Have You Heard???

Straight from Jessica Chander of Kickin’ 92.5…

“I am officially finished with Invisalign and I am so glad I chose Reagin Orthodontist to fix my smile! The amazing staff and facility made getting my smile so much more special! Every step of the process was easy and I would do it all over again!” – Jessica Chandler, Kickin’ 92.5

Listen to our new radio spot featuring Jessica Chandler from Kickin’ 92.5 and Campbell!

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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.


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!

Herbst Appliance & Airways

What do you need to know about the Herbst appliance?

Using a cephalometric x-ray (the one that takes images from the side of the head (see fig 1), an orthodontist can properly diagnose whether the orthodontic issue is skeletal or dental in nature. If the issue is skeletal, the only way to properly address and correct such is by way of a growth modification appliance such as the Herbst. This growth modification should be performed at an “ideal” time to be effective. If done too early, it will not last. If done too late, it will not be effective and jaw surgery will be required to correct the problem.
Therefore, if an orthodontist has diagnosed your child’s orthodontic issue as being skeletal in nature, treatment with rubber bands will not provide a solution.

Benefits of the Herbst?

Upper airway narrowing is connected to several breathing problems which include obstructive sleep apnea. Upper airway narrowing most commonly occurs in the space directly behind the tongue called the oropharynx. A small or narrow oropharynx is often linked to a retrusive (posterior) lower jaw position. It is worth noting that approximately 25% of the children that visit an orthodontist have a lower jaw that is positioned too far posteriorly which puts them at risk for either having or developing airway problems later in life.
In the simplest of terms, the Herbst appliance positions the lower jaw into a more forward position. In clinical research, Iwasaki verified that orthodontic treatment with a Herbst appliance can significantly enlarge the oropharynx, thereby opening the upper airway and minimizing the risk of developing airway issues later in life (see figure 2). Further research by Shutz showed that the Herbst appliance, used in conjunction with expansion of the upper jaw, will increase the volume of the pharyngeal airway and relieve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Lastly, Pancherz showed thorough additional clinical research that the Herbst appliance is most effective when used near the pubertal growth spurt. It is for the reason that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have a screening, performed by an orthodontist, at age 7.

Therefore, as one can glean, proper diagnose and efficient timing of treatment is essential to effectively treat a child with orthodontic issues of a skeletal nature using growth modification. The answer of “what should we do” in such a case that one orthodontist has recommended a Herbst while a second recommends rubber bands comes squarely down to the doctors’ diagnosis. If, in fact, the problem is skeletal, rubber bands are not a viable solution.

Dr. K Britt Reagin has been educated in orthodontic and dento-facial orthopedics and can monitor your child using radiographs to determine if and when your child will benefit the most from growth modification such as the Herbst.

Figure 1. An example of a cephalometric x ray used by orthodontist to determine if your orthodontic problem is dental or skeletal in nature. This radiograph can also be used to determine if you child is near the pubertal growth spurt.

Figure 2. Courtesy of Iwasaki. A. Shows a child with an obstructed airway prior to growth modification. B. Shows the same patient after the Herbst appliance. Notice then enlargement of the red cavity which is the airway.

The Summerville Journal Scene Progress Report

Did you see Dr. Reagin’s article in the Summerville Journal Scene Progress Report 2014 yesterday? It’s a great article and we want to share it with you here today, just in case you missed it!

Easy as “Phi”: The Science, Technology, and Art of Building Great Smiles

The “Golden Ratio,” often referred to as the Greek letter “phi,” has always captivated my imagination. From nature and biology to art and architecture, this geometric proportion is often thought of as the mathematical expression of beauty.  The chambers of a nautilus shell, the geometry of crystal formation, human proportions as depicted in da Vinci’s “Vetruvian Man”, the entire structure of the Acropolis in Athens; all examples of the “Golden Ratio” in our world.  So it will probably not be a surprise when I, an orthodontist, take note of “phi” in both our faces and our smiles in crafting the optimal outcome for my patients. As you will see, technological advances enable more accurate measurements and pain-free orthodontic care, but at the core of creating great smiles is the intersection between math (physics), biology, and art.

It may seem far-fetched to correlate the practice of orthodontics to anything resembling art.  After all, orthodontists must first attain a degree in dental medicine, and then enter into a two to three year residency focused specifically on the etiology of bite disorders and the physics and physiology of moving teeth.  This all sounds very much scientific and un-artsy, right? However, this specialization in orthodontics itself includes a degree in Dentofacial Aesthetics, and “aesthetics” is defined as “a study of outward appearance in terms of beauty and/or art.” So to be clear, beyond the physics of tooth movement, an orthodontist must thoroughly understand the proportions of a given patient’s face in order to engineer a smile that is both healthful and beautiful.

Technological advances in the field of orthodontics have yielded a set of tools that not only helps to zero in on better, faster treatment plans, but does so in a way that makes orthodontic care more comfortable, and ultimately, more affordable.  For example, our office is one of few in the region that has invested in the iTero® digital scanning system that yields vastly more accurate measurements of a patient’s mouth.  For the patient, this means no more “goopy” impressions, itself a great benefit.  But clinically speaking, iTero provides me with an incredibly precise model from which I can more quickly create a better treatment plan.  The result is an improved patient experience that includes a shorter time in braces or Invisalign® and a more affordable, better treatment outcome.

The sum of it all is that our investment in cutting edge technology certainly means a vastly better patient experience while in care.  So, too, does the technology enable my team to take better, more accurate measurements that help me to craft optimal treatment plans.  But the science of moving teeth to yield a great smile is reliant on creating a balance of proportions, the “Golden Ratio” of a “golden smile,” if you will.  Understanding this balance is the real art in orthodontics.  As easy as “phi.”

One Office. One Focus.

reagin orthodontics office staff

We know we’re different. We planned it that way.

What makes us different from a lot of orthodontic offices is our philosophy: One Office. One Focus. Your Family. We don’t have multiple orthodontists in our office – we have one. We don’t have several locations – we have one. What this means for the patient is that each time you visit Reagin Orthodontics, you are guaranteed to see Dr. Reagin.  And one location means that you can make appointments based on your schedule – not the orthodontist’s.

Having more than one office may sound appealing – the more, the better, right? We even tried it ourselves. However, we found that patients want to see their orthodontist at any given appointment time – and in the office where they are accustomed to going. So we listened and changed our focus to suit the convenience of our patients rather than the other way around. For the past six years we have been practicing from one office, to greater patient satisfaction.

We also found that people prefer consistency. If patients are seen by one orthodontist, they want to be seen by that same orthodontist in the future. It is reassuring to know that your orthodontist is familiar with you, your history, and your needs. Plus, valuable appointment time can be used on treatments – not reviewing your last visit with somebody new. We want your time with us to be pleasant, professional, and convenient so you can get on with your day.

Sure, we could see more patients with more offices, but we would rather serve fewer people better. We want to work with the people in our community, and our community is Summerville. Our team of professionals puts the focus where it should be – on you, our neighbors.

That’s why we at Reagin Orthodontics practice what we believe: One Office. One Focus. Your Family. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.