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Holiday Season Smiles

December 20th, 2023

The Christmas season has a special magic that brings joy and happiness to people's lives. It could be the warmth of holiday lights, the excitement of exchanging gifts, or the anticipation of spending time with loved ones.

Smiling is important for our well-being and those around us. During the holiday season, it can be especially helpful to boost our mood and the mood of others. When we smile, our brain releases "feel-good" hormones called endorphins which make us feel happier. Smiling is also contagious and can brighten the day of those who may be feeling down or stressed.

So, let's make an effort to smile more often and spread positivity wherever we go!

The many traditions associated with Christmas, such as baking cookies, decorating the tree, or singing carols, make the season more enjoyable, especially when done with friends and family.

However, Christmas is not only about presents and parties but also about reflection and gratitude. It's a time to appreciate the blessings in our lives and help those who are less fortunate.

Many people volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate toys to a children's hospital to spread joy during the holidays. Our team participates in a Tree of Giving with our local schools to help provide gifts to deserving boys and girls.

A smile is a powerful tool that can brighten someone's day and spread joy during the holiday season. Whether you're posing for festive photos or simply enjoying the company of loved ones, a confident smile can help you feel more connected and uplifted.

Our team of smile experts is here to help you achieve the perfect smile so that you can fully enjoy all the magic that the holiday season has to offer. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation.

Holiday Time and Orthodontic Care

December 6th, 2023

Holiday Time and Orthodontic Care

The Holiday season is here, and it's a busy time for everyone.

Schedules change, vacations start, and everyday daily routines will be paused while you celebrate and visit with your loved ones.

It's sometimes too easy to get out of the habit of wearing your Invisalign aligners and orthodontic rubber bands, avoiding hard or sticky snacks, or keeping a twice-a-day brushing routine with so much going on.

Here are 3 tips you can use that will help keep you on track with orthodontic treatment during this fun and busy time of year.

1. Keep reminders around your home to wear aligners or rubber bands.

You can tape a bag of rubber bands or a bag of aligners to your bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, or even the bedroom door to remind you to put them back in after snacking or brushing. You can even make fun and creative notes to put up if you're spending time at another home or in a hotel room during vacations.

2. Prepare to have food and snacks that are braces-friendly.

There will be certain foods or snacks around during the holidays that are not recommended for patients with braces. It's hard to resist certain treats, we get it! But remember that loose braces will interrupt your orthodontic progress, causing your treatment time to take longer. It can also cause a lot of discomfort. Make sure to have easy access to soft snacks and break up other treats into smaller pieces to avoid popping your braces loose.

3. Set an alarm on your phone to brush at night.

Most of us get out of our everyday routines during the holidays, and it's a nice relief. But you don't want to get out of the routine of brushing your teeth every night. Going to bed later, or even sleeping in a different place can easily affect the normal habit of nighttime brushing. And all those yummy holiday snacks left on your teeth overnight will cause decay. So set a "brush teeth" alarm on your phone and commit yourself that you'll stop what you're doing to go brush when it goes off.

With all the hustle of the holidays and the change in daily routines, it's best to plan with these tips to keep yourself on track toward your beautiful new smile!

Invisalign Tips You Should Know About

November 21st, 2023

Invisalign is an excellent option for patients who want to straighten their teeth without the look and feel of traditional braces.

At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, we have seen a shift where teens and adults are interested in Invisalign treatment. We see Invisalign as a great alternative to traditional braces because it is easier to clean and maintain over braces. And you have fewer appointments than with braces.

Besides the convenience, patients love being able to freely eat foods they love because you remove the aligners to eat.

Here are a few things we've seen from Invisalign, and we want you to know whether you're considering Invisalign or have been wearing aligners for a while.

1. The first week is the hardest. You have to get used to the feeling of the aligners in your mouth. And for many patients, that first aligner is going to cause discomfort. Power through the pain, and you'll get used to the feel of Invisalign. We promise it gets better! Plan by taking Tylenol prior to your appointment. You may want to opt for soft foods for the first few days.

2. Buy a cheap nail file. Some weeks, the aligners may feel a little rough on the edges, which can irritate your gums and tongue. Use the nail file to smooth down the ragged edge of the aligner that is bothering you. If you have a rough edge on your aligner that can't be smoothed out with a nail file, we'll be happy to trim it down for you at the office.

3. Eat larger meals to prevent snacking. When you wear Invisalign, you must take them out to eat and drink anything. If you're a snacker, this can be a hard adjustment. Constantly taking your aligners out to eat will end up slowing your treatment. Remember that Invisalign is successful because you wear them full-time. You remove them to eat and to brush your teeth. The less amount of time they are out of your mouth, the faster you'll get the movement and results you want. Try eating more at mealtimes so you won't be tempted to snack in between.

4. Take your aligners out to brush your teeth; when you do, don't forget to brush your aligners, too! You should brush your aligners after each meal before you put them back in to prevent bacteria from building up. We know this isn't always ideal, so at least a quick rinse of your aligners before you put them back in helps!

5. Don't drink coffee or tea while wearing Invisalign. Coffee and tea can stain your aligners, and their sugars can also damage your teeth underneath the aligners. If you must, use a straw.

6. Take advantage of the technology that's been designed to help you! The Invisalign App is designed to help you stay on track with your aligner wear. There are also links for purchasing cool add-ons like colored cases and cleaning tools!

Our office is a proud participant in the Dental Monitoring program. This app gives you better access to our team and your treatment progress. You can also easily share your progress by scans with us with your very own ScanBox each week to help ensure your treatment is on track. If we see any issues, we can quickly address them to ensure your treatment is progressing as planned. That's a real person on the other end of your phone, by the way! Our Dental Monitoring Coordinator will happily answer any questions and help you get started!

We could add many other tips to this list, but we want to hear from you... What are your top tips for keeping your Invisalign treatment on track? Please leave a comment below and share it with us!

Traveling With Braces

November 7th, 2023

Thanksgiving is coming! While this means food, fun, and family, for some, this means hopping on a plane or piling up in the car for a long road trip.

Traveling with braces can be a unique challenge, especially during the holidays. Many people may be concerned about caring for their braces properly while on vacation or visiting loved ones.

Fortunately, with some planning and preparation, it is possible to enjoy your holiday travels without compromising the health or appearance of your braces.

In this blog, we will discuss some helpful tips and advice for traveling with braces so you can have a stress-free holiday season and maintain your beautiful smile.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are traveling with braces:

Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. Hester Morris

1. Tell your orthodontist you're planning to travel... Especially if it's for an extended amount of time. At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, we are glad to load you up with extra wax and elastics to take with you on your journey!

Our team can also advise you on what to do if your braces get damaged while you are away from the area. We want you to enjoy your travels and not worry about your braces.

2. Keep a check on your diet. If you are planning on traveling, there is a good chance that you will be eating out a lot more than you usually would, and especially at the Holidays, there are more gatherings and events that involve food.

We understand that it can be difficult to control food options at events. However, we kindly ask that you consider the well-being of your teeth and braces when selecting your food choices.

Please note that it's best to avoid hard or sticky foods and exercise caution when indulging in food that requires extensive chewing. We want you to enjoy your meals while taking good care of your braces. You've worked hard to make that progress and don't need any setbacks! Try eating food in smaller bites.

Don't worry; Turkey, Dressing, and Pumpkin Pie are all fine to eat!

3. Use your phone to check your teeth! This simple but oh-so-good hack can save you a lot of embarrassment around the dining table!

Since you are traveling, you may not have access to a mirror. But you do have your phone in your pocket or purse!

Use the selfie mode of your camera app for a quick check to ensure that your braces are clear of food. Thankfully, this can be done very discreetly!

4. Pack some trip-worthy smile accessories! You can find these at your local drugstore or even online.

* A travel toothbrush and floss w/ threader.

* A water bottle -- Collapsible ones are great for long trips.

* A proxy or "Christmas Tree" brush for getting in hard-to-reach places in your braces. Ask us for this!

* Nail clippers... Just in case you need to trim some wires because of breakage or pain while away from us! But hopefully not

Drs. Hester and Morris and our entire team want you to have a fun and safe Thanksgiving! If you have any questions regarding your treatment, please don't hesitate to call us or message us on social media. We are here for you!

When should my child visit the orthodontist?

October 18th, 2023

We are often asked, 'At what age should I bring my child in to be evaluated for braces?". We treat all ages: children, teens, and adults. But some indicators might help you decide whether your child is ready to visit our office.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children should be going to see an orthodontist around age 7.

Why is it important for kids to visit the Orthodontist at Age 7? At this age, Drs. Hester and Morris can conduct a thorough orthodontic evaluation, identify potential dental issues that may arise, and recommend appropriate solutions.

Because there is a mix of primary and permanent teeth in a child's mouth at this stage, the orthodontist can determine if there is or will be a need for early treatment. Early treatment may be recommended to avoid more invasive treatments in the future.

Even if early treatment is not indicated, the orthodontist can monitor the child to give you an estimation of when it will be time for braces or Invisalign. At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, we have a six-month check-up plan that continues to monitor your child's growth and development. These visits allow us to assess your child's bite and eruption patterns and determine the best time to begin treatment. This is done at no cost to the patient.

If you have questions about your child's development or if your child is having social concerns at school over their smile, please don't hesitate to call us. We are always here to help!

So what should parents look for in their child's smile? Here are a few common concerns that we see in our office:

1. Early or late loss of their baby teeth.

2. Mouth breathing.

3. Speech impediments due to teeth placement or jaw alignment.

4. Protruding upper front teeth that could risk injury to the child.

5. Difficulty chewing or biting. Including cheek biting.

6. Jaw clicking, popping, or pain.

7. Oral habits such as tongue thrusting or finger/thumb sucking.

8. Social concerns for the child include teasing or embarrassment due to their smile.

Patients do not require a dental referral to see an orthodontist.

However, with younger patients, your child's dentist is a great resource to help determine if a visit to the orthodontist is necessary.

There is no cost for our consultation appointments. We do everything at our office at your child's first visit to determine if your child is a candidate for treatment. We take X-ray panoramic images, photographs, and digital scans of their teeth and do a comprehensive exam. Parents are always invited to join us for the appointment; we encourage it!

After gathering all the information, the doctor will sit down with you to discuss the findings. If treatment is recommended, we will discuss the plan, financial options, and any treatment concerns you may have.

We treat younger patients with braces and Invisalign First at Hester and Morris Orthodontics. Treating your child with space maintainers or expanders may also be possible. The doctor will discuss all treatment options with you and your child.

If your child is not quite ready for treatment, we will give you an idea of what to expect when they are ready and will continue to monitor their growth and development. Having your child come to see us and become comfortable in our office is helpful.

Thank you for considering Hester and Morris Orthodontics for your child's smile needs! For more information on orthodontic treatment, please check out our website.

Straight Teeth & Health Smiles -- They go together!

October 3rd, 2023

Some people want a smile that looks good in photos, while others care only about the health of their smiles.

We care about both!

braces patient at a dental cleaning

Did you know that orthodontics helps to straighten or move your teeth to improve their appearance and function and keep them clean and healthy?

Evenly distributing pressure over your teeth helps maintain healthy teeth, gums, and joints in the long run. Plus, you'll love the cosmetic benefits of a great smile!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month. And while we love highlighting the importance of orthodontics and its benefits, we also know that a beautiful smile begins with a healthy mouth.

A healthy smile is more than just a cosmetic benefit; it can improve overall health and well-being. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to preventing gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

A healthy smile can also boost your self-confidence, making you feel more comfortable in social situations.

One of the most significant benefits of a healthy smile is the prevention of gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the tissues supporting your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, which can cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent gum disease and keep your teeth healthy. This is especially true when a patient has orthodontic treatment.

A healthy smile can also improve your digestion. Your mouth is the first step in the digestive process, and your teeth break down food before it enters your stomach.

If you have missing or damaged teeth, you may have trouble chewing your food, leading to digestive problems. By maintaining a healthy smile, you can ensure that your digestive system is working correctly.

Braces or Invisalign can be beneficial for individuals with very crowded teeth. Crowded teeth can contribute to more cavities. But straight teeth are easier to brush and floss. Bite issues are also corrected with orthodontic treatment.

In our office, we work closely with your family dentist to ensure your dental cleanings are up to date while wearing braces or Invisalign aligners.

In conclusion, a healthy smile is essential to your overall health and well-being. Good oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath while improving your digestion and self-confidence.

Taking great care of your smile is essential to that smile being healthy AND beautiful! Caring for your teeth allows you to enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile for years.

Orthodontics plays a crucial role in achieving a healthy and confident smile. Orthodontic treatment can improve oral health and self-esteem by addressing crooked or crowded teeth. With braces or Invisalign aligners, you can achieve a straighter smile that is easier to maintain through proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Let us know if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment! The Hester and Morris Team is always happy to discuss any of our services with you.

12 Reasons To Put a Smile on Your Face

September 20th, 2023

Smiling has a positive impact on our well-being and others. It can brighten someone's day and bring many benefits, whether a small grin or a full-blown smile. Let's explore why a smile is important and how it can make a difference in our lives.

There are numerous reasons why smiling is important, and here are twelve of them:

  1. Smiling can improve your mood and make you feel happier. When you smile, your brain releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins and serotonin.
  2. Smiling can reduce stress levels. It has been shown to lower cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
  3. Smiling can help you build stronger relationships. People are naturally drawn to those who smile and are likelier to approach and engage with them.
  4. Smiling can boost your immune system. When you smile, your body produces more white blood cells that help fight off illness.
  5. Smiling can make you look more attractive. It's a natural way to enhance your appearance and make you appear more approachable and friendly.
  6. Smiling can make you more confident. When you smile, you project positivity and confidence, which can help you feel more self-assured.
  7. Smiling is contagious. When you smile, others are likelier to smile back, creating a positive feedback loop.
  8. Smiling can help you appear more trustworthy. People are likelier to trust those who smile, as it conveys honesty and sincerity.
  9. Smiling can improve your communication skills. Smiling can help you convey friendliness, openness, and approachability, making it easier to connect with others.
  10. Smiling can help you cope with difficult situations. When you smile, you project a positive attitude, which can help you deal with stress and adversity.
  11. Smiling can improve your overall well-being. Smiling can boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your well-being.
  12. Smiling is free and easy! It doesn't cost anything to smile, and it's a simple way to improve your mood and spread positivity to those around you.

Dr. Hester and Dr. Morris are orthodontists in Valdosta who help patients feel more confident about their smiles. By correcting the alignment and appearance of their teeth, orthodontists can transform a person's smile and boost their self-esteem. We've been doing this for 35 years!

Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. Hester Morris

Whether it's through braces, Invisalign aligners, or other orthodontic treatments, Drs. Hester and Morris have the expertise to create beautiful smiles that radiate confidence.

Patients who receive orthodontic treatment often feel more confident in social situations and are satisfied with their overall appearance. So what are you waiting for? We'd love to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!

What NOT to do... With Invisalign!

August 22nd, 2023

Invisalign is a popular teeth-straightening treatment that uses clear, removable aligners. They are very popular in our office, and we love recommending Invisalign for our teen and adult patients to help them achieve their dream smiles.

If you're considering Invisalign, following your orthodontist's instructions closely is important for the best results. While the aligners are convenient and discreet, they require your careful attention.

Here's why: Your doctor provides specific instructions for your treatment plan, which you should follow closely to ensure the best possible outcome.

Disregarding their advice can lead to complications and lengthen your treatment time.

You've likely heard before that patients must wear their aligners full-time or at least 22 hours daily. This includes while you sleep and when you're at school or work.

But did you know that there are some other smaller things we recommend you do NOT do with Invisalign aligners? While these may seem minor, they can greatly impact your treatment.

So here are 4 things you should not do with your Invisalign aligners:

1. Don't wrap your Invisalign aligners in a Kleenex (or napkin)!!!

So many people forget their Invisalign aligners are in their napkins.

The problem is, when you do this, you may forget them on the table or someone else may take your aligners, thinking it's trash, and throw them away.

Put them in their case. Keep a back up if you have to!

This is actually a really big and common problem. We see it all the time.

2. Don't put your aligners in your pocket!!!

Along the same lines, don't leave aligners in your pocket. Doing so can cause them to break or get damaged; they could even fall out of your pocket and be lost.

We have found lost aligners in parking lots many times.

3. Don't eat candy or any foods when you're aligners are in!

While we want you to wear your aligners as much as possible, you should not eat food or candy while wearing them. Take out your Invisalign to enjoy a snack or a meal.

Eating food with aligners can bend or break the plastic in the aligners, making them not fit as they should. Which means a longer time overall.

4. Don't drink coffee or sugary drinks with your aligners in!

While Invisalign aligners are designed to fit snuggly around your teeth, sugary drinks can get trapped underneath the aligners and can cause tooth decay.

And who wants a mouth full of cavities?

Water is the best option for drinking when you have your aligners in. But if you must drink something else, we recommend you use a straw. And then rinse your mouth out with water after you drink.

These are just a few simple things we hope you will avoid while you're wearing your Invisalign aligners.

If you happen to have any concerns or questions regarding your Invisalign treatment, please feel free to reach out to our office. We're always here to help and provide any assistance you may need.

We take pride in aiding you throughout your treatment!

3 Reasons Why We Love Invisalign!

August 8th, 2023

Orthodontic treatments have come a long way in recent years, with several options available to patients who want to improve their smiles. Both options are effective and have advantages, and at Hester and Morris Orthodontics, we can help you decide which is best for your individual needs.

However, in a few key areas, Invisalign sets itself apart from traditional braces because of the benefits they provide.

Here are 3 things we love about Invisalign.

1. The look of Invisalign.

For one thing, Invisalign aligners are clear, making them virtually invisible and allowing patients to straighten their teeth without feeling self-conscious.

Not everyone wants to be seen in braces, so this is an excellent option for them. Many young adults are also choosing Invisalign due to their professional appearance.

They can straighten their teeth without the stigma of metal braces.

Teenagers also choose Invisalign because they like the look of a more natural smile.

For numerous teenagers involved in cheerleading, modeling, or pageants, possessing a stunning smile is a significant aspect of their self-assurance and individuality.

And with proms and homecomings quickly approaching, there are many photo opportunities in which braces might be seen. But not with Invisalign.

2. The dental benefits of Invisalign.

Another thing we love is that Invisalign aligners can be removed for cleaning, making them a more convenient option for many patients.

Patients with braces must adhere to a specific brushing routine to ensure that their teeth and gums remain healthy.

Even with brushing and flossing, some patients with braces can still have issues with decalcifications and cavities. The brackets and wires can make it difficult to get to certain areas of the mouth. Often patients with braces must go to the dentist more frequently to have their teeth cleaned and cavities treated.

The benefit of Invisalign is that patients can take them out for brushing and flossing because they are removable. This is a big advantage over traditional braces.

The dental hygienist also usually likes to see patients with Invisalign for the same reasons. Maintaining a clean mouth with Invisalign is easier, so there is a better chance for fewer cavities!

3. The eating is better with Invisalign.

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners allow patients to enjoy their favorite foods without limitations or restrictions.

This is because the aligners can be removed before meals and put back in once the meal is finished.

For patients with braces, sticky, hard, or chewy foods are off-limits during treatment.

With Invisalign, there are no such restrictions, which can make the treatment process much less restrictive and more enjoyable.

And with Invisalign, there are no wires or brackets to pop off because of the patient's food choices. So bring on all of the Takis, the Skittles, and the chicken wings!

These are just three reasons why we love Invisalign at our office. If you would like to learn more, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, don't hesitate to get in touch with our office today.

We'd love to help you get started with Invisalign!

Is it possible to recycle Invisalign® aligners?

June 20th, 2023

recycling bins of different colors

“Look after the land and the land will look after you, destroy the land and it will destroy you.” —Aboriginal Prover

Recycling is becoming more important in our world today as we seek to reduce waste and increase sustainability.

With the growing concern for the environment, it is no surprise that people are interested in finding new ways to recycle and reuse materials.

Whether through traditional recycling methods or innovative ideas such as recycling Invisalign materials, we can all do our part to make a difference.

Due to the increasing worry about the environment, numerous individuals seek methods to diminish waste and contribute to improving the environment.

The Hester and Morris Team is committed to helping in this endeavor. That's why we are excited to announce that we are partnering with a recycling program called Terracycle.

TerraCycle is a company that specializes in recycling hard-to-recycle materials. With their help, Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, is working with TerraCycle to recycle the specially made SmartTrack ® Invisalign material.

As you know, the plastic of Invisalign is different than the regular plastic or even of other clear aligners. That's one of the ways Invisalign is set apart. Previously we could not recycle the Invisalign and advised patients to throw old aligners in the trash.

With this new partnership with TerraCycle, our patients can recycle their old aligners and help the environment simply by bringing them to the office.

TerraCycle can recycle both the aligners and the little bags they come in.

Just bring them into our office any time you're close by or at your next appointment and put them into the recycling bin. We'll take care of the rest.

As a reminder, we always encourage our patients to keep their previous set of aligners to use as a backup in case an aligner doesn't fit or gets lost. This advice does not change with this new recycling program.

At this time, the Invisalign boxes or cases are not accepted.

We're excited to be able to offer this recycling program! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out by phone or email.

Get ready to save your smile AND the environment!
Live Life Smiling!

Your Invisalign Questions, Answered!

March 13th, 2023

Are you considering Invisalign? If so, you're on the right track.

Outside scene with woman holding out Invisalign Aligner

Congrats on taking steps to improve your smile! If you're new to Invisalign, it's important to know that the aligners are made of BPA-free clear plastic, which makes them virtually invisible. They work by shifting your teeth into their desired position gradually and comfortably.

Whether you're a teen or a parent researching Invisalign aligners, you should know a few things before starting your smile journey. In this post, we will answer 10 of the most asked questions asked when considering diving into Invisalign. Let's get started.

Is it painful to wear Invisalign?

If you're thinking about getting Invisalign aligners, one thing to remember is that they require some discipline to wear. Additionally, be prepared for some discomfort or soreness as your teeth adjust to the aligners. This is normal and should go away after the first day or two. It's also normal for some patients not to experience any discomfort or soreness at all. It may help to change your aligners at nighttime so that you sleep in them when they are the hardest to get used to. But always ask and follow your orthodontist's instructions.

How often should I wear them?

Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on how to wear your new aligners and how often to switch them out for new ones. Generally, you will need to wear your aligners full-time. While they are removable, you must wear them for 22 hours daily to achieve the desired results. If you don't wear them for the optimal time, you won't get the desired results. At Hester and Morris, most of our Invisalign patients wear their aligners for one week at a time and then switch them out for the next set of aligners. The average length of treatment for Invisalign is 12-24 months.

Will I have a lisp with Invisalign?

The plastic material used for Invisalign is very thin, and so many patients do not experience a lisp. It can be temporary; as your tongue gets used to the aligners, any lisp will disappear.

Can I drink coffee and tea while having Invisalign on? Water is the best option for drinking while having Invisalign in your mouth. Coffee and teas can stain your aligners and teeth, so removing the aligners when you drink them is best.

What is IPR, and is it necessary?

IPR stands for Interproximal Reduction. Sometimes when you have Invisalign, and mainly when you have crowded teeth, this method is used to help create tiny spaces between your teeth so that your teeth can shift more quickly and ultimately into the proper position. It's not done in every treatment case; when it is done, it is for a specific reason. Ex. To eliminate dark triangles in the smile.

What if I lose an aligner?

Hopefully, you will not lose any of your Invisalign aligners, but occasionally it happens. If you happen to lose one of your aligners, contact our office for instructions. Most of the time, you may be able to progress on to the next set of aligners, but since each treatment case is unique, it's best to let us know what's happening so we can advise you accordingly. We also recommend keeping your last set of previously worn aligners in case you need to return to them temporarily. We would hate for you to lose any progress!

How do I keep my aligners safe?

The best way to keep your Invisalign safe is by keeping them in their case or your mouth! Never, never, never wrap your aligners in a napkin or leave them out. Someone could very quickly come along and throw them away accidentally. Also, be sure to keep your aligners in a safe place when you are not wearing them, where pets cannot reach them. Our aligners smell like us, which attracts pets to them and can lead to the loss of your aligners! In our Valdosta, GA, orthodontic office, we often suggest patients have a backup case for their backpacks.

What are attachments, and why do I need them?

Invisalign are aligners that you place on your teeth, and to help the aligners fit as snugly as possible, attachments are added to specific teeth. They are clear and bonded when you get your aligners. This gives the aligners extra leverage in moving your teeth.

How should I clean my aligners?

When it comes to cleaning your aligners, nothing fancy is required. A good old toothbrush and toothpaste will work just fine. If you want to take it a step further, try using an Invisalign cleaner like the cleaning crystals that come with your Invisalign starter kit. This will remove all the bacteria from the aligners and keep them fresh and clean.

What happens after my Invisalign treatment is finished?

After your Invisalign treatment is finished, you'll want to keep and maintain that beautiful smile with a retainer. Retainers are used to hold the teeth in their new positions, so they do not shift. At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, our Invisalign patients are now being given a Vivera retainer to wear after treatment to hold their teeth in place. Vivera is the next generation of retainers, made by the same company that makes Invisalign.

Invisalign is an excellent treatment option if you want a straighter smile. Read more about why we think Invisalign is the clear winner here! Dr. Morris is South Georgia's premier Invisalign provider. His experience and commitment to superior patient care will ensure that you or your child will receive the highest quality orthodontic treatment with the convenience of Invisalign and the confidence that comes from knowing you are in the trusted hands of an orthodontic expert.

Photo of Dr. James Gregory Morris
Dr. James Gregory Morris

5 Reasons to love your smile!

February 23rd, 2023

A smile. Everyone has one! And it's a great way to show your personality.

At Hester & Morris Orthodontics, we believe in the power of smiles and strive to help patients of all ages achieve a more beautiful, confident smile that they will love!

orthodontic team smiles for the camera
Our team is here the help you love your smile!

Because February is National Children's Dental Health Month and LOVE month -- we've put together five reasons to love your smile this month and all year long!

1. Smiles are contagious!

Smiles are hard to resist and easy to give. When you smile at someone, they will likely smile back at you. It's a universal language that doesn't need words. Who will you share your smile with this week?

2. Smiles can make you look younger!

Give yourself an automatic "facelift" by smiling more often. Smiling can increase cortisol levels while reducing your blood pressure. And as the old saying goes, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile! So smile more often, and you may be able to slow down the aging process!

3. Smiles are a great way to express yourself!

You look more approachable and confident when you're smiling. Smiles that lead to laughter show you as fun and humorous. Smiles can show you're friendly and can offer encouragement to others when needed.

4. Smiles can help you feel better about yourself!

Smiling is a mood booster that can make you feel better about yourself. The more you smile, the more you'll begin to see yourself as the happy person you are. Not only does smiling make you feel better physically, but it can also make you feel better mentally. It's hard to be in a bad mood when you're smiling! One of the most significant benefits of orthodontics is the self-esteem that comes with a great-looking smile!

We really have the best job!

5. Smiles can be a great way to connect with others!

Show people, you are interested in them by smiling. Smiling shows you're friendly and can help them feel more comfortable around you. Your smile can make a huge difference in how people see you and respond to you. Imagine being in a room full of people and not smiling at anyone. That's not an excellent way to make friends! Be the person who is always smiling, and you will attract the right kind of attention.

What other reasons can you think of to love your smile? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you want to love your smile a little bit more, we can help! Call us at 229-245-1800 or click here to schedule an appointment to see about braces or Invisalign aligners.

Live Life Smiling!

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

Cookies

Chocolate Bars

Cheese-its

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!

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.

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!

Two Invisalign Tips for teens that will help make Invisalign successful: ???

July 11th, 2022

Two Invisalign Tips for teens that will help make Invisalign successful: ???

 

☑️ Use your chewies!

 

Every time you change your Invisalign aligners, use the chewies we provide to help make sure your aligners are seating over the teeth the very best they can, making for more efficient movements. 

 

Aligner feeling a bit tight after slacking on wear time? USE YOUR CHEWIES!

 

☑️ Don‘t take out your aligners!

 

Those first few hours of a new set of aligners can cause slight discomfort, and it's tempting to just take them out until "later". 

 

However, constant snacking and gum chewing can cause patients not to get the amount of wear time needed for the most successful results.

 

 Teen hack: Some patients find it easier to leave them in, even while eating.

 

If you follow these tips, you will be on your way to a successful experience with Invisalign! Let us know how we can help, by sending us an email or reaching out over social media!

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]

 

22 Reasons to Smile

June 13th, 2022

22 Reasons to Smile

It’s an instant mood brightener.

It shows you to be a friendly person!

Makes a great first impression.

It increases your face value – thanks, Dolly!

Because they are contagious.

It’s free!

It may help somebody feel better!

They offer reassurance to those around you.

Smiles make you feel confident even if you’re faking it.

Smiling makes you look confident.

They are the gateway to a burst of laughter.

They communicate without saying a word.

Makes you look great in photos!

Smiles are known to relieve stress.

Can lower your blood pressure.

Can boost your immune system by releasing endorphins.

Makes you more attractive.

Makes you look younger.

Makes you seem more successful.

Smiling can increase your energy

Smiling helps you earn more money.

Smiling takes fewer muscles than frowning!

Anything we overlooked? Share your reasons to smile below!

Why Summertime is a great time to start orthodontic treatment!

June 9th, 2022

[caption id="attachment_68" align="alignnone" width="200"] Beautiful summertime smiles thanks to Hester & Morris![/caption]

The weather is warm and school is out… summer is here!

Most people automatically think of vacations and activities to keep the kiddos busy, but in the middle of all the fun is the best opportunity in the entire year for kids and teens to begin their braces or Invisalign journey.

Here’s why:

Scheduling is easy!

Summer brings a more relaxed routine for many families with breaks from sports and activities, AND SCHOOL - which frees parents up for making needed appointments.

Time to get used to the process!

Starting with braces over the summer means your child or teen will have those first couple of weeks to get comfortable with the look and feel of brackets. Summertime also gives them the extra time needed to get good at knowing which foods to avoid before heading back to the cafeteria.

Invisalign takes a few weeks from scan to delivery since each set of aligners is custom-designed by our doctors to your child’s unique treatment goals (thank you, 3D technology!!). Starting early in the summer gives your teen a chance to get into a good aligner-wear routine, which will set them up for the best possible outcome overall.

Start the new school year, with a smile!

We know you love taking the first day of school pics of your kids! What better way to capture their smile progress as well than to show off their cute brace faces or cool aligner cases. Consider it dual milestones for you to look back on!

While it’s always a great time for children and teens to begin with Invisalign or braces, we think summertime is the best time! Watch their confidence soar as they prepare for the next school year with their daily improving smile!

What time of year did your child begin their smile journey? Share your experiences!

2022 SMILE Award Recipients

June 6th, 2022

2022 SMILE Award Recipients

Every spring the Hester and Morris team has been partnering with the area middle schools to give out an award for leadership.

We called this the SMILE Award which stands for shine, motivate, inspire, lead and excel -- all wonderful qualities that truly make others around them smile.

The schools select the individual and our office prepares a plaque and rewards the recipient with a $100 cash prize. The recipients do not have to be patients of Hester Morris Orthodontics, but we have been so pleased to see that many of them often are!

We are so very proud to be able to partner with our local schools and reward these deserving students who serve others so well. Congratulations to the 2022 SMILE Award recipients.

Lanier County Middle School: Drashti Patel
Valdosta Middle School: Angel Sheffield
Hahira Middle School: Mallory Rogers
Berrien County Middle School:
6th Emery Lane
7th Brandon Jones
8th Eric Martinez
Pine Grove Middle School: Yuka Bass
Lowndes Middle School: Emily Kate Hiers
Newbern Middle School: Wanda Waldon

Celebrating the Class of 2022

June 3rd, 2022

“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.”
—Nora Ephron

Today we are sharing something fun we recently were able to participate in!

While we always LOVE to celebrate the current and past patients who are Graduating high school, this year was EXTRA special for our team.

It's been over a decade since anyone on our team has had a graduating senior. But in 2022 we had FOUR! Four seniors have parents on staff in our office. Plus, Dr. Morris had one son "graduating" from Crossroads Baptist School and their youngest was graduating from Kindergarten. Needless to say, there was quite a lot of graduation talk in the office.

To mark this special moment  & the smiles in our office life, we had a special little photo session with Lindsay Colson of Captured by Colson Photography! It was so much fun and almost all of our students were able to attend. In addition to the two little ones from Crossroads, our photos had seniors representing Georgia Christian School, Lowndes High School, and Lanier County High School.

It was a great time to see one another outside of the office, to celebrate the graduates, and to work with Lindsay -- She's awesome! Even Dr. M got in on the action!

We hope you enjoy this peek! We are incredibly proud of these graduates and the entire Class of 2022! Congratulations -- Keep Smiling!

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…

A School Surprise For Mom!

May 20th, 2022

The Hester and Morris Team recently held a contest in the office in honor of Mother's Day. Patients were able to nominate their moms via a Google Form to have a chance to win a bouquet of flowers and a Visa gift card in the amount of $100.

We've been really looking forward to having contests back in the orthodontic office again, and with our lobby back open full time, we knew this was the perfect event to start with. We LOVE moms! Our team received close to 50 nominations, with patients answering why they love their mom. There were so so so many wonderful entries, and they made us smile to read! Our selection team narrowed down the entries and then a winner was selected by our Professional Relations Coordinator. It was so hard to choose!

The most fun part about this contest was that we were able to surprise the winning mother at work! Mrs. Quita Jones was nominated by her son Nicolas, and he spoke of her as being a great listener and was good at allowing him to express his feelings without the fear of judgment... Did we mention that this mom is a Guidance Counselor? Once we realized where mom worked, we contacted Lowndes Middle School and they were so excited to have us come out to award her in person! In fact, they got the students and other administrators involved as well. We were able to talk over the loudspeaker and share with everyone about our contest and her son's entry. Mrs. Jones was hard at work that day leading a stress management event with students and truly had no idea about any of the plans... A true surprise.

Thank you to everyone who sent in nominations. You ALL make us smile! Be sure to check out our Father's Day Contest in the office during the month of June!

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.

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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