Will Using a Mouthwash Affect My Teeth While I’m In Braces?


At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, a question we often hear is “Should I use a mouthwash?” or “Will using a mouthwash affect my teeth while I’m in braces?” 

The answer actually depends on what result you are wanting to achieve. Although mouthwashes contain common inactive ingredients like water, cleansing and coloring agents, and flavoring ingredients, they tend to differ in their active ingredients.

People use mouthwash to:
• freshen breath
• help prevent tooth decay
• reduce the amount of plaque buildup
• prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease).

The 3 main categories of mouthwashes are:
• Antibacterial mouthwashes
• Fluoride mouthwashes
• Odor (or bad breath) neutralizers

Antibacterial mouthwashes
These mouthwashes work directly on the oral bacteria to help reduce the amount of plaque, decrease the severity of gingivitis and control bad breath. They can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath all at the same time. They combat the bacteria present in plaque that creates toxins that can damage the gums and cause dental decay.

Fluoride mouthwashes
These mouthwashes help to reduce tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to decay. They contain fluoride which helps to strengthen the enamel on the teeth, making them more resistant to the acids produced by the bacteria in our mouths. This may be recommended when during orthodontic treatment, since braces do trap a lot of plaque and food which, if not removed, can lead to dental decay.
Fluoride mouthwashes are a good option to use when you’re in braces as it does give you that added protection.

Odor neutralizing mouthwashes
Odor neutralizing mouthwashes act by chemically deactivating odor-causing compounds. They may temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste. But they don’t address the causes of bad breath. They don’t kill the bacteria that cause bad breath in the first place nor do they help to reduce plaque, gingivitis or cavities.

Alcohol in Mouthwashes
The one concern with mouthwashes is if you choose an mouthwash containing alcohol is that they do cause dryness of the mouth. This is a problem for those who suffer from dry mouth syndrome as it aggravates the condition. If you suffer from dry mouth syndrome, when purchasing a mouthwash, consider choosing the alcohol-free version.

Which mouthwash is right for you and your family? Not everyone needs a mouthwash, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask us the next time you’re in for an appointment at our Sioux Falls, SD office. Just remember, even though it can be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine, using a mouthwash is NOT a substitute for brushing or flossing.

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.

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 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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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!

Interesting Orthodontic Facts

braces sisters

Whether you’re considering getting braces, or you’re currently in orthodontic treatment here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics, there are many things to know about straightening your smile. Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about wires, brackets and elastics. There are many interesting facts to learn about orthodontics and braces, and why straightening your teeth is easier than ever before.

• NASA originally created the wires that are used with braces.
Some wiring used for braces contains nickel titanium, an alloy that NASA originally developed for use in the space program. When used in orthodontic appliances, these light-weight, thin, highly-elastic and flexible wires are activated by body heat and will maintain their shape after being bent and attached to the teeth.

• Braces have been around for nearly 300 years.
Pierre Fauchard, born in 1728, and considered the Father of Dentistry, invented an appliance called a bandeau. The horseshoe-shaped strip of metal had regularly-spaced holes that fit around the teeth to correct their alignment. Fauchard would also operate on patients using a set of forceps called a pelican, to forcibly realign teeth and tie them to the adjacent teeth to hold them in place while they healed. Ouch!

Later, Christophe-François Delabarre (1787-1862) tried to separate overcrowded teeth by inserting swelling threads, or wooden wedges, between each space. In the 20th century, with a better understanding of malocclusion, dentist Edward Angle, considered the Father of Modern Orthodontics, introduced more advanced and modern orthodontic appliances, like brackets, to effectively address issues with tooth misalignment.

• All orthodontists are dentists.
All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of teeth irregularities, such as an improper bite. After graduating from dental school, an orthodontist must then successfully complete an additional two to three years of education from an accredited orthodontic residency program.

• The desire for straight teeth can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt.
Even though braces weren’t created until the early 18th century, people have wanted straight, beautiful smiles for thousands of years. Several mummies were discovered with cords crafted from animal intestines wrapped around their teeth, similar to modern braces wiring. Archaeologists believe this was man’s first efforts to straighten crooked teeth.

• Retainers are as important as braces.
The long-term success of a patient’s orthodontic treatment depends on how their dedication to wearing their retainer. Approximately 25 percent of patients who wear braces have to get them again at some point in their lives because they failed to wear their retainers as instructed, causing their teeth to revert back to their original misalignment. Remember to wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist to maintain a beautiful, straight smile for a lifetime!

• Braces aren’t just for kids.
Just because you didn’t wear braces as a child doesn’t mean your chance for a straighter smile has passed you by. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), approximately one in five orthodontic patients is an adult, and many of those patients are in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Kids, parents and grandparents can enjoy the benefits of a straighter smile with orthodontic treatment.

• Right now, millions of people in the United States are wearing braces.
According to the AAO, approximately 4 million people in the United States are wearing braces, or some type of orthodontic appliance, to straighten their teeth. 75 percent of those receiving orthodontic treatment are younger than age 18.

• Famous people wear braces to straighten their teeth, too!
Do you ever wonder how celebrities get those Hollywood smiles? It’s not always due to good genetics. Just like the rest of us, many famous actors, singers and other well-known professionals have worn orthodontic appliances to correct dental issues and enhance their smiles. Those who’ve worn braces include Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacrest, Faith Hill, Gwyneth Paltrow, Faye Dunaway, and Britain’s Prince Harry, as well as many other famous people.

• Don’t believe all the stories you hear about braces.
Many of the rumors you have heard about braces are simply not true. Braces do not set off metal detectors. You cannot “lock braces” when kissing someone who’s also wearing braces. Braces do not interfere with radio signals. Wearing braces will not increase your chance of being struck by lightning. Yes, you can still play a musical instrument, or safely play sports while wearing braces.

• An orthodontic evaluation by age 7 is very important.
The AAO recommends bringing your child in to have an orthodontic evaluation as soon as any tooth irregularities appear; and no later than age 7. An early evaluation will help to determine if problems are present, and to schedule the most appropriate timeframe for orthodontic treatment, if deemed necessary. This is important because many conditions are much easier to treat if they are identified early.

Now that you’ve read these interesting orthodontic facts, you can see how the techniques and tools used by orthodontists to straighten teeth have evolved and improved over many, many years. One thing that hasn’t changed; people have always desired a straight, beautiful smile.

If you want to learn more about improving your smile with braces, call our Sioux Falls, SD office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Horner or Dr. Keri Barrow about the options for orthodontic treatment. If you’re considering getting braces, there are many things you should know about straightening your smile. Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about wires, brackets and elastics. There are lots of facts to learn about braces, and why straightening your teeth is easier than you may have thought possible.

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.

Here’s 8 Great Reasons To Smile!

smiling womanAt Horner Barrow Orthodontics we love creating beautiful smiles for our patients. Just one tiny muscle movement is all it takes to turn up the sides of your mouth, and that smile packs a surprising amount of power!
Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate simply cannot match. In a study conducted in the United Kingdom, British researchers found that just one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2000 chocolate bars!
Smiling is a universal, and also frequent, means of communicating. More than 30 percent of us smile more than 20 times a day and less than 14 percent of us smile less than 5 times a day. In fact, children may smile as many as 400 times a day. That’s a whole lot of chocolate bars!
Here are 8 great reasons to flash your beautiful Horner Barrow Orthodontics smile:
1. Smiling Makes YOU Happy
The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. When you’re happy, your body pumps out lots of feel-good endorphins. It’s been documented that when people mimic different emotional expressions, their bodies produce physiological changes that reflect that emotion too, such as changes in heart and breathing rate. Psychologists have found that if you smile for just 60 seconds, even fake or forced, it releases serotonin which tricks the body into making YOU feel happy.
2. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Believe it or not, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling has documented therapeutic effects. It has been associated with reduced stress and anxiety hormone levels (such as cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine) which in turn lowers blood pressure.
3. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System
Many medical studies have found that smiling lowers ones heart rate, steadies breathing, and relaxes the body, which, in turn, results in a stronger immune system, and could even help you sleep better. So smile more to ward off colds and stay healthy.
4. Smiling Can Make Others Happy
“When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.” Remember that song, made famous by Louis Armstrong? Well, it turns out it’s true. Research shows that smiling is contagious. Have you ever been around someone who just had something wonderful happen to them? Seeing their delighted smile, it’s almost impossible not to feel good, too. Studies show that something as simple as seeing a friend smile can activate the muscles in your face to make that same expression, without even being aware that you are doing it.
5. Smiling Will Make You Look More Youthful
News Flash! Smiling is a natural facelift! It plumps up the cells of the facial skin and gives you a warm, radiant glow. In fact, a study conducted found that 69 percent of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup!
6. Smiling Increases Your Productivity.
Smiling can diminish negativity, which in turn revitalizes and boosts your productivity. Studies have proven that a few minutes of smiling and laughter motivates people to work harder, and can even enhance their creativity.
7. Smiling Builds Trust
It’s been shown that a genuine smile increases the trust that the recipient of that smile feels. In fact, the bigger your smile (a big, approachable smile), the more others will trust you.
8. Smiling May Help You Live Longer
When you are smiling, it’s hard to be negative, and a positive attitude has been shown to increase life expectancy. Studies have shown that you can add up to seven more years to your life by genuinely smiling often. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
Food For Thought:
“A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
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. Call our Sioux Falls, SD office today!