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Dr. Nathan J. Hawley

Volunteer opportunities Omaha

Omaha Volunteer Opportunities for the 2021 Holiday Season

By Community No Comments

Omaha-Area Volunteer Opportunities for the 2021 Holiday Season

As part of our mission to “Smile. Be Kind. Do Good,” we love to share Omaha volunteer opportunities for families throughout the year. And, with giving season in full swing, the team at Hawley Orthodontics has put together another annual installment of the best ways to give back in the Omaha area during the holidays. 

  • United Way of the Midlands – United Way of the Midlands has been serving the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro since 1923. The nonprofit invests in programs that help lift local families out of poverty. This Omaha charity can connect you with non-profit agencies in need of volunteers year-round or you can choose to be a United Way Holiday Helper. Holiday Helper opportunities include adopting a family for Christmas or working in the Christmas Store. You can also pitch in remotely by purchasing items on agency wishlists
  • Siena Francis House – Siena Francis House is the largest shelter in Nebraska and they provide emergency overnight shelter to people experiencing homelessness. They also offer case management outreach services, food and clothing. There are a number of Siena Francis House Omaha volunteer openings, including a need for people to help with meal service, laundry service and transportation service, as well as openings for dock and pantry volunteers. Take a look at all of the Siena Francis House volunteer opportunities and sign-up here
  • Tri-City Food Pantry – The food pantry, which serves families living in the greater Sarpy County area, is one of our favorite Papillion charities. Hosting your own food drive is a great way to get your kids involved in giving back. Contact the organization before starting your drive. You can also contribute by donating much-needed items.
  • Be a Santa to a SeniorHome Instead Senior Care® partners with local organizations to identify senior citizens who won’t receive gifts this holiday season. They then place trees at local businesses with ornaments that have senior citizens’ names and gift suggestions written on them. They’re looking for volunteers to serve as Santas to the seniors. To participate, visit one of these Hy-Vee locations, remove an ornament with a gift request, purchase the gift, and then deliver the unwrapped gift with the ornament to the designated box. 
  • Open Door Mission – If you follow our Papillion orthodontics office on social media, you may have seen our recent food drive to benefit Open Door Mission where, after reaching our goal, Dr. Hawley got pied! Open Door Mission’s goal is to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. The organization provides shelter beds to people experiencing homelessness, as well as preventative resources. The Omaha charity also serves meals to those in need. There are a variety of Open Door Mission Omaha volunteer opportunities for the 2021 holidays. Here are a few:
  • Purchase a gift for the Project Santa program from the organization’s Amazon wishlist. The holiday gifts will be distributed to boys and girls in need so they have something to open on Christmas morning. Or, take part in the Christmas Bells program by buying a holiday gift for an adult in need from Amazon
  • For something that you can do while social distancing, consider one of the organization’s Volunteer in Place opportunities. Volunteers are needed to make inspiration cards, make meals and sack lunches, put together hygiene comfort kits and more. 
  • Open Door Mission has in-person volunteer opportunities too. They need volunteers for their annual Project Santa Toy ‘N’ Joy shop. Or, if you’d rather be an Omaha soup kitchen volunteer, there’s also a need for helpers to serve holiday meals. You can see all of the volunteer openings and sign up here. 
  • The Salvation Army of Omaha – The Salvation Army has a range of holiday volunteer opportunities in the Omaha area. You can be a bell ringer and collect donations, deliver meals, assist in a food pantry, and more. See the full list and details here
  • Heartland Hope Mission – Heartland Hope Mission is in need of resources to meet growing demand. The faith-based nonprofit offers basic necessities and services to help the working poor get back on their feet. You can help by donating funds or non-perishable food items. Heartland Hope Mission also has Omaha volunteer opportunities for people 12 and up in their food pantries and warehouse. Or, participate in their Hope-Filled Christmas program by adopting a family and providing them with Christmas gifts.
  • Heart Ministry Center – Heart Ministry Center provides food, health care and job placement services to people affected by poverty in the Omaha area. The organization offers volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, companies and schools to work together to provide meals to neighbors in need. Volunteers are needed to sort and stock donations, operate drive-through food distribution, make food pantry bags, help with special events and maintain the center and grounds, among other tasks. Get more information or sign-up here. You can also donate directly or drop off items like toiletries, diapers, formula and non-perishable food. 
  • Shine the Light on Hunger – The Omaha Holiday Lights Festival is back for 2021. The Festival, in partnership with Conagra Brands, will be running the annual Shine the Light on Hunger campaign. This year’s goal is to raise the equivalent of 2 million meals to support the hunger relief efforts of the Food Bank for the Heartland. Conagra Brands Foundation will match all campaign funds up to $100,000. To help, you can contribute funds, donate non-perishable food items by dropping them off at one of many Omaha-area locations or volunteer directly with the food bank. 
  • Together Omaha – Together’s mission is to prevent and end hunger and homelessness in Omaha and the surrounding communities. The non-profit organization helps families in need get access to food, shelter, clothing, crisis management and more. Together is looking for volunteers to help with fundraisers and community outreach for special events, as well as in their food pantry. Complete a volunteer application here

These are just some of the ways to give back during the holidays in Omaha and the surrounding area. Whether you take part in one of these suggestions or find a way to give back on your own, we’d love to see you in action! Snap a picture and share it on social with the tag #SmileBeKindDoGood. Let’s make the 2021 holiday season the brightest one yet. And, as always, if in between volunteer stints, achieving a fantastic smile is also on your holiday to-do list, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Hawley.

Happy holidays from the Hawley Orthodontics family to yours!

Results With Invisalign

When Do You Start Seeing Results With Invisalign?

By Orthodontics No Comments

When Do You Start Seeing Results With Invisalign?

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are convenient, comfortable, virtually invisible treatment options. If you’re considering clear aligners to improve your smile, you’re probably wondering: When do you start seeing results with Invisalign? How long does Invisalign take overall? Well, the team here at Hawley Orthodontics has the answers!

How Does Invisalign Work?

First, it’s important to understand how Invisalign works. We kick off the Invisalign process by using our iTero scanner to take digital impressions. Once your scans are uploaded into our software program, we’re able to create a computerized, 3D model of your mouth. Our Papillion orthodontist, Dr. Hawley, moves each individual tooth into its ideal place directly on this model to create your perfect smile. He sends his specifications to the Invisalign lab and they print a series of custom aligners based on his treatment plan. 

Over time, your Invisalign aligners will help your teeth move horizontally, vertically or even rotate until they’re exactly where we want them, but not all of your teeth move at once. Each set of Invisalign aligners within the series is designed to achieve specific tooth movements. The aligners exert the right amount of force at the right time. As you make your way through the series, your new smile gradually takes shape. 

When Do You Start Seeing Results with Invisalign?

So, how long does Invisalign take to work? Every patient is unique, but most people start to see differences in as little as a few weeks. The amazing thing about the clear aligners, however, is that you’ll be able to see your Invisalign progress in real-time, because your teeth aren’t obscured by brackets and wires. 

What Will My Invisalign Progress Look Like?

Everyone’s Invisalign progress will look different. As we said, Dr. Hawley will determine your tooth movements in advance when he creates your treatment plan. Depending on your specific orthodontic issues and needs, your aligners may be designed to achieve certain smaller movements first, followed by larger, more complicated tooth movements. 

The good news is, using the 3D model of your mouth and our Invisalign Outcome Simulator, we can show you what your new smile will look like at the end of treatment, as well as during each stage of the process. It’s kind of like an Invisalign time lapse that lets you visualize what changes are going to occur and when they’ll happen. 

How Long Does Invisalign Take Overall?

Your Invisalign treatment time will depend on a number of factors, including how severe your case is, the orthodontic problem we’re treating, how dedicated you are to wearing your aligners, the health of your teeth and gums, and how your body responds to treatment. While it could be a tad shorter or longer, the average Invisalign treatment time is between 6 and 18 months.

Does Invisalign Work Faster Than Braces?

Usually, the treatment time won’t be significantly different between Invisalign and braces. However, there are some cases where Invisalign may actually be quite a bit faster. Depending on your preference, either Invisalign or braces can help you meet your goals.

Dr. Hawley transformed this smile in just SEVEN months using Invisalign! He designed a specific treatment plan to improve the crowding, correct the deep bite (to show more bottom teeth), and broaden the smile.

How Can I Get the Best Invisalign Results?

While Dr. Hawley will create your treatment plan, you’ll also play a big role in your Invisalign progress. In order to get the best results and stick to your Invisalign timeline:

  • Wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day. Only take your aligners out to eat, drink anything aside from plain water, and brush and floss your teeth. Every time your aligners are out, it hits the pause button on your tooth movements. So the more you wear them, the faster your teeth will shift into place.
  • Change your Invisalign trays according to the schedule. While it will depend on your treatment plan, most patients change to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. 
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene since teeth move most efficiently in a healthy mouth. Your aligners will trap any food particles or liquids that are on your teeth beneath them, so brush your teeth after every meal and snack and rinse your aligners off. You’ll want your teeth to be clean before putting your aligners back in. Be sure to floss your teeth once daily too!
  • Store your aligners in your Invisalign case when you’re not wearing them. Losing your aligners can slow your Invisalign treatment time down. 
  • If you’re given auxiliaries to use, such as Invisalign rubber bands, make sure to wear them as directed. 

Connect With a Leading Omaha Invisalign Provider

Now that you have a general idea of when you can expect to see Invisalign progress and how long treatment will take overall, are you ready to find out if you’re a candidate for clear aligners? Schedule a complimentary consultation at Hawley Orthodontics in Papillion, NE today! Once Dr. Hawley has a chance to evaluate your smile and determine an accurate diagnosis, he’ll be able to let you know exactly how long Invisalign will take in your specific case. 

The Different Types of Braces and How to Pick the Best Kind?

By Orthodontics No Comments

The Different Types of Braces and How to Pick the Best Kind

Dental braces have been around for quite a while. In fact, early variations of the metal braces that are still used today were created in the 19th century. The reason they’ve stuck around for so long is they’re extremely effective at straightening the teeth and aligning the bite

However, there have been some serious innovations in orthodontics, so braces are smaller, sleeker and way more comfortable than they used to be. They’re also available in ceramic materials that blend in with the smile and there are low-profile, self-ligating brackets that don’t require elastics.

Today, we’ll cover:
  • The different types of braces we offer at our Papillion orthodontic office
  • Self-ligating vs. traditional braces
  • Which braces work faster?
  • How long until you see results from braces?
  • Tips for choosing the right braces for your smile.  

Different Types of Braces at Hawley Orthodontics

There are a variety of different types of braces, including traditional metal braces, traditional clear braces and self-ligating braces. 

At Hawley Orthodontics, in addition to Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen, we offer two main types of braces: self-ligating ceramic braces and self-ligating metal braces. We want our patients to get the best results as quickly and comfortably as possible, which is why we only use self-ligating brackets. 

Self-Ligating Braces vs. Traditional Braces

Both traditional braces and self-ligating braces consist of brackets and wires. The brackets are bonded to your teeth and we run an archwire through them that acts as a track to guide the teeth into place.

The difference is that traditional braces rely on ligatures (tiny elastics or metal ties) to attach the archwire to the bracket. Self-ligating braces don’t use ligatures and, instead, the brackets each have a door that holds the lightweight, memory wires in position. The wire moves on its own along with the teeth.

Self-ligating brackets are lower profile than conventional brackets and they reduce the amount of friction, so they’re more comfortable and they look great, regardless of whether you choose metal or ceramic. Since we don’t need to put on ligatures or change elastics, you’ll spend less time in our chair and appointments will be a bit shorter. 

Additionally, self-ligating braces are more hygienic and easier to clean, as ligatures trap food and plaque. We do allow our patients to wear elastics if they want a pop of color but they’re not necessary, so if your child isn’t good at brushing and the elastics pose a problem, we can always forgo them at the next visit.  

Some practices keep traditional braces on the menu as a cheaper option. However, we don’t believe in upcharges and the braces price (and fee for Invisalign) is the same, regardless of the treatment you choose at our practice. Considering we’re not basing a patient’s treatment options on how much they can pay, we go with what’s most efficient and effective and for us, that’s self-ligating braces.

Schedule your free orthodontic consultation with Dr. Hawley to see how self-ligating braces will work for you by calling us at (402) 592-3200 or sending us an email at [email protected]. With our one flat rate, choosing braces that suit your smile will really come down to personal preference.

Which Braces Work Faster?

Patients often ask, which braces work faster? The truth is, your teeth don’t know what type of appliance is exerting force and they’ll move into place whether you use traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces or clear aligners. 

That said, the combination of self-ligating brackets and memory wires we offer at our practice helps the teeth take a more direct path to their final positions. Dr. Hawley doesn’t have to make tweaks or deal with unwanted tooth movements, so your treatment may be slightly faster with our braces system than it would be with traditional braces. 

How Long Until You See Results From Braces?

How long it takes until you see results from braces varies depending on how your body responds to treatment and the severity of your case. Some patients notice a subtle difference within four to six weeks, while others don’t see much change until around three months. This will be consistent whether you choose metal or clear self-ligating braces. 

Choosing the Right Braces for Your Smile

Self-Ligating Metal Braces

Metal braces are still the most common among the different types of braces. The self-ligating metal brackets and high-tech wires Dr. Hawley uses for his Papillion, NE braces patients are very streamlined. They’re not big or bulky and they don’t create the stereotypical mouth full of metal depicted in pop culture

The brackets are made of stainless steel and the wires are crafted from titanium. Some of our patients, particularly younger ones, prefer metal braces vs. clear braces because they like showing them off and orthodontic treatment can be like a rite of passage marking the transition from childhood to those teenage years.

When all of their friends are wearing metal hardware, they want to as well. However, even older patients sometimes like how braces look. As we said earlier, self-ligating braces don’t need elastics, but for those who enjoy customizing their braces with colorful bands, we’re always more than happy to put them on.

So, are self-ligating metal braces for you?

The Metal Braces Checklist

Check all that apply:

  1. I want straighter teeth and an aligned bite.
  2. I’d prefer a comfortable, effective, efficient treatment option.
  3. Silver is definitely my color.
  4. I like the idea of showing off the fact that I’m wearing braces.
  5. I’d love to add a little shimmer to my smile.
  6. All of my friends are wearing metal braces and I feel left out.

If you checked off three or more points, you might have found the perfect type of braces for you!

Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces

Self-ligating ceramic braces, often called clear braces, also consist of brackets and wires and are put on the same way as metal braces. However, the brackets are made from a translucent, durable ceramic material, so they blend with the color of your teeth and are much less noticeable. They’re really popular with our teen and adult braces patients who want an esthetic option, especially since we don’t charge extra for them here

In the past, a disadvantage of clear braces was that they weren’t as strong and broke more easily. Another concern was that the ceramic was porous and prone to staining and the elastics got discolored quickly.

Thanks to advances in materials, clear braces are now a lot stronger and they resist stains, so these aren’t issues anymore. Plus, we use self-ligating ones with no elastics to speak of. They’re practical and attractive. Are clear braces right for you?

The Clear Braces Checklist

Check all that apply:

  1. I want to straighten my teeth and align my bite.
  2. I’m interested in more comfortable, quick, effective treatment.
  3. I don’t want people to notice I’m wearing braces.
  4. Metallics aren’t my thing.
  5. I’d like to keep my orthodontic treatment low profile.
  6. I’m a professional and feel like metal braces would be distracting.

If you checked off three or more points, clear braces might be your best bet!

Now that you have a better idea of the different types of braces we offer and perhaps the kind you might be leaning towards, give us a shout at (402) 592-3200 or [email protected] to schedule your free exam with our Papillion, NE orthodontist, Dr. Hawley. We can usually get your treatment started on the same day as your exam. 

If Invisalign seems more your speed, we also happen to be the largest Invisalign provider in the Omaha area. With one cost for clear braces, metal braces, and Invisalign, you can base your choice on which one best reflects your personality and needs. Your smile, your style!

food with braces

Your Food and Beverage-Related Braces and Invisalign® Questions Answered

By Orthodontics No Comments

Can you eat chips with braces? Can you eat lollipops with Invisalign? Can you drink coffee with clear braces? These are some of the common questions we hear from our Papillion Invisalign and braces patients about eating and drinking during treatment. Hey, between all of the amazing Omaha-area restaurants and grilling season being in full effect, we get it! You want exceptional braces or Invisalign results without having to give up your favorite foods. The team at Hawley Orthodontics is making things easier for you by covering all of your food and beverage-related braces and Invisalign questions. 

Can you eat chips with braces?

You can eat chips with braces depending on the type. Since really hard foods can break your appliance, avoid chips that are, well, really hard like Doritos and corn chips during your treatment. Chips that are easy to chew, such as certain baked chips or alternatives like cheese puffs, are okay to eat with braces. Eat one chip at a time and, if possible, go with smaller pieces of chips instead of large ones, so you don’t accidentally break a braces bracket or damage a wire. 

There is one thing to note: since chips are starchy and the bacteria in the mouth feed on starches and sugars, which can result in cavities, enjoy chips in moderation. Getting cavities during your braces treatment could make your treatment last longer and, in extreme cases, you may need to have your braces removed to have the cavities treated. Be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly after indulging! 

Can you drink coffee with clear braces?

Yes! You can drink coffee with clear braces. The clear braces we use at Hawley Orthodontics are durable and stain resistant. While the clear elastics often used with traditional clear braces can become discolored from beverages like coffee, our braces are self-ligating braces that don’t require elastics or ties, so you won’t need to worry about that.

Can you drink coffee with Invisalign?

You can drink coffee with Invisalign as long as you take your aligners out first. Hot beverages, including coffee, can warp the thermoplastic material the aligners are made from, which could affect the fit of your aligners and, ultimately, your Invisalign results. Drinking coffee with Invisalign aligners in your mouth will also cause the aligners to become discolored. 

Can you eat ice cream with braces?

Oh yeah! While we do recommend cutting back on sugary treats to prevent cavities during your treatment, you can eat ice cream with braces in moderation. In fact, it’s preferable to many other desserts, because it rinses off the teeth easily and won’t get trapped in your hardware. Ice cream is an excellent option for when you first get braces put on. It’s super soft and cold enough to numb your mouth a bit. 

Can you chew gum with braces?

No. Unfortunately, you can’t chew gum with braces. At Hawley Orthodontics, we use self-ligating braces, which have a door that opens and closes to put the wire in. The sticky gum can open the doors on the brackets. Believe us, your fantastic new smile will be worth temporarily giving up gum! 

Can you chew gum with Invisalign?

While you can chew gum with Invisalign, take your aligners out first and opt for sugarless gum. Sugar-filled gum can cause cavities and no one wants cavities when they’ve invested in getting straight teeth and a healthy smile! While sugarless gum isn’t as sticky as regular gum, it still tends to stick to aligners. Plus, you’re also exposing your aligners to constant chewing forces as you enjoy your gum. This could potentially interfere with the fit of your aligners or damage them. 

Can you eat lollipops with Invisalign?

You can eat lollipops with Invisalign as long as you remove your aligners first. Since lollipops are sticky and full of sugar, they can cause a mess and/or lead to cavities if you eat them with your aligners in. 

Can you eat peanut butter with braces?

Absolutely! Peanut butter is an excellent choice when it comes to soft foods to eat with braces. It has protein, fat,  important nutrients and doesn’t require a lot of chewing, making it ideal for when your teeth are feeling tender after first getting your braces put on and following adjustments. Brush your teeth after eating the peanut butter to remove it from your brackets and wires. 

Can you drink water with Invisalign?

Yup! You can drink plain water with Invisalign. If the water isn’t hot, you don’t need to remove your aligners first.

What can you eat with Invisalign?

Since the clear aligners are removable, there are zero Invisalign food restrictions. You can eat and drink whatever you want during treatment. The caveat? Take your Invisalign aligners out before eating or drinking anything aside from plain water

The aligners fit snug against your teeth and saliva isn’t able to flow freely beneath them to wash away any lingering debris or residue from your food or drinks. This means eating or drinking with Invisalign aligners in will allow the food or beverage to sit against your teeth for a longer period of time, increasing your risk of tooth decay and the staining of your teeth and/or Invisalign aligners. 

On that note, you’ll also want to brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in after eating and drinking. This will ensure your teeth are clean and your aligners aren’t trapping anything beneath them. 

Can you eat chocolate with braces?

Yes, you can eat chocolate with braces. Since things like nuts and caramel are among the foods you can’t eat with braces, go with plain chocolate like a Hershey’s bar or Hershey’s Kisses. Anything without hard bits that will melt in your mouth is okay. For more information on the candy you can eat with braces and the candy to avoid during treatment, check out our “Guide to Halloween Candy and Braces.”

Can you eat popcorn with braces?

It may seem like you can eat popcorn with braces without a problem, however, unpopped kernels can damage your brackets and wires. Additionally, popcorn is notorious for getting caught in braces and around the gumline, leading to inflammation. That’s why we usually tell patients to avoid popcor

Can you eat pizza with braces?

Breathe a sigh of relief, because, yes, you can eat pizza with braces. However, pizza crust, especially if it’s really chewy or hard, can damage your appliance, so stay away from it. If the crust is nice and soft, cut or break it into small pieces to eat. 

What are the best soft foods for braces when your teeth are sensitive?

As for what to eat with braces the first week or following adjustments when your teeth are feeling a little sore, go with soft foods, as well as cold foods and drinks. Some of the best soft foods for braces include soup, yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, Jell-O, applesauce, scrambled eggs, peanut butter, mashed potatoes, popsicles and fudgesicles, ice water, ripe bananas, macaroni and cheese and protein shakes. Pro tip: Stock up on braces-friendly foods before you get your braces put on so you have plenty to eat from the get-go. Once you feel ready to tackle your normal diet again, you can still eat most of the foods you love with a few exceptions. 

Again, while there are no Invisalign food restrictions, your teeth can be sensitive when you start your Invisalign treatment and, sometimes, after putting in a new set of aligners. Choosing soft foods that require minimal chewing will be helpful as you adjust.  

What foods can’t you eat with braces?

Foods to avoid with braces include anything really hard, chewy or sticky that can damage your appliance. Skittles, hard candy, caramel, taffy, toffee, hard taco shells, whole, raw apples and carrots, hard pizza crust, hard rolls, Starburst and nuts are some examples of these types of foods. 

Are there special techniques to use when eating with braces?

How to eat with braces is just as important as what to eat with braces. Break or cut food into small, bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth. Never tear at food with your front teeth. Take corn off the cob, take meat off the bone and cut things like raw apples into small, thin slices before eating them. 

Now that you’re an expert on eating and drinking with Invisalign and braces, are you ready to kick-off treatment? Whether you want to get started or you’d just like to learn more about your teeth-straightening options, schedule a complimentary consultation with our Papillion orthodontist, Dr. Hawley, today! 

summer activities for kids in omaha

The Best Affordable & Free Activities for Kids in Omaha for Summer 2021

By Community No Comments

It’s that time of year again. The sun’s shining, school is out and the kids have a long stretch of summer days ahead of them. As a Papillion, NE orthodontist and dad, Dr. Hawley knows how exciting and tiring it can be to keep the kids entertained all summer. As always, the Hawley Orthodontics team is here to help with our annual round-up of fun, affordable and free activities for kids in Omaha to enjoy in summer 2021: 


1)  Papillon Days Celebration

Papillon Days is back for 2021 and will run from Thursday, June 17 through Sunday, June 20. Not only is this one of our personal favorite Papillion kids’ activities with days of fun events, it was also recently named one of “America’s Top 10 Small Festivals” by Reader’s Digest!

The theme for the 74th year of the family-friendly celebration is “Honoring Our Journey, Celebration Our Wings.” There will be a carnival, parade, Market in the Park, live entertainment, fireworks, helicopter rides and more! Check out the schedule here.

2) Farmers Markets

There are so many amazing farmers’ markets in Omaha and the surrounding area. Round up the kids and enjoy some fresh air while you stock up on local produce and treats. Some markets even offer online ordering for pick-up. Be sure to check out each market’s COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions before attending. Here are a few of our recommendations:

  • Papillon Farmers Market – The 2021 Papillion Farmers Market will be held on Wednesdays through September 29 from 5 to 8pm at City Park (Lincoln Street and Washington Street, Papillon, NE). As an added bonus, the Papillion Public Library will be on hand at the market offering a weekly craft for kids!
  • Bellevue Farmers Market – The Bellevue Farmers Market is held rain or shine on Saturdays through September 25 from 8am to noon at Washington Park (20th Street and Franklin Street, Bellevue, NE).
  • Omaha Farmers Market – The Omaha Farmers Market offers the Saturday Market on Saturdays through October 9 from 8am to 12:30pm in the Old Market (1011 Jackson Street, Omaha, NE), the Sunday Aksarben Market on Sundays through October 10 from 9am to 1pm in Parking Lot 26 at Baxter Arena (2425 S. 67th Street, Omaha, NE) and the Night Market at Midtown Crossing in Turner Park (31st Avenue and Farnam Street, Omaha, NE), which is open from 6 to 10pm on Fridays, July 16, July 30, August 13, August 27 and September 10.

3) Free Outdoor Movies

Another of our beloved, free Omaha kids’ activities for summer are outdoor movies. There’s something special about watching a movie under the stars. While the Starlight Movie Series at SumTur Amphitheater in Papillion is yet to be announced for 2021, here are two series that are launching soon:

  • Monday Night Movies at Midtown Crossing – This free Omaha outdoor movie series takes place in Turner Park at Midtown Crossing (3110 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE), giving families plenty of room to spread out and socially distance. The kid-friendly, dog-friendly events will be held on Mondays, June 7 (Mean Girls – PG-13), June 14 (Guardians of the Galaxy – PG-13), June 21 (Raya and the Last Dragon – PG), and June 28 (Jumanji – PG) with the park opening for seating at 5pm and movies starting at dusk. Bring your own blankets and chairs. Concessions will be available for purchase on-site. 
  • Free Friday Movie Nights at Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard – On Fridays from June 11 through August 27, family-friendly movies will play at Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard (19475 225th Street, Council Bluffs, IA). The films start at dusk and refreshments will be available for purchase. Bring your own blankets and chairs. Stay tuned for the schedule and details on Ditmars’ Facebook page. Up first on June 11 will be Grease

4) Gretna Days

Gretna Days 2021 will be held from July 29 through August 1 with all sorts of fun activities for kids, teens and adults in Gretna, NE. Events will include the Gretna Days Carnival, a free fireworks show on July 30, a craft show, a car show, a community picnic, inner tube races, and more! See the full schedule of events here

5) The Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch

The Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch (11001 South 48th Street, Papillon, NE) is a go-to for fun things to do with kids in Omaha. Pick your own fruits and veggies (strawberry season is slated to start in early June, sweet corn season should kick-off around July 4 and red raspberry season will run until the first frost in fall) or send the kids off to the Kids Play areas where admission is just $3. The farm also hosts a number of events, including the Omaha Potter Faire on June 5 and 6 and the Midwest Pirate Fest on August 28 and 29

6) Omaha Area Spraygrounds and Splash Pads

Cool off in one of Omaha’s spraygrounds or splash pads. The spraygrounds in Omaha are open through Labor Day from 9am to 8pm daily. The Papillion splash pads are also open through Labor Day, however, see below for each location’s hours:

  • Benson Park Sprayground -7002 Military Ave., Omaha, NE
  • Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Sprayground – 705 Riverfront Dr., Omaha, NE
  • Fontenelle Sprayground – 4405 Fontenelle Blvd., Omaha, NE
  • Kountze Sprayground – 1920 Pinkney St., Omaha, NE
  • Levi Carter Park Sprayground – 809 Carter Lake Shore Dr., Omaha, NE
  • Miller Sprayground – 2707 Redick Ave., Omaha, NE
  • Morton Park Sprayground – 5724 S. 41st St., Omaha, NE
  • Orchard Park Sprayground – 6502 Hartman Ave., Omaha, NE
  • Upland Sprayground – 3104 Jefferson St., Omaha, NE
  • Seymour Smith Park All Play Park – 6802 Harrison St., Omaha, NE
  • Westwood Heights Sprayground – 12334 Seldin Dr., Omaha, NE
  • Eagle Ridge Splash Pad – Two Blocks East of 66th Street and Ashwood Ave, Papillon, NE (open 10am to 7pm)
  • Schwer Park Splash Pad – 800 West Centennial Rd, Papillon, NE (open noon to 7pm)
  • First Street Plaza Splash Pad – First and Washington St., Papillion, NE (open 9am to 10pm)

7) Free Outdoor Storytime

Looking for a socially-distanced, outdoor storytime in the Omaha area? The local public libraries have you covered. Sump Memorial Library (222 N. Jefferson Street, Papillon, NE) offers a free family storytime for tots ages birth through 5 and their caregivers. The events are held on the library’s lawn, weather permitting, on Wednesdays in June and July from 10 to 10:30am

The Bellevue Public Library will also host interactive, free, outdoor storytimes in Washington Park (20th and Franklin Streets in Olde Towne Bellevue) on Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 29 from 10 to 11am. Registration is required. In case of inclement weather, storytime will be held on Zoom. 

8) Live on the Lake Outdoor Concert Series

Bridge Beats has always been one of the most popular things to do with kids in Omaha during the summer. Unfortunately, the event won’t be held in 2021 because of construction on the riverfront. The good news is, Omaha Parks & Recreation will be putting on a new free concert series called Live on the Lake.

The family-friendly events will take place at Zorinsky Lake (156th and F Streets, Omaha, NE) on Fridays, July 9-30 from 6 to 9pm. Live on the Lake will feature live local Omaha bands, food trucks and giveaways. The line-up includes:

  • July 9 – Lemon Fresh Day
  • July 16 – High Heel
  • July 23 – Stan and the Chain Gang
  • July 30 – Taxi Driver

9) Family Adventure Days at Fontenelle Forest

Fontenelle Forest will be hosting a variety of Family Adventure Days in summer 2021. Engage in a fun activity and then take a guided hike led by a naturalist. Social distancing guidelines will be followed and masks will be required when attendees can’t keep a 6-foot distance. Registration is limited, so sign-up early! The cost is $10 for members ages 8-12; $20 for members ages 13 and up; $15 for non-members ages 8-12; and $25 for non-members ages 13 and up. 

Here are some of the upcoming events:

Can’t make one of the Family Adventure Days? There are plenty of other fun, outdoor activities for kids all summer. Check out the schedule for details. Additionally, in partnership with the 2021 Blue Star Museum Program, Fontenelle Forest is offering all active military and up to five family members free daily admission to the forest through September 6! 

10) Relax at an Omaha Beach

And last, but not least, for our summer 2021 activities for kids in Omaha is spending the day at one of the local beaches. There are lakes and rivers a short drive away, including the Hawley family’s favorite, Louisville Lake. Oh My! Omaha has a comprehensive list of some other family-friendly, sandy beaches near Omaha.

There you have it, 10 ideas for affordable and fun activities to do with kids in Omaha for summer 2021. If you’d like to add getting a healthy, beautiful smile to the list, schedule a complimentary consultation at Hawley Orthodontics for your child or yourself! 

How can Invisalign and Braces Change Your Face Shape?

By Orthodontics No Comments

You probably know that orthodontic treatment can straighten your teeth and create an ideal bite. But how can Invisalign and braces change your face shape too? The answer is they can, though whether or not they do, and to what extent, will depend on the type of malocclusion (improper bite) you have and the severity of the issue. 

When our Omaha orthodontist Dr. Hawley creates a treatment plan for you, he bases it on your unique facial features and profile, while also keeping in mind how your face will change as you get older. This ensures you get your best smile.  Read More

Summer Activities for Kids in Omaha and Papillion

Summer Activities for Kids in Omaha and Papillion in 2021

By Community No Comments

We regularly post guides of things to do with kids in Omaha and Papillion throughout the year. While this summer will look different from last year, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the warm weather and family time. To help, the team at Hawley Orthodontics is sharing some super fun summer activities for kids in Omaha this season all with social distancing in mind. Read More

Hawley Orthodontics first orthodontic visit

What Happens at My First Orthodontic Visit?

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First Orthodontic Visit

Tired of hiding your smile on Zoom calls? Worried your child’s teeth are coming in crooked? Or just have some questions about orthodontic treatment in general like: How long do braces take? How does Invisalign work? At Hawley Orthodontics, we have you covered. We offer free, no-pressure orthodontic consultations at our Papillion, NE practice. This first orthodontic visit is meant to give you a chance to tour our office, meet Dr. Hawley and our team, learn more about your treatment options and have all of your questions answered. Our ultimate goal is for you to feel informed, confident and excited about beginning your or your child’s smile journey.  Read More

orthodontic problems addressed to a young patient

7 Early Common Orthodontic Problems We Watch for in Kids

By Orthodontics No Comments

Early Common Orthodontic Problems

When should kids visit an orthodontist for the first time? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. We know, we know, that seems super young, but seven isn’t just a random number that was picked out of a hat. There are several reasons behind the recommendation, including the fact that we can see certain emerging orthodontic problems in their earliest stages. So, what is our Papillion orthodontist watching out for when he examines your kiddo? Read on to find out! In this post, we’ll be covering the common red flags, as well as the basics of early orthodontics in general.  Read More