Play it Safe: Protect Your Smile

April is National Facial Protection Month and during this time the American Association of Orthodontists along with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association and the Academy for Sports Dentistry campaign to educate the public about facial protection. With spring sports underway and kids eager to play outside after a long winter the risk on dental injury is higher.

Wearing a mouth guard is a simple measure that could protect their smile all year long.

Mouth guards reduce the risk of knocking out teeth or breaking your jaw during contact sports by cushioning the impact between the upper and lower teeth and by creating a resilient shield around the teeth.

tooth shield

Local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert, quotes the American Association of Orthodontists position on mouth guards, “While most organized sports require a mouth guard for participation it is important to note that injury can happen during informal neighborhood play and even when you are riding your bike.”  She emphasizes that “Any time you’re engaged in an activity where your face can come in contact with something hard—say another player, a ball, the pavement, or any hard object—it’s a time that you should be wearing a mouth guard!”  Many injuries will be less severe or prevented with mouth guard wear.

tooth shield 2When choosing a mouth guard it is important to consider several factors including comfort, fit and ease of breathing.  There are three general types of guards:  Custom-Made, Mouth Formed or “Boil-and-Bite” and Stock Guards.  Dr. Lempert explains that custom guards are more expensive but they provide the most protection as they are made from a full mouth digital scan taken in the dentist’s office and sent to a dental lab for fabrication. The Boil-and-Bite guards are a good cost-effective alternative but tend to wear quickly, are bulky and make breathing difficult.  Both of these guards cannot be used when orthodontic braces are in place.

Dr. Lempert encourages the use of the best fitting stock guard during orthodontic care to minimize tooth and jaw injury and to prevent the braces from embedding in the lip if the patient gets hit.

“With many choices out there it can be challenging to find a comfortable stock guard for use while braces are in place.” Dr. Lempert explains. “We know that custom guards are the best, but during orthodontic care they cannot be used.  There are many options out there for stock guards but the one I have been most impressed with in terms of comfort, design, protection and cost is the ToothShield by Practicon.” The ToothShield was designed by renowned pediatric dentist and educator, Dr. Theodore Croll, and is made of a soft, flexible material that fits comfortably while in place.  The ToothShield is fabricated in the USA of safe FDA-grade thermoplastic elastomer.   The ToothShield retails for approximately $6-7 per guard and can be conveniently delivered to your doorstep by Amazon.

So play it safe during contact sports this spring and all year long—wear a mouth guard!

Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at: to learn more about her practice.

Dr. Susan LempertAAO






Dr. Lempert graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Human Biology.   She received her Master of Science in Oral Biology Degree, Certificate in Orthodontics, and Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from Temple University School of Dentistry.  

5k Hop n’Run ~ April 8th

The annual Harrison Township  5k Hop n’ Run will be held on Saturday, April 8th at the William Wilt Soccer Complex Hop 'N Run5k Hop 'N Run on Walters Rd. in Mullica Hill.bunny-run

The 5k Hop n Run or 1 mile walk  will begin at 8:30am (Rain or Shine!) and prizes will be awarded for adults and kids.  All participants will receive a long sleeve event t-shirt.

The cost is $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event.  Proceeds will go toward funding Fireworks on Harrison Twp. Day.

Download the registration form here and turn in to the Harrison Twp. Recreation Office or

Register online via Eventbright


Thumbs-Up to a Healthy Mouth

Local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert, counsels many worried parents about their children’s thumb sucking habits.  Dr. Lempert explains “Parents most frequently express concerns about the damage thumb sucking can have on their child’s teeth and they are frustrated with finding a suitable method to encourage their child to stop.”   In her practice Dr. Lempert incorporates recommendations from the American Dental Association and the American Psychological Association to formulate a unique, comprehensive approach.  She starts with a basic understanding of the sucking reflex.

thumb suckingAccording to the ADA and the APA sucking in infants is common, harmless and beneficial for self-soothing.  As a child grows and becomes a toddler this self-soothing is still acceptable and allows the child to feel safe while exploring their new world.   When a child enters the preschool years the benefits of sucking wane and the side effects can become more detrimental.  This is when the sucking effects on the developing mouth and teeth can become evident.

Dr. Lempert explains, “Once the adult teeth erupt the sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of the teeth.  It can also cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth.”  This is why Dr. Lempert follows the guidelines of the American Association of Orthodontists and recommends every child have an orthodontic screening by age 7.  She explains, “Most children do not need treatment at that age but for some we can identify potential problems, like thumb sucking, and offer early solutions that will ultimately make for less problems down the road.  Prevention is important.”

If you have concerns about your child’s thumb sucking habit Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at: to learn more about her practice.

Dr. Susan LempertAAO






Dr. Lempert graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Human Biology.   She received her Master of Science in Oral Biology Degree, Certificate in Orthodontics, and Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from Temple University School of Dentistry.  






Treat Yourself Right: Local Orthodontist Gives Brace Friendly Halloween Advice

This October is National Orthodontic Health Month.  Local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert, urges parents and children to be mindful of Halloween treats that have the potential to damage orthodontic braces.  Sticky, crunchy and chewy candy will break orthodontic braces. Repairing broken braces is a time consuming procedure for both the patient and the doctor.



Orthodontic repairs require missed time from school and work.   Use good judgement this Halloween and help your child choose softer options like melt-in-your mouth chocolates, peanut butter cups or thinly sliced apples with soft caramel dip.  Remember to have them brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after these sweet treats!  

Dr. Lempert is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists and together they are educating the public on how to have a brace-friendly Halloween.   For more information check out the AAO’s Treat Yourself Right guide.

So what can you do with all of the leftover candy your kids have acquired?  Dr. Lempert will be collecting wrapped candy in her Swedesboro office November 1st-4th and she will donate the treats along with toothbrushes to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends the treats and toothbrushes to our soldiers abroad.   For more information visit her website at  

 If you have concerns about your child’s bite Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at: to learn more about her practice.

Dr. Susan LempertAAO






10th Annual Trick or Trot 5k Costume Fun Run

The Harrison Township Recreation Commission and Victory Physical Therapy present the 10th Annual Trick or Trot 5k Costume Fun Run / 1 mile walk on Saturday Oct. 29th.   Costumes are optional but make the race more fun!Trick or Trot

The race will depart from Ella Harris Park at 8:30am rain or shine.  Registration begins at 7:45am.

Award Categories:   

Best costume:  Child, Adult and Group

Overall Male / Top Female awards:

Top three finishers (male/female) in the following categories:

14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+

The entry fee is $15 per participant or $20 the day of the race.  All proceeds go toward making our Harrison Township parks accessible.  Download your entry form here.

Questions?  Contact Sharon Chew in the Harrison Twp. Recreation office at 856-223-8777


Girls on the GLOW ~ Fall Registration

The Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club offers a great program for young girls in our community and registration is now open for the upcoming season. 

Girls on the GLOW

Girls on the GLOWGirls on the GLOW is open to all girls in grades 1-6 and focuses on building endurance and strength as well as building character and confidence. G.L.O.W. stands for Grow, Learn, Offer, and Work, which is what the girls are expected to do at each and every practice.  The goal is for every girl to discover her inner GLOW that comes from achieving a goal, as an individual and as a team, through effort, determination and cooperation.

Practices are held weekly practices on Saturday mornings at J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School on Main Street in Mantua Township.  Throughout the year, there are special events, such as GLOW Runs, which will be held at Clearview Regional High School on Breakneck Road in Mullica Hill.  There will even be opportunities for some mother/daughter quality time on our calendar, too.  GLOW offers a spring session and a fall session.

Registration is now open!  Membership is available through the Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club and the fee for membership is $30 for the Fall session.  To register,  click here.  Each participant will receive a Girls on the GLOW t-shirt, a journal, a water bottle, invitations to special events, and admission to signature GLOW Runs.

Local Orthodontist Says Goodbye To Orthodontic Impressions – It’s No Gag!

Kids and adults alike remember the dreaded impressions or “molds” that were required prior to starting orthodontic treatment.  First a tray was fit to your mouth and then a heaping mound of pink mushy material was pressed onto your teeth and held there for what seemed like an agonizing eternity.  For some it was no big deal but for many, especially those with a strong gag reflex, the molding would bring on the unpleasant urge to be sick!

Great news for the impression weary—getting a 3-D replica of your mouth has become a lot easier!  Intra-oral digital scanning is the latest technology that can help orthodontists make a 3-D reproduction of a patient’s mouth.

Gloucester County native and local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert, explains: “We have embraced digital dentistry in our practice.   Our intra-oral scanner uses a small wand that is waved over the teeth.  Using 3-D video technology it generates an exact replica of the patient’s oral anatomy.  This 3-D replica can be used diagnostically or to fabricate a variety of orthodontic appliances including Invisalign.  Our patients love it and we couldn’t be happier with how easy and accurate it is to use!”

Dr. Lempert digital dentistry

Intra-oral Scanner

A magic wand that gets rid of orthodontic impressions—it is a dream for patients and orthodontists alike and a reality that Dr. Lempert is excited to share with her patients.

Dr. Susan LempertDr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at to learn more about her practice.

American Association of Orthodontists






Soft Drinks and Orthodontic Treatment: A Recipe for Disaster

Soft Drinks + OthodonticsThe American Association of Orthodontists recently published a warning about the dangers of soft drinks during orthodontic treatment.  Sodas, both regular and diet, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices can do considerable damage to teeth.   This damage is compounded when you are wearing braces or aligners.

The acids in these beverages weaken the tooth by pulling the calcium out of the enamel.  This process of decalcification can lead to cavities.  This loss of enamel is permanent and will not restore itself.

The acid effect of soft drinks on your teeth can be amplified by another source of acid found in your mouth.  Every day the surface of your teeth accumulate plaque, a sticky mixture of food debris, saliva and bacteria. The bacteria in the plaque utilize sugars and starches as food and make acid as a byproduct.  This acid softens the teeth.  For orthodontic patients this decalcification occurs around the braces and under the aligners.  If you combine the acid from plaque with acid from drinks it doubles your risk for tooth decay!


During orthodontic treatment it is best to avoid these damaging drinks.  If you must drink a soft drink use a straw to limit the contact with your teeth.  Also, drink with a meal and do not sip the drink over a long period of time.  The length of time the teeth are exposed to the acid increases the risk of decay.  Brush right away after drinking and if you don’t have a toothbrush with you then rinse with water.


Dr. Susan Lempert, a local orthodontist, encourages her patients to follow the AAO warnings about soft drinks.  She suggests drinking water instead.  Dr. Lempert prescribes a special fluoride paste for all of her patients during treatment and will also recommend more frequent dental cleanings if a patient’s home care is deficient.

Dr. Lempert explains, “When you finish your orthodontic treatment you want a beautiful smile with straight, healthy teeth.  White decalcification marks and cavities will destroy your result.  Choose your drinks wisely because your smile depends on it!”

Dr. Susan Lempert Dr. Susan Lempert is a local orthodontist and a member of the American Association of Orthodontists.  For more information about Dr. Lempert and her practice you can visit her website at:

 American Association of Orthodontists


Harrison Soccer Cleat Exchange

The Harrison Soccer Cleat Exchange is a new program hosted by the Harrison Soccer Club.  The Exchange is a place to donate and/or exchange your  clean and out-grown cleats and other soccer equipment.


Simply clean your out-grown cleats, tie the laces together and label with size. Place your old clean cleats in the bin near the concession stand at the Harrison Soccer Complex and take home any pair that you need.  The exchange will be open during concession stand hours.

This is a NEW program for Harrison Soccer and we are in need of donations, donations, donations, to get it jump started!  This exchange is only for clean soccer cleats or shin guards in good condition.  Please not donate baseball, lacrosse or football cleats or cleats with holes or broken soles.
Yes, you can take cleats even if you don’t bring a pair for exchange.

For more information, visit the Soccer Cleat Exchange on Facebook.

Gentle Sleep Coaching for Children and Spring Forward Sleep Tips

If you’re a parent of a baby or toddler, chances are you face challenges when it comes to teaching your child good sleep habits.  Whether your infant wakes multiple times during the night or your toddler resists naps during the day, Gentle Sleep Coaching may be the solution you need!

Meredith Kinney, a certified Gentle Sleep Coach with Well Rested Family, shares some information about sleep coaching and some great tips for adjusting your child’s sleep to the time change when we “Spring Forward” this month.


Meet Meredith Kinney, GSCmeredith kinney

Meredith Kinney is the mother of two boys and lives in Hainesport. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Maryland, and worked in magazine publishing in Philadelphia. When her children were born, she chose to leave her office job and stay home with them.  As a stay-at-home mom, she was very involved in the day to day activities of her boys and around young children and moms all day. She would often hear how concerned everyone was about how much sleep their babies were getting. It seemed no one was getting any sleep. Everyone had suggestions to help these moms, but no one had real solutions.  The Gentle Sleep Coaching method is a real solution.  Meredith decided the best way to stay at home with her boys, while still being involved with other moms in the community was to become certified as a Gentle Sleep Coach.  The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that includes 2 medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist.

What is Gentle Sleep Coaching?

Gentle Sleep Coaching was created by Kim West, LCSW-C author of book Good Night, Sleep Tight.  It is a gradual way to teach your baby the vital skill of sleep.  During sleep coaching, the parents learn to tune in to their baby’s sleep cues and patterns, and use that information to shape healthy sleeping habits.  No two babies are alike, so the Gentle Sleep Method is a program customized to your baby, and your family.  Methods like cry it out, which do not take into account the individuality of each baby, are hard for parents to follow through with.Well Rested

With Gentle Sleep Coaching, parents make small changes to the baby’s sleep habits and environment, gradually teaching their baby how to fall asleep and stay asleep. Unlike cry it out methods, Gentle Sleep Coaching encourages parents to respond to baby’s needs while they are learning this new skill of sleep.

The Gentle Sleep Coaches at Well Rested Family will work with you to determine a plan that matches your family’s needs.  They offer a Baby Basics Consultation for newborn-4/5 month olds and a Well Rested Consultation for children ages 4months to 6 years.  Learn more about their programs here.


Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Savings

On Sunday March 13 this year, we will “Spring Forward” and move our clocks ahead an hour.  Babies and toddlers who don’t understand what time is may be affected by this change more than you would think.  Here are a few tips to help ease the transition.

First, plan ahead.  Make sure your child is getting adequate naps the week before the time change.  This way they will be well rested, and better able to adjust to the change ahead.  We always say sleep begets sleep; the more sleep your baby gets, the better they will be at sleeping.  Second, on the day of the time change, be prepared for  your child’s bedtime to feel earlier, because it actually is an hour earlier. Third, take your child outside first thing in the morning.  Getting some sunlight will help his internal clock to adjust.  (and yours as well!)

sleeping babyThere are two methods to dealing with the time change.  The first method is the Do Nothing Method!  Act like it is a normal day.  For most families this is the easiest thing to do.  However, be aware that your baby has now lost an hour of sleep.  Watch their sleep cues for the day, and be aware that they may indeed be a little “off”.  Put them to bed at their regular time, say 7PM, but remember this was 6PM yesterday.  With this do nothing method, it may take a few days for their sleep to regulate, and their meals and naps to adjust as well.

The second method is for children who are a little more alert, and less likely to self adjust to a change in their schedule.  In this instance, the new 7PM (which was 6PM yesterday) may be too early for them to go to sleep.  You can split the difference for a few days, putting them to bed at 7:30 and slowly making the bedtime earlier in the upcoming days.  Also try to be as consistent as possible with their feeding and nap schedules in these days. The most important thing to remember is to watch your child during these first few days.  Try to read their sleepy cues, and respond accordingly.  Every child is different, and some may take longer than others to adjust to this new time.

well rested logo

For more information about Meredith or to set up a free 15 minute consultation contact Well Rested Family here.  For more tips and tricks on children’s sleep follow Well Rested Family on Facebook at