Earlier this year, Dr. Fowler had the opportunity to participate in a dental mission trip to Haiti! There were 6 dentists in attendance, two were local Nashville dentists, Dr. George Adams Jr, Dr. Nancy Laden, and oral surgeon Dr. Barry Beck. The dental team treated 624 patients and pulled 1297 teeth! It was a very busy and rewarding week helping the people in the villages of Gobert and Le Borgne.
When Should You Call Fowler Orthodontics?
Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have put together a helpful list that outlines when you should call Fowler Orthodontics. Here are some early warning signs indicating it’s time to check with us:
1) Early or late loss of baby teeth
2) Difficulty chewing or biting
3) Mouth breathing
4) Finger sucking or other oral habits
5) Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
6) Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
7) Speech difficulty
8) Protruding teeth
9) Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
10) Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
Do any of these warning signs fit you? If so, give us a call as soon as possible!
Hope this helps,
Dr. Fowler and Team
- Should I still go to the dentist while in braces?
~Absolutely! Dr. Fowler recommends his patients to continue visiting their dentist at six month intervals. A common misconception is that dentists cannot properly clean the teeth of braces patients with all of the brackets and wires. Quite the contrary, dentists are able to reach nooks and crannies that sometimes prove challenging to access. While in braces, it is particularly important to have routine, thorough cleanings so that there is no chance of plaque or tarter build-up around the brackets.
- What foods should I stay away from while in braces?
~Sticky candies like taffy and caramels or dense foods like nuts, bagels, or crunchy veggies. Foods such as these are more likely to get stuck in between wires or pop brackets off. Certain veggies like carrots and celery are dense, and the best advice on keeping dense, healthy foods in a braces patient’s diet would be to cut up veggies into bite size pieces for ease while eating.
- Will my braces hinder my participation in particular hobbies like playing sports or playing instruments?
~ Not at all. Believe it or not, people with braces lead normal lives. Those playing musical instruments with mouth pieces may have to adjust a little to the different feel of playing with braces, but it usually doesn’t take long to get accustomed to that.
- How long should I wear my retainers once I get my brace off?
~Ideally, one should wear their retainers as long as they desire their teeth to remain straight. Studies show that teeth will shift if retainers are not worn on a regular basis; so, be sure to wear those retainers at night if you want to keep that beautiful new smile!
As Memorial Day approaches, the Fowler Ortho Team would like to reflect upon the significance of this patriotic holiday. On Memorial Day, we honor those in the armed forces who gave their lives in defense of the United States. The holiday was created three years after the Civil War to commemorate fallen soldiers. Originally, it was called Decoration Day because the families of fallen heroes would decorate their graves with flowers and wreaths in memory of their loved ones. Decoration Day was formally christened Memorial Day in 1967. Now, on Memorial Day, the American flag flies at half-staff until noon to honor those who died in military service, then the flag flies at full height for the rest of the day in celebration of their lives and to signify that their sacrifice was not in vain. Ceremonies are held throughout the day at the nation’s capital and at military cemeteries. At 3:00 p.m. local time, citizens are asked to take a moment of silence to remember the brave soldiers who gave their lives for our country.
To all celebrating Memorial Day, especially members of the armed forces and their families (to whom we are grateful beyond words), we wish you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
~The Fowler Ortho Team
Now that you have been introduced to our new communications system, it might be helpful to know some specifics about the helpful features offered under your personal patient portal. You can log into your patient portal via the Fowler Orthodontics website, fowlerortho.com, by clicking the Login button located just underneath our tagline, “Beautiful Smiles, Exceptional Care,” or you can log in via your email appointment reminders.There are 6 tabs, each tab containing valuable information related to your orthodontic experience. From the home page, you can navigate to all of the other portal pages which are as follows: account settings, appointments, my smile, refer a friend, and my feedback. Under account settings, you can manage your username and password that allows you access to your patient portal. Also, you can update your phone numbers and email addresses as well as determine to which you would prefer your appointment reminders sent. Be sure to sign up for our text reminders which, like our email and phone call reminders, make confirming appointments super easy!
The appointments tab allows you to see upcoming appointments and allows you to add them to your electronic calendars. Under the my smile tab, you can access dental records which include any photographs, panorexes, and cephalometrics we have taken. In addition, you can find informative articles about orthodontics that you might enjoy perusing. The refer a friend tab allows you to send an email to any friends or family members who might be interested in orthodontic treatment at Fowler Orthodontics. We cherish our wonderful patients and we would love to have more just as wonderful as you! The final tab is the my feedback tab which allows you to grade Fowler Orthodontics as a practice. We want to know what you think of us so that we might continue to improve to better care for your individual needs.
After reading this post, you should be a pro when it comes to navigating your personal patient portal! Log in and explore today!
New Communication System
Fowler Orthodontics has a new communications system! Log in at fowlerortho.com and create a username and password to access your user-friendly patient portal and customize your settings for added ease with orthodontic appointment reminders. Now our patients receive appointment reminders by phone, email and text! We are especially excited to meet our patient requests by offering text message reminders! To sign up for text reminders, go to the Account Settings tab of your patient portal and click edit where you can turn on the text feature. The online portal is a helpful tool that offers access to dental records, the ability to confirm appointments, the ability to update personal information, and a “refer a friend” message system. In addition, under the My Smile tab, you can find helpful articles about caring for your teeth while in orthodontic treatment. Be sure to check out all the patient portal has to offer!
Avoid Sticky Situations!
The month of April can be a frightening time for teeth! Sweet treats abound just after the Easter holiday, and it is important to remember to keep a good brushing and flossing regimen, especially after consuming acidic foods. If you are in braces, abstain from eating chewy, gooey candies. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try fruits (cut in bite size pieces) or yogurt, but, if you find yourself missing your candy crush, stick with soft-centered chocolates. Sweets are fine, so long as they are consumed in moderation!
Give Gum a Go!
Chewing sugarless gum after meals has been proven to be a most healthy habit. Gum chewing improves oral hygiene. When you chew gum, your mouth increases saliva production up to 10 times the normal rate. The excess saliva helps prevent cavities. It washes away food particles, such as acidic residue from teeth; residue which might otherwise have remained on your teeth, decaying the enamel all the while. Also, saliva contains anti-bacterial properties which inhibit bad breath and gum disease. Another benefit of chewing gum is that it alleviates discomfort that accompanies the movement of teeth during orthodontic treatment. Not only does chewing gum improve oral hygiene, but it stimulates brain activity and reduces stress.
The act of chewing engages the hippocampus, a part of the brain that helps with memory. So, if you find yourself struggling to recall information, the solution might be a stick of gum! Chewing gum can also be a coping mechanism for stress. The repetitive motion of the jaw soothes the mind and relieves anxiety. Dr. Fowler recommends Trident sugar free gum because it contains the ingredient, Xylitol, which fights cavities. So, help your oral hygiene, give your brain a boost, and soothe your stressed self by giving gum a go!
Treat Yourself Right
I enjoy baking for my friends. Not only is baking a sweet way to thank friends for being wonderful (even when I’m being cantankerous), but in some inexplicable way, it is a relaxing method. Perhaps the process of blending a bowl of chaotic ingredients into this placid, saccharine mixture that I find soothing, because it resembles my juggling act of work and graduate studies that eventually transforms into the peacefulness of a Saturday. So, this love for baking recently sent me on the hunt for a new cookie recipe. I scoured the internet and came across a vanilla cake cookie recipe.
These delightful cakey cookies proved to be the perfect snack for an outing I planned with some of my friends to see the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not only did I share them with my friends that evening, but I also offered some to the fairies flitting through the audience during the performance in search food. All who partook beamed with approval!
Considering their soft texture, Dr. Fowler and I agree that this might be a nice recipe for our beloved braces patients to try. This recipe is super easy and delicious! The vanilla cake cookies recipe is courtesy of Chef in Training. Be sure to check out other delicious recipes on her website:
1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
3/4 cup yellow cake mix, dry
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour”
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Stir together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
Add in pudding package and cake mix and beat until well blended.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated.
Mix in sprinkles sprinkles.
Roll into 1″ balls and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
There are several myths concerning orthodontics that have developed over the years. I have accepted the challenge to disprove them so that the truth about orthodontics may be revealed. So, without further ado, let’s bust some myths!!
Myth 1- Orthodontists and dentists perform the same jobs.
Quite the contrary. Dentists treat diseases of the teeth and gums as well as conduct teeth cleanings. On the other hand, orthodontists align teeth so that they function more effectively.
Myth 2- If two people wearing braces kiss, the two sets of braces will interlock causing one embarrassing trip to the principal’s office.
This embarrassing situation is highly unlikely if not impossible. Today’s braces, especially Damon braces (Dr. Fowler is the sole provider of the Damon System in Franklin, TN) have smooth, sleek tops which make it improbable for them to catch on another set of braces. So, pucker up without panic!
Myth 3- Braces are only for teenagers.
Braces are effective at any age. As a matter of fact, twenty percent of orthodontic patients are adults. Everyone deserves a beautiful smile they can be proud of; so, don’t let age stand in the way of the road to straight teeth!
Myth 4-Braces set off metal detectors.
Most metal braces are made of austenitic stainless steel, nickel titanium, and tiny traces of other metals. The metals listed are not magnetic and will not cause a metal detector to alarm. In other words, braces-wearers, you are clear for take-off and feel free to shop ‘til you drop!
Myth 5- Braces are painful.
I know one young lady who believed that getting braces meant the brackets were actually screwed into the teeth. I can assure you this most certainly is NOT the case. Getting braces is not a painful process. It does take a couple of days for the mouth to get accustomed to the metal brackets, but after that it is pretty much smooth sailing (with the occasional bout with soreness from tightenings).