When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

If left untreated, orthodontic issues can progress, so they should be addressed as soon as possible. By the age of seven, children have developed enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine if there will be an issue with their teeth or alignment. However, if an issue is evaluated by the age of seven, a child can be seen to ensure their jaw and teeth are correctly aligned. By bringing your child in for an orthodontic evaluation, you may be able to address any orthodontic uncertainty before it becomes a more significant issue. 

What should I expect from my child’s first orthodontic evaluation at Blue Ridge Orthodontics?

When you and your child arrive at our orthodontic office, you will need to fill out some new patient paperwork, provide your insurance information, and provide your child’s medical and dental history so that we can treat your child with the most personalized care. The orthodontist will look at your child’s jaws and mouth to note the alignment, position, and spacing. 

 

The orthodontist will also need to get a good look below the surface of the gums. The orthodontist will take x-rays of your child’s mouth to do this. While your child may have had x-rays at their dentist’s office, the x-rays at the orthodontist’s office will examine the teeth and the jaws to help determine what action needs to be taken, if any. 

 

If treatment is deemed necessary, the orthodontist may take impressions of the child’s bite. These impressions help the orthodontist develop a treatment plan and support the orthodontist customize the treatment options for the child’s mouth.

 

After the orthodontist has completed the examination, they will review their findings with you and share their thoughts on what treatment options are available. 

Questions your child’s first examination should answer:

Does my child have any orthodontic issues?

Will my child need orthodontic treatment?

What treatment options does my child have?

How long would orthodontic treatment take?

If you have any questions about how to be prepared for your child’s first appointment, call us at 828.585.6045. Fill out our free consultation form to set up your child’s first examination

How do I Floss with Braces?

Keeping your braces clean and free from debris is extremely important to the integrity and health of your smile. 

With all of the hardware that comes with braces (brackets, wires, etc.), there are many opportunities for food to hide and get stuck. While of course, you should continue brushing your teeth, there are many things that a toothbrush can leave behind. Flossing in between your teeth and braces brackets to remove the debris that gets stuck in hard-to-reach areas and helps prevent cavities, staining, along tooth decay and gum disease. 

How to Floss Using a Threader

Expect flossing with a threader to take 10-15 minutes.

Step 1: Cut a 15 to 18-inch piece of waxed floss

Step 2: Fit the piece of floss through the threader loop about 4-inches

Step 3: For easy use, you can tie the floss to the threader loop to keep the floss from slipping

Step 4: With the threader pointing down away from the gums, push the threader under the braces wire

Step 5: Gently floss in between teeth and into the gum area

Step 6: Repeat the process through each tooth

 

How to Floss with Using Interdental Brush

Expect flossing with an interdental brush to take approximately 5-10 minutes.

Step 1: While in front of a mirror, position the brush in your hand just like you hold a pencil

Step 2: Gently slide the brush between each tooth approximately 12-15 times

Step 3: Slide the brush along each tooth surface 2-3 times 

Step 4: Wash your brush in cold running water and store it in a clean place

 

Flossing with a Water Flosser

Expect flossing with a water flosser to take approximately 2 minutes.

Step 1: Fill the water reservoir with warm water

Step 2: Lean over the sink and place the water flosser in your mouth

Step 3: If there are different settings, start your water flosser on the lowest setting

Step 4: Aim the tip of the water flosser at the gum line and let water flow in between your teeth

Step 5: Once finished, be sure to turn off the water flosser before removing it from your mouth

Note: Be sure to keep your lips closed enough to prevent water from splashing out while using the device

 

You can also reduce the food that gets stuck in your braces by knowing the right foods to eat or avoid.

Blue Ridge Orthodontics is committed to helping you achieve a gorgeous lifelong smile and you can help by making flossing part of your regular routine! If you have further questions about how to floss with braces, our team is here to help. 

If you are local to western NC and are considering orthodontic treatment, Blue Ridge Orthodontics offers free consultations

You can also contact us at 828.585.6045 . 

5 Orthodontic Emergencies

How to handle orthodontic emergencies:

 

While only a minimal percentage of orthodontic emergencies truly require immediate attention by an orthodontist, most situations can be treated at home. If you experience discomfort or pain with your orthodontic treatment, we strongly recommend reaching out to us as soon as possible to repair the issue. In the meantime, here are a few orthodontic emergencies that can be temporarily treated at home:

When my metal wire rings (ligs) or rubber bands (colors) come off, what do I do?

The tiny wires and small rubber bands on your braces hold the wire to your brackets. If one of these rubber bands came off, you can reattach it using sterile tweezers. You can also use sterile tweezers to remove a loose wire. If the wire is not loose but is sticking into the lip, you can bend it back down with a q-tip, or the end of a pen.

Make sure to communicate these issues with your orthodontist because if one ligature pops off, it is likely that others could follow as well.

What do I do about mouth sores?

Mouth sores and ulcers can be extremely uncomfortable, and some individuals are more susceptible to them than others. These mouth sores are not caused by braces but can be irritated by them. These sores can occur on the tongue, lips, or cheeks. To alleviate the discomfort, apply a small amount of topical anesthetic to the sores using a cotton swab. You can also use warm salt water to rinse a couple of times a day.

How do I relieve lip and cheek irritation from braces?

The easiest way to relieve irritation is by using a small piece of wax to cover the irritating metal. To do so, pinch off a piece of wax the size of a pea, flatten the wax, and completely cover the irritating metal with it. The metal can sometimes irritate you while you are eating; if you use the nonmedicinal wax while you’re eating and accidentally ingest it, don’t panic, it is harmless!

How do I deal with a protruding braces wire?

Sometimes the end of your wires can be displaced. This can lead to irritation of your cheeks and gums. If you have a protruding wire, using a Q-tip to press the wire down flat against the teeth. If this does not relieve it, use wax to cover the wire to prevent further irritation. In an extremely irritating case, and you cannot see an orthodontist, you may clip with a very sharp pair of wire clippers. This should be a very last resort, as clipping the wire in your mouth could cause you to swallow the sharp metal piece.

Make sure to consult with your orthodontist before doing so. Please give the office a call if the irritation continues so we can get you in ASAP. If you have made yourself comfortable, give us a call and we can get you in in a few days to make sure everything is still fully engaged. 

How do I fix loose braces brackets?

Brackets are fixed to the teeth using a special adhesive. These can be knocked off by eating hard, sticky, chewy foods or if you are struck in the mouth. It is important to speak with your orthodontist as soon as possible to determine the best next steps to take. If you cannot go into the office and your bracket is rotated or sticking out, you can temporarily fix it.

To put the bracket back in place, use sterile tweezers to move the bracket across the wire until it is situated between two teeth. Rotate the bracket into position and move it to the center of the tooth.  If it starts to rub, place wax over the bracket. Take extra care to protect from swallowing any of the metal pieces. If you have an upcoming appointment, give us a call and let us know that a bracket is off so we can have what we need ready to repair it!

 

Experiencing orthodontic emergencies? Always be sure to contact your orthodontist first. If you are a BRO patient, please call 828.585.6045 to discuss what the next steps should be. We are happy to help!

Invisalign for Teens

3 Reasons Invisalign is Becoming More Popular Among Teens

Many people associate Invisalign Treatment with an adult age group because of its discreet nature. Contrary to popular belief, Invisalign has become increasingly popular among all ages. Offering fewer appointments, a sleek and concealed design, and minimal food restrictions, it has become attractive for teens with hectic schedules and a desire for an unnoticeable treatment option. Here are three reasons Invisalign is great for teens:

Comfort and Convenience

Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces. With its removable technology, teens can take them out as needed. Playing sports or eating their favorite foods? No problem, just have your teen remove the aligners when they need to! With no metal and wires in their mouth, there is also a reduced chance of needing to come in for orthodontic emergencies. 

Customized Treatment

Your teen’s Invisalign treatment is tailored specifically for them. Their treatment starts with an assessment and the advanced technology of the iTero Scanner. With the iTero Scanner, the guesswork is taken out of their treatment plan. This tool, utilized by our board-certified orthodontists, is used to map out the path to your teen’s new smile. The iTero scanner allows doctors to simulate the course of the patient’s treatment through a 3D simulator. Our doctors precisely predict and plan for even the tiniest shift in your teen’s teeth.

Lasting Results

Once your teen’s smile is transformed, they can continue to maintain their new smile in a discreet fashion. Maintaining their smile is one of the most critical aspects of the whole process. The great news is the maintenance required to ensure their smile lasts a lifetime is just as comfortable, clear, and discreet as their Invisalign treatment!

Invisalign for Teens at Blue Ridge Orthodontics

You may still have some questions regarding whether Invisalign is the right choice for your teen. Luckily, Blue Ridge Orthodontics is among the top 1% of providers in North America. BRO has treated many patients in Western NC and offers a free consultation to help you understand the details of treatment options.

Schedule a free consultation to see if Invisalign is the right option for your teen, or give us a call!

Tips for Cleaning Your Retainers

With the accumulation of tartar, plaque, and other bacteria, it is important to clean your retainer just as you clean your teeth. If you don’t consistently clean your retainer, which sits against your teeth daily, the presence of germs in your mouth can lead to dental issues. There are several different types of retainers, which means there are various ways to clean them. The different types of retainers we offer at BRO include:

  • Fixed Retainers: These are bonded to the back of your teeth with metal wire to prevent any shifting. These retainers are non-removable and need special care. 
  • Hawley Retainers: This is a removable type of retainer made of an acrylic plate and metal wiring. It is molded to your mouth and helps retain your smile as long as it is worn and cared for properly.
  • Clear Plastic Retainers/ Aligners: This type of retainer is transparent, thin plastic to give you an almost unnoticeable retainer option. However, if not cared for properly, these retainers can become discolored and lead to foul odor. 

How to Clean Your Retainers:

Clear Plastic & Hawley Retainers

  1. Remove the retainer from your mouth and start the cleaning process before the germs or debris harden.
  2. At night, clear the debris from your retainer with a soft toothbrush and warm water.
  3. Mix hydrogen peroxide with warm water and gently scrub the retainers to clean them deeply. Be sure not to scrub vigorously, as this could scratch the retainer.
  4. If necessary, ask your orthodontist about the option of soaking your retainers in a retainer cleaning solution. If they recommend doing so, follow the packing instructions.

Fixed Retainers

  1. Using a floss threader and a 6-inch piece of floss, begin by threading the floss between your front two lower teeth.
  2. By holding one end of the floss with the threader and the other end with your fingers, slip the floss under your retainer wire.
  3. Gently move the floss up and down, sliding between the teeth, and carefully under the gum line. Repeat this process through each tooth. 
  4. To ensure cleanliness, never miss a regularly scheduled cleaning with your dentist, and be sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily.

Extra Tips for Cleaning Your Retainers:

    • Replace your retainers as needed. They are subject to normal wear and tear. Consult with your orthodontist about the condition of your retainers. 
    • Just as your retainers can gather bacteria, so do retainer cases. Keep these clean too. You can also gently scrub these with dish soap and warm water to deter bacterial growth.
    • Don’t warp your retainers. An extended soak can warp your retainers. Only soak the retainers for the recommended time. Also, do not leave your retainers in high heat. This includes leaving them in a hot car, boiling water, microwaves, washer, and dryers, etc. 

Cleaning Your Retainers In Review

Regularly cleaning your retainers is essential to maintaining the health and cleanliness of your mouth and teeth. Without following proper routine cleaning steps, the build-up of bacteria and debris on your retainers can encourage harmful bacteria in your mouth and compromise your retainer’s structure. For more specific care and instructions, speak with your orthodontist.

To learn more about braces and retainer care, check out our other blog posts.

Can I Play Sports While Wearing Braces?

A common concern for individuals getting braces is if there will be any restrictions while playing sports. While mouth injuries are possible for athletes with braces, there are several ways to prevent them and many treatment options that may even require fewer precautions. Life with braces shouldn’t keep you from playing your favorite sports. 

Can I Play Sports with Braces?

The short answer is yes; you can play sports and wear braces simultaneously. However, there is an increased risk of mouth injury with the possibility of getting hit in the face with a ball, colliding with other players, etc. While these injuries are typically not life-threatening, they can be extremely painful and costly to fix. A quick way to reduce your chances of mouth injury is to wear a mouthguard while you play sports. 

Should I wear a mouthguard when I play sports?

When playing sports, you should wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth from injury. The key to getting the most protection is wearing the correct mouthguard. An orthodontic mouthguard can reduce the risk of injury, even more so than a standard mouthguard. Orthodontic mouthguards are made with slightly more width, fit snugly, and cover the entirety of your braces, gums, and teeth. 

Are there more sports-friendly orthodontic treatments?

Traditional braces may not be suitable for you, and that’s okay! Luckily, many orthodontic options are available that may be a better fit for your lifestyle. Here are a couple of options:

  • Invisalign – Clear retainers must be worn 20-22 hours per day. These are removable as needed. No metal, wires, or brackets. 
  • Impressions – BRO’s home-managed, clear retainers must be worn 20-22 hours per day but are removable at the patient’s need. 
  • Lingual Braces – Custom-made metal braces are fashioned behind your teeth, so the front of your smile is free from wires and brackets. 

Preparing to play sports while wearing braces

Prepare for your upcoming sports season by visiting your local western NC orthodontist, Blue Ridge Orthodontics. Our doctors will help you determine the best treatment for your lifestyle and manage your treatment while you play sports. Be sure to consult with your doctor about protecting your teeth during your practices and matches. Don’t let a mouth injury dismantle your orthodontic treatment. Contact us to set up a free consultation.

Invisalign for Adults

Invisalign for Adults: What is the process?

The process for getting Invisalign is pretty different from the process for braces. During your appointment, your orthodontist will take scans of your mouth to form your first set of aligners. 

Once you get your first set, you will wear the aligners for 22 hours a day, unless you are eating or drinking. Those aligners will adjust your teeth little by little over time. 

After you wear your aligners for the allotted period and your teeth adjust, you will continue on to your next set of aligners.

You will repeat this process until your teeth have straightened to the desired outcome. After your final set, you will need to continue to wear your retainer so that you don’t lose all your progress.

The Benefits of Invisalign

Discreet

Unless someone is exceptionally close to your face, no one will be able to tell that you are wearing Invisalign. They are mostly invisible, except for a slight glimmer from the plastic. Unlike braces, there are no metal brackets or wires.

Low Maintenance

Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign gives you much more freedom. You don’t have to avoid any foods. You can still chew gum without your aligners in. There are not any appointments to get your braces tightened. You just need to pick up your aligners and wear and care for them properly.

More Comfortable

Due to the gradual adjusting style of the aligners, there are much more subtle changes in your teeth. This reduces the chance of toothaches and headaches because of moderate movements. The pain won’t throw you off of your everyday routine!

It can be faster than traditional braces

Invisalign can get you to your desired smile in as little as six months, depending on your specific situation and desired outcome. Since Invisalign also does not require as many appointments and is virtually painless, this also reduces the stress of the process, which can make time feel like it is passing quicker. 

Getting Started:

If you are excited about the opportunity to adjust your smile discreetly, you can make an appointment by giving us a call or by requesting an appointment here. We will walk you through your process during your free consultation, discuss insurance coverage, and talk through any other costs. 

This new technology has made fixing your adult smile much more convenient, so give us a call to get started!

BRO’s Core Values

Core values serve as a company’s cultural cornerstones. They are deeply ingrained principles that guide the entirety of a company’s actions. At BRO, our core values are explored in the onboarding process and discussed frequently around the office to help team members understand the “why” behind all we do. These carefully selected principles help us define who we are and who we strive to become. They are carried over into our actions, decisions, and day-to-day activities.

How did we select our core values?

 

Core Values-Dr. Roberts“Choosing our core values, and adding to them over time, has been a process that involved looking deep inside to see who we really want to be as a company.  I didn’t want the core values to exist only as words on the walls of BRO… I wanted them to live and breathe in our actions every day.”

-Dr. Luke Roberts

 

What are our core values?

Loyal

We are devoted to the success of Blue Ridge Orthodontics, and we believe that being part of the BRO team is beneficial for our community, our patients, and ourselves.

Efficient

We accomplish tasks with the least waste of time and effort. We work competently and effectively through teamwork to best serve our patients.

Professional

We behave with consideration and respect. We keep our word. We are loyal, and we exceed expectations.

Charitable

We give back to the community through donations and volunteering. We believe that giving back strengthens our society and our team.

Innovative

We are open to change and growth. We think creatively to generate ideas for a happier, more efficient workplace and better patient experience.

Goal-Oriented

We set appropriate goals and work as a motivated team to accomplish them. We acknowledge that it requires proactive planning, hard work, and persistence to attain our goals.

Knowledgeable

We believe that we are always learning and growing. We are dedicated to the most advanced training and serving our patients with the best technology available.

Positive

We establish and maintain good relationships, improve teamwork, and foster innovation. We focus on doing our best work, are supportive, and strive to value different perspectives within the team – Realizing that this makes us stronger and more resilient. We keep our issues inside our bubble.

 

How are our Core Values Present Daily?

Intending to have a team that understands and appreciates our core values, they are distinctly present in our daily activities. For instance, we engage in staff monthly meetings that are structured around a specific core value. If there are major business or patient decisions to be made, we look to our core values for guidance. Throughout the onboarding process, employees are provided with our value statements and are encouraged to fill out how they can apply each of them in their role at BRO.

Want to learn more about what sets us apart? Check out the BRO Difference.

 

 

BRO New Year’s Resolutions

It is officially 2022! Happy New Year from Blue Ridge Orthodontics.

With this season, we have a blank slate to start fresh and make the most of 2022. This is the time of year to establish your goals and build a plan for reaching them. It is said that the tradition of setting goals for the New Year dates back to 4000 years ago. While on average only 8% of people will actually stick to their New Year’s Resolutions, it still sets the beginning of your new year up with positive intention, hope, and initiative. 

Some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement including eating healthier, exercising more, saving money, travel, etc. Our BRO employees have established some New Year’s Resolutions of their own. Check out what some of our team members had to say about their goals for 2022:

BRO Employee Resolutions:

Resolutions

Clarissa – Financial Coordinator:

“One of my goals is to read 29 books in 2022. I will also be turning 29 :)”

Resolutions

Christina – Community Outreach Manager:

“Complete 2000 Pull-Up Variations.” 

Resolutions

McKenna – Orthodontic Assistant:

“I can’t wait to bring my baby girl into this world in February 2022 and start the life of being a Mom!” 

Resolutions

Allison – Administrative Manager:

“Going on a walk at lunch!”

spanish

Dr. Griffeth, DMD, MSD – Orthodontist

“One of my resolutions is to improve my Spanish speaking so I can navigate an appointment without help.”

follow through

Loren – SEO & Email Marketing Specialist

“My New Year’s goal is to follow through on my ideas!”

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

So what are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2022? Will you choose a goal of self-improvement? Could one of your goals be to start a journey to a better smile? Luckily, we have all of the resources to help you follow through with that goal! Schedule your free consultation with one of our doctors and we will walk you through the best way to reach your goal for 2022.

Expectations for Getting Your Braces Removed

 

Congratulations, you made it! Your teeth are finally going to be free of braces. As exciting as this time is, there are still a couple of important things to remember in order to set the right expectations for getting your braces removed. 

Braces Removal Process

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

As you have likely been waiting for this moment for a long time, it is very important to stay realistic. Of course, when you have braces, teeth shift in between appointments. It is possible that even though you set the appointment to have your braces removed, your teeth could still need a little bit more time to adjust. The worst thing would be if you got your braces removed and your teeth weren’t ready. You could have to get braces again in the future or maybe even not keep that straight smile you worked so hard for! So, don’t be discouraged if you go in and the doctor says you need a little more time. 

Budget at Least an Hour for Your Appointment

Removing braces is not a quick process. You should budget for approximately an hour long appointment. During this appointment, your orthodontist will use a special device to loosen each bracket on your teeth. After your orthodontist pops off your brackets, wires, and molar bands, your teeth will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Then, you will be taken to get x-rays and potentially to have a bite impression done to make sure your braces have done their job. To prevent your teeth from shifting, your orthodontist will fit you for a retainer and instruct you of proper use. Needless to say, this process can take some time!

Expect new sensations

Throughout the removal process, you will likely experience some new feelings that you have never experienced before. With the squeezing of brackets there could be some pressure, popping, or cracking. After your brackets are removed the orthodontist will need to remove the dental glue or cement from your teeth. This will be a scraping sensation. While these sensations may be slightly uncomfortable, they are completely normal. Generally the process of having your braces removed is relatively painless and will all be worth it once you get to see your wonderful, braces-free smile!

Time to Celebrate (And Maintain)

Once your braces are off, you will need to make sure you take the proper steps of cleaning your teeth and wearing your retainer to maintain your gorgeous smile. You will want to allow some time to rest and take it easy as your teeth may be a little sore. Be sure to choose what you eat carefully considering your teeth may be a bit sensitive. Of course, don’t forget to celebrate your hard-earned smile!

Now, how do you whiten your teeth after getting your braces removed? Click here.