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Monday, November 28, 2016

Make the Most of Your Flex Spending Account

Utilize your 2016 dollars before they are lost, and plan accordingly for 2017

Los Angeles-(Business Wire)- The California Association of Orthodontists would like to remind consumers to check their flexible spending accounts (FSA) and ensure all dollars have been utilized before they expire.  Most FSA programs have a firm start and end date, which means the dollars must be used or they are lost.  For this same reason, it is also the right time to think about contributions for 2017.

Dr. Merz can identify any treatment that may be needed to better assist you in using your remaining 2016 benefits, or planning for your 2017 flex spending account.

About Orthodontists and the California Association of Orthodontists

Orthodontists are specialists and have an additional 3,000+ hours of orthodontic training after dental school during their residency.

The California Association of Orthodontists is a chapter of the American Association of Orthodontists, the world's oldest and largest dental specialty organization.  It represents more than 18,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad.  The Association admits only orthodontists for membership.  It encourages and sponsors key research to enable members to provide patients with the highest quality of care, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment.  For more information go to

Dr. Merz has also gone through the rigorous process to become Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontists.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Soft drinks - even diet drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks that are low in sugar or sugar free - include acids that can damage teeth.  The American Association of Orthodontists has prepared a list of the pH levels of more that 30 popular beverages. 

According to the AAO, the acid in soft drinks pulls the calcium out of enamel.  Such decalcification can lead to cavities.  When soft drinks also include sugar, the risk of cavities increases.  The sugar interacts with plaque and forms another acid to further dissolve the enamel, and when the enamel is gone, the loss is permanent.

The dangers are particularly troublesome for orthodontic patients.  Brackets protect the portions of the teeth that they cover, but decalcification can occur on the uncovered portion of the tooth.

The AAO also encourages patients to refrain for drinking soft drinks while wearing aligners or retainers.  Liquid can seep into them and stay there until they are removed.  If the liquid contains acid, the prolonged exposure accelerates damage to the teeth.

Realistically, we recognize that patients may indulge in soft drinks for an occasional treat.  All patients who consume such beverages should drink them through a straw to minimize acid contact with their teeth.  They should brush and floss right away, or at the very least, rinse with water.