Show your style with Braces Colors at Reagin Orthodontics

An Array of colors to choose from at Reagin Orthodontics


At Reagin orthodontics patients can choose from a splashy array of colors to make fashion statements with their braces. Some patients will coordinate pastels with a wardrobe, or choose signature hues for celebrating holidays while others like to support a cause or express school spirit.

Whatever your motive, the fun braces colors serve a serious purpose. “When patients are involved in their treatment, they may take better care of their braces. That helps the patient and the doctor to reach treatment goals and produces a healthy, beautiful smile on time” emphasizes Dr. Reagin

While many patients enjoy picking their colors other patients prefer to be less obvious about their orthodontic treatment. We have a variety of options including tooth-colored brackets; self-ligating brackets, which do not require ties to join the wire to the bracket; or invisalign. Dr Reagin is the only premier invisalign provider in Summerville, and that means at Reagin Orthodontics you are getting the BEST! Call today for your complimentary consulation. You Deserve the Best!

9 Things to Know When Choosing An Orthodontist

Which Orthodontist Do I Choose?

  1. The obvious and easiest place to get started is with your current friends, neighbors and colleagues. If those friends and social contacts are parents, in particular, they are often great resources when you need to find an Orthodontist. Find out which Orthodontist they use and why… and, if they sought out multiple opinions why they didn’t choose a particular Orthodontist.
  1. At Reagin Orthodontics, we often hear from future patients that they have had great success by doing some background checking of their own. Check out the Orthodontist on social media as well as the orthodontist’s website. Do they have positive reviews? Is their website up to date? Instagram? Facebook? Look for an Orthodontist that is involved in social media as it is a good indication that they are committed to newer technology.
  1. When it comes to braces or Invisalign, make sure that you are seeing an Orthodontist and not a dentist. An Orthodontist is a general dentist with at least three more years of advanced training. Make sure that the Orthodontist has the required education, degrees and training.
  1. Before you choose an Orthodontist make sure that you have a thorough initial consultation.   Your consultation should include a physical exam as well as x-rays and photographs.   An Orthodontist should meet with you for a complimentary exam to determine your needs. This first appointment is an ideal time to learn both your Orthodontist’s philosophy of care. Additionally, get a feel for the office and the office team —see how helpful and friendly the staff may be, how welcoming the environment is and how clean the practice is kept.
  1. Most importantly, do not ever be afraid to ask questions. Ask every single question that comes to mind, no matter how insignificant it may seem. You need to be able to discern whether your Orthodontist will be open to his/her patient asking questions, and to assess how well the Orthodontist can help you understand the answers to the questions you’ve asked.
  1. Consider where your Orthodontist lives. This is a good indication of how vested they are in the community. Will the investment you are making in orthodontic care come back to your community?
  1. How many doctors are at the office? Seeing more than one doctor for orthodontic care can significantly increase your treatment time. I would liken it to changing architects mid project. Sure it can be done, but it is not the most efficient method.
  1. How many offices do they have? Typically the more offices the higher volume of patients the Orthodontist will see at each location. The more patients per day the less time they have to spend with you. Additionally, rescheduled appointments and emergency appointments might not be at the office near you. With fewer offices or only one office the Orthodontist has the advantage of seeing a lower volume of patients and can emphasize quality of care. And with one office you always know where you are going for your appointments.
  1. It is good to know that most office visits are every 8-10 weeks if the Orthodontist is using the latest technology in their office. Additionally, Technology and treatment philosophy can vary greatly among orthodontist depending on where they were educated and how committed they are to continuing education.

Take the time to find the right person and the right practice as you move towards a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.

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Orthodontic Checkup–WHY age 7??

PMZ_5418 Orthodontic checkup-Why age 7?

Many parents assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth in the mouth to have their first orthodontic check-up. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7. “I would like to emphasize how important it is that parents understand the value of an orthodontic check- up,” says Dr. Reagin. “By age 7, enough permanent teeth have erupted for an orthodontist to evaluate relationships between the teeth, face, and bite”.

At your 1st appointment, the initial orthodontic exam, Dr. Reagin may find that your child’s bite is fine; however Dr. Reagin may identify a developing problem and recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development at a consistent interval. In other cases Dr. Reagin may find a problem that would benefit from early treatment. Evidence shows that approximately 25% of children seen at an initial orthodontic exam can benefit from early orthodontic intervention.

Early treatment benefits include:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Create space for erupting teeth
  • Improve appearance and self esteem
  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

When indicated, early treatment may often prevent more serious problems from developing and make treatment at a later stage shorter and less complicated. In some cases Dr. Reagin will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaw have finished growing.

“A visit to the orthodontist can ease a parent’s mind, too,” notes Dr. Reagin. Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the very best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Keep in mind that if your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late for a check-up at Reagin Orthodontics. Dr. Reagin’s goal is to provide each patient with the appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

To schedule a complimentary consult with Dr. Reagin call our office at 843-871-4411. Note that a dental referral is not necessary.

Orthodontic Expander: Does my child need one?

Palatal Expander

Direction of upper jaw expansion

A major benefit of receiving orthodontic treatment in childhood is that it’s possible to take full advantage of a child’s own natural growth process to treat or even prevent malocclusions (“bad bites”). A palatal expander is a device designed to help us do that.
Palatal expanders create more space in a child’s mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw. It’s really quite easy — both to do and to tolerate. That’s because the upper jaw actually develops as two separate halves that don’t completely fuse together until sometime after puberty. Before that happens, the two bones can gently be separated and stabilized over a period of several months.

The three situations that most commonly call for maxillary expansion:

Crossbite — When a child’s upper jaw is too narrow to fit correctly with the lower jaw, the back top teeth will bite inside of the lower teeth instead of outside. This can be corrected by expanding the upper jaw.

Crowding — Even before all of a child’s permanent (adult) teeth come in, we can tell when there will not be enough room to accommodate them. Widening the upper jaw can create the necessary space without the need for tooth extractions.

Impacted Teeth — When a tooth that hasn’t come in (erupted) yet and is blocked by other teeth, widening the upper jaw can allow it to erupt into proper position on its own. This    most often happens with canine teeth — the pointier ones located directly under the eyes.

Other benefits: Upper jaw expansion can broaden the smile in an aesthetically pleasing way, it can limit the number of teeth that need to be removed by creating space and expanders can improve breathing by increasing nasal volume and decreasing resistance to nasal airflow.

How Expanders Work: An expander is custom-made for each individual and fits over several top teeth in the back of the mouth. The appliance has two halves that are connected in the middle with a screw. To activate the device, you simply turn the screw a very small amount every other day (or as directed) with a special key. This induces tension at the junction of the two palatal bones, causing them to gradually move apart. Once the desired expansion is achieved, we will leave the appliance in for a few more months to allow new bone to form in the gap and stabilize the expansion. Generally, expanders are worn for 6-12 months altogether.

To find out if your child can benefit from an expander schedule your complimentary exam with Dr Reagin at 843-871-4411


What Should You Ask At Your Consultation

orthodontic consultation

You scheduled the consultation and today is the day you meet with Dr. Reagin for the exam and evaluation. We’ve talked about what happens at a consultation here, but are you wondering what questions you might want to ask?

Dr. Reagin and his staff will cover these top five questions during your initial visit.

Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?

What must be done to correct the problem?

Will any teeth need to be removed?

How long will the treatment take to complete?

How much will the treatment cost?

You may want to ask a few additional questions to put you or your child at ease about starting orthodontic treatment. Here are a few questions and answers that you may want to to talk to the team at Reagin Orthodontics about.

How much discomfort? Everyone always wonders how much it will hurt and that is completely understandable! There is typically not a great deal of pain involved in orthodontic treatment, but there is discomfort. The team at Reagin Orthodontics will suggest ways to minimize discomfort including using wax, pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil,  and more found here.

How do I brush? It is very important that you brush after each time you have a snack or meal. It is very easy for food to get trapped around braces. Dr. Reagin will show you how to brush and floss with your braces. There are even special brushes and flossers to help.

How often do adjustments happen?  While it is difficult to say exactly, visits typically happen every 4-8 weeks.

Are there foods I should avoid during treatment? Yes there are some foods that are better left alone until after you have completed your orthodontic treatment. These include sticky foods, hard raw vegetables and chewing ice. Once you have begun your treatment plan, we will go over this with you in more detail.

Will my speech change?  Some patients experience a little bit of change to their speech when they first receive braces, but this is typically gone as soon as they adjust to having braces. Which is much quicker than you think it will be!

We look forward to seeing you at your consultation and will be happy to answer any questions you have!

So What is Two-Phase Treatment?

reagin orthodontics

It’s been 20 years since you’ve had braces and you remember spending the beginning or all of your teen years wearing them. Now your dentist is telling you at age seven your child needs to be evaluated by an orthodontist. Then the orthodontist tells you your child needs two-phase treatment and it needs to begin now. That leaves you with some questions.

So what is two-phase treatment?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists’ website, “Two-phase orthodontic treatment consists of two separate times when a child receives orthodontic treatment. A first phase of treatment is done while the child still has many or most of their primary or “baby” teeth. A second phase takes place when the child has most or all of their permanent teeth. Braces may or may not be used during a first phase of treatment (or) other appliances (the name used for braces and other devices for orthodontic correction) may be used.”

Phase One is less about straightening teeth than preventing a problem from happening, correcting a developing problem or modifying jaw growth for optimal bite and teeth positioning.

Phase Two is more about aesthetics. Straightening and aligning teeth so every tooth has an exact location for a beautiful smile, correcting the position of teeth and jaw to work optimally and to provide a pleasing face and profile.

So is two-phase treatment really necessary? Two-phase treatment works in conjunction with a child’s natural growth and development. When phase one is done during the growth phase it can correct problems that may result in surgery if the treatment is delayed.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for everyone. It is important that you make an appointment with Dr. Reagin for an evaluation. At the consultation Dr. Reagin will let you know if is time to begin treatment and he may be able to let you know if he thinks two-phase treatment is in your child’s future.

What is the Ideal Age to Begin Orthodontic Treatment?

Brit Reagin

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some children need to enter treatment in elementary school, while others are well into middle school before intervention is ideal. Interesting though is that there is a one-size-fits-all-answer as to when a child should first be evaluated by an orthodontist. An evaluation should take place at age seven, according to The American Association of Orthodontists.

The first adult molars are often coming in around age seven and evaluation at that time can assess if there is something that may become a problem down the road and steps can be taken early to prevent the problem from developing.  A child’s bite can be examined and potential crowding can be seen at this point. If treatment is not recommended at the initial evaluation, Dr. Reagin will recommend when a child should be seen again for continued monitoring.

Advantages of early evaluation and possible treatment are:

Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth

Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth

Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth

Preserving space for unerupted teeth

Reducing the need for tooth removal

Reducing treatment time with braces

Correcting bite problems that can lead to chewing difficulties, speech impediments and likelihood of chipping teeth.

Early treatment is not necessary in every case, but establishing a relationship with an orthodontist and beginning a regular evaluation schedule can ensure that treatment will begin at the optimal time to make the most difference in a child’s bite and smile.

Dr. Reagin provides a free consultation to all new patients. Call the office today and make an appointment for you child.

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.

Should You See An Orthodontist

Reagin Orthodontics

We bet you and your children brush your teeth at least twice a day and you hopefully floss too! You probably also go to the dentist twice a year and trust your dentist to let you know if you need to do anything more. The majority of dentists will refer you to an orthodontist or oral surgeon if they see something that needs a specialist’s attention, but what if something is going on that they can’t see or you haven’t told them because you don’t think it is something you would talk to your dentist about it?

There are many reasons for a child or adult to see an orthodontist and you may not realize the health concerns an orthodontist can address. Many adults think that only children see orthodontists to straighten teeth, but that is not the case and behind crooked teeth is a cause that needs be corrected for a healthy bite for life!  An orthodontist may be able to help with many things for you or your child.

Reasons to Consult an Orthodontist

– Sleep apnea, mouth breathing and snoring
– Speech impediments
– Tooth decay and gum disease
– Problems chewing and eating
– Thumb or finger sucking
– Popping or clicking jaws
– Overlapping or crowding teeth
– A developing under bite, protruding front teeth

There may also be things that you think you don’t need a specialist for at all and your dentist can treat you, but often there is a big benefit from being evaluated by an orthodontist. An orthodontist goes to school for an additional two to three years after graduating from dental school specifically to learn about the jaw, teeth movement and more. They can evaluate a problem and often find the cause while providing the best approach to correct crowding, grinding or clenching teeth and TMJ pain to name just a few.

Dr. Reagin offers a free consultation to all of his new patients. There is no long term commitment or risk in scheduling an appointment to discuss your dental concerns and hear what he recommends.  Dr. Reagin and the Reagin Orthodontics staff will talk with you, take multiple x-rays, pictures and do an exam prior to recommending treatment options. Call us today to schedule you or your child’s appointment!