What Candy Can I Eat With Braces This Halloween?

Halloween is a holiday all about enjoying sweet treats! But if you have braces or are getting them soon, you probably know that there are some sweets that you should avoid while wearing braces. Some common candies we like to enjoy on Halloween might damage braces and set orthodontic treatment back. So before you sink your teeth into sour, sticky, or crunchy candy this Halloween, take a look at this list of candy that you shouldn’t be tricked into eating and treats that are ok to enjoy with braces.

Why Avoid Certain Candies?

First, let’s talk about why we recommend staying away from certain candies. Any candy your orthodontist recommends staying away from is to help you complete your treatment plan on time, and avoid inconvenient emergency visits to your orthodontist’s office. Crunchy, sticky, and sour candies can all cause different problems for your teeth during your scheduled treatment.

Crunchy candies like jolly ranchers can shear the bracket off of your tooth. Sticky candies, like caramels, can get stuck in the brackets and cause them to loosen/break via pulling forces. A broken bracket can set your treatment back past its expected completion. On average, one broken bracket equals one extra month in braces. Brackets hold the wires into place and help guide your teeth. Without them, your teeth will not be able to reach their correct alignment.

Sour candies are usually very acidic. The acid from Skittles, Starbursts, Gummi Worms, etc. create an environment in your mouth where cavity causing bacteria thrive! This acid environment can cause the enamel on your teeth to decalcify and wear down. Enamel is the outer layer of tooth structure that protects our teeth from damage, and allow our teeth to be esthetically pleasing. Compromised enamel will not look good and can lead to a greater risk for cavities which will require fillings/repair from your dentist.

Don’t Get Tricked Into Eating These Candies:

To get the best results from your braces treatment plan, your friends at Reagin Orthodontics recommend staying away from these candies:

  • Chewy Candy
    • Gummi Worms
    • Sweet Tart Ropes
    • Starbursts
  • Jellybeans
    • Red Vines
    • Licorice
    • Twizzlers
  • Suckers/ Lollipops
    • Ring Pops
    • Tootsie Pops
    • Dum Dums
  • Sour Candy
    • Sour Skittles
    • Trolli Sour Worms
  • Nuts
    • Almond Joy
    • Crunch
    • Peanut M&M’s
  • Hard Candies
    • Lifesavers
    • Jolly Ranchers
    • Werthers Original
    • Lemonheads
    • WarHeads
  • Caramels
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Skittles
  • Peanut M&Ms

Why Are Certain Candies OK To Eat?

Candy is not always a bad thing when you have braces. Soft or low sugar candies offer safe, delicious options for people with braces because they will not cause damage to braces or tooth enamel.

Soft candy like Hershey’s Kisses and Peppermint Patties don’t have any pieces that could fracture off and break brackets or wires. Keeping your brackets in place helps us line your teeth up faster, so soft candy is the way to go to make sure that your treatment goes according to plan.

Candies that are low in sugar will be less likely to cause tooth decay or damage enamel. Eating candy that is low sugar and by brushing regularly will help prevent cavities.

Treat Yourself To These Candies Instead:

These candies are great choices to enjoy this Halloween without risking any damage to your braces or any delays in treatment.

  • ChocolateHershey’s Kisses
    • Dove Chocolate
    • Snow Caps
  • Soft Candy Bars
    • KitKats
    • 3 Musketeers
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Mint Candies
    • Peppermint Patties
    • York Peppermint Patties
  • Soft Sugar Free Gum

When in doubt, ask yourself if eating this candy might get something stuck in your braces or loosen a bracket. If the answer is yes, wait to eat that candy until you’re done with your treatment.

We also recommend that you brush and floss between teeth after eating candy. When you brush, make sure you pay special attention to your gums and the area around your brackets. It can also help to swish water or mouthwash around your mouth to help remove any remaining bits of candy. Water piks are also very helpful with removing plaque and food when you have braces.

Other Desserts You Can Enjoy

If you’d like to enjoy some other desserts for Halloween, you can enjoy most other baked goods and ice creams as long as there are no hard, sticky, or sour parts. Try celebrating this year with:

  • Jell-O
  • Ice Cream
  • Smoothies
  • Soft Cookies
  • Cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Sliced Apples (You won’t be able to bite into any candied or caramel apples, but you can dip small pieces of apples into peanut butter).

If you have any questions about the candies or other foods that you can enjoy with your braces, ask your orthodontist! Our friendly team at Reagin is always happy to help answer any of your questions. You can give our friendly team a call at (843) 871-4411 or email us at scheduling@drorthodontics.com with any questions. We hope you have a very happy and healthy Halloween!


What to Do When You Get Braces—3 Important Steps

What to Do When You Get Braces—3 Important Steps

Getting braces from Reagin Orthodontics is an important step in your dental care, but what you do when you get those braces is just as important as the braces themselves. So, what steps should you take after you get braces? Here are three easy-to-follow steps: 1.) manage your discomfort; 2.) be careful about the foods you eat; and 3.) take care of your braces. Let’s talk more about those steps.

How to Manage Pain When You Get Braces

One common issue with braces is the discomfort. While you will experience some soreness and biting pressure when you first get your braces, it will fade with time—usually within three to five days. Fortunately, you can do several things to ease the soreness:

  • Chew soft sugar-free gum. Yes, gum! Research has shown that chewing gum for five minutes after you get braces can reduce pain associated with orthodontic treatment. Continue every four to eight hours for a week to relieve discomfort. Just make sure you use soft sugar-free gum that doesn’t stick to your braces!
  • Salt-water rinses for your cheeks and gums. Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of lukewarm water and rinse when you experience soft tissue discomfort in your mouth. It can help reduce inflammation. As a bonus, it also helps remove leftover food stuck in your teeth and braces.
  • Eat soft food. When you first get your braces, you’ll want to avoid hard-to-bite foods. Stick to soft items like fish, pasta, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, soups, scrambled eggs, and shakes. And cold foods like apple sauce and ice cream help your mouth feel better, too.
  • Take medicine. You can use over-the-counter pain relief like Ibuprofen if you experience discomfort after getting or adjusting your braces. You can also use a topical numbing gel like Anbesol or Orajel for soft tissue irritations.

Foods to Avoid When You Get Braces

The good news is, you’ll be able to eat most of the same foods you enjoyed before you got braces. However, you’ll need to stay away from a few things because they’ll damage the components of your braces. They can cause wires or bands to snap—and that means more time in treatment. We know you don’t want that! Here are some of the foods you’ll need to avoid when you get braces:

  • Very Chewy foods: big bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, hard chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, bubble gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, hard candy
  • Foods you bite into: corn on the cob, raw apples, raw carrots

You can still eat foods like apples and carrots. Just cut them into smaller pieces so you can pop them in your mouth instead of biting into them.

Foods aren’t the only thing to avoid chewing when you get braces. You’ll also need to stop habits like biting pencils, pens, and fingernails. If you stay away from all of these things, you’ll be able to get your braces off as soon as possible, and we know you want that!

How to Take Care of Your Braces

Braces may look indestructible, but they’re not. They require care and maintenance. Here are a few tips on caring for both your teeth and your braces.

  • Brush after every meal. Even when you have snacks. That’s because those braces have a gazillion tiny places where food can get trapped—and that causes plaque buildup. Not good. Be sure to rinse with mouthwash and floss once a day. These basics can ensure you don’t spend more time in the dentist’s office than necessary.
  • Invest in a waterpik. This helpful tool can remove food from hard to reach areas, and aid in keeping plaque off of your teeth. You can pick one up at any pharmacy or online.
  • Floss carefully. Too much force can damage your braces, so be gentle. You might even try using a floss threader or braces floss sticks. We will show you how to floss with braces, so don’t worry—you’ll be a pro!
  • Eat with a fork and knife. Especially with finger foods like burgers and pizza. Biting into food (rather than placing a bite inside your mouth) pushes the food up behind and between your braces, and it can get stuck there—again, causing plaque.
  • Fall in love with chocolate. When you need a little sugar pick-me-up, avoid candy that sticks to your braces, such as hard candies and sugary gum. Chocolate is softer and melts in your mouth. Who knew you’d have a good excuse to eat chocolate? But don’t go overboard. The bacteria in plaque loves sugar.

Life with braces will take some adjustment—no pun intended! The team at our offices will walk you through what to do when you get braces so you can feel confident in taking the steps to make the process easier. We want you to experience the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of this orthodontic care. Call us today to talk more about your braces or your overall dental care. Or if you’re interested in getting braces, be sure to contact us for a free consultation.

Considering Direct Smile Aligners? READ this first!

Don’t let your DIY orthodontics become a Pinterest Fail

You see them everywhere these days…those ads from mail-order aligner companies promising to give you perfect teeth, with little hassle, all without ever making you leave your house.

Of course, that sounds like a great idea. It’s convenient, yes. And while we have super comfortable chairs and a really welcoming office, the idea of putting on aligners on your own couch while watching Netflix is appealing. You could even post about your newly straightened teeth on Pinterest!

The problem with these companies, though, is the lack of hands-on, personal oversight. Without an orthodontist, you could suffer serious, irreversible damage to your teeth. You might save a little gas money, but your teeth could ultimately pay the price if you use one of these companies–and that would make for one massive Pinterest fail.

Still on the fence? Here are several reasons why mail-order aligners are a bad idea:

1) You don’t have regular checkups.

With traditional treatment, you’ll visit the orthodontist for x-rays, initial photos and a diagnostic plan (the most important part). After your initial smile analysis, you’ll revisit in 8-12 week intervals to see if you need new aligners, your bands need to be tightened, and for your overall dental health. From start to finish, treatment can take as little as 6 months.

With mail-order, you don’t have regular checkups. They send you a kit to help you take impressions of your teeth, you send it back, and your new aligners are mailed to you with instructions. Convenient, yes, but not the best way to treat your teeth.

The companies claim your treatment will be done in three to six months, and you’ll never likely see a licensed professional before or after that.

Who is checking the diagnostic plan? 90% of the time it’s not an orthodontist (a dentist with 2-3 years extra training in tooth movement). Instead it’s anyone with a dental license regardless of their education and training in tooth movement. The huge problem here is dental school doesn’t teach you about tooth movement. You need further education to become an orthodontist to understand how to do that.

Who is evaluating the final bite to see if your “new bite” will cause you harm in the future? No one.

What about the overall health of the bones and gums as the teeth move…who is monitoring that? No one.

2) You’ll receive substandard care.

Aligning your bite and straightening your teeth isn’t a quick fix. It’s a slow process that’s all about shifting ligaments and bones around your teeth. If this isn’t done the right way, and if it’s not closely monitored, you can do serious, even irreparable damage to your pearly whites.

The American Association of Orthodontics (they’re really smart people) even issued a warning about this. “The risks associated with ‘do it yourself’ orthodontics can, and should be, avoided,” they said.

We agree.

3) The mail-order company doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.

In other words, you can’t begin orthodontic treatment until your teeth and gums are cleared by a dentist. And, in many cases, you need a dental specialist, periodontist, to further evaluate your bone health prior to starting orthodontic treatment.

If you have problems like gingivitis, periodontitis, chipped teeth or cavities, an orthodontist is going to send you back to a dentist to get these taken care of first.

You’re not going to get that type of treatment and interaction from a mail-order company.

4) Your insurance probably won’t pay.

The mail-order companies advertise that their treatment is often covered. But self-treatment, without the right supervision, likely wouldn’t be a covered expense in most insurance plans.

Insurance companies aren’t going to pay for something that doesn’t meet their quality standards–because when the treatment fails, more expenses are headed their way.

5) Cost.

Most of these companies charge around $2,200 for alignment and retainers. This fee is for very limited simple fixes. But guess what? MOST orthodontists can give you a better, faster result for simple fixes at or near the same fee.

Our advice to you: Stay away from do-it-yourself orthodontic care. If not, you’re taking a big risk and only asking for trouble.

Schedule an appointment with a licensed orthodontist, like Reagin Orthodontics, to learn more about your options when it comes to making your teeth pretty enough for the perfect Pinterest post!

What is expected of me during my Orthodontic Treatment?

Dr. R with pt

We hear this question a lot at Reagin Orthodontics, and we don’t mind when patients who are eager to complete their orthodontic treatment ask us. After all, we know there is no better feeling than getting your braces off!

During your initial consultation with Dr. Reagin, he will map out a specific treatment for you and will do his best to give you a timeline of when we expect you to wrap up treatment.

Having said that, we know every patient is different. People have different biological responses to orthodontic treatment and some people’s teeth may move faster than others.

Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your treatment wraps up in a timely manner. By following these suggestions, you can avoid any setbacks during your treatment.

  • Make sure to keep your adjustment appointments. Postponing or cancelling will delay treatment!
  • Be sure to show up on time to your appointments. This will give Dr. Reagin and our team time to do everything we planned during your adjustment visit.
  • When prescribed, make sure you are diligent about wearing rubber bands or other appliances.
  • Avoid damage to your braces and teeth by wearing a mouth guard during sports activities.
  • Make sure to brush and floss regularly! Gum disease or other dental work can delay orthodontic treatment.

If you remember to follow these guidelines, you’ll be on your way to having the dazzling, healthy smile you’ve always wanted. As for us, our team at Reagin Orthodontics will do our part to move your orthodontic treatment along efficiently. If you have any questions about your treatment time, please give us a call at our office or ask us during your next visit!

What is a Water Flosser?

water flosser

At Reagin Orthodontics we are all about good oral health! Daily brushing and flossing of your teeth as well as maintaining your 6 month visits to your dentist is the cornerstone of good oral health.

One of the most important areas of your mouth to clean is in-between your teeth and around the tooth/gum junction. These are the first places bacterial plaque will form, and it is also the hardest to keep clean.  Water flossers, like Waterpik™, are a good tool to clean between the teeth and around orthodontic appliances.

At Reagin Orthodontics we really like the use of water flossers. Here is what we have found:

Waterpik™ makes several types of water flossers including some just for kids. Personally, we like the countertop Waterpik™ Ultra Water Flosser, since it holds a good amount of liquid and patients find they have more control over the water pressure than the cordless Waterpik™. The Ultra Water Flosser runs about $60, but if you live by a Costco you can get both the Ultra Water Flosser and the Cordless Plus Water Flosser for only $79.

Water flossers typically come with several attachments and you can try them all out if you like, but the Classic Jet Tip works best. If you have braces the Plaque Seeker and Orthodontic Tips can help you clean around the brackets.


What to expect at your Initial Orthodontic Consultation


When you meet an orthodontist for an initial consultation, we strongly recommend consideration of the following:

– What is the practices philosophy? Make sure it lines up with what you are looking for.

– What is the orthodontist’s level of experience and how long have they been practicing?

– Does the practice have multiple offices forcing you to go to different office locations for your appointments?

– Is the orthodontic practice conveniently located close to your home, office or child’s school?

– Ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients. Are the results to your liking?

– How varied and advanced are the treatments offered? Revolutionary new technologies such as temporary mini-screws, translucent aligner scanning (such as Invisalign and Invisalign Teen) and self-ligating brackets.

– Is the orthodontist familiar with the different cutting edge accelerated treatment options such as AcceleDent, Propel, and Wilckodontics?

– What is the orthodontist’s diagnosis and plan of action for your teeth and how clearly has it been explained to you? Did the orthodontist provide information about alternatives? How practical is the treatment plan in light of your personal, business and social needs?

– What is the office ambiance like? Specifically, are you (or your child) comfortable with the orthodontist’s chair-side manner? Is the staff friendly, welcoming and quick to address your concerns? Since orthodontic treatment takes an average of two years, with appointments typically every six to eight weeks, it is important to establish a rapport with all of those who will be providing services.

– Emergencies are unlikely, but just in case, what is the office protocol?

– What are the financing options? Are their multifamily discounts? Paid in full discounts?

– Does the fee for treatment include retainers and is there a “Lifetime Guarantee” offered? Make sure to ask.

– Does the practice focus on educating you (and/or your child) on the care of their braces and/or appliances?

At Reagin Orthodontics we believe that finding an orthodontist you trust is like forming any important relationship in your life. Do some research, get to know them, ask your friends and trust your instincts!

Do I need to floss my teeth with braces?


Absolutely! At Reagin Orthodontics we are committed to good oral hygiene and flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you’re wearing braces. Because braces may hold food, sugars and liquids upon eating, it is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing, as well as visiting our office for regular adjustments.

While we know it’s tough enough to get kids to floss daily but remember that by not flossing, you will become more prone to cavities and gum disease. When flossing, remember to gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to weave the floss through each bracket. When flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you see blood, you are not flossing enough or properly.

Using an electric toothbrush is also a good idea to massage your gums before or after flossing as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. And don’t forget to add a mouthwash to your routine to break up any bacteria that has formed. A good mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape during your treatment.

Dr. Reagin and our team at Reagin Orthodontics will tell you it is just as important to develop a regular hygiene routine while you’re wearing braces. If you have any questions about flossing or your orthodontic treatment at Reagin Orthodontics please don’t hesitate to give us a call or during your next adjustment appointment!

Caring for your Invisalign Trays

Cleaning Trays

How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?

Proper upkeep and good oral hygiene are essential in keeping your Invisalign aligners clean, invisible, and odor free. Although the Invisalign allows for aligners to be easily removed for eating and drinking, failing to properly clean your trays afterwards can result in discoloration and a buildup of bacteria.

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you keep your aligners clean and crystal clear:


— Rinse your aligners when you remove them: Dry saliva and plaque create a perfect breeding ground for foul smelling bacteria.

— Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your aligners: Proper oral hygiene is key in maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities and decay. Since Invisalign is form fitted, failing to brush and floss properly can trap harmful particles between your teeth and aligner, increasing your risk for dental issues in the future.

— Clean your aligners with a clear anti-bacterial soft soap: A clear anti-bacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh, and free from harmful bacteria.

— Soak your aligners once a week: Denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, and the official Invisalign cleaning crystals are all excellent options in keeping your trays clear and sanitized.

TIP: Brush your aligners gently: Vigorous brushing can scratch your aligners and leave visible etchings. Brush carefully!


— Eat or drink (anything but water) while wearing Invisalign: Many foods and drinks can stain or discolor your aligners and cause them to stink.

— Use toothpaste to clean your aligners: Many types of toothpaste (especially those with whitening agents) are abrasive and can dull your aligners or create small traps for bacteria to dwell.

— Use colored soaps: Although anti-bacterial soap is a great way to clean your Invisalign braces, using anything but clear soap can cause your aligners to take on alternative hues and shades.

— Leave your aligners exposed or unprotected while eating: Aside from an increased risk of misplacing them, leaving your aligners in the open exposes them to harmful germs and bacteria. Rinse them, soak them, and then rinse them again before returning them to your mouth.

Reagin Orthodontics sponsors toothbrush giveaway


Dr. Britt Reagin has an offer to which you can’t, or at least shouldn’t, say no. As part of a buildup to “National Gum Care Month” in September, the Summerville orthodontist wants to give you a free Oral-B toothbrush. No strings attached, no pledges to brush and floss at least twice per day, just an opportunity for Dr. Reagin to “put his toothbrushes where his mouth is.”

In considering how to promote “National Gum Care Month” in September, four glaring statements came to mind and suddenly the “toothbrush exchange” struck him as a worthwhile investment.

• The ADA recommends that people brush at least twice daily and change toothbrushes every three to four months.

• Studies show that only 1 in 6 people change their toothbrushes as frequently as once per year.

• Research shows that crowded teeth contribute to gum disease. Gum disease nearly doubles the risk of heart disease.

• Proper oral hygiene habits, once established, become permanent. Get your kids started now!

Aug. 10-13, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., simply visit Reagin Orthodontics at 401 W. 4th North Street to pick up a new Oral-B toothbrush. If you need more than one, such as for your spouse and/or children, bring the old toothbrushes and Dr. Reagin will swap them, too.

“It may get expensive if this campaign gets traction and all of Summerville shows up,” said Dr. Reagin, “but that’s an investment I’d be very proud to make for the community.”

As part of the “toothbrush exchange campaign” Dr. Reagin is also going to award two Oral-B Pro 5000 electric toothbrushes, valued at $179 each. To enter to win one of these two toothbrushes, simply visit the practice’s page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ReaginOrthodontics, like the “toothbrush exchange” post, and share it with your friends and family. The winners will be selected from all people that have liked and shared the post in a random drawing on Aug. 14, and announced on the Facebook page that same day.

Every toothbrush that Dr. Reagin gives away represents, for him, the positive impact that one person can make to the cause of community health.

What are Sugar Bugs?

What are “SugarBugs” and How Do I Get Them To Go Away?

At Reagin Orthodontics we are committed to good oral hygiene and that means you need to make sure you are getting the sugar bugs off of your teeth. Sugar Bugs or plaque, is a combination of the food you eat with bacteria already found in your mouth.

Plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. As plaque increases, it becomes gooey white stuff – you can see it and sometimes feel it on your teeth (they feel kind of “fuzzy”). Bacteria (“Sugar Bugs & Starch Slugs”) live in the plaque. Whenever you eat, the sugars and starches in your food cause the bacteria to produce damaging acids that attack your tooth enamel and gums. With time and repeated acid attacks the tooth enamel breaks down, causing cavities, permanent marks and stains on teeth.

Crowded teeth provide these sugar bugs more places to hide and allow them to do more damage to your overall oral health. Braces or Invisalign can be used to eliminate the crowding and make your teeth easier to clean. The win-win is straight teeth and good hygiene.

To make sure none of these things happen to your smile, make a habit of brushing and flossing after you eat anything, and keep in mind that straight teeth are the easiest to keep clean!

For a complimentary consultation call 871-4411. No referral necessary.