Orthodontists and Dentists…There Is A Difference

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone knows a dentist takes care of teeth, but, not everyone is aware of what exactly an orthodontist does. This confusion can sometimes lead to misunderstandings about what Horner Barrow Orthodontics does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Today, we’re going clear up a few of the common myths and misconceptions about orthodontists.

Perhaps the biggest myth or misconception about the orthodontist is that they’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, they’re actually quite different. It’s certainly true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, but orthodontists go about achieving this goal in different ways. As an example, if you need to have a cavity filled, you most likely wouldn’t make an appointment to see an orthodontist. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. A dentist can also treat periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People make an appointment with an orthodontist for very specific services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they, a) have braces, or b) they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device.  Simply stated, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. As a child begins to grow, his or her teeth may come in crooked. This can happen for any number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any issues that have not become too advanced to easily address and treat. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once their adult teeth have fully erupted.

Another common myth or misconception about orthodontists is that they only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic practice, you’re more likely to see a lot of young children, but you’ll also see teens, college students, and adults. Because misaligned (or crooked) teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s quite possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.

If you would like to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what an orthodontist can do for you, then simply ask to speak with Dr. Kevin Horner. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the professional who will be treating you. There really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our Sioux Falls, SD office.

Thank you for placing your trust and your smile in us at Horner Barrow Orthodontics. We truly appreciate it!

Summer Vacation Braces Care Tips


Summer is (finally) here, and that means family fun, vacations, adventures and great memories are just around the corner!

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we know our patients want to have a sparkling, radiant white smile. Here are a few easy tips for you to remember to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful not just this summer, but all year long!

Try to avoid drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks, or dark-colored fruit juices. Not only will drinks such as these soften your tooth enamel, but they will also darken that fabulous smile you’re working on!

Another tip is to continue to focus on brushing your teeth. Sometimes, when busy schedules start filling up, taking the time to brush your teeth really well tends to be less of a priority. A good tip for keeping your mouth safe from the staining we mentioned above, and from other possible pitfalls, is to rinse your mouth with water after any meal when you aren’t able to fully brush your teeth. It sounds like such a simple thing, but your teeth, inside and out, will benefit!

We encourage you and your parents to be more conscious of any possible plans coming up when making your summer appointments with us. If you are planning on taking a vacation this summer, we ask that you let us know ahead of time so that we can schedule your summer appointments around your time away.

If you will be gone for an extended amount of time (six weeks or more), we recommend that you visit our office prior to leaving and schedule another appointment shortly after you return home.

One last important tip. Please remember not to eat any hard, sticky, or chewy treats while enjoying your vacation.

And remember, whether you are headed to a cookout or picnic, a camping trip, amusement park, or just having fun in your own backyard this summer, we want to hear about it. We look forward to seeing you soon and hearing about all your summer adventures!