Debunking Myths about Wisdom Teeth and Braces


Wisdom teeth are third molars located at the back of the mouth that were once essential but are now rendered unnecessary due to improved dental health and dietary changes. Myths surrounding wisdom teeth and orthodontic treatment abound, leading to excessive worry and expense. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone requires wisdom teeth removal, even when braces are necessary. This article aims to debunk prevailing myths and illuminate the truth.

Myth: Wisdom Teeth Must be Extracted Before Braces

F A C T Orthodontists evaluate wisdom teeth before treatment. Removal may be recommended if there isn’t enough space for them to erupt. However, if there is sufficient room, the orthodontist may suggest monitoring them during treatment. Reasons for removal include repeated gum infections, decay affecting adjacent teeth, irreparable decay, infections or cysts, and pain caused by wisdom teeth.

Myth: If Wisdom Teeth Erupt After Braces, You Should Panic

F A C T After investing in braces, it’s natural to be cautious about your teeth. While it’s important to schedule a check-up with your orthodontist after noticing wisdom teeth eruption, there’s no need for immediate panic. If you diligently wear your retainers as advised, the slight pressure exerted by wisdom teeth on surrounding teeth can be effectively countered. Wearing the retainer until the next appointment ensures that your teeth maintain proper alignment and position.

Myth: Braces Aren’t Considered for Impacted Wisdom Teeth

F A C T Braces can effectively treat impacted teeth, although not in every case. Sometimes, an orthodontist can create space or use braces to reposition an impacted tooth. However, limited jaw space can make it challenging to accommodate impacted wisdom teeth, often necessitating their removal due to lack of space. Even when braces cannot be applied directly to an impacted tooth, they can help reposition adjacent teeth affected by the impaction. By realigning these teeth, braces can restore proper alignment and reduce the risk associated with exposed roots.

Myth: After Braces, There’s No Need to Worry About Wisdom Teeth

F A C T Wisdom teeth typically emerge between ages 17 and 25, often after orthodontic treatment. It is a misconception to assume that braces automatically create space for wisdom teeth. In many cases, the jaw may not have sufficient length to accommodate these teeth. Patients who have completed orthodontic treatment should continue regular check-ups to monitor the progress of their wisdom teeth. If the wisdom teeth erupt, they can cause overcrowding and compromise the results achieved through braces. You can preserve the hard-earned progress toward a perfect smile by staying vigilant.

Myth: Wisdom Teeth Can’t Be Extracted While Wearing Braces

F A C T It is possible to have wisdom teeth removed during orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist may recommend extracting the teeth and will coordinate with your dentist or oral surgeon to carry out the extractions. The timing will depend on individual circumstances and treatment needs before, during, or after braces. The coordination between orthodontic and dental professionals ensures the smooth progression of your orthodontic journey while addressing wisdom teeth concerns.


Blue Ridge Orthodontics
Are you seeking the perfect smile? Blue Ridge Orthodontics can help. After a thorough examination, we can develop a treatment plan to give you the dazzling smile you desire. Contact us at 828-537-5338 and schedule an appointment today.

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Braces-Safe Holiday Food Guide


With the holidays quickly approaching, the opportunity to indulge in popular holiday foods is also getting closer. Holiday foods can be hard to turn down, but some of these staple treats can cause unwanted difficulties with braces. So what holiday foods are braces-safe and which treats should you skip until you get your hardware off?

As your Western NC orthodontic specialists, Blue Ridge Orthodontics is excited to provide you with a braces-safe and non-safe holiday food guide so that you can plan ahead and enjoy this fun-filled time. Here is your comprehensive guide of foods to enjoy or avoid during the holiday season:

Braces-Safe Holiday Drinks

  • Eggnog
  • Apple Cider
  • Hot Chocolate

Braces-Safe Holiday Main Course

  • Soft Cheeses
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Dips (Spinach Dip, Hummus, Etc.)
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Soft-Cooked Fish
  • Mash Potatoes
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes
  • Candied Yams
  • Stuffing (Without Nuts)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Casseroles
  • Cooked/Soft Vegetables
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Biscuits 

Braces-Safe Holiday Desserts

  • Pie (Without Nuts)
  • Cake or Brownies (Without Nuts)
  • Soft Cookies
  • Cheesecakes

As you can see, there are many holiday favorites that you can enjoy while wearing braces! However, there are still some holiday treats you should avoid. Here are a few holiday snacks you should steer clear of while wearing your braces:

Non-Safe Holiday Foods for Braces

  • Candy Canes
  • Hard Candies
  • Crunchy Cookies
  • Caramel Apples
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Nuts
  • Caramel Corn
  • Raw Veggies
  • Meat on the Bone
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Anything with Nuts 
  • Hard Dinner Rolls
  • Pecan Pie
  • Brownies with Nuts

It is important to take care of your smile over the holidays with many tempting treats around. While there are a few items you should steer clear of, for now, just remember that soon you will be able to enjoy all of these tasty treats with your beautiful, straight, and healthy smile designed by Blue Ridge Orthodontics. Check out our other braces-safe snack guide. For any questions regarding how we can help you through your journey to a bright and healthy smile, check here for more info


Invisalign®: Things You Should Know


Nearly everyone has some orthodontic alignment issue. These issues can be the result of genetics or lifestyle. While most misalignments don’t require correction, some do, such as crowding, impacted teeth, or other uncomfortable ailments.

Corrective Orthodontics

Wire braces were the most common form of teeth straightening until recent decades. Braces can work wonders, but in the early 90s, aligners were created to serve the same purpose. Some orthodontists will still recommend wire braces in specific scenarios, but overall, Invisalign aligners have become very popular. Not only are they virtually invisible, but they take less time to correct some orthodontic issues.

What are Aligners?

Aligners are a set of transparent, plastic orthodontic devices that are molded to fit over one’s teeth and used to correct their alignment. The aligners progressively shift the teeth using gentle force. They are available for all ages. So let’s look at what using aligners is like.

Wearing Aligners

To get the desired results, aligners must be worn for 22 hours daily. These convenient teeth-straightening tools are removable for eating, drinking, brushing your teeth, etc., but must be reinserted when done. The most prominent problem orthodontists encounter with aligners is self-discipline. Therefore, if you choose Invisalign, make sure you are prepared to wear your aligners for the suggested time.


Aligners are shifting your teeth into a new place, so naturally, there will be pressure. After your initial set, you will be changing your aligner trays bi-weekly. Your teeth will become accustomed to the shifting, and you won’t notice the pressure as much.

Oral Hygiene

Unlike traditional braces, aligners make it easy to keep up with oral hygiene and maintenance. You can still brush, floss, and whiten your teeth as usual.

As far as maintaining your aligners, it’s simple. Brush them just as you do your teeth, at least once daily. Use non-abrasive cleaner or toothpaste; you could even purchase the brands explicitly made for aligners. Also, take into account the importance of your final retainer, which will keep your teeth in the desired position you worked so hard to achieve.

Treatment Time Frame

Also, as mentioned, there is a possibility that invisible aligners can reduce your treatment time. This may not be the case with more severe cases, but as far as simple straightening, you can see results fairly quickly and sometimes even wrap up your treatments within a year.

Blue Ridge Orthodontics

Are you concerned about your teeth alignment? Blue Ridge Orthodontics can help. We can evaluate your teeth, discuss your concerns, and then develop a treatment plan to make the corrections needed, including using Invisalign aligners. Contact our office at 828-537-5363 and schedule an appointment.

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How to Know if Your Child Should See an Orthodontist


If your child has good dental hygiene habits, you may think they are safe from needing braces or aligners. However, over four million people in the U.S. wear braces, approximately 75% of whom are children under 18. This article will discuss when a child needs to visit an orthodontist and how the orthodontist analyzes the problem.

When Should a Child See an Orthodontist?

Several signs may show that a child needs to see an orthodontist. Some of the most common issues are:

  • Crowding or spacing of teeth
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Teeth that are protruding
  • Teeth that aren’t aligned properly
  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Speech problems
  • Breathing issues

An orthodontist can assess your child’s dental and facial growth and suggest the best approaches to addressing any issues.

How an Orthodontist Diagnose a Child’s Dental Problems

An orthodontist diagnoses a child’s dental problems through a comprehensive examination. During the consultation, the orthodontist checks the child’s teeth, jaw, and facial structure to determine if anything is problematic or needs to be cared for.

This process may include taking X-rays, photographs, and teeth impressions. After the examination, the orthodontist provides a customized treatment plan for the child’s needs. Then, the child’s progress must be monitored and checked to ensure the treatment works correctly.

At What Age Should Children Visit an Orthodontist?

Children should generally have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. This may seem young, but it’s essential to catch any potential orthodontic issues early on while the child’s jaw and teeth are still developing.

At this age, the orthodontist can assess the child’s bite and jaw growth patterns to determine if any problems may require intervention. Early detection and treatment can often prevent more serious issues from developing later.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Care for Children

Early orthodontic care for children can have numerous benefits. Primarily, it helps the orthodontist detect potential problems before they become severe, saving time and money and preventing discomfort in the future.

Here are some potential benefits of early orthodontic care for children:

  • Improved tooth and jaw alignment
  • Reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease
  • Improved speech development
  • Better chewing and digestion
  • Enhanced facial aesthetics and self-esteem
  • Avoidance of more invasive and expensive treatments later in life

Blue Ridge Orthodontics

For more information on pediatric orthodontics, contact Blue Ridge Orthodontics. We provide care for all ages. Contact us at 828-585-6045 and schedule an appointment today.

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Why Do Braces Need Adjustments?


Although usually teens get braces, more and more adults are deciding to correct crooked or misaligned teeth by getting braces. If you recently got braces, you may wonder why you must return to the orthodontist for adjustments. After all, don’t braces straighten your teeth automatically? The truth is that braces need regular adjustments to ensure that they’re working effectively and that you’re on track to achieve the desired results. This article will explore why braces need adjustments and what you can expect during your appointments.

Why Adjustments?

Your teeth are not static objects. Instead, they shift and move in response to pressure. Braces apply gentle, constant pressure to your teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position. That’s why the orthodontist must regularly adjust the braces to ensure that the pressure is applied correctly and that your teeth are moving in the right direction.

Additionally, as your teeth move, the wires and brackets of the braces can loosen or be damaged. Adjustments allow your orthodontist to tighten or replace these components, ensuring your braces function correctly.

What Happens During an Adjustment Appointment?

During an adjustment appointment, your orthodontist will examine your braces and teeth to determine what changes must be made. In addition, they may take x-rays or other images to see how your teeth are moving.

Once they clearly understand your progress, your orthodontist will make the necessary adjustments to your braces. This may involve tightening or loosening wires, replacing brackets, or making other changes to the appliance.

While adjustments can be uncomfortable, the discomfort typically lasts only a short time. Your orthodontist will work quickly to make the necessary changes and then check to make sure everything is functioning correctly before you leave.

How Often Do You Need Adjustments?

The frequency of your adjustment appointments will depend on your treatment plan. However, most patients visit their orthodontist for adjustments every 4-8 weeks. However, it’s important to note that every case is unique, and your orthodontist will determine the best schedule for your needs. In addition, they will determine the frequency of your appointments based on how quickly your teeth are moving and how much correction is needed.

What Happens If You Don’t Get Adjustments?

If you don’t get regular adjustments for your braces, your treatment may take longer to complete or may not be as effective as it could be. Additionally, if your braces become damaged or broken and you don’t get them fixed, it could lead to other dental problems.

It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s recommended treatment plan and attend all of your scheduled appointments to ensure the best possible outcome for your orthodontic treatment.

Blue Ridge Orthodontics

Do you want to correct your crooked teeth? Blue Ridge Orthodontics can help. Our team will evaluate your teeth and develop a correction plan to improve your smile. Contact our office today at 828-585-6045 to make an appointment.

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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?

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 in customizing 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 orthodontist 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

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Invisalign for 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.

3 Reasons Invisalign is Becoming More Popular Among 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!

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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, schedule a call or request a consultation.

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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

After Braces 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?

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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 . 

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