Our 2nd Guide to the Best Affordable & Free Summer Activities for Kids in Sacramento & El Dorado Hills

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Summer is in full swing and at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, it’s got us excited about all the fun events going on in our neighborhood. Many of the parents at our El Dorado Hills orthodontic office struggle to keep their kids busy during the summer months when the school year is out. Fortunately, there are so many awesome things to do with kids in Sacramento and El Dorado Hills that are sure to keep your family busy all summer long.

Our patients loved our round-up to the best free (or cheap) summer activities last year so we’ve decided to do it again! Read on for the coolest, most exciting and totally affordable things to do this summer.

  1. Cruise the American River Bike Trail

Get the kids outside this summer and enjoy the natural beauty of Sacramento on the American River Bike Trail. Running along the American River, this two-lane trail offers 32 miles of stunning views all the way from Discovery Park to the southwestern banks of Folsom Lake. Pack a lunch and take advantage of the picnic spots along the way. And don’t forget your swimsuit and a life jacket — there are a few swimming areas, too!

  1. Get Your Dance On and Warm Up Your Vocal Cords at an Outdoor Summer Concert

What better way to enjoy these amazing summer nights than with a free outdoor concert? On July 19th, groove to the tunes of country rock band Cliff Huey 27 Outlaws. The show starts at 7pm at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District and is free for everyone. There are so many options with the “Live on the Boulevard” concert series at El Dorado Hills Town Center and “Wednesday Night Summer Concerts” at the Palladio in Folsom.  

  1. Check Out the Kids Bike Festival

Have a bike fanatic in the family? On Sunday, July 14th, head to Phoenix Park for the annual Kids Bike Festival and let your inner gearhead celebrate all things bikes. The event is free to attend but if your kiddo wants to race, it’ll cost $7 to sign up ahead of time or $10 at the gate.

  1. Visit the California State Fair

It wouldn’t be summer in Sacramento without a day at the California State Fair. While admission isn’t free, there are ways to avoid breaking the bank. To get in for cheap, visit the fair on a Tuesday — kids under 12 get in for free and carnival rides are just $2 a pop. Also, in the past  our local Costcos have had bundles for tickets and parking. It would be worth giving them a call to find out if they are available. 

  1. Enjoy Free Summer Movies in the Park

Everyone’s favorite summer activity is back at Village Park in Fair Oaks. Enjoy free movies under the stars, complete with popcorn, hot dogs and ice cream. The flick slated for July 19th is one for the whole family: Hotel Transylvania 3! For $1 summer movies, head to Regal in El Dorado Hills on Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, or Cinemark Theaters in Folsom.

  1. Spend Family Time at The Makers’ Place

Have you heard about The Maker’s Place? It’s an “intentionally-designed multipurpose space where working parents can create, connect, and collaborate while their young children are cared for onsite.” You don’t need to be a member to take advantage of free family fun at The Makers’ Place all summer long. They have kid-friendly events like board game nights, book and toy swaps, clothing exchanges and more. Events are always free of charge and childcare is available for a small fee. Check the schedule for more details and to sign up!

  1. Tour the Jelly Belly Factory

Alright, folks what do you think are the most popular Jelly Belly flavors in America are? The top 10 Jelly Belly flavors are: 10) Coconut, 9) Toasted Marshmallow, 8) Green Apple, 7) Orange, 6) Juicy Pear, 5) Cherry, 4) Watermelon, 3) Cinnamon, 2) Black Licorice (really???) and … 1) Buttered Popcorn. My top 10 list looks a lot different, and it’s a tie at the top for Strawberry Cheesecake and Strawberry Daiquiri. So if the summer heat is starting to get to you, step inside for an unforgettable experience at the Jelly Belly Factory. The factory tour is open to the public all year round and walking tours are 100% free (and there are paid options as well). And yes, free samples are included!

  1. Play at the Single Moms Strong Free Summer Sports Series

Single moms, this one’s for you! Join together with moms in Sacramento while your little ones run and play to their hearts’ content. There’s a new sport each month — July is volleyball and August is everyone’s favorite, kickball! Sign up via Eventbrite.  They are looking for a few good men to help volunteer as well, so if you’re interested in making a positive impact in a child’s life, this is a great opportunity.

  1. Spend Quiet Time at the El Dorado Hills Public Library

Summer is the perfect time to soak up some downtime with your little ones. The El Dorado Hills branch of the El Dorado County Library has kid-friendly events throughout the summer, from story time for all ages to LEGO building classes to STEM programs with 3D printers. Check the schedule for an up-to-date listing of events and take advantage of everything the library has to offer.

There you have it, folks. We hope you make the most of Summer 2019. All of these activities make for great opportunities to spend quality time with your family.

girl smiling with braces

What Do Your Braces Colors Say About You

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No matter how much you like or dislike having braces, there’s one thing most braces-wearers at our El Dorado Hills orthodontist office can agree on: choosing a color for your braces elastics is not just fun and exciting, it’s important. Believe me when I tell you that I’ve seen some patients studying our color wheel more intensely than a math problem. Your braces colors are a way to express yourself and show your creative side, whether you’re matching your braces to your favorite sweater, an upcoming holiday or your favorite sports team.

Fortunately, you get to choose a new color (or colors!) for your braces every time you get them tightened at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics. And as it turns out, there’s a science to color and you may be drawn to certain colors over others because of your unique personality traits. For example, red is typically associated with intensity and passion, while blue is commonly linked to calmness and tranquility. Regardless of the colors you choose, there may be a little more to your choices than you thought.

Want to know what your braces colors say about you? Read on to learn more about the psychology of color and how to pick the best colors for your braces.

RED:

Red is the color of fire, heat and passion. If you choose red for your braces, it might mean you’re full of intensity and you’re forward-thinking. Red is also an emotionally charged color, so red-wearers are usually loving, caring people. Even if red isn’t your favorite color, it can be a great choice for certain holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

ORANGE:

Orange is one of the most unique colors out there. People who choose orange elastics for their braces are usually wild, daring and highly creative. If you love orange, you might excel at the arts! Orange is also a great color for braces around Halloween.

YELLOW:

Everyone knows that yellow is a happy, bright color that’s typically associated with happiness and joy. But did you know that yellow is also linked to intellect and energy? People with yellow elastics on their braces are smart and have a sunny disposition. Yellow is also an attention-getter so if you’re looking to turn heads, yellow is your color!

GREEN:

Green is the color of nature and the earth, so it’s no surprise that people who choose green for their braces are in tune with our natural world. Green is also the color of stability and growth. Be careful, though: when you have green elastics, it may look like you have food stuck in between your teeth. So you may want to choose a lighter green or combine your green elastics with another complementary color.

BLUE:

Blue is the calm, healing color. It indicates health and tranquility, but is also associated with knowledge and seriousness. People who have blue braces are calm, cool and collected, always maintaining a level head. They’re the opposite of those wild and crazy orange elastic people!

PURPLE:

Traditionally, purple is the color of royalty. It mixes the intensity of red with the calmness of blue to get a truly unique hue that combines the best of both colors. Purple is associated with wisdom, creativity and mystery, making it a common choice for people in the arts. Purple is also a very romantic color.

WHITE:

In North American cultures, white is associated with innocence and cleanliness. It is also considered to be the color of perfection, so people who choose white elastics are often perfectionists. But that doesn’t mean white is the best choice for your braces colors. White elastics will be a more pure white than even the whitest teeth and can easily become discolored from eating certain foods. If you’re sure you want white elastics for your braces, be sure to brush after every time you eat.

BLACK:

Black is often seen as a “bad” or negative color since it is commonly associated with death and evil. But black is also the color of elegance and formality. People who wear black often appear regal and mysterious. However, black elastics can make your teeth look rotten from a distance, so it might be best to save black for when you change your braces colors at Halloween!

 

COLOR COMBINATIONS:

Who said you have to choose just one color for your braces? This is how we take your color game to the next level. There are countless combinations of colors out there that will help you express your truest personality. You can alternate colors or choose the colors of your favorite team. You could even match your braces to your school colors, or your fave outfit or earrings, like one of our patients who rocked turquoise and white elastics to go with the awesome shark earrings her mom made! Here are a few fun color combos to try out for Summer 2019:

The Toy Story 4:
I picked this color combo out for the adventurous, “to infinity and beyond” kind of patient.  Try the Buzz Lightyear, with alternating white and purple elastics on the top and white and green on the bottom. This combination brings together the creativity of purple and the energy of green to make you feel as strong and brave as everybody’s favorite space ranger. What if you prefer the Toy Story family’s newest member, Forky? The Forky is a combination of aqua, white and red (frankly, it reminds me of aquafresh for you Gen X folks out there). This mix of warm, loving red with the innocence of white is the perfect way to show your support for the team’s latest character.

The Spider-Man: Far From Home:  For those of you who know me well, this is what I would be rockin’. Channel Marvel’s funniest, goofiest, dorkiest superhero by alternating blue, red and gold to match his Stark Advanced tech suit. Then of course, don’t forget an Italian souvenir by throwing in a red, white and green flag somewhere in the mix. As your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man fights it out to protect the world, your Far From Home-inspired braces colors will make you feel like you’re along for the ride.

The JoJo Siwa Rainbow Bow: Feeling bright and bubbly this summer? Need something to match your JoJo Siwa bow? Go JoJo Siwa-style with rainbow colors across the top and bottom of your braces. By combining all the colors of the rainbow, you’ll be able to show off your fun, creative side.

The Women’s World Cup: Soccer fans unite! Show your pride for our women’s team as they play their hearts out for the World Cup. How amazing are Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe?  Show your red, white and blue across the top and bottom of your braces and get ready to cheer on the USA team players. #GoRapinoe #CaptainMorgan!

The Lion King:  Where are my Disney and Beyonce fans at? Can you feel the love tonight as you’re picturing Simba being held up in the air? I’m not sure yet if this is destined to be one of the movies of the summer, but the original holds a special place in the heart of this big kid. So, the Simba color combo is yellow, white and brown alternating. Okay, I’m just kidding around. This is a terrible color combination because it will look like your teeth and braces are dirty. I threw this one in to see if you were paying attention! It’s BBQ season, so be careful of things like yellow mustard because they might take your colors and accidentally turn them into the Simba combo.

 

As you can see, there are countless colors and combinations you can pick for your braces. Whatever colors you choose, you’ll be showing off who you are and you’ll be able to confidently put your best smile forward.  Remember to Live.Smile.Give.Repeat.

Dr. Jeff

girl sitting on floor smiling

6 Myths About Adult Braces & Invisalign

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At Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, we have a pretty significant amount of El Dorado Hills adult braces and Invisalign patients and the number is continuing to rise. I’m not the only orthodontist who has been seeing more and more adults at their practice either. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in four orthodontic patients is a grown-up. Some of these patients never had the chance to straighten their teeth when they were younger. Others had braces or Invisalign in the past but experienced a relapse after forgetting to wear their retainer. Whatever the reason for seeking adult braces or Invisalign treatment, there are amazing benefits and it’s never too late to get a smile you love. However, there are myths abound about adult treatment that often make people hesitant to get the care they need. I’ll be separating fact from fiction to help give you a clear understanding of what your smile journey might look like.

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Spring Break Plans? Tips for Traveling With Braces or Invisalign

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Spring break season is in full swing and many of my El Dorado Hills braces and Invisalign patients and their families will be taking advantage of the occasion and hitting the road (or the sky). As someone who enjoys traveling myself, I know being on vacation can throw off your routine. However, it is important to continue to take care of your appliances when you’re away from home so your treatment stays on course and you avoid having to deal with an orthodontic emergency while you’re supposed to be relaxing and having a blast. To help you do that, here are some tips for traveling with braces or Invisalign so you can focus on soaking up your vacation. Read More

woman smiling wearing braces on teeth

Our 12 Best Tips for Your First Week With Braces

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Getting braces on is a momentous occasion! It means you’ve officially kicked off your journey to a fantastic new smile. At Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, my team and I will fill you in on everything you need to know about the braces experience so you feel informed and prepared to take on the teeth-straightening process. However, the first week with braces is always kind of strange. After all, you suddenly have brackets and wires in your mouth and, truthfully, it does take getting used to. I promise you’ll acclimate to your hardware quickly and forget you even have braces most of the time. To help ease the transition, even more, I’m sharing some of the best tips for your first week with braces.

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woman smiling

How to Get Braces Off Faster or Finish Invisalign® Sooner

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As fun and exciting as Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics is, I know most patients want to breeze through treatment because they’re excited to see their brand new smile. Thankfully, with cutting-edge treatment planning and the advanced teeth-straightening options available today, the time patients spend in braces or Invisalign is a lot shorter. If you’re wondering how to get braces off faster or finish Invisalign sooner, here are four ways you can do just that:

Protect Your Appliance – If you wear braces, this tip is especially important for you. Damaging your hardware can set back your orthodontic treatment time. Stay away from hard, sticky or really chewy foods like caramel, toffee, nuts and anything that could break your brackets or wires. Don’t bite directly into food with your front teeth and cut things like raw apples, carrots (pre-cut waffle style instead of baby carrots are easier) and tough breads/pizza into small, bite-sized pieces. Read More

kids-on-halloween-costumes

The Ultimate El Dorado Hills & Sacramento Halloween Guide

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It’s no secret my team and I take Halloween pretty seriously here at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics. Of course, I do it for my kids and patients. Actually, who am I kidding? I love any excuse to have a blast and be silly. Plus, it falls in the middle of pumpkin spice season, so Halloween is kind of my holiday. Every year, we dress up at the office and in the weeks leading up to it, we hold a contest. This year, we’ll be challenging local dental practices to a skull decorating contest. Our patients will vote on their favorites and the winning office will score an Escape Room gift card. Things are always lively at JKO but we really turn it up a notch for holidays.
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Youth Volunteering

Youth Volunteer Opportunities in Sacramento and the Surrounding Area

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The community has been so supportive of our El Dorado Hills, CA orthodontic office and it’s only right we spread the love in return. That’s why the team and I are always dreaming up ways to help those in need like creating awesome t-shirts to support CASA El Dorado or challenging area dental offices to our annual pumpkin carving contest to benefit local charities. Read More

sacramento-area-theme-park

Our Favorite Sacramento Area Theme Parks

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By day, Dr. Jeff is your friendly El Dorado Hills orthodontist but by night, well, actually by day too just on the weekends, he can be quite the thrill seeker – maybe it’s the superhero movies he watches with his kids. He might not dive out of planes or go volcano boarding, but he’ll hop on any roller coaster, log flume or Tilt-A-Whirl in his path. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of Sacramento amusement parks (and some in the vicinity too) that cater to children and adults of all ages.
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The Best & Worst Drinks for Your Kids' Teeth

The Best and Worst Drinks for Your Kids’ Teeth Ranked

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You may know Dr. Jeff as your favorite El Dorado Hills orthodontist, however, to gain the title of certified specialist in orthodontics, he had to graduate from dental school first. This means that in addition to having the know-how to straighten teeth and align bites, he’s well versed in all aspects of oral health. To say he’s a proponent of healthy teeth and gums is an understatement. Since braces can make it a little more challenging to keep teeth squeaky clean, he’s all about minimizing the chances of tooth decay among his patients at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics. One way to do this is with a healthy diet. Yet, while many parents worry a lot about avoiding candy and other sweets, the beverages children drink can also help or harm their pearly whites. With food, at least you can see the debris left behind allowing for effective brushing and flossing, but liquids can be sneakier. That’s why we’ve put together a primer on drinks and teeth ranking them from the best drinks for kids’ teeth to the worst drinks for kids’ teeth with a few for the grownups to consider too.

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