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.
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!
Are you considering Invisalign? If so, you're on the right track.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.
Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!