Smile Resolutions For The New Year

January 31st, 2018

We’re almost through the first month of a brand new year, and here at Bennett Orthodontics, we’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and resetting our habits. There’s something about the sense of momentum this time of year that gives us the perfect opportunity to make positive, lasting changes in our lives. There’s the usual changes focusing on things like losing weight, eating healthier, or exercising more, but since we’re all about smiles, we’ve put together a couple of easy oral health resolutions to stick to in 2018!

Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and while you may not be hitting the gym as often as you promised, or losing weight as quickly as you planned, there’s still plenty of time to embrace some resolutions that can have a lasting impact on your smile, this year and for many years to come.

mother and daughter brushing teeth

Brush up on your brushing basics

This is a pretty obvious one, sure, and it’s likely something you’ve been told over and over again since your very first teeth came in. But it really is the most important thing you can do to keep your smile healthy and functional! We recommend you brush your teeth thoroughly three to four times each day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, aiming for at least two minutes each time.

Having an excellent oral hygiene routine is especially important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re one of our braces patients, you’ll already know that maneuvering around the brackets and wires takes a little practice, and that you have to you pay special attention to the areas between your brackets and gums, making sure to carefully clean the spaces in between the wires and your teeth. If you haven’t already tried them, interdental brushes can make this a much easier job. They fit in those hard to reach spots to remove any sticky plaque and food debris you might otherwise have difficulty reaching.

If you’re currently wearing braces, here are a few reminders on how to get the best results from your dental hygiene routine:

  • use fluoride toothpaste with a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
  • replace your toothbrush as soon as it begins to show signs of wear.
  • brush around every part of your braces, as well as every surface of your teeth
  • look for clean and shiny braces, with the edge of the brackets clearly visible, since fuzzy-or dull-looking metal can indicate poor brushing.
  • floss every night before you go to bed, taking advantage of tools like floss threaders and waterpiks if you’re having trouble getting into the tighter spaces

There are some dental hygiene basics that are necessary to follow for successful bacterial plaque removal, whether you have braces, clear aligners, or no orthodontic appliances at all. These include things like:

  • brushing at least three to four times a day, after each meal and once before bed, using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste
  • brushing gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline, moving the toothbrush across all surfaces of the teeth to effectively remove bacteria and any trapped food particles
  • flossing at least once per day to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated throughout the day
  • replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if you have a cold or any other illness (something that is especially important during this crazy flu season!)
  • using antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes

Daily brushing and flossing will help to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath, and keep your smile shining in 2018 and beyond.  

girl with floss

Don’t underestimate the importance of good food

We’re in between the temptation of holiday treats and Valentine’s Day candies lining the shelves of our supermarkets, so there’s no better time than now to review the kind of foods you should avoid while in braces versus all the foods you can dig into! If you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with Bennett Orthodontics using traditional metal braces, you should be steering clear of:

  • chewy foods like licorice and bagels
  • hard, crunchy foods such as chips, ice, nuts, and hard candies
  • sticky foods like caramels, chewing gum, and gummy candies

We know that that list can sometimes feel restrictive, but there’s so much out there you can still eat, and so much that’s good for your mind, body, and mouth. These are foods anyone can benefit from, not just those in braces or clear aligners! Consider some of the following healthy, nutrient-rich foods like:

  • Milk and other dairy products that pack a delicious, calcium-filled punch to help bones and teeth stay strong and healthy.
  • Whole grain breads and pastas that are full of the kind of complex carbohydrates that give bacteria less digestible food to grow, and also offer tons of nutrients to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish like salmon that are loaded with phosphorus, an important mineral that helps to strengthen and protect tooth enamel.
  • A wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens that contain high amounts of magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium, minerals that are important in maintaining oral health.

One of the best things you can do for your smile is cut down on sugar and soft drinks! Sugar is a carbohydrate, and carbohydrates fuel the bacteria on your teeth to produce the acids that cause tooth decay to form. This is bad enough for teeth without braces, but when you add in brackets and bands, you’re giving bacteria many secret places to hide and multiply.

Soft drinks can affect both braces and aligners. Soda has both sugar and acid, a double whammy risk to tooth enamel, and it can cause unsightly decalcification if plaque that collects around the brackets isn’t removed. Small amounts of liquid seep into aligners when you take a drink, and the liquid is then held against the teeth until the aligner is removed. If the liquid contains acid, like soft drinks do, that prolonged exposure can accelerate damage to teeth.

Starting 2018 off with a smile and the support of Bennett Orthodontics

Whether you’re a past, current, or future patient, Bennett Orthodontics encourages you to start the year off right by following our simple tips for keeping your smile happy and your whole mouth healthy. We’re always here to help should you have any questions or concerns, or if you just need a little extra support sometimes. We’re hoping 2018 will be a year of healthy habits, positive changes, and beautiful smiles in Mobile, and we’re excited to share that vision with you!

Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment

December 28th, 2017

After your child’s orthodontic evaluation, your orthodontist may talk about something called “two-phase treatment.” If you’ve never heard this term before, you’re not alone! Many people aren’t aware of what two-phase treatment is, and as a result, find it a little intimidating.

That said, we want to assure it is nowhere near as daunting as it sounds, and it’s actually pretty straightforward. Two-phase treatment is an orthodontic procedure that completed in two separate phases. The first phase centers around straightening the teeth, and the second stage is dedicated to physical facial changes. Since we handle everything in two phases, it allows us at Bennett Orthodontics to bring not only a healthy, beautiful smile to our patients but also a long-lasting one!

Phase I begins with a process called interceptive orthodontic treatment. In this stage, we deal with those orthodontic issues that are still in their early stages to prevent them from becoming more severe issues in the future. Usually, patients are eight or nine years of age when we start interceptive treatment because their permanent teeth are still coming in during this age. This sort of treatment is needed when serious orthodontic problems can become worse over time; when treatment is delayed, it often results in crooked or misaligned teeth and jaws.

As soon as all permanent teeth have arrived, we begin Phase II. Because it is used to perfect tooth alignment, it can’t be done if baby teeth are still present.

We want to set your mind at ease about a common concern regarding two-phase treatment: two-phase treatment is not a clever way to apply two sets of braces. It also does take twice as long or incur twice the expense. We also try to avoid two-phase treatment whenever possible; however, some patients genuinely need it for long-lasting results.

Are you still a little unsure of what two-phase treatment entails and want a bit more information? Let’s go into greater detail to address any questions or concerns you may have about two-phase treatment.

Phase I

When an intervention is needed prior to regular orthodontic treatment, we begin Phase I. This phase includes the use of orthodontic devices, partial braces or retainer-like devices. These devices are used for three reasons: to correct the current problem, prevent future potential problems, and adjust the child's growth and dental development.

Smiling boy with bracesSince Phase I treatment takes places between the ages of six and ten, patients generally still have some of their baby teeth while they are getting their permanent at the same time. Due to this, Phase I treatment is only recommended when there’s a dental development issue or a dental or jaw development problem which would considerably worsen if left untreated.

Thankfully, the majority of children do not require orthodontic treatment in this early part of their lives. To be sure about your child’s dental development, the American Association of Orthodontics and our own Dr. Bennett highly recommend children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. The most certain way to be sure your child's growth and dental development are progressing as planned is to have that early consultation with our experienced, friendly orthodontist.

So, what kind of dental issues require Phase I treatment? The most common reasons are jaw development, gum or periodontal health, tooth alignment, and crowding and spacing issues. It’s also widely recommended for the following dental issues:

  • underbites
  • open bites (situations in which the front teeth do not contact or overlap)
  • severe crowding or spacing of the teeth
  • dental crossbites
  • skeletal crossbites
  • disproportionately overlapping or deep bites
  • jaw growth or jaws that are not in proportion to each other
  • severely protruding teeth
  • the instance of unhealthy oral habits, such as extended thumb-sucking, bottle, or pacifier use

For some special cases, an additional treatment phase will be necessary after Phase I. While Phase I is a little longer because it is doing early intervention, Phase II is usually much shorter. Of course, anytime you treat a dental difficulty proactively, you make the issue more manageable and make them less time consuming later.

A period of rest

After Phase I, teeth are not yet in their final positions; Phase II is where they are aligned to their permanent positions. Therefore, we take a period of rest in between the two phases to let the remaining adult teeth erupt.

Phase II teen girl in braces relaxing

Once Phase I and the resting period are done, patients begin Phase II. This phase will seem a bit more familiar to most people as it pertains to installing braces on the upper and lower teeth. Since not all tooth and bite-related problems can be attended to in Phase I, your orthodontist will properly align the jaw and straighten the teeth with braces in Phase II.

During this phase, we pay extra close attention to be sure that each tooth has a dedicated, optimum place in the mouth so it can live peacefully among the lips, tongue, cheeks, and of course, other teeth. By using orthodontics, we can create this environment and teeth finally work together as they are meant to do.

After treatment

Treatment isn’t over yet! Once you’ve finished your two-phase treatment, your orthodontist will recommend retainers to maintain your results. Consistently wearing your retainers as directed will hold teeth in their new, straight positions, so your smile is healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Undergoing two-phase treatment with Bennett Orthodontics

Though it’s not required for every child, for those that need it, two-phase treatment can prevent the need for more aggressive orthodontic treatment later in life. Proactive, preliminary treatment is the surest way to achieve long-lasting results.

If your child is reaching the age of seven and has not yet had his or her first orthodontic evaluation, or if you are looking for an orthodontist in the Mobile area, come visit us at our convenient office location today! We’ll get you started with a free consultation to see if your child needs two phase treatment. Our team is eager to meet you and help you get on the road to a healthy, beautiful smile.

Wisdom Teeth and Braces

November 22nd, 2017

If you’ve recently learned that your smile could benefit from an orthodontic treatment like braces, you’re likely to have a list of common concerns as long as your arm. Will they hurt? How long will you need to wear them? Are there going to be foods you have to avoid? Will you still be able to play sports or participate in band? Is it possible your wisdom teeth could affect that straight smile you’ve worked and waited for so patiently?

Wait, wait, hold on. Wisdom teeth?

Absolutely! Wisdom teeth may not be the first thing you think of when you’re contemplating braces, but this is a question we deal with fairly often here at Bennett Orthodontics. When patients get close to successfully completing their orthodontic treatment, and then notice their wisdom teeth coming in, it can really kick their anxiety into overdrive.

What if the wisdom teeth move the ones they’ve just straightened out?! Will this ruin the results they’ve worked so hard for? Can these additional teeth really exert enough pressure that other teeth are moved as a result? Because both parents and patients alike often inquire about this subject, today we’re going to take a look at if and how wisdom teeth can impact braces treatment.  

Can wisdom teeth impact your professionally straightened smile?

The timing of wisdom teeth is what lies behind much of this worry. Because they typically make an appearance in the later teen years into early adulthood, some patients will see a slight shifting of the teeth, also known as a relapse, around this time as well. But are wisdom teeth the culprit?

The general consensus is no. For example, the University of Iowa conducted research on this subject, and found that the wisdom teeth don’t actually exert enough pressure on the teeth in front of them to cause them to shift. Their study involved placing sensors between the teeth that were able to compare the pressure on them with and without wisdom teeth. There was no difference between the two.

That our teeth tend to shift a bit when we’re around 17-21 years of age is undeniable, though. If wisdom teeth aren’t a key factor in that, then what is?

Laughing teenage girl with bracesThe biggest reason is actually quite simple: we get older.

As we age, our teeth will begin to show some signs of general wear and tear. Our teeth may begin to overlap more as a natural drifting occurs, moving them slightly forward. As these teeth begin to overlap, the upper teeth can press the lower teeth in towards the tongue. There’s also some residual jaw growth that can happen around this time, forcing the teeth into positions that could be slightly undesirable.

If you’re new to braces, you’re about to hear over and over how important it is to wear your retainer faithfully after your braces come off. This is the biggest reason why! Wearing your retainer as directed by your orthodontist is the single best defense in helping your teeth stay as straight as possible after treatment.

The basics of wisdom teeth

You may not need to worry about wisdom teeth wrecking your smile, but it’s still important for you to understand how they can impact your overall oral health.

When wisdom teeth begin erupting, there are quite a few potential problems that can accompany them.

  • If wisdom teeth only partially emerge, a flap of skin can form there, partially covering the wisdom teeth and trapping food and eventually bacteria. This can cause tooth decay or gum infections.
  • If for any reason, you don’t have enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to fully erupt, they can become impacted, getting stuck in your jaws and gums and unable to break through the surface.  
  • If your wisdom teeth do become impacted, sometimes painful cysts can form, some of which can cause infection and decay to surrounding tooth roots.
  • If the back of your mouth is particularly crowded, wisdom teeth might come in at an awkward angle and rub painfully against your cheek.

By far, the most common problem with wisdom teeth is that many patients just don’t have enough room for them when they begin to erupt. And even if you do have room for your wisdom teeth to come in, they can be so far back in the mouth that it’s hard to properly brush and floss them. This is actually one of the leading causes of oral decay and gum disease in the back of the mouth!

smiling Hipster girl in glasses and braces making a selfshoot on wooden backgroundAs mentioned, wearing your retainer consistently after completing orthodontic treatment, as well as scheduling an appointment at the first sign of wisdom teeth, is the best way to avoid any of these potential problems. Keeping up with regular visits to your dentist or orthodontist is an excellent preventative measure, as well, especially if they include periodic x-rays to check the positioning of the wisdom teeth. This can help determine whether they’ll be likely to create problems later on.

Summing it all up

  • Problems like overcrowding can usually be diagnosed early on, long before the wisdom teeth erupt. This is one reason we recommend seeing an orthodontist for an evaluation by the age of 7.
  • Wisdom teeth can be removed while wearing braces. If they start to come in during the course of your orthodontic treatment, you’ll be able to continue easily and without interruption.
  • That said, not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. If there are no apparent problems with yours, there won’t be any reason to remove them. No need to fix what isn’t broken!
  • Once your treatment is complete and your braces come off, wear your retainer every night. We can’t emphasize this enough! Wearing your retainer will keep your teeth straight, but only if you wear it on a daily basis and as instructed by your orthodontist.

Changing lives by changing smiles

At Bennett Orthodontics, transformation is a key concept for our team. It’s no secret that a great smile is consistently linked to both professional and personal success. Straight teeth in the correct position, coupled with excellent oral care, is not only an aesthetically pleasing sight, but a confidence booster as well. Every day, we’re fortunate enough to witness our patients transform from self-conscious to self-confident thanks to a healthier, straighter smile!

Are you in the Mobile area and looking for more information on how your wisdom teeth can impact your orthodontic treatment or overall oral health? If so, get in touch with us today to schedule an initial consultation! We’re happy to sit down with you and discuss any questions or concerns you have. We would love to make you and your smile feel right at home!

What Age Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

October 26th, 2017

Is there a more iconic image of orthodontics than that of the awkward teenager in bulky metal braces? It’s a stereotype with staying power, for sure!  It can be surprising to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child have their first orthodontic evaluation by or around the age of 7 - and we agree! Having an experienced orthodontist examine your child when they still have their baby teeth and their mouth is still developing allows them to pick up on any potential issues early on.

Catching these issues before they become a problem can help prevent any negative impact on the future permanent teeth. This is called preventative care, and it’s something we strongly believe in at Bennett Orthodontics. It can have such a positive impact on the oral health of our younger patients when we’re able to diagnose and treat issues before they become a big deal!

During this initial evaluation, we’ll be looking for a number of issues to determine if treatment will be needed now or in the future. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Tooth Loss and Eruption

Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, are the placeholders for permanent ones. The transition from primary to permanent is an important one, with most baby teeth falling out in a relatively specific order. If there’s any significant deviation from that pattern, it could signal a developmental issue that needs attention.
By the age of 7, your child should have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, including at least four permanent molars and two to four permanent incisors. If they have more or less than this, there’s potential for problems with missing, crowding, or extra teeth. Sometimes removing a primary tooth early, or maintaining a space where a tooth has been lost prematurely, can prevent bigger problems later on down the line.

Crowding and Spacing

Front teeth gaps You’ll often notice fairly early on in your child’s life if they already have or will have problems with excessive crowding or spacing of their teeth. Spacing issues can show up when a tooth is lost prematurely, where one has never developed, or if your child has teeth that are too small or too spaced apart. Crowding can be treated by an experienced orthodontist, like Dr. Bennett, who will often expand the arches or remove teeth to open up the mouth.


Teeth can be, and very often are, successfully aligned at older ages. It’s important to note, however, that crooked teeth are more susceptible to uneven damage and wear. Allowing them to go untreated for years can affect the shape and position of the surrounding gum tissue, which compromises it. Aside from healthier gums and a straighter smile, correcting crooked teeth at an earlier age has the added benefit of promoting a more positive self-image.

Overbite or Protrusive Front Teeth

There are some obvious cosmetic concerns with front teeth that are obviously protruding, but there can be physical concerns, as well. Overbites can cause pain in the jaw, and even possible speech issues. Although we aren’t always able to permanently correct an overbite until your child’s mouth has finished growing, we can help to reduce the severity of the problem, making things a little easier on them until that growth is complete.


Underbites are generally caused by either tooth or jaw problems. The most difficult scenario is when the lower jaw grows too far forward, and with these kinds of cases, we’ll typically need to wait until the patient has finished growing to finish their treatment, around age 16. Even though there’s a waiting period involved, receiving early treatment is highly recommended. To avoid bite-shifting and damage to the front teeth, we’ll want to try and normalize the bite as much and as early as possible.
If we notice an underbite in your young child, we can do something called “jump the bite”, using braces or a headgear. This allows us to get a handle on it before they complete the treatment in their teen years. Underbite patients who receive early treatment between the ages of about 7 and 10 are much less likely to need jaw surgery at a later stage of development.

Posterior Crossbites

A posterior crossbite can cause crowding, and it can also cause the jaw shifting. If we are able to catch this in an early evaluation, we can work on expanding the upper jaw between the ages of about 7-10. This will reduce crowding, and create the kind of space needed for the front teeth to erupt. Expansion can also eliminate any shifting that’s present due to the upper jaw being constricted.

Anterior Open Bites and Deep Bites

Recognizable by the time your child is around 7, these are basically vertical problems with the bite. Bites that are too deep (the top teeth completely cover the bottom ones when biting) can be a sign of a small lower jaw. Bites that don’t overlap enough (open bites) could signal that there is a finger, thumb, or tongue habit causing dental problems. If that’s the case, we’ll happily work with you and your child on why eliminating these destructive habits early is so important for the sake of normal development.

Early evaluations equal happy smiles

Early orthodontic evaluations can play an important role in giving your child the best chance for a straighter, healthier, beautiful smile! Playing “wait and see” with orthodontics until there’s an actual problem can wind up being costlier, more time consuming, and ultimately, more painful for your child.

Most children will have lost all their baby teeth by the time they’re entering the teen years. By the time your child is finishing out their teens and heading into their early twenties, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Any orthodontic procedures performed after this point will take more time, and can sometimes involve things like tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can sometimes help prevent the need for orthodontics at all as an adult, and definitely reduces the need for extractions or surgery in the future.

Though some treatments will require that all the permanent teeth are fully erupted, interceptive treatment like these early orthodontic evaluations can make comprehensive treatment faster and better.

Early orthodontic evaluations in Mobile

If you’re in Mobile or the surrounding area, and have a child who is under or around 7 years old, why not get in touch with our experienced team at Bennett Orthodontics today to schedule an initial evaluation for them? We would love to help you and your child take the first step towards a bright and beautiful smile that will last a lifetime!

8 Foods To Avoid When You Have Braces

June 20th, 2017

colorful popsicle gradientThere are plenty of great reasons to choose braces…but there are drawbacks as well. We all know that. One of the greatest challenges you and your family will face are food choices. Because there are certain foods that are almost sure to get stuck in your braces, leading to unnecessary pain and even damage. They’re also some of the most popular and addictive foods on the planet, so it won’t be easy. But it will be worth it. It’s best to avoid:

• Gum
• Nuts
• Popcorn
• Sticky and hard candy
• Chewing Gum
• Ice
• Corn chips & Pretzels
• Hard cookies or crackers

You can still enjoy most of your favorite foods and all your favorite tastes. It just takes a little planning. Here are some treats you can still enjoy.

• Peanut Butter Cups
• Hershey Kisses (no nuts)
• Plain M&M’s
• Ice Cream (no nuts or caramel)
• Cake (no nuts or caramel)
• Doughnuts
• Plain M&M’s
• Pringles or Lay’s potato chips

Follow these guidelines and have fun snacking! – Dr. Bennett.

How to Clean Your Braces

May 2nd, 2017

Girl with braces brushing her teethYour smile—it’s what people typically notice first when looking at you. It’s also something that you’ve worked hard to perfect if you have braces. To keep your smile looking good and feeling healthy, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene, and that means properly cleaning your braces. In fact, brace-wearers are prone to more dental problems—like gingivitis and cavities—than non-brace-wearers. While it may seem too challenging or time-consuming to properly maintain your braces at home, it’s really rather easy.


Using a toothbrush, whether you choose the typical brush or an electric one, is the standard way to keep your teeth and braces clean. With braces, it’s best to opt for a brush with soft bristles and a compact head. When it’s time to brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line, and use a back and forth motion. Brace-wearers should always remove elastics before brushing and sure to brush the top, bottom, and front of the brackets to remove all of the plaque and food debris. And when brushing, be sure to use a fluoridated toothpaste to decrease the risk of tooth decay.


Because food can easily get trapped in between teeth and under wires, it’s important to floss every day. There are a number of options available depending on what type of cleaning tool you prefer, from soft picks to regular dental floss.

Oral Irrigation Systems

Oral irrigation systems are also a great way to keep your teeth, gums, and braces clean. The specialized systems can be purchased at most drugstores, and they work by spraying water through a device to flush the teeth and braces—especially in hard to reach spots. But be sure to keep in mind that while oral irrigation systems are a great addition to your home oral hygiene routine, it should never replace brushing or flossing.

These few simple at-home steps can be the difference between a healthy, beautiful smile and significant dental problems. To find out more about how to properly clean your braces or to discuss the areas in which you could use some help, give Dr. Bennett a call today.


The Great Big List of Braces Friendly Foods

April 8th, 2017

Contrary to popular belief you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods while wearing braces, the key as with most things is to enjoy in moderation.  It is very important that orthodontic appliances are properly cared for during treatment.  Broken brackets can cause unnecessary appointments and will lengthen treatment time, and well no body wants that.

So To help you avoid any unnecessary problems we have compiled a list of some of our favorite braces-friendly snacks and recipes.

To begin though here is a short list of items you should avoid indulging while wearing your braces:

Hard, sticky foods such as: Ice, & hard candies. (jolly ranchers)

Popcorn, nuts, taffy, caramel, pizza crust, and anything you feel could easily get tangled in your new smile gear.  A helpful tip to avoid extra cleaning and problems is to cut foods into small, bite-sized pieces before attempting to eat.

Now for the good stuff that you can enjoy without worrying about damaging your braces. We will start with one of our personal favorites - Donuts - minus the nuts or sprinkles.

This next sweet treat is perfect for the holiday season.  Mini-Reeses Peanut Buttercup Cups Easy to make and perfectly sized. Find the full recipe and instructions on here.

TBO_facebook_ braces PBC blog treat

One of our favorite healthy braces-friendly snacks are Pizza Stone Zucchini Fries.  These delicious fries combine healthy and easy to eat zucchini slices with seasoned bread crumbs and baked for a light crunch.  Combine with your favorite marinara dipping sauce and you have a delicious and nutritious snack that will play nice with your smile gear.   The full cooking instructions can be found here. 

TBO_facebook_ zucchini blog

As weather continues to cool there is nothing better than enjoying a great big bowl of delicious soup.  We found a version that takes the best part of a chicken pot pie and makes it braces friendly.  This is an ideal meal for someone having a sore mouth kind of day.  Soft, warm, and easy to eat. Full recipe here. 

TBO_facebook_ braces soup blog

This delicious broccoli shells cheese is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any dinner table and best of all it places nice with your smile gear.  Easy to prepare, budget easy, braces friendly and delicious, what more can you ask for.  Check out the full recipe here. 


When snack time calls these Orange Creamsicle Yogurt Bites are the perfect answer.   With a can of your favorite yogurt and a box of jello you are on your way to a cool, delicious, and protein packed snack.  These are perfect for those sore mouth moments. Find the full recipe here.


Some other foods yummy that are braces-friendly include:

- Smoothies also great for sore mouth days as the cold can help take edge off of the discomfort.

- Mash potatoes are classically good and easy to eat with no risk of damaging your braces.

- Bananas are a perfectly soft and easy snack to grab on the go.

- Fresh fish such as salmon or tilapia that has been baked is always a winning braces-friendly dish.

- Don’t forget to eat your veggies like sautéed squash, steamed greens, or thoroughly cooked carrots.

- Pancakes are also perfectly soft for sore mouth days. ( just go easy on the syrup)

- Most all pastas are braces-friendly just be sure to slice into bite-sized portions to avoid getting it stuck in your smile gear.

- Non-chunky salsa ( or hummus) and tortilla chips can be a great snack that would leave your braces a mess.

- Grits - warm, soft, delicious and easy to eat make them a perfect meal for sore mouth days.

- Any type of soft bread that does not have seeds, nuts, or pieces of whole grains. If you like whole-wheat bread, look for one that has a smooth texture. Tear off the crust if necessary.

There are so many delicious foods you can still enjoy when wearing braces, for even more tasty recipes take a look at our Pinterest board. The most important thing to ensure proper care of your braces is to always thoroughly clean after eating.  Check out our great tips to help you keep your smile looking its best.


Does my child need braces?

April 5th, 2017

Smiling boy with bracesSo you think your little one may need braces, but how can you be sure? Here are a few signs that your child may need braces:

-Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all

-Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth

-Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth

-Jaws that shift or make sounds

-Difficulty with chewing or biting

The majority of orthodontic problems are genetic, meaning you inherited your space or bite problems. Others develop over time due to thumb- or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental decay, accidents, or poor nutrition. Another common reason is not enough room in the jaws for the teeth, so they become crowded or crooked.


 What age should my child be evaluated for orthodontic care?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment.  Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7.  At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but a complimentary consultation can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

The most common time for orthodontic treatment occurs between the ages of 11 and 15.  By the age of 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps and bite issues can easily be detected.  These problems will rarely correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.  Today’s braces are more comfortable than the ones you may have worn as a child and miles more efficient, resulting in fewer check-up trips and wear time.

We invite you to come explore your child's options for orthodontic treatment with us at no charge.  Call us to schedule your free evaluation with Dr. Bennett, and start improving their smile today!



Clear Ortho Options

March 28th, 2017

When thinking about braces, many people probably picture traditional braces with metal brackets and wires. But there are actually numerous other options that can help straighten your teeth without being so noticeable. Todd Bennett Orthodontics offers a variety of clear braces that are sure to make you smile.


Clarity ADVANCED Ceramic Braces

In addition to being comfortable, Clarity ADVANCED Ceramic Braces can go virtually noticeable. The small brackets are made from a translucent ceramic material that will blend with the color of your teeth, yet work just like metal braces. In addition, they will resist staining and discoloration, giving children and adults alike plenty of confidence to smile.



For those seriously concerned about the appearance of braces, look no further than Incognito braces. Incognito braces are placed on the back of the teeth, making them practically impossible to see. The braces are completely customized for each and ever patient, thus contouring to your teeth better, which makes them more comfortable and perhaps even more effective than traditional braces.

In addition to being a secret easy to keep—no one will even know you have braces unless you decide to tell them—Incognito is backed by the latest technology, so procedures are faster, cleaner and more comfortable.



Another clear and customized option is Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear aligner system that’s custom-made for each patient. The aligners are made from a smooth, comfortable and clear plastic that is made to fit snugly over the teeth. The aligners work by gradually moving your teeth into the correct spots. Typically, aligners are changed out every week or every other week—depending on the plan mapped out by you and your doctor—and doing so is easy: there are no brackets or wires, so taking off and putting on is quick and easy.

When it comes to orthodontic care, the choice is clear. Give Dr. Bennett a call today to find out more about which option works best for you.


Love Your Teeth

February 14th, 2017

Smiling girl in front of white wallToday is all about showing some love to those you care about, and your teeth shouldn’t be left off the list. Once your permanent teeth come in, they are with you for a lifetime—at least they are supposed to be. So taking care of your teeth and gums is critical in order to maintain the best oral health possible and avoiding tooth decay. Here’s what you need to know to show your teeth some love this Valentine’s Day.

Get a Good Routine

Maintaining a healthy oral health regimen is all about getting into a routine. Set aside at least two minutes twice a day to brush. Follow up one daily brushing with flossing. Part of the routine should also include routine dentist visits, which should occur every six months.

Don’t Slack With Braces

Having braces doesn’t mean it’s ok to stop taking as much care of your teeth. It’s important to take care of your teeth before, during, and after braces to keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid irreversible damage. While taking care of your teeth is more difficult with braces, it’s as critical as ever to maintain a proper oral health routine and avoid sticky and crunchy foods.

Why it Matters

A healthy mouth goes well beyond fresh breath and preventing cavities and gum disease. It can also mean avoiding other types of medical disorders, such as heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.

If you didn’t already have enough reasons to love your teeth, there are obviously many reasons to maintain a healthy mouth. Still have questions or concerns? Give Dr. Bennett a call today to find out more about how to take care of your smile.


New Year, New Smile

January 25th, 2017

Smiling woman For many, a new year comes with new resolutions. And why not? A new year is a great time to create resolutions—especially those that can improve your health. For brace wearers, one of those resolutions should be to start making better oral hygiene decisions. Here are a few suggestions to help you reach your goal for a healthy new year.

Brush and Floss

One of the easiest, and most obvious, ways to improve your oral hygiene is daily brushing and flossing. To remove bacterial plaque, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes and floss once per day. And when brushing, be sure to use fluoridated toothpaste and an appropriately sized toothbrush. Proper daily brushing and flossing can help prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Healthier Eating

Another important way to improve oral hygiene is making healthier food and beverage choices. Brace wearers should always avoid sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy and hard or crunchy foods like popcorn and pretzels. But keep in mind that other foods and beverages loaded with carbs and acids increase the chances of tooth decay. If you are going to consume those types of items, be sure to brush your teeth after consuming them.

Say No to Tobacco

If you’re a smoker or if you use smokeless tobacco, quitting could significantly improve your oral hygiene and overall health in general.

Schedule Dental Visits

Routine visits to the dentist can help prevent oral disease and even catch existing problems early before they become a big problem. Dental appointments should occur every six months. These timeframes allow your dentist and hygienists to best monitor your oral health and create your specific oral health care plan. And if you’ve been putting off dental work needed—such as crowns, implants, or fillings—going ahead and scheduling these required procedures now could significantly improve your oral health.

Even if you don’t currently wear braces, anyone can make a new year’s resolution to improve your oral hygiene. And if you’ve been thinking about getting braces, there’s no better time than 2017 to take the leap. If you do, you’ll be enjoying a bright new smile in 2018!



Brace Yourself for the Holidays

December 14th, 2016

Holly berriesThe holidays are here, and for most, thoughts are all about gifts, food, and enjoying time with friends and family. But if you have braces, you’re also thinking—and probably worried—about how to enjoy fun holiday treats without damaging your braces. Here’s the good news, brace-wearers: with a little bit of thought and planning, you’re sure to enjoy festive and delicious dishes that will most certainly keep you in the holiday spirit.

Foods to Avoid

Sweets are in abundance this kind of year, and the sugary, chewy, and sticky options are certainly more than tempting. For those with braces, it’s best to avoid sticky foods like caramel, gum, taffy, jelly beans, and toffee. Hard and crunchy foods like candy canes, popcorn, nuts, pretzels, and peanut brittle are also discouraged.

To keep some healthy foods on your plate, use simple ways to make them easier on your teeth and braces. For example, shred a raw carrot to add to a salad or slice an apple into thin pieces. If possible, stick with cooked fruits and vegetables, which are softer and much gentler.

Foods to Focus On

While it may seem like the list of “bad” foods is too entirely long, there are actually plenty of tempting treats on which to feast. Brace-wearers can enjoy main dishes like turkey, ham, pot roast, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and cranberry sauce. Fulfill your sweet tooth with items like pumpkin pie, cheesecake, jello, milkshakes, hot chocolate, and eggnog.

Regardless of the holiday foods being consumed, always remember to enjoy them in small portions (if sweet and sugary) and brush your teeth twice a day.

Prep for Emergencies

Even when being careful, sometimes orthodontic emergencies still occur. If this happens and you’re away for the holidays, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible. But in the meantime, here are a few simple fixes to help you get through a holiday dilemma:

  • To fix a poking wire, use a pencil eraser or the end of a match stick to push it down. Or, put wax on it to relieve the discomfort.
  • If a bracket or band is loose, leave it in place and put wax on it.
  • If a wire is loose, use tweezers to try to put it back in place. If that doesn’t work—and wax doesn’t help—try using a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire. Be sure to clip the wire only behind the last tooth to which it’s securely fastened. To help ease discomfort, put wax on it.
  • Keep a brace hygiene kit with you at all times. The kit should include: toothpicks, floss picks, travel toothbrush and paste, mouth rinse, orthodontic wax, and mirror.


Thankful for Our Terrific Staff

November 24th, 2016

The Todd Bennett orthodontic team constantly strives to give patients the best orthodontic care available. Our group of highly trained and skilled professionals consistently develop relationships with all the people who's smiles we help craft. The usual process of patient care allows for our patients to become familiar with only some of our staff. However, the final product we deliver to each of our patients is a result of teamwork throughout the office. We are very thankful for each of our caring team members.

Here is a fun chance for you to become familiar with all of our staff members!


Name: Sharon

Hometown: Fairhope, AL

Position at TBO: Assistant

Favorite Quote: Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: The staff I work with.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Dr. Pepper, my husband, and sunscreen.

What’s the background image on your phone? A picture of my husband and I with our three dogs.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Channing Tatum.


Name: Kate

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Front desk (In-house marketing)

Favorite Quote: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Getting to know patients well enough to where I know who they are when they walk in. They become friends, not just patients

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Water, chips, and queso fundito from the bike shop.

What’s the background image on your phone? My family’s South Carolina lake house view.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Kirsten Dunst.


Name: Sheila Slaton

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Treatment Coordinator

Favorite Quote: “I yam what I yam.” -Popeye

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Meeting new patients, spending time getting to know them and their orthodontic needs, and then seeing them through their transformation.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island?

-Backpack with flashlight, lighter, sunscreen, hammer, nails, duck tape, and sunglasses.

-My Family.

-Zac Brown Band.

What’s the background image on your phone? My kids.


Name: Carrie Dunn

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Position at TBO: Chairside Assistant

Favorite Quote: “When at first you fail, try again.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Experiencing someone’s TX from start to finish.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Potatoes, my husband and my child.

What’s the background image on your phone? The standard iPhone background.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Keira Knightly


Name: Carmen Anderson

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Orthodontist

Favorite Quote: “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Seeing the confidence our patients gain with their new smiles.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Sunscreen, water, and chips and salsa.

What’s the background image on your phone? My husband and I.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Will Ferrell.


Name: Jessica Dickson

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Clinical Assistant

Favorite Quote: “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” - Aristotle

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: The relationship with my work family and the relationship with my patients.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island?

-My boyfriend, Jake.

-My son, Daniel.

-My cat, Oscar.

What’s the background image on your phone? My boyfriend and I.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Kit Harington (aka - Jon Snow)


Name: Jessica Bunch

Hometown: Saraland, AL

Position at TBO: Financial Coordinator

Favorite Quote: “Keep your eyes on the prize.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Transforming Smiles.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Matches, knife and fishing net.

What’s the background image on your phone? The ocean.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Adam Levine.


Name: Jennifer Harden

Hometown: Semmes, AL

Position at TBO: Chairside Assistant

Favorite Quote: “The only way to love great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: The excitement of completion and before and after pictures.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Sunscreen, hammock, and my daughter.

What’s the background image on your phone? Black and white mandala.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Johnny Depp.





In the Game with Braces

October 3rd, 2016

Smiling girl with braces playing tennisA common misconception among youth and adults alike is that you can’t play sports with braces. But the truth is that you don’t have to sacrifice sports if you are a braces wearer. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get in the game as long as you take the proper safety precautions.


Mouth Guard
One of the top safety precautions to take as a brace wearer when playing sports is using a mouth guard. In fact, according to studies by the American Dental Association, mouth guards have been proven to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries.

If you’re a brace wearer, a mouth guard should be worn at all times while playing any sport—not just contact sports. There are mouth guards specifically designed for use with braces. Braces mouth guards offer a little more room than conventional mouth guards, which allows a better fit for the braces, teeth, and gums. These special mouth guards provide the same level of protection as a “regular” mouth guard. For a more custom fit for your mouth, braces mouth guards can be custom-made through the orthodontics’ office. While this option is more expensive, it does offer the most comfort for the wearer.


Beyond Mouth Guards
Protecting your teeth and gums goes beyond just wearing a mouth guard. While brace wearers can participate in most any sport, there are a few exceptions, such as boxing and wrestling, they should not partake in since the risk of getting hit in the mouth is so high. A hard hit can cause damage not just to your teeth and gums, but also to the inside of your cheek and tongue. If you do experience a hard hit to the mouth and feel like something is wrong, it’s important to stop play immediately and call your orthodontist.

Another potential issue is that even while wearing a mouth guard during play, you can still break brackets on your braces. While this shouldn’t cause you to stop play, it is important to call your orthodontist soon thereafter to replace the broken bracket so that your progress isn’t hindered.

If you have specific questions about how to best care for your teeth and braces while playing sports, give us a call today. Dr. Bennett can help you find the best solution to fit your individual need.


How Much Do Braces Cost?

September 8th, 2016

Smiling girl with bracesThere are many variables that can affect the cost of braces such as severity of needs, type of braces, and treatment plans. It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will however cover the Exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We offer many financing options to accommodate your needs and do our best to make braces treatments affordable. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

Payment Plans

It is our mission to provide you with affordable, high-quality treatment that fits your budget!  We offer a variety of payment options to meet your needs including  interest-free, low-down payment plans, as well as accepting CareCredit.  Our office accepts payments by: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Debit cards, Cash, Check.

We also offer automatic bank drafts from your checking or savings account. If you have any questions about financing or payment, we encourage you to ask us!  We will thoroughly explain your choices and work hard to accommodate your needs.


It is our goal to maximize your insurance benefits.  We accept assignment of benefits from most major insurance companies.  In addition, we are proud to be PPO preferred providers for BCBS of Ala, Delta Dental, MetLife, Cigna and United Concordia.  If your insurance covers orthodontic treatment, you will receive the benefit of reduced personal costs.  Many insurance policies have a lifetime orthodontic benefit that is separate from regular dental insurance.  Remember that insurance policies vary, and we will review your insurance to determine the appropriate course of action.

Once treatment has started, we will file your claims.  To help us with your insurance filing, please complete the insurance questions on our questionnaire. Please remember that orthodontic insurance is a benefit for you or your child.  If, during the course of treatment, your benefits change, the financially responsible party is accountable for all charges.

When considering a treatment for your smile, it is important to remember - braces are temporary but a beautiful smile is forever. Call us to schedule your free examination and discuss your smile journey today.


Back to School with Braces

August 24th, 2016

Smiling girl with braces riding a bikeBack to school can be an exciting time for many students. Yet for some students going back to school with braces means serious anxiety. But getting back into the school day routine while managing braces doesn’t have to be daunting. Make your transition to the classroom seamless with these no-fail tips.

Carry a Kit with You

With braces, going to school each day prepared to take care of them is critical. Keep a kit in your backpack or locker with the essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, wax, and extra rubber bands (if your braces require them). Make sure to have a compact mirror as well so you can easily check out your braces if something doesn’t seem right.

Remember to Brush

Your daytime routine is changing, but it’s still important to take time to brush and floss your teeth after lunch. Braces can easily trap bacteria and food decay, so it’s imperative to keep up proper oral hygiene.

 Watch What You Eat

Brace wearers have to take more care in what they eat. Lots of foods—especially those that are sticky or hard—can cause serious damage. Consider bringing your lunch to school instead of risking it with what’s being served in the lunchroom. Also, when it’s time for a snack, go for something like soft fruit, yogurt, or applesauce. That’s much better on braces than candy bars or crunchy foods.

Drink Water

If possible, keep a bottle of water with you. Frequently drinking water will rinse your mouth of food particles and neutralize acids in your mouth. 

Protect Yourself

If you play sports, always wear a mouth guard. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety, an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to his or her teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. Not only will a mouth guard protect your teeth and your braces, but it can also help make sure your braces don’t scrape your lips or mouth. And, there are mouth guard options available specifically for athletes with braces.

Still have questions about how to care for your braces at school? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to talk about how you can best manage your oral health and make the school year great.


This Summer: Oral Health Care

July 14th, 2016

Charming girl wearing braces with a beautiful candid smileSummertime is synonymous with fun and sun. But did you know that summer activities could cause problems with your oral health care? Favorite summer activities like swimming and cookouts can lead to significant dental issues. But don’t fret: before you cancel your family barbecue, trip to the pool, or much-needed vacation, here are a few things to consider to protect your teeth while still partaking in all of your favorite festivities.


Pool Water Problems
Swimming is, of course, a healthy activity and great workout. But, prolonged exposure to pool water can lead to dental erosion, lesions, pits, and even white spots on teeth. The frequent exposure to pool water can also interfere with the braces sticking to your teeth. To protect yourself from these potential problems, make sure your pool water is pH neutral and saturated with hydroxyapatite components. Another way to deter these problems is by drinking fluoridated water regularly.


Watch Your Sweet Tooth
Summer activities offer countless opportunities to indulge in sweets: barbecue, ice cream, sweet tea, and all sorts of other sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Not only are these treats risky for those with braces, but also for anyone as the sugar and acid can cause cavities, plaque, and loss of enamel. Instead of snacking on sweets, opt for healthy snacks like fresh vegetables. Reach for a bottle of water instead of a sugary soft drink. If there is no avoiding a sweet treat, limit it to just one time of the day instead of spacing it out throughout the day and be sure to brush after indulging.


Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated isn’t important just for being out in the summer heat. Drinking plenty of water can improve oral health too. Good hydration helps the body produce saliva, which is essential in having fresh breath, eliminating food particles, and slowing acid production.
Keep a healthy smile all summer long. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to talk about other ways you can maintain proper oral health care any time of year.


Debunking the Myth: Adult Braces

June 29th, 2016

Smiling woman pointing to her bracesWhen you think about braces, the first thing that probably comes to mind is that they are only for children or teens. But the truth is that adult braces are becoming more popular. Today, adults make up a large portion of orthodontic patients. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18.

There are many reasons why more and more adults are making the decision to get braces. A little known fact is that adult teeth still move and shift, just like a child’s, even if the adult had braces when they were younger. So whether you’re an adult thinking about braces for the first time or hoping a second go-around will improve some minor imperfections, here are a few reasons why getting braces as an adult should make you smile.

Boost of Self Esteem

Appearance is always important when it comes to self esteem. And everyone, no matter their age, wants a great smile. It’s one of the first things people notice when they look at you. Taking the opportunity to improve crooked teeth, a strong overbite or underbite, or fixing an improper jaw position provides a definite boost of confidence.

Better Options

There are multiple options for braces today, from regular braces and ceramic braces to lingual braces and clear aligners. That means unlike how it may have been years ago (when wearing braces meant lots of metal and big, attention-grabbing bands), today’s braces can actually go unnoticed by others, causing no reason to be self-conscious or insecure. Many of today’s options are lighter and more comfortable too.


Reduce the Risk of Health Issues

Misaligned teeth can affect an adult’s health just as easily as it can a child or teen. Living with misaligned teeth leads to a higher chance of buildup between teeth, which can cause serious periodontal disease or gum disease, as well as tooth decay, gum loss, and TMJ. Misaligned teeth can also bring about other health problems such as headaches, ear pain, and gastrointestinal problems.

It’s never too late to improve your smile. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to talk about which orthodontic treatment option is right for you.

DIY Braces: Hurt More Than Help

May 22nd, 2016

Smiling girl with bracesAlthough “Do It Yourself” projects are popular, cost-effective, and rewarding, there is one trending project you do not want to tackle on your own — straightening your teeth. YouTube tutorials featuring teenagers demonstrating how to straighten their teeth with common items such as dental floss, paper clips, and rubber bands are surging in popularity. That’s right — DIY Braces are on the rise, and the results are dangerous and less than desirable. The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a consumer alert warning against DIY braces. Take a look at why this practice is extremely dangerous:

  • Change in Tooth Color - Moving teeth on your own can result in cutting off the blood supply, leading to teeth permanently fading to brown or gray in color.


  • Inflammation - Loss of blood supply will cause the gums to become painfully inflamed and infected. This can lead to permanent loss of bone and gum tissue.


  • Root Damage - Moving teeth incorrectly can cause roots of teeth to become damaged, leading to pain, infection, and loss.


  • Tooth Loss - In some cases, DIY braces have even resulted in tooth loss! Read more here about how one person paid $50,000 to replace two front teeth after failing with DIY braces.


  • More Expensive - In the long run, the cost of trying to repair damage caused by these DIY methods is often far more than the cost of seeing an orthodontist to straighten your teeth.


Orthodontists attend a total of 10-12 years of college, dental school, and residency to learn how to properly align teeth without damaging tooth structure, gums, and bone. This is one DIY you should leave to the pros. Kids, don’t try this at home! Parents, be on the lookout for the above symptoms, and if you’re concerned your child is attempting to straighten his or her teeth on their own, contact an orthodontist immediately!

Call (251)471-8008 today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Bennett!  We would be happy to discuss your orthodontic needs and work out a payment plan if necessary.

5 Home Remedies for Your Braces Pain

April 15th, 2016

Frowning woman at the dentist with a toothacheThe first few days after getting braces for the first time can be quite painful. But before you decide to give up and rip them off, check out these easy ways to relieve your pain without sacrificing your new smile.

1. Eat soup and soft foods
The heat from a warm bowl of soup will actually increase blood circulation and reduce the pain in your mouth. Follow it up with a cold bowl of ice cream for some icy/hot action.

2. Enjoy some ice cream
Finally there’s a reasonable excuse to eat ice cream for dinner. Eating cold, soft foods like ice cream will help to reduce swelling and inflammation of your gums. Orthodontists say to enjoy this well-deserved treat 1 to 2 times a day to bring down the pain and to give you some relief.

3. Use a soft bristle toothbrush
Just like a new, soft blanket feels better than that rough blankie you’ve been holding onto for years, replacing your old toothbrush with a soft bristle toothbrush gives you comfort and will allow you to brush your teeth without hurting your sore gums.

4. Rinse with warm salt water
Add a pinch of salt to a warm glass of water and gargle. Doing this every day will help with the pain, and it makes a really cool noise.

5. Apply orthodontic wax to irritated areas
Applying wax to the metallic part of your braces helps to reduce the friction. This is especially great at night because it will help you get better sleep. The soft wax prevents the metal from scraping against your skin causing blisters and sores.


If you have any questions about your new braces and need more advice on reducing the pain, feel free to contact us! If you do not already have braces and are considering orthodontic treatment, contact Dr. Bennett today to make an appointment. We look forward to helping you with your smile journey here at Bennett Orthodontics!


4 Misconceptions About Orthodontists

March 9th, 2016

Smiling girl at dentist's officeWe all make excuses about why we don’t want braces: they take too long, they’re too painful, I’m too old, etc. But truthfully, orthodontic technology has changed so much over the past 15 years that many of these myths are no longer true. We’re here to debunk these 4 misconceptions about Orthodontists.

Orthodontist vs. Dentist

The roles of Dentists and Orthodontists are actually very different. After becoming a General Dentist, an Orthodontist will go back to school for 2 to 3 years to specialize in Orthodontics only. Most dentists never acquire these special skills. You would never go see an Orthodontist to get a cavity filled, just like you shouldn’t go see a Dentist to have your braces adjusted.

Contrary to popular belief, adults are great candidates for braces. Adult teeth still move, just like your children’s. Crooked teeth can be caused by any number of reasons, making orthodontic treatment pertinent at any age. There is an orthodontic option for every lifestyle: some are clear and fixed to the teeth, some go behind the teeth, and some are clear and removable, like Invisalign.

People seeking re-treatment will often say that their teeth have shifted over time, often as a result of not wearing a retainer. Others say that when their wisdom teeth came in, it caused their teeth to shift. In actuality, most wisdom teeth never make it into the mouth and remain buried under the gums, having no real effect on the rest of your teeth.

Depending on your case, orthodontic treatment may not take as long as you thought it would. Treatments can range from 6 months to 2 years. Technology has developed over the past 15 years to allow for more efficient tooth movement with virtually no discomfort.

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to discuss your options.

We look forward to helping you with your smile journey here at Bennett Orthodontics!

Kate Stringfellow: Meet Our Friendly Multi-Tasker

February 16th, 2016

Kate Stringfellow | Bennett Orthodontics

Walking into the lobby of Bennett Orthodontics, you will be greeted by our very own Kate Stringfellow. Kate is one of our loyal employees who has been helping our office run smoothly and happily for over five years.

Kate is a talented multi-tasker who can handle scheduling appointments, answering the phone, and welcoming patients all at the same time — and while wearing a smile! She is always lending a hand to everyone around the office. We here at Bennett Orthodontics are lucky to have such a caring employee.

Kate says, “I love being able to get to know patients and watch them grow up during the orthodontic treatment. I also love being able to learn every patient so I can greet them individually when they come into the office.”

To help you get to know Kate, here are some fun facts about her:

Favorite Hobby: Traveling
Favorite Movie: “Friends with Kids”
Favorite Food: Cupcakes
Pets: Molly (a border collie) and Angel (a chorkie)
Alma Mater: University of South Alabama

Thank you for your hard work and dedication, Kate! We are so happy to have you on our team


The Elf on the Shelf Visits the Orthodontist - Part II

December 21st, 2015

Last year, our good pal and most favorite elf (we’re a little partial because he brings us homemade Christmas cookies), Braces Brad, started his magical smile journey with Bennett Orthodontics by getting braces! Ever since, we’ve seen his smile get brighter and brighter with every appointment he’s made. Let’s take a look at the adventure that took place at his last appointment with us:

’Twas the day of his appointment so he left his small house,
He arrived and checked in with a click of a mouse.
…And then he remembered there was an arcade and decided that was way more important than rhyming!



Besides sitting on the shelf and making toys, playing Pac-Man in our arcade while he waits for his turn is one of Braces Brad’s most favorite hobbies! You better watch out — he’s pretty good at it! Those small, nimble hands and keen eyes (great for toy building) come in handy when playing video games.



After beating a few thousand levels in the arcade, he went to our teeth-brushing station and brushed and flossed his teeth and made sure he got all the gingerbread he had for lunch out of his brackets. After all, he wanted our technicians and Dr. Bennett to see how great his teeth are looking and didn’t want any leftover food to get in the way of a proper adjustment!

After his teeth were squeaky clean, Braces Brad skipped joyfully into Dr. Bennett’s consult room for a quick consultation before his adjustment. He tells us that his braces journey is going great thus far, except he started to get a few canker sores here and there ever since his mom started making her famous Christmas tree sugar cookies for the holidays.

We reminded him that too much sugar can cause mouth sores and gave him a quick reminder demonstration on how to properly brush and floss his teeth with braces to make sure he’s getting all of the holiday treats out of his teeth and brackets!



Next, Braces Brad went into the back to get a thorough check-up and examination. He always enjoys this part because he gets to sit back and relax, and he’s usually pretty tired after unleashing his inner gamer in the arcade.



He also loves this part of his appointment because he gets to hang out with all of his favorite friends at Bennett Orthodontics and gets to document his smile journey to share with his fellow elves by posting pics to Instagram and tagging @bennettortho. Selfie time!



Next, he got to pick out new colors for his rubber bands. He decided to go with his favorite combo of colors — red and green. He figured this would help his smile spread Christmas cheer! Plus, it matches his outfit.



Feeling confident after his adjustment, Braces Brad then headed for the check-out desk. While he was walking out, something caught his eye — a wall full of kids (young and old) who had completed their smile journeys. He decided to make note of all these bright, smiling faces to make sure they were all on Santa’s good list for keeping up with their appointments and getting their braces off!



Just as he was getting ready to schedule his next appointment, look who walked in! Another one of Santa’s many helpers (for those who want their gifts a little earlier).



After such a great visit to Dr. Bennett’s office, Braces Brad could hardly wait for his next appointment! As soon as it was scheduled, he started to dream of Pac-Man, sugar plum fairies, and his perfect smile that was soon to become a reality.


If you’d like to begin your smile journey to spread cheer like Braces Brad, please feel free to contact us to make an appointment for an orthodontic consultation! 

Sharon Wootan: "Little Bit" with a Big Heart

December 1st, 2015


Sharon is our newest employee at Bennett Orthodontics. We are loving having her cheerful and compassionate personality on our team!

Sharon is a Clinical Assistant at Bennett Orthodontics, and her favorite part of her job is interacting with the patients. She also makes everyone’s favorite thing - retainers!

Sharon’s nickname is "Little Bit", but her three most favorite things — her dogs — are not so little! Stella (a yellow lab/retriever), Magnum (a Great Dane), and Molly (a lab mix) keep Sharon on her toes when she’s not hard at work.

With her husband Sean, Sharon enjoys traveling and spending time with family. Here are a few more of her favorite things:

Movie: "The Little Mermaid"
Food: Taco Bell and pizza
Drink: Dr. Pepper
TV Show: "Bones"
Band: Modest Mouse

Next time you’re in the office, say hello to Sharon. She’s sure to make you smile


Trick or Treat? The Halloween Candy Guide for Braces

October 29th, 2015

pile of candyThis Halloween, avoid a creepy jack-o’-lantern smile by staying away from treats that can ruin your braces and damage your teeth. October is National Orthodontic Health Month, so don’t give your orthodontist a reason to “boo” you and cause you to keep your braces longer than planned.

When trick-or-treating, avoid hard, chewy, and sticky candy that can wiggle its way behind your wires and pop off brackets. Candies that are nightmarish for your braces include:

  • Suckers
  • Mints
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Sours
  • Taffy
  • Jelly beans
  • Licorice
  • Gum
  • Fruit chews
  • Caramel
  • Candy apples

While reaching into your Halloween candy stash, grab these softer candies that are less harmful to your braces instead:

  • Hershey’s chocolate bars or chocolate bars without nuts and caramel. Break bars into small pieces to avoid a scary situation!
  • Plain M&Ms
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Soft cookies
  • Melt-in-your mouth candy
  • If all else fails, indulge your Halloween sweet tooth with a bowl of ice cream, a smoothie, or Jello!

Is the thought of celebrating Halloween with braces giving you a fright? Don’t worry — the American Association of Orthodontists has compiled a list of Halloween recipes that are safe to eat with braces. Remember to follow these guidelines and always brush after any sweet treats. Have a happy and safe Halloween from all of us at Bennett Orthodontics!

Back to School Braces Guide

August 18th, 2015

Heading back to school almost always means changes — changing classes, changing friends, and for some students, getting braces. To help you survive school with your new accessory, check out these must-have school supplies for the student with braces. These will be sure to keep your teeth healthy and happy this school year.


1. Compact Toothbrush & Toothpaste
It’s important to take a few minutes to brush your teeth after lunch. This helps get out any food that may get stuck in your brackets and can also help prevent tooth decay and bad breath. Besides, there’s nothing more embarrassing than letting your friends know what you had for lunch by what’s stuck in your teeth.

2. Flossers/Floss Picks
Despite your constant brushing, sometimes you can’t quite get out leftover food with just a toothbrush. Add some extra floss picks to your backpack to keep your braces clean.

3. Musician's Lip Protector
If you are in band and play an instrument that requires the use of your mouth, slip this plastic guard over your wires and brackets to protect your mouth from getting irritated. This nifty little tool will keep your mouth and your music smooth.

4. Mouthguard for Sports Players
Most athletes should already wear a mouthguard when competing, but this is especially important for athletes with braces. A mouthguard can protect your teeth and gums from damage that could set back your treatment.

5. Lip Balm
Using chapstick or lip balm is an easy way to treat your chapped lips that occur as a result of your braces.

6. Dental Wax
boy playing with orthodontic waxProtect your sensitive skin with dental wax. The wires on your braces can be abrasive against the inside of your mouth, often leaving sore spots. Dental wax helps decrease this irritation and keeps you smiling bright.

7. Rubber Bands
Even if you don’t think so, the structure of the school day comes in handy. Use your class schedule as a reminder to change your rubber bands every few hours. As they stretch out, they become less effective. Try changing your bands every two hours for maximum jaw movement and to put yourself on the fast track to getting your braces removed.

8. Compact Mirror
Keep a handy mirror in your backpack to make sure you get all of those pesky food bits out of your teeth after lunch. This can also come in handy when applying dental wax.


Getting braces is the step to straightening your teeth and giving you a bright, beautiful smile for years to come. Make sure you don’t let your hectic school schedule set you back in your treatment plan.

If you have any questions about your new braces and need more advice on reducing the pain, feel free to contact us! If you do not already have braces and are considering orthodontic treatment, contact Dr. Bennett today to make an appointment. We look forward to helping you with your smile journey here at Bennett Orthodontics!

Invisalign Fact and Fiction

May 28th, 2015

a smile with one half braces and the other half InvisalignIf traditional braces are not your desired route to achieve a straighter smile, here’s why Invisalign may be your best option.


When you compare Invisalign to other teeth straightening methods, the advantages become apparent. Knowing the pro’s and con’s to choosing which teeth-straightening method is right for you will help you make a more confident decision.


Fact or fiction:

Fiction: Invisalign doesn’t hurt.

Fact: Anytime pressure is applied to teeth, they will feel sore.


Fiction: Invisalign will straighten my teeth faster than traditional braces.

Fact: Healthy teeth movement occurs at the same speed and it doesn’t matter if movement is caused by braces or aligners.

Fiction: Invisalign is Invisalign no matter who provides it.

Fact: Invisalign is just a tool orthodontists use to straighten teeth. Align Technology is the manufacturer and they have no part in the diagnosis or treatment plan. The success or the failure of each patient's case is dependent on the orthodontist's training.


Fiction: You can’t eat with Invisalign

Fact: Invisalign is removable, which means you have the freedom to enjoy the foods you love.


Cost: The cost of Invisalign treatment varies from patient to patient. If you’re interested in choosing Invisalign for your smile journey, contact us today for a free consultation.


Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign

April 8th, 2015

Smiling woman putting in Invisalign alignerHave you been looking for alternative methods to straightening your teeth other than traditional braces? You may have heard about Invisalign, if you're curious about what it is, who it’s for and how it works, this blog is for you.

Invisalign is a modern approach to straightening teeth through the use of a series of custom-made aligner trays. The aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable plastic that you wear over your teeth.

Choosing to improve your smile is a big decision that can affect your appearance and lifestyle. Whatever your reason for choosing to straighten your teeth, Invisalign can provide a simple solution to achieving your desired smile whether you’re an adult or teen. With Invisalign, you don’t have to put your life on hold to get straight teeth.

Unlike traditional braces, there are no brackets or metal wires, you simply change out aligners approximately every two weeks until your treatment process is complete. Wearing the aligners will gradually shift your teeth into place according to your orthodontists treatment plan.

If Invisalign is an option you would like to consider, make an appointment to talk with Dr. Bennett today.

We look forward to helping you with your smile journey here at Bennett Orthodontics!


The Importance of Wearing A Mouthguard

March 24th, 2015

Smiling girl wearing braces and playing soccerThere is a common misconception that you can’t play sports when you have braces. This could not be further from the truth. Braces do not affect your ability to play sports, but while you have braces you need to be more careful. One hard hit in a football game or rugby match could result in a broken bracket, damage to your teeth or to the inside of your mouth. This is why selecting a mouth guard is essential; it protects the players' teeth, mouth, and jaw. Here are few reasons why you should wear a mouth guard:

Protect your lips:

Braces are pretty sharp. If you’re not wearing a mouth guard, a direct hit to the mouth could cause serious lacerations to your lips. If you have braces, buying a mouth guard is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment you will buy.

Jaw dropping protection:


Mouth guards can help prevent jaw fractures and dislocations because it absorbs the impact of blows. Every year, mouthguards prevent an estimated 200,000 dental injuries; before you take to the field make sure you’re wearing yours.

Keep your smile:

The most important job a mouth guard does is protecting your teeth. Contact sports can cause damage to your teeth if you do not wear a mouth guard. A mouthguard is your first line of defense against painful and sometimes permanent dental injuries.

Selecting the right mouthguard:


Shock Doctor is one type of mouthguard that uses 100 percent medical-grade silicone to allow for necessary movement. The brand even makes braces-specific type mouthguards.

However, many athletes with braces have opted for custom-fitting mouth guards, which are pieces made specifically for the player. If you’re interested in a custom-fit mouth guard, consult Dr. Bennett to discuss your options. No matter the player, the advantages of wearing mouth guards are endless.

Meet The Smiles Behind the Smiles

February 25th, 2015

At Bennett Orthodontics, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the best care available. Our experienced team is devoted to insuring every patient has a stress-free and rewarding orthodontic experience at every visit. On behalf of all of us at Todd Bennett, we want to welcome you and your family to our practice, we look forward to making you smile!

Now let's meet the team!

Say hello to Jessica! She is a talented clinical assistant and has been a member of the Bennett Ortho team for more than 4 years. When asked what was the best part of her job,  Jessica gave this enthusiastic reply,  “My fabulous work family!” We are very proud to have Jessica on the Bennett Ortho team and enjoy all the smiles she brings.


Meet Sheila!  She is our treatment coordinator and has been with Bennett Ortho for over 5 years. Sheila does a magnificent job helping patients with their smile journey. We asked Sheila a few questions and decided to add all her answers together. It turns out she would be a green giraffe that loves nothing more than seeing her patients smile and working with the amazing Bennett team. Thank you Sheila for all of your hard work and dedication to making people smile.


If you haven’t met our dedicated patient coordinator Kate, you are in for a treat. Her cheerful personality is nothing short of contagious, as she warmly greets all patients with a smile. Kate has been an important part of the Bennett Ortho team for 4 years. We also asked Kate what was the best part of her job, she replied, seeing how happy patients are at the end of their smile journey.



Say hello to Cierra, Bennett Ortho's talented clinical assistant that has been with the Bennett team for 2 years. If she could do all her favorite things at the same time it would be something like, wearing her blue scrubs, while eating a bowl of fruity pebbles with her family, and dancing to classic rock. We are excited to have her on our team and know she would enjoy nothing more than, helping you achieve a beautiful smile you are proud to share.

We look forward to helping you with your smile journey here at Bennett Orthodontics!


Why You Should Wear a Retainer

February 1st, 2015

Today is the day you have been waiting for; your braces are finally coming off! Does this mean you can throw in the towel on caring for your smile? Not so fast, you’re smile journey is not over yet. In order to keep your perfect smile you are going to have to wear a retainer.

Why should you wear a retainer?
Wearing a retainer enables your teeth to stay in their new, proper position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. When you wear your retainer, you're protecting your investment, and beautiful new smile.

The result of not wearing your retainer:
Now before you say you don’t need to wear a retainer anymore, you should know that as you get older, your teeth will continue to shift. The slightest pressure from your tongue can cause your teeth to shift out of alignment.  Every year about 25% of patients have to repeat their orthodontic treatment because they failed to wear their retainers as required. You don't want to repeat your treatment, protect your smile by giving your teeth the support they need to stay in place and wear your retainer as directed.

More about our retainers
Just as you can choose between traditional braces or Invisalign, retainers are available in a variety of forms. Here are three types of retainers Bennett Orthodontics offers:

Essix Retainer
This is a clear or transparent retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth.  These retainers are specially made from impressions of your teeth to fit comfortably and discretely. An upper and lower Essix retainer will be given to each patient upon completion of orthodontic treatment.

TBO_Essix Retainer - Blog

Hawley Retainer
This is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position.

Hawley Retainer for blog

Bonded Lingual Retainer
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surfaces of your lower front teeth.  This is a great way to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is bonded into place. Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting. It is important to note that some patients may not be candidates for this type of retainer.

TBO_bonded lingual retainer blog

While a retainer may seem like a pain, it will keep your new pearly whites looking their best.

11 Braces Myths You Need to Know

January 30th, 2015

Smiling girl wearing braces playing video game with laughing friendThere are several myths floating around about braces. Some people believe braces can give you the ability to pick up radio signals, while others believe braces interfere with romance and even metal detectors in airports.  Before you buy into the myths that are circulating out there, lets us set the record straight.

Myth #1: Once I get my braces off my teeth will be straight forever!


Fact: This is part true and false. When your braces are removed you will be given a retainer, if you wear it as instructed your teeth will stay straight. If you choose not to, it is possible that your teeth can shift out of alignment.


Myth #2: I’m too old for braces.


Fact: It is simply not true that you cannot get braces when you become an adult. A beautiful smile can happen at any age. The fact is 1 out of every 5 people treated by an orthodontist is an adult.


Myth #3: Braces are extremely painful.


Fact: This is sometimes said to scare people, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. This is not to say that braces aren’t uncomfortable at times, but after the adjustment period, you will get use to your braces and forget they are there.  Here is a great big list of braces-friendly foods for those sore mouth days.


Myth #4: Traditional braces are my only option.


Fact: This is false. You have options! Advances in orthodontic technology have improved braces and even rendered them unnoticeable. Ask Dr. Bennett about Invisalign and discuss which option fits your situation.


Myth #5: Braces pick up radio signal.


Fact: This is impossible.


Myth #6: Braces take two or more years for desired results.


Fact: Orthodontic treatment varies from person to person, some people may only have to wear braces for a few months.


Myth # 7: I can’t play sports with braces.


Fact: Yes you can, but it is important to remember to wear a mouth guard in contact sports. Mouth guards can ultimately protect your teeth and help prevent jaw fractures.


Myth # 8: I can’t play a musical instrument with braces.


Fact: Yes you can play an instrument with braces. Depending on the particular instrument, there may be difficulty and an adjustment period, but it is not impossible to play an instrument with braces.


Myth #9: Braces will set off metal detectors at airports.

Fact: Because braces are made of lightweight materials, they will not set off metal detectors.


Myth #10: Can I still sing with braces?


Fact: Yes you can still sing with braces. Watch an amazing example of someone doing just that. With everything new comes an adjustment period, hang in there, any difficulties you encounter will not last.


Myth #11: Can I kiss with braces. 


Fact: You've heard the age-old, “you'll get your braces tangled if you kiss.” This is not impossible, but the odds of it happening are very unlikely.

*Remember orthodontic treatment is suitable for patients of all ages. Treatment can be accomplished with minimal discomfort and in a reasonable time period that can have lasting results. Now that you know the truth about braces, feel comfortable to go and enjoy life.

Retain Your Retainer

January 15th, 2015

colorful retainersYou just got your retainer, now what? Like your braces, retainers live in your mouth along with plaque, bacteria and remnants of food particles, which is why it is vital that you clean them. However, there are a few do’s and don't to taking care of your retainer.


Cleaning your retainer

Do: Brush removable retainers with cold water and a soft toothbrush. If needed, removable retainers can be soaked in white vinegar or Efferdent (a denture cleaning solution) with water to freshen and kill germs.
Don’t: Do not microwave or boil your removable retainers; plastic can warp. Do not place your retainer near a heat source as heat will cause the retainer to distort.


Storing your retainer

Do: Keep your retainers in the case provided when they are not in your mouth.
Don't: Don't wrap your retainers in a napkin, paper towel or tissue. Don't ever put your retainers in your pockets. Whatever you do, do not leave your retainers sitting around; dogs love to eat them.


Wearing your retainer:

Do: When putting the retainers in your mouth, line them up and press the retainers into place with your fingers.
Don’t: Never bite your retainers into place.


Eating with your retainer:

Do: Unless you have a bonded lingual retainer, you should always take out your retainers to eat and drink.
Don’t: Do not attempt to eat or drink with your removable retainer as it can cause unnecessary damage.


Broke or lost retainer:

Do: ALWAYS keep your retainer in the case provided; this will prevent you from losing your retainer.
Don’t: Do not flip or play with your retainer. Flipping your retainers around in your mouth can be fun, but it can cause the wires to bend which can lead to a broken retainer.


Braces Care 101

January 5th, 2015

You just got your braces, congratulations, you're one step closer to a perfect smile! Now how do you take care of them? Sadly, your daily brushing routine is no longer going to be enough. The brackets and wires on your teeth will make it difficult to floss and brush. Food will get stuck easier, which if you don’t properly brush can lead to staining, cavities, or even tooth decay. Don't worry; there are several easy tips to help you keep your teeth and your new gear in good condition. Taking care of your new braces doesn't have to be a pain if you follow these easy tips:

Brushing: Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. When you are brushing, angle your toothbrush over and under your brackets to ensure you are cleaning the whole tooth. Properly cleaning your braces will take several minutes, instead of the average 2 minutes, be sure to spend about 4 to 5 minutes brushing. It is recommended that while you are under orthodontic treatment that you brush your teeth 3 to 4 times daily.

Flossing: Flossing can be a pain with braces due to the wires, but there are a couple tools out there that can make flossing with braces easy. Buy floss threaders, they will help you thread the floss to get in those hard to reach places. Another great tool to buy is a Proxabrush; these toothbrushes have a special tip at the end of the brush that will help you clean in between the wires. It is recommended that you floss your teeth at least once per day.


Regular Check-ups: Just because you have braces doesn't mean you should skip regular dental check-ups with your dentist. It is strongly recommended to have regular cleanings every six months unless instructed otherwise by your dentist. Regular check-ups will help with your oral health as well as determine if any periodontal problems are present.


Avoid certain foods: It is important to remember there are some foods you should not eat while you have braces such as: ice, hard candy, popcorn, taffy, caramel, etc. Broken brackets can occur as a result of eating any of the listed foods, which leads to unnecessary appointments and prolong your treatment.


Following these 4 easy tips will help you have a much better experience on your braces journey and help give you a smile you will want to share with the world.



The One New Years Resolution That Will Last Forever.

December 30th, 2014

Deciding to improve your overall health is one great way to start off the New Year. We know many resolutions begin with crash diets and extreme fitness programs that won’t be kept up for very long.  But if there were one permanent change you could make, which would both enhance your appearance and improve your health... would you do it?

A change that will last a lifetime can be found in orthodontic care. One of the most noticeable features of the face is the smile. Are you proud to show off your pearly whites or self-conscious of the condition of your smile? Even more important than aesthetic improvements, braces can provide many health benefits. Teeth in correct alignment are easier to clean, which can make teeth more resistant to decay and less susceptible to gum disease or tooth loss. Correct alignment may also prevent tooth and jaw discomfort that can come from uneven wear.

Now before you begin to say braces are just for children or you are afraid they will interfere with your social agenda, you should know about the many new treatments that are available. Invisalign is the most popular tooth straightening solution for adults, allowing you to get the aligned smile you want, on the sly. There’s no need for your dental work to interfere with your social life, professional life, or favorite foods. You are never too old for a beautiful smile. There are many ways you can care for your smile beyond orthodontic care, some of the most important and often overlooked include:

1. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once every day.

2. Change your toothbrush every 3 - 4 months depending on the brush.

3. Going to annual checkups. Do not wait until there is pain to address an oral issue.

4. Clean your tongue every morning. This helps to remove the buildup of bacteria on your tongue, which is the main reason for bad breath. While using your brush to clean your tongue is helpful, using a tongue scraper is much better.

5. There are a lot of different toothpaste options on the market; arguably the most important thing to consider in picking your toothpaste is the fluoride content. Fluoride helps protect teeth from cavities by actually changing the chemical structure of teeth, making them much more resistant to the caries process and the cavities that process causes.

Schedule your free consult with Dr. Bennett and find out how you can make 2015 the year of the smile.


The Elf On The Shelf Visits The Orthodontist

December 10th, 2014

As he sat upon his shelf keeping a watchful eye on his friends, Elf thought to himself about what he could do to make his smile even more friendly.  Smiling was absolutely one his favorite things to do and he knew he would be proud to share his smile with the world, if it were just a bit brighter. So he called up his friend Braces Brad who had recently started a smile journey with Bennett Ortho, to find out what he should do.  Braces Brad was happy to share about his visit and everything Elf on the shelf should expect when he goes in for his first visit.

Braces Brad began by scheduling an appointment online at www.bennettortho.com and gathering info on the many . Upon his arrival at Bennett Orthodontics, he was asked to check in for his appointment on the computer system.




TBO_facebook_elf coffee


After checking in, Braces Brad could not help but look around the big office and notice the hot chocolate machine. He quickly proceeded to make himself a delicious cup of his favorite drink, grab copy of Elf Illustrated and get comfy in the roomy waiting room.





He only made it a few pages into an article about the latest sled races when he realized their was an entire arcade just waiting to played with. Braces Brad quickly found himself unleashing his inner gamer and wishing he had more time to play, but it was time to meet with Dr. Bennett and learn more about starting his smile journey.




TBO_blog_elf mouth xrayBraces Brad sat down with Dr. Bennett in the consult lounge and began talking about his desire to have an even better smile. They also discussed the problems he was having chewing his favorite Christmas cookies. Dr. Bennett proceeded to give a thorough examination of his teeth including a visit to the X-ray machine. After reviewing all the options, they both agreed on the perfect smile



Braces Brad was ready to begin his smile journey and proceeded to hop up into the patient chair for his new smile hardware.  The friendly and knowledgeable staff made the whole process easy and relaxing. Before he knew it, it was time to check out and schedule a follow up appointment at the front desk.



Braces Brad was proud to start his smile journey and could not wait to see the results. In the meantime he was taught by Dr. Bennett about how to properly clean and care for his new smile gear to ensure his journey had no delays and provided the best results possible.  After hearing about his great experience, elf on the shelf quickly made his appointment and  began dreaming about the super friendly smile he would soon have.

TBO_blog_elf appt slip



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