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About Orthodontic Treatment

Impressionless Digital Scanners, Oh my!

February 8th, 2019

Guess what, Struble patients! We’ve got some fancy new technology in the office that we know you will just love. You know that uncomfortable feeling of having to sink your teeth into a cold, gooey dental impression tray and hold still? Those days of awkward fitting, strong- smelling dental impressions are over. Why? Because we have 3 brand-new iTero ® Element Scanners in our offices. Check out this video to see exactly how they work.

A no-goop solution for more accurate impressions with 3D scanning of your teeth

Your comfort is one of our top priorities at Struble. Have a top-notch fitting experience for retainers and Invisalign® aligners with this new technology. No one will miss the old way of doing impressions with putty-based materials that were awkward fitting and messy to clean up. There are clear benefits for switching from manual impression trays to digital scans.

Comfortable

Goo, be gone! We know how awkward those old-school impressions trays were and we are proud to eliminate that hassle to provide the best possible experience for our patients. We know you’re going to love it as much as we do.

Fast

Get in and out of the office in a flash because now you can see 3D scans of your mouth on screen immediately and review with your orthodontist. In some cases we can even provide an immediately treatment simulation to view your future smile transformation digitally! Get going on your Invisalign® plan without having to wait for clunky impression to set. It’s not too good to be true!

Accurate

Our 3D scanners (we have three!) means no need to retake messy impressions or hassle with the aftermath of putty ever again. Hooray! This 3D model of your mouth can be used over and over again for fitting purposes.

How long does the scan take?

Our Struble patients can take advantage of this highly accurate and efficient 3D method of scanning right now. Our highly trained team can complete your scan in only 3 to 4 minutes! No hassle or messy cleanup of putty residue. Everyone wins! We are proud to continually provide Central Oregon with this exceptional digital scanning technology. Come check it out at your next appointment with us.

5 Foods to Avoid with Braces

April 28th, 2017

Life with braces isn’t drastically different than life without them. However, there are a few food items you will need to say a temporary goodbye to eating. Certain foods can do serious damage to your braces and create unnecessary trips to the orthodontist's office to fix broken brackets or loose wires. But don’t panic! The list of foods you can eat heavily outweighs the list you should avoid.

The first week with braces can be the most uncomfortable. While your teeth are adjusting to the new hardware in your mouth, your diet will mainly consist of only soft foods for a few days. After the initial adjustment period has passed, you can begin eating “regular” food again--with the exception of a few things. Here are five of the top braces-damaging food culprits that you should take caution towards while you have braces.

Sticky and Hard Candies

First off, you’ll need to say “so long” to caramels, taffy, and gummy-anything candies! Soft and chewy candies like these can cause the brackets and wires on your braces to slowly become loose and wobbly, disrupting the dental correction process. If hard candies like jolly ranchers or jawbreakers are your weakness, be ready to cut those out as well. Pieces of hard candies can get lodged in between the brackets and your teeth, and, even worse, they can completely break a bracket. Just look at it as taking a short, healthy break from sugar!

Hard Snacks

Crunchy snacks like popcorn, corn chips, pretzels, hard crusts, and crackers are tasty, but can bring on quite a battle with your braces. Imagine sitting down in a movie theater with a bag of popcorn and suddenly a bracket from one of your braces pops off from the hard kernel you just chomped down on! Not only do you miss out on finishing your bag of popcorn and movie, but now you’ll need to make a trip to the orthodontist. A good alternative for all you popcorn lovers is Pirate's Booty-very similar to popcorn, but without kernels that can embed in gum tissues and unpopped kernels that can debond brackets.

Chewing Gum

This one may go without saying, but we couldn't leave chewing gum off the list. Aside from the issue of it getting stuck in your braces, chewing gum can also bend the wires out of shape. This disrupts and prolongs the dental correction process. Bent wire = no straight teeth. So if you really love the minty fresh breath that gum provides, try something new and go with a mint--it will give you the fresh breath, but without the harm to your teeth!

Jerky and Nuts

Thick jerkies and nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts are not your friends when you have braces. Eating beef jerky can loosen the wires and brackets of your braces because it is so tough to eat. Same goes for eating most kinds of nuts. Nuts are very hard and small, two challenging things to eat with braces. If you are a nut lover, try getting your fix through a nut butter or spread. That way you can get the taste and nutrients from the nuts, but without doing damage to your brackets or wires!

Raw, Hard Fruits and Vegetables

Although they’re high in nutritional value, eating raw fruits and vegetables can be complicated with braces. Biting into a crunchy apple is challenging enough without brackets and wires on your teeth. This isn’t to say you should cut out raw fruits and vegetables from your diet, but they are going to require a little extra preparation while you have braces. Try cutting fruits like apples and pears into small, bite-sized chunks for a grab and go snack. If you love eating carrots and corn on the cob, cut and cook the carrots and cut the corn kernels off the cob before eating. And if you think these extra steps are just too much, there is always the option to drink your fruits and veggies by using a juicer. Yes, just because you have braces doesn’t mean you get to skip out on eating your fruits and veggies!

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In the end, the list of foods you should avoid eating isn’t very long, and your body will thank you for cutting them out in the end. Having straight and beautiful teeth will make giving up these foods worth it! If you do end up damaging your braces, we’re here for you. And don’t worry--we won’t say, “We told you so!”

Call us at (541) 848-6642 to schedule an appointment.

5 Things to Love About Invisalign

March 28th, 2017

Invisalign Braces Struble Orthodontics

We want you to love your braces. But we understand why you might prefer the less visible version over the metal wires and brackets--we all have enough things in life to worry about without adding braces into the mix! That’s why we're certified Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® providers.

While the benefits of a straight, healthy smile are endless, here are five more reasons why we love Invisalign.

1. Clear

Invisalign is a great option for adults and teens alike who don’t want their braces to be as visible. Show your teeth off with confidence during your treatment, knowing all along that you have a beautiful smile just weeks away!

2. Removable

With Invisalign, you’ll wear a set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move little by little until they have reached the final position your doctor has prescribed. Since they’re removable, that means you can eat and drink whatever you want! No worrying about breaking a bracket or losing a rubber band. Care, brushing, and flossing are also a lot easier to navigate.

3. Comfortable

Invisalign aligners are comfortable and durable, so they fit in with your extracurricular activities. Whether you're tossing the football around or playing the clarinet with the school band, you won't have to worry about your braces getting in the way! Even better, no metal and wires means you’ll spend less time in the doctor’s office with adjustments or even orthodontic emergencies.

4. Customized

Invisalign is made with 3D computer imaging technology that is proven effective. You’ll visit Struble Orthodontics about once every six weeks to make sure the transition is going smoothly. Treatments typically last around nine to 15 months, and the number of aligners worn during treatment can range from 18 to 30, depending on your specific case. You can also view your own virtual treatment plan from the start to keep track of your progress. And, as a unique feature for teens, Invisalign clear aligners contain compliance indicators that fade from blue to clear to help gauge wear time.

5. Effective

Invisalign’s patented SmartTrack® material and SmartForce® features are clinically proven to achieve 75% more predictable tooth movement than other aligners. They have up to 50% faster treatment times, so with faster aligner changes, you’ll be on your way to the smile you want even faster.

Considerations

Sound too good to be true? There are still some important things to keep in mind. Investing in your smile can sometimes seem overwhelming, so the dedicated team at Struble Orthodontics will help you find an affordable and realistic financial arrangement that will work with your lifestyle and budget.   The aligners may provide discomfort in the first couple of days like metal braces, but they do avoid the mouth abrasions sometimes experienced by traditional appliances. And although the aligners are removable, you’ll still need to ensure you’re wearing them for as close to 22 hours in the day as possible, this will ensure steady and consistent progress toward your beautiful new smile that is waiting for you at the end of Invisalign!

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There’s no reason to be “bummed out” about getting braces. If you think Invisalign could be right for you, call (541) 848-6642 or click to schedule a free consultation with us! We know that whichever treatment you choose, we’ll have you loving your new beautiful straight smile in no time.

All About Overbites

October 21st, 2016

In the United States, the majority of people with bite issues have overbites, meaning the top teeth stick out relative to the bottom teeth. Along with underbites, crossbites, and open bites, an overbite is a type of malocclusion.

A Malo-what?

The term "occlusion" refers to the alignment of your teeth. Therefore, a malocclusion is a deviation or misalignment from a normal occlusion. Malocclusions can fall into one of three categories:

  • Class 1 is when a normal bite is accompanied by a slight overlap of the upper teeth. This is the most common malocclusion.

  • Class 2 is diagnosed when the overbite is severe, often known as a retrognathic.

  • Class 3 is a severe underbite – when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. It's referred to as prognathic.

What are the Causes?

Although some overbites are hereditary, others are caused by a malformed jaw. Jaws can grow unevenly under the pressure of certain habits when a child is young, such as thumb-sucking, prolonged bottle-feeding or tongue-thrusting. Habits developed later in life, such as eraser head-chewing or nail-biting, can form an overbite as well. This can result in an underdeveloped lower jaw or an overdeveloped upper jaw.

Treatment Options

Elastics

Elastics are used in less severe cases. Elastics attach, depending on which way we want the teeth and jaws to move, from the bottom braces to the top ones or vice versa. This allows the upper jaw to come out and the lower jaw to go in. In cases where there’s an overbite, we would do the opposite because we want the lower jaw to go out and the upper jaw to come in.

An Appliance

If someone has a large overbite, we use a spring that sits inside the mouth and cheeks. The spring allows you to chew and open/close your mouth normally, while working to gently move your jaw 24 hours a day. It’s used in severe cases where you could stick your whole thumb in between your upper and lower jaw. It also speeds up treatment compared to wearing the elastics.

Age

There's no age limit on when an overbite can be treated, but it's easier to fix in younger children because their jaws haven't fully developed. The best time is usually before children hit their peak growth spurt (ages 10-11 years old for girls and 11-13 for boys).

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If you think your child has an overbite, call us at (541) 848-6642. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!

Thinking about getting adult braces? (Part 2)

September 28th, 2016

If you’re reading this, you’re probably entertaining the idea of getting orthodontic treatment as an adult. Should I get braces at age 30? 40? What about 80? The simple answer is that if it will improve your long-term health, then yes. With more adults seeking braces than ever before, now is a great time to put it into consideration. It’s important to understand, however, the treatment options, commitments, and costs of the process beforehand.

Treatment Options

When it comes to adult braces, there are four main options to choose from. They all vary in cost, visibility, speed, and ease of use. Take a look at the chart below to see what sounds best for you.

Type

Best for...

How it works

Pros

Cons

Metal / Conventional Braces

Quickly straightening very crooked teeth

Customize color to make them less noticeable. Heat activated archwires move teeth with more speed and less pain than in the past.

Usually the least expensive option. Ideal for people with serious bite problems or very crooked teeth who want straight teeth as fast as possible.

The most noticeable option.

Ceramic Braces

Discreet but quick

Identical to metal braces but, have clear or tooth-colored brackets.

Much subtler than metal braces. Faster results than Invisalign.

Cost more and break more easily than metal braces. May stain easily without proper care.

Lingual Braces

Benefits of metal without the visibility

Similar to traditional metal, but archwires and brackets are applied to the back of the teeth.

Invisible from the front.

Cost; difficult to maintain; ineffective for serious cases; initial discomfort; adjustments are more difficult and time-intensive than with metal braces.

Clear Plastic Aligners (Invisalign)

Moderate cases who value invisibility over speed

Your orthodontist will make you 18-30 customized clear plastic aligners that resemble a mouth guard. You'll put in a new mouthpiece every couple of weeks.

Almost impossible to see; no wires or brackets; no food restrictions; easy to clean teeth. This option is especially attractive to adults because they can brush, floss, and eat normally.

Not effective for severe cases; cost; don't straighten as quickly as other options; can be easy to lose and expensive to replace.

Commitments

Treatment Time

The average treatment time for adults is 24 to 30 months, compared to 18 to 22 months for adolescents. Beyond that, you’ll have to follow an aftercare program set by your orthodontist in order to make sure you get the most out of your treatment in the long term.

Eating

As if keeping up with health trends and diets wasn’t hard enough, unless you choose the Invisalign option, you’ll have to pay more attention to your eating habits. Sticky, chewy foods can get stuck in your braces and make them difficult to clean or cause damages that can be expensive to fix. That means no more bread, popcorn, and Starbursts. Additionally, you’ll have to keep a toothbrush close at hand to clean your teeth after all your meals, including lunch. Adapting to these new habits can be a transition, but it’s completely doable, and it will keep you from having to come back to the office to get your braces fixed.

Maintenance

Wearing a retainer every night can seem like a hassle. But failing to wear it can lead to the teeth moving and once again becoming crooked, which means that all your hard work will go to waste. This is one of the main reasons why adults need braces when they are older, so be prepared to follow your dentist’s aftercare advice to the best of your ability.

Check Ups

Whatever type of braces you choose, you will have to put aside plenty of time in your calendar for checkups, as it takes longer for adults than children to achieve a straight smile.

Cost

While it depends on the severity of your case and how well you follow your treatment plan, most orthodontic treatments for adults end up costing around $5,000. Unfortunately, the majority of dental insurance plans won't cover braces for patients 18 years of age and older. For this reason, you might want to consider investing in a dental discount plan that will reduce the cost of your braces. While it can seem like a significant amount of money, the serious health risks posed by some dental issues and the overall positive effect that a healthy smile can have on quality of life causes many adults see braces as a valuable investment in their long-term health.

Investing in braces as an adult has never been more affordable or convenient. With so many discreet, effective options to choose from, now is the perfect time to make a commitment to improving your oral health. Schedule a free consultation with us here or by calling (541) 848-6642.

Read our last blog, “Thinking About Getting Braces (Part 1)” for information on the many benefits of investing in braces and to see if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Thinking about getting adult braces? (Part 1)

August 31st, 2016

The thought of getting braces as an adult can be a daunting one. But it’s time to get rid of the typical “metal mouth” image that many people may still have in mind. According to Carefree Dental, adults now make up over 50 percent of orthodontic patients. And a Wall Street Journal article reports that the number of adults who received orthodontic treatment is up nearly 40 percent since 1996. By comparison, patients age 17 and younger in 2012 who underwent orthodontic treatment increased by 32 percent in the same period.

Advances in technology and design have made the adult braces experience both less painful and less noticeable. The reality is, there has never been a better time to take this step to improve your overall health. In this two-part blog series, we’ll discuss whether or not orthodontic treatment is right for you, followed by information on the cost, time commitment, and treatment options available.

Are braces for you?

Perhaps you needed braces as a child but never had the opportunity. Maybe you didn’t wear your retainer as often as you should have when you were younger and your teeth have shifted as a result. Alternatively, perhaps you didn't need braces as a kid but have developed problems over time. Some people's teeth shift more as they age. The natural growth of your jaw can also cause positioning issues.

Whatever your reason so seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, now is a great time to consider making the commitment to getting braces. And if you’re one of the ones who has had braces before, don’t fret! While the principles of getting braces are still the same, the experience second time around will be nothing like the one you would have had as a teen.

Aesthetics

There’s no question that one of the main reasons adults consider getting braces is for their appearance. Of the many studies published on the significance of attractiveness in social settings, a 2013 study that examined the influence of teeth on the smile is particularly eye-opening. Researchers took two identical photographs and digitally manipulated the teeth on one of them. Then, they posted the photos to an online dating site and counted the attempts to contact the person. The profile photograph with the better dental aesthetics received nearly five times as many contact attempts as the other.

You could say that while “braces-wearer” may not be the best highlight to put on an online dating profile, your orthodontic treatment and the resulting healthy smile could really make a difference in many aspects of your life moving forward. Besides, making your health a priority will always be an attractive quality.

Long Term Health Benefits

While cosmetic concerns are a completely valid motivation for seeking out orthodontic treatment, the long-term health benefits are even more important. Here are just a few of the health risks that may arise from failing to treat crooked teeth, overcrowding, overbites or underbites, jaw joint disorders, and incorrect jaw position:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Problems with chewing, speaking, and/or biting
  • Gastrointestinal problems from inability to chew food properly
  • Jaw pain
  • Trouble cleaning the teeth properly, leading to plaque and food accumulation between teeth
  • Increased incidence of tooth decay and periodontal disease
  • Gum and bone erosion
  • Irregular wear of the tooth enamel
  • Facial pain
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders

Whatever your reasons for waiting until now, you can't afford to let your dental and orthodontic problems go untreated. In the end, decades of straight teeth and drastically improved oral and physical health are well worth a couple years of awkwardness, expense, and occasional discomfort.

Look out for our next blog in October for information on treatment options and cost!

How to choose a mouth guard

August 2nd, 2016

Summer is in full swing! Which means there is plenty of active fun in the sun to be had. While we definitely support joining a local football team, taking the mountain bike out for a spin, or shooting some hoops, these sports all pose risks to your dental health that you’d be better off avoiding. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: wearing a mouthguard allows you to participate in virtually any sport you wish while ensuring that your teeth are as safe from harm--and expensive dental work--as possible.

Which sports require a mouthguard?

Currently, the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association requires the use of mouthguards only for ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey and football. However, the American Dental Association recommends the use of a mouth guard for 29 sports/exercise activities. These include the four activities already mentioned, plus acrobatics, basketball, boxing, discus throwing, gymnastics, handball, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling. Essentially, whenever there's a chance of contact with other players or hard surfaces, wearing a mouth guard makes sense.

Why wear a mouthguard?

Mouthguards can buffer damage to the teeth, cheeks, lips, tongue, brackets, and/or other fixed appliances from blows and physical contact, thereby limiting the risk of soft tissue damage. A good-fitting mouth guard may be especially important if you wear braces, have fixed anterior bridgework, or just want to protect your teeth and smile from potential trauma. Failing to wear a mouthguard can result in chipped or broken teeth, root and bone damage, and tooth loss, as well as serious injuries such as jaw fracture, cerebral hemorrhage, concussion and neck injuries in situations when the lower jaw jams into the upper jaw.

Why many people don’t wear mouthguards

Lack of awareness

One of the main reasons why young athletes don’t wear mouthguards is because it is not mandatory. In most cases, a child will not be the one who actually wants to wear a mouthguard, so it is often the adult’s responsibility to enforce its use. Coaches and parents may fail to realize the safety value of wearing mouthguards and are unaware of the level of contact and potential for serious dental injuries involved in children’s sports. Gender bias may also play a role, as some people mistakenly think that female athletes are less aggressive, less at-risk of injury and, therefore, less likely to need a mouthguard.

Comfort

Another determining factor is that many mouthguards may not fit correctly, are uncomfortable, or compromise image (the notion that it's not "cool" to wear mouth guards). The "hassle" factor in remembering to wear them, properly caring for them, and dealing with the inconvenience of impaired breathing or speech – also contributes to non-use. However, all of these issues should not be a concern when you have the right mouthguard fit to your specific needs.

Cost

Finally, although mouthguards come in various price ranges, cost may be another consideration--especially for custom-fitted mouth guards. Talk to your dentist about different options available to you. In the end, a good mouthguard will only cost a fraction of what it would be to repair a major dental issue from a sports-related accident.

Types of mouthguards

Stock

These can be purchased in sporting goods and drug stores and come pre-formed and ready to wear. Although they're the least expensive, they are also the worst fitting and least comfortable or protective. Made of rubber or polyvinyl, these pre-formed guards can be bulky, increase the tendency to gag, and make breathing and talking difficult because they require the jaw to be closed to hold them in place.

Mouth-formed

These can be either a shell liner or a boil-and-bite kind. The first type is lined with acrylic gel or rubber that molds to the teeth and sets to keep its shape. The second type, made of thermoplastic, is placed in boiling water then formed and molded to the contours of the teeth using the fingers, lips, tongue and biting pressure. Boil-and-bite mouthguards can be reheated and refitted if the fit isn't comfortable initially. These are also available online and in sporting goods stores. While they do provide a better fit than stock mouth guards, they can be bulky and do not offer the same fit and protection as a custom-fitted mouth guard.

Custom-fitted

These are more expensive than the other types of mouthguards, but they provide the greatest degree of fit, comfort, and protection because they are made from a cast to precisely fit your teeth. Your dentist makes an impression of your teeth and a dental laboratory technician – either in the dentist's office or at an off-site dental laboratory – uses the impression as a mold to create the custom-fitted mouth guard.

Still not sure if your child needs a mouthguard, or which type they should get? Want more advice on how to protect your teeth during athletic activities? Give us a call at (541) 848-6642 so that we can help you get the best protection for your particular needs.

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.

Why do I need to get braces, but other people don’t?

January 14th, 2016

One question we often get is, Why do I need to get braces, but other people don’t? You’re not alone. Over four million people in the U.S. wear braces, and 25 percent of these individuals are adults. Issues that require orthodontic attention can be attributed to a number of different factors. Some of these factors are in your control, while others are hereditary. Read on for information on why many people’s teeth grow in crooked and how orthodontics can help.

The growth process

Throughout your childhood, your "baby" teeth fell out one by one, to be replaced by permanent, adult teeth. Although some people's adult teeth grow in at the right angle and with the right spacing, many people's teeth don't.

Teeth may grow in crooked, overlapping, rotated, or twisted. Some people's mouths are too small, which crowds the teeth and causes them to shift into crooked positions. In other cases, a person's upper jaw and lower jaw aren't the same size, causing overbites and underbites.

The different types of disorders that result from teeth that don’t grow in straight are called malocclusions. This word comes from Latin and means "bad bite." In most cases, a "bad bite" isn't anyone's fault; crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are often inherited traits, just like having brown eyes or big feet.

What causes malocclusions?

Many different factors can contribute to the way your teeth grow in. In some cases, things like dental disease, early loss of baby or adult teeth, some types of medical problems, an accident, or a habit like prolonged thumb sucking can cause the disorders.

Some of the common reasons for crooked teeth include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting or improper use of the tongue during speaking and swallowing
  • Premature loss of baby teeth, which causes teeth to drift and shift
  • Poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils

Common hereditary factors:

  • Extra teeth
  • Large teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Wide spaces between teeth
  • Small jaws

Why are malocclusions a problem?

Having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can also lead to serious health problems.

Without orthodontic care, teeth can:

  • Interfere with proper chewing. Because chewing is the first part of eating and digestion, it's important that teeth can do the job.
  • Make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
  • Strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth.
  • Cause people to feel self-conscious about how they look.

Dr. Struble and the team offer several treatment options that can help correct malocclusions. Give us a call at (541) 848-6642 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Fun Facts About Teeth!

April 14th, 2014

Fun-Facts-About-Teeth

We brush them, floss them, smile with them, chew, crunch, and munch with them. There’s even a fairy for them. Our teeth are an essential part of our daily lives, and yet there’s a lot that we don’t know about them. So we’ve compiled a list of facts about teeth. How many do you know?

If you're right handed, you will chew your food on your right side. If you're left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.

An average American spends 38.5 total days brushing teeth over a lifetime.

If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces. Make sure you brush and floss twice a day!

73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.

More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque.

Teeth are made out of calcium, mineral salts and phosphorus.

While The Academy of General Dentistry recommends that the average person brush for 2-3 minutes, most people only brush for 45 to 70 seconds a day.

The second most common disease in the United States is tooth decay. The first is the common cold.

The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools!

An Elephant's tooth can weigh over 6 pounds and measures one foot across.

The average person spends 38 days brushing their teeth during their lifetime.

One third of your teeth are underneath your gums.

Giraffes only have bottom teeth.

Just like fingerprints, tooth prints are unique to each individual.

A snail's mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but it can have over 25,000 teeth!

We buy 14 million gallons of toothpaste every year.

More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related illness in children.

Do you want to know more about the health of your teeth? Call or click to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Struble at 541-848-6642.

The Magic Age 7 for Early Prevention

June 7th, 2013

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Some things in life are out of your control, like discovering that Safeway ran out of your favorite chewy candies right after finally getting your braces off, or finding out that Dr. Struble can’t offer you hot pink braces with kitties on them.

Both are disappointing circumstances, but there was nothing you could’ve done to avoid them. On the other hand, there are things you can prevent from happening. Like breaking a tooth on hard candy you knew not to chew, or learning the importance of wearing your retainer, after your second set of braces!

Precautions are precautions for a reason.  At Struble Orthodontics, we know that early prevention is the key to avoiding undesirable and potentially costly situations later on down the road. That’s why we offer complimentary consultations to all of our patients, and early orthodontic treatment to our youngest patients.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. We consider age 7 the magic number for early prevention! Most children lose all their teeth by age 13. After this point, the jawbones harden and stop growing, causing orthodontic procedures to take more time and often creating a need for tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no need for extraction or surgery in the years to come.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early to late loss of baby teeth (before or after ages 5-13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking their thumb after age 5
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth (crossbites)
  • Crowded front teeth at age 7-8

Early prevention can correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems and make room for permanent teeth to come in properly.  This lessens the chance of extractions, thereby saving you time, money and grief in the future. If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing early orthodontic care, please contact our practice so we can take the next steps in caring for your child’s smile. Then we’ll talk about the hot pink braces with kittens on them!

You’re Never Too Old For Braces

March 21st, 2013

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While it is recommended that patients first visit the orthodontist around age seven, treatment is definitely not limited to children and teens. It’s never too late to achieve that healthy, beautiful smile you always wanted. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) estimates that one in five patients treated by association members is over the age of 21, so you’re hardly alone. Faith Hill is even rockin’ the clear braces at age 45.

Many adults seek out orthodontic help because of a bad bite, crowded or spaced apart teeth, or abnormal jaw pain that is caused by crooked teeth. And with a healthy mouth comes added perks. For one thing, not receiving orthodontic treatment when needed can result in bigger problems (and bigger expenses) later in life.

Perhaps even more important than the size of your wallet is the confidence gained by a healthy smile. A survey by the AAO found that 77% of women think crooked teeth are worse than a receding hairline in a potential love interest. But whether you’re single or off the market, a new smile can affect more than just your love life. On a professional level, 78% of Americans perceive adults with crooked teeth to be unsuccessful. And while we like to think our friends appreciate us more for what’s on the inside, 36% of Americans believe they would have a better social life if they had better teeth.

But what about the excruciating thought of walking into your next board meeting with a giant set of metal braces? We know this can be discouraging, but trust us; it’s not nearly as bad as you might think. Our practice recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. Today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces that are not only customized and comfortable, but good-looking too.

Conventional braces come in clear and ceramic, so they’re not as noticeable as the bright pink options our teen patients often seek out (although if you want to embrace the kid in you, go for it!). Another alternative is lingual braces that are put on the back of the teeth. Or you can choose to go with invisible braces such as Invisalign. Options vary according to versatility, the specific case of the patient, and cost. No matter what you decide, we’ll give you a healthy smile worthy of a red carpet appearance.

Navigating the Confusing World of Childhood Orthodontics

February 18th, 2013

Navigating the Confusing World of Childhood Orthodontics

By Dr. Blair Struble, DMD MSD
As an orthodontist and a mom, I often communicate with parents and friends about how confusing the world of orthodontics has become.  Many parents feel they are receiving mixed messages about when their child should receive treatment, what type of treatment is best, and which resources they can rely upon to find accurate information. Much of this confusion comes from the fact that orthodontics has changed so drastically since many of us parents received our own orthodontic treatment.  These exciting changes provide many benefits to the patient, but they have left many families unsure about how to seek orthodontic help for their child.

As an orthodontist, my most important job is to educate patients, parents and families so that they can receive the best treatment at the right time.  Below I’ve shared my answers to some of the most common questions I hear, in an attempt to help you navigate this confusing area of healthcare.

“My eight year-old child has many classmates who are already wearing braces.  Are they really necessary for kids so young?”
The reason this question comes up so frequently is that there simply isn’t one answer or orthodontic solution for every child. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven.  This surprises many parents, but early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems (for instance, identification of traumatic dental habits that can damage teeth, gums and bone over time) and greater opportunity for more effective treatment.  Additionally, orthodontic and orthopedic (jaw growth) issues detected earlier often require less invasive and less costly treatment both now and in the future.

Keep in mind, an early visit to the orthodontist does not mean that your seven year-old must receive orthodontic treatment.  It is rather an opportunity to both begin tracking oral growth and development and educate yourself about what might be on the horizon for your child.  Fortunately, most orthodontic offices offer complimentary initial examinations so you can understand what to expect when it comes to your child’s orthodontic needs at no cost to you.

“Will my child need to have teeth extracted for braces?”
Removing teeth is sometimes necessary in cases of severe crowding.  However, new technologies and advancements in orthodontic procedures have allowed us to significantly reduce the frequency of tooth extractions. Now more than ever, orthodontists are paying attention to facial profile esthetics. The decision to extract teeth should be made with careful consideration for facial attractiveness because facial proportions will change as your child matures.

“My child is really nervous and embarrassed about having braces.  Are there any other options available to us?
Fortunately, we now have alternative (and sometimes more attractive) ways of moving teeth, rather than just conventional braces.  We now have clear removable aligners, lingual braces that can be placed on the back of the front teeth, and clear braces that are much less visible than traditional metal brackets.  Some of these methods may not be as effective or efficient for your child so you should discuss these options with your orthodontist when determining the right treatment for your child.

“Will my child have a lot of pain and discomfort with braces like I did when I was a kid?”
Orthodontic advancements in wire technology, bracket design, and adhesive materials have significantly improved the comfort and convenience of braces.  Your child will still take some time getting used to their orthodontic appliances, but the wires are much more flexible and comfortable so the forces placed on teeth are significantly lighter.  Many braces (or brackets) are now designed for smoothness and comfort, so my patients suffer far fewer cheek and lip sores than many of us parents had to endure several decades ago.  Also, our dental materials allow us to bond nearly all appliances to the teeth rather than relying on uncomfortable spacers and cumbersome bands that can irritate gums and cause unnecessary tooth soreness.  All of these advancements help to make the process of receiving orthodontic care much more tolerable for our children than it was for us parents!

Struble Orthodontics is a state-of-the-art orthodontic clinic serving Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, and the surrounding communities. Our practice provides excellent care for patients of all ages; from kids ready for a set of braces to grownups who want to improve the health and beauty of their smiles. On behalf of Dr. Blair Struble and our entire team, we hope we can become partners in pursuit of wonderful smiles for you and your family.

Give us a call today for a free consultaion (541)-848-6642 or request an appointment here.

3 Tips to Calm your Child's Fear of the Dentist

January 23rd, 2013


It’s time for your child’s first trip to the dentist. Are they nervous?

Most experts recommend that a child makes their first trip to the dentist just before their full set of teeth comes in. Bringing your kids to the dentist early on is an important way to establish healthy habits in oral hygiene. As many trips as you take to the dentist, however, it may not get any easier on the kids.

  1. A visit to a dentist’s office can be intimidating to a child, especially when they have never spent any time at one. Unfamiliar faces and places—especially when dental tools are involved—seem big and scary to little eyes. For parents and guardians who are looking to help ease the discomfort, especially for a first-time visit, we have a few tips especially for you.
  2. Freely answer your child’s questions, but stay positive. If your child raises concerns about going to the dentist, don’t be evasive. Be straightforward about where they are going and why. However, don’t give away unnecessary details such as shots or fillings which may cause more anxiety. Instead, use positive phrasing, such as telling your child that the dentist will be “checking out your smile.”
  3. If it helps, some parents like to play pretend dentist with their children. Give your child a toothbrush and a mirror and have them check out the teeth of their favorite doll or stuffed animal. Reading them picture books about going to the dentist also engages your child and reinforces a positive attitude. Remind your child that trips to the dentist are beneficial to them. Always offer your encouragement, especially if they feel uneasy or resistant.

Finally, relax. Dentists and their assistants have plenty of experience dealing with children and their fears, so they usually know how to handle a variety of situations.

Seven Common Questions Parents Have About Orthodontic Treatment

October 29th, 2012

Struble Braces Bend Oregon
Today, nearly four million children in the United States and Canada are receiving treatment from members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). And while parents know that orthodontic treatment results in a healthy, beautiful smile, many don’t realize the important long-term health benefits.

As part of its commitment to education, the AAO provides parents with this list of answers to commonly asked questions about orthodontic care.

1. Why is orthodontic treatment important?
A: Straight teeth and properly aligned jaws contribute to good dental health as well as overall physical health. Orthodontic treatment can boost a person’s self-image as teeth, lips and jaws move into position and improve appearance.

2. How do parents know if their child needs orthodontic treatment?
A: The best way is to visit an orthodontist. The AAO recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age seven.

3. What if my child still has baby teeth at age seven? Should they still see an orthodontist?
A: Yes. By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for orthodontists to evaluate how the teeth and jaws meet, and to identify current or developing problems. If a problem is detected, the orthodontist and parents can discuss when treatment may be necessary.

4. How does a child’s growth affect orthodontic treatment?
A: Treatment and growth often compliment each other. In some cases, the orthodontist takes advantage of a child’s growth to guide jaws and teeth into their ideal positions.

5. How often do you visit your orthodontist while in orthodontic treatment?
A: Typically a child will see the orthodontist every 6-12 weeks throughout the course of treatment.

6. If you currently don’t have an orthodontist, what is the best way to find someone to treat orthodontic problems?
A: To find an orthodontist near you, ask for a referral from your family dentist, your pediatrician or your child’s school nurse. Or you can visit www.braces.org and click on the Find an Orthodontist service. It is important to choose an orthodontist who is a member of the AAO. Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the AAO.

7. What is the average cost of orthodontic treatment?
A: Fees will vary, depending on the treatment needed. Most orthodontists offer convenient payment plans, making treatment more affordable than ever. Most orthodontists will work with you to find a plan that fits your family budget. In addition, many patients have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits. Check with your employer’s human resources department to learn about your coverage.

live life with a smile

“An excellent rating does not go far enough to express how awesome Dr. Struble has been. As a busy college senior, she has repeatedly worked with my schedule to make sure all my needs were met. I had met with other orthodontists in Bend in the past, and experienced a lack of patient care. She is an incredible orthodontist and person, and I highly recommend her practice to ANYONE who needs orthodontic care.”

~ Zach R.

“As a dentist, I highly recommend Struble Orthodontics not only for my patients but for my family members too. Dr. Struble’s superb training in orthodontics is reflected in her outstanding care. Her kindness and caring is evident for all her patients. For so many reasons, Struble Orthodontics is an excellent choice for your orthodontic treatment!”

~ Dr. Jill Schroeder

“I recommend Dr. Struble without any hesitation. Her expertise coupled with a wonderful "bedside" manner immediately put me at ease. She is thorough and demonstrates a level of attention to detail you wish for in an orthodontist. The staff is friendly, competent and professional. I appreciate the ease of making appointments and love the environment of the office.”

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