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.

The Mouth and Body Connection


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


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!


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!