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Orthodontist Approved Holiday Tips for Healthy Teeth

November 23rd, 2021

The holidays are quickly approaching, and unfortunately, your teeth are going to take the brunt of all the fun, food, and celebrations you are likely looking forward to experiencing with friends and family.

But don’t fret! We are here to help your dental and orthodontic health during the holidays so that you can start the new year with a healthy mouth and a happy smile.

Whether you’re a parent looking for tips with your kiddos or just hoping to take better care of your smile, here are our approved tips from Doctors Blair Struble and Erica Crosta for keeping your teeth healthy during the holidays.

Drink Heaps of Water

Along with those heaping portions of yummy food, treats, and beverages, don’t forget to drink extra water throughout the day this holiday season. There are many benefits for teeth, including keeping your mouth rinsed and decreasing the amount of food or sugar sitting on your teeth for long periods. But in addition to the dental benefits, drinking water helps keep your skin and body hydrated and full, which has its own advantages, like staying fueled with H20 so that you’re less likely to feel pressure to start the new year with a whole new diet, plus keeping your skin clear and blemish-free. It’s a holiday present on so many levels!

Eat Teeth-Cleaning Foods

As tempting as it is to sit around the chip-and-dip bowl all night, or eat all those Christmas cookies at the party, remember to also include the veggie tray on your plate as you circulate and have fun. Foods like carrots, celery, broccoli, and apples all help clean your teeth as you eat them so that you can minimize some of the damage the other treats will have.

Note: If you wear braces, make sure to eat these foods only if they are cut into small pieces. The health of your braces is also a consideration here!

And, don’t forget to include a few slices of cheese! While cheese doesn’t clean your teeth, it can help coat and protect them from other food-related-harms. Did you know that?! So pick the cheese and veggies over the dip this year. Your teeth will thank you!

Use the Proper Tools

It can be tempting to open that bag of candy or pull that tag off with your teeth. We urge you to please use the proper tools for opening or unwrapping all of that holiday goodness this year. Remember, teeth are not tools; they are there for eating, drinking, and flashing your lovely smile in oodles of photos you plan to take throughout your holiday season.

Keep Away from Sticky Treats

Especially if you have braces, make sure to stay away from sticky holiday treats. They are terrible for your teeth and can ruin your braces, which leads to a not-so-fun present during the season of festivities. Foods to avoid:

  • Candy canes
  • Taffy
  • Peanut brittle
  • Sticky brownies
  • Crunchy cookies
  • Popcorn

Keep Up Your Teeth Routine

Traveling to see family and friends or just staying busy during the holiday season inevitably takes a toll on your oral hygiene. While it may slide by the wayside on a few occasions, try your best to keep up with your daily oral care routine while traveling, hosting, or during any of the other fun activities you have planned.

An excellent way to keep up with your daily routine is to make sure you carry a dental travel kit with you in the car or your day bag. You can include your travel toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash. The good news is that in addition to keeping your teeth healthy, your smile will shine brighter if you know your teeth look their best. Hooray!

Schedule Your Post-Holiday Check-Up

Orthodontic tips aside, you are likely to see some toll on your teeth after the new year. The best way to ensure your teeth are well maintained is to keep your routine dental and orthodontic visits up to date. Make sure to check your calendar to be sure you have that post-holiday visit on the books!

You can contact our office and get your next appointment on the books now.

Enjoy the Season!

Most of all, savor the moments and use these tips as a bonus to your festivities. We look forward to seeing you in the new year and hope you have a wonderful, fun, and safe holiday season.

Back to School with Braces and a Mask

September 13th, 2021

Summer is coming to a close, and most families have started a new school year. Beginning school with braces is another piece of the puzzle, and for parents -- and kids alike -- the need to take care of a new set of wires can seem daunting.

It's even more confusing to know how to take the best care of your child's braces when they might be wearing a mask in the classroom due to COVID-19 restrictions and requirements. We understand and want to provide you with a survival guide for parents sending their kiddos back to school with braces and masks. The good news is that the mask mandates may provide some welcome cover for many kids in middle school or high school as they get used to wearing their new braces. But, that said, there are still some important rules to follow with your child's newly braced mouth to ensure the best care and most comfort.

Keep a Mouthguard with You
Orthopedic mouthguards are specifically designed to be worn during physical activity to protect gums and teeth. Regardless of whether your child is wearing a mask, they will want to have a well-fitting mouthguard on hand for physical education or other rigorous activities at school.

When braces are present, we suggest choosing a generic or non-custom mouthguard. This choice can protect your child's teeth while still allowing the desired tooth movement we are seeking to achieve for your child. Some companies even make "braces specific" mouthguards for use while active orthodontic treatment is being provided.

Keep your Braces Kit Handy
Making sure to have a few useful items on hand in your child's locker or backpack can help significantly during their school day. When our patients begin treatment, we provide several essential items to help get them through the transitional period into braces. Consider keeping these items handy, and it may even be wise to pack your "Struble Kit" with your child for the first few weeks of school. We suggest including the following items, which the Struble kit incorporates:

  • Struble Orthodontics water bottle
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Christmas Tree flossers (To remove unwanted or irritating food.)
  • Lip balm (To soothe cut lips.)
  • Orthodontic flossers (For hard-to-reach places.)

Our team is conscientious about checking in to see if you need to restock on any of these helpful supplies throughout treatment. But if you find that you need any particular supplies, please let one of our wonderful team members know at your next appointment!

Obtain a Handheld Water Bottle
Drinking beverages such as juice or soda can cause unwanted stains behind the brackets on braced teeth. Our Struble Orthodontics water bottle is easy to carry and perfect for this purpose. Besides, who doesn't want to stay hydrated on these back-to-school scorcher days? Encourage your child to keep a water bottle close by at all times for healthy hydration and to avoid being tempted to drink something sugary.

Provide a Mirror
Even with the protection of possibly wearing a face mask in the classroom, your child may have moments -- especially outdoors -- where their face is exposed. Including a handheld mirror in their backpack, braces kit, or locker can give your child a little added comfort in the knowledge that they can check their teeth and braces for the undesired without having to run to the bathroom.

Use a Cone-Shaped or Stiff Mask
Nothing is more uncomfortable with new or recently tightened braces than having your wires and brackets rub against your gums and lips. A close-fitting mask can make this much worse. There are several quality masks out now for youth and kids. Be sure the one you choose provides ample breathing room for your child's mouth. This way, you can save yourself the worry about the fabric rubbing their lips while talking and moving around. Finally, be sure that your mask of choice provides good filtration and protection for your child as they head back into the classroom.

Ultimately, going back to school with braces doesn't need to be scary or uncomfortable. And taking these steps can make it that much easier for you and your child. We hope you have an enjoyable school year.

Please reach out to our office any time if you have additional questions about starting the school year with braces.

How to Have Fun with Braces During Summer BBQ Season

June 28th, 2021

Image courtesy of Juniper Swim and Fitness

Heading into summer with braces can feel a bit daunting. All of your favorite things, campouts, BBQs, and weekend adventures, can lead to poor dental care, and a nightmare for your mouth!

But there are lots of ways to prepare for summer with braces, and still have a great time enjoying all of your favorite activities and food.

Let’s start with the foods you can absolutely enjoy this summer with braces.

  • Cheeses - Get excited! The cheese on your favorite charcuterie board is fair game. So you can enjoy your favorite soft or hard cheese all summer long!
  • Soft Meats - Not all meat off the BBQ is good for your braces, but as long as it is bite-sized, or can fall off the bone, you’re good to go.
  • Soft Cooked Foods - Anything from potato salad, to baked beans are A-okay to eat with braces on. So don’t skimp on the pasta salad this year!
  • Popsicles and Snow Cones - You can make your own popsicles super easily, for you and your family. You can also enjoy snow cones to your heart’s content! Just don’t forget to brush your teeth after.
  • Soft Bread and Lightweight Crackers - As long as the crackers are crumbly, and the bread is soft, it should be safe for your braces. Just tread lightly here.
  • Tender Fruits - Whether you put them in a fruit salad, or eat on their own, soft fruits like kiwis, melons, bananas, blueberries, and avocados (yes, they are fruit) are the perfect summer snack that won’t wreak havoc on your braces.
  • Cookies and Ice Cream - While not great for your teeth, most ice cream (without a cone), and soft cookies are safe for your braces. But proper tooth care is essential when consuming lots of sweets.

Of course, there are some BBQ foods you should avoid during the summer when you have braces. Here’s the shortlist:

  • Corn Chips, Pretzels, or Hard Crackers - One of the biggest enemies of braces, corn chips, pretzels, and some crackers can lead to broken wires and uncomfortable gums. Maybe opt for another chip this summer, so you can enjoy yourself and not end up in our office for an unscheduled visit.
  • Corn on the Cob - We know, it’s hard to say no to corn on the cob -- especially during the summer months, but it’s one of the worst foods for your braces. But don’t fret! Just cut the corn kernels off the cob, and add to salad, or eat on their own!
  • Vegetable Platters - A BBQ favorite is the platter of raw vegetables with some yummy dipping sauce, but you can quickly damage your archwires and brackets. To get those veggies into your diet this summer, either try cutting them into small pieces first or cooking your veggies on the BBQ.
  • Meat that’s Firm - Most ribs, ribeyes, and other tough meats are off-limits. If it seems stringy, or tough, just say no thank you.

In addition to food, there are those summer activities that are oh-so-fun but can lead to poor care of your teeth and braces during the summer months. Here are a few final tips for keeping your mouth and orthodontist happy while you are out adventuring!

Keep your floss and toothbrush with you - Whether you put a spare in your car, in your purse, or in your backpack, keep some floss handy, as well as an extra toothbrush and travel toothpaste. This way you can keep up with your care even in the event of the unexpected.

All of these considerations will help as you launch into your summer plans. Enjoy and we’ll see you at the grill!

If you have any questions, or concerns about your summer diet or activities, please feel free to reach out to us at 541-848-6642.

A History of Struble Orthodontics & How the Practice Has Evolved

April 9th, 2021

The Struble Orthodontist team has been serving the Bend and Central Oregon communities since 2011. Founded by Dr. Blair Struble, the practice got its start when Blair returned to Central Oregon, where she was born and raised with her husband, post-dental school so that she could set up shop and provide orthodontic care with a family-friendly, and service-oriented approach.

Over the past 10 years, the Struble office has grown in size, credibility, and reputation in the greater Bend community. Recently, the practice and its staff won the Source Weekly 2021 Best of the Nest Award for their diligence and commitment to children’s orthodontic care.

Since this year marks the 10 year anniversary of Struble Orthodontics opening their doors, join us as we take a moment to reflect and dive a little deeper with a few team members.

Here’s a quick question and answer session with both Rhonda Holland, Treatment Coordinator and Andrea Storton, Financial Coordinator about their roles with Struble Orthodontics and what makes the practice so special.

Q & A with Rhonda

Tell us a little bit about your role as treatment coordinator at Struble Orthodontics:
I have the pleasure of meeting our new patients on their first visit to Struble Orthodontics! It is a joy to welcome new patients into our practice and I love being hands-on with our amazing Doctors.

I help patients with education about what to expect with orthodontic treatment. I also coordinate care with other providers to make sure the entry process into orthodontic treatment can be as smooth as possible!

You just celebrated 8 years with the Struble team. What makes your teamwork so well together?
We have a team that truly appreciates and enjoys each other! Our team is fun, kind, energetic and really does enjoy what they do, caring for our patients! We are highly trained and work very well together to deliver an incredible experience for our patients.

What brings you the most joy in working with patients?
I love hearing their stories, seeing their excitement, understanding their apprehension and watching their smile transformation and confidence grow during orthodontic treatment. My favorite part is the relationships I am able to make through my work here at Struble Orthodontics.

What do you think sets the Struble Orthodontics practice apart from others in Central Oregon?
Our team. . . . . without a doubt! Our Doctors and our entire team make the patients and their experience a priority throughout the entire treatment. I feel so confident knowing that I can promise a wonderful experience with a beautiful smile at the end of the road to all the patients who come into our office!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a family girl, so anytime with my family, I am grateful. I love our beautiful scenic Central Oregon, so I try to be outside anytime I can, otherwise I may be reading or loving on my grandson and twin baby granddaughters! My husband, sons, and daughter-in-law are pretty special too!

Q & A with Andrea

Tell us a little bit about your role as financial coordinator at Struble Orthodontics:
I think that the investment in your smile (or your child’s smile) is worth every penny. It is a big investment of time and money but the end result and lifetime benefit will outweigh the monthly payments and bottles of Tylenol. I want everyone to know the joy of a beautiful smile and I work hard to coordinate insurance billing, payment plans, and Health Savings opportunities for families so they can make it a reality. I am always happy to be creative and flexible to help people realize this goal or need.

You just celebrated 7 years with the Struble team. What makes your teamwork so well together?
We are truly a family. If you have a question or need help, you just ask and someone has the answer and they are happy to share. We treat our patients like they are family and are sad to see them “graduate” from our practice. But mostly it’s the smiles. We love making beautiful smiles!

What brings you the most joy in working at Struble Orthodontics?
Did I already say we are a family? Because these ladies are my sisters (literally one is my sister). I have known these ladies for 15+ years and we are amazing together. We work hard and we enjoy each other’s company. Each one of us has a hand in making these amazing smiles and it just fills you with so much pride and accomplishment when you see that final braces-free smile.

What do you think sets the practice apart from others in Central Oregon?
Our Team. We are lead by the most passionate and uncompromising doctors. It takes each one of us to make this ship sail and we take joy in expressing our appreciation for one another. As a team, we are constantly striving to do better by refining our treatments and utilizing new technology and products to make the best experience for our patients. And we love what we do.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love the outdoors. I am either hiking, running, or cycling any chance I can get. I have a wonderful husband and children and I am just soaking up all the time I get with them.

Learn more about the full Struble team by visiting our Team page on the website.

400 SW Bond St #300, Bend, OR 97702
3818 SW 21st St Suite 102, Redmond, OR 97756
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