From Self-Conscious to Confident Smile with Clear Aligners

Thinking about straightening your smile with our at-home treatment, Impressions? Hear from real Impressions patient, Audra, to see how her confidence changed forever.

We’ve all been teased. Some would say it’s a right of passage in junior high and high school. But I can still remember how mean teenagers can be. It doesn’t feel like a right of passage – more like torture. 

I mostly got called a nerd. Second in the running was “Jolly Green Giant” because I towered over most of my friends and peers right up until graduation. I also occasionally got picked on because my one front tooth edged out just a little ahead of the others, like it was trying to win a race. It was only one tooth, but that was all it took for the other hormonal high schoolers to make me feel like an outcast. 

I didn’t mind being called a nerd, because I liked being smart. I didn’t mind being singled out for being close to six feet tall, because it made me better at sports. What I didn’t like was the one bucktooth. That was something that could have been changed. I could have had a set of braces slapped on my teeth, like so many of my peers, and then come out the other side with teeth lined up like soldiers in a regiment. But, I didn’t get braces. 

“We can’t afford that,” my parents said. I said that was okay, even though it didn’t feel okay. After that, when I opened and closed my mouth I could feel that delinquent tooth rubbing just slightly more against the inside of my mouth – a reminder that I didn’t have a straight smile like my friends, or even the bullies. It was also a reminder that my parents didn’t have 5k or more to fix my teeth. 

I smiled less at graduation because of that tooth. I smiled less at my friends, family and new acquaintances. I smiled less when I got my first job. All because of that one tooth. 


Ten years later, I finally decided to straighten my teeth. I was pretty dang sick of talking out of one side of my mouth – the side of my mouth where my teeth looked perfectly normal – and was tired of the weird face I made in pictures. 

“Your teeth are pretty straight. Have you had braces before?” Dr. Roberts asked me. 

I was shocked. No, I hadn’t had braces before. Couldn’t he see that one tooth that was sticking way out in front of all the others? Couldn’t he see that it had caused kids to pick on me?

No, he couldn’t see the insecurities that the one little tooth had caused my whole life, but he listened when I told him. He also listened when I told him I didn’t want braces because, while braces may have been acceptable in high school, I didn’t want them as an adult. 

I embarked on my new smile journey. The clear aligners straightened my teeth right up. In 14 months, that tooth was back in line where he was supposed to be. No one was going to pick on me about my smile ever again. 

Impressions Before After

When I finished my treatment and looked at the before and after photos, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Looking back, I could see that my tooth wasn’t actually that far out of line and that my smile wasn’t actually that crooked. I guess to me it had felt like it was really crooked because I harbored so much insecurity about it. Had I needed clear aligners at all? Then, I realized something. Confidence gives you a whole new perspective. Once I had a straight, beautiful smile that I wasn’t insecure about anymore, I couldn’t imagine tolerating anyone picking on me for one tooth. I was so comfortable with my teeth that I almost couldn’t imagine a time when I was uncomfortable. 

I think that’s the power of truly feeling good about yourself, and that’s why orthodontic treatment – like Impressions – is so important. Having insecurities and being self-conscious are real things. Whether you have one tooth out of line, or a whole mouth of crooked teeth, the effect of feeling insecure about your smile can do the same damage. From a medical standpoint did I really need my teeth straightened? No. From a self-confidence perspective did I need my teeth straightened? Absolutely. 

I can tell you Impressions treatment made a world of difference for me. I like smiling now, and that changes everything. 


Still wondering if Impressions is right for you? Visit the Impressions website or schedule a FREE consultation! You deserve a smile you feel confident in.

Your journey to your #ImpressionSmile starts when you open that box! Your life will never be the same – enjoy it! 

The Blue Ridge Orthodontics team

Jessica’s Experience with Impressions At-Home Aligners

Thinking about straightening your smile with our at-home treatment, Impressions? Hear from real Impressions patient, Jessica.

Blue Ridge Orthodontics has developed Impressions, an at-home treatment based on the proven Invisalign® system for improving smiles. Are you a busy mom? Have no time for many “extra” things in your day? Impressions was made for you! BRO’s own Dr. Roberts created Impressions to provide the option for busy people to get great orthodontic treatment from home!

Jessica is an Appalachian State student that was looking towards the orthodontists at Blue Ridge Orthodontics to help straighten her smile again. Jessica had had her teeth straightened through braces when she was younger, but her teeth had shifted again. It’s important to me to straighten my smile because it’s part of what makes a first impression”, she says. After her trip to see the team at Blue Ridge Orthodontics, they agreed that Impressions treatment was the perfect fit for her smile goals. 

Keep reading to learn more about Jessica’s steps to a straighter smile with Impressions at-home treatment from BRO.



Jessica: I had braces when I was younger but I didn’t wear my retainers like I was supposed to so my teeth started overlapping again. It’s important to me to straighten my smile because it’s part of what makes a good first impression. I wanted to be confident in my smile and be able to feel good about the way my smile looked in pictures.

Jessica was fully expecting the BRO doctors to tell her that she needed braces again and she was dreading having to go through that whole process while in college! Feeling that it would make her insecure around her peers, Jessica hoped that there would be a more invisible option for her. When the BRO doctors told her about their at-home clear aligner treatment, Impressions, Jessica was elated, “I was so glad when they said I could get impressions because they are invisible and no one would notice I had them.“ 



Jessica trusted her doctors at BRO and their recommendation of Impressions. She liked that she knew and trusted the doctors and had a team of experts she could reach out to with questions. Those benefits made Impressions a much better option than other at-home clear aligner treatments.



Jessica: I have really been enjoying the at-home treatment because with COVID-19 making things like in-person treatment and appointments more difficult, I don’t have to worry about any of that. I have everything I need at home and the instruction guide has helped me know how to take care of my trays and it’s been a super easy process. 

The ease of the Impressions process went above and beyond Jessica’s expectations. When she received her Impressions box she was delighted to see multiple trays along with other fun things like the cleaning crystals and aligner case. 

Impressions Tools


Jessica: Maintaining the aligners is super easy because the cleaning crystals are provided in the box and then I just brush the aligners when I brush my teeth. All of the aligners fit really well and I’m always excited to get to wear a new aligner. 

“Watching my smile transform has been my very favorite thing. My teeth are straightening so much and I’m surprised it’s happening so quickly. Every week I can see improvements and it’s definitely given me some more confidence.”

Wearing aligners can sometimes be uncomfortable at first while your teeth and mouth get used to them. Taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen at the start of your treatment and eating and drinking items that are cold can help to ease discomfort. 



Jessica: I would tell anyone who is thinking about straightening their smile to go for it! Having a straight smile and pretty teeth are such a payoff. I would recommend getting impressions to anyone but especially people like me who didn’t necessarily want the braces look. The Impressions journey for me so far has been a breeze. It’s super simple and easy and fun, and it has all the same outcomes as getting braces.


At the time of writing this, Jessica is six weeks into her treatment and as you see from her answers above she is loving it! Impressions is a great treatment option for you if you want to transform your smile discreetly and without the hassle of regular appointments. Whether you’re a busy college student or stay-at-home mom, Impressions doesn’t get in the way.


Still wondering if Impressions is right for you? Visit the Impressions website or schedule a FREE consultation! You deserve a smile you feel confident in.

Your journey to your #ImpressionSmile starts when you open that box! Your life will never be the same – enjoy it! 

The Blue Ridge Orthodontics team

BRO keeps you Safe! Covid-19 Safety Precautions

Blue Ridge Orthodontic’s wants to make sure that our patients and team feel safe coming into our office. Due to COVID-19 things might look a little different when you come in, but the friendly service will always remain the same!

Our priority is always the safety of our patients, staff, and community. We are following the new recommendations regarding COVID-19 made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We are actively monitoring these agencies to ensure our infectious control procedures are current. We are adhering to or exceeding each agencies’ recommendations. We aim to go above and beyond those requirements to protect our patients with the precautions below.

As a result, you will experience some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We ask for your cooperation and understanding in the implementation of these changes.


How BRO keeps a healthy and disinfected office during COVID-19


Prior to your Appointment:

  • Prior to your appointment, our office will ask you the required health screening questions. You’ll also be asked to fill out a Wellness Screening and Informed Consent upon your arrival for your appointment.
  • If you or your child require special accommodations due to medical conditions, please let us know when we are scheduling your appointment.
  • Brushing stations will remain closed, please come to your appointment with immaculate oral hygiene.

When you arrive to see us:

  1. Please arrive 10 minutes early to your appointment to fill out our Wellness Screening paperwork and have your temperature taken.
  2. You will call to check-in upon your arrival and be asked to wait in your car until we notify you that you’re cleared to enter the building. The front door will remain locked and there will be signs on all of our doors that reiterate this new process.
  3. We ask that only the patient come in for their appointment. If a parent would like to escort their child, then only one parent will be allowed and will also be subject to the full check-in protocol, including wearing a mask.
  4. We will be taking the temperature of everyone that enters the building.
  5. We have a hand sanitizer station that we will ask you to use when you enter the office.

During your Appointment:

  • All of our staff will be wearing full Personal Protective equipment and you should be wearing a mask as well.
  • We will try our best to maintain social distancing in situations where it is possible, otherwise like during examination we will be taking every precaution to keep you and ourselves safe while continuing to do our job.

After your Appointment:

    • Be sure to schedule your next appointment on your way out. Your oral health is connected to your overall health, so one of the many ways you can stay healthy during these times is to keep up with regular dental care. We are here for you.
    • If you start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 within 2 days of your appointment, call to alert the office staff so those who came into contact with you may be tested.

We are open to accommodating our patients that are high-risk or don’t absolutely have to come into the office by providing virtual consultations. If you would like to schedule a new patient virtual consultation or appointment, click here. 

We’re excited to see you! Schedule an in-office appointment below.

– The Blue Ridge Orthodontics team


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Unboxing our at-home Orthodontic Treatment

Blue Ridge Orthodontics has developed Impressions, an at-home treatment based on the proven Invisalign® system for improving smiles. Are you a busy mom? Have no time for many “extra” things in your day? Impressions was made for you! BRO’s own Dr. Roberts created Impressions to provide the option for busy people to get great orthodontic treatment from home!

With Impressions, the journey is easy. There’s one visit to the office to get your iTero 3D scan. If you want to know more about how Impressions works, visit our blog post on BRO Treatment at Home! After that, your aligners are shipped right to your door and you continue on your smile journey from home, work, or wherever you please!

Unboxing the Impressions welcome box is like opening the best gift you’ve ever given yourself. This present will change your life!

Welcome to Impressions. We’re so excited to help you get that shining, inspiring smile you’ve been dreaming of. Top-level Invisalign provider, Dr. Roberts, and the rest of the Impressions team will be with you every step of the way and this blue box is exploding with everything you will want and need on your #ImpressionSmile journey!

As you open your box, the paper unfolds to reveal the exciting contents:

1. Welcome to Impressions!
We want to welcome you to the Impressions family! This is a life-changing experience that you won’t regret. We have tried to make the journey to your new #ImpressionSmile something you don’t have to think about. Sit back, live your life, and watch your smile change.

2. Your Impressions Aligners + Aligner Case
Of course, you will receive your first rounds of Impressions clear aligners. Each aligner is meant to be worn for one week for at least 20 hours a day. Impressions offer more aligners than it’s competitors – offering up to 25 aligners during treatment. The extra aligners mean longer treatment, but better results! You will be provided with detailed instructions and your customized Impressions treatment plan designed by Dr. Roberts himself! If you ever have any questions, you will have the contact information for your very own Impressions rep.

3. Chewies
What are chewies? Chewies are small aids to help get your aligners into -just- the right place! The purpose of the chewie is to eliminate the air space between the Impressions aligner and the teeth. The chewie provides a more comfortable and efficient method to provide a uniform force to seat the Invisalign aligner properly.

4. Jokes and Whitener to help brighten your smile!
Laughter is the best medicine – that’s why we include jokes and puns. Along with a straighter smile, Impressions provides you with free whitening syringes. You won’t have any shame showing off your smile after treatment!

5. Aligner cleaning tablets to keep things fresh!
The Impressions process is extremely low-effort, you wear each aligner for one week so you might have a day when you want to clean them. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our aligner cleaning tablets.

6. Coupons for Friends + other surprise goodies!
Now that you’re feeling the confidence – share the love! Empower your friends, girl gang, bestie, boyfriend, little sister – whoever, we know they’ll love their #ImpressionSmile just as much as you.

5. Aligner cleaning tablets to keep things fresh!
The Impressions process is extremely low-effort, you wear each aligner for one week so you might have a day when you want to clean them. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our aligner cleaning tablets.

+ You never know what other goodies we might throw in there! 

Still wondering if Impressions is right for you? Visit the Impressions website or schedule a FREE consultation!

Your journey to your #ImpressionSmile starts when you open that box! Your life will never be the same – enjoy it! 

The Blue Ridge Orthodontics team

BRO Treatment at Home?

Transform your smile at home with the same great treatment from BRO office! BRO’s at-home treatment option, Impressions, is a process completely built by BRO orthodontist, Dr. Luke Roberts! Impressions is an at-home clear aligner system that beats its competitors from the start with an iTero 3-D scan that is more precise and goo-free – unlike other competitor’s messy do-it-yourself molds. Another way that Impressions beats its competitors is by giving you the ability to contact the BRO team anytime during your Impressions journey if you have any questions or concerns. Aside from your first appointment, this process is done 100% at-home!

Want to know more about the at-home Impressions journey? Just keep on reading!

BRO Impressions treatment at home

How to complete orthodontic treatment at home in 5 easy steps:

1. Complete a FREE virtual consultation
Our doctors will take a look at your smile and let you know if you’re a candidate, how long treatment will take and what your exact price is (less than half the price of traditional Invisalign and interest-free payment plans available).
*There are also free in-person consultations that allow you to combine steps 1 and 2

2. Stop into our office ONCE and only once to do the 3-D scan that your aligners will be made from.
On your one trip to the BRO office, we will perform the 3-D iTero scan of your teeth, ensuring your aligners are the right fit from the get-go! The 3D scan captures a detailed picture of the shape and size of a patient’s teeth. From the scan, Dr. Roberts will design your personalized treatment plan based on your smile goals and your Impressions aligners will be created. This removes all the guesswork out of imaging and enables an orthodontist to create the most accurate treatment plan possible. Not only does this save you the worry of receiving ill-made aligners, it saves you time because your treatment is designed to work as effectively as possible.

3. Your aligners will be shipped right to your door!
Your aligners will be boxed up (like a birthday present) and they’re shipped right to your doorstep. Enjoy a fun and exciting unboxing experience with your aligners and all the other goodies in your box.

4. Wear your aligners and see your new smile transform at-home!
You wear each aligner for a week and then switch to the next set! It’s as simple as that. Keep going about your daily routine with no interruptions. Live your life while changing your smile!

5. Impress with your new Impressions Smile!
At the removal of your last tray, you will be dazzled by the results! The Impressions journey seems so short and easy, you won’t even feel like you did any of the work. If you decide you’d like other treatment, like professional whitening, contouring or extra retainers, you’ll just shoot us a message and we’ll take it from there.

Go show off that smile!

How To Floss With Braces – The Right Way

Flossing can be a difficult task to remember and perform daily and that task is made even harder when attempting to floss with traditional braces in the way. However, flossing is a vital part of good oral hygiene and is especially important when you have braces.

The brackets and wires used to form traditional braces supply excellent hiding places for bacteria to grow, while making flossing much more challenging. But don’t despair! Through the use of proper flossing techniques discussed in this article, you’ll be a master of flossing with braces in no time and be on your way to a healthier, happier smile.

Woman learns how to floss with braces on her teeth

Why Is Flossing Important – Especially When You Have Braces

Most of us have been told by our dentist that we need to floss more, but why exactly is flossing such a big deal? The food and drink that we consume on a daily basis introduce acids and bacteria into our mouths. Brushing twice a day can be very helpful in getting rid of this bacteria and maintaining your oral hygiene, but some areas of the mouth require a little more attention.

This is where flossing comes in handy. Certain areas of the mouth, such as between your teeth, provide an area for bacteria to hide. These areas can be difficult to clean simply by brushing your teeth. However, using wax-covered floss to clean in between your teeth helps to clean these hard to reach places.

When you add braces into the mix, this creates even more surface area for bacteria to take hold, making flossing even more important. Failing to keep up with a good, daily floss routine with braces can have a negative impact on your oral health, leading to issues, such as:

  • Stained or yellow teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Odorous breath

Step By Step Instructions For Flossing With Braces

The reason flossing with braces is so difficult is due to the wire running through each brace, connecting them, known as the archwire. This wire prevents you from flossing your teeth the traditional way as it does not all the floss to come all the way up between your teeth. Fortunately, there is a method to getting around this snag.

When flossing with braces begin by threading the floss through each gap behind the wire of your braces, making sure not to pull on the wire with the floss. Once you have gotten the floss through, proceed to run the floss gently between your teeth. Repeat this process until you have flossed between all your teeth.

Be sure to use wax-covered thread for floss. Non-wax floss has a tendency to become caught in braces and can leave behind pieces of floss. Another useful tool for flossing with braces is an orthodontic floss threader. The stiff point on this needle like device allows you to thread floss behind your brace wires with ease.

Remember that flossing is very important to the health of your teeth, especially with braces. Brushing twice a day can do wonders for your oral hygiene, but making sure you floss at least once a day should absolutely be part of your routine.

Recommended Types of Floss

As a consumer, you have several different options when it comes to choosing the right type of floss for the job. Traditional dental floss can typically be purchased in a multi-strand (multifilament) or single-strand (monofilament) form. You also have the option of getting either wax-coated or non-wax floss (we recommend floss covered).

When considering what floss is best to use with braces, you’ll want to favor a wax-coated, monofilament floss. This type of floss can be maneuvered between your brace with relative ease and with a lower chance of catching in the brackets and wires.

Another option to consider is an electric water flosser, also known as oral irrigators. This can be a great alternative for anyone finding it too difficult to floss with traditional dental floss. An electric water flosser is a device that propels a high pressure spout of water used to clean between your teeth.

Some people believe an electric water flosser may not be as effective as using dental floss. However, using an oral irrigator is still more beneficial than not flossing at all. If traditional flossing with braces is just too cumbersome for you, an electric water flosser may just be the right tool for you.

How Parents Can Help Children With Braces Floss

Remembering to floss daily can be tough, but it is even harder on parents trying to get their kids to floss. Add braces to that equation and you have the recipe for a parenting nightmare! Fortunately, we have some tips to help you keep your kid’s teeth clean and healthy.

When dealing with younger children, you may have to floss their teeth for them. Many parents find this task easier to achieve when a distraction, such as a favorite tv show, is employed. This will hold your child’s attention, keeping their head still while you help them floss. If you are helping your child floss, be sure to do this in a well-lit area.

Older children and teenagers with braces will most likely prefer to floss on their own. This can make ensuring your child is flossing properly a little more difficult. Be sure to go over all the proper techniques with them, so they feel comfortable flossing on their own. We recommend supervising this process early on to make sure your child isn’t cutting any corners!


The bottom line is that flossing is a key ingredient to maintaining good oral hygiene, especially if you have braces. Although flossing with braces can be a daunting task, it’s really not that bad. With a little patience and commitment, you can easily make flossing a part of your daily routine and help ensure a beautiful, long lasting smile.

Dental Insurance & Braces – What You Need To Know

Achieving (and maintaining) tip-top oral health is a significant investment. It’s rare for major medical insurance plans to feature dental coverage, and those that do will surely find a way to work the cost into your premiums. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably wondering if braces can be covered by dental insurance.

Dental coverage is typically purchased as a supplemental plan, and it can provide great value to those who want to keep their smiles shining throughout the year. Unfortunately, one major expense that varies greatly from policy to policy are braces and orthodontics. When it comes to investing in braces, you need to closely examine your dental insurance coverage to determine whether or not braces are a viable option.

Woman with braces covered by dental insurance

What Is Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance is a type of supplemental insurance that generally covers a portion of preventative care, fillings, crowns, root canals, and oral surgery. Depending on your policy, it may also include limited coverage for orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. You can opt into dental insurance as a standalone policy through your employer, but you can’t buy a Health Insurance Marketplace dental plan without purchasing a health plan at the same time (excluding some particular cases). There are no penalties for not purchasing dental insurance.

How Does Dental Insurance Work?

Once you have opted into a dental insurance policy, you can take advantage of all the benefits your coverage provides. If you believe that you will need to purchase braces, you should start by researching the cost of orthodontics under your policy. Many plans don’t cover orthodontic treatments for adults but feature partial coverage for children under the age of 18. You may need to purchase orthodontic insurance in addition to dental insurance if you want coverage for braces.

Insurance companies are required by law to offer you ACA-compliant dental insurance if you are purchasing health insurance and have children under the age of 18. Just remember that the choice to purchase is entirely optional. It’s also worth noting that the ACA doesn’t exact tax penalties against parents who don’t provide dental coverage for their children. If you do, you can usually count on your plan to cover the entire cost of topical fluoride, sealants, and preventive dental care for your children. Before we move on, let’s break down dental insurance into its main components:

  • Premium: your monthly payment
  • Deductible: out-of-pocket costs for services to get you in the door before your insurance kicks in
  • Coinsurance: the percentage of covered expenses you pay after your deductible is paid off
  • Copay: some dental plans charge a fixed price for certain services

Does Medicaid Cover Braces?

If you qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to get coverage for your child’s braces if a medical professional determines that they are medically necessary. Before you purchase braces, make you sure you find out what percentage of the cost will be covered and how it will affect your lifetime maximum. Remember that your child will no longer be eligible for this benefit after the age of 21.

Are Braces Tax Deductible?

Here comes that word again — “medically necessary” — you’ll find that this distinction has a significant effect on the cost of braces. This time around, we’re not discussing whether or not Medicaid will cover the cost of braces, but whether or not braces are tax-deductible. If your insurance plan deems your braces to be medically necessary, costs associated with dental care are tax-deductible…with conditions. The cost has to reach a certain level to permit a deduction, 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. You’ll have to keep thorough records, including receipts for co-pays and check-ups, to ensure that you can verify your eligibility.

Are There Other Financing Plans Available For Braces?

If you’re looking for a way to help ease the financial burden of braces to make it more manageable for you and your family, a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) can help you cover the cost of certain aspects of your child’s orthodontic treatment. If deemed medically necessary, the installation, maintenance, and removal of your child’s braces can be funded through these financing plans.

Are There Cheaper Options Available? Check Out Our Impressions Invisible Aligners

On average, braces cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000. Our pricing at BRO is based on each patient, but this can still be difficult to afford. Fortunately, children have access to some great insurance benefits to help them correct their smiles. Adults, on the other hand, aren’t so fortunate.

Of course…there are cheaper options available for adults. A better way to achieve a sterling smile without regular visits to the orthodontist and excessive maintenance. A clear aligner that can straighten your smile while helping you look your best all year round — for nearly half the cost of Invisalign. We’ve got just what you’re looking for: Impressions!

Impressions is an invisible aligner based on the Invisalign system that allows you to straighten your smile from the comfort of your home. Impressions doesn’t attach to your teeth, but they’re molded to fit snugly for ease of use.

Impressions can help treat overbite, underbite, crowding, and spacing.

Best of all, there’s no monthly check-in appointments, just a single initial scan using 3D iTero technology and a mid-p0int check-in. Impressions was created by Luke Roberts, D.M.D., M.S.D., for patients looking for a more affordable way to achieve the same great results as braces without the commitment. Call us today at (828) 585-6045 or fill out our form to request an appointment. We would be happy to walk you through what to expect from your Impressions consultation at the ImpressionsHub in Asheville.

Best Way To Whiten Teeth After Braces

The feeling you have after getting your braces removed is one of a kind. It’s such a relief knowing that treatment is over and your teeth have moved into proper alignment. You finally have the smile you’ve always wanted, plus it’s hard to beat that feeling of smooth teeth after your brackets have been removed.

Unfortunately, some people get their braces off and are distressed by the color of their teeth. If this is something that you are concerned about, there’s no reason to stress! BRO offers a safe and easy way to get your teeth whitened after braces.

Person getting teeth whitened after braces in Asheville

Why Teeth May Yellow With Braces On

Stained and yellowed teeth after braces is very much the norm among both adolescent and adult patients. Braces, whether ceramic or traditional, are not the root cause of discoloration, but poor hygiene by the wearer of the braces can lead to yellowing and stains. This has to do with how that person cared for their teeth while they were getting treatment. Difficulty brushing, snacking, and flossing all affect how poorly or how well a person with braces takes care of their teeth, which in turn necessitates whitening after the braces have been removed.

Plaque & Tartar

A common cause of stains on teeth is the accumulation of plaque in the crevices of the teeth. Plaque is a colorless, tacky film that forms on teeth from consuming food and drink. When combined with sugars, plaque creates acids that pull the minerals from the teeth. This changes the way light reflects off the surface of the tooth. Sometimes this produces unusual white spots on the teeth.

Plaque carries an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if you have braces.

When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar. This is a crusty deposit that can form in as little as 24 hours (if not brushed). Yellow and brown stains are often caused by tartar, and it can make the removal of newly formed plaque more difficult. Only a dental professional can remove tartar buildup.

Braces’ Effect on Oral Hygiene

Plaque and tartar are the main causes of tooth discoloration, and the only way to prevent that is by practicing good oral hygiene. People with braces should be sure to rinse and brush after every meal, as well as floss at least twice a day.

Braces do make cleaning your teeth a little trickier, but fortunately our team has all the tips and tricks you need.  You’ll need to learn how to brush around the brackets and wires at first and flossing will take a little more time, but inadequate flossing and brushing leaves food remnants that lead to plaque buildup.

Consider scheduling a professional cleaning at BRO. This service is available at our clinics in Asheville and Hendersonville. You can count on a professional to use the right tools and techniques to get to and clean hard to reach places between the wires and brackets that make up your braces.

Foods That Increase Yellowing

Watching what you eat and drink is one of the easiest ways to take care of your teeth, including their whiteness. Tea, coffee, soda, wine, and dark juices can all stain your teeth and eventually lead to discoloration. Even soy sauce can stain teeth. Starchy, sugary, or acidic foods promote the growth of bacteria, which can begin to demineralize your teeth, such as pickles, cranberries, tomato sauce, and more.

Whitening Teeth After Braces

Stains on teeth can easily make a person feel insecure. You can whiten your teeth at home with a whitening toothpaste, which may be enough to remove some surface stains. Whitening toothpastes have fluoride, which strengthens enamel, as well as chemicals or polishing agents that specialize in removing stains.

You can also do an at-home whitening treatment. Whitening gel is one product that many dentists agree work well, but you often need custom whitening trays to use this product. Whitestrips, especially those made by Crest, have been very popular, and dentists agree that they are effective.

Whitening teeth is also a common dental service. It’s also very safe. When you come in for a whitening, you’ll be assisted by one of our dental hygienists, who will whiten your teeth with a professional-grade solution. These materials will be placed on your teeth and set with ultraviolet light. After about 20-60 minutes, or once you’ve achieved the white shade that you desire, you’ll be all set!

It’s always recommended that you get your teeth whitened after having braces instead of before, as having them whitened before can result in uneven shades on the surface of your teeth. One of the most common reasons that people get braces is to fix crooked teeth, which often overlap. If you’ve just whitened your teeth before getting braces, the whitening agent might not have been able to reach some of the areas of the teeth, which will result in a patchy look.

Why You Should Wait 6 Months

We suggest that all of our patients wait six months after getting their braces removed to whiten teeth. Wearing braces can cause teeth to feel weaker for a period of time, so giving yourself a while to adjust will make whitening more comfortable. It;s also often the case that a person’s saliva is enough to reduce the intense discoloration they found after getting their braces removed. It’s best to wait for six months and see what happens before going in for a whitening.

It is also recommended that any teeth whitening be performed by a dental professional for the best results. Professional teeth whitening is not only more effective than at-home options, but dental professionals are capable of spotting signs of demineralization or gum disease.

Every person should finish their braces treatment feeling fabulous about their new smile. If some discoloration or staining is making you frown, contact us to set up a whitening appointment.

Step by Step Guide to Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Invisalign cleaning crystals”? If you ask us, they sound dazzling, perhaps even a bit mystical!

Okay, okay…. in reality, cleaning crystals may not be as mystical as they sound, but they can be a part of getting the dazzling smile of your dreams. Here are some important things you should know.

The Best Invisalign Provider in Western North Carolina

If you are reading this, chances are that you already know a thing or two about Invisalign. Perhaps you are currently working on achieving the smile you’ve always wanted, or maybe your children are using the Invisalign® system.

Invisalign® offers a discreet and efficient way of straightening your teeth and achieving a new level of confidence. Blue Ridge Orthodontics is proud to be among the top 1% of Invisalign® providers in North America for the second consecutive year, and are the first office in Western North Carolina to earn this honor. Not only are we a VIP partner with Invisalign, but if you’re interested, our exciting Impressions option can bring the trusted Invisalign® system to an at-home treatment approach (after the initial in-person visit).

How Do I Use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals?

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

In order to clean your Invisalign Cleaning Crystals, just follow the easy steps below:

  1. Pre-rinse your aligner under lukewarm―not hot!―running water to remove pieces of debris.
  2. Take your Invisalign cleaning tub (a small clean cup will work too) with enough lukewarm water to fully submerge your aligners.
  3. Open a packet of Invisalign cleaning crystals into the tub or cup.
  4. Place the aligners into the solution
  5. Soak your aligners for approximately fifteen minutes
  6. Remove the aligners
  7. Give them a post-rinse with more lukewarm water
  8. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and run the bristles under tap water
  9. Gently scrub the aligner on each side to remove leftover particles
  10. Give your aligners a final rinse
  11. They are now ready to wear!

Alternatives to Using Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

There are a variety of alternatives to using cleaning crystals; however, some of them have a few drawbacks.

  1. Mouthwash – Many people try to clean their aligners with mouthwash, but this can present a problem when it comes to getting rid of plaque and leftover food debris. While mouthwash can still clean the bacteria on your aligner, it may also stain them.
  2. Homemade Cleaning Solutions – Did you know that you can mix hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or bleach with water as a cleaning solution? If you choose to do this, make sure to mix the proper ratio and exercise precautions.
  3. Soft-Bristled Toothbrush – When in a pinch, some may be tempted to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, this means you could actually scratch the surface of the aligner. The same is true of any other type of abrasive cleaners. These scratches can prove problematic because they actually create new places for bacteria to hide. If you do try this approach, make sure to NOT use a whitening toothpaste.
  4. Commercially Prepared Products – Products like SonicBrite or Retainer Brite can help kill bacteria and remove the stains. These are generally the best alternative cleaning method!

Be careful when it comes to cleaning your aligners. Not all of these options are ideal, which is why products like Invisalign Cleaning Crystals are made specifically for your aligners!

Clean, Mean, Straightening Machine

Your aligners are your ticket to straight, stunning teeth! Much like your teeth, aligners can show plaque and begin to stain. In order to provide the optimal experience, they should be cared for properly.

Any questions about Invisalign Cleaning Crystals? How about Invisalign itself? Perhaps it’s Impressions you’re interested in?

If you would like to know more, please give us a call at (828) 585-6045 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to speaking with you!

7 Foods To Eat After Your Oral Surgery in Asheville

If you are coming in for oral surgery in Asheville, it can be helpful to have some information about what to expect. One question that many of our patients at BRO have is “what can I eat after oral surgery?” This is a very good question as you will need to make some adjustments to your eating habits after having impacted teeth removed.

For anyone who is coming to Blue Ridge Orthodontics for oral surgery (or anywhere else), we have compiled a comprehensive list of foods that are safe to eat after your procedure. Keep in mind that you will get more specific instructions from after your surgery and some procedures may require patients to stay on a liquid diet for the first few days.

Person picks tomato soup to eat after oral surgery

Proper Nutrition is Very Important After Oral Surgery

If you have wisdom teeth that have come in at an odd angle, this is called an impacted tooth. Your dentist has undoubtedly taken note and informed you that impacted wisdom teeth can cause significant problems if left alone. This is the reason why many in Asheville end up coming to BRO for oral surgery.

After impacted wisdom teeth are removed, getting the proper nutrition becomes a concern. Your mouth is going to be in serious recovery mode and chewing on your favorite foods probably won’t seem very appetizing. By reading this post, you will get a clear idea of what is safe to eat and what will provide you with the right nutrition and expedite the healing process.

Recommended foods following oral surgery are going to be soft and easy to chew. That probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but you also shouldn’t take this as an excuse to subsist on milkshakes for a week. This may be a childhood dream, but you need to work in foods that are high in minerals, vitamins and energy boosting protein. These are the keys to a speedy and complete recovery after your procedure in Asheville.

Here are foods we highly recommend you eat after oral surgery.

1) Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great food to stock up on if you’re getting oral surgery. It’s healthy, high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals (an excellent source of zinc and calcium)! On top of that, the smooth and creamy texture of Greek yogurt can be very soothing to your recovering mouth.

Studies have shown that high protein foods like yogurt can speed up the recovery process. In fact, these studies also linked low-protein diets to slower rates of healing. So please make sure you are getting plenty of healthy protein in your diet after having oral surgery.

2) Blended Soups

Are you a fan of tomato soup and grilled cheese? Well, classic blended soups like pumpkin and tomato soups are highly recommended food options after your procedure. They’re great to eat, because they don’t contain any solid foods and it should be easy to find blended soups that are rich in minerals and vitamins.

These make for an excellent lunch option that will help you meet the recommended daily nutrition levels after your oral surgery. Unfortunately, most whole fruits and vegetables will be too irritating to consume while your mouth is recovering. Blended soups can also help to keep your body hydrated!

Just be careful to avoid consuming soup that is piping hot! This can be extremely irritating and even damaging. We recommend consuming your blended soup at a lukewarm or even cold temperature. Here are 21 blended soups that are delicious when served cold!

3) Mashed Potatoes

Here’s another classic staple that makes for a perfect food to eat after you have gotten impacted wisdom teeth removed. The potato is a spectacular root vegetable that can be prepared in many, many delicious ways!

We recommend serving them up mashed while you are recovering from your surgery. It will make for a comfortable meal that is also rich in needed nutrients and calories. Please note that your body is going to require a little more energy than normal after oral surgery.

With the right mashed potatoes, you are able to get significant energy in just a few bites. This is super important, as you will be eating less than normal during the recovery process. We also recommend eating your mashed potatoes lukewarm or cold.

4) Scrambled Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and this makes them one of the best things to eat after oral surgery (unless you are vegan of course). A plate of scrambled eggs will provide abundant protein, vitamins and minerals.

If you aren’t one who buys eggs often, we recommend looking for pasteurized or omega-3 enriched varieties. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can aid in the healing process.

This may not be your favorite way to prepare eggs, but scrambled eggs are easier to chew and swallow.

5) Banana Ice Cream

Ice cream is a common treat after you have had impacted teeth removed. Unfortunately, ice cream is not nutritious. The coolness is very soothing, but that doesn’t outweigh the unhealthy amount of sugar. Fortunately, there is banana ice cream…

Banana lovers should be rejoicing as this is a form of ice cream that is actually healthy and delicious. You can also make this amazing ice cream alternative at home with ease!

At-Home Recipe for Banana Ice Cream


  • Milk (or your favorite milk alternative)
  • 3 to 4 fresh bananas

Make Banana Ice Cream in 4 Steps

  1. Place peeled bananas in the freezer overnight (or at least for 4 hrs).
  2. Take out the frozen bananas and cut them up into neat chunks.
  3. Place frozen banana slices into a blender and then add the milk or non-dairy alternative.
  4. Blend up this tasty mixture until consistency has thickened and smoothed out.

That’s super easy and it is going to be very tasty!

6) Avocado

The staff at BRO loves avocados! This unique fruit is an excellent source of healthy fat, low in carbs and rich in vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium. The smooth and creamy texture also makes them an excellent food to eat after getting impacted teeth removed.

You may be able to enjoy some fresh avocado with a little seasoning and a spoon, but you can also serve them whipped into a puree or mashed. These preparations can be very soothing to consume for a mouth in full recovery.

7) Smoothies

Here is a food recommendation that also comes with a warning. Smoothies can be a great meal replacement for someone who is unable to chew whole food. That being said, a lot of popular brands serve up smoothies with more than their fair share of sugar.

Smoothies are so popular due to how versatile they can be. There’s a nearly endless variety of combinations and ingredients that can be turned into a healthy smoothie. We recommend smoothies with a scoop of Greek yogurt (or protein powder) to aid in your recovery. You should also pick a few of your favorite fruits or vegetables to round out this healthy meal replacement.


After you have gotten oral surgery in Asheville, it is really important to have a gameplan for your recovery. There are many popular foods that are only going to irritate your mouth and could cause other complications.Take this list as a starting point for your recovery grocery list.

Since smoothies are on this list, you should also know that using a straw is not recommended while recovering from oral surgery. Using a straw generates suction in the mouth that could increase your risk of developing a dry socket. This can be very painful and you’d likely need to come back in for an additional appointment.

If you have other questions about oral surgery, or you’d like to schedule an appointment at BRO, please call (828) 585-6045. We are available to answer any of your questions.