Clear Choices

Adapting Your Diet after an Orthodontic Adjustment

December 19th, 2015

If you have just gotten braces or had them tightened, it may take a few days for your teeth to adjust. During this time, you’ll want to take extra precautions to prevent unnecessary pain and potential damage to your teeth, gums, and appliances. Don’t worry: Any discomfort you experience will soon disappear. And it’ll all be worth it in the end. Your new, beautiful smile will be yours for a lifetime!

Change What You Eat

Eating inappropriate foods can cause unnecessary pain. Here are some easy ways you can adapt your diet and eating habits after an adjustment.

  1. Cut your food into small pieces. Any food that requires chewing can be cut up into bite-sized pieces. This includes sandwiches, pizza, meat, and bread.
  2. Eat softer foods. In the first couple of days, stick to soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, and soups. Mashed potatoes and applesauce are good options as well. It’s easy to cook fruits and vegetables to make them softer: just steam them in the microwave!
  3. Be gentle with your teeth. Braces give your teeth a workout, so to ease soreness, be gentle with your teeth. Avoid chewy foods that can further irritate already-sore teeth and gums.

Dealing with Discomfort

Even if you alter your diet and take extra precautions, your mouth may still be sore or irritated. Here are some ways to reduce any lingering discomfort.

  1. Eat slowly and carefully. If it hurts to chew something, stop! If chewing is needed, try to use your back teeth as much as possible.
  2. Put pain on ice. Try sucking on some small pieces of ice. Don’t chew on the ice; this will make your discomfort worse. You can also use an ice pack or put frozen peas in a bag and apply pressure to the sore areas.
  3. Use wax. Put wax on any metal part that irritates your mouth. If you need some, please let us know!
  4. Do a salt rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes. Just don’t swallow the salt water.

Following these simple tips will get you back to smiling in no time! If you have any questions about your treatment, or how to eat with braces, please give us a call or ask us during your next appointment!

Incognito™ Hidden Braces

October 19th, 2015

Incognito™ Hidden Braces are a unique orthodontic treatment option I provide featuring customized braces placed on the back side of your teeth where they are completely hidden from view. Since they are completely customized for you, Incognito Hidden Braces allow me to offer many treatment options.
Incognito Hidden Braces can treat nearly any orthodontic issue, while Incognito Lite Hidden Braces are specially designed to fix just your "social six" - the teeth that are visible at the front of your mouth. No matter which option you choose, no one will know you're wearing braces – unless you tell them!
Using state-of-the-art technology, 3M custom builds your exclusive Incognito™ Hidden Braces to deliver predictable, effective and efficient treatment results. Traditional metal or ceramic braces and other lingual (behind the teeth) braces are mass produced and based on a generic prescription. Incognito Braces are 100 percent customized to the contours of your teeth. What does this customization mean to you?
·      Total treatment time is usually shorter than when using generic brackets
·       Brackets are more comfortable than the standard    brackets because they fit perfectly with your individual teeth
·     Fewer appointments are usually necessary since the brackets and the wires are designed to efficiently deliver your final result
Here's how it works:
My excellent orthodontic staff will take impressions of your teeth and send them to technicians at the 3M lab.
·       I will customize your Incognito Braces treatment plan with the help of the 3M lab to meet your exact needs and correct your condition efficiently.
·      Using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), 3D printing technology, and robotics, your brackets and wires are custom manufactured exclusively for you, to correct your exact condition and deliver a confident smile.
·        Each bracket is cast in gold with precision design. Not only is the gold highly polished for additional comfort, but it also is safe for anyone that has Nickel allergies.
Experience the secret behind a beautiful smile.   Have the smile you've always dreamed of for your wedding, your career or simply for yourself. You deserve it!

Dr. Menker Among Top in the State

July 29th, 2015

"We asked 6,542 New Jersey dentists to tell us which of their fellow dentists they consider New Jersey’s best practitioners. The result: Our 2015 list of the state’s 603 Top Dentists, as chosen by their peers!"
New Jersey Monthly Magazine July 2015 Top Dentists cover
For the third year, Dr. Menker was voted one of New Jersey’s top orthodontists as published in New Jersey Monthly Magazine, and as a favorite of kids in New Jersey according to New Jersey Family Magazine.
Dr. Craig Menker opened his practice in 1991. “I hung a shingle and was unknown,” he says. “I started with a few patients, and the practice grew from there through referrals, which I’m very proud of.” A graduate of Boston University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Menker recently built a new, state-of-the-art office to better serve his patients. “My focus is on providing excellent orthodontic treatment paired with exceptional customer service,” he says. “We go above and beyond for our patients.”

In addition to traditional braces, Dr. Menker is a Preferred Provider for Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen®—for those who prefer a treatment without wires and brackets. He is also a Premier Provider of Incognito™, a new type of completely customized, hidden lingual braces. “Orthodontic technology is improving rapidly right now,” says Dr. Menker. “I’m very excited to bring all this technology to my patients for faster, invisible, more comfortable treatment.”

Top Doctor : New Jersey Monthly Craig L Menker

Call 908.756.6006  or use our online form to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Menker to discuss your options for your more confident smile!

This information was originally published in the July 2015 issue of New Jersey Monthly Magazine.

Dr. Craig L. Menker and his staff are knowledgeable and caring. Incognito Invisible Braces and other clear choices are provided to Warren, South Plainfield, Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Edison, Piscataway, New York and all neighboring communities.

Four facts about Adults in Braces

June 30th, 2015

First impressions are important – and a person’s smile plays a large role. It’s not surprising that 87 percent of adults agree it’s important to have straight teeth, and many also agree that an unattractive smile affects their career success. Despite a strong desire to make a good impression, taking the next step to straight teeth can make adult candidates feel anxious.
Here are four facts to consider:

  1. Do you think an unattractive smile means you don’t look their best? Well, you’re not alone - studies show 99.7 percent of adults think an attractive smile affects physical appearance.
  2. What can braces do for your confidence? Studies show that 49 percent of adults expect confidence in their appearance to be an outcome of braces, and another 49 percent of adults expect to smile more than before treatment.
  3. If you are nervous about the effect braces will have on your professional life, have no fear. Why? Studies show more than half of adults (65 percent) do not think that having braces has or will have a negative effect on their personal or professional life – they are confident in their choice to fix their smile, but need to find the right solution.
  4. Children and teenagers are not the only orthodontic patients, in fact one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

Now is the time for you to treat yourself to the gift of straight teeth.
With today’s technology, Dr Menker can help patients avoid much of the appearance-related anxiety that traditional metal braces bring by offering more discreet, or even invisible choices, to improve your smiles and health.
Consider the following treatment options for your smile:

  • 3M™ Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Brackets: This revolutionary solution is less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Clarity ADVANCED ceramic brackets are a leap forward in ceramic brackets, offering a combination of aesthetics and performance to your patients. The ultra-small, translucent brackets are made of innovative ceramic material, which blends in with natural tooth color and is resistant to staining and discoloration throughout the treatment process.
  • 3M™ Incognito™ Lingual Appliance System: This option is perhaps the most discreet option for patients who want to keep their braces completely hidden. The customized lingual brackets and robotically bent wires are engineered to work together to deliver the targeted result. Each bracket pad and body conforms to the patient’s dental anatomy, optimizing comfort.

To learn more about these treatment options, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Menker Today!

Everyone's Smiling About Braces

April 3rd, 2015

You want what’s best for your child. A beautiful smile can help build your teen’s confidence — a beautiful smile may enhance their chances to succeed during social, educational, and career events. Dr. Menker has helped family's like yours achieve straight, beautiful smiles for over 20 years. He provides a variety of options for braces other than traditional metal braces.

Dr. Menker and his knowledgeable staff would like to make learning about treatment options easily accessible to you. Recently the Lifetime Network filmed this excellent segment with his colleague Dr. Lisa Alvetro. The segment features real patients and Dr. Alvetro talking about their positive experiences with the technologically advanced aesthetic solutions offered by 3M Unitek, including:

Click to View Video

Do you have questions about braces? Dr. Craig L. Menker and his staff are knowledgeable and caring. Incognito™ Hidden braces and other clear choices are provided to Warren, South Plainfield, Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Edison, Piscataway, and all neighboring communities. New patients are always welcome. Schedule a complimentary consultation today!

Information in this post was attained from publications from and used with their permission.

Incognito – Not Just Another Clear Choice.

January 8th, 2015

Incognito braces are a lingual brace.  Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth. They are considered a clear solution since you can’t see them at first glance . They offer a solution that is more discrete than aligners and far less noticeable then clear braces. Incognito in many cases is the best choice for adult patients and patients who are in the spotlight with their social lives.

You have seen famous people with braces and you would have never known, the treatment is so discrete. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge both used lingual braces. Miley Cyrus also had lingual braces when she was the star of the show Hanna Montana. Due to the stigma that braces get people do not always want to showcase they are receiving orthodontic treatment. Incognito is perfect for people who want to receive the smile of their dreams in private.

Treatment with Incognito braces takes about the same amount of time as traditional braces. The treatment is customized for you; Dr. Menker will help you achieve the smile of your dreams upon completion of your treatment. Just like Mary Jain showcased in the image below completed Incognito treatment at our office she is ecstatic about the results she received from her hidden treatment! She looks fabulous! Contact our office today to discuss the best option for you.

Dr. Craig L. Menker and his staff are knowledgeable and caring. Incognito Invisible Braces and other clear choices are provided to Warren, South Plainfield, Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Edison, Piscataway, and all neighboring communities. New patients are always welcome. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Vanity Benefits of Invisalign®

December 4th, 2014

Many adults think they are too old for changing their smile. They could not be more wrong. Today, you have many options for discrete orthodontic treatment.  Dr. Menker provides several options for covert treatment.  Today’s blog post will focus on how Invisalign will help make your smile perfect without the use of traditional metal braces. Over the next several posts we will examine other clear solutions.

As you may be aware we live in a world of over publication and social media you have to market your best self. This is why celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Katherine Heigl, Tom Cruise, Gisele Bundchen, Zac Efron, Eva Longoria, Serena Williams all have used Invisalign to transform their smiles.

Invisalign uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you're wearing. So, you can smile more during treatment as well as after. Invisalign is made with 3D computer imaging technology and has been proven effective. You almost cannot see them, but you will certainly see the results!

Studies have shown that people with severe dental issues struggle with confidence and self-image. Invisible braces allow for the modification of your smile without broadcasting to the world you are under orthodontic treatment. It is inferred that the resolution of the dental issues will boost confidence and increase one’s self image. We would love to discuss if Invisalign is the correct choice for you, call or schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Menker.

Dr. Craig L. Menker and his staff are knowledgeable and caring. Invisalign® Invisible Braces and other clear choices are provided to Warren, South Plainfield, Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Edison, Piscataway, and all neighboring communities. New patients are always welcome. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

List of celebrities was attained from

Smart Clip Braces

June 3rd, 2013

Dr. Menker Uses "Smart Clip" Self-Ligating Braces (No Rubber bands)

I have been using the Smart Clip braces for years now with excellent results.  With the Standard braces, I use tiny elastic bands to hold the wire onto your braces. Advancements in technology now bring self-ligating braces onto the scene. Instead of rubber bands, 3M™ Self-Ligating Braces use a unique clip to hold the wire in place. So your teeth stay cleaner and you can spend less time in chair at our office!

SmartClip™ SL3 Self-Ligating Braces
SmartClip™ SL3
Self-Ligating Braces

SmartClip™ SL3 Self-Ligating Braces

The SmartClip™ Self-Ligating Braces technology eliminates the need for elastic bands. Instead, an innovative clip system does the trick. That's a big change for the better when it comes to your smile.

  • Smaller SmartClip™ braces move teeth more quickly
  • Smooth, contoured surfaces offer a more comfortable fit
  • Self-ligating design keeps my appointments with you to a minimum
  • Without elastic bands, braces are easier to keep clean
Clarity™ SL Self-Ligating Braces
Clarity™ SL
Self-Ligating Braces

Clarity™ SL Self-Ligating Braces

Clarity™ SL Self-Ligating Braces provide all of the benefits of self-ligating braces with the added advantage of translucent ceramic. Clarity Braces blend in with your teeth and provide a smooth, comfortable and extremely durable fit.  I like these braces because you have absolutely nothing to stain or pick up pigment!

  • Engineered to move your teeth quickly
  • Durable, translucent ceramic blends with your teeth
  • Potential for fewer and faster appointments
  • Allows for easy cleaning and reduces plaque build-up
  • Smooth, molded edges provide added comfort

Show off your new braces – they're hard at work on your smile every second of every day.  Please ask our wonderful staff about these braces.  Also, check out our website for more info and videos of the Smart Clip Braces in action.

Smart Clip Braces at Dr. Menker's Office

High-tech and professional care, impeccable facility, friendly and efficient staff!
– The Iroudayassamy Family

Everyone is so friendly and professional. Appointments are a pleasure!
— The Horne Family

My child and I are extremely pleased with the final results. Yesenia has a beautiful smile.
— Yvette Alvarez

Overall, excellent service! I would not change a thing!
— DeAngelis family

I wish every Doctor's office I visit could run the office as efficient and as smoothly as Dr. Menker's.
— Isaiah V.

See More Patient Testimonials
Warren Location
58 Mount Bethel Rd. Suite 201
Warren, NJ 07059
South Plainfield Location
1904 Park Ave.
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
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