About Orthodontic Treatment

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.

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.

5 Reasons to Smile About Having Straight Teeth

August 31st, 2020

child_orthodontic

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!

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!

Struble Orthodontics COVID-19 Updates + FAQs

March 17th, 2020

 

Updated 3/24/20 @ 5:08pm

Dear Patients and Families of Struble Orthodontics,

As of 3/16/2020, the American Dental Association has issued a closure of non-essential health facilities. As of 3/23/20 Governor Brown has mandated dental and orthodontic clinics close to non-essential patients until June 15th, 2020. In keeping with the ADA and State of Oregon requirements, we will be rescheduling all appointments in May with an estimated return date of June 15th, 2020.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for treatment and care during the COVID-19 closure.

We take the safety of our patients, patients’ families, our staff, and our families very seriously. In order to do our part in being good stewards of our community and to practice current social distancing recommendations of the C.D.C., I have decided that it is prudent to close my office to all non-emergency orthodontic appointments until June 15th, 2020. I will re-evaluate this position continually based upon new data as it comes out.  I fully understand the inconvenience this places on our patients and their families and how disappointing it will be for those scheduled to get their braces off. However, certain orthodontic procedures (such as removing braces) can produce aerosols that contain biologic materials, including viruses.

By postponing all non-emergency orthodontic appointments until April 15th, 2020, we will all be doing our part in helping to “flatten the curve” that will hopefully save the lives of many of our loved ones who are most susceptible. This also frees up medical supplies, such as gloves and masks, to healthcare workers that could be overwhelmed with patients as well as providing time for back-ordered healthcare items to be replenished. “Flattening the curve” gives our hospitals and healthcare workers the chance to be able to treat enough patients with ventilators to get them healthy rather than making doctors decide who gets to live and die.

This is uncharted territory for everyone with more information coming out all of the time.  We will continue to stay in contact with all of our patients to provide further updates. This is our opportunity to do our part as a society, help each other, and protect the most vulnerable.

I realize there will be those that think this is an over-reaction, and I sincerely hope I am over-reacting. However, I feel deeply that it is better to take action now with the hope of a better outcome for everyone in our community.

During the next two weeks, my team and I will still be there for you 100%. We will make ourselves available to all of our patients who have something painful like a pokey wire that cannot be handled over the phone with verbal instructions. Please call our office at: 541-848-6642 or email at info@strubleortho.com should you need assistance.

I am hopeful that Gov. Brown, the OR Department of Public Health, and the CDC will also give us more guidance on how to move forward while ensuring safety for all.

I understand that many will have questions regarding their ongoing orthodontic care, and I have included a Q&A document that will address many of these questions.

Please take good care of each other and let’s hope for a speedy resolution to this situation.

Sincerely,
Dr Struble and Team


Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about my orthodontic care during the COVID 19 office closure

How long will your office be closed?
Like many facets of this outbreak, there are many unknowns. We plan on closing to non-emergency orthodontic procedures until June 15th, 2020. We are hopeful that the community actions being taken now will help slow the spread and shorten the life cycle of the pandemic so we can resume business as usual ASAP.

Why does the orthodontic office need to close?
The recommendations made by public health officials regarding “social distancing” apply to a dental office where many people are coming and going, and close contact is a necessary part of all dental care. We want to be socially responsible as a business and a good steward of our community.

Will my orthodontic care be affected negatively?
It depends on the length of the community health situation. A short interruption (weeks to a few months) in orthodontic adjustment appointments will not impact your overall progress. Should this event and office closure last significantly longer, there may be an overall effect on your progress. We will do our best to advance and “catch up” your treatment when the situation settles, should it be necessary.

How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
The good news is that your care in general advances even when we don’t see you in the office; in fact, this is how it works- your teeth get straight all day and night with braces. Continue to wear your elastics as directed. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly 3 times a day. We will be putting together a remote monitoring system soon so we can check on your progress via email or messenger application.

How should I proceed if I am wearing clear aligners, Invisalign, or Spark aligners?
It is very important NOT to just stop wearing your active aligners! We do not want to lose the progress you have made. Like with braces above, we will be doing some remote monitoring checks via e-mail or messenger app allowing us to assess your progress. If you are at your last aligner of an order, please continue wearing it. If you have recently started or are in the middle of an order, please continue advancing at the rate of change we have given you. Practice taking “selfies” of your teeth, as we will be using those to assess your progress. When additional aligners are needed, we will manufacture those for you, and you will be able to stop by the office and pick them up.

What should I do if I am scheduled to start treatment soon?
We are excited about all our patients to take this big step and look forward to seeing your new smile when it is finished. We are hopeful that this schedule alteration will be short, and we will reschedule your appointment to start treatment.

What about getting my braces off?
Although dental care is very safe for patients and providers overall with universal precautions and hospital-level sterilization protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding material produces aerosols that can possibly contain biological material. A deferral of removing braces is a good practice at a time like this. Always brush and floss thoroughly to maintain your dental health as we await the passing of this situation.

I have a routine monitoring appointment upcoming (retainer check, dental growth monitoring, recall examination, or new patient consultation)
These appointments are very important but by their nature become elective at a time like this. We will maintain all appointment records within our computer system, and will reschedule them appropriately when the community situation returns to normal.

We are told to wash our hands frequently; how should we handle wearing aligners, retainers, elastics, etc?
It is important to continue wearing your aligners, and your rubber bands to maintain your treatment progress, or your treatment the result if currently wearing retainers. Follow recommendations by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after removing or placing your aligners, retainers, or elastics. These items can also be washed or cleaned in a dilute soap and water solution (1 teaspoon dish soap in a gallon of water). An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimize the soapy taste.

I lost or broke my retainer or aligner; what should I do?
It is always important to wear retainers after your treatment is complete. Call the office; often we can make a replacement from your digital model and you can pick up at the office.

Will patients be allowed in the office at all? Is there anyone there?
Yes, we will staff the office with a small number of team members Monday through Thursday. Our phones will be answered. However, we will LIMIT ACCESS TO THE OFFICE TO ONE PERSON AT A TIME. PLEASE CALL US IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO COME TO THE OFFICE. WE ARE GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU AND WE WILL PROVIDE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

I have a poking wire or other irritation that is bothering me; what do I do?
Call us! We will instruct you on the best resolution to the problem. This could include an easy fix at home or could involve a quick VIP trip to the office for a fix in a private setting where you would be the only patient in the office. Please call to let us know if you require any elastics or other necessary supplies during this time. We can make arrangements to get these to you without requiring entry to the building.

Can I enter the office with my child?
Of course! We would, however, ask for everyone’s help in minimizing the number of people in the office. Depending on your child’s age and your wishes, some parents may feel comfortable staying in the car or corridor while their child is treated. For others, especially younger children, we fully expect parents to be present with them. Only one parent should come and no siblings should come along. This is what is best for everyone.

The Truth About Charcoal Toothpaste, Mail-order Teeth Aligners, and What We Know About Kombucha and Your Teeth

February 18th, 2020

 

At Struble, we do our best to serve you with the top evidence-based technology and treatments for your smile. We know the importance of brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and how using things like fluoride is essential for the health of our patients’ teeth and gums. Since teeth are our business, it’s important for us to help you sort out fact from fiction when it comes to your oral health. So let’s get started, shall we?

Activated charcoal is marketed for its benefits in polishing away coffee or tea stains and brightening teeth. Maybe you’ve tried it too? While charcoal may have properties that help whiten teeth, the substance may actually be too abrasive for regular use. Activated charcoal can be sourced from things like coconut shells, olive pits or other natural compounds that are hard on enamel long term. Enamel, while it is the hardest mineralized substance in the body, is not regenerated once damaged. The Journal of the American Dental Association says that there is “insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.” Long story short, stick with a toothpaste you know to ensure it’s gentle enough for your teeth and gums.

You may have heard of these handy kits popping on a TV commercial. The instructions are simple: take impressions of your teeth with an at-home kit, mail in the results, and wait for your teeth aligners to show up, after which you are promised a straighter smile in a matter of months. No visits to see an orthodontist. You don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to. Sound too good to be true? It usually is. Any procedure involving the health and shaping of your teeth is best supervised by a licensed professional. This is hugely important to guarantee that every individual is getting the care they deserve for a healthy smile and bite. The mail-order processes can be risky and could actually end up costing you dearly. If the overall health and function of your teeth is not properly diagnosed and treatment planned by a trained orthodontic professional, this can actually damage your teeth further and cost more money. Always play it safe and come see our friendly practitioners at Struble to see the benefits of an individualized treatment plan approach. (See our before and after pics to believe it!)

And finally, we need to talk about everyone’s favorite drink here in Bend. The Kombucha market worldwide is anticipated to grow to over $5.45 billion by 2025. That’s a lot of Kombucha!  It’s on tap almost everywhere you go in town and some of us fill up by the growler full. However, this fizzy fermented drink is full of sugars and acids that can slowly eat away at teeth enamel. Because acids related to fermentation and the sugars created can weaken teeth, pitting, or the small indentations accumulated on teeth, can be the result. Scary stuff! If you can’t forgo your Kombucha in preference for water, may we suggest rinsing with water after you drink it to eliminate those enamel-eating acids? This will help return your mouth to a more balanced PH level where bacteria less easily thrives.

We’re looking out for you, so be cautious before you take any marketing claims too far! Rules that apply to your teeth can easily apply to the rest of life—If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! So before you go lathering your pearly whites in activated charcoal or make a gamble on an at-home teeth aligner kit, you might consider sticking with the tried and true science!

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.

The Hub: New Patient Information

September 12th, 2018

Struble Orthodontics Bend, Oregon and Redmond, Oregon

Welcome to Struble Orthodontics!

We want to thank you for selecting our practice for your orthodontic treatment. This will be your orthodontic “home” for the next several months/years and we want you to make yourself comfortable and enjoy your time here. It is our hope that you look forward to your time spent with us. We can’t wait to get started and know there will be a beautiful smile awaiting you at the end of this journey! Below you will find all the information and videos that will guide you through making appointments, eating guides, emergencies and more.
Just click on each link below for more information:

What Sets Us Apart-Our Mission Statement
Get Acquainted with Orthodontic “Lingo”
Managing your Appointments
What to Expect During your Appointments
Eating Guide - “Do’s and Dont's”
Brushing and Flossing - Your Commitment to Oral Care at Home
Orthodontic Emergencies - Handling Emergencies Appropriately
Retainers - Maintaining Your New Smile
Watch all of the instructional videos


Mission Statement/Vision:

At Struble Orthodontics, we are committed to providing individual attention and exceptional orthodontic care in a comforting, compassionate environment for people of all ages.  We will treat you like family by respecting your time, concerns and apprehensions while we exceed all your expectations. You will leave with a new smile and a lifetime of improved dental health and function.


Orthodontic "Lingo": the words you’ll want to know

Orthodontic Records: These are the materials we will be collecting in order to properly diagnose your orthodontic problems to ensure we have an appropriate treatment plan that will address your individual orthodontic needs. These initial records usually consist of orthodontic models, or digital models, digital photographs, digital radiographs and a thorough clinical examination.

3D Scan and Digital Models: Remember those messy alginate impressions that were routine and common in orthodontic offices? You may remember your parents complaining about them when they reminisce about their orthodontic experience! Our office has made a technology upgrade and we now have three iTero digital scanners! This allows us to generate digital treatment study models for our patients so that we can accurately track progress in a more comfortable, convenient way. Now that’s a win for everyone!

Impressions: We will occasionally use a soft rubbery material called alginate to take impressions or molds of your teeth. These impressions allow us to create and construct orthodontic retainers and appliances. Fortunately, digital scanning technology in our high-tech practice now typically allows us to avoid these routine impressions.

Panoramic Radiograph: This is a type of x-ray that we use to evaluate dental development, tooth eruption and jaw anatomy. This x-ray is different than the x-rays your dentist usually takes to check for cavities.

Separators: Sometimes we may need to use small separators or “spacers” to make room between your teeth for the placement of bands. These separators may make your teeth a bit sore. We usually keep these separators in your mouth for approximately a week and ask that you not floss in these areas to avoid dislodging these separators.

Bands: These are thin metal rings that we may place around your back molar teeth. We use these from time to time with your braces or to attach permanent retainers and other appliances.

Brackets: AKA Braces, these are the small metal or ceramic attachments we place on your teeth through a process known as “bonding”. These are the “handles” we use to move and straighten your teeth. We use a special type of “self-ligating” bracket because we find greater comfort, faster tooth movement and excellent esthetics with these technologically advanced brackets.

Arch Wire: The arch wire is actually what allows us to move your teeth. Arch wires come in many different sizes, shapes, and materials. We will be changing your arch wires frequently during the first portion of your treatment.

Elastic Chain: These are available in many colors and are used to gently close spaces between your teeth by attaching around your brackets.

Steel ties: These are sometimes used to securely fasten your arch wire to the bracket. Sometimes during brushing or eating these ties can come loose or move. Please see the Orthodontic Emergencies for ideas on how to handle this situation.

Elastic ties: These also come in many colors and are sometimes used with our conventional brackets to secure the arch wire to the bracket.

Retainer: Retainers are used for several different reasons during and after orthodontic treatment. They come in many different colors and types. They can sometimes be used to make small movements to your teeth but are usually used to maintain your beautiful result after orthodontic treatment. We will sometimes use “fixed” retainers that remain attached to your teeth. Alternatively, “removable” retainers can be taken out so it is your responsibility to make sure these are worn as instructed for best results.

Elastics: You may be asked to wear these “rubber bands” to aid us in perfecting your bite or the way your teeth fit together. When worn as asked, these help to complete your treatment and accelerate treatment progress.


Managing your Appointments

Please help us stay on track with your treatment by maintaining your appointments. This will help us complete your treatment in a timely manner. We also ask that you be on time for your appointments. Respecting your time is a big priority for us! We will make every effort to be ready for you at your appointment time and want to make your treatment as timely as possible.

While we always strive to accommodate scheduling needs and desires of our patient families, we want our patients to be aware that it is not always possible to schedule routine appointments outside of school, work or extra-curricular activity times.


What to Expect During your Appointments

Your “Start” Appointment: You will be getting your orthodontic braces or appliances! This is a very exciting appointment as it marks the beginning of your active treatment. . . . those pearly whites are starting to move today!

This will be one of your longer appointments with us. Depending on your specific treatment plan and orthodontic needs, this appointment may last approximately 1-1.5 hours.

Your braces and any other appliances will be placed on your teeth at this appointment and thorough care and cleaning instructions will be provided. We will make sure you have all the necessary tools to keep those teeth as clean as possible for us during your treatment. We will rely on you to help us by making sure you are doing your best to follow our recommendations. Excellent treatment results simply cannot be achieved without your cooperation!

You may experience some soreness and tenderness over the next several days after you get your orthodontic appliances placed. Usually, this period of soreness lasts approximately 3-5 days and then subsides. We recommend using an over-the-counter medication like Tylenol during this period to help relieve any significant discomfort. Be sure to follow package instructions for proper dosing.

Routine Visits: Now that you have your braces on and movement has begun, we will have you come in for new arch wires, check your oral hygiene, replace chains and secure brackets. These appointments are the stepping stones required to ensure your treatment is on track. They are usually scheduled every 6-10 weeks depending on your treatment plan and orthodontic needs.

Progress Records: Now that we’ve got those teeth moving in the right direction, it may be necessary for us to periodically obtain progress records to document and evaluate your progress. These records will include digital photographs and occasionally digital radiographs to evaluate tooth position and eruption. Patient health and safety is a primary concern for us here at Struble Orthodontics. We thoroughly evaluate the need for these progress records and make every effort to keep radiation exposure to a minimum for our patients by using digital radiographs. We will only take these x-rays when absolutely necessary for the health of our patients and to achieve the best possible orthodontic result.

Removing Your Braces: This is an incredibly exciting day in your orthodontic journey and today we get to share in your success! This appointment will take approximately 1-1.5 hours but removing the brackets actually only takes approximately a minute! Now that you have your beautiful new smile, it’s time to make sure we maintain this result by wearing retainers exactly as instructed. We use a variety of retainers catered to meet your specific retention needs and will make sure you receive proper wear and care instructions when you receive your retainers. We will deliver your retainers as soon as possible so we ask that you return to our office within a couple days (usually the same day) to make sure your new retainers fit properly. It’s time to enjoy that new smile and be able to eat all the things you’ve had to avoid during your treatment. . . . enjoy, and congratulations from all of us at Struble Orthodontics!

Retainer Visits: Even though you’ve reached a milestone in your treatment, we still ask that you continue to see us for several visits. We call this your retention phase. These visits allow us to monitor your stability and ensure that your retainers or appliances are fitting properly. Everyone’s treatment and stability are different so this period is vital to make sure that your orthodontic investment is a lasting one. We want that brand new smile and healthy bite to last a lifetime!


Eating Guide: The Do's and the Dont's

Orthodontic appliances do require you to be careful with the types of foods you are able to consume without causing problems or prolonging your treatment.  If you’re careful, you can continue to enjoy most of the same foods you’re used to but below we’ve listed several groups we ask that you try to avoid:

Hard/Crunchy Foods: These can damage wires and even loosen brackets.  This can delay or prolong your treatment if this becomes a recurrent problem.  Exercise caution and use common sense with these foods, you can usually eat hard foods if cut into small enough pieces and are careful when eating.  If you do happen to break a bracket or damage some piece of your braces, please call our office (541) 848-6642 ahead of time so that we may prepare for this and fix this problem promptly for you.

Sticky Foods: Sticky foods can also cause damage to your appliances.  If these sticky foods are high in sugar content, they can cause cavities or gum inflammation because they are hard to clean from around your appliances.

Sugary Foods and Drinks: Foods and drinks that are high in sugar content should be avoided during orthodontic treatment whenever possible.  If you do occasionally enjoy a sugary snack, we ask that you brush and clean your teeth around your braces as soon as possible.  If you do not have access to a toothbrush, it is best to rinse well with water.
Below is a list of food examples we ask that you avoid:

  • Taffy
  • Caramel
  • Candy Bars
  • Bubble Gum
  • Lollipops
  • Hard Candy (i.e. Jolly Ranchers)
  • Popcorn
  • Ice

And here are a few that can be enjoyed with caution:

  • Carrots (if cut into small pieces)
  • Apples (if cut into small pieces)
  • Corn on the Cob (if removed from the cob)
  • Hard Bread (if cut into small pieces)
  • Steak (carefully!)

Brushing and Flossing

It is very important that you develop a routine for caring for your teeth during your orthodontic treatment. Having braces absolutely makes it harder to clean your teeth and gums. One of the most commonly missed areas is the space between your brace and the gums. It is very important to spend some time on this area when brushing your teeth.

We will give you specific instructions for caring for your teeth and braces but it is your responsibility to take the time and use the tools we give you appropriately. Failure to care for your appliances and your teeth can result in cavities, scarring of your tooth enamel and swelling of your gums. This swelling can be quite uncomfortable, and can actually slow down tooth movement! Check out these instructional videos with instructions for brushing and flossing with braces.

How to Brush with Braces
How to Brush with Braces
How to Floss with Braces
How to floss with braces

Our doctors strongly recommend the use of an electric toothbrush during active orthodontic treatment. If you do not already use an electric toothbrush, we will provide you with a high-quality GOBY toothbrush as our GIFT TO YOU! And we’ll even pay for your first brush head replacement! You can then subscribe to have your GOBY replacement brush heads mailed right to you. Replacement brush heads are very affordable, shipping is free and you can cancel your subscription anytime!

Flossing is also a very important part of caring for your mouth. We realize flossing with braces can be a difficult and time-consuming task but it is very important for a healthy mouth. We will provide you with flossing tools to make this process easier. Please let us know if you are having problems or need help with flossing!

If oral care becomes a significant concern, our doctors may recommend removal of braces. We want you to receive a beautiful smile, but our primary concern is the health and well-being of your mouth and teeth.


Orthodontic Emergencies

We will always have one of our clinicians available over the phone to answer your questions and tend to your orthodontic related problems or emergencies. Simply call the office at 541-848-6642 (Bend office), 541-527-4325 (Redmond office) and follow the prompts to leave an emergency message for our team so that we may return your call shortly (typically within 1 hour). We also have informational videos that will be reviewed in office at the start of your treatment. These videos can also be accessed at our YouTube channel. In many cases, this information will help you manage your own orthodontic problems and answer your questions quickly and efficiently. Here are a few recommended solutions to common orthodontic emergencies:

Broken/Loose Bracket: Use clear wax to make yourself comfortable (most often broken brackets do not cause any discomfort) and call our office on the next business day to schedule an appointment for a repair. If you are not in pain, broken brackets do not always need to be replaced immediately but we do appreciate you letting us know so we can properly appoint you for a repair appointment or be prepared to repair the broken bracket at your next regularly scheduled appointment.

Wire Poke: These can sometimes be incredibly irritating and uncomfortable. Once again, try to use clear wax to make yourself comfortable. If successful, call our office on the next business day to make an appointment for repair. If you are unable to make yourself comfortable with wax, before we are open, call our office to leave an emergency message on the emergency line. Sometimes it is possible to use a pencil eraser to push a pokey tie-wire back into a comfortable place.

Loose Band or Appliance: Often times these don’t create true emergencies but should be addressed by someone in our office within the next several days. Call our office on the next business day to arrange a time for a replacement. If you are uncomfortable, call our office immediately and leave an emergency message for our team.

Discomfort/Soreness after Appointments: Most people do experience some level of discomfort or soreness after their orthodontic appointments. Fortunately, this feeling usually lasts approximately 3-5 days. When you initially get your braces, your cheeks and gums must also get used to your new braces. Sometimes you may develop small sores as you get used to the new appliances. Feel free to use the clear wax we provide to cover any sore spots. After time, your soft tissues will get used to having the braces and the soreness will subside.

Traumatic Accidents Involving your Teeth: If you have a serious accident involving your mouth or teeth, please call our office to leave an emergency message. If we are out of the office and you must be seen immediately, you may also call your dentist or the Emergency Room for an emergency evaluation.

We will make every effort to handle your orthodontic emergencies and concerns promptly. Your emergency message will be forwarded directly to one of our dedicated team members or doctors and we will return your call as soon as possible when the office is not open. Our Office Phone number is 541-848-6642 (Bend office), 541-527-4325 (Redmond office). Follow the prompts to leave an emergency message.


Retainers – Maintaining Your New Smile

Retainers are a very important part of the orthodontic process. Once the hard work of tooth movement is complete, retainers must become a part of your daily routine in order to maintain your beautiful new smile.

Some retainers are “fixed” or permanently attached to your teeth. Some retainers are “removable” and must be taken out daily for cleaning and then replaced. Whether “fixed” or “removable”, all retainers require some work on your part for proper care.

We will provide you with thorough instructions related to wear and caring for your retainers. If ever in doubt, please call our office with questions regarding your retainers 541-848-6642 (Bend office), 541-527-4325 (Redmond office).

In our office, we believe in lifetime retention. This means that you will be keeping your retainer for the remainder of your life. It is never a good idea to get rid of your retainer unless advised by your orthodontist. Keeping your retainer is the best check to make sure your orthodontic result is remaining stable. We may ask you to wear your retainer full time when your braces are removed but ultimately will guide you when it is appropriate to decrease to part-time or night time wear. We find that the best way to avoid losing your retainer during this period is to always have it either in your mouth or stored safely in your retainer case.

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

child_arthodontic
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

Struble_Orthodontics_Bend_Oregon_90

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.

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