Today is National Dog Day

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

The Mouth and Body Connection

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Did you know that your mouth can show signs of what is happening to your body, and vice versa? That’s what we here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics mean by the mouth and body connection.

The mouth is connected to the rest of the body by an intricate network of blood vessels, lymphatic tissues and nerves. That means the same blood that flows through your body also flows through your mouth, teeth and gums.

Research done over many years consistently proves the connection of the health of one’s body with the health of one’s mouth.

So let’s discuss gum disease.

It may seem somewhat normal for some of us that, when we brush or floss, our gums bleed, especially those who have it occur easily and/or regularly. Just because it does occur, doesn’t mean it IS normal. For instance: if your hand just began bleeding while washing your hands, you would think something’s wrong. You would most likely go right to your doctor’s office. So when it comes to bleeding gums, why do so many people dismiss it as something normal?

Bleeding gums are the body’s way of telling us that we have gum disease. That sounds serious. It IS serious! Many people haven’t been properly educated about gum disease, which is why we are discussing it today.

Many people are affected by gum disease but many are also completely unaware of it because it is an almost painless disease. Bleeding gums tell us that we have a dental condition called gingivitis, which is the mild form of gum disease. Many people at some point in their lives do have it, but the good news is that it is easily reversible with good oral hygiene.

If gingivitis is not treated, however, it will then get worse and become a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis, or periodontal disease. Periodontitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth which results in the destruction of the bone and tissues that keep your teeth, and your mouth, healthy. It starts as a space we call a pocket between the gum and the tooth which widens and deepens over time because of poor oral hygiene. This, in turn, allows more and more bacteria to breed and enter your bloodstream. That’s why gums tend to look red and puffy. The bacteria irritates the gums, creating redness, and as the the gums get puffier, the more protected the bacteria becomes, allowing it to spread.

Unless your general dentist is able to get into that space or pocket between the tooth and gum to clean out all that bad bacteria, the gums will become more infected; to the point where the tooth will lose all its supporting structure and fall out.

If there is an infection in your mouth, it can spread through your bloodstream to the rest of your body where the bacteria from the mouth infection can cause, or increase, inflammation in the body. This is particularly a serious problem in someone with joint replacements and people with certain types of heart conditions. But what does that mean for the rest of us who appear to be healthy?

Science has proven that gum disease is linked to:
• Diabetes
• Arthritis
• Osteoporosis
• Heart disease
• Stroke
• Infertility
• Preterm birth
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Cancer

Gum disease creates more inflammation which leads to illness and disease in the body, which creates even more inflammation. More inflammation in the body then accelerates and worsens gum disease. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps on going.

In many cases, people don’t realize they have gum disease which is why it is SO very important to always have regular dental care (especially when wearing braces or any orthodontic appliances), including check-ups, screening X-rays and professional dental cleaning, to both assess and tend to your dental needs and treat the condition.

Please see your Sioux Falls, SD general dentist for advice and treatment if you have any (or all) of the following symptoms:
• you have bad breath, or have a bad taste in your mouth
• red gums; especially around the margin of your teeth
• if your gums bleed, or are swollen or tender to the touch
• if your gums are not firm against, and have loosened up around your teeth
• if your teeth are loose, or there is pus present

Now here’s the good news.  With regular dental care and proper home oral hygiene, you CAN get control of the disease and reverse the damaging effects it causes.

So, the next time you think you’re too tired to brush your teeth, or that flossing is just too much trouble, consider the impact it can have not only on the health of your teeth and gums, but on your overall health as well.

Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow can show you the proper way to clean and care for your teeth while wearing braces. Just ask us 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.

The Best Reasons to Visit our Orthodontic Office this Summer

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Over the years, we’ve heard many, if not all, of the reasons why people put off scheduling an orthodontic consultation for themselves or their children. They’re just not ready to begin treatment, they’re going on vacation, their hectic, busy lives, and financial concerns.

While they are all valid points, here are the best reasons why you shouldn’t wait another day to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child at Horner Barrow Orthodontics.

• Scheduling. Summer is a great time to begin orthodontic treatment with Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow. Why is that? Because your child won’t have to miss school, especially for the typically longer appointments needed at the start of treatment.

• Early Diagnosis. In many cases, early interceptive treatment can dramatically improve the alignment of a child’s teeth and jaws. Timing is everything, if primary (or baby) teeth need to be extracted in order to allow the permanent teeth to erupt. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an orthodontic examination by age seven. That way, we can assess and diagnose what might be going on as mentioned in our next reason.

• Jawbone Growth and Development. There is a window of opportunity during growth when an orthodontic appliance can change the direction of jawbone growth and dramatically improve a child’s treatment course. Once this window of time has passed, orthodontic correction becomes more difficult and may require extraction of teeth, or possibly a surgical procedure to properly align the jaws, all of which can add to the overall cost of the treatment plan. Which brings us to our next reason.

• Financial Concerns. At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we understand that the cost for orthodontic treatment can be an issue for many households. We offer several flexible payment plans which can be extended over the course of your or your child’s time in braces. We will be happy to discuss any financial concerns you may have during your consultation.

• A Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles. Why wait any longer to enjoy the many benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile? The sooner you get started with your orthodontic treatment the sooner you will be sharing your gorgeous new smile with everyone!

Call our Sioux Falls, SD office to schedule your initial orthodontic consultation with us today.

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.

Some Fourth of July Fun Facts!

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The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends for picnics, backyard games, sparklers, fireworks, and other traditional celebrations to commemorate our country’s independence. While your party guests are eating their hamburgers and hot dogs, you can share these interesting historical facts about a few of our country’s symbols and traditions courtesy of us here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics.

• The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, with her torch in one hand and a tablet in the other, is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of our country. However, as recognizable as certain parts of the statue are, not many people know that broken shackles, representing tyranny and oppression, are lying at Lady Liberty’s feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated figure weighs an amazing 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch high for more than 125 years!

• The Origination of Fireworks
A traditional fireworks display is a fun and exciting way to end the Fourth of July holiday. Many of us have heard that these spectacular pyrotechnic displays most likely originated in China. But a fair number of historians also believe that the concept of fireworks was discovered when the Chinese people roasted bamboo sticks over fires and watched them explode. After many years of roasting the sticks, a group of clever alchemists came up with an early kind of gunpowder, which they then stuffed into bamboo sticks to create an even more powerful explosion, paving the way for the modern fireworks we are familiar with today.

• Hot Dog Eating Contest
People have been coming to New York’s Coney Island on the Fourth of July since 1916 to witness what some have called the “Superbowl of Competitive Eating.” Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest challenges competitors to down as many hot dogs as they can in just ten minutes, with the current record holder (Joey Chestnut) devouring an unbelievable 69 hot dogs! If you’d like to see this frenzied eating competition, but won’t be near Coney Island on July fourth, have no fear. ESPN has been airing this popular event for several years, so you can watch the foodfest from the comfort of your own home while you eat a normal-sized meal.

Whether you’re watching fireworks here in Sioux Falls, SD, taking a trip to visit the Statue of Liberty, or maybe even participating in a hot dog eating contest, Dr. Kevin Horner, Dr. Keri Barrow and the entire team at Horner Barrow Orthodontics wish you a safe, fun-filled, and happy Fourth of July holiday!

Think Before You Drink That Energy Or Sports Drink

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It’s summertime here in Sioux Falls, SD. Time for sun and heat. Time for outdoor fun and sports. That adds up to thirst. To quench that thirst, many people turn to sports and energy drinks. These types of drinks have become extremely popular lately, especially with our young athletes. Unfortunately, they have been found to cause irreversible damage to the teeth of teens and young adults. General Dentistry published a recent study stating that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they can begin destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use. Wow!

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, it’s estimated that 30 to 50 percent of our nation’s teenagers consume energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. The high acidity levels in those drinks erode tooth enamel, causing irreversible damage. Once the tooth enamel is gone, it’s gone. There is no way to restore it. To learn more about tooth enamel, read our previous blog article, “Everything You Need To Know About Tooth Enamel.”

Orthodontists Dr. Kevin Horner and Dr. Keri Barrow encourage patients to limit their intake of sports drinks. That enamel erosion ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to bacteria, and can lead to hypersensitivity, permanent tooth staining, and tooth decay. If you do consume an energy or sports drink, always wait at least 45 minutes before you brush your teeth. That’s because consumption of acidic drinks causes the tooth enamel to soften, which makes teeth even more vulnerable to wear from the abrasives found in toothpaste. So make sure you always wait those 45 minutes (or more) before you brush after having that sports or energy drink.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. It’s also preventable with the proper oral care. Dr. Horner and Dr. Barrow and the team at Horner Barrow Orthodontics can help identify early signs of enamel erosion, and also give you solutions on how to prevent further damage and more serious problems from occurring.

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.