New Bend Office Opening in Winter 2019! Now Booking Appointments

Bend Oregon

American Association of Orthodontists Interviews Dr. Struble

September 25th, 2019

Blair Talks Hometowns and Treating Happy Smiles

Your teeth and gums are a complex and interconnected part of your health. They require expert attention so that you can live an active and carefree lifestyle. Much like you wouldn’t trust your car with just any mechanic, you wouldn’t trust your smile to anyone but the best orthodontist. That’s why at Struble we prioritize organized dentistry and our involvement in the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

Our community of Central Oregon is home to over 150,000 residents who like to stay healthy. Bend attracts the active type—people who like to play hard and get outside. That’s why Dr. Blair Struble chose it as the perfect place to set up her thriving orthodontic practice. Struble Orthodontics is now a two-location practice with an exciting new building project off Bond and Wilson street near the Old Mill District. This new office will be opening in winter of 2019. A born-and-raised Bendite, Blair knew as soon as she had her dental school degree in hand that this was the place she’d come back to practice.

Struble Orthodontics is a proud member of the American Association of Orthodontists and both our doctors have taken the additional commitment to be “Board Certified” Orthodontists. When you are looking for an orthodontist or an orthodontic practice for yourself or your child, finding a credentialed doctor with the right training is important. The AAO ensures all practicing members have completed an accredited orthodontic residency program post-dental school. They equip 19,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad with industry best-practices, industry events like conferences, and on-going training and learning opportunities for doctors and staff.

The AAO stopped by Struble’s office to ask Blair what makes Central Oregon a special place to share the gift of smiles and what inspired her into taking care of people’s teeth. She might even surprise you with a fun fact of how long she wore braces as a teenager (**hint: it was longer than a year!) Check out Blair’s interview with AAO now and learn how it all got started here in Bend and more reasons why industry associations like AAO make Struble Orthodontics a safe and friendly place to bring the whole family. From the whole team, we look forward to seeing you come through our doors soon!

Struble Orthodontics is moving to The Old Mill District!

August 9th, 2019


We can't wait to show you the view!

Struble Orthodontics is moving to a beautiful new space to better serve our patients with brand-new treatment rooms and top-tier orthodontic options. Drumroll please: yes, you heard it here first. We’re moving to the Old Mill District!

We have simply outgrown our current space. While it has been a beautiful place to grow our practice, we know our patients and our team will benefit from the expansion. The new building will include premium technology upgrades and aesthetic improvements. We are building a twenty-first-century space where children, teens, and adults in the Central Oregon area can receive exceptional orthodontic services. Better scheduling and administrative spaces for our team are also on the way.


You are going to love it! We already do.

You can spot Struble’s new building site currently under construction on the corner of Bond and Wilson. This locates our clinic near the central and desirable Old Mill District with access from all directions. Struble’s new location is just off the parkway on the first roundabout as you enter the Old Mill District.

What to expect from the new building:

  • One of the best mountain views Central Oregon has to offer!
  • Dedicated parking spots and easy elevator and stair access
  • A third-floor location with stunning views of the Cascades and Old Mill District
  • Spacious expansion
  • A convenient and central location near Old Mill District with easy access to north, east, south, and west areas
  • Technology upgrades including internet fiber and 3D imaging

The new clinic is set up with 3D lab printing technology as well as two digital X-ray spaces. The team at Struble is also adding internet fiber to the building to dramatically increase internet speeds and enhance data security. This will provide a dedicated internet connection solely for Struble Orthodontics staff and patients.


Is it moving day yet?

Our current practice will likely close briefly in December to make this exciting move. Don’t worry, we will announce it well in advance. This means we are on track to start seeing patients in the new space as early as January 2020. More details to follow as moving day nears! Until then, keep your fingers crossed and take a peek at our building site as you pass by Bond and Wilson on your way into Bend.

May is for Learning! Struble Orthodontics attends the American Association of Orthodontics 2019 Session in Hollywood

June 7th, 2019

Showing our Struble smiles at Hollywood’s Universal Studios

You may have missed us around the office the first week of May. The team flew south together to attend the 2018 American Association of Orthodontists Annual Session in Los Angeles. The weather was great, the palm trees were beautiful, and as always, we managed to sneak in a little fun with our work. We enjoyed team lunches, strolls along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and even a trip to Universal Studios! Here are a few highlights of what we learned from this enriching work trip.


Class is in session!

A few of our favorite topics covered at the AAO Session:

  • Career happiness and culture-building in the office
  • Surgical advancement techniques
  • Bracket bonding techniques
  • Innovations in clear aligners
  • 3D-Printing technology
Blair spotting her name on the list of orthodontists who have been members of the American Association of Orthodontists for 10+ years!

World-class doctors and practitioners in orthodontics covered everything from spotting sleep apnea disorders to developing patient-centric care plans to non-surgical methods to help with bite correction. Our front office staff was able to learn new culture-building techniques for the office, how to master effective communication, and tips for handling team expansion and growth with ease, which is hugely valuable with our new office location opening in Redmond this year.


Dr. Struble and Dr. Crosta together at the 2019 American Association of Orthodontics Annual Session

Fostering a culture of growth, fun, and innovation is what we believe in at Struble Orthodontics. Providing the best orthodontic quality treatment to our patients is not just about having great technology but encouraging and investing in the future of each team member. Continuing education opportunities for busy orthodontic practices come few and far between, so we seized this moment to celebrate our team and are so glad we did! This trip to the AAO 2019 session gave us new creative ideas and practical application points to begin using in our practice. As always, our primary goal is to our wonderful Bend and Redmond patients and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve learned. Please do come in and see us or schedule your next appointment.

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.

Tips To Keep Your Teeth Clean While On A Summer Adventure

July 5th, 2017

Summer break is officially here, which means it’s time to head out on those adventures and trips you’ve been planning for months!  Whether you’re about to take a road trip, go camping with friends, or spend the week on the beach, your normal routine may get thrown off. But that doesn't mean your dental hygiene has to fall by the wayside. In fact, the health of your teeth and gums should never fall by the wayside. Follow these tips to keep your teeth clean all summer long, even when you don’t have running water and haven’t showered in days.

Test and boil your water

Not all adventures will allow you access to running water and you may run out of your supply. If you anticipate this happening, have a test kit and pot ready. You can purchase a test kit from your local sporting good store or online. Testing and boiling the water means clean drinking, free of contaminants that can be found in rivers and lakes.

Go travel size!

Backpacking for a week and trying to pack as light as possible? Cut down on weight and save room for other accessories with a travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste. Yes, we know your regular toothbrush and toothpaste is small as it is, but when you are backpacking, any weight you can cut and space you can save is worth the purchase.

Store your toothbrush in a clean place

Storing your toothbrush properly is important for two reasons:

  1. It keeps your brush clean and dry.

  2. And, the smell of mint toothpaste can attract animals.

Keeping your toothbrush clean while also blocking the mint smell and keeping the critters away is the way to go. For shorter adventures like day hikes, consider using a ziplock bag. This way you can easily throw the bag away once you get home. For longer trips, when you are going to be gone multiple nights, invest in a plastic toothbrush container that you can find at almost any drug store. They are cheap, easy to clean and can be used for all your summer adventures!

Brush away from your campsite

After you’ve roasted your hot dogs and indulged in a s’more or five, your teeth are going to need some TLC. When you go to brush your teeth for the night, make sure you do so far away from where you set up camp. As we already mentioned before, that mint smell that leaves are breath so fresh and clean also has a way of drawing in unwanted furry friends. The last thing you want is a bear waking you up at 3am because he found the scent of your toothpaste within your campsite

Meet Dr. Crosta!

February 26th, 2017

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Dr. Erica Crosta to the Struble Orthodontics team!

Get to know her in 7 quick questions.

What led you to be an Orthodontist here in Bend?

I was born and raised in Portland with my parents, Lee and Valerie, and younger brother Bryan. Growing up, my family had a vacation home at Black Butte Ranch, so I spent a lot of my childhood in Central Oregon. I graduated from West Linn High School and went to Oregon State University (GO BEAVS!) where I earned my Bachelor of Science with a minor in Chemistry. Part of my college experience included spending a semester on Oahu and studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It was such a wonderful experience. I was able to take courses like marine biology and Hawaiian studies as well as teach myself how to surf!

I met my husband, Trevor, during my sophomore year of college and we have been together ever since! He has been so patient and supportive in life and throughout my educational career. After college, I took a year off from school and worked as a barista at Starbucks while applying to dental school. It was great to have some time off and regroup. I was then accepted into Oregon Health and Science University, where I earned my doctorate degree. During dental school, Trevor and I welcomed Garth, our loving golden retriever into our family. After dental school, Trevor, Garth, and I packed our U-Haul and headed down to the desert for my orthodontic training at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. When I wasn’t studying, you could find us camping, hiking and exploring the surrounding areas. It was so great to experience another outdoor haven, but we are happy to be back home in the Pacific Northwest and we absolutely LOVE Central Oregon!

What's your perfect day in Bend?

Bend is the perfect playground! Any activity outside would be my idea of a perfect day here. My husband and I love hiking, camping, skiing, mountain biking etc etc….We like to stay active and this is the perfect place for it!

Cats or dogs?

I LOVE ALL ANIMALS! I do, however, have a special place in my heart for dogs. As I mentioned before, I have a golden retriever named Garth who is super lovable and goofy!

Ice cream or fro yo?

Both! I have a huge sweet tooth... especially for chocolate!

What's your favorite braces-friendly food?

French fries and a chocolate milkshake….yummy!

What's the best part about working at Struble Orthodontics?

I love my team at Struble Orthodontics! It is such a fun place to work because our team and patients are so awesome and welcoming!

What do you love most about what you do?

I love being able to help patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. I had orthodontic care when I was young and it made such a huge difference in my life. It’s amazing to be able to be a part of that journey for others.

Our team is growing and we’re so fortunate that Dr. Crosta can be a part of it. Don’t be afraid to say hello next time you’re in the office!

Why does your tongue get stuck to a frozen pole?

January 13th, 2017

It’s the classic scene in “A Christmas Story”: poor Flick gets triple-dog-dared to stick his tongue to a frozen pole, it gets stuck, and the fire department has to come rescue him in front of all his friends. As he found out the hard way, the phenomenon really does happen!

Why does your tongue get stuck to a frozen pole? Given the chilly weather in Central Oregon, this is a question that inevitably comes up. And while we can save ourselves the embarrassment and take a lesson from Flick to satisfy our own curiosities (seriously--don’t try this at home!), it’s still fascinating to look into the science behind why your tongue gets stuck on freezing objects.

How your tongue stays warm

Your tongue is covered with moisture, which begins to freeze when its temperature drops below 32°F. Your body counteracts this freezing by pumping warm blood to your tongue, which warms the moisture through conduction. Heat energy from the blood excites the atoms in your tongue. This makes them absorb energy and vibrate, causing their temperatures increase, passing the energy up the line until it eventually warms the surface moisture.

Thermal conductivity of metal

Metal is a much better conductor than your tongue (up to 400 times more powerful). The atoms in solid metals are packed tightly and transfer thermal energy more readily than your tongue is able to, so it takes heat faster than your body can replenish it. Metal also has free electrons that boost conductivity by moving from atom to atom and absorbing heat energy in the frozen pole, stirring up other atoms.

Putting two and two together

As your tongue touches the flagpole, the moisture on your tongue is robbed of heat. The temperature of the moisture drops. Water freezes inside tiny pores and surface irregularities on your tongue and the pole. You're stuck!

So how do you break free?

Don’t try to pull your tongue off unless you want a piece of it to be left on the pole (yikes). Call for help or have a friend pour warm water on the area where the tongue meets the pole, and the tongue should come free. Even if you do break free, you can still get some tongue damage. Best to keep away from frozen metal poles!

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.

Dr. Struble's Favorite Things to Do In Bend!

July 7th, 2014

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Blair Struble has lived in Bend for over 20 years now, making her a true local. She shares many of her favorite stops around Bend, from high-desert lakes to seasonal farmer’s markets.

What is your favorite place to get a smoothie?
I love the Sambazon smoothie at Emerald City Smoothies. They are so refreshing on a hot, sunny, Central Oregon day!

Where do you like to go jogging?
I love to get outdoors in the summer. I live on the south side of Bend very close to the south river trail access. My dog Boss and I love to take walks and jogs down along the river. The scenery is so beautiful down there and my dog loves to cool off in the river. I don't run as much anymore because I have found a new passion in mountain biking. I love riding the Phil's trailhead west of Bend!

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids in Bend?
My daughter Taylor loves the High Desert Museum. She enjoys the "Backpack Explorers" day camps. She loves feeding fish to the otters and learning about the burrowing owls native to Central Oregon. We also love checking out all the great parks in our community!

Is there anything in Bend that you want to do that you haven't tried yet?
I would love to get up to Elk Lake to check out the summer concerts on the lake. There are always so many things I want to do each summer, just not enough time to accomplish them all! We also try to get to as many summer festivals as we can, because they’re fun and my kids love the entertainment.

What is your favorite thing about summer in Bend?
The city is just bustling with activity. I love that any day (year round even!) you can find a fun activity. We love the farmer's markets, street fairs, and festivals. I also love the 4th of July Pet Parade. I grew up going to that parade every year and it’s been so much fun to watch it grow from a tiny little hometown parade to an activity that people and pets of all ages participate in. We love taking our girls (Taylor and Tennyson) down there in our Red Radio Flyer and walking our dog Boss in the parade.

How has Bend changed since you grew up here? How has it stayed the same?
Bend has changed drastically, but I love the great things that growth has brought to our area. There is so much more recreation and development of outdoor opportunities. We have so many fabulous restaurant and shopping options now that we never had when I was growing up. However, I love that it still has a great small hometown feel and that everyone is so friendly and active here. I still feel like I can walk downtown and see friendly faces everywhere. I truly believe there is no place better than Bend, Oregon and I hope my kids feel the same after they grow up here.

Where is your favorite place to get dessert?
I will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart for Goody's. I grew up going to that soda fountain and I love their Oreo Cookie Shakes made with their homemade ice cream. Definitely a local's favorite!

What's the best place to watch the sunset from?
We have this small little hidden away place in our neighborhood called "Sunset Hill." It is aptly named because it has breathtaking views of not only the Deschutes River but also of our beautiful and majestic mountains. It is definitely the best place I know to watch the sunset but only a few people in the neighborhood know how to get there, so I'm keeping that one secret!

Struble Orthodontics is your local expert in orthodontic care. Call or click to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Struble at 541-848-6642.

Pole Pedal Paddle:The Ultimate Bend Event!

May 15th, 2013

It’s only May, but it’s starting to feel like summer here in Central Oregon. Restaurants are opening up their patios. Fun seekers throughout the area are unearthing their paddleboards, mountain bikes, and fly rods from the depths of their garages. We’ve already spotted a few brave souls floating the river! Ski season may be winding down, but we’re not ready to put away the winter gear yet. Especially because this weekend marks the 37th birthday of Bend’s signature event—The Pole Pedal Paddle.

Almost 3,000 racers competed in the event last year. It is comprised of six stages, for a total course distance of about 34 miles from Mt. Bachelor to the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend. It starts with an alpine leg to the exchange point at West Village Lodge. Then skate and classic skiers hit the Nordic trails for an 8-kilometer dash to the cycling exchange, where racers enjoy a scenic 22-mile ride down Century Drive into Bend. The next leg is a 5-mile run along the Deschutes River Trail to a 1.5-mile canoe/kayak leg at Farewell Bend Park in the Old Mill District. As if this weren’t enough, the race ends with a .5-mile sprint along the grassy banks of the river to the finish line. Pheew! Did I forget anything? They don’t have a skydiving leg. But they might as well add one while they’re at it.

The PPP is the ultimate relay race that attracts anyone and everyone, including Olympians, 5-year-olds, Oregon Adaptive Sports participants, women in tutus, men in military suits, and that one team in the Jamaican bobsled outfits. One of our favorite parts is seeing our Struble Orthodontics kids’ smiles as they cross the finish line at the Kid’s Mini PPP. If you don’t compete, head down to Farewell Bend to cheer the racers on and to enjoy the booths, live music, awesome food (and beer, of course).

While taking advantage of the great outdoor activities we are blessed to have in our town, the PPP also demonstrates the strong sense of community we have built. That’s why the event is the epitome of every good thing that Bend has to offer. And to make it even better, all the proceeds generated from the US Bank PPP support the programs of the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF). We hope to see you out there on May 18 for poling, pedaling, paddling and cheering!

Learning to Love Your Braces

April 25th, 2013

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We like to think that you’ll love every minute of wearing your braces. But it’s no secret that there are sacrifices to make before revealing the sparkling, healthy teeth hiding behind those wires. Proper care for your braces will allow you to get them off sooner, and with less grief throughout the process.

To avoid damaging your new appliances, you might need a loved one to lock up your Cool Ranch Doritos or that Costco pack of red licorice. Basically if it’s chewy, crunchy, sticky, hard, or requires biting into, stay away! But don’t worry; you’ll be snacking on your favorite foods in no time. And the good news is, there are plenty of foods that you CAN eat with braces to hold you over—including ice cream and cake. See? It can’t be that bad.

Even though you might have to change your diet a little, braces don’t have to stop you from playing sports. However, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. In case of an emergency, always check your mouth for damage and contact us.

When you first get your braces, your mouth might feel a little tender or sore. Not to worry! We have a super advanced solution to ease the pain: saltwater. Just dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, swish (don’t swallow) in your mouth for a couple of minutes, and voila! If this doesn't quite do it for you, pain relievers and wax can lessen the tenderness too.

Also pay attention to looseness. If it’s your teeth, that’s normal (that just means the braces are doing their job right so that your teeth can move into position). But if it’s your wires and bands, make sure you contact the office as soon as possible so we can get everything straightened out (pun intended).

Finally, keep in mind that those pearly whites can only be corrected properly if you follow all the instructions Dr. Struble provides. We know wires, rubber bands, and retainers maybe aren’t the most fashionable, but your beautiful new smile will be!

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.

Emergency Dental Kits for your Home

December 19th, 2012

Emergency Dental Kits for your Home
It’s an unexpected kit, but certainly a useful one.

Emergency Dental Kit for your Home | Struble Orthodontics Bend Oregon

It’s called an emergency dental kit, and they are designed as a temporary fix for common dental emergencies. These kits are easily put together and can fit alongside your home First Aid kit in your home closet or bathroom. The best part about your dental emergency kit is that all of these items can be found at the local pharmacy.

So, what should go in your kit?
General antibiotics and Ibuprofen act as a staple for toothaches and mouth pain.
Table salt packets can clean an open wound or sore in the mouth.
An anesthetic containing Benzocaine will also offer relief from irritation and cold sores on your lips, tongue and cheek.

For tooth pain, you can also find toothache drops. Apply directly to the tooth and it should ease the pain temporarily.
Irritation from sharp wires from braces can be deflected by cotton balls or beeswax, which can provide a barrier until you can see your dentist.
Lastly, a clean cloth and gauze should be in your kit in case of bleeding.

You can put together your own custom dental emergency kit yourself just by visiting your local pharmacy, or you can find a few online—Emergency Dental Kit was designed by a dentist and has supplies in case of common injuries. These include broken fillings, loose crowns, toothaches, tooth splinting and more. Keep in mind, however, that this kit is simply meant as a temporary aid until you can visit your dentist to fix the root of the problem. For true medical emergencies, see your doctor right away.

Keep in mind some important tips when using your dental emergency kit:

  • Always wash your hands before and after using the materials in your kit
  • Keep out of reach of children and make sure an adult is always present when the kit is in use
  • Clearly label the shelf life of the different components of the kit and update when necessary

Enjoy putting your dental kit together for your own home!

Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting

November 15th, 2012

Struble Orthodontics and her staff in Bend Oregon

You can feel the love as soon as you walk in the room.

It’s the new offices for Dr. Blair Hanson Struble, where more than seventy people have gathered to show their congratulations in the form of a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday. Congratulations cards, flowers, and even cookies bearing her name littered the counter and friendly faces greeted you at the door. The new offices were incredibly spacious in light of the friendly crowd.

Cookies and Cards for Struble Orthodontics in Bend Oregon

Dr. Struble, a true central Oregonian, is a new member to the Bend Chamber of Commerce. Various members of the Commerce were there, as well as family and friends, when Dr. Struble and her team introduced their new office space with a good old-fashioned ceremonial ribbon cutting. It was an exciting event, and the Chamber of Commerce members were certainly excited to be there. With a healthy spread of fruits, cheeses, and a selection of local craft beer from Bend, everyone was enjoying the moment.

Located on the Colorado/Simpson roundabout (the fishy roundabout) across the street from Deschutes Brewery's corporate offices, the new office gives way to a wide and open setting, which will be beneficial for both the team and their patients. On Tuesday, the office doors opened and everyone had a chance to get their first walk-through. Not only will patients be able to relax in a comfortable environment, they can enjoy the beautiful view from their large windows and open operatory.

Sarah and Michelle having fun at the Ribbon Cutting for Struble Orthodontics

Sarah and Jeannie, two members of Dr. Struble’s team, have a combined 18 years of dentistry experience between them. “We definitely laugh a lot,” Sarah says. “It feels like home and not a job.” “It’s a fun environment and we enjoy our patients,” Jeannie agrees. “We’re in it for the long haul.”

And at last, it was time to cut the ceremonial ribbon. We all gathered around for the moment and a picture. Dr. Struble was beaming as she described the outpouring of support by family and friends alike. “I have the most amazing team,” she says. “I love my staff, and it’s truly fun to go to work every day… This is a beginning of a long career.” The ribbon was cut, and with good enthusiasm.

Bend Oregon Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting

The passion for what this office does is evident from the expression of collective positive energy of everyone present. And they showed it by—no wonder—sets of smiling faces.

Struble Orthodontics serves Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, and Sisters along with their surrounding communities. Their practice takes care of patients of all ages and works hard to improve the health and beauty of every smile that walks in the door.

Dr. Blair Struble and her family

Dr. Struble is a certified orthodontic specialist in Bend Oregon

September 27th, 2012

Dr. Struble is a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. Not all Orthodontists are Board Certified. In fact, less than 50% of practicing orthodontists are Board Certified.

Dr. Struble is also a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Central Oregon Dental Society.

She grew up right here in Bend, Oregon, and was educated at some of the finest institutions in the Pacific Northwest. She did her undergraduate work at Willamette University in Salem then attended Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland to earn her Doctorate of Dental Medicine. After that, she spent some time in Seattle pursuing my Masters of Science in Dentistry and Certification in Orthodontics at the University of Washington.

She uses her experience in the field to lecture to local high school, hygiene and dental assisting students about orthodontic techniques and technologies.  She also spends much of her time visiting the local public schools to speak to elementary age children about the importance of great oral hygiene practices.

Dr. Struble is an orthodontist that believes in constant learning and likes to keep her practice up to date on the most recent advancements in orthodontics to keep Bend smiling.

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