What Is Early Orthodontic Treatment?


You may have heard the term early orthodontics, and are wondering just what that means. Or, you may be considering early orthodontic treatment for your child, and are not sure if it is right for him or her. If so, you are not alone. Some orthodontic practices have as many as 20 percent of patients in the 7- to 10-year-old age range.  The reason for this is that many developing orthodontic problems can be intercepted and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven, or younger if the front four permanent teeth have replaced the baby teeth. Early treatment, also known as Phase I treatment or interceptive treatment, provides timely detection of problems, AND greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious orthodontic problems later.

If your child has any of the following issues, you may want to consider early orthodontic treatment:

Early, or late, loss of baby teeth (a child should typically start losing teeth around age five or six, and all of their permanent teeth should come in by age 12 to 13)

Difficulty chewing and/or biting

Thumb sucking

Mouth breathing

Speech impediment

Crowded front teeth

Protruding teeth (the top teeth and bottom teeth extend away from each other)

Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner, or even at all

Early intervention can reduce the severity of your child’s case, and therefore reduce the length of treatment time and cost for a second phase of treatment when all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Kevin Horner, Dr. Keri Barrow and the Horner Barrow Orthodontics staff can evaluate your child and determine if his or her dental and skeletal growth is proceeding properly, or if interceptive treatment is needed. In many cases, a more severe problem can be corrected using sophisticated, removable appliances rather than traditional orthodontic treatment.

To schedule a consultation for your child at our Sioux Falls, SD office, please call. We’ll perform a thorough examination, and discuss with you any next steps we consider necessary toward caring for your child’s smile and dental health.

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

Braces-Friendly Tailgate Party Recipes

Braces-friendly recipes




School is back in full swing, and that means it’s football time here in Sioux Falls, SD. And, football time means tailgating parties. We’ve gathered a few hearty, tummy-warming, braces-friendly recipes to make your game time get-togethers more memorable! No matter which team you’re routing for, we at Horner Barrow Orthodontics say, Go Team!

Southwestern Turkey Chili

Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
(In this recipe, pureed corn thickens this crowd-pleasing, hearty mix of beans, veggies and turkey.)

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
2 large cloves garlic, minced
5 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons New Mexico red chili powder (or chili powder, if you can’t find New Mexico red chili powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 15 to 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 to 16-ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
2 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast

In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, sweet pepper, celery, undrained green chiles, jalapeño pepper, garlic and oregano and cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Add chicken broth, black beans, navy beans, undrained tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and ketchup. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a food processor, cover and process 2 cups of the corn until pureed. Add pureed corn, the remaining 1/2 cup whole corn, and turkey. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.


Calico Bean Bake

Makes: 12 to 14 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes to 50 minutes
(This recipe is a tasty blending of baked beans and chili, and is good for feeding a group of hungry football fans.)

8 ounces lean ground beef
8 ounces bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 15 to 16-ounce can pork and beans in tomato sauce, undrained
1 15 to 16-ounce can lima beans or a 15-1/2-ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 to 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a large skillet, cook beef, bacon and onion, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off the fat.
In a 3-quart casserole, combine the three beans, brown sugar, the water, ketchup, vinegar and mustard. Stir in meat mixture until well combined.
Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until heated through.


Southwestern Potato Sausage Chowder

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook: 8 to 10 hours on low, or 4 to 5 hours on high

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pound round red potatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium red sweet pepper, chopped
1 green sweet pepper, chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped* (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers (optional)

In a large skillet cook sausage until no longer pink; drain off fat.
In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine cooked sausage, potatoes, onion, sweet peppers, serrano or jalapeño pepper (if using), garlic, cumin, and ground pepper. Stir in chicken broth.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Top each serving with cheese if you like. Makes 6 servings.

* Important tip for handling hot peppers: Serrano or jalapeño peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, so avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. Wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with them. If you DO touch the peppers with your bare hands, be sure to wash your hands well with soap and water.

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.




Braces-Friendly Fall Smoothies Recipes

With crisp fall weather just around the corner here in Sioux Falls, SD, our thoughts naturally turn to our favorite fall foods. Unfortunately, some of those delicious fall treats aren’t braces-friendly (like caramel apples and kettle corn), but smoothies certainly are. And, fall fruits make wonderful “pie-tasting” smoothies. Another bonus: smoothies are great for a quick and easy breakfast. You can make it the night before and enjoy it in the morning before you head out the door.

Here are 5 healthy, and tasty smoothie recipes for our orthodontic patients to try. We hope you enjoy them!


Pumpkin Gingerbread Smoothie

Makes 1 serving
• 1 cup almond milk, plus a bit more if necessary
• 1/4 cup rolled oats
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds
• 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
• 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
• 1 frozen banana
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ginger
• pinch nutmeg
• Ice, if desired

Soak the oats, almond milk, and chia seeds for at least an hour or overnight. This helps them digest better and it also gives the smoothie a smoother texture.Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Add ice if desired.


Oatmeal Pear Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
• 1 large pear, seeded and chopped
• 1/2 cup almond milk
• 1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
• 1/4 cup rolled or quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup ice cubes
• 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon almond butter
• 1/2 teaspoon finely-grated, fresh ginger
• Pinch of ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend thoroughly, pour into a glass and sprinkle with cinnamon.


Pumpkin/Pumpkin Seed Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
• 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
• 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
• 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for garnish
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1/4 cup almond milk
• 1 cup ice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend thoroughly, and pour into a glass and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.


Fall Cranberry Pear Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
• 1 cup frozen cranberries
• 2 medjool dates, pitted
•1 pear
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/4 teaspoon all spice

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Add a few ice cubes if not thick enough, but usually the frozen cranberries are enough to thicken it.


Apple Pie Chia Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
• 1 apple, cut into small pieces
• 1 cup almond milk
• 2 tablespoons chia seeds
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of nutmeg and salt

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth; add 1 cup of ice if desired.

Be sure to let Dr. Keri Barrow or Dr. Kevin Horner know which of these smoothie recipes is your favorite at your next appointment!

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

Happy Labor Day


Wow! Believe it or not…the Labor Day holiday weekend is here. Labor Day is the “non-official” end of summer. It’s your last chance to host a summer BBQ, or maybe head to the pool for one more splash party before the weather starts to cool down here in beautiful Sioux Falls, SD.

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of every September in the United States. It is a holiday devoted to the American labor force. The holiday honors the country’s workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

How Labor Day Started
There is some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the idea for Labor Day. However, the Central Labor Union’s plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day
The United States’ first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man’s holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it started to incorporate all industries in the United States.

Interesting Labor Day Facts
• Canada was the first country to celebrate Labor Day; the United States soon followed.
• More than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
• President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day an official United States holiday in 1894.
• Labor Day signals the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for football and college sports fans.
• Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.

Labor Day Today
Labor Day is an important United States holiday during which we honor our country’s workers with a day off from work to rest and relax, or maybe celebrate the day with a picnic or a parade.

Dr. Kevin Horner and Dr. Keri Barrow, and the team at Horner Barrow Orthodontics would like to wish all of our patients a very happy Labor Day. Whether you celebrate the holiday at home, or travel out of town, have fun, and stay safe!

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

Today is National Dog Day


Yes, this blog has officially gone to the dogs today!

According to nationaldogday.com, National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet and Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige, also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day and many more philanthropic days to bring attention to the plight of animals and encourage adoption. The date of August 26th is significant, as it’s the date that Colleen’s family adopted her first dog “Sheltie” when Colleen was 10 years old.

Here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we wanted to pay tribute to our furry best friends by talking a little bit about braces for dogs.

We humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from having our teeth straightened. It turns out that sometimes, man’s best friend’s bite needs to be corrected.

Since the 1980s, veterinary dentists have used braces and other orthodontic appliances to treat dogs with painful and potentially dangerous dental issues. Many of the tools, devices and orthodontic appliances used are borrowed from human orthodontics, but the end goal is completely different. It’s not for aesthetic reasons, but for a healthier, more comfortable bite.

Applying braces to a dog is not a task to be taken lightly. The dog should be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, and able to tolerate repeated oral examinations, and poking and prodding as the treatment progresses. Dog owners also need to be vigilant about maintaining and cleaning their pet’s mouth throughout the orthodontic treatment process.

Braces for dogs is usually not the only option, but in some cases, it is the best option.

Issues That Require Dog Braces


Braces can help dogs who are dealing with everything from crowded teeth to cancer.

One of the most common issues dog braces are used to treat is a condition called linguoversion, when the teeth are pushed back towards the tongue. When the linguoversion occurs on the lower teeth, it’s called “base narrow.”

In this position, the teeth may rub against the roof of the dog’s mouth. At best, this can cause major discomfort. At worst, the teeth could poke holes in the roof of the mouth, leading to chronic and serious sinus infections.

Other conditions that can cause problems include overbite, when the lower jaw is shorter than the top, and lance teeth, when the upper canines point out rather than down.

Braces may also be used when a dog’s baby teeth fail to fall out properly. As the adult teeth come in, the mouth becomes more and more crowded, leading to a higher risk of infections.

In more extreme cases, braces may also be applied after part of the jaw has been removed for canine cancer treatment. Orthodontic treatment in these cases helps to minimize tooth drift.

It’s up to a veterinarian to determine whether the dog’s teeth are just crooked, or crooked and causing problems. They will not apply braces for cosmetic reasons.

Remember, the end treatment goal is not to give the dog a dazzling Hollywood smile, but to give the dog a mouth that’s healthy and functional.

Dr. Kevin Horner and Dr. Keri Barrow are only able to treat humans with orthodontic issues! Talk with your vet if you think your dog is having issues with his or her mouth.

If any of our Sioux Falls, SD patients have a dog that is also undergoing orthodontic treatment, we would love to see photos!

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.


Feeling Sad? Life Got You Down? Try Smiling!


Smiling not only makes you look better, but also helps you feel better, too! A genuine smile gives a lift to your mood and gives those around you a reason to smile, as well. Although we all have plenty of times that we feel depressed or alone, making the effort to smile will actually improve your mood and contribute to a better outlook on a negative situation.

How smiling can affect our mood.
When we feel bad, we tend to frown. This facial expression pulls down on the muscles around the mouth, causing us to look unhappy. A frowning expression makes others around us feel uncomfortable, too. In fact, the muscles used for frowning literally release negative feelings in the brain that reinforce the bad feelings that are already there.

On the plus side, smiling lifts up the corners of the mouth and the lips, sometimes stretching facial skin up toward the eyes. This movement, in turn, releases positive emotions in the brain, causing us to feel better. As a result, those who see us smile are more likely to feel happier.

Practice for a better smile.
Practice smiling in front of the mirror. See how your face changes when you try different smiles, from a small smile to a large one, or a big-toothy grin compared to a shy, demure, closed-lip smile. Then, remember to share your gorgeous smile with everyone you meet!

If you feel your smile is not as attractive as you would like it to be, don’t be sad. There is hope! At our Sioux Falls, SD office, Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow of Horner Barrow Orthodontics can perform a thorough examination of your mouth, including teeth and soft tissues. X-rays may be taken for a more complete assessment of the dental structures. Depending on the results of the examination, we may recommend traditional braces or Invisalign® treatment for you. Invisalign® is a type of removable braces that can move teeth to fill gaps or improve their position. Traditional braces are worn by many people, whether they are young or adult, who are interested in finally having a beautiful, healthy smile for life!

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

Back-to-School Braces Action Plan


Fall in Sioux Falls, SD is an exciting time for parents and their children. Fall brings back-to-school time, and the anticipation and anxieties that come with it. This can certainly be the case for children (and parents of children) undergoing orthodontic treatment. Parents look forward to hearing about their child’s new classes, teachers and friends, along with the many activities their children will be involved in. Kids may be excited about the new school year, seeing their friends after summer break, and possibly even showing off their latest accessory – their new braces.

For a child, going back to school with braces or a retainer can also be troublesome. It’s the fear of the unknown. “What foods can I eat with braces on?” “How can I keep food from getting stuck in my braces?” “What do I do with my elastics when I eat?” “What if I accidentally throw away my retainer?” For the parents, it can mean less control and supervision over their child’s orthodontic hygiene and care.

One way to put parents and children at ease when it comes to orthodontics at school is to have a “Back-to-School Braces Action Plan”. If you and your child understand the plan ahead of time, it can help ensure a successful school year, at least orthodontically-speaking!

Horner Barrow Orthodontics “Back-to-School Braces Action Plan”
• Put a toothbrush in that backpack. It’s always good to brush your teeth after you eat lunch. It doesn’t take much time and will help keep your teeth and braces free of food, which helps to avoid cavities, possible permanent staining on your teeth, as well as bad breath. If you forget to take a toothbrush to school or you can’t find time to brush at school, be sure to at least rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating. Another good idea is to use a disposable toothbrush as your school toothbrush. Keep it in your locker in a toothbrush case, along with some toothpaste, and you won’t have to remember to pack it in your backpack.

• Drink plenty of water. Take a BPA-Free water bottle to school and drink throughout the day. This helps keep your mouth clean by rinsing away food particles stuck in your braces after eating, and by neutralizing acids in your mouth from the food you ate, which will, in turn, help prevent staining and demineralization of your teeth.

• Pack your lunch (and snacks). When choosing what foods to pack, avoid ones that are hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy to prevent bending wires or breaking braces. If you like crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots or celery, cut them into smaller pieces before you leave for school. Biting into hard fruits and vegetables can damage your braces, which can cause discomfort, and could also lengthen your overall treatment time in braces.

• Retainers. Make sure your retainer case is properly labeled. Remember to take your retainer case to school. Always place the retainer in the case whenever it is not in your mouth. The SAFEST place for your retainer is INSIDE YOUR MOUTH, so if you are nervous about losing it at school, go ahead and eat with it in, just be very careful about eating hard foods. Many patients who need replacement retainers (which can be quite costly) forgot to take their case to school and left their retainers on a lunch tray, or in their lunch bag, and it ended up in the trash can. It’s no fun to have to “Dumpster Dive” to look for your lost retainer!

• Elastics or rubber bands. Remember to change your elastics regularly, and keep aplenty of them in your desk, backpack or locker. If it’s tough to remember to replace your elastics after eating, you can wear them while you eat. It’s a good idea to have a zip-top bag in your locker that has EVERYTHING you need to properly take care of your orthodontic appliances, and to make sure your mouth stays clean and comfortable while you’re in school.

• Orthodontic emergencies. If a bracket breaks off at school and isn’t causing any pain or discomfort, you don’t need to have it fixed immediately. Call our office, and one of our staff will advise you of the best way to handle it. If you are uncomfortable, we will be happy to accommodate you to make you comfortable until a repair appointment can be scheduled with Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow. Make sure to always have orthodontic wax with you in case of a poking wire or irritation.

• Play sports? Orthodontic treatment is a big investment for any family. Wearing a mouthguard while you play sports not only protects your teeth from any possible accidents; it also protects your braces. Not sure what mouthguard options are right for you and your sport? We’ll be happy to discuss them with you at your next appointment!

• Play a musical instrument? We have lip protectors for our braces patients who play an instrument with a mouthpiece. A lip protector is a plastic guard that slips over the wires and brackets to protect your lips from cuts or discomfort.

Once you have your “Back-to-School Braces Action Plan” in place, your orthodontic worries will fade, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the excitement that fall and going back to school bring!

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

Tooth Sensitivity. Get The Facts.


Are you suffering with tooth sensitivity? Sweet or sour foods and drinks, hot or cold foods and drinks, deep cavities or fillings and even hot or cold temperatures can often trigger this issue. Tooth sensitivity is a common problem, with an estimated 45 million Americans dealing with it on a regular basis. And, if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, tooth sensitivity is not uncommon. At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we want you to have the facts you need to help you avoid tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity usually occurs when the enamel on the outside of the tooth is eroded, or wears away, exposing the dentin layer of the tooth. The dentin layer is very porous, with tubes leading to the nerve center of the tooth. When those tubes are open or exposed, they react to changes in temperature and different types of foods.

During orthodontic treatment, a patient experiences discomfort due to the pressure that is being placed on your teeth by the braces. The level of discomfort varies from patient to patient. This type of tooth sensitivity is not permanent, and will usually last a few days. But, if you’re not wearing braces, we’ve listed some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity.

Most Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
• The MOST common cause is due to over-brushing. If you brush your teeth vigorously, using a brush with stiff bristles, you will soon brush away your gum line. As your gum line recedes, it exposes porous root surfaces, which can cause some of your teeth to become extremely sensitive. Unfortunately, as we get older, gum recession is a part of the natural aging process. Brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush (in an up and down motion) can help reduce your risk of developing sensitive teeth.

• Acidic foods such as coffee, sodas, fruit drinks, wine, and citrus fruits. Steer clear of sour patch kids and jolly ranchers candies. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water right after consuming acidic foods or drinks to dilute the acid.

• Abrasive toothpastes, or brushing more than three times a day can also wear away the tooth enamel. Wait at least one hour to brush your teeth after you’ve had acidic foods or drinks. The acid softens tooth enamel, making it more prone to erosion during brushing.

• Teeth whitening products used at home and professionally applied by your dentist. Properties of peroxide, which is one of the main ingredients in most tooth-whitening products, have been shown to irritate the tooth nerve. This irritation or inflammation causes symptoms such as cold sensitivity and a tingling sensation. However, this will improve over time.

• Bruxism, (tooth grinding) can also be a contributing factor to tooth sensitivity. If you grind your teeth, wearing a mouth-guard while you sleep may also help prevent wearing down the enamel that can lead to sensitive teeth.

Ways to Eliminate Discomfort from Tooth Sensitivity
Regardless of what is causing the sensitivity, a good dental routine is the best way to ensure a pain-free day, everyday. Over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth can sometimes help alleviate the issue.

If you are experiencing extreme tooth sensitivity while wearing braces, be sure to mention it to Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow during your next orthodontic appointment in our Sioux Falls, SD office. We can recommend alternative solutions during your treatment, no matter what the cause.

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

Avoid These Beverages While In Braces


Wearing braces is not typically considered “fun” by most people here in Sioux Falls, SD, or elsewhere, for that matter, but it is something they tolerate to achieve a healthy, straight, beautiful smile. There are a lot of dos and don’ts involved with wearing braces. One of the hardest things for most people is giving up some of their favorite foods and beverages.

In this article, we will focus on beverages. Yes, there are a few beverages one should avoid consuming when wearing braces. Sugary drinks like soda, and sports and energy drinks are ones to stay away from when wearing braces. Coffee and tea should also be just an occasional drink.

Sodas are not healthy for anyone and, therefore, should not be consumed by people with or without braces. These drinks are very acidic, as evidenced by their carbonation and fizz. The acid in soda can break down the enamel of your teeth and can cause tooth decay. If you opt to drink soda (on a rare occasion) while wearing braces, drink it using a straw and be sure to thoroughly rinse out your mouth with water afterward you have finished drinking.

Sports and energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar. Drinking too many of them regularly can weaken the tooth structure. The naturally acidic fruit juices in sports drinks are also high in sucrose, which is the most common sugar to cause decay. Lemon-flavored sports drinks should most definitely be avoided due to its ability to dissolve the tooth’s surface enamel if it is in contact with teeth for long periods of time.

Coffee and tea are two drinks that have staining properties. They can stain not only your teeth; they can also stain the brackets of your braces. If your teeth do become stained, they can be whitened with over-the-counter whitening stripes. The best way to avoid teeth staining is to consume coffee and/or tea on occasion.

If you consistently avoid drinking these types of beverages, your teeth will be straight (AND healthy) when you get your braces off.

Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow at your next appointment if you have any questions regarding what foods and beverages you should and should not consume while you are wearing your braces.

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.

How Orthodontic Appliances Work


While considering braces for your child or yourself, you may have wondered how exactly do orthodontic appliances cause teeth to permanently move into the optimal position. In this article, Dr. Kevin Horner of Horner Barrow Orthodontics in Sioux Falls, SD, answers that question without getting too technical.

The process of permanently moving teeth relies on the constant pressure of the tooth surface against the membrane that surrounds the tooth. Not a lot of force is needed to accomplish this; just enough to feel some minor pressure.

Orthodontic appliances cause permanent tooth movement through the process of bone remodeling.

Two types of cells are responsible for bone remodeling. Those cells are called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The osteoclasts break down the bone, and the osteoblasts build up the bone. When the positioning appliance pulls the tooth, it exerts pressure against the wall of the periodontal ligament (PDL). The PDL encases part of the tooth in the jawbone and holds it in place, and in turn, the jawbone.

After just a few days of pressure from the orthodontic appliance, the osteoclasts start breaking down bone to create space for the tooth to move into it’s new position. At the same time, the gap created on the other side of the tooth needs new cells to fill up that space and stabilize the new tooth position. That’s what the osteoblasts do.  However, this process takes many months to complete. For this reason, it’s vitally important to wear your retainers after your braces are removed, as directed by your orthodontist!

That brings us to the function of the elastic bands used along with the orthodontic appliance. The big issue with elastics is that they will only work with complete patient cooperation, meaning an orthodontic patient needs to remember to keep changing them; unlike the wires, which are permanently in place doing their job.

While the pressure is being applied by the elastics, the permanent positioning process is occurring.  It may be a bit uncomfortable, and while you might be tempted to not use the elastics, this will set your overall treatment plan back and prolong the discomfort.

Cooperation and persistence is the key to a great end result; your healthy, beautiful, straight smile!  Persevere through those uncomfortable movement issues. In time you will most likely forget the elastics are there, and they will just continuously do their job.

It is very important to remember to change the elastics at least 3 or 4 times a day as they lose their elasticity over time and become less efficient; again, prolonging the overall treatment time.

Remember to change your elastics regularly, and you will soon be elastic- (and braces!) free!

Dr. Kevin Horner, Dr. Keri Barrow and the entire Horner Barrow Orthodontics team are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.