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5 Reasons to Smile About Having Straight Teeth

August 31st, 2020

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If you’re tripping over your paddleboard as you head out the door to catch the last bit of summer like we are, you probably know that fall is just around the corner. And we are getting our stoke in while there’s still sun to enjoy! Here around the office, we are basking in the smell of fresh paint and mountain views at our brand new location. Pssst...it’s in the Old Mill District if you haven’t heard! Keep tabs on our blog next month for a special photo tour of the space.

But for now, there’s something really high on our list at all times of the year, and that’s your healthy teeth and gums. We want to be real with you, having the perfect smile means much more than just a straight row of white, evenly spaced teeth. It is easy to forget how common problems like teeth overcrowding, bite or alignment issues, and jaw pain can compromise our overall health.

Orthodontists like Dr. Struble and Dr. Crosta care about your holistic health which is why they love teeth. Having properly aligned teeth is about more than just photogenic angles and cosmetic benefits (although those are great!). A healthy bite and gums prevent injury and discomfort to our mouths. Bite issues cause long-term damage and wear to your teeth and even to your heart due to plaque buildup happening in those hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.

Getting a consultation by scheduling an appointment with us is a low-risk way to do the absolute best thing for your oral health. If you are concerned about something, why not check things out now? No need to wait until the Fall to come in and see us. But while we’re waiting, here are a few reasons why getting a healthy smile is about more than just looks:

A healthy and aligned bite affects a lot of things going on in your mouth.

Crossbite, underbite, and overbite are all examples of bite alignment issues that cause stress on your teeth. This includes uneven wearing, chipping or breakage of teeth, and even oral injuries to your gums and side of your mouth! For the long-term, it is a great idea to address bite issues early to give your teeth the best chance of longevity and maintenance.

Straight teeth help you to chew food, aid in digestion and even help you to communicate clearly.

Compounded issues with bite or jaw alignment can make eating food or chewing difficult. Malocclusion, what happens when your jaw is closed and teeth are misaligned, can cause difficulty when chewing certain foods and has even been linked to mild speech impediments. Inability to chew correctly also makes it hard for your stomach to digest foods you eat, particularly with anything dense it has to work harder over time to break down. Chewing is so important and is something we all do every day, but don’t often think about.

Your heart is counting on you!

Yep, that’s right. Your heart is counting on the removal of plaque from your mouth to keep it nice and strong. We know, (that’s what your dental appointments are for), but orthodontists play an important role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy to minimize plaque buildup. Plaque is that sticky stuff that adheres to the surface of your tooth and also to the walls of arteries inside the heart, eventually causing blockages. When teeth are crooked, it makes it easier for plaque to hang out in your mouth.

An aligned bite means reduced tension headaches related to an offset jaw.

You may not think about it much, but your jaw is as equally an important part of a healthy smile as your teeth. Alignment issues with the jaw can cause tension or stress on your Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ). Keeping your jaw healthy requires the teeth to sit in symmetrical alignment. That way, facial muscles can relax and aren’t pulling or causing strain. Those of us who’ve experienced tension headaches know exactly how important this is!

Healthy teeth help our real smile to come through!

You know what they say, if you got it, flaunt it, and we love it when our patients flaunt their beautiful new smiles. See here for Before and After Photos of the happy grins we bring to Central Oregon daily. We work hard to guarantee you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. And we love serving you with that extra bit of confidence you need to face the world!

What’s Local and Open for Fun-in-the-Sun?

July 14th, 2020

Photo credit: centraloregondaily.com

You’ve made it through the great experiment of virtual schooling with your kids. We applaud you, parents, for taking the plunge. It’s not easy being a teacher, driver, pet-wrangler, work-from-home hero but you’ve done it. You should be proud! But in the relief of a break from virtual lessons lingers a bigger question: “What CAN I do this summer with my kids?”

We’re so glad you asked. We’ve curated a stellar list of local spots not limited to campgrounds, flyfishing spots, zipline thrills, natural waterfalls, and soul-finding adventures. The possibilities are endless, and none of them require you (or the kids) to sit behind a screen. Yippee! Summer is ready for you. The question is, are you ready?

Here’s our best-of list of places OPEN FOR BUSINESS and ready to rock. So pack a cooler full of snacks, a towel, a sunhat, your family’s collection of facemasks, a bottle of hand-sani, and head out the door. Adventure awaits!

We hope you make the most of these sun-seeking suggestions and find fun as you go!

Surf the Whitewater Park or float the river, if you please.
While Deschutes County is still in Phase 2 of re-opening, we respect the river in abiding by her new rules. Bring your own watercraft aka floaties. There will be no rental tubes available at Farewell Bend, but you probably have some in that garage of yours anyway. Keep six feet apart from parties you did not come to the river with, and be generous with space when entering and exiting the water so that there is no crowding. The River float shuttle is not currently operating so you will need to drop a car at the point of take-out or prepare to walk back yourself. And as always, be kind to Mother Nature and dispense of any trash you create along the way. Need more deets? Go here.

Get a family campout in the books
Ready to break loose from your local haunts and explore the great beyond (meaning somewhere other than the far reaches of your grocery store parking lot?) Great news. Both state and local parks are open (with mask requirements still in effect). If this doesn’t make you jump for joy after months of stay-at-home mandates, you might want to check your pulse. Pack the car for a day-trip filled with the dazzling scenery of Crater Lake State Park or an overnight camp out in one of Oregon’s beautiful national forests. (Warning: some spots do not have trash service or running water available. So vault toilets, it is!) As a whole, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest are open for business, especially day use areas including picnic areas, boat ramps, trailheads, and more. However, be prepared to pack out your own waste and provide your own water. Check here for updates on campsite statuses and last-minute preparations.

Zipline Mount Bachelor
Explore your own backyard, from the air! And no, we’re not talking about that fancy drone you bought for Christmas. Bachelor is the perfect spot to catch high-elevation thrills on a heartstopping 1,400 feet of vertical zipline with panoramic views of Central Oregon’s volcanic landscape including South Sister, Paulina Peak, Broken Top, and Tumalo Mountain. The journey begins at Pine Marten Lodge. Kids must be 10 years of age, at least 48 inches in height to ride, and must be accompanied by an adult. Strong winds and bad weather days may cause postponement of your experience, so make sure to check conditions before you leave.

Take the Paulina Plunge
There’s nothing that a full day of natural waterslides and gravity won’t cure! Wanderlust Tours, a local outfit, can be your trusted guide to fun this summer. Take one of their guided trips to visit six glistening waterfalls and two natural water slides for your littles to explore and play. The trip includes a downhill mountain biking portion which is great for confident beginners in your family. Trail-a-bike Tandems are available for your non-riding kiddos so that the whole family can enjoy the ride. Pack a swimsuit and get out there!

Pack a picnic for your bookworm
Action-packed adventures aren’t for everyone and we realize that some of us aren’t adrenaline junkies at heart. Got a curious kid who loves to explore new literary landscapes? Head to any Deschutes Public Library, open for pick up and check out, and find a stack of summer reads for the family. Pick a grassy spot to settle down with a blanket after stopping by one of Bend’s many great local food truck options (we like Thai on the Fly or grabbing a Shave Ice at Dakine Grindz). Low-key outings can be enjoyable too. People-watching for the win!

We’re excited to see you get outside and float, camp, bike and hike your way through Bend’s fabulous summer. Some of the best social distancing activities are those we do on a regular basis here anyway!

Orthodontics in the Digital Age? We’ve Got You Covered.

March 30th, 2020

At Struble Ortho, technology solutions that help us stay connected to you make us smile! While we can’t wait to see you in the office again, we are making do with the social distancing situation until then. You know that new and existing patients would normally get our full attention in person. But since we have reduced our in-office hours to be available for orthodontic emergencies only per Governor Brown’s requirements, we have to get a little creative.

You might have questions like—what about that new patient exam I had scheduled with Struble Ortho? I still want to see about getting braces. Or maybe I have braces, and I had a growth and development status appointment that was canceled. I need Dr. Struble and Dr. Crosta to walk me through the rest of my treatment plan!

We have some great news for you. Struble Orthodontics is now doing virtual appointments for all existing patients with appointments and those interested in getting a new patient consultation. For either option, send photos of your teeth to info@strubleortho.com with your full name and date of birth in the subject line. Emails will only be accessed by Struble staff for assessment and scheduling a direct video conferencing call via Zoom with Dr. Struble or Dr. Crosta. We hope to minimize any and all disruptions to our services from COVID-19. Again we thank you for sticking with us through this crazy time. We are working hard to keep both you and our staff safe and healthy.

Here’s how to take photos of your mouth ahead of your virtual appointment.

Follow along as Julie demonstrates how to take professional shots of your smile and bite at home.

Things you need to get started:

  • Chapstick. We want your lips to feel comfortable!
  • Two clean kitchen spoons (metal or plastic) but not too big!
  • A family member or friend to play photographer.
  • A phone that captures high-quality images.

Angles are important. Try to hold the camera as steady as possible so the photo doesn’t blur. Most phones now will have a built-in auto-stabilizer for crisp images.

  1. Repose photo (Angle: direct, head-on)
    Your natural face at rest. Look directly ahead into the camera at the front. Teeth and lips resting naturally together. Not smiling. (Think the last time you took a passport photo).
  2. Full smile photo (Angle: direct, head-on)
    This one is pretty straight-forward. Look directly at the camera and smile big! (Think first day of school photos :)
  3. Right side profile (Angle: Right side of face/jawline is visible)
    Chin is level and hair is tucked behind your ear for a clear sightline of your jaw. Don’t worry about smiling. Return to a natural resting face you had in the first photo. (Again, think about taking a passport photo).
  4. Frontal bite with spoon retractors (Angle: direct, head-on)
    Insert spoons on either side of your bite with the spoon’s ladle turned inward to cup the inside wall of your cheek. Gently pull the spoons apart in opposite directions so that the camera can see your bite clearly. Snap away!
  5. Left and right side bites with spoon retractors (Angle: One shot of your left side bite, one of your right side bite)
    Same instructions as the previous step, but this time get one focused shot on the right and left sides of your bite. Make sure all teeth are visible on each side in the shot as best you can.
  6. Upper arch photo (Angle: Camera should be slightly lower than the subject but angled upward so that you can see the roof of the subject’s mouth).
    Turn the ladle side of the spoons upward to cup the inside wall of your upper lip on each side. Gently lift your top lip toward the tip of your nose. Snap a photo of the upper arch. This is not the angle you’d normally choose for a selfie but none of your Instagram followers have to see this one!
  7. Lower arch photo (Angle: Camera should be slightly higher than subject but angled slightly downward to reveal the bottom arch of lower teeth.)
    Tip your chin downward. Turn the ladle side of the spoons downward to cup the inside wall of your bottom lip on each side and gently pull your bottom lip toward your chin.

Congrats, you’re done!

Optional photo: Take a photo of any problem areas you are experiencing with bite or discomfort. Zoom in a bit so we can see what’s going on.

How to send your photos

Again, you can send these photos to info@strubleortho.com with your full name and date of birth in the subject line and wait for a response from a staff member for a time and date for your virtual appointment with our team. While you’re waiting, take a peek at our Before and After photos from actual Struble patients. If you get stuck or just have questions, please call our office on weekdays until noon at 541-848-6642 or shoot us an email and we are happy to walk you through each step. Take care and see you (virtually) soon!

 

Broken bracket? Pokey Wire? Running out of Clear Aligners? Here’s what to do when you can’t come to the office.

March 25th, 2020

The team at Struble has created a handy series of patient troubleshooting videos for snags you might encounter with your braces or clear aligners during our office closure. Our anticipated date of return to regular business hours is June 15th as mandated by our State Governor Kate Brown. Until that time, our phones are staffed until noon on weekdays and we are happy for you to call us (541-848-6642) with any questions. We want you to know that you are not alone should you be experiencing a true orthodontic emergency!

If you haven’t yet read it yet, you catch up on our response to all COVID-19 related things here.

Out of respect for our nationwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we ask that you carefully consider any visit you might make to our office for treatment before June 15th, as every glove, mask, and gown used to treat a patient counts in the fight our hospitals are facing against COVID-19. Struble is donating all PPE to our state efforts to battle coronavirus except for a small contingency to treat orthodontic emergencies. This means we all play a part in helping preserve gloves and masks for those who need it most.

Here are some helpful orthodontic tips to get you through our time of reduced services:

Question #1: “I have mouth pain and or facial trauma. Is this an orthodontic emergency?”

Any kind of facial trauma involving an open wound and/or appliance that has damaged soft tissue. A broken appliance from trauma that results in a hanging or disconnected end. If your pain is mild or your soft tissue is unaffected, it may be best to revisit the issue when we return to the office if you are able to hold the appliance in place with orthodontic wax. Please call our office in advance to your arrival so we can be prepared to serve you.

Question #2: “I’m a clear aligner patient and I’m running out of aligners. What do I do?”

If you are worried about running out of clear aligners there are few ways to handle that. The first is to drop down your wear-time of the aligners to night time only. This will keep teeth from shifting in a bad direction while maintaining the progress you’ve made. If you have active aligners, adjust your wear time to two-week intervals for the meantime. If you are wearing elastics, please continue to do so. If you are running out of elastics we can mail them to you or can pick them up yourself (we have them packaged and available for easy pick up at our Bend office).

Question #3: “What do I do with a broken bracket, Herbst appliance, or a pokey wire that annoys me?”

Additional videos with demos to fix specific bracket, wire, and Herbst issues.

With the office closure, it is more important to watch what you eat and how you eat to avoid breaking your orthodontic appliances. This means avoidance of hard or sticky foods like caramels or popcorn that might cause damage to your braces. However, if you do damage a bracket or a wire in your mouth, not to worry! There are a few easy fixes in the following videos to get you by, pain-free. Trimming pokey wires with a clean nail trimmer is easier than you think. Failing that, securing a loose or broken bracket in place with wax is a great solution until we are able to see you in person.

Question #4: “I had a growth and development check-up appointment scheduled during Struble’s office closure. What now?”

Good news! A virtual consultation platform is in the works. Stay tuned for more information about that on our blog soon. For those who had scheduled a simple appliance check, a retainer check, or a clear aligner check, we may be able to handle these types of requests through our virtual platform. We will be notifying patients about this telemedicine option soon. Please check back with us in the coming weeks.

Question #5: “What if I lose or break my retainer while the office is closed?

Unfortunately, we can’t see you in the office to take impressions to create a new appliance. But please do call us immediately if you lose an appliance (541-848-6642). If you contact us before your teeth begin to shift, we may be able to 3-D print your retainer model from when braces were removed and have it shipped to you. If a more significant amount of time has passed, you can always go to an online retailer like Amazon or Walmart to buy a customizable night guard. This will hold you over for temporary use until we can see you in person. We recognize that minor shifting of your teeth may occur. When we reopen our doors, we will be here for you to create a new treatment plan.

Question #6: I’m running out of orthodontic wax, elastics, and/or cleaning supplies for my braces. What should I do?”

Though this is a minor concern, we want to serve you in the best way possible which means we will be keeping our front door stocked with extra elastics and wax for our Struble patients. We can mail these to you directly or you can come in and pick them up before noon at our Bend location. We recommend you continue to wear your elastics only at night if you are running low and not able to restock your supply.

Lastly, we want to thank our awesome community for hanging with us through this time of unexpected closure. Our wish is to keep you healthy and safe by reserving our treatment hours for essential orthodontic emergencies. Thank you for understanding and again, do not hesitate to call our offices at 541-848-6642 should you need advice over the phone or email us at info@strubleortho.com. We are here to help you!

American Association of Orthodontists American Board of Orthodontics Oregon Dental Association DamonSmile Invisalign iTero
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