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7 Things To Know Before Getting Braces

November 8th, 2022

Getting braces soon? Here are 7 Things to know before getting your braces: 



  1. Bring lip balm.


You definitely want to bring lip balm or chapstick to your appointment just because using a cheek retractor can make your lips feel dry. A cheap retractor is a plastic piece that’s used to pull your lips and cheeks away from the surface of your teeth to help keep your teeth dry and ready for the application of braces.


  1. While it won’t hurt, the application of braces can be uncomfortable. 


Between having your lips and cheeks held back with a retractor and just the process of having your mouth open for a long time can cause some discomfort while having your braces applied. Just remember that it doesn’t actually hurt your teeth to have the braces put on! No shots or medicines need to be applied since we are dealing only with the surface of your teeth. Sometimes people say that our materials can create a sour taste in your mouth, but we promise it does not last for long!


  1. Food will get stuck in your braces.


Despite your best efforts with brushing and flossing, food will sometimes get stuck in your braces. We recommend brushing after meals, even on the go, or using a small proxy brush to help get out that sandwich or salad left behind!


  1. You will need a few days to get used to having braces. 


While it’s true that getting braces on is not particularly painful, sometimes our patients do say that you will experience soreness and tenderness in the days after the braces go on. This can be helped by using an over-the-counter pain reliever and eating soft foods. Your lips may also probably feel a little funny when speaking for the first few days as your lips adjust to your braces. But we assure you once you’re used to the look and feel of your braces, nothing will slow you down!


  1. Your bite is this important as your teeth! 


Orthodontists don’t just use braces to straighten teeth, they are also very invested in ensuring you have a functional jaw relationship. It’s very important to us that the way your teeth fit together is healthy because if it’s not, it can lead to problems down the road. If you’ve ever had to wear rubber bands or have a bite appliance applied with your braces, then you know just how important we think your bite is!


  1. Setbacks will happen.


A wire may start poking or slip out in the back. Or and bracket may pop off when eating something you shouldn’t be eating. Setbacks will happen, and that’s OK, as long as it’s not often and you come to see us quickly to have it repaired.


  1. Braces are expensive, but they are worth the investment. 


The overall cost of braces includes the supplies needed throughout your treatment, the visits to the orthodontist's office, your doctor's expertise and experience, and the retainers you will receive following your completed treatment. It can seem like a lot of money but remember you are making an investment in your smile that can last a lifetime if taken care of properly.

What other things should people know before starting braces? Leave us a comment below and let us know! If you’re interested in seeing if braces are the right option, click on our request appointment, and one of our new patient coordinators will be happy to discuss your options.

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

October 25th, 2022

October is #orthodontichealthmonth ?

Got braces?

October is Orthodontic Health Month, so we take a little extra time to educate our patients about the importance of proper teeth alignment and other reminders about orthodontic care.

Why October? Well, that's when the treats come out!

Yes, we mean Halloween!

We all love sweet treats and enjoy Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night. However, when you have orthodontic braces on your teeth, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Be sure to avoid the following: Extra hard, chewy, or sticky candy.
  • If you do happen to break a bracket or wire on your braces, give our office a call so we can help you get it fixed right away.

No need to let some candy delay your braces treatment!

Here are some of our favorite braces-friendly treats that are good for trick-or-treaters:

Three Musketeers

M&M’s (no nuts)

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

Peanut Butter Cups

Kit Kats

Candy Corn

Cheese Puffs

Ritz Bitz


Chocolate Bars


No matter what your favorite Halloween treat is, be sure you brush your teeth after enjoying your stash! Keep those teeth clean and healthy!

Happy Halloween!

SMILEOWEEN is coming soon!

October 18th, 2022

October is here, and that means Halloween is on the way! 

The Hester and Morris team hopes you will join us on Thursday, October 27, from 4:30 to 6:00, as we partner with our neighbors from Southland Children’s Dentistry for our annual Smile-O-Ween event!

What is Smile-O-Ween?

Started in 2020, Smile-O-Ween is a drive-through Halloween event in Valdosta, Georgia, started by a collaboration between Hester Morris Orthodontics and Southland Children’s Dentistry. 

During the pandemic, options for children during Halloween were limited, and we wanted to give back to our community and provide a fun little outing for our younger patients. We gave out a lot of candy and put smiles on many faces!

Smile-O-Ween has been such a success these past two years that we’ve decided to continue it again this October! 

Simply drive through the parking lot between our two offices, and our team will be dressed in costume and handing out candy bags. No getting out of the car is needed! Our neighbors from Southland Children’s Dentistry will join in on the fun.

While they last, we'll have candy, kids' coloring books, and a toothbrush in trick-or-treats bags for children in attendance.

Costumes are not required but are encouraged! 

Check our Facebook Event Page for more info.

Enjoy these photos from past events, and make plans to join us on October 27 for Smileoween!


What is National Orthodontic Health Month?

October 11th, 2022

October is national orthodontic health month! It’s a special time of year when we spend more time educating our patients and the community about the wonderful benefits of a beautiful smile, straight teeth, and perfectly aligned jaws. 

The benefits of orthodontics are not just cosmetic. Straight teeth are much easier to clean and floss, resulting in fewer cavities and healthy gums. Jaw issues can be corrected or even prevented by orthodontic care. And as we age, our teeth tend to shift, so proper alignment of your teeth can help prevent enamel wear over time.

The idea of having well-aligned teeth is not new. As far back as the ancient Egyptians and ancient Roman times, there has been an interest in shifting teeth into new positions.

In the 1700s and 1800s, horseshoe shape devices and wires were used to help move teeth into better alignment. In the early 1900s, dentists began rapping different materials such as wood, ivory, or even gold and would wrap them with bands that would help press the teeth into position.

Using stainless steel wires, the braces we are more familiar with today gained popularity in the 1970s.

Invisible braces and aligners started to become popular in the late 1990s, as well as clear retainers to help hold teeth properly in place after completing orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists are dentists who, in addition to their dental school training, complete extra years of schooling, specifically in moving teeth and aligning jaws.

The average number of years that an orthodontist attends school is 11.

This extra education time gives them the knowledge and expertise to properly move teeth through bone and create pleasing and well-aligned smiles.

Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. James Gregory Morris started their careers in south Georgia as dentists and then returned for further training to become orthodontists.

Dr. Hester has treated patients in south Georgia with braces for over 30 years. And Dr. Morris is South Georgia’s number one Invisalign specialist.

Both doctors have the education and experience necessary to give patients the best smile possible. Combining advanced techniques with individualized treatment plans, the doctors ensure each person achieves the beautifully healthy, confident smile they deserve!

Check out our other blog posts and social media during October for more tips and information about national orthodontic health.

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