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Helpful Tips

Fighting the Candy Craving

October 24th, 2017

It’s that time of year again--the time when everywhere you go, there is likely to be a bowl of candy on the counter inviting you to take a piece or two. It’s also the time of year when your kids come home with bags of sugary treats from all the Halloween parties and trick-or-treating fun surrounding the holiday. Resisting the temptation to overindulge in sweet treats can be hard, especially when they are right in front of your face asking to be eaten!  That’s why we’re here to help you fight the urge to put your hand in that candy jar once and for all! Here are a few simple, healthy alternatives to help you satisfy that sugar craving without feeling guilty.

1. Frozen Fruit

If you are more inclined to go for the fruity-flavored candy, just eat the real thing instead! Frozen fruit, like grapes for instance, have the sweet flavor and crunchy texture, but are a whole lot better for you! And they are bite sized, so you can eat a few without a sugar overload!

2. Honey Sticks

Naturally sweet and easy to eat, honey sticks make for the perfect sweet-tooth fix. Honey is nature’s energy source, and a great tasting one at that!

3. Natural Fruit Leather Strips

You may have these already on hand for kids lunches or a grab-n-go snack, but organic fruit leather strips can be a simple fix for a sweet craving. They also are a great item to hand out to trick or treaters instead of traditional candy.  

4. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt with Fruit

This may be what you eat for breakfast or a snack, and it’s a great go to when you have the urge to grab that piece of candy in the afternoon. Add your favorite fruit or nuts to it to give it some extra flavor and texture, making it even more satisfying.

5. Chewing Gum

This is obviously not an option for people with braces, but chewing flavored gum is a great way to satisfy that sugar craving without totally indulging in another food group.

Don’t let the candy cravings get the best of you! And, have a wonderfully spook-a-licious Halloween!

Need to schedule a dental appointment? Contact us here.

Unique Facts About The History of Dental Health

July 26th, 2017

Going to the dentist at least twice a year hasn’t always been a cultural norm, and it still isn’t standard practice for many people in today’s society; especially for those who don’t have dental care coverage. Dental practices and products have evolved immensely over time...for the better that is. We didn’t always have over 50 toothbrushes and toothpaste flavors to choose from. As time and science has progressed, so has our knowledge and care for our teeth. If you are taking good care of your teeth, then you are brushing at least twice a day, flossing every day and visiting an oral care practitioner on a regular basis.

Since our dental care practices have not always been what they are today, we thought we’d share 10 of our favorite historical facts about your teeth. Who doesn’t love some good fun facts, and you never know, maybe you can use some of these to impress your friends at the next trivia night!

  1. Most Americans did not brush their teeth every day until after World War 2. In WW2, the military required soldiers to brush their teeth twice a day, and they brought that habit home after the war.

  2. In Medieval Germany, the only cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey. Pucker up

  3. The cotton candy making machine was co-invented by a dentist. Before it was cotton candy, it was called “fairy floss!”

  4. The world’s oldest recipe for toothpaste is from Egypt in 400 AD. The formula included mint, salt, grains of pepper and dried iris flower.

  5. Archeologists have evidence of the first dental fillings in teeth from people who lived between 7,500 and 9,000 years ago.

  6. About 2,500 years ago the Mayans bejeweled their teeth using early drills.

  7. Neolithic humans used beeswax to fill in cavities in their teeth.

  8. In the early 1800s being a full time dentist did not exist. Instead the job fell on blacksmiths and barbers to perform dental work.

  9. King Tut’s wisdom teeth helped scientists determine that he was around 19 years old when he died.

  10. Napoleon and Julius Caesar were born with natal teeth (teeth which are present in the oral cavity at the time of birth)

  11. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s dentures were made from human, cow and horse teeth and ivory.

  12. Orthodontics was the first recognized specialty in dentistry

How many of these facts did you already know or which one was your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!

Sources:

  1. https://www.deltadentalnc.com/MediaLibraries/Global/documents/Delta-Dental-Tooth-Tips-BF.pdf

  2. http://www.centurystonedental.com/fun-dental-facts/

  3. http://www.hudsonvalley.org/community/blogs/cotton-candy-toothy-history-classic-circus-treat

  4. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwiH-vzY5ZHVAhUI-GMKHRimDQsQFggyMAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.deltadentalar.com%2F_literature_124137%2FHistory_Of_Dentistry&usg=AFQjCNHdBAm0uDAL7pLsMa8RoItRBtQMew

  5. http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/Renaissance_RAA_Tooth_Tips_Flyer_Hires.pdf

  6. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090518-jeweled-teeth-picture.html

  7. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22285-oldest-dental-filling-is-found-in-a-stone-age-tooth/

  8. http://listverse.com/2014/01/27/10-weird-facts-about-teeth/

  9. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2005/06/king-tut/williams-text

  10. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/jan/12/familyandrelationships.lifeandhealth

  11. http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-man-the-myth/the-trouble-with-teeth/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtdbLBRALEiwAm8pA5VSRiK76-sOYA3V_Q5sNHrlMVvX0WRIL7W95S0isio5TIQHdOW0A1BoCe_MQAvD_BwE

  12. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/interesting-facts-from-the-history-of-orthodontics-1014

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

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.

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.

What’s the best way to floss with braces?

December 16th, 2015

‘Tis the season for holiday cookies, candy canes, and hot chocolate--and for building up mountains of plaque on your teeth! Believe us when we say your trusty little box of dental floss will be your teeth’s best friend this holiday season.

Why should you floss?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces.

Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult, and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.

Which type of floss should I use?

Floss comes in a wide variety of brands, flavors, coatings, and colors, but in the end it does one main job: cleaning the areas in between your teeth. The easy answer to which kind of dental floss is best for you is whatever kind enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas.

The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day, and you should be prepared to spend about three times as long on your dental routine with braces than without. Flossing with braces can definitely be more challenging, but it is essential that you do so in order to maintain a healthy dental routine to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment.

Tips for flossing with braces:

  1. Use waxed floss or a product specifically designed to clean around your braces, as unwaxed floss can get caught and shred in your braces.
  2. Sliding the floss between the teeth above the wire is a bit like threading a needle. An orthodontic floss threader is an inexpensive and disposable tool available in nearly any store that sells toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is indispensable when flossing teeth with braces because it allows you to pull the floss through the teeth above the wire and reach the gum line.

Don’t wait until New Years to make a habit of flossing daily your new resolution. Start fighting plaque buildup from all those holiday goodies today! And if you have more questions about proper flossing technique and which floss is best for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (541) 848-6642.

Your “weird” braces questions answered

November 10th, 2015

Getting braces affects many aspects of daily life. When you come in for your consultation and subsequent visits, you’ll get information on how to take care of them, what to eat, how to keep your teeth clean, etc. But what about those obscure questions you never thought to ask, or were perhaps too embarassed to? We’ve got a few covered--but please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more. Your dental health is our priority!

Can I put charms on my braces?

Unfortunately no. Charms belong on bracelets. If you bite down on the charm, you could damage your braces or your teeth. You could also swallow your jewelry. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your braces! Decorating your braces with colored bands is always an option.

Is it OK to use my teeth as a bottle opener?

While it may seem more convenient and relatively harmless, this is a BIG no. Never use your teeth as a bottle opener. This becomes even more important when you are wearing braces. While braces straighten your teeth, your teeth are moving in the process. That makes them weaker, and the metal in the braces does not make them invincible. Buying a bottle opener is much less expensive than having to replace your braces.

Can I use my braces as a radio?

Contrary to what you might think, your braces are not designed to work as a radio. There are tales of people who have picked up radio signals from dental fillings or braces. While this is remotely possible, attaching an antenna to your mouth is just not a good idea. Besides, you will get better quality music from a radio. (Don’t get any ideas!)

Can I kiss someone while wearing braces?

You can still kiss someone while wearing braces. In fact, even if both of you wear braces, the chances of them getting locked together are almost negligible. However, to avoid cutting your partner’s lips, kiss with caution.

Again, if you have more questions, feel free to ask any of us at Struble Orthodontics. Or, leave your question in the comments!

Which Halloween candy is safe to eat with braces?

October 10th, 2015

We all know Halloween means candy. And even though we sincerely want you to take the bull by the horns, live life to the fullest, carpe diem, all that good stuff, we also would really like to make your orthodontic treatment as quick, painless, and enjoyable as possible. That’s why we’ve put together a list of braces-friendly Halloween candy options for you to take advantage of. The good news is that you can still live it up in the candy department this October while keeping your teeth healthy and your orthodontist happy!

What to watch out for

Certain sweets can cause some serious damage to your teeth and braces, which can delay precious treatment time. Hard candies, chewy candies, caramels, taffy, nutty goodies, jelly beans, licorice, bubble gum, suckers, Tootsie Rolls, and sour candies are some of the foods that can cause havoc for trick-or-treaters who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Skittles and M&M’s may seem innocent, but those tiny pieces of candy love to slip inside wires and pop off brackets. Better stay away. Furthermore, sour and fruity candies like Starbursts and Skittles are the worst because they are highly acidic, which can wear down the enamel that protects your teeth, paving the way for tooth decay and cavities.

These candies are your friends

Candy such as dark chocolate, sugar-free gum, or anything that contains the sugar substitute xylitol is not as harmful for your teeth as hard, chewy, or sticky sweets. Experts at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend softer treats or melt-in-your-mouth foods. These include:

  • Soft chocolate (Hershey’s Kisses are in the clear!)
  • Peanut butter cups (Go for those Reese’s Cups!)
  • Gelatin treats
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Root beer floats
  • Apple cider
  • Cookies and crackers (Just be careful about hardness.)
  • Apples (Great in bite-size pieces! Don’t bite into a candied/caramel apple, but feel free to dip it in sauce.)
  • Kit Kat Bars
  • Three Musketeers
  • Malt Balls
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Peppermint Patties
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Snow Caps

Some extra tips

Staying away from sticky and hard candies this Halloween is the name of the game. In addition to avoiding broken brackets and bent wires, we encourage you to brush and floss between teeth immediately after eating candy, including around brackets and at the gum line, as well as swishing water in your mouth--even “good” candy can cause cavities!

If you happen to damage your braces, give us a call at 541-848-6642 and we can help get your teeth all straightened out again. And from everyone at Team Struble, we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween!

Summer tips for braces-wearers

June 18th, 2015

Summer-tips-for-braces-wearers

Summer is here! It’s a busy time of year for everyone, with family vacations, sports, and fun events. We’ve put together some tips to keep your braces and teeth in good shape so that you can make the most of your summer.

Travel

Whether you’re going on a road trip to grandma’s or flying to a different country, there are a couple things to keep in mind before you travel. First, if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, make sure to schedule an appointment with us beforehand so that we can make sure your braces are in tip top shape. As for packing, make sure you have enough wax and bands to make it through the trip, in addition to your orthodontic hygiene kit and retainer case. That way, you can maintain good oral health even while on vacation.

Sports

We always recommend mouthguards for any contact sport whether the patient has braces or not. There are special mouth guards you can buy for braces or we can make you a custom mouthguard if you would like. While sports like baseball are not always considered a contact sport, don’t forget there are times that your child may have to slide into a base or may collide with another fielder.
We also recommend that the patients take their retainers out for all sports, contact and non contact. This includes swimming- the last thing we’d want is for your retainer to get lost in the pool! Also avoid leaving your retainer in hot places, like your car while at the beach. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause your retainer to shrink! Finally, always make sure to store your retainer in the case provided to you.

Food

Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks or dark colored juices- Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel but they will also darken that fabulous smile you’ve been working on! Try to keep a good teeth-brushing schedule, even if you’re busy. If you can’t fully brush your teeth after any meal, you can keep your mouth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls by swirling your mouth with water.

If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, please let us know. Until then, have some fun in the sun this summer!

Before Braces Bucket List

May 18th, 2015

Before-Braces-Bucket-List

Congratulations! You’re getting braces. It’s an important step in the process of giving you a healthier, more beautiful smile. But just like like anything you have to work for, there are sacrifices that must be made in order to make sure the process goes smoothly.

So to make your life easier, we’ve put together a bucket list of things to do BEFORE you get your braces on.

1. Chew (sugarfree) gum. Blow lots of bubbles.
2. Hit the grocery and candy store. You’ll want to enjoy your favorite hard and chewy foods one last time (for a while): things like carrots, beef jerky, taffy, pizza crust, bagels, popcorn, hard candy, nuts, and seeds.
3. Run your tongue along your teeth--you won’t get to feel the smoothness of them for a while. In fact, when some patients get their braces off, they’re so not used to feeling their teeth that they say they feel “slimy”!
4. Stock up on braces-friendly foods sooner, rather than later. If you do your research on what you can eat and find some good recipes, it will make the transition easier.
5. Buy a nice soft toothbrush and pick out a pretty one: you’ll be spending a lot of time with it (about 2-5 minutes a few times a day) brushing your teeth with braces.

Getting your braces on is an exciting time. But it will also take some adjustments, including giving up some of the things you love now. It won’t last forever, and in the end it will be worth it. So stick it out--we believe in you!

Have something to add? Comment and let us know!

Braces-Friendly Snack Ideas

March 16th, 2015

Braces-Friendly-Snack-Ideas

We know that the transition to eating braces-friendly foods can be difficult; you can only eat so many mashed potatoes and bowls of apple sauce, right? Last May we wrote a post on breakfast ideas. We wanted to follow up with some healthy snack ideas for those of you who might be looking for more inspiration!

Remember, it's always a good idea to chew carefully, use bite-sized pieces, and brush after you eat. Braces work by applying a constant controlled force on your teeth in order to properly move them. If at any time this force is disrupted, it can delay your orthodontic treatment time—mainly by broken brackets and wires. This most frequently happens when you eat hard, sticky, or crunchy foods. So in order to keep your orthodontic treatment on track, it’s important to stick to braces-friendly foods.

1. Thinly sliced apples, dipped in peanut butter, yogurt, or creamy chocolate sauce
2. Cheese and crackers
3. Cereal mix: Pack a Ziploc bag full for a great school-time or on-the-go snack. Mix your favorite low-sugar cereal with Goldfish crackers or Cheez-its and other braces-safe bites like mini marshmallows, raisins or dried cranberries
4. Peanut Butter Tacos: Peanut butter & low-sugar jelly or honey on a soft tortilla shell, rolled up for easy eating on the go
5. String cheese
6. Hummus & soft pita bread sections, or soft raw veggies, like zucchini or red pepper strips that are easy to bite and chew
7. Soft fruit: strawberries, kiwi, bananas, orange or tangerine sections
8. Sugar-free yogurt smoothies
9. Soft granola bars
10. Pizza wheels: Pizza sauce on an English muffin, topped with shredded mozzarella
11. Roasted edamame with sea salt
12. Kale chips

There's even a cookbook devoted to brace-friendly recipes: The Braces Cookbook by Pamela Waterman, available on Amazon. It's a great resource for snack recipes, as well as healthy meals for brace-wearing individuals who want to avoid orthodontic issues.

With a little creativity, planning, and the willingness to make some adjustments in your diet, it's easy (and tasty) to eat well while being a safety-conscious orthodontic patient.

Got more questions about foods that are safe to eat? Give us call at 541-848-6642. And if you come up with any good recipes of your own, please comment and let us know!

How do braces move my teeth?

February 16th, 2015

How-do-braces-move-my-teeth

So your dentist told you that you have to get braces to straighten out your teeth or bite. But how do they actually work? We’ll give you the run-through.

Tooth movement is your body’s natural response to light pressure applied by braces over a certain period of time (typically about two years). Brackets are glued onto your teeth, and have small slots that hold the orthodontic wires. These are kept in place with small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, so the brackets are custom-made for the particular tooth that they will go onto. As time passes, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions.

When you first get your braces on, we start out with wires that are flexible, but still strong enough to apply a constant force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, however, we use progressively thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an ideal bite.

Every time you visit our office for an adjustment, we swap out the wires in order to keep putting pressure on your teeth, which is why it’s so important for you to keep your adjustment visits during your treatment. Most adjustment appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move.

Most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatments. These elastics typically go from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, and pull on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an optimal bite. You’ll go through a few of these tightening, and before you know it--voila! You’ll have a straight, healthy, beautiful smile.

Not long ago, orthodontists had stainless steel wires and that was about it. Today, however, we have a number of different high-tech wires at our disposal to move your teeth faster and more comfortably. While the basic principle of how braces works remains the same, we have a number of different options to fit your specific needs.

Give us a call at 541-848-6642 to schedule a complimentary consultation and see how our staff can work their magic on your smile.

5 tips to keep your new years resolution going strong

January 12th, 2015

new_year_resolution
We’re about halfway through January. How is your New Years resolution coming along? Whether it’s to start a new diet, save money, or stop taking so many selfies, here are a few tips to help you keep on track. You’ve got this!

  1. Set short term goals for long term results. People who break their resolution into small, manageable chunks are more likely to achieve success.
  2. Use the buddy system. Everything is better with a friend! Find a walking buddy, or challenge a friend to see who can save more on groceries for a specific recipe and see who wins.
  3. Celebrate the little victories. But don’t choose something that goes against your goal, like eating a cake if you’re trying to lose weight. Treat yourself by picking something like a long relaxing bubble bath every week you reach your short term goal.
  4. Make your resolution about the journey, not the outcome. Research has shown that no matter what your resolution is, you’re already much more likely to make improvements than someone who hasn’t made a formal resolution. You’ll also have better success if you stick to goals you actually have control over. For example, it’s easier to make a conscious decision to work out and fill your plate with more veggies than to change a number on a scale.
  5. Don’t give up so easily. Many people throw in the towel after one little slip up. Instead, forgive yourself and move on. After all, January 1 is just one day out of 365. You have the power to start over whenever you want to!

Is a new smile on your bucket list for 2015? Come in to Struble Orthodontics for a free consultation! That’s one more thing you can easily check off your to-do list for a happier, healthier you.

Tips for preparing for braces

December 17th, 2014

Tips-for-preparing-for-braces

Getting braces isn’t easy. It will require some adjustments, not only to your teeth but to many aspects of your lifestyle. Mentally preparing for braces will help reduce anxiety before and during the initial stages of wearing braces. We’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind in order to ease the process.

Remember: braces are a commitment
Whether you are going with traditional braces or new technology like Invisalign, braces are a commitment both for parents and for children. They will require time, energy, and money. Help your child understand the commitment that is being made before you move forward. Talk him or her the hygiene commitments, the need to keep appointments, and how certain foods should be cut out of diets. Finally, be sure to sit down and discuss with your child that braces don't just magically take care of themselves.

Educate yourself about all your options
For many parents who had braces when they were kids, there was just one option: metal braces. Now there are all kinds of different options, including ceramic and Invisalign. There are also different treatments as well as payment plans to consider. Be sure to schedule a free consultation with us at (541) 848-6642 to see what will work best for you.

Explain the initial visits
The procedure can seem intimidating, especially if the child has heard stories about discomfort or pain from braces in the past. Parents should take time to explain why the orthodontist is taking so many pictures, x-rays and impressions of the teeth. That way, parents are removing the mystery of the procedure and allowing children to feel relaxed as the initial steps are taken to prepare for the braces.

Encourage children to talk to the orthodontist
An orthodontist is trained to deal with the concerns of their patients. By allowing the orthodontist to answer questions and give explanations, a child will feel more comfortable during the process. The orthodontist can explain the elements of the process that parents might not fully understand or know how to explain in child-appropriate terminology.

Discuss hygiene
Hygiene is a challenge at the beginning, so parents should prepare children for the differences between normal tooth care and working around the braces to properly clean and floss the teeth. By dealing with the concerns, questions and complications before getting the braced put on, children will know the basics and can get started without problems later. Read up on our last blog for more on how to keep your teeth clean with braces.

Talk about social concerns
Getting braces might be seen as a rite of passage, but some children become worried about the reaction of friends, classmates and other individuals related to social activities. Parents should discuss the social concerns with children and explain the purpose of braces to help with potential self-esteem issues. Braces are not always viewed as a positive when a child feels self-conscious about changing appearances.

Be ready to help
Your children will need help with their braces. They will need help flossing, tightening things, even brushing and dealing with pokey wires and brackets that rub on sensitive gums. Prepare yourself to be okay with the "hands on." And let your kids know that you will always be there to help.

Preparing a child for braces is not always easy, but it can reduce feelings of anxiety or worry associated with the procedure. The more parents work on preparation, the better a child will feel during and after the process is completed. Above all, remember that it will all be worth it once we reveal your beautiful new smile at the end!

What foods can I eat with braces this Thanksgiving?

November 14th, 2014

What-foods-can-I-eat-with-braces-this-Thanksgiving
First off, we’d like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for our family, friends, coworkers, and patients--and the delicious food we’re about to consume. And you can be thankful that you don’t have to hold back this year because of your braces! Most Thanksgiving staples are ok to eat, but there are a few that you should avoid.

Braces-friendly foods:

  • Turkey and Ham – you can actually eat the mainstay foods of the holiday! Just cut the meat into smaller, more manageable pieces and avoid eating it off the bone.
  • Corn – as long as it is not on the cob
  • Potatoes – sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes are fine as long as they’re soft
  • Dressing – as long as there’s nothing crunchy in it
  • Green beans – when they’re cooked nice and soft
  • Casserole – as long as it’s not crunchy
  • Desserts – make sure it’s not crunchy and that you brush your teeth really well afterwards

Foods to avoid:

  • Popcorn – biting into a hard kernel can damage your braces
  • Chips – another Thanksgiving snack you should avoid
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews, and the like should be avoided for the same reasons as popcorn
  • Caramel – this will stick to your braces
  • Basically any hard, crunchy or sticky foods

We hope this will help you get through the holiday without any orthodontic emergencies, while still enjoying the food you look forward to eating all year! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (541) 848-6642. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

6 steps to keeping your mouth healthy while wearing braces

October 13th, 2014

6-steps-to-keeping-your-mouth-healthy-while-wearing-braces

Take a look in the mirror at your new braces. The brackets and wires have nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. This means your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces. Putting some extra attention into your teeth and gums will prevent tooth decay and staining, so you’ll have the smile you always dreamed of once your braces are off.

Use an interdental toothbrush
A regular toothbrush just doesn’t cut it when you are wearing braces. Using an interdental toothbrush will allow you to effectively clean behind your braces. This type of brush has bristles that are shaped like a Christmas tree that can get in there and remove food residue in the braces and on the teeth. We also recommend using a WaterPik, which uses highly pressurized pulsating water to help get all of those hard-to-reach places.

Improve your brushing technique
1) Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth.
2) Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don't miss any teeth.
3) Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires.

Brush (and floss!) after every meal
Braces block food from naturally escaping your teeth after eating, so it’s important that you take the time to brush and floss after every meal. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely it is to cause decay. This may seem like an inconvenience, but trust us, when you get your braces off it will all be worth it.

Don’t forget the mouth rinse
Even after properly brushing and flossing, there are probably some food particles in your braces. A fluoride mouth rinse is the best way to ensure that every bit of food is removed after meals. If you don’t have mouth rinse available, just use water--it’s better than nothing!

Eat right
Prevention is definitely the best medicine when it comes to avoiding tooth decay. If you can nix decay-causing sugary foods from the outset, you’ll spend less time trying to treat problems in the future. Acidic foods and drinks can also damage tooth enamel when consumed frequently or when sipped over extended periods of time. Soda is especially hard on teeth because it not only contains acidic flavor additives, but it also includes 10–12 teaspoons of sugar, which further increases your chance of developing cavities.

Get Regular Checkups
Visit your dentist regularly while you are wearing braces--typically every 3-6 months--to ensure that little problems don’t turn into big ones.

Your braces are working hard to straighten your teeth, but they do make it a little more difficult to keep your mouth clean. Making these simple alterations to your daily routine can ensure that you get the best results possible. Give us a call with any questions or concerns you may have: (541) 848-6642.

The benefits of braces (besides straight teeth)

September 5th, 2014

Key points:

  • Beyond just having straight teeth, braces can give you both oral and cosmetic health benefits
  • Straight teeth contribute to a nicer smile, which helps boost self-esteem and a more positive self-image which can greatly affect an individual’s quality of life socially and professionally.

The-benefits-of-braces

Having straight teeth may be an obvious goal in orthodontics, but health factors such as the ability to properly clean and maintain teeth and gums should also play an important role in your decision to receive orthodontic treatment. Preventing future oral health problems now means your child won’t have to spend time and money correcting these issues later. Read on for the lesser-known benefits of braces besides having straight teeth!

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. This can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. It can also place you at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease during your lifetime, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, COPD, low birth weight/pre-term babies.

→ With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing and decreased risk of disease.

Difficulties with Speech

Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration.

→ Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth allowing for clearer speech and giving a major confidence-booster!

Bone Erosion

Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders can occur from stress on the jaw joint when a person’s bite is off. More serious TMJ symptoms can include earaches, headaches, jaw pain, clicking or popping in the jaw joint, neck and shoulder pain and difficulty in biting or chewing.

→ With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment. Additionally, when one’s bite is properly aligned, unnecessary wear or grinding of the teeth is prevented.

Digestion

Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. Digestion is one of the most vital roles your body performs and poor digestive health carries many health risks. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should.

→ With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing. For your body’s sake, health starts at the mouth.

Increased Confidence

Correcting overbite, underbite, or overcrowding can help build confidence. Reducing pain and discomfort associated with these conditions can help you get a better night’s sleep, eat healthier foods (hopefully), and feel less stressed during the day.

→ Not only will you have a great smile, you will want to smile more often!

Want to learn more about what Dr. Struble and the team can do for your smile? Schedule a complimentary consultation!

Parent tips for Surviving Braces

August 5th, 2014

Braces aren’t easy for your child to deal with. But if you make the most of your child’s braces, and they’ll be rewarded with a show-stopping grin! And we’ll be there every step of the way.

Here are some tips to help you out:

Parent-tips-for-Surviving-Braces

Ask an orthodontist
Parents can’t always tell when kids need dental work. Even if their teeth look straight, they can be crowded and bites can be off—causing issues in the future. Your dentist can recommend a good orthodontist. And the best part is, we provide free consultations.

Start in grade school
Now orthodontia for kids happens in phases. For example, they might start with a retainer in 5th grade so permanent teeth actually grow in straighter, or they might need braces twice. Being prepared can only help!

Save money
The cost of your orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your child’s individual needs and treatment plan. We will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget, and assist you with what to expect before beginning treatment. Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance plans.

Smile
Kids in braces are self-conscious. Let them know they’re not alone. Show them your old photos and laugh at yourself. Tell them they look gorgeous and keep them smiling big.

Tylenol for tightenings
It's just like taking your kids for shots when they were babies—Tylenol or ibuprofen BEFORE the appointment. Be aware that their jaw might be sore and that headaches might last for a day or two.

Brushing and flossing
Remind your child to brush 2 times daily or after eating. Use a soft-bristled brush for the tops and bottoms of brackets and a proxabrush for in- between braces. It is also important to floss 1-2 times daily. Thread under archwire and between teeth. Use a floss threader if needed.

Mouthguards are your friends
Especially when playing sports. You can buy generic or ask for a custom fit mouthguard to prevent injuries and protect your child’s expensive appliance.

It’s worth it
The price and commitment of braces is worth the investmentit in order to steer clear of physical issues and self-consciousness later in life. Your child might not thank you now, but they’ll certainly appreciate it later!

We want your child’s experience with braces to be as seamless as possible. Call us at 541-848-6642 for more tips or schedule a complimentary consultation with us!

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

July 7th, 2014

Favorite-Things-to-Do-In-Bend

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.

Braces-friendly (and kid-friendly) breakfast ideas

May 14th, 2014

Braces friendly breakfast ideas

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it can be a challenge at first to eat a balanced meal while adjusting to braces. A healthy breakfast provides energy and jump-starts metabolism. The good news is that once you find the right foods, it’s not so bad. We have some tried and true breakfast ideas to help make the transition easier to start your day off right!

Scrambled eggs are soft and easy to eat. Adding ketchup can make the eggs even tastier, especially for kids. Minimal chewing is required, and that’s the key to a braces-friendly recipe.

A smoothie is not only a good source of fruit, but it’s also gentle on braces. More importantly, smoothies are fun to make. You can toss anything in the blender (bananas, mangoes, strawberries, spinach) and create a drink that’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.

Substitute oatmeal for crunchy cereal. If you wear braces, eating crunchy cereals or granola for breakfast is risky: Bite down the wrong way and you could snap the wires or dislodge the brackets. You can still get your grains by having oatmeal. It’s healthy, delicious and easy on your appliance. Try adding rainbow sprinkles if your child has a sweet tooth.

Pancakes are a Sunday morning favorite, AND they’re braces-friendly. Make it healthier by hiding blueberries in the pancake batter.

Toast with jam is ok, but skip the peanut butter or go for creamy. If you have braces, the general rule of thumb is to steer clear of foods that are hard or chewy. These types of foods can break wires. Experiment with other soft toppings to mix up your mornings!

Yogurt is always a good idea. Add in some fruit and honey or agave and you’ve got yourself a healthy breakfast!

With a little bit of creativity, eating breakfast with braces suddenly doesn’t seem that hard. Call us at 541-848-6642 for more suggestions or schedule a complimentary consultation with us!

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 Hidden Benefits of Smiling

March 10th, 2014

Benefits-of-Smiling

Here at Struble Orthodontics, we’re in the business of giving you the perfect smile. It may seem like a simple thing, but research shows that smiling more can have numerous positive impacts on your life. Here are just a few:

  • Smiling makes you look younger, more attractive, and is associated with being trustworthy.
  • Smiling also has the power to boost your mood and improve your overall happiness.

Smiling helps the body relax, which allows the immune system to react more quickly and effectively against invaders. People who smile more are less likely to develop heart disease. When you smile, it also lowers your blood pressure and increases endorphins. Numerous medical studies have found that smiling lowers your heart rate, steadies your breathing, and relaxes your body, all of which contribute to a stronger immune system.

It changes your mood
Smiling releases endorphins that counteract and diminish stress hormones. Endorphins can also put you in a better mood. Psychologists have found that if you grin for 60 seconds, it releases serotonin that tricks the body into making you feel happy again. So if you’re feeling down, smile! Even if it isn’t genuine at first, it can still turn your day around. It also gives you a natural high: a loving smile can produce the same emotional response as eating 2,000 chocolate bars!

You’ll make an impression
Smiling can make people look more attractive. It naturally lifts the face for a youthful look of three years younger on average. Psychological research has shown that attractive people are perceived as more successful, intelligent, and friendly. If you are smiling, you are three times more likely to be remembered than an individual who is displaying negative or neutral features. Studies also show that we are more trustful of others when they smile genuinely.

It’s contagious
Studies report that seeing just one person smiling activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement, causing you to grin. So when you smile, you’re sharing the health benefits with those around you!

You’ll live longer
When you are smiling, it’s difficult not to be positive. And a positive attitude has been shown to increase life expectancy. In fact, people who smile often can live around seven years longer than others do.

Smiling is an important part of your health. Give us a call at 541-848-6642 to schedule a free consultation and see what we can do for your smile!

5 braces hacks everyone should know.

February 10th, 2014

five-braces-hacks-everyone-should-know
We do our best to make your orthodontics experience as painless as possible. But mini (and not so mini) emergencies are inevitable. When something unexpected happens that damages your appliance or mouth, give us a call at 541-848-6642 so we can get everything straightened out. Until then, take note of these 5 tips and tricks to help make life with braces easier!

1. Wax is your best friend. If you have a loose bracket, band, wire, or appliance, you could end up making it worse if you try to fix it yourself. It’s best to just cover the sharp end with wax and call us to determine if you should come in for a repair visit or if you can manage on your own. If you don’t have any wax, try using a pencil eraser. Just make sure it’s clean!

2. If you have hooks, wear rubber bands all the time (besides when you’re eating and brushing your teeth.) It will stop the hooks from digging into or getting caught on your cheeks--not to mention, it will make your treatment progress faster.

3. Make a kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, wax, and lip balm to access in between meals and throughout the day. That way if something happens on the go, you’ll be prepared.

4. Is your mouth sore? Are your teeth hurting? A quick and easy household remedy is a saltwater solution. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. Other options include taking aspirin and placing Orabase on the affected area, both of which can be found at your local pharmacy.
5. Smile! Even if you’re self-conscious about your braces, it’s important to keep smiling. People tend to notice your mouth more when it looks like you’re trying to hide something. Braces are very common, so there’s no reason to keep them hidden.

We hope these help you out! For more tips, check out our blog post on "Learning to Love Your Braces".

Brace Yourself for Ski Season!

December 4th, 2013

Brace-Yourself-for-Ski-Season
Every Bendite knows that cold weather means the fun is just beginning. The good news is that you can still participate in all the snow sports you love, even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! But you do need to be careful about keeping your mouth safe and your appliances intact should you happen to take a spill down Thunderbird on a powder day.

Injuries to your mouth can not only damage your teeth, but your braces could break and cut open your lip, causing harm to both your body and your bank account. That’s why we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance during winter sports.

Full Facial Guards
These are often used in football and other high-contact sports and offer protection to your mouth from most injuries. However, athletes could still benefit from additional mouth protection. Although your face will be unharmed from outside impact, you could still suffer from cuts or damage to your braces from the internal impact. Ouch!

Mouthguards
You can find mouthguards at most retail stores, but these do not necessarily offer the best protection or fit. The American Dental Association recommends custom guards for proper protection. They are also more comfortable and have built in layers for durability. Ask Dr. Struble and our team about finding the right mouthguard and visit our “Life With Braces” page for more information on playing sports with braces.

If You Do Get Injured:

In case of a sports-related emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or damage, call our office right away at (541) 848-6642. Until then, you can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax and rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Sometimes a hug and some hot chocolate can help, too.

No matter the sport, a mouthguard can protect your braces and mouth--even if the activity seems relatively harmless. Playing it safe with your appliance will keep you shredding powder on Mt. Bachelor all winter long, while getting the best results for your mouth. Who’s ready for snow?

When do I get my braces off?

October 11th, 2013

braces
Our patients ask us this question all the time. And as excited as we are about braces, we understand that you are just itching to see your beautiful smile underneath! The average wear time for braces is 1-3 years, but varies significantly depending on each wearer. In more difficult cases, it can take almost 6 years for braces to be removed. Although we can’t magically speed up the process, we can give you insight into the science behind the treatment and factors that help decrease your time in braces.

It’s not just about straight teeth!

You look in the mirror after a few months of wearing braces and your teeth are looking pretty straight. So that means you’re done, right? But orthodontics isn’t just about straight teeth. The ultimate goal of good orthodontic treatment is a healthy bite that lasts a lifetime and a beautiful smile to go with it.

Most patients will see major changes in their appearance in the first six months of treatment. This is because the first objective after the initial placement of the braces is to uncrowd the teeth or close spaces, depending on the problem. After that, the changes aren’t as noticeable as they are primarily bite-related.

Although your teeth might look straight, it is important that the upper and lower jaws fit together correctly, too. Think of your bite as a gear: if you align and straighten the teeth and jaws early on, you can prevent premature wear and tear of your bite in the future. Like our Facebook page for more lifestyle tips like these!

Factors that affect orthodontic treatment time:

Many factors affect how long it will take before we can remove your braces and reveal those pearly whites. Some are out of our control, like the severity of the bite problem requiring attention. We also consider our patient’s age, the distance and location of wayward teeth, and the growth and tissue’s response to treatment.

Some factors are in the hands of Dr. Struble and her team, or the patients themselves. We are experts in the treatment plan and the use of proper orthodontic technique. On your part, showing up on time for appointments and taking care of your appliances is crucial. So if you really want your braces gone, hold off on the Starbursts, peanuts, and corn on the cob!

The state and health of the teeth and gums are also important, so make sure you’ve been brushing and flossing thoroughly. Also, proper use of retainers after races prevents your teeth from heading back to where they came from. That means if you have to take your retainer out before your first kiss, then so be it. Just make sure you put it back in!

Schedule a complimentary consultation, and we can get you on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile in no time (or 1-3 years, to be more exact).

The Magic Age 7 for Early Prevention

June 7th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

You’re Never Too Old For Braces

March 21st, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Navigating the Confusing World of Childhood Orthodontics

February 18th, 2013

Navigating the Confusing World of Childhood Orthodontics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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