Bend's Hometown Board-Certified Orthodontic Specialist

Our Blog

Tips for your braces treatment countdown

May 10th, 2016

Many teens will have to spend at least a year or two of their lives with braces. And although you know that braces can straighten your teeth and give you a healthier smile for life, the lengthy process can make it seem impossible. Counting down your time with braces can help it pass more quickly and build excitement for when you finally get them removed.

Mark your calendar

Take the typical calendar countdown a step further by designing your own. Use an online customization service to upload photos or designs for each month. After each day is done, write out a reason why you are getting your teeth straightened, or an event in the future when you will appreciate your straight teeth as you smile. It will all be worth it in the end!

Schedule rewards

When you receive regular rewards for continuing to wear your braces, they can seem less burdensome. Treat yourself to a nice reward every month that you wear your braces for the duration of the treatment. The time will pass much faster when you feel you are earning rewards for your patience.

Find a buddy

More likely than not, you aren’t the only one in your circle of friends with braces. Why not share the experience? Create a Facebook group where you can post updates, calendar markers, pictures, status updates, and the things you look forward to eating once the braces are off.

Plan a Celebration Day on Pinterest

Create a board on Pinterest that will be devoted to planning your celebration of the braces removal! You can pin great ideas, recipes, activities, crafts, motivational quotes, and much more.

Keep a selfie journal

After each check up with your orthodontist, smile and take a photo of yourself. That way, you can see the slow but steady improvements happening to your smile and track your progress. It will keep you motivated on the days you feel discouraged. Better yet, you’ll have something to look back on down the road and remember how your dedication payed off.

Do you have ideas for your own braces countdown? Share them with us in the comments! And remember, having braces can be a challenging experience, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. We’re here to help you through the process every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 541-848-6642.

Do braces hurt?

April 13th, 2016

Feeling anxious about getting braces? You may have heard rumors and horror stories about pain experienced from braces. We’re here to set those straight! While we can’t promise that your treatment will be free from discomfort, what we can tell you is that it’s completely manageable. Here's what you can expect throughout the process:

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

There should be minimal pain when braces are applied to the teeth. It may take you longer to eat meals the day you have them applied to your teeth, as you'll need to adjust to chewing. It's best to stick with softer foods for the first few days, such as yogurt, soup, and macaroni and cheese.

What if the pain doesn’t go away?

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good options for relieving mouth soreness and headaches associated with getting used to braces.  It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We will provide you with plenty of wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Orthodontic Appointments

You may feel the same discomfort for a few days after orthodontist appointments. Braces work by slowly moving your teeth into proper alignment. Adjustments to the braces are needed so they continue to properly move the teeth. The orthodontist will periodically need to adjust the archwires and change the elastic ligatures.

It's normal to feel anxious about braces. Most people find the discomfort associated with braces to be inconvenient, but manageable. Everyone on Team Struble is happy to offer any tools and suggestions you need for easing any pain or discomfort in the days following having braces installed or adjusted.

The 7 most common orthodontic problems

March 16th, 2016

Maybe your dentist told you that you might need braces. Or maybe all your friends are getting them and you’re wondering if you’ll need them too. Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits. Below are 7 of the most commonly treated orthodontic cases.

1. Crowding

Teeth may be aligned poorly because the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are large. The bone and gums over the roots of extremely crowded teeth may become thin and recede as a result of severe crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not), poor biting relationships, and undesirable appearance may all result from crowding.

2. Overjet or protruding upper teeth

Thumb suckers, beware! Thumb and finger sucking habits often cause a protrusion of the upper incisor teeth. Upper front teeth that protrude beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth are prone to injury, often indicate a poor bite of the back teeth (molars), and may indicate an unevenness in jaw growth. Commonly, protruded upper teeth are associated with a lower jaw that is short in proportion to the upper jaw.

3. Deep overbite

This occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. This can cause significant bone damage and discomfort. A deep bite can also contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth.

4. Open bite

This results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower front teeth causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient and may contribute to significant tooth wear.

5. Spacing

If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur. The most common complaint from those with excessive space is poor appearance (unless you aspire to be a gap-toothed model!).

6. Crossbite

The most common type of a crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites of both back teeth and front teeth are commonly corrected early due to biting and chewing difficulties.

7. Underbite or lower jaw protrusion

About 3-5% of the population (that’s more than 10 million people in the United States alone!) has a lower jaw that is to some degree longer than the upper jaw. This can cause the lower front teeth to protrude ahead of the upper front teeth creating a crossbite. Careful monitoring of jaw growth and tooth development is indicated for these patients.

If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.

Do I really need to use mouthwash?

February 8th, 2016

Keeping a healthy dental routine is important, but there can be a lot to remember. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, change out your toothbrush every three months, decide between an electric or manual toothbrush, pick a type of toothpaste with or without whitening, schedule a dentist appointment every six months, wear your rubber bands, don’t forget your retainer… Wheew! The list goes on. One more thing some people like to add to the list is mouthwash. But is it really necessary to add it to your daily routine?

What is mouthwash used for?

Mouthwashes are used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • to freshen breath
  • to help prevent or control tooth decay
  • to reduce plaque
  • to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease)
  • to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth

What types of mouthwashes are there?

According to the American Dental Association, there are two main kinds of mouthwash to choose from: cosmetic and therapeutic.

Cosmetic mouthrinses may temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste, but they don’t deal with the causes of bad breath. They don’t kill the bacteria that cause bad breath or chemically inactivate odor causing compounds. Also, none of the cosmetic mouthrinses helps reduce plaque, gingivitis or cavities.

Therapeutic mouthrinses, on the other hand, can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Some fight the bacteria present in plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth and gums. Plaque bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums. Plaque that is not removed with daily brushing and flossing can cause gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. If plaque is allowed to continue to accumulate, gingivitis can progress to advanced gum disease, called periodontitis. Plaque can also turn into tartar (or calculus), a hard substance that can only be removed during a professional cleaning.

Can a mouthrinse eliminate bad breath?

Therapeutic mouthrinses can help reduce bad breath. However, if you must constantly use a mouthrinse or breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, it would be a good idea to visit your dentist to see if there is some underlying cause that can be corrected.

Should you brush, floss or rinse first?

The sequence in which you brush, floss, and rinse makes no difference as long as you do a thorough job and use quality products. Check the mouthrinse manufacturer’s label for recommendations on how and when to use the product, and look for products that have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.

At what age can a child use a fluoride mouthrinse?

The use of fluoride mouthrinses is not recommended for children six and younger because they may swallow the rinse. Always check the manufacturer’s label for precautions and age recommendations and talk to your dentist. Clinical studies indicate that regular use of a fluoride mouthrinse (daily or weekly, depending on the rinse) can provide additional protection against cavities over that provided by a fluoride toothpaste.

So, do I need a mouthrinse?

Ask your dentist at your next appointment whether you need a mouthrinse, as it is often dependent on your individual oral health needs. Rinsing is not a substitute for brushing or flossing, however, if you have difficulty brushing and flossing, a mouthrinse may provide additional protection against cavities and periodontal (gum) disease. Contact us if you have further questions.

Back to Top