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Back to school… for your smile!

July 28th, 2022

Back to school… for your smile!

Advertisements are popping up everywhere, and school supplies are hitting the shelves. As you prepare your child to head back to school, you likely have a list of needed supplies from schools and teachers. But, did you know that if your child wears Invisalign or braces, they need to help their smiles head back to school?


5 things your child needs for heading back to school for their smile!


1. A travel-sized dental care kit


Most students won’t have time to brush their teeth after meals, so a small kit of home care items can be kept in a child’s backpack or locker.


For example, small toothbrush floss can help braces patients when food gets trapped underneath the wires of the races.


Invisalign patients can also benefit from a travel toothbrush to clean their aligners and ensure the food does not get trapped underneath them.


2. A “Christmas tree” or proxy brush


This tiny brush with a shape like a Christmas tree has soft bristles and is meant to go underneath the wire between the brackets for hard-to-reach cleaning.


 Parents can pick these up from our office, and many drugstores also have them.


3. Orthodontic Wax


Try wax for poking wires or brackets that irritate the gums.


This braces' classic can be handy in a pinch when braces are irritating the inside cheeks or gums, causing a mouth sore.


Also, if you have a loose wire, you can use wax to help stabilize it until you can come to see us for repair.


Be sure to ask us for extra wax next time you come to see us; school nurses will also occasionally have someone in stock.


4. A backup case for your Invisalign


So many parents fear that their child may accidentally throw away their Invisalign aligners during lunch at school.


Unfortunately, we’ve seen this all too often! As many lunchroom workers and teachers will tell you, digging aligners out of the trash is no fun. 


For this reason, we often recommend a backup case for school.


 It keeps the main Invisalign case safe and has less risk of losing, but your child will always have a place to put aligners at lunch. It does not have to be an official Invisalign trademark case; a simple retainer case will do. Some patients decorate the outside of their cases, making them cute and custom works of art. The lunchbox or backpack is an excellent place for this item.


5. A mouthguard, if your child plays sports! 


With that, the school season also brings fall sports.


Some contact sports, like football and soccer, pose the risk of injury to your teeth, so mouthguards are often recommended. 


If your child wears braces, they will need a specific type of mouthguard. We have these available in our office for you at no additional cost.


Bonus tips:


Be sure to talk with your child about their braces or Invisalign care at school. For example, some patients are self-conscious about taking out their Invisalign aligners to eat lunch. You can help them by talking about solutions that would work for them. You can also assure them that Invisalign treatment is more popular than ever before, so they likely will not be the only ones wearing Invisalign.


Be sure to grab great face photos for your back-to-school pics that can serve as timestamps of your child’s orthodontic treatment. You will love looking back over the school year and seeing how much their smile has improved!


What other tips can you suggest for orthodontic patients heading back to school? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Routine Hacks For Invisalign and Braces Patients

July 25th, 2022

 Pretty girl with beautiful confident smile.
We cringe to say it, but.....Goodbye, Summer!
We had a blast!  Summer is always a fun time in our office.  We get to meet so many new patients and get them started on their journey to a beautiful smile with Invisalign or braces.
And we get to hear about our current patients' fun and amazing vacations, camps, and events.  Each visit has been filled with great conversations about where they've been.  We are so fortunate to share these moments with our patients.
Yes, we're sad to see this season come to an end, but we want to take just a moment to celebrate the return to school and the routines that come with it.
Why?  Glad you asked!
Summer is a time to relax, and some of us get to relax from our regular daily routines and habits. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; we all deserve some much-needed time off.
But dropping those daily habits and routines that are formed around our dental health can cause some delays and disruptions when it comes to your orthodontic treatment and overall dental health.
Brushing twice a day, wearing your orthodontic rubber bands, and wearing your Invisalign aligners are all habits that here at Hester & Morris Orthodontics we find are pretty common to slack off on during the summer months.
Extending your time in treatment, having to wear additional sets of aligners, and sometimes even having to have dental cavities filled are some of the results from getting out of daily dental health habits.
Don't get too discouraged if you've found yourself slacking off just a bit.  We have found that getting back on track can be easier once you resume the daily habits of school routines.
Here are a few tips to help you or your child easily get those necessary dental and orthodontic health habits going again.
1.  Habit stacking.  Add a new habit to an already existing one.  For example, if your daily habit is showering in the morning, then add brushing your teeth in the shower.   Getting a suction cup toothbrush holder and extra "shower toothbrush" can be easy enough to do.  And when you're in the shower, you brush your teeth.  Habit on top of habit.
2.  Put notes on your bathroom mirror.  Get fun and creative!  Add stickers, notes, bright colors, and quotes from your favorite movie or tv show. Make it eye catching.  Do this so you remember to put your rubber bands on, put your Invisalign aligners in, or brush your teeth.
3.  Use your digital technology.  Add reminders to any devices you use: smartphones, apps, iPads, Alexa and Siri.  Set a timer on your phone or watch for 15 minutes each time you take your Invisalign aligners out.  When that timer goes off, put your aligners back in!. These are great tools to use to get the momentum going to get back into the habit of dental health.
4.  And my favorite...use a reward system.  Brushed your teeth every single night this week?  Great!  Reward yourself (or give the reward to your child)!   You wore your rubber bands every single day this week?  Awesome!  You get to buy that item, app, game, new shirt, or whatever makes you smile!
We are sending the best wishes to all our patients who are returning to school this year.  We all here at Hester & Morris Orthodontics want this to be a fun and successful year for all of you!

Movie Day 2022 -- A Thank You For Our Patients

July 19th, 2022

Hester & Morris Movie Day 2022

We are back y’all!


After a two-year break, Dr. Hester and Dr. Morris were excited to bring back our annual patient appreciation movie day this past month. 


Our event was held on July 1, 2022, and we invited our braces and Invisalign patients to join us on that Friday morning for a free movie! 


Our team was there bright and early that Friday morning, ready to welcome our patients as they came in, got their movie snacks from the concession stands, and showed which movie they wanted to attend. 


We wore adorable blue T-shirts with buzz light year flashing a fantastic smile! This year the movies we showed for patient appreciation every day were “Lightyear and “Minions”: The rise of Gru.” 


We were so happy to be able to bring this event back for our patients as a way to show our appreciation for their continued support. We genuinely love what we do in creating beautiful smiles, but we wouldn’t be who we are without our wonderful patient families. 


Many of our families stopped for pictures with our minions and were happy to be there. Due to the pandemic, for many of those in attendance at our movie day, this was the first movie they had been to in the last couple of years. So it was good to be back!


With over 500 in attendance, it was a super fun morning at the movies! The Minion movie was definitely the favorite! But, who doesn't love those little guys? Especially when they have braces?!!


We are very hopeful to continue to make this a yearly event for our patients and families. So again, we thank you for supporting Hester and Morris Orthodontics. Because of you, we are South GA’s #1 orthodontic provider!

Beware of the danger of DIY teeth aligners

July 14th, 2022

Beware of the danger of DIY teeth aligners.

You’ve likely heard and seen advertisements for the type of orthodontics you can purchase through the mail without ever having to leave your home. These companies promise a cheaper price and shorter length of treatment as well as the convenience of not coming into a provider's office. While these companies spend a lot of time and money marketing to consumers, these ads often fail to mention the problems of DIY teeth straightening or the lasting effects of trying to do treatment on your own at home.


Cheaper isn’t always better! And in the end, you may find that it was not worth it.


Here are a few things we find concerning DIY teeth straightening treatment.


  1. No exams. Almost every orthodontist will offer a comprehensive exam for patients to check the dental status of their teeth. Being able to get a closer look helps us better able establish a treatment plan. 


At Hester Morris Orthodontics, we offer this exam at no cost to you. It’s important to us that our doctors both meet and thoroughly examine the patient in order to be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment methods that will best improve their smiles. 


We also take complementary x-rays to show crowding underneath the gums that a patient cannot see with their eyes, including extra teeth or missing teeth, or extremely crowded teeth. Failure to examine a patient could possibly mean failure to see ongoing dental issues that should be addressed prior to beginning orthodontic treatment.


  1. No scans. Patients who elect to have DIY teeth straightening are sent a do-it-yourself impression kit to make a model of their own teeth. They then send the impression to the company for the exchange of clear aligners that are modeled to that impression.


 Not only is the impression process uncomfortable, but it is also very difficult to obtain a perfect impression without dental training and experience. (Have you ever heard of a gag reflex? Yuck!) Plainly put, unless you know what you’re doing it’s going to be hard to get a very exact impression of your teeth.


 Here at Hester and Morris, we no longer do these impressions but rely more on updated technology in the form of digital scanning. These scans of a patient’s teeth are far more accurate than the traditional impression process, making the fit of our Invisalign aligners much more consistent with the patient’s actual teeth resulting in a better fit. Getting a digital impression from our Itero scanner is also very easy to do. No holding your breath and no gagging!


  1. No continuous doctor’s care. While it’s true that your DIY aligner treatment may be supervised, you have no way of knowing the number of cases they take on and just who exactly is responsible for your care. You should always trust your smile to a trained orthodontist. They have the highest level of training, education, and experience necessary to straighten teeth and align jaws properly. You can only see so much from an impression, and digital or virtual care should never completely replace in-office visits. This unfortunately can sometimes result in cases where there’s permanent damage to a patient’s gums or even tooth loss.


While some people are choosing to use DIY aligner treatments because of the cost and convenience, many are realizing that they compromise the quality of their care and the satisfaction of their results. 


 No matter what type of orthodontic treatment you’re seeking, it’s important to understand that it’s the relationship you develop with your orthodontic provider that makes the difference in your results. You can spend a lot of time and money trying to do it yourself, but in the end, you’re missing out on the personal relationships, the education, and the expertise that helps you make the most out of your orthodontic care. You don’t have to sacrifice your smile to save a little money. Come in for a complimentary consultation at Hester and Morris Orthodontics and find out how we can help you improve your smile and your life!


And we’d love to discuss your treatment options with you! If you’d like to make an appointment click here. We would love to help you live life smiling!

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