DDS Hester & Morris Orthodontics

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.

Eating with braces!

August 31st, 2022

No more starburst? Goodbye popcorn and nuts?

If you recently got braces or you’re thinking about getting braces to help improve your smile, you’ve likely wondered about the foods you can or cannot eat with orthodontic braces.
While it’s true that some foods must be avoided when having braces, the good news is that many foods are considered Braces Friendly and can be enjoyed throughout your treatment. When you consider the result of having a beautiful confident smile, we believe that it’s worth temporarily giving up a few of those favorite foods!

Read more to learn what you can eat and drink with braces and a list of things to avoid.

Happy Braces Day!!!
When you first get your braces, it can be an adjustment that takes a few days to get used to. For some patients, you will likely have some sensitivity the first few days after your bonding appointment, and that’s why we recommend soft foods during this transition time.
Here are some great food options for the day you get braces and the first few days after:
Soft cheeses
pudding
soft tortillas
pancakes
muffins
pasta
rice
lunch
meats
eggs
mashed potatoes
fruits
ice cream
milkshakes
Jell-O
soups
applesauce
But as you know, there are some foods we ask patients with braces to avoid. This is to help protect the brackets and wires from breakage. Any breakage or damage to your braces can result in extra appointments and delayed treatment progress; we know you don’t want that to happen!
Here is a list of foods we recommend you avoid during your braces treatment:
Gummy bears
hard candy
sticky candy such as jellybeans or taffy
nuts
hard pretzels
kettle cooked
chips
popcorn
raw crunchy vegetables
pizza crusts
ice
 
A few other food tips for your smile success:
Try cutting sandwiches and any fruits and vegetables into small bite-size pieces.
Cut off your pizza crust before eating.
Avoid eating meat off the bone.
Beware of the super sugary drinks! Shakes, smoothies, and even ice cream are great alternatives for people with braces, just be sure to limit your consumption of these drinks and treats to cut down on plaque buildup. Brushing your teeth after drinking sodas and energy drinks is so very good for your teeth, but with braces, it is necessary!
A sweet surprise!
A common misconception of Braces is that people can’t eat candy at all. This is simply not true! We are happy to announce that sweet treats like peanut butter cups, Three Musketeers, Kit-Kat‘s, and chocolate bars without nuts are all A-OK!... Just don’t forget to brush!
Have more questions about caring for your braces? Our Hester and Morris website is full of resources about home care and how treatment works. And don’t hesitate to contact a Hester and Morris orthodontic team member with your questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

Back-to-school Recap 2022

August 22nd, 2022

[caption id="attachment_145" align="alignnone" width="200"] Pine Grove Students[/caption]

The shoes are new, and the pencils are sharpened; it’s time for back to school!

Of all the things that we at Hester Morris Orthodontics get to help within our community, it's being a Community Partner in Education that is incredibly close to our hearts.

We love supporting our schools and giving back with donations of time and supplies during the year. At the start of the school year, one of the ways that our team helps support our local schools is through the provision of drawstring bags and lanyards for our area middle schools. These bags are so helpful in holding gym clothes, and students love them!

The schools appreciate the lanyards as well, for they hold student IDs that many schools require. In addition to these donations, our team has also helped try to brighten the days of art returning teachers with donations of food and gift cards for raffles and contests and their schools. Who couldn’t use a gasoline gift card in 2022?!

We believe in being community minded and serving in the city we work and live in! Our patients matter to us. Therefore, we must invest in their schools.

The best way to do that is to give back to our schools. When we can provide our schools with supplies and bags for the students, we feel like we are making a difference in the community. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with our schools, and we know that our staff and patients will also benefit from the partnership. We know our education system is essential to our city and our country, and we are glad to be a part of helping our community schools!

Schools make us smile -- What about you? What causes are important to you? Tell us in the comments below!

Getting Braces? What You Need To Know.

August 2nd, 2022

If you're thinking about getting braces, there are probably a lot of questions running through your mind...

Where will my teeth be adjusted?

Will my bite be corrected?

How long will the process take?

How much will it cost?

When it comes to getting braces, there are many things to consider.  Like, what kind of braces will you get? What will your orthodontist tell you about them? And, most importantly, are you sure you want to get them?

We're here to help answer all of those questions and more. We'll give you the low down on everything you need to know about getting braces.

 

What to expect?

First of all, Orthodontists are specialists in braces. They're the ones who perform the initial evaluation, planning, and treatment of braces. They also prescribe the braces and other gear, like retainers and elastic bands. Most orthodontists also provide the initial and ongoing care and maintenance of your braces and teeth. You will want to see an orthodontist for information and treatment planning for your smile.

We'll talk about your smile and address your concerns during this appointment at no cost to you. After taking X-rays and scans of your teeth, our doctors can determine what kind of braces you will most benefit from.

There are many types of braces. For example, traditional braces are metal brackets cemented to the tooth. The use of gentle force to cause movement over time. Braces have come a long way over the years and are no longer seen as the embarrassing rite of passage they once were.
In addition to metal braces, we also offer an option with clear top braces that help to minimize the look of braces.

The fastest-growing orthodontic option in recent years in our practice is Invisalign. Because Invisalign aligners are clear and virtually invisible, it not only looks great, but it is also an incredibly efficient way to get straight, straight teeth without bracing. It is a new, computer-based way to straighten your teeth. It is invisible, removable, and comfortable. Using advanced 3-D technology, Invisalign takes clear, personalized digital impressions of your teeth and uses those impressions to make custom-made aligners. The process is completely safe, comfortable, and discreet. Invisalign aligners are a clear, removable, and comfortable way to straighten your teeth. You wear them just like you would your regular teeth. During treatment, you wear them 22 hours each day. You can take them out to eat, brush your teeth, floss, and still have a beautiful smile.

How long will braces last?

The length of your treatment will depend on the treatment option your orthodontist recommends and the severity of the dental issues needing correction.
At Hester & Morris, the financial arrangements can be worked out once a treatment plan and length are determined. You can use dental insurance to help reduce the cost of treatment, but it is not at all required. Nor do you have to pay the entirety of your treatment fee at once. Our helpful Treatment Coordinators are experts at working numbers and payment plans to help make the investment as affordable as possible.
It's also helpful to have a dental checkup close to starting treatment so your dentist can check for any cavities or areas of concern that could delay getting your braces on. Pending dental work needs to be completed before starting orthodontics.

Will braces hurt?

Many people are concerned about the pain that may be involved with Invisalign or braces. While it varies from patient to patient, you can expect slight soreness the first two days after having braces on your teeth. It's OK to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with this discomfort. Eating softer foods will be helpful, too, until you get used to the feel of your new braces.

With Invisalign, discomfort can happen the first day of each new aligner, but if you keep them on your teeth and resist the temptation to remove them, it will soon get much better and more manageable.

Getting braces or Invisalign is a big deal. It is also a big commitment. It is often difficult to make financial and emotional investments, so we hope we have helped you know what to expect ahead!

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.

The ALMOST-RIGHT person vs. the DEFINITELY-RIGHT person…

July 7th, 2022

The ALMOST-RIGHT person vs. the DEFINITELY-RIGHT person…

If you had a puppy that needed grooming, would you take it to a hair salon? 

Of course not!

 You'd take your prized pooch to the groomers, an expert in caring for your pet's hair.

 

The same is true for your child and their smile. 

 

Orthodontists are dental specialists who are experts in the movement of teeth and jaws and are trained to give your child the best smile, making them the definitely-right person for orthodontic needs.

 

Both Dr. Hester and Morris have had over 11 years of orthodontic schooling and are experts in the care of teeth and jaws. In addition, both have a passion for orthodontics and are dedicated to providing the best orthodontic care for patients.

 

 With over 55 years of combined orthodontic experience, Dr. Hester and Dr. Morris are truly South Georgia’s best orthodontists!

 

Our team is always ready to answer any questions you may have about orthodontic care for you or your child. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. We look forward to meeting you and your family!

 

Trust your child's smile to a definitely-right person… an orthodontist!

3 Tips for Better Invisalign Compliance

June 29th, 2022

5 Tips for Better Invisalign Compliance

Invisalign aligners are invisible braces that come custom fit to your teeth. The Invisalign system allows you to continuously wear your removable "braces" for about 22 hours a day, which is why many people choose Invisalign over traditional braces. However, it's important to remember to wear your Invisalign braces every day for the entire duration of your treatment to get the best results.

If you don't wear your Invisalign the recommended amount of time each day, you will not get the best results. Wearing your aligners for the recommended time is essential for your Invisalign treatment. When you miss an appointment or don't wear your aligners for a day, your treatment is affected. For example, if you don't wear your Invisalign for a week, your teeth will move back to where they were before, which will cause your next set of aligners not to fit correctly. You should wear your Invisalign continuously for 22 hours a day. This means that you should wear your Invisalign braces while awake and sleeping and remove them only for eating and drinking or brushing your teeth.

It can be hard to get used to wearing your Invisalign, so we asked our patients what tips they had. Here is what we learned.

1. Stop snacking! We don't recommend that you eat with your liners in, as this can cause breakage and allow bacteria to form underneath your aligners. Water is OK, but we recommend taking your aligners out before enjoying other liquids. This sometimes means that people who snack a lot are constantly taking their aligners in and out. While occasionally, this is not a problem, all-day grazing can mean that you're not really wearing your aligners for as long as you think you are. For example, if you're taking your aligners out every two hours, you're not getting the optimal wear that comes from consistent use, which means you won't get optimal movement. Try to limit your snacking to specific times a day to have longer wear time in between meals and snacks.

2. Set Reminders. Some of our patients mentioned that it was beneficial for them at first to set a few reminders during today the day to hold them accountable for their aligner wear. Sometimes we forget to put aligners in after meals, but setting a reminder can help. Pretty soon, it will become a habit, we promise!

3. Take advantage of the DM App. Hester Morris Orthodontics is proud to offer weekly check-ins with our patients through the Dental Monitoring app on your smartphone. This is the additional way between appointments for us to check your consistency and alert you of any issues we see along the way. In addition, through the DM app, our team offers feedback on your progress which can be very helpful for compliance.

4. Use your chewies. Chewies are those little squishy packets that come with your initial Invisalign box and are used to help make sure that your aligners are seating correctly on your teeth. At the start of each new aligner, we recommend that you use chewies a few times during the day. The better your aligners fit, the more movement can be made. Some of our patients feel like it's chewing gum. You can do it easily while reading or watching TV. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for videos about chewies.

5. Keep your case with you... And get a backup! It can be hard to take your aligners in and out for meals when you're out and about, especially if you don't have a place to put them. So resist the urge to temporarily place your aligners in a napkin, which often leads to accidentally throwing your aligners away. Instead, we usually recommend having an aligner case for the house and an aligner case that stays with you on the go.

Invisalign is a great way to achieve the smile you've always wanted, but it won't work if you don't wear it the right way.

We hope these simple tips will help you stay motivated and remember that the result will be worth it... Your beautiful smile!

Which one of these tips would work best for you?

If you're interested in Invisalign treatment, we're here to help! So please send us a message, and let's get started.

[caption id="attachment_12" align="alignnone" width="200"]Local orthodontists in Valdosta, GA standing outside of their location. Dr. J Gregory Morris and Dr. Wayne Hester are here to help you live life smiling![/caption]

3 Reasons to Love Your Smile With Dental Monitoring

June 21st, 2022

Are you or your child looking to start treatment with Invisalign but finding it hard to say yes because of a busy schedule? Then, you’re in the right place – because we have a solution for you! Dental Monitoring is one of the latest technological advances in the Orthodontic field. Hester and Morris Orthodontics have used DM with our patients for over two years.

So what is Dental Monitoring?

Dental Monitoring is an app on your smartphone that we use to help check your Invisalign progress remotely. The patient simply takes a quick weekly scan using their cell phone camera and uploads it to the app. Then that scan is examined with a combination of AI technology and a Hester and Morris team member for correct aligner wear. If everything looks good, our team will follow up with you, letting you know that you’re ready to proceed with the next aligner.

Here are three reasons why our patients love Dental Monitoring:

1. Continual support from the Hester and Morris team.

Our Invisalign patients love hearing weekly updates from the office on their treatment. When you’re new to Invisalign, you want to ensure that you’re doing everything correctly, so having this weekly feedback assures the patient. It also makes communication to our office very convenient. All you have to do is message us through the app!

2. Convenience and flexibility.

We get it – people are busy! But, the great thing about Dental Monitoring for your Invisalign treatment is that you can be successful even with life on the go. Weekly scans can be done anywhere since most people always have their smartphones with them. Going on vacation? You don’t have to worry about missing an appointment or having to reschedule because you can capture your weekly scan at the moment that makes the most sense for you. Have a question about treatment? A quick message through the app, and our team is happy to help!

3. It teaches responsibility and accountability.

Do you have a teen in Invisalign? Not a problem! A great thing about the Dental Monitoring app is that it allows your teen to take more ownership of their aligner wear. Parents can be assured that we are checking behind their teens weekly, not only on the amount of time that the aligner is worn, but we’re also pointing out any problems that we see along the way. We can even communicate with you about wearing elastics and even check up on their oral hygiene. The overall results are successful treatment and time efficiency!

Sometimes people wonder if Dental Monitoring replaces in-office visits? At Hester Morris Orthodontics, we see Dental Monitoring as an additional way to provide the most inclusive patient care. But, of course, you still come into the office for visits, though not as often, because Invisalign treatment takes much less time than patients who have braces. But our patients are never on their own with her treatment, and we are here every step of the way!

If you’ve been thinking about starting treatment with Invisalign, but a busy life has been getting in the way – let us help you get started on that journey to a new smile! So give us a call today or click the link to schedule your consultation appointment and speak with our staff about how easy it can be to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

[caption id="attachment_80" align="alignnone" width="200"] Dental Monitoring is a tool we use to give our patients the best experience possible![/caption]

 

Is your smile summer ready?

May 24th, 2022

It’s selfie season!

Beach trips, vacations, family events, holidays, graduations, and weddings.

There are so many fun events you’ll be journeying to over the next few months, and it’s probably got you thinking about your smile…picture after picture being taken.

You’re just a few steps away from starting your journey to a perfect smile.

Here are 3 steps to help you get started:

  1. Call us!  Even though orthodontists are specialists in the dental field, you do not need a referral from your general dentist to schedule your first consultation with an orthodontic office.  Most of our new patients find us by word of mouth or social media.  So if you’re interested in an orthodontic consultation, all you have to do is call our office to schedule your first visit.
  1. Do a bit of research.  Our practice offers two ways to get our patients to their perfect smiles.  Invisalign and braces.    Braces are a more traditional route and what most people think of when you say “orthodontics”.  But do you know that Invisalign is quickly becoming the #1 choice of teens and adults when they go into orthodontic treatment?  Search around online and see what people are saying about Invisalign.  Our website also has some great content on Invisalign as well.
  1. Prepared to be amazed.  Our practice uses the most current digital scanning technology in orthodontics. This digital technology will create a simulated version of your teeth of how they will look at the end of treatment.  So even though your orthodontic treatment may take up to two years to complete, you’ll get a preview of the end results at your first visit!  It’s so motivating to see the changes that can be made with orthodontic treatment.

 

It really is exciting to start on a new journey and see the small changes in your smile week to week as you progress through your orthodontic treatment.  Yes, it takes time to get to the end, but it will be so worth it!  Ready to get started? We’re ready if you are…

How To Avoid The Summer Slump W/ Your Invisalign Treatment

May 17th, 2022

Finish strong!!!

Summer is coming, and with that is the opportunity to relax and let things slide a bit. Just make sure that when it comes to your smile, you don’t slack on those treatment goals! Here are a few ways to avoid the summer slump!
• Keep your scheduled appointments to keep your treatment time on track! For every missed or rescheduled appointment, you are delaying your completion date. Miss a few appointments, and you can soon find yourself several weeks and even months behind in your estimated treatment time!
• Stay consistent with your aligners and elastic wear! Set reminders if you have to!! Getting out of that school day routine can mean you're at home more and not always wearing your aligners or elastic bands for their recommended time each day.
• Sending us those weekly check-ins are SO important to your overall Invisalign success. We provide support when you need it… That’s why we’re here! In the event that we see something to be concerned about, we will let you know right away and try to prevent a problem from developing. Read more about our digital appointments here!

What are your tips for staying on track this Summer?

Your smile day is coming! It will be worth it in the end. So meanwhile... Stay Summer strong!

PC: Ava Rothrock courtesy of mom and Captured by Colson Photography.

Welcome to the H&M blog: Start here!

April 20th, 2022

Hello! Thanks for checking in with us on the blog!

Our goal is to provide information about our office and the treatments we offer. We will occasionally throw in posts containing tips and hacks for treatment success as well as fun stuff from the life of the H&M doctors and team.

Here's a little about us:

With a long-standing presence in our community for nearly 30 years, Hester and Morris Orthodontics have established a reputation for creating beautiful smiles and making things fun! Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. Greg Morris, along with their team pride themselves in their work, knowing it’s more than “just braces” rather, they are helping their patients achieve a greater sense of self-confidence. The desire to see patients “Live Life Smiling” goes beyond great patient care, but also into many areas of the community. And one of the most rewarding areas that the team gives back is through being a Community Partner in Education. As partners with both local school systems, as well as with schools in surrounding counties, Hester and Morris Orthodontics passionately invest their time and resources into seeing students succeed.

Be sure to stay up to date with going on in the office by following us on our social media platforms. You can find us on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest
  • And even TikTok!!

We hope that you will also check back here often during your Invisalign aligner or braces treatment and stay connected with us! We would love to hear from you, too!

orthodontic team smiles for the camera

Why Orthodontics Is A Game Changer

April 19th, 2022

Local orthodontists in Valdosta, GA standing outside of their location.

You’ve probably noticed that people who have great smiles often seem to be happier than those who don’t. But what you might not realize is that orthodontics can do even more than that – it can improve your life in ways you might not even realize. For example, orthodontics can improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on your relationships and your career. It can also improve your oral health, which has far-reaching health implications.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of orthodontics, though, is that it makes getting that beautiful smile much easier than it used to be. Invisalign is one of the most common forms of orthodontics, and it uses clear plastic aligners to help you straighten your teeth without any metal wires or brackets. Invisalign is a great option for people who want to get straight teeth but don’t want to wear metal braces every day. It’s also a great option for keeping your oral health in great condition because patients take aligners in and out for brushing and flossing. Parents of children also are choosing Invisalign because it means fewer trips to the orthodontist and no need for emergency visits, like so many of our patients with braces.
Our practice is fortunate to have one of the leading Invisalign providers in the state of Georgia, Dr. Greg Morris! In fact, Dr. Morris is the most experienced orthodontist in all of South Georgia when it comes to treating kids, teens, and adults with Invisalign. Of course, whether Invisalign or braces are recommended for you or your child, you can be assured that they will receive the highest quality of care with the most dedicated team. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!

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