Our Blog

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

March 25th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Struble Orthodontics COVID-19 Updates + FAQs

March 17th, 2020


Updated 3/24/20 @ 5:08pm

Dear Patients and Families of Struble Orthodontics,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Struble and Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 18th, 2020


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

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

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

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

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

10 years of Thankfulness and Tips for Being Your Best Self this Winter

November 15th, 2019

Maybe it’s just the crunchy leaves falling in Drake Park, but as December nears (the expected move-in date to our NEW SPACE), we’re getting a little nostalgic this fall. Almost 10 years ago, Dr. Struble and her team started a single location for Struble Orthodontics on Simpson Avenue in her hometown. Now it’s a thriving, multi-location practice preparing to move into a beautiful space near the Old Mill. We are so thankful for the enthusiasm and trust our community has put behind us as we make this transition a success.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we wanted to add you to our gratefulness list and say thank you for supporting Team Struble and helping us grow into a permanent fixture here in Bend. One of the best things about setting up shop here is seeing familiar faces walk through the door who share a mutual love for the truly incredible place we all live. We’ve absolutely loved our home-sweet-home on Simpson Avenue. It’s seen many generations of Bendites grow up and move off to college with bright, shiny smiles. Our place on Simpson will forever be a bright spot in our memory for our entire team. That’s because it reminds us of you!

"My daughter was the first patient at Struble Orthodontics almost 8 years ago! She still gets compliments on her beautiful smile. We have loved watching this great team in action and are so excited to see the new space coming in 2020!" -Tiffany H.

"We are thankful to all of our patient families who have made our practice a success in our current space! It is amazing to look back at all the smiles we have created and relationships we have made over the last 8 years!" - Michelle (Clinical assistant and first-team member hired in 2011)

"Our team is so excited about our future in our new and improved space and can't wait to share it with everyone very soon!" - Alyssa and Nicole (Struble team members)

Winter health tips (because we all need a little reminder!)

1. Don’t share drinks
This is the one time of year when sharing is not caring! It’s easy to forget the basics, but sharing drinks makes it too easy to catch a cold or flu bug. We know, it’s a bummer. Be a pal and buy a hot chocolate for your friend if they want a taste of yours or always carry your own water so you don’t have to share a beverage when you’re parched.

2. Liquids
No surprise here. In Bend, we live in the desert and as temperatures drop, our bodies lose even more hydration and water. Pass the lotion, please. This means keeping your Hydroflask with you at all times, full of that life-saving energy source we all need. If you’re feeling tired midday— water. If your mouth is dry— water. If your lips start cracking...you get the idea.

3. New toothbrush, post-sickness
We all succumb to a cold every now and then. And when we do, one thing to keep in mind once you start feeling better is to toss your old toothbrush. Toothbrush bristles can be a source of stubborn bacteria that keeps colds hang on for longer than they need to. Once you start feeling better, start fresh and trash your old toothbrush.

4. Wear chapstick with SPF
Dry lips don’t have to be a thing in winter. Like water, chapstick will be your best friend during these months whether you’re earning your turns in the backcountry or tackling a new climbing route at Smith Rock. A balm or chapstick with SPF included is what we recommend. Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you can’t get a sunburn in the sunshine in Central Oregon!

5. Invest in a good scarf/buff
Some Bendites will experience jaw or muscle pain as the cold weather onsets in the head and neck region. For this reason, warm neckwear is a can’t-live-without. A scarf keeps your lower jaw and neck warm, preventing heat loss. A scarf can also be wrapped to cover the lips and mouth to prevent chapped lips or sunburn. if you’re on the mountain or just shoveling snow on your driveway, bundle up with a good scarf.

400 SW Bond St #300, Bend, OR 97702
3818 SW 21st St Suite 102, Redmond, OR 97756
COVID-19 Update ×