orthodontics

3 Smile Quotes to Brighten Your Day

April 2nd, 2024

Smiling is a universal sign of happiness and can profoundly impact our mood and those of others around us.

Here are three smile quotes to remind us of the joy and love that comes with every smile:

"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." – Phyllis Diller

"Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you." – Peace Pilgrim

"Use your smile to change the world; don't let the world change your smile." – Chinese Proverb

These quotes emphasize the importance of smiling not just as a way to express happiness but also as a means to positively influence our environment and persevere through life's challenges. A smile can really change your outlook on the worst day... Try it!

And share these quotes today with someone who may need a smile!

6 Reasons To Improve Your Smile With Orthodontics

March 19th, 2024

Did you know? Improving your smile with orthodontics can offer several benefits that go beyond just the aesthetics of straighter teeth. Here are six reasons to consider:

Enhanced Oral Health: Straight teeth are easier to clean, which can reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Properly aligned teeth can also help evenly distribute the force of your bite, which may decrease the risk of tooth damage.

Boosted Self-Confidence: A straight smile can significantly enhance your self-image and confidence. Feeling good about your smile can have positive effects on your social interactions, professional opportunities, and overall happiness.

Improved Bite Function: Orthodontic treatments are used to correct bite issues such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite. This can alleviate problems with chewing and speaking and reduce stress on the jaw muscles and joints, potentially preventing TMJ disorders.

Long-Term Dental Health: Misaligned teeth can lead to abnormal wear and tear on tooth enamel, which, over time, can cause chips, notches at the gum line, and other issues. Orthodontics helps position the teeth for more balanced wear.

Speech Improvement: Teeth alignment can have a significant impact on speech. Certain speech impediments caused by misaligned teeth can be improved or corrected once teeth are correctly aligned through orthodontic treatment.

Preventive Care: Correcting alignment issues can avert potential future dental problems. This proactive approach can save you time, money, and discomfort that may arise from more complex dental issues later on.

If you're considering orthodontics, it's best to consult with an orthodontist to understand the benefits and treatment options available for your case. That's what we do best! Contact our office to set up a complimentary consultation and let us help you decide if a new and improved smile is right for you! Hester and Morris Orthodontics is South Georgia's leading provider of Invisalign and Braces. Let us help you live life smiling!

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!

Invisalign Tips You Should Know About

November 21st, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traveling With Braces

November 7th, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. Hester Morris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* A travel toothbrush and floss w/ threader.

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

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

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

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

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!

What NOT to do... With Invisalign!

August 22nd, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have found lost aligners in parking lots many times.

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

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

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

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

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

And who wants a mouth full of cavities?

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

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

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

We take pride in aiding you throughout your treatment!

Your Invisalign Questions, Answered!

March 13th, 2023

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

Outside scene with woman holding out Invisalign Aligner

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

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

Is it painful to wear Invisalign?

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

How often should I wear them?

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

Will I have a lisp with Invisalign?

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

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

What is IPR, and is it necessary?

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

What if I lose an aligner?

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

How do I keep my aligners safe?

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

What are attachments, and why do I need them?

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

How should I clean my aligners?

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

What happens after my Invisalign treatment is finished?

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

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

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

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.

What To Expect At Your First Orthodontic Visit

January 26th, 2023

You did it! You’ve made an appointment for yourself or for your child at Hester Morris Orthodontics. This will be your very first visit. The complementary consultation is a very important appointment for you and for us, our new potential patient; you may be wondering what to expect when you come into our office for the very first time. So here are some things you need to know, along with the highlights of that first visit.

1. Health history forms.

Just like a visit to any healthcare office, all new patients are asked to complete a health history form. This can be done in the office on your first visit or even can be done online before your appointment. These forms ask for general information about our new patient and any medical information about visits to our office. We must have all the necessary information so our team can provide the best orthodontic treatment for you or your child. When you arrive for your first visit, our friendly staff will be ready to greet you and give you a tour of our office. We want to ensure that you know who we are and what we can do for you; you can even ask any questions before we start the examination. During your first visit, we can discuss the various treatment options, costs, and insurance coverage. We pride ourselves on providing orthodontic services tailored to each patient's individual needs.

2. Nice to meet you!

Our fantastic front desk team greets every patient who comes through the doors of Hester Morris Orthodontics. No need to feel awkward about being new. Just let our friendly scheduling coordinators know who you are, and they’ll be glad to show you how to sign in for your appointment. They’ll most likely be on the lookout for you and welcome you into the office by your name when you arrive! Once you have let the front desk know that you’re here, they’ll invite you to have a seat in our lobby. Feel free to take advantage of the complementary coffee, cookies, and Wi-Fi, but we promise you won’t be waiting for long!

3. You’ll get x-rays.

Your consultation appointment for braces or Invisalign begins with dental x-rays of your teeth and jaw alignment. These are at no cost to you and are so very helpful for us to see not just what’s going on on the outside but to be able to see the roots of your teeth that you cannot see. Our treatment coordinator assistant will also photograph your teeth with a camera. They will take pictures of your teeth from all angles. This gives us a close-up look for us to discuss your smile concerns and will be useful to the doctor for recommending treatment.

4. Digital scans.

Years ago, patients had to endure messy goopy impressions to get a good placement of how their teeth look, but thanks to our iTero digital scanners, the process has been made quick and easy, with no mess at all! The scanner will quickly take images of your teeth and can even project before and after simulations of your smile. Pretty cool!

5. You’ll meet with a treatment coordinator.

Once all of your records have been taken, you will sit down and review the findings with one of our treatment coordinators. These ladies are here to answer all of your questions about braces or Invisalign and can explain the process to you in detail. They assist the doctor with note-taking his recommendations for improving your smile and will make sure you understand the plan of action!

6. You’ll meet our doctors.

Usually, at this point in the consultation appointment, one of our doctors will come in to meet with you and review all of his findings. We have two doctors in our practice, Dr. Hester and Dr. Morris. They will briefly examine your teeth and bite and recommend how to straighten your teeth best, align your jaw, and give you the beautiful smile you want. If the doctor recommends Invisalign, they will specify the specific details of the number of stages of aligners you will need and give an overview of how the process works. If the orthodontist recommends braces, they will explain how the process moves your teeth and give you a treatment time estimate for having to wear them. Meeting an orthodontist and having a personalized, detailed treatment plan laid out for you is something that only happens inside the orthodontic office. This is a step that is skipped by direct-to-consumer products. You can be assured that your smile’s individual needs will be addressed at Hester Morris Orthodontics.

7. Presentation of fees for braces or Invisalign.

Once your treatment plan has been laid out, discussed, and confirmed by the doctor, our treatment coordinator gets back to work working with you on the payment arrangements. Fees are presented based on whether the doctor recommends Invisalign or braces, the length of that treatment, and the complexity of the recommended treatment. In our practice, we do not require the entire treatment fee to be paid upfront. Instead, most people choose to make monthly payments. We do offer discounts for our military and our teachers. Visit our financial page for more information about how payments work. Choosing to get braces or Invisalign is a big decision and a great investment, but we believe the end result is worth it!

8. The choice is yours.

Once you’ve had all your questions answered, have met the doctor, received your treatment plan, and know the cost involved, you have all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your smile. Patients can start their treatment on the same day as their consultation. Still, there is never any pressure for you to do so. Sometimes, patients will choose to go home to talk about it with a family member or make financial arrangements, which is OK. When you’re ready to start the journey to see your beautiful smile, you call us, and we’ll schedule you to get started.

Our office is a warm and welcoming place, and our team will make you feel like part of the family from the moment you step in. Every patient gets a tour of our office with a staff member and learns more about our treatments and specialties. Our team can answer any questions you may have, so don't be afraid to ask. What other questions do you have about beginning treatment and Invisalign or braces? Be sure to leave them in the comments. Are you interested in setting up your first complimentary consultation appointment with us? Click here or call—our office at 229-245-1800.

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.

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 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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