set in stone.” Our commitment to excellent orthodontic care and a partnership with your family dentist are also very important to us. You may count on us to seek out creative ways to make a great smile possible for everyone in your family. Our whole team is working to help you reach the dreams you have for your family. So…SMILE, JOPLIN!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

We will always be open to serve you! Whether school is in session or not, Uncommon Orthodontics will be waiting to take care of all your orthodontic needs! With our commitment to maintaining our scheduled appointments along with the outstanding way Missouri highways are maintained, you should have no problem at all arriving safely!

Of course we do not want you to risk your personal safety, but it is handy to keep your appointment on a “school snow day” and not have to miss any classes!

Also remember that on days when travel for some is a challenge, YOU may be able to schedule your “new patient appointment” with Uncommon Orthodontics.

Who knows – ‘our’ coffee machine just might be stocked with hot chocolate!

Intruder Safety Training

On Tuesday, November 4 our team participated in an Intruder Safety course taught by Sgt. Matt Partain and designed for the protection of our team, patients and parents. After studying the office and its access, the surrounding area and any potential safety hazards, Sgt. Partain designed a presentation specifically tailored to Uncommon Orthodontics.

Team members learned to identify and diffuse potentially dangerous situations and to confidently deal with escalating or toxic circumstances. Protocols were established for both scenarios and a team member was designated as Safety Officer. The Safety Officer will hold regular meetings, supervise scheduled practices and conduct in-house drills.

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Uncommon Orthodontics is committed to the “well being” of our team, patients and families…and physical protection is no exception. Our EF5 rated storm shelter will serve as both a weather and an intruder safety protection…don’t be too surprised if we hold a drill while you are in the office! In the unlikely event that your safety is compromised by a weather or an intruder related event, you may be confident that “we’ve got a plan for that!”

What is Phase I: Early Treatment?

Phase One [Early] treatment is generally defined as the application of fixed orthodontic therapy [braces] to an adolescent in the mixed dentition stage [baby and permanent teeth] with the purpose of correcting limited and specific problems for the patient. Phase One treatment is almost always followed by a second, final and definitive phase of full braces.

Early [Phase One] treatment is a matter of much discussion and controversy in orthodontic circles, and surely should be a concern to every parent with young children in need of orthodontic or dental care. The range of attitude extends from those practitioners who think that “everyone needs early treatment and they need it today” all the way through to extreme conservatives like myself who rarely suggest early treatment.

In my opinion, early [Phase One] treatment should be applied only when the intended results [or treatment] cannot be delayed without clear risk to teeth, the bite, the joints or other facial structures. I believe that it is morally risky to engage in early treatment when the same result can be achieved later through a well planned and well executed full treatment. From that point of view, the most likely cases that might “cry out” for early treatment would be excessive growth [or lack of it] of either the upper or lower arch, blocked paths of eruption for permanent teeth, and quite extreme narrowing of the upper and/or lower arches.

An excellent safeguard in this regard is to ask questions about necessity of the treatment, expected results, need for later treatment and consequences of not treating. An excellent central question for this discussion is: “Doctor, what can we accomplish in this phase of treatment that we cannot accomplish in a later phase?” A final measure that can protect you against excessive treatment is to get a second opinion from a practitioner who clears “stakes out” a conservative position.

Nana’s Chunky Applesauce

Once you’ve tried this, you’ll never want to go back to canned!

  • 5 lb. Red Delicious apples [figure about 3 apples per pound]
  • 5 lb. Granny Smith green apples
  • 5 lb. golden delicious yellow apples
  • 10 oz. bottle 100% apple juice [or any pure fruit juice you like]
  • ½ cup [+/-] powdered Stevia sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • dash salt

Preparation Time: 60 minutes; cook time 1 ½ hours from beginning of preparation time

Yield: 30 servings Serving size: ½ cup.

Peel, core and slice apples into a 2 quart dish. When the dish is full, transfer the apples to a large Dutch oven, pour in the apple juice, cover and begin to cook the apples down on low heat. Continue preparing the remaining apples, transferring them to the pan as you fill the 2 quart dish. Each time you add uncooked apples, mash the ones that have been cooking in order to make room for the new ones. [I use a potato masher.] If you are really fast at peeling [or if it has become a family project] precook some of the apples in the microwave to speed up the process. When the pan is almost full, add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking and mashing until the applesauce has reached the desired consistency. The whole process usually takes me an hour and a half.

Nutritional information

Per serving:

  • 150 calories
  • 0 g. fat
  • 37 g. carbohydrate
  • 1.5 g. fiber
  • <1 g. protein

Using 3 different varieties of apples imparts differing nutritional value: the green apples are very low in calories while the red ones are twice as sweet! Besides, the tarts green apples combine with the softer yellow apples and the hard, sweet red apples to give the finished product great flavor! To save money, purchase the apples in 5 lb. bags.

Orthodontist Approved Recipes for “After Braces” Dining

The braces are in place and you are on your way to a more beautiful smile…but you are HUNGRY!! Your orthodontist has told you that it is important to avoid certain foods so that broken brackets will not interrupt your treatment progress or sticky, sweet foods that are difficult to remove will not compromise your dental hygiene. So what’s left to cook/eat?

If you are just getting used to your braces, cool smooth foods like milkshakes, fruit smoothies, yogurt [Greek yogurt has twice the protein as regular yogurt,] cottage cheese and pudding will taste good. Not surprisingly, hot foods are also comforting; i.e. clear soups, hot tea and spiced cider. In those early days and really all throughout your treatment, keep a good quality whey protein powder on hand. Start by stirring it into drinks or soups a teaspoonful at a time. One or two teaspoons can be easily disguised.

If you have had your braces for awhile and your mouth is used to the way they feel, you may branch out a bit: chicken salad, baked or mashed potatoes [sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A,] mac ‘n cheese, soft warmed tortillas, beans, scrambled eggs, pancakes and quiche are easy to handle. Melt some Muenster cheese onto a slice of whole wheat bread and you will have found a wonderfully easy and healthy treat! Bananas, grapes, applesauce, grilled cheese and avocadoes are also good choices.

Once you get the “hang” of it [“it” being cutting your food into small bites and using your tongue against the roof of your mouth as much as using your teeth,] pasta dishes, chicken tenderloins, fish, steamed veggies, pieces of apple and orange, guacamole, breads without seeds or visible grains, couscous, cheese grits, oatmeal and risotto may be added to the menu. When savory foods are well tolerated, you can easily hide a teaspoonful or so of Brewers’ Yeast. It is pretty disgusting on its own, but packs a powerful punch when stirred into soups or stews.

Be careful about dried fruits [otherwise healthy] because they are sticky and will do as much damage as chewy caramels. Also, “gumming” popcorn is a poor choice. And even though spaghetti with marinara sauce is easy to chew, the acid in the tomato sauce will turn your clear brackets a lovely yellow after just a few bites.

You should not have trouble getting fats, carbs or protein – and the calcium will be easy to work into your diet. However, getting enough fiber, B vitamins and iron might prove to be challenging. I. Try fresh blueberries…they are loaded with antioxidants and fiber!

If you prefer to drink your fiber, there are some wonderful “Naked” drinks that are designed to “fill in the gaps” and create a healthy, nutritious diet.

Eating well will help your body, mind and spirit, and it will be good for your oral health as well. Who knows, you just might develop some good habits that will stick with you long after your braces are gone! These ideas should get your grocery list started, but before you head to the store, check out our “recipes for braces” to get you further along the way to a healthy nutritious diet!

Navigating Your Childs First Orthodontic Consultation

Your little one is growing up fast. Their adult teeth are growing in. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist by age 7. Once you’ve made the appointment for your child’s first orthodontic appointment, what should you expect?

The orthodontist will be looking for problems related to the growth of the jaws and erupting teeth. There will be new terms used during the consultation that you might want to be familiar with.

Phase I Treatment - This refers to early or interceptive treatment that is done before all the baby teeth have fallen out. In this phase of treatment, the orthodontist may have a chance to:

  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded (buck) front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Improve appearance
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable position
  • Improve the way lips meet
  • Guide jaw growth

Phase I treatment does not necessarily eliminate the need for full braces once all the teeth have grown in.

Phase II Treatment - This refers to traditional orthodontic treatment with braces once the adult teeth have grown in.

Overjet - How much the front teeth stick out over the bottom teeth

Overbite – How much the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth.

Crossbite - A crossbite is when a tooth or multiple teeth are crossed over to bite to the inside of the opposing tooth or teeth. It can be the back (posterior), front (anterior), one side (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral).

Expander – An expander is a device used to expand the bone. Most commonly used in the upper arch (palate). Arch expansion is one of the most common ways to eliminate crowding and crossbites in patients. An expander is attached by bands placed around the teeth. Although there are removable expanders, fixed ones have an important advantage in that they cannot be lost or forgotten.

Removable Retainers - Retainers are used to hold your teeth in place once your orthodontic treatment is completed. They are classically made of acrylic and stainless steel wires and are worn at night after a period of full-time wear.