Busting Common Oral Health Myths

Are your teeth getting the care and respect they deserve? We’re willing to bet they’re a bit neglected. See if your at-home dental care fits any of these oral health myths.

MYTH: If I see the dentist twice a year, my teeth will be fine.
TRUTH: Two dental checkups a year are enough for many people, but not all. You should see a dentist more often if you:

  • Are expecting a baby
  • Smoke
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Are susceptible to cavities
  • Have plaque buildup
  • Currently have gum disease

Doctors Brian Struby and Jamie Smith at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics can help you develop a personalized schedule for regular checkups.

MYTH: Diet soda won’t harm my teeth.
TRUTH: While sugary drinks are bad for your teeth, sugar-free soda isn’t any better. Diet soda is very acidic and can damage the enamel of your teeth. That makes them more prone to cavities and decay.

MYTH: I don’t eat much sugar, so I don’t have to worry about tooth decay.
TRUTH: While sugar can lead to tooth decay, the main culprit is carbohydrates.

When you eat carbs, the acid from the bacteria that occurs naturally in your mouth combines with saliva to create plaque buildup on your teeth.

MYTH: I’m expecting a baby and shouldn’t have dental work done now.
TRUTH: The hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy can increase the risk of cavities, gum disease and infections. Be sure to tell us if you’re pregnant. And keep up with your schedule of regular dental checkups.

MYTH: Smoking will discolor my teeth, but it won’t cause dental problems.
TRUTH: Smokers are at greater risk of oral cancer. Additionally, smoking can cause more cavities and gum disease.

MYTH: My parents both needed dentures when they were in their 50s. So I probably will, too.
TRUTH: It’s true that you may inherit a predisposition to gum disease and tooth decay from your parents. But that doesn’t mean you’ll lose your teeth.

With regular dental care, a healthy diet and excellent oral hygiene, your teeth could last for life.

Ask us about dental sealants, too. While they’re most often used for children, they can also help cavity-prone adults.

MYTH: Whitening will damage my teeth
TRUTH: Done incorrectly or with the wrong product, yes, whitening can damage the enamel of your teeth. For the best and safest results, whitening should be done by a dentist.

At South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics, we use both the Opalescence and Opalescence Boost whitening systems. Ask us how they work and whether you’re a good candidate for whitening. If you’re not, there are other ways we can help you create a beautiful smile.

MYTH: I hate my crooked teeth, but braces are just for kids.
TRUTH: You’re never too old for braces! Straight teeth do more than enhance your smile. They’re easier to keep clean, reducing your risk of cavities, gum disease, and bone loss.

Our orthodontist, Dr. Meagan Struby, is board certified in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. She uses both the Damon and Invisalign systems.

Talk with her about your options for finally having correctly aligned teeth.

To learn more about busting oral health myths, contact us. We’re always here to help.

All About Braces: Answering Your Top Questions

Getting braces put on is a common dental procedure. Patients often have many questions about the procedure and other factors concerning their braces, including price and care questions. South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics has answers to your questions and more. Continue reading below to learn what you need to know about your braces.

How are Braces Put On?

Your dentist will provide detailed information during your consultation. To start, your teeth will be cleaned and prepared for the glue. The glue will then be placed, following the brackets which hold the wires for your braces. From there, the wiring can be threaded through the brackets.

How are Braces Taken Off?

Getting your braces taken off is very exciting. The wires are first removed, following the brackets. They are gently removed to minimize pain levels. The glue is then scraped from your teeth, and they are cleaned to make your smile ready to show.

How Long are Braces Worn?

Every patient has to wear braces for a different amount of time. This is based on numerous factors, including how severe the misalignment of your bite is and the type of braces you use. Braces can be in for as long as two and a half years to as little as nine months.

How Often Do My Braces Need to be Checked?

Appointments are held every month to every few months. This is to ensure your braces are working effectively and that there are no adjustments that need to be made. Anything that needs to be changed will be changed.

Will My Braces Hurt?

Many patients are surprised at how comfortable braces actually are. After adjustment appointments and after your initial appointment, there may be a bit of soreness. This is only temporary, however, and is easily relieved with over-the-counter medications.

How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

It is important to keep your teeth clean in order to keep your braces clean. For this reason, it is important to brush your teeth after every meal. You should also try to floss your teeth as effectively as possible.

What is the Age Range for Braces?

Anyone is able to get braces, despite the fact that most individuals think only teenagers get them. There are many adults who choose to get braces. This can help you gain confidence in your smile, especially if your alignment problems are noticeable.

What is the Price of Braces?

The price of braces really depends on how long you will need them and exactly the types of braces you need. It will also depend upon what your insurance covers. All pricing details will be provided at your initial consultation in our office at South Meadows Dental.

What Now?

If you think braces are the right choice for you, call us at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics to schedule your initial consultation. We will walk you through any other questions you may have, and assist you in making the right choices for you. You will have a new smile soon!

Why Choose a Board Certified Orthodontist?

When it comes to getting specialty dental work performed, your regular dentist will likely refer you to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is different from a dentist because they have the experience and training to focus on issues like straightening teeth and correcting bites. Most people don’t think much about their dentist’s qualifications, so it can seem easy to ignore these for your orthodontist as well. However, it’s extremely important to choose the right orthodontist, just as you would any other medical professional.

As you look, you’ll start to notice that there are two main categories of orthodontists. These are board certified and non-board certified. While it makes initial sense to go with the orthodontist who is board-certified, it can still be helpful to understand what you’re getting from each category.

What Does Board Certified Mean?

It’s important to note that not all orthodontists choose to be board certified. This certification is done on a voluntary basis by the individual. The board that orthodontists answer to is the American Board Of Orthodontics, or ABO. The board evaluates each orthodontist who voluntarily applies to be board certified.

During this evaluation, each orthodontist undergoes a rigorous demonstration of their abilities. They have to bring actual detailed case reports of treating a variety of orthodontic issues at their practice to the board. Each person applying to be board-certified will need to showcase their knowledge, judgment, and clinical skills to a highly-respected panel of examiners.

The Four Main Objectives Of The ABO

The American Board Of Orthodontics utilizes four main objectives when evaluating candidates for board certification. Each one is aimed at enhancing the individual’s standard of practice of orthodontia. These goals are:

  • Evaluate Knowledge And Clinical Skills By Conducting Exams
  • Continued Re-Evaluation Of Knowledge And Skills For Recertification Exams
  • Develop Quality Continuing Education Programs In Orthodontics
  • Promote Certification Expertise Throughout The Globe

Getting Certified Takes Time

As the board certified experts at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics know, it can take five to ten years for the initial process of certification! After certification has been granted by the ABO, each orthodontist must be recertified every ten years to maintain their status.

Having the title of Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics is a long way of saying “board certified,” but it’s something you can look for as you search for an orthodontist. Dental professionals who reach this title have undergone voluntary examination by their peers, meaning they’ve had their knowledge and clinical skills properly tested and continue to pursue proficiency in their knowledge going into the future.

Board Certification Isn’t Mandatory

As you’ve likely determined by now, board certification is not mandatory to practice in the orthodontic field. In fact, only about one third of orthodontists practicing in the United States are actually board certified. This sets those who are certified well apart from the rest in their field.

Given the choice of whether or not to choose a board-certified orthodontist, it simply makes sense to do so. They’ve proven to have the right knowledge and clinical skills in their field. And, the best part is that they continue to learn and practice as they’re required to get re-certified. As with everything, it comes down to making the best possible choice for your health and dental wellbeing.

Is Our Orthodontist Board-Certified?

Yes! Dr. Meagan Struby is a board-certified orthodontist with over 15 years experience.

Schedule a Consultation

Our team of board certified dentists and orthodontists are excited to meet and begin achieving your dental goals with the right treatment plan for you. To get started, we invite you to contact our Reno office by calling or filling out our online form.

All About Adult Braces

adult braces

If you’ve been longing to have the perfect smile, then adult braces could make your dreams come true. At South Meadows Dental and Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on offering high-quality dental care to all of our patients. We can help you determine whether adult braces are the right choice for you.

Adult Braces Have Come A Long Way

When you think of braces, you may be visualizing uncomfortable metal that will make you look less attractive. The good news is that adult braces are modern, comfortable and less noticeable than ever before. Depending on the level of treatment you need you’ll have an array of options for adult braces.

Your Options For Adult Braces

If you’re looking for a faster way to straighten your teeth, then you should get conventional braces. Most people don’t relish the thought of metal braces. Luckily, you can pick from ceramic braces or even make a fashion statement with colored braces. Today’s braces are made with one bracket on the front of your tooth and held in place with well-placed wires. At South Meadows Dental, we use the Damon System, which is a self-litigating bracket. The Damon System is a more comfortable treatment thanks to the reduction in pressure on your teeth.

Aligners As An Alternative To Adult Braces

Aligners are a system of clear mouth trays that you insert for almost the entire day. You’re provided with a different aligner for each day, and you must remain consistent with the aligner system to let it do its job. Most patients feel aligners aren’t as obvious as conventional braces, and it allows you to brush your teeth simply by taking out the aligner.

How To Care For Your Adult Braces

Regular dental hygiene is an essential part of caring for your braces. It’s important to keep all of your scheduled visits with our dental office to ensure the health of your teeth. You should avoid eating sticky, sugary or hard foods while you have adult braces. Coffee, tea and red wine can also stain your teeth during orthodontic treatment. We will advise you about how to brush and floss properly depending on which method of orthodontic treatment you receive.

Seeing The Results Of Adult Braces

Orthodontic treatment can take some time before you’re ready to show the world your smile, but the end results will be worth it. Depending on your teeth and which appliance is used, your treatment could last between 18 and 22 months. That’s a small time commitment when you consider you’ll have beautifully straight teeth for life once your treatment is complete.

If you’re ready to smile without worrying about crooked or misaligned teeth, then call us at South Meadows Dental and Orthodontics today. We will give you a consultation and put you on the path to a great smile.

Best Practices for Healthy Teeth

Having regular dental check-ups is a significant part of overall health. Going to the dentist can feel stressful, however. We want everyone to know that your dental health is important. We can help you gain the good health that you deserve. Here are some tips that you can do every day at home. These build confidence, and that lowers anxiety. We want everyone to feel empowered to take care of themselves so that they can enjoy great health.

Do These

Brush regularly. The most important time for this is after the evening meal or before bedtime. This removes sugars and other food that can cause plaque to build up. Plaque leads to cavities. Brushing after each meal of the day provides even better protection.

Floss regularly. Practice will improve your flossing. This reduces particles that get caught between teeth. Toothbrushes can’t reach these areas.

Rinse with mouthwash. Make this a daily practice. Find a brand you like. Using mouthwash is not as necessary as brushing and flossing. Many people find it helpful.

Use fluoride. Fluoride isn’t just for children. It protects adult teeth, too.

Drink water instead of acidic or sugary drinks. This reduces chemicals that eat away at teeth. Water also rinses the mouth and reduces germs.

Eat crunchy natural foods like fruits and vegetables. These foods scrub teeth clean. They don’t stick to teeth the way gummy foods do, so they cause fewer issues.

Schedule dental check-ups twice a year. This helps nervous patients get used to the standard dental procedures. They also receive support and learn about good dental health. Regular check-ups prevent many problems. They can catch others while they are small.

Brush properly. Many people brush too hard. They may miss areas of their mouth. We’d be happy to teach you proper brushing techniques.

Avoid These

Avoid sticky and sugary foods. They cause plaque buildup that causes cavities. Brush thoroughly after eating them.

Don’t go to bed without brushing and flossing your teeth. This removes food particles and helps teeth stay clean.

Don’t give up on flossing. Flossing doesn’t have to be perfect to protect teeth.

Don’t brush too hard or use stiff brushes. Soft brushes can clean the teeth without irritating gums or enamel.

Give up smoking. It affects teeth, gums, and tongue.

Don’t give children juice or soda every day. Offer water, instead. Use a stuffed animal or music instead of a sippy cup or bottle to soothe children at night.

South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics

Here at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics, we provide dental services for the entire family. This includes general care and cleaning. We also offer orthodontics and cosmetic services when those needs come up. Ask us what you can do to have greater control over your dental health. Schedule an appointment today so that you can have the peace of mind that good health brings.

Dr. Meagan Struby Featured in The Good Life Magazine

Dr. Struby is spotlighted in The Good Life Magazine’s “Ask the Doctor” feature where she answers common questions about orthodontics from patients in the South Reno area. Dr. Struby is a board certified orthodontist with over 15 years of experience in providing exceptional care to her patients, both adults, and children. Passionate about education and ensuring her patients and community know the benefits of compassionate orthodontics, Dr. Struby loves answering questions and making sure patients can make the best, most informed choices for their oral health. Learn more about Dr. Struby, her practice, and her approach to orthodontics by reading her “Ask the Doctor” feature here in The Good Life Magazine here.

At South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics, we welcome the chance to answer your questions and help you learn more about how to maintain healthy teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Struby and our fun, compassionate staff, contact us by calling (775) 413-2976 or filling out our online form. We serve the greater Reno/Sparks area and welcome new families looking for the best in dentistry and orthodontic care.

Better Technology For Impressive Results: Damon Braces

braces reno nv

Traditional braces are the most common form of teeth straightening. Traditional braces have also been around since the 20th century, and they have been the go-to process for correcting misaligned teeth. As technology increases, so have the options. Removable liners have been introduced in the past two decades, and they have yielded pretty good results. Have you ever heard of Damon Braces? If you haven’t heard about these dental components, then you’re not alone.

What Exactly Are Damon Braces & Are They A Good Solution?

Damon braces, also known as Damon System braces, is an alternative to metal track-related braces. These particular braces utilize low-friction mechanics for straightening the teeth. The amount of pressure that’s put on the teeth is far less than traditional braces, but the end result is just as great. Damon braces also fall under the category of fixed-cosmetic orthodontics, and the braces provide a fast way for teeth correction.

A Better Breakdown of The Mechanics

Unlike traditional braces that utilize metal brackets that look like train tracks, the Damon System braces use an advanced slide mechanism. This slide mechanism is much gentler on the teeth because it produces less friction. In other words, Damon braces are a more advanced form of its traditional counterpart. Of course, this may sound a bit more technical, but Damon braces generally come equipped with a technologically advanced form of brackets and wires.

Damon braces are self-ligating. This means that the braces won’t necessarily need the use of metal ties or elastic. With traditional braces, the created tension comes from the resistance that manifest from the use of elastic ties. Damon braces basically bypass this step because its slide mechanism creates the tension that ends up straightening your teeth. The transparent-ceramic material makes the braces much more aesthetically pleasing, and its stainless steel components are extremely powerful.

Damon braces can be seen in the front of the mouth, but the components are subtle to the naked eye, which is why the braces are very popular among adults.

Is This Technology Really Better?

In most cases, Damon braces can be seen as better because the results come faster and the braces are much more comfortable to wear. In other words, patients will receive great results in a shorter period of time than with traditional braces. In addition to that, you won’t have to visit your dentist as often. Teeth extractions aren’t necessary in most cases, but your dentist may recommend them as part of your overall orthodontic plan.

These advanced braces do cost more than traditional braces, however, they are more discreet and treatment is faster than with traditional braces. Visit your South Meadows Dentistry for more in-depth information on how you can get a gorgeous smile.

Enjoy Whiter Teeth Than Ever With South Meadows Dental

Having a beautiful smile is a primary goal for many people. Getting cosmetic dental procedures is a popular option for those who wish to have beautiful teeth. One of the main concerns people focus on is the whiteness of their teeth. Teeth discoloration can obscure this and cause people to feel that their smile is imperfect. At South Meadows Dental we help people get rid of the discoloration of their teeth in order to feel confident in their smile.

Introduction to Teeth Discoloration

Discoloration of the teeth is very common and happens to everyone for a variety of reasons. Of course, for some people, this yellowing may occur more easily than for others. The reasons behind this have to do with a combination of personal lifestyle choices and natural elements that are well beyond anyone’s control. Here we will go over some of the reasons why our teeth tend to yellow and ways that we can both prevent and treat teeth yellowing with the help of dentists at South Meadows Dental.

Causes for Tooth Discoloration

What lies at the root of tooth discoloration? While teeth may be discolored, that does not necessarily mean that they have cavities or are showing signs of infections. Discolored teeth can be caused by a variety of things. While a very common reason that teeth become discolored can be attributed to bad personal hygiene and from the introduction of outside sources, like coffee or tea, teeth can also be discolored from internal problems found within a patient. So, while discolored teeth may not always be a sign of tooth infection, they can be a sign of other conditions.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Discoloration

Again, while most people tend to jump to the conclusion that yellowed teeth are caused by lack of brushing, that assumption could not be farther from the truth. In most cases, yellowing of the teeth is something that happens very naturally over the passage of time. While we may think that we can avoid a lot of things that would change the natural color of our enamel, the fact is that time and natural activity does take its toll. No matter how careful we think we are, we all experience some degree of discoloration for our teeth. One cause for this is extrinsic discoloration, which is discoloration caused by outside forces such as drinking coffee, tea, and smoking cigarettes. Intrinsic discoloration is the discoloration type that happens for internal reasons such as aging, trauma to the teeth, infections, and as a symptom of certain medications.

Preventative Measures for Discoloration

Knowing the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discoloration can help you to better prevent worsening of discoloration of your own teeth. Many dentists will suggest alternative solutions for consuming dark beverages, for example. If you drink coffee, soda, and other highly acidic drinks on a regular basis, dentists at South Meadows will suggest that you try to drink these in moderation. The less that your teeth are exposed to acids, the less wear and tear you will cause to your teeth. If the drink is dark, which is the case with coffee or tea drinks, then this is especially important. Not only are you damaging your teeth with common exposure to these drinks, but you are also staining them in the process.

Treatment Options Available

Yellowed teeth is a very common thing and it is nothing to be ashamed of. As mentioned in the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic causes mentioned above, as we age, our teeth naturally do change color. Thankfully, there are options out there for everyone of all ages to take advantage of. Treatment options include teeth whitening sessions at South Meadows Dental, which is possible for those who are seeking to restore their bright white smile. With assistance from one of our board-certified dentists at South Meadows Dental, you will be able to find a treatment option that is best for you and your personal dental plan.

Your New Smile Awaits

What does your smile say about you? Is it warm and welcoming or do you usually try not to show your teeth when greeting people? If you fall into the latter category, you’re not alone. Even the whitest of smiles can be misaligned, leading to embarrassment and feelings of social awkwardness.

Thankfully, there are ways to improve your smile discreetly. To take the guesswork out of getting Invisalign, the team at South Meadow Dental put together the following guide to help decide if Invisalign is right for you.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the new alternative to traditional metal braces. Instead of using wires and metal brackets, Invisalign braces are a custom-made plastic that is applied to the teeth. The gimmick of Invisalign is that they are almost invisible. After two weeks have passed, you have to swap the old aligners for a set of new ones that gradually straighten your teeth back into their normal position.

What to Know About Invisalign

Although Invisalign is amazing at what it does, there are a few situations where they won’t be as effective as regular braces. In fact, what determines that you need Invisalign is how severe your case is and what you want to have fixed. When it comes to mild to moderate cases, Invisalign works wonders. However, if you’re suffering from a severe tooth injury or damaged teeth, you’ll have to resort to metal braces.

Invisalign is mainly used to help treat the following:

  • Overbites and underbites
  • Gaps between the teeth
  • Misaligned teeth

Booking a complimentary consultation at South Meadows Dental will help us determine if you’re a suitable candidate for Invisalign treatment. After you deemed a suitable candidate for treatment with Invisalign, we’ll perform a thorough exam, which includes photographs of your face, and digital x-rays.

One of our highly skilled dentists will also complete a dental exam and then make dental impressions of your teeth. Keep in mind that Invisalign works best for adults and teens. Patients without all of their adult teeth do not qualify for Invisalign.

The Specifics

Once deemed a good candidate for treatment, we’ll take digital pictures, x-rays and digital impression with the iTero scanner. We then input all of the information into the system. Invisalign then creates a 3D digital mockup of your mouth.

Based on our findings, Invisalign creates custom-molded aligners. Your aligners are clear and made from BPA-free plastic. Depending on the degree of correction needed, you will wear your aligners for about 22 hours each day, taking them out when you eat and when you brush your teeth.

After two weeks, you’ll return for a dental checkup and our dentists will make sure that your aligners fit well and are comfortable. You’ll then return every two weeks to ensure that your treatment plan stays on track.

Things to Consider

Remember to wear your retainers for the recommended amount of time. If your teeth haven’t shifted into their anticipated position, the aligners may not fit properly throughout treatment.

South Meadows Dental is a trusted Invisalign provider. If you’ve been considering Invisalign or want to know more about how it works, contact us today. Your new smile is only a phone call away.

Why Damon Braces?

The days of large headgear and awkward feelings are now a thing of the past. Today’s orthodontia tools are more subtle and effective than ever before. Patients can actually look forward to a tooth-straightening treatment. Discover the power of Damon braces and how they can improve your smile today.

A New Way to Straighten Teeth

Damon braces are different than traditional braces because of the bracket science. Traditional braces use fixed brackets that require wires and elastics to move the teeth into place.

A Damon system has a bracket with a slide component. The wires can slide within this attachment, which effectively moves the teeth into a straight position. Damon braces have a similar appearance to traditional braces, but the brackets are much smaller in comparison.

Smile With Confidence

Orthodontia patients need teeth straightening, and their self-esteem is often negatively impacted. During treatment, patients feel better about their smiles almost right away. Because the brackets are relatively small, they smile with confidence once again.

The devices aren’t an overwhelming part of the smile. As the teeth shift into their appropriate locations, your smile will grow even larger. Damon braces continue to appeal to many patients as they familiarize themselves with the latest technology.

Spend Less Time at the Orthodontist’s Office

Traditional braces require monthly examinations where the orthodontist adjusts the wires. Damon braces only require half of the appointments when compared to traditional treatment.

In fact, the entire treatment length is shortened by about six months. The sliding mechanism inherent to Damon braces allows the teeth to move at a rapid rate. Traditional treatment for one patient might take 18 months, but the Damon system requires only 12 months. Each patient’s situation is different, but the Damon braces remain as the faster choice for that brilliant smile.

Reduce Bacteria Levels

If you’ve seen elastics on traditional braces, you know that they’re connected between brackets and exposed to saliva 24 hours a day. Although these items are critical to traditional braces, they also lead to increased bacteria levels in the mouth.

Damon braces don’t require elastics. In fact, the brackets are small and simply designed. It’s difficult for bacteria to thrive on these oral devices.

Patients will be happy to note that they’ll see fewer infections and cavities with a clean mouth thanks to Damon braces.

Perfect for Sensitive Individuals

Traditional braces usually come with some painful procedures. Tightening the wires, adding expanders to the palate and other options come with considerable discomfort.

Damon braces don’t require these steps. There’s only a gentle force on the teeth as they rapidly move into their rightful spots.

Sensitive people may steer clear of orthodontia entirely. There’s no need to avoid treatment anymore. Damon braces make teeth straightening an easy part of your life.

Choose Between Clear and Metal

Damon manufacturers understand that orthodontia patients want choices when it comes to oral devices. Brackets and wires are still necessary components, but they can be either metal or clear colors.

Patients can choose between these selections at the beginning of their treatment. There may even be a display model so that you can see the devices in person. Most patients report that they feel comfortable in the braces regardless of the color choice. The science behind the therapy gives patients a chance to forget about the devices inside their mouths.

Explore your orthodontia options today by calling South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics. Our team is happy to answer any questions you might have about treatment and results. See your smile transform with just a simple system set onto the teeth. You’ll have straight teeth for the rest of your life.