braces

Three Steps To Take Before Starting Orthodontics

February 6th, 2024

Three Steps to Take Before Starting Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment can be an exciting step towards achieving the smile you've always dreamed of! A new smile creates confidence and can help people feel better about presenting themselves. However, preparing yourself adequately is essential before you embark on this journey. Here are three vital steps you should take before starting your orthodontic journey.

clinical chair at Hester and Morris Orthodontics

1. Comprehensive Dental Check-Up

Before starting any orthodontic treatment, ensuring your oral health is in tip-top condition is crucial. This involves a comprehensive dental check-up to identify potential issues that may interfere with orthodontic procedures. Our office checks with your dental provider for any concerns we should watch out for. Your dentist will check for cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems that should be addressed beforehand. For instance, tooth decay and gum disease can slow orthodontic processes, which means more extended time in braces! Patients must also continue to see their dentist for routine cleanings while in braces or Invisalign. That partnership between the dentist and orthodontist is essential for giving you straight teeth and a healthy smile.

2. Understand Your Treatment Options

Orthodontics has evolved significantly over the years, and a vast range of treatment options are available. Each has pros and cons, from traditional braces to Invisalign and ceramic braces. Before starting your treatment, take time to understand these options. Discuss each treatment type's cost, duration, aesthetic concerns, and maintenance with your orthodontic team. By doing so, you will make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and preferences. At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, all of our new patients receive a complimentary consultation, which is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your treatment options. It’s important to us that you feel confident and comfortable!

3. Planning Your Budget

Orthodontic treatment can be quite an investment. After all, a smile can last you a lifetime! Therefore, it's essential to understand the financial implications before starting your treatment. Our practice offers flexible payment plans to help spread the cost. It's also essential to check what your dental insurance covers and what you'll be expected to pay out-of-pocket. Our new patient team will happily verify this information for you before your first appointment.  A well-planned budget will ensure that your orthodontic journey is smooth and stress-free. Our financial team works closely with patients to ensure they can afford their needed treatment.

To sum up, getting ready for orthodontic treatment is more than just deciding to enhance your smile. It involves a thorough dental examination, familiarizing yourself with the available treatment options, and budget planning. By taking these steps, you can ensure a successful treatment outcome and make your orthodontic journey a smooth and confident one.

Setting up a no-cost consultation with the Hester and Morris Orthodontics team is easy! Call our office at (229)245-1800 to schedule your appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Your Smile Matters: Understanding the Importance

January 9th, 2024

Pretty girl with beautiful confident smile.

Ever thought about the power of a radiant smile?

It's more than just a curve that sets everything straight. A dazzling smile can do wonders for your health and life in more ways than one.

In this new year, you can decide to improve your smile and Hester & Morris Orthodontics is here to help! We're big believers in the importance of beautiful, healthy smiles. The confidence displayed by patients during Invisalign or braces treatment is inspiring.

Here are 12 compelling reasons why investing in a beautiful smile is worth it:

  1. The Confidence Booster: Picture this: You're about to step into a new challenge, and you're armed with a stunning smile. That's an instant confidence booster right there, prepping you to take on the world!
  2. The Attraction Magnet: Who can resist a charming smile? It's a surefire way to make you irresistible, amplifying your magnetism in both social and professional arenas.
  3. The Mood Lifter: Did you know? Smiling triggers a rush of feel-good endorphins, instantly lifting your mood and zapping stress away.
  4. The Communication Enhancer: A beaming smile is like a universal language of friendliness. It breaks barriers, making it more straightforward to connect and communicate with others.
  5. The Success Symbol: A radiant smile is often seen as a sign of success and achievement. It's like wearing your accomplishments on your face, making you all the more appealing to potential employers or clients.
  6. The Oral Health Champion: Striving for a beautiful smile means taking good care of your teeth and gums. That's a direct ticket to improved oral health and fewer dental issues in the future.
  7. The Longevity Booster: Believe it or not, research suggests people who smile more often tend to live longer. So, flash that beautiful smile and add years to your life!
  8. The Immunity Fortifier: Here's a fun fact: Smiling can boost your immune system by ramping up the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
  9. The Natural Painkiller: Thanks to the endorphins released while smiling, it can act as a natural painkiller, easing pain and discomfort.
  10. The Brain Booster: Smiling doesn't just make us feel good; it can also sharpen our minds and improve our brain function.
  11. The Positive Energy Attractor: A radiant smile is a magnet for positive vibes. It can help you manifest your goals and desires by attracting the right energy.
  12. The Relationship Builder: A beautiful smile can work wonders in improving your relationships. It's a universal symbol of warmth and affection, strengthening bonds with loved ones.

In a nutshell, a beautiful smile is a powerful tool with countless benefits. Investing in your oral health earns you a stunning smile and opens up a world of benefits that might surprise you.

Going to the dentist ensures that your smile stays healthy! Our orthodontic team can help you improve the way your teeth and jaws fit together, giving you that beautiful smile you've always wanted.

Let 2024 be the year you get your confidence back! Reach out to us here to start your smile journey!

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!

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!

The First Week Of Braces

September 6th, 2023

Getting orthodontic braces can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking time! There are a lot of questions that come up as you prepare to begin your smile journey.

But no worries... The Hester & Morris Team is here to help you navigate the process of getting braces!

We have compiled a list of tips to help you prepare for your first day of braces and what to expect that first week of treatment.

1. Ask a lot of questions.

The first visit in our practice is with one of our Treatment Coordinators, and it is their job to make sure you are as comfortable and knowledgeable with your treatment plan as possible.

They will take a lot of time to explain the process, answer any questions you may have, and also make sure you clearly understand what to expect as you go through braces. But you must ask questions too!

You may be thinking of something the Treatment Coordinator may not have thought of to cover, so don't hesitate to ask.

Same for when you are getting your braces- the staff at Hester & Morris is here to help you get the most out of your orthodontic treatment! We want you to feel comfortable and confident with us to ask questions and understand what's going on.

We'll also send you home with instructions and a list of foods to avoid. Following those instructions closely is important to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment.

2. Take a pre-braces selfie!

Braces will change your smile, so why not document this amazing moment with a photo before the braces are on? We want you to take a selfie of yourself with your new smile, too, with the braces!

Not only will you want to remember this moment, but it is also a great way of tracking your progress as your teeth move. We can't wait to see your smile!

3. You may want to bring chapstick!

Getting braces on is pretty quick, but it can be uncomfortable as they need to stretch your mouth and cheeks a bit. All that extra air can chap your lips and cause dryness.

Your lips may be slightly dry as they adjust in the following days. If you don't have chapstick on hand, we'll gladly provide you with some.

4. You're most likely going to be sore!

It varies for most people, but braces can be uncomfortable for a few days after they are on. It's important to remember that braces are moving your teeth, and that's a good thing!

Your mouth will get used to them in a few days, but you may want to take it easy at first. Stick to eating soft foods to keep your mouth comfortable, and avoid foods that need a lot of chewing.

You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever if you need it.

5. You're gonna need wax!

As your lips and the insides of your cheeks get used to the feel of your new braces, your mouth will likely have sore spots. This is where the wax comes in!

You can apply some wax to your braces to ease the discomfort. We have wax that we will give you, and most stores carry wax in the dental care aisle.

If you have mouth sores, we also recommend swishing with warm salt water to help promote healing.

Overall, the first week of braces can be an adjustment period, but it's important to remember that it's temporary. Your mouth will adapt to the braces, and discomfort will lessen over time.

Just be patient, follow the guidelines provided by your orthodontist, and soon you'll be on your way to a beautiful, straight smile!

If you have any questions about your treatment, our team is here to help! Call us at (229)245-1800 or send us a message through the chat!

Back-to-school Braces Tips

July 19th, 2023

It's that time again!

As the new school year approaches, parents of children with braces have an extra reason to feel the back-to-school jitters.

Fear not, dear parents; we have your back!

This blog post is packed with practical tips and helpful advice to ensure a smooth transition to school life while keeping those braces-wearing kiddos in tip-top shape. Stay tuned as we delve into the world of orthodontic care for students, making this school year one to remember!

As a parent of a child with Invisalign or orthodontic braces, you know the unique challenges and concerns that come with it.

With the school year in full view, planning braces-friendly and appealing meals for your child can be overwhelming. However, rest assured that with some creativity and planning, you can pack delicious and healthy lunches for your child to take to school. One easy option is to switch out hard, crunchy snacks for softer alternatives like sliced fruit, cheese or yogurt. Additionally, meal prep can go a long way in ensuring that your child has access to braces-friendly meals throughout the week.

Heading back to school can be a busy time for families in so many ways, but it's important to remember to prioritize braces or Invisalign care during this transition.

One helpful tip is to ensure your child has a braces care kit in their backpack, complete with a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Encourage your child to use this kit after lunch or snacks to keep their teeth clean and free of food particles.

Many parents send a second backup Invisalign case in the lunchbox to make sure aligners are never stored in a napkin and thrown out!

Another useful strategy is to talk to your child's teacher about their braces and concerns.

If your child is involved in sports, it's important to consider how their braces might affect their safety during games and practices.

One solution to this concern is to have your child wear an orthodontic mouthguard. A properly fitted mouth guard can protect your child's braces and teeth from potential injuries while playing sports. Talk to our Valdosta, GA office about getting a custom-fit mouthguard designed for braces.

Sending your child off to school with a confident and healthy smile is important to overall well-being. At Hester & Morris Orthodontics, we understand the importance of a beautiful smile and offer a variety of treatment options to help achieve one. From traditional braces to Invisalign, our orthodontic specialists work with families to create the perfect treatment plan for each patient. By prioritizing your child's braces or Invisalign care, they can return to school with a beautiful smile that will inspire confidence and success throughout the year.

We can help your child can feel proud to show off their Hester & Morris Orthodontics smile in the classroom and beyond! Email us here or call (229)245-1800 to schedule a consultation with our orthodontic office.

Chicken Nuggets & Braces

July 5th, 2023

Braces can be a major adjustment for anyone, especially when it comes to diet. Many orthodontists recommend avoiding hard, chewy, or sticky foods to prevent broken brackets. However, one common favorite among all ages is chicken nuggets. But can people with braces still indulge in these crispy, breaded delights?

In this blog, we will look at a few of our favorite chicken nuggets from area restaurants and see how they fare in the world of braces.

Generally, chicken nuggets are good food for patients with braces. But which ones are considered the best for braces? We recently went around town buying up chicken nuggets (for science!), and we found that some are more suitable than others when you have braces.

The restaurants we visited include Wendy's, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, Zacadoo's, and Mcdonald's. We bought these nuggets from each restaurant and brought them back to test on our own braces model.

We decided not to include chicken strips in our test because we feel chicken strips are entirely something else. Still delicious, just not nugs!

And please remember that this is strictly based on crunchiness and toughness, not taste.

Here are our findings:

1. Wendy's Chicken Nuggets

These are the middle of the road in our braces test. The soft interior makes it very easy to eat, but depending on the crunchiness of the outside, it could be difficult to bite into. Side note: Not good cold. They became tough and dry.

2. Chick-fil-a Chicken Nuggets

The Lord's Chicken Nuggets are some of the most popular in our area, so we had high hopes for them. And we were not disappointed. These nuggets were tender and juicy and had a light batter on the outside, making them easy to bite into, even with brackets. The only thing to watch for may be the denseness of the chicken itself since it's real chicken breast.

3. Sonic Drive-In Chicken Nuggets... AKA Popcorn Chicken

So while technically not a chicken nugget, these small bite-sized chicken pieces were their equivalent. Unfortunately, these did not fare well in our braces test, and we recommend caution with these while you have braces on your teeth. Or better yet, avoid them altogether and opt for other options at Sonic to prevent possible bent wires or broken brackets. We love their burgers and tots! And their milkshakes!

4. Zacadoo's Chicken Nuggets

This is a local place in our area, and it's well-known for its chicken fingers. On the day we tried them, they were overcooked and chewy, making them difficult for the braces model to bite into. The batter was much too hard to eat without possibly bending wires or breaking off brackets. Maybe these would be a good option on a better day, but we can't recommend them for our test.

5. McDonald's Chicken Nuggets

The classic! These are the nuggets that started it all, the ones we all grew up on. McDonald's chicken nuggets are known for their crispy coating, but our study found that the ones we received were surprisingly easy to bite into and even easier to eat. The coating was not too hard and would not be a problem to eat with braces on, as long as the nuggets were not too old or overcooked.

Mostly, all chicken nuggets are the same, a great food option for patients with braces. While we recommend avoiding popcorn chicken varieties due to the extreme crispness and chewiness, the classic nuggets are a great choice! Just be mindful of how your nuggets are prepared, and always be careful eating nuggets with extra heavy coating or breading. Also, watch out for overcooked nuggets, as these can be harder to bite into.

And as always -- Don't forget to brush your teeth!

So... Which is your favorite chicken nugget? Let us know in the comments below!

Pass the sauce and happy eating!

Making The Switch: From Invisalign to Braces

April 25th, 2023

Blog title graphic that reads, "Making the switch from Invisalign to Braces"

If you're in treatment with Invisalign and wonder if switching to braces would be easier, this post is for you!  Let's talk!

Requests to switch to braces often come from the frustrated parents of a child that is in Invisalign treatment and just not wearing the aligners as they should. Some adult patients ask to switch because they don't think they have what it takes to wear their aligners full-time.

But, we here at Hester & Morris Orthodontics have done our homework and are prepared to help parents and patients decide if switching to braces is right for them.

We're going to answer two questions:

Can I switch to braces?

And Should I switch to braces?

Orthodontic treatment, whether Invisalign or braces, requires new habits and some specific lifestyle changes from our patients. 

Mostly, these new habits and lifestyle changes are not disruptive to normal everyday life.  It's a lot like making new choices to support a healthier body.  You add in the new habits to create the new you!

Can I switch to braces?

Yes.  The most significant requirement that must be met before switching to braces is to have excellent oral hygiene. 

You have to brush at least twice a day every single day if you're in braces. 

The second requirement is to commit to avoiding certain foods (like popcorn, nuts, hard taco shells, potato chips, and gum).  These types of foods will bend and break wires and braces.

Should I switch to braces?

Well...There are a few things we think you need to consider before switching.

If you switch, you'll be adding more months that you'll be in treatment. 

Braces can add up to 1 year of treatment time.  That also means there will be twice as many in-office visits to come to.  So consider how busy you are and when you'd like to be done with treatment before you switch.

Will you be able to tolerate braces?  Braces can often cause check and gum irritation, mouth sores, difficulty biting all the way down, and very sore teeth for days after wires are changed.

One of my favorite adult patients who switched from Invisalign to braces (she was going through a major life event and couldn't stay consistent with wearing her aligners) called me a few weeks ago, asking me to please let her go back to Invisalign.

She told me that after two months of being unable to bite down all the way when she's eating and having constant mouth sores, she couldn't do it anymore.

She was so honest with me about how difficult it was to create the habit of wearing Invisalign aligners all day and night and that she got annoyed with trying to remember to put them back in after meals, but now that she had the comparison of wearing braces, aligners were a better choice for her.

For her, the adjustments she needed to make for Invisalign treatment were way more tolerable than the adjustments she had to make for braces. 

So really consider your level of tolerance for being uncomfortable.

There are going to be minor little adjustments needed for any orthodontic treatment.  We are here to assist you in your most successful journey, whether that be with Invisalign or braces. 

If you have questions, we are here for you! Call our Valdosta, GA office at 229-245-1800 or email us here. You can also contact us via web chat or through your Dental Monitoring App.

The bottom line is that the Hester & Morris team wants to see you live life smiling!

Can I eat fast food with braces?

April 11th, 2023

Do you or your teen have braces and find it challenging to enjoy fast food delicacies? Fear not! This blog post will explore creative ways to savor your favorite fast-food treats without compromising your orthodontic progress. Join us as we navigate the world of braces-friendly fast food indulgence, ensuring both parents and teens can enjoy their meals without worry.

photo of picnic table showing a model of braces with fast food bags in the background

Oh, the dilemma of having braces and craving your favorite fast food! Fast food has become so essential to our culture that it's hard to avoid. Plus, it's a quick and easy meal option for busy individuals. However, having braces can make indulging in fast food tricky, and it may even seem impossible at times. The good news is that many braces-friendly fast food options won't damage your orthodontic progress. It all depends on making the best choice available to you at the time.

Let's dive in and make braces life a little more delicious!

We're breaking down three of the most popular fast food types and sharing braces-friendly fast food options for each.

model of braces biting into pizza

1. Pizza

It's not just Michelangelo; most Americans love pizza! In fact, 73% of adults* consume pizza at least once a month. So, with it being such a favorite food, is it something you can enjoy while wearing braces?

Happily, the answer is yes! While patients must be careful anytime they are directly biting into a food item, pizza is considered a braces-safe food.

But watch out for extra thick dough varieties that can get stuck in braces and can bend wires, and we do not recommend eating the end crusts of any type of pizza. Pizza crusts are too hard for braces, and biting down on them can cause breakage and extended treatment times.

model of braces eating a taco

2. Tacos

Not all tacos are bad for braces! While they are a common item to avoid when eating hard, crunchy shells or tortilla chips, choosing flour tortillas for soft tacos is a great option. They are soft and flexible and don't require much care like the more rigid shells. So indulge your next late-night taco craving with a soft flour tortilla, quesadilla, or burrito!

Cinnamon twists should also be traded in for the very popular cinnamon roll bites at your favorite fast-food Mexican joint.

3. Chicken

Nuggets, tenders, strips, or on the bone, Chicken is a very popular fast food choice for many families with kids.

Biting directly into chicken on the bone is not recommended because the harder bones are likely to bend the wires of braces. The same goes for wings. In these instances, we encourage our patients to cut the chicken into small pieces before eating.

Nuggets and tenders are also excellent options for people craving chicken! Smaller in size and boneless, they are considered braces-friendly food. While we should always be cautious of the amount of breading on the chicken and ensure it is not too thick or hard to bite into, chicken is an excellent choice for those who are eating fast food while having braces.

What about you?

Where is your favorite place to eat fast food while wearing braces? Do you have a favorite nugget place? Be sure to share with us in the comments below! If you ever have questions about foods to avoid with braces, you can always check out our previous blog post on the topic or call our Valdosta, GA office at (229) 245-1800. We're here to help you live life smiling!

* https://bjtonline.com/business-jet-news/4-facts-about-us-pizza-consumption

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!

Saving Money On Braces

February 9th, 2023

Are you thinking about starting Braces or Invisalign?

Both are a significant investments and will ensure you have a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.

Orthodontic treatment can also provide many other benefits, such as protecting the teeth from additional wear caused by misaligned teeth, reducing the risk of cavities, and improving speech and chewing. Not to mention, a beautiful smile boosts confidence!

Orthodontic treatment can help you or your child in the long run, providing an aesthetically pleasing and functional smile. Not only that, but undergoing orthodontic treatment can also reduce the chances of future dental issues, such as crooked teeth or gum disease.

Braces can be expensive, but it's important to remember that proper orthodontic care is an investment in your long-term health. Braces are a complex medical process, and the cost reflects the amount of time and expertise that goes into ensuring that the work is done correctly.

Orthodontists must undergo extensive education and years of training to provide the best possible care for their patients. The braces cost also includes purchasing materials and equipment needed to perform the procedure and additional office visits and follow-up care.

It's important to remember that the cost of braces is an investment in your oral health, which can positively impact your overall well-being.

Getting Invisalign or braces can be expensive for any family, but there are ways to save money on your child's braces. With careful planning, you can ensure your child gets the best orthodontic care without breaking the bank.

If you're worried about the cost of braces, there are a few simple steps you can take to save money possibly.

1. Take advantage of our Complimentary Consultation.

Many orthodontic offices, offer a complimentary consultation before starting treatment. At Hester Morris Orthodontics, we encourage our parents and patients to come in and get the specific information for their unique treatment needs. This visit includes photos, x-rays, and time with our doctors -- All of this comes at no cost to you.

Come ready to ask questions! We encourage it!

This is the appointment where you get all the details for you or your child, some specific treatment, including time of treatment, length of treatment, and financial costs; our treatment coordinator’s goal is to help get you ready to begin braces or Invisalign and set you up with a payment option that is best for your budget. So ask away. That's why we are here!

2. Use the dental insurance.

If your dental plan has an orthodontic benefit, then a portion of your treatment may be paid through your insurance coverage.

Our office is happy to verify any orthodontic benefits you may have, so when you come in for your complementary consultation, you already have that information available.

Every insurance policy is different, so be sure to check with your HR person if you have questions about age limits or lifetime maximum of your orthodontic benefit; it’s essential to review the terms of your plan to understand if there is a benefit and whether the orthodontist you choose is in the network of your insurance provider.

3. FSA may be an option.

Many companies and corporations offer Flex Spending Accounts or healthcare accounts for their employees. Check with your orthodontist to see if this may be an option for covering the cost of treatment.

In many cases, this is money already designated for your use, so it would be a shame to not take advantage of that opportunity to help lower the cost of orthodontic treatment. Often, people with monthly payment plans have the money deducted through their flex spending accounts.

4. Pay for your braces with cash.

Like many orthodontic offices, Hester Morris Orthodontics offers pay-in-full discounts off the cost of treatment. In our office, we give a discount of 10% for those paying in full with cash or card.

Check with your office to see if you can save money by paying for the entirety of your treatment upfront.

5. Ask about our in-house discounts.

Many orthodontics practices offer discounts or run promotions. Our office provides a family discount to thank you for your continued support.

If someone in your immediate family has been treated by our office in the past, following future patients will receive 5% off the cost of their treatment.

Additionally, as a thank you to the many who serve our community, we offer a teacher discount and a 10% discount for our active duty military.

6. Enroll in our in office no interest financing.

Most people choose to set up monthly payments through our office to make the cost of orthodontic treatment more manageable.

Patients who do not choose to pay in full, will put down an initial investment at the onset of their braces or Invisalign treatment. The remainder of the fee that is owed can be divided up monthly during the entirety of the months our office is treating you.

Our treatment coordinators, who you will meet at the complimentary consultation, are experts at navigating the monthly payment process. They can also factor in any insurance, spending account information, and discounts that may apply.

7. Start early.

As it is with many situations in the medical and dental field, early intervention is essential.

This is true, especially for children with a mix of permanent and primary teeth, because sometimes early intervention can be helpful to both the patient and your pocketbook.

For example: Don’t wait for those permanent canines to become impacted before seeking treatment if braces for crowding could be accomplished with early intervention.

Your orthodontist will go over their findings of your smile and can help guide the conversation on when the best time to begin treatment is.

In conclusion.

We know that deciding to begin braces, or Invisalign, is significant. We’re hopeful that by having these tips to help guide the process along financially, you’ll be more prepared as you decide when the time to start treatment is right for you, and as always, if you have any questions about costs or treatment, finances, please give our office a call, or send us a message here. Our goal is to try to make having braces or Invisalign as affordable as possible for as many people who can.

New year, New smile: 3 Reasons to consider orthodontics in 2023

January 11th, 2023

orthodontic team smiles for the camera

It’s the start of another year!

 

A new year is a beautiful time to change your life or start something new that you’ve been putting off.

 

You may, like many people, be considering goals and resolutions for the new year. For some, this can include changes in their smile, and they look to their local dentist or orthodontist in Valdosta to help give them a smile they’ve always wanted.

 

The new year is a great time to start the journey to a new and improved smile!

 

Here are three reasons why we think starting orthodontics in the new year is a great way to improve your smile:

 

  1. Improving your smile is a surefire way to boost your confidence!

 

It’s a fact that many Americans feel self-conscious about their smiles. What you think about your smile and teeth can affect your overall self-confidence.

 

But you can let go of those inhibitions and boost your confidence when you begin orthodontic treatment. Invisalign or dental braces are both options that work to align your teeth, creating a more even, pleasing-looking smile; we believe when you feel good about yourself, it reflects in how you present yourself. 

 

This is the greatest goal for us as orthodontists! We love to see your confidence rise and your smile become the beautiful result you always wanted.

 

  1. Starting in the new year gives you an easy timetable to follow for your braces or Invisalign treatment.

 

It just makes sense to start treatment at the beginning of the new year.

 

Not only are most people more energized at the beginning of a new year to start on their goals and resolutions, but it can also be an easy way to determine how long your treatment time could take.

 

Average orthodontic treatment in our Valdosta. Georgia office is 12 months to 24 months. Every patient is different. Dr. Hester and Dr. Morris create a personalized treatment plan for you based on your unique needs and smile goals. This determines your overall treatment time.

 

Beginning your smile journey at the start of a new calendar year can often help you better idealize when you might complete your treatment, as well as help you remember when you started treatment.

 

  1. The sooner you begin, the closer you are to the smile you’ve always wanted! 

 

Now is always the best time to begin orthodontic treatment, and at the start of a new year, why would you want to procrastinate or put it off?

 

 Many people are looking at their budgets and planning financially for the year in January, so go ahead and include planning for braces or your Invisalign treatment.

 

At Hester Morris Orthodontics, our treatment coordinating team works with each and every patient to help them achieve their smile goals by offering flexible payment options that can fit almost every budget.

 

Additionally, the initial consult is always at no cost to you. This is because we believe it’s essential for every patient to get the complete picture of how their smile could be improved with braces or Invisalign, and this information will help you make the best decision for your smile!

 

By planning to start now, you are practicing good self-care instead of putting yourself on the back burner!

 

Are you looking to start braces or Invisalign in 2023? You can make an appointment in our Valdosta, Georgia office by clicking on the link here or calling us at 229-245-1800.

 

Happy new year! May this coming year bring you fulfillment and be full of smiles!

Why Invisalign makes a great Christmas gift!

December 13th, 2022

December is here, the lights are on the tree, and the gifts are underneath it. If you’re looking for the right thing for your child or teenager, may we share with you why Invisalign makes the ultimate Christmas gift!

They probably already want them!

Unlike the case years ago, braces and Invisalign are very popular amongst teenagers today. We have people who come into our office because their child wants braces or Invisalign treatment. Teenagers see their friends with Invisalign, and they see how easy and convenient it is, making them more self-aware of their smile. The benefits of an improved smile, thanks to Invisalign and Hester Morris Orthodontics, will last long after that latest video game or must-have sneakers are out of fashion.

They probably already need them!

It’s just a fact. Most people need orthodontic treatment due to misaligned teeth and jaws. And since many orthodontic patients tend to be in middle and early high school, your teen will likely need orthodontic treatment, so why not include that as an awesome Christmas gift? 

It helps your child realize the investment you’re making in their smile! 

As much as we love them, sometimes our kids can forget that things just don’t magically appear, but instead, they require hard work and investment. When you give Invisalign or braces as a gift, instead of an expectation, they may have more appreciation for it and therefore take better care of their smile along the way. Plus, you get to be creative and how to tell your child, who really really wants Invisalign, that they’re going to get to come in and be seen by our doctors and team to start the small journey they’ve always wanted!

So give yourself a little credit, mom, and dad! Yes, the cost of Invisalign treatment and braces can be an investment on your part, but if you count it in at Christmas, we think it makes a great gift! The ultimate gift!

If you're interested in scheduling your surprise gift appointment for your loved one, request it here!

 

SMILEOWEEN is coming soon!

October 18th, 2022

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

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

What is Smile-O-Ween?

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

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

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

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

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

Costumes are not required but are encouraged! 

Check our Facebook Event Page for more info.

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

 

What is National Orthodontic Health Month?

October 11th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sugary drinks and your smile: Myth busting what causes those "white scars".

September 27th, 2022

We've all heard how the food industry has increasingly saturated our packaged food and drinks over the last decade with sugar and non-nutritive sweeteners. And, of course, it's no secret that sugar causes dental cavities.

High-sugar products like sports drinks, energy drinks, sodas, and even the drinks that are advertised with health benefits are easily accessible and enjoyed by so many of us. Popping into convenience stores and grabbing a drink can be an everyday occurrence.

But if you or your child are doing Invisalign treatment instead of traditional braces, why should that matter so much? Most of us have heard how "braces can cause white scars" over the years.

I'm here to debunk that myth!

Yes, with traditional braces, food can easily get wedged in between the braces and wires. If you're unable to brush immediately after eating, that food (with its high sugar content) will start to damage the tooth enamel.

 

But let's say you don't have braces. You have Invisalign. That means you're taking your Invisalign aligners out while enjoying those high-sugar drinks and snacks. So, no food traps. What's there to be concerned about?

Yes, Invisalign aligners are removed before eating. This takes a big obstacle out of the way when it comes to keeping food off your teeth. They should also be removed if you're drinking anything other than water.

However, if you put your Invisalign aligners back in after enjoying your snack and drink, then go 4-8 hours without brushing, you'll get the same effect as braces. Food and sugar are trapped in your teeth, leading to cavities and scarring.

The big message here is that if you're not brushing your teeth at least twice a day, then even with removable aligners, the sugar from your food and drinks will stay on your teeth. This will lead to plaque and permanent white scars on the surface of your teeth.

So, it's not braces or Invisalign aligners that are causing the plaque buildup and white scars, it's the lack of brushing.

Wearing Invisalign aligners isn't a free pass not to brush your teeth. It just makes it so much easier to brush and floss when you don't have braces and wires to maneuver your toothbrush around.

So whether you're in braces or Invisalign, make that effort to limit the sugary snacks and drinks and always brush after meals. Your beautiful results at the end of your orthodontic treatment will be so worth the extra effort!

Our Favorite Movie Snacks For Braces

September 13th, 2022

our favorite snacks for braces title graphic

Braces & going to the movies.

Eating at the movie theater can be a daunting task. What should you eat? There are so many choices! But when you have braces, it can be a bit more complicated.

If you have braces, here are a few things you should avoid when eating at the movies.

Popcorn:

This is a classic movie go-to for most people. But when you have braces, it's not so simple.
When you eat popcorn with your braces on, the kernels can get caught in the brackets and cause damage. This can easily lead to gum irritation when kernels cannot be quickly brushed out.
Plus, who wants to see a braces smile that's full of popcorn?

Nachos:

This is another classic movie food full of cheesy goodness, but also one to watch out for if you are wearing braces.
The tortilla chips can get caught in the braces and cause the brackets to break loose from the wire. Even if you're careful, mistakes can happen! That's why we just recommend avoiding nachos altogether.

SweeTarts:

This sour-sweet candy has been around since the 1960s but is way too hard to bite down on when you have braces. Leave a comment if you've ever been unfortunate enough to try one... Much too dry, even without braces!
 

Skittles, Milk Duds, & Sour Patch Kids:

Are you a sweet or sour candy person? If you're like us, there's room for both! Either way -- Beware of these extra chewy candies that can suction to braces.

 

So... What can you eat at the movies while you have braces?

The good news is that there are still options for snacks that are not off-limits for braces patients. Here are a few of our favorites.
  • Cookie dough bites
  • Raisinets
  • Reese's Pieces and M&M's (without nuts)
  • Junior Mints
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Pizza (without the crust)
  • Slushies
 
We love these movie snack options because they're easy to grab and don't have any significant risk factors when it comes to braces.

What happens if I break a bracket on my braces?

Trust us; we see it all the time. Mistakes happen, or even with our best efforts, a bracket could come loose while eating movie snacks.
If you break a bracket, the Hester & Morris team can help repair your braces at a time that is convenient for you. You can always call or send a message HERE.
Broken brackets can cause delays in your orthodontic treatment, and so for that reason, we will always encourage our patients to stay away from any foods that can cause breakage. Better safe than sorry! Want more info about braces? Check this out!
Put your favorite movie snack in the comments!

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!

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!

Tips for traveling with braces!

July 4th, 2022

african american teen with braces smiling in the grass holding an American flag

Tips for traveling with braces!

Summertime means a lot of busy people are on the go! So whether you’re getting out of town for a quick weekend trip or taking a full-fledged vacation, if you or your child wears braces, you definitely want to be prepared!

 

Here are a few tips to help make your next adventure easy on your braces and full of smiles.

 

  1. Make sure you keep any scheduled orthodontic appointments close to your time going out of town.

 

In orthodontics, these days, patients don’t have to come in for check-ups as often. 

 

However, giving your braces a quick once-over is good to ensure no loose brackets or long wires are present. These issues tend to worsen and cause discomfort.

 

 So if you have an appointment close to your vacation, make every effort to keep it just in case of minor repairs or tweaking.

 

  1. Have your braces-friendly travel essentials!

 

When you’re going on a trip out of town, be sure to have a basic travel kit that will keep all the supplies you may need for your braces. It should include:

  • Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Extra rubber bands
  • Proxy or Christmas tree brush
  • Floss and floss threader,
  • Orthodontic wax
  • A small mirror
  • Nail clippers and tweezers
  • And over-the-counter pain relievers

Be sure to refer to our page on how to treat orthodontic emergencies at home or on the go!

 

  1. Continue with your home care routine, away from home!

 

Vacation is a fun time to relax and get away from everything physically and mentally, but it’s not a time to slack on your dental home care routine

Make sure you brush and floss regularly, and steer clear of any foods to avoid with braces. We give lists of these foods to all our patients when they get their braces on, but more information can also be found on our website.

Also, be sure to check out this fun TikTok as a reminder.

 

A few extra tips!

 

In the absence of a mirror, a cell phone camera works great!

 

 You can also use your phone to remind yourself about wearing your rubber bands and ensuring that you have brushed.

 

 Finally, Contrary to popular belief, your braces will not set off a metal detector - so you can relax when getting ready to board transportation.

 

Have you ever had a braces-related mishap while traveling? Leave us a comment and share your experiences and tips for traveling with braces

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!

Introducing The All New HM Ortho Website

May 27th, 2022

Have you seen our newly revamped website???

Our Hester & Morris Team has been hard at work to keep up-to-date with the latest technology in the office AND online!

Here are a few fun features we hope that you will check out!

  • New Invisalign Content!!! Including videos about life with wearing your aligners, and a whole section devoted to younger patient needs with Invisalign First.
  • Smile Transformations that will wow you!
  • Meet The Team -- We had a lot of fun showing off our personalities!
  • Our Home Page has a lot of fun and interactive features now, too! Be sure to scroll all the way down!
  • And of course, the Blog!

The docs got new photos, too! We think they look pretty great! Do you know which one is Dr. Hester and which one is Dr. Morris? You'd be surprised how often we get asked that;)

Sending us an email, requesting an appointment, or recommending us to a friend is easier than ever before. You'll also find all the patient forms available here.

We are excited about more ways for us to connect with our patients! What is your favorite feature of the new site? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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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