invisalign

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.

Invisalign Providers: Finding The Perfect Fit For Your New Smile

October 6th, 2022

The decision to start orthodontic treatment with Invisalign is an exciting one!

However, before you google where the closest Invisalign provider is to your home, you should be aware of an essential piece of information.

To ensure you get the best smile possible, you have to choose the right provider, but you’ll find that you can get Invisalign from both dental and orthodontic providers. So which will provide better smile results?

South Georgia's #1 Orthodontic provider is ready to help you understand and find the perfect fit!

When looking into Invisalign treatment, one of the most important factors is who has the best tools for the job.

While both dentists and orthodontists work with teeth, the technology you would find in their respective offices would be pretty different because dentists offer a wider range of services than an orthodontist.

To offer general or cosmetic dental services, dentists need many tools and equipment to create crowns, veneers, fillings, and more. When it comes to an orthodontic office, the focus is on a select few services, such as braces or Invisalign, so you’ll only find the technology necessary to provide the best results for those treatment options.

X-rays and digital scans are essential to dental and orthodontic care.

Dentists use them to spot problems, chart progress, and plan treatments. Orthodontists use them to assess the positioning of teeth and jaws so they can plan orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic offices will often have technology designed to ensure that treatment creates the perfect smile, such as the iTero digital impression system, which creates a detailed 3D image of your smile so the orthodontist can plan the ideal path for your teeth to move.

Who Has More Training And Experience With Invisalign?

Regarding training and education, it is important to know that every orthodontist is a dentist, but every dentist is not an orthodontist.

This is because becoming an orthodontist requires one to complete dental school and then undergo years of additional education and training specializing in the field of orthodontics, including practice and courses dedicated specifically to Invisalign.

An orthodontist is a medical professional specializing in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligning teeth or jaws. They use a variety of techniques and methods to help patients achieve a straighter smile, including the use of Invisalign clear aligners.

Dentists who have only taken a single training course to become certified Invisalign providers will not be able to compare to orthodontists in terms of experience.

Dr. Morris has been a long-time Invisalign provider and is in the Top 1% of providers in the United States! His years of Invisalign experience and patient success make him the highest-qualified provider in our area.

   

Which provider offers a better price for Invisalign?

When it comes to price, this can vary on a practice-to-practice basis.

Compared to the price we offer here at Hester & Morris Orthodontics, the orthodontic office down the street can be completely different, and the same can be said about dental practices.

However, dentists sometimes offer Invisalign treatment at a lower price than an orthodontist, typically incentivizing a patient to choose them over an orthodontist who has more specialized experience and could provide better results.

At the end of the day, which is the “better” price is really up to you, but just remember that your new smile is something that will be with you for the rest of your life. To save money, you could go with your local dentist or choose an expert like Dr. Morris to get the best results.

Should You Choose A Dentist Or Orthodontist For Invisalign?

If you want your new smile to be as perfect as possible, the quality of care you would get from an orthodontist is second to none. However, if you want to save some money or it's more convenient for you to go to the dentist you already see for other dental work, then maybe Invisalign from your dentist is right for you.

The best choice for you depends on what you’re looking to get out of your Invisalign treatment, so once you have those figured out, the decision should be easy.

Get Invisalign With South Georgia's #1 Invisalign Provider!

At Hester & Morris Orthodontics, we want to help you get started on your journey to the perfect smile as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule your appointment in our Valdosta, GA office, or use our online appointment request form.

We can’t wait to hear from you and help you achieve the smile of your dreams! If you have any questions about Invisalign care or the difference between choosing a dentist or orthodontist for your treatment, just reach out to us, and a member of our fantastic team will be able to provide you with the answers and information that you need.

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!

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]

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!

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.

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