Happy New Year

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Is there a healthy habit you want to add to your life? Is there a bad habit you want to break? Maybe you’ve always wanted your best possible smile? It is never too late to do something for you! Call Reagin Orthodontics to make an appointment for your free consultation. Let Dr. Reagin help make this your best year yet!

New Year's Resolution

Wisdom Teeth Evaluation and Removal

wisdom teeth removal

It is commonly thought that having your wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon is done in order to prevent crowding of your teeth. While that is one reason and possible benefit of having them removed that is not the only reason wisdom teeth removal should be considered. If wisdom teeth partially come in and stop, an infection may develop. If wisdom teeth do fully come in and they are very close to the second molars, periodontal disease is a possibility due to the difficulty in brushing and flossing the teeth well.

As with all dental and orthodontic treatment plans there is not a single one size fits all approach. That is why it is important to have your wisdom teeth evaluated by your orthodontist and an oral surgeon. Dr. Reagin assesses the placement and growth of your wisdom teeth, before and during your orthodontic treatment. He evaluates how your wisdom teeth may impact your teeth alignment and bite.  Evaluation is done through an oral exam and a series of x-rays to determine the teeth’s current location and growth pattern.

Evaluation of wisdom teeth is not a one time event, it is something that will need to be done regularly as long as you have them. The position of the teeth and direction of growth often changes as you age, so what is true when you are 15 may not be the same when you are 18 or 30.

In the majority of cases wisdom teeth removal is recommend prior to the age of 24 due to the positives outweighing the negatives. Typically removal is done between 17 and 20. Bone density increases and roots are fully established after the age of 24, making the surgery have more risks associated with it. Waiting until you are over the age of 24 often doubles your recovery time and potential complications, such as nerve damage, sinus exposure, infection and jaw fracture are much more likely. In healthy patients between 17 and 24 there are few complications and the recovery is minimal.

It is highly likely that if Dr. Reagin or an oral surgeon sees the potential for a future problem removal my be recommended, even if there isn’t a problem now. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, ask Dr. Reagin at your next visit!

Orthodontic Pain Relief With Chewing Gum

braces and chewing gum

No one denies that the first week you have your braces on that there is some discomfort. Most studies agree that pain peaks at 24 hours and resolves around day seven. Orthodontic pain comes from a restriction in blood supply, inflammation, and swelling in the compressed periodontal ligament. Histamine, bradykinin, prostaglandins, serotonin, and substance P are released and irritate the nerve endings of the pain receptors, thus causing pain. Bottom line for someone who has new braces, their mouth is sore!

For years most patients have relied on NSAids, such as ibuprofen, to relieve mouth pain in the first week after braces are placed. The American Journal of Orthodontics published a study in 2012 that provided additional options for pain relief. The potential side effects associated with NSAids in young patients have become a concern  so many orthodontists are looking for alternatives. Chewing gum and plastic wafers have been suggested as possible options.

There are various types of mouth pain associated with the placement of braces including chewing, biting bringing front teeth together and bringing back teeth together. The study results showed that both chewing gum and plastic wafers both were good alternatives to NSAids. Chewing gum was especially beneficial in reducing chewing pain.

So how do you use chewing gum to relieve chewing pain?  First, Dr. Reagin only recommends sugar-free gum. The study suggests chewing gum for 5 minutes immediately after braces placement and at 8-hour intervals for 1 week if pain is experienced.

Note: The published study was performed by Fahimeh Farzanegan, Seyed Mojtaba Zebarjad, Sanaz Alizadeh, and Farzaneh Ahraria Mashhad, Iran.

Should you See an Orthodontist or a Dentist

Britt for 1205

When it comes to caring for your oral health there are various types of doctors and surgeons available. People are often confused as to what each doctor does. Many people think orthodontists only straighten teeth, but even if your teeth are straight you may have jaw and bite concerns. Today we want to answer the question, “Should you see an orthodontist or a dentist?”

Dentists are important when it comes to our dental health. They regularly clean your teeth and watch for signs in your oral health that can be a symptom of a larger problem. They also discover any cavities through x-rays and exams early if you are going to your twice a year check-ups. A cavity that is left untreated can cause a lot of damage and no one wants that.

Your dentist should also recommend that you see an orthodontist at age seven to be evaluated for orthodontic treatment. Age seven is important because an orthodontist can evaluate a child to see if early intervention is needed to allow for the best possible smile as your child grows.  An Orthodontist is important at this point versus a dentist because an orthodontist has had additional education specifically to identify and treat aligning your teeth and jaw.

Want to know more about why you should see an orthodontist for bite concerns or straightening your teeth?  The American Association of Orthodontists has a great video describing just what an orthodontist is.

The Holiday Season Has Begun

Reagin Orthodontics Staff

We know most of you are off for a few days enjoying time with family and friends. Maybe some of you are even braving the traffic and the people to do a little shopping today! Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the holiday season for most of us and everyone at Reagin Orthodontics wants to wish you well as we enter into this time of year. It is a busy time, but don’t forget to slow down and take time for all those special people in your life!

Happy and Safe Holidays.

What Is Invisalign and Is It For You


You have probably heard of Invisalign, but do you know what it is?

Invisalign is a series of custom made aligners used to gradually and gently move your teeth into place. Typically aligners are changed approximately every two weeks. You will receive several sets of custom made aligners at each of your visits, which occur every four to six weeks.

The are many advantages of Invisalign for adults and teens. They are clear, so the go virtually unnoticed. You can remove them when you eat and brush your teeth. This means your diet is not limited by them nor does your dental hygiene routine need to change at all. You can brush and floss just as you always have. There is also a huge benefit to individuals that play musical instruments, especially woodwinds. It is easier to play the instrument with Invisaglin and there is no possibility of cutting your lip with Invisalign as there is with traditional metal braces.

Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign. The best way to determine if it is right for you is to visit Dr. Reagin for a free consultation. If Invisalign is an option, he will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. Oh and another benefit of Invisalign over traditional braces is you will most likely get to use iTero for your impressions over the goop in the trays! That is certainly one for the plus column! Call us today!

Adults and Braces

Adult Braces

Do you wish your smile was a little different each time you look in the mirror? Did you have braces as a teenager, but as you’ve gotten older you notice your teeth are not as straight as they used to be? Maybe you never had braces and you would like to do something about some crooked teeth or your bite now as an adult. With all the options available, other than traditional metal braces, adults in orthodontic treatment are much more common than they used to be.

If you are considering making a change, the first step is a consultation with an orthodontist. This will determine the treatment plan needed and the various options that can provide you with your best possible smile. Dr. Reagin at Reagin Orthodontics offers a free consultation to all new patients. At the consultation Dr. Reagin will talk with you about your concerns and how you would like your smile to look. He and his staff will also take a series of x-rays and photographs before making recommendations for your treatment plan and the options available to you.

Traditional metal braces are still an option in most cases, but if that is not the path you want to take there may be another option for you. Ceramic brackets blend with the color of your teeth to make your braces less noticeable. Incognito braces are placed on the back of your teeth so no one will notice you are wearing them. Invisalign is a series of custom-made clear aligners that typically go completely unnoticed by everyone!

Each person is unique in their treatment plan and which tools are the best for them. Dr. Reagin will discuss with you all the options that will get you the best result possible!

Is Nail Biting Bad for You?

nail biting

The short answer is yes. At some point in your life you have probably heard someone say “Stop biting your nails. It is not good for you.” Maybe it was said to you or someone you know. Did it make you wonder why it wasn’t good for you to bite your nails?

Before we talk about how it is bad for your teeth, let’s just talk about germs. Your hands hold a lot of germs. You touch things all day long and since biting your nails is often a habit you do without realizing you are doing it, you put those dirty hands in your mouth. When you think about it that way, it can turn your stomach a bit! You have the potential to pick up germs and viruses that can make you sick or expose your mouth and body to unnecessary risk.

It is also actually bad for your teeth. Nail biting is often done with your front teeth which are not intended for chewing and grinding hard materials, your back teeth are. Constant chewing on your nails can wear down your tooth enamel and even make your teeth uneven.

The Academy of General Dentistry also says that biting nails often leads to jaw clenching and grinding. This can lead to TMJ down the road which is condition where the jaw pops, can even lock and cause a considerable amount of pain. The Academy of General Dentistry has also done research that shows nail biters spend up to $4000 more on dental care in their lifetime than non-nail biters.

We know stopping the habit can be hard since it is often a reaction to stress or anxiety that the nail biter often doesn’t realize they are doing. Of course you can try to break the habit by painting clear polish on your nails or using a special product for the cessation of nail biting. Both products have an unpleasant taste which will hopefully make the nail biter want to stop. Another option is to replace it with something else that is not harmful to you. You could twirl a pencil, string or turn a coin in your hand to replace the nervous habit.

If you have tried these things and they haven’t worked or you know you or your child is a nail biter and a teeth grinder talk with Dr. Reagin. Mouth guards can be made that reduce the grinding at night and worn at other times of the day can prevent you from biting your nails.

Whichever path you choose it is just important to start trying to break the habit and improve your dental and overall health.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween Reagin Orthodontics

Trick or treating and fun with friends is on everyone’s mind this week and especially today! It has been a week filled with Character Parades and Trunk or Treats at area schools. Summerville’s annual Scarecrows on the Square decorate our downtown and kids are grinning from ear-to-ear as they count down the minutes until they can go trick or treating and indulge in more goodies in one night than many kids usually have in a whole week!

Remember to be safe tonight and keep in mind these treat suggestions if you have braces, a retainer, a palate expander or any other orthodontic appliance.  If you are doing some last minute shopping for a party or a quick bite before heading out for the night our post last week had some braces friendly food ideas.

If you don’t follow us on Facebook, now is the time to start! It was a GROOVY day for the staff at Reagin Orthodontics yesterday! Click here to see the fun!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!