Welcome to Colorado Springs

Welcome to the beautiful city of Colorado Springs. For all that are new to Colorado, and for those of you that have been here for years, you are probably familiar with the fact that we have hundreds of amazing things to see and do here, whether that is with your family or on your own.  We love Colorado Springs just as much as we love Orthodontics so we want to tell you about one of the hidden gems Colorado Springs has to offer.

I recently had the opportunity to go on a backpacking trip for my birthday. I was able to go right here in Colorado Springs. Can you believe it?! You can go backpacking without having to drive hours away to get to the starting point of your back packing trip. If you have heard of Gold Camp it is a pretty popular spot to visit for a nice afternoon hike or, if you are feeling extra adventurous, go on an overnight backpacking extravaganza. Gold Camp Road follows the former railroad from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek called the Short Line;. In the 1920s the railroad was converted to a car toll road, eventually becoming a public road. In 1988 tunnel number three collapsed and was never repaired. The road is now closed, starting after the second tunnel, to vehicular traffic and is popular with bikers and hikers.

The Trail is about eight miles long going one way. Most people will hike to the third tunnel and then turn back around. Since this is also a great place for bikers there is a trail that goes up and over the third tunnel which allows you to bypass the 3 rd tunnel, as it is closed off, and allows you to access the rest of the trail. There is a fourth and fifth tunnel on gold camp road. It is a hike to get to those tunnels however, because it is uphill the whole way! Gold camp road connects to Old Stage road. If you hike about 3 more miles in, on Old Stage Road it takes you to Rosemont Reservoir, and Rosemont has really great fishing too! As for the backpacking, my husband and I started at the trail head leading to the third tunnel and hiked all the way to Rosemont and camped overnight on the beach at the reservoir. There is no better way to end a long hike than sitting on a beach! Although the hike was really hard, especially with 30lb packs, it made for a great first time backpacking trip. It was great because it would be very hard to get lost on this trail and because Gold camp connects to Old stage road where there is car access to be picked up on Old stage road, if you needed it.

Gold Camp road is an amazing place to experience the beautiful weather Colorado has to offer, it also gives you exclusive access to some of the most incredible views of the city. This is just one of the many fun things to do in the Springs. If you find that you were compelled to try out this hike, or do an overnight back packing trip, please bring in a picture to the office. We would love to post it on our face book page and share your experience.

Happy Hiking!!

Orthodontic Financing

We’ve partnered with OrthoFi! We started with them October of 2017 and now that we’ve really gotten the feel of things we are happy with what they have to offer not only to our practice, but to our patients. I love watching our patients leave the consultation with smiles on their faces because of how easy the process was.

We start out by getting you in the office for a consultation which consists of an appointment with Dr. Horne. Once we get a feel for what your main concerns about your smile are, we will do an oral evaluation where Dr. Horne gets a good look at the overall issue. From there we will have a better idea of how long your estimated treatment time will be and what appliances best fit your needs.

Behind the scenes, OrthoFi is verifying your orthodontic benefits and getting everything prepared for the doctor to review before your appointment, that’s why filling out your paperwork ahead of time is so important for this process. It helps with maximizing your time with the doctor. Of this 45 minute appointment, Dr. Horne spends about 90% of that time with you, the other 10% of your time is spent with me, going over treatment investment.

My personal favorite part of this process is discussing the payment slider. The “payment slider” is an awesome tool provided to us by OrthoFi so that our patients may customize their very own payment plan. OrthoFi runs a medical credit check that does NOT hit your credit, which helps determine the smallest down payment that can be left. On the other end of that, you have the option of payment in full, which offers a discount! Once you decide on the down payment that best fits your budget there is a second line that determines the monthly payment. Most cases have the option of making payments 9-12 months after the treatment is included. The whole set up for the payment slider is really user friendly and easy to read. On the right hand side of the page, the fees are listed for you and it shows line by line the total amount, the estimated insurance amount and discounts (if any).

OrthoFi also has a “follow-up” tool so that I don’t let any patients slip through the cracks. This will allow me to create a reminder to follow up with you after you’ve had a chance to discuss it with all parties involved in the decision. Generally about 48 hours after your visit with us.

The goal Smiling Springs and OrthoFi are trying to accomplish with this software is to make this process as easy as possible for all parties. We not only offer personalized care with your orthodontic treatment, but with your financing. The options and possibilities are at your fingertips.

White spots around braces?

If you fail to take care of your teeth while you are wearing braces, you could end up with vibrant white spots. You can prevent any of these white spots forming by proper brushing and flossing.

What is the Cause of White Spots?

The white spots that develop on your teeth while you are wearing braces are a result of poor oral hygiene. When you don’t properly brush and floss food particles, bacteria will start to build up around the brackets of your braces. If the food particles and bacteria are left sitting around, the bacteria will eventually cause your teeth to start to lose valuable minerals. The loss of valuable minerals, which is a process known as decalcification, causes bright white spots to form.

There is a reason why your orthodontist always reminds you to brush and floss regularly while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. One reason it is so important to maintain your oral health is that you want to prevent decalcification, which can also lead to decay.

Proper brushing and flossing will help you to remove any food particles, bacteria, and plaque that are starting to accumulate around the brackets of your braces.

While you are wearing braces you should be doing the following things:

  • Brushing for a minimum of two minutes – spending less time brushing won’t allow you to properly remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles

  • Brush after every meal and snack – if you are unable to brush after a meal or when snacking, at least try to brush your teeth two to three times a day

  • Use small circular motions when brushing, as this will provide the power to remove plaque, bacteria and food particles, but it won’t damage your gums or teeth

  • Floss at least once a day

  • Remove any large visible food particles from around your braces – if you can’t properly brush, at least remove food from the wires and brackets

  • Use a specialized dental tool to ensure you are cleaning those hard-to-reach areas

  • Make sure to brush around the gum line


We give a waterpik to each of our patients. A waterpik can help you clean any hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Using a waterpik in addition to regular brushing will make sure that all food particles, bacteria, and plaque are being removed. This way, your chances of developing white spots on your teeth is significantly decreased.

See Your General Dentist Every 6 Months

Just because you are regularly visiting your orthodontist, doesn’t mean you no longer have to visit your general dentist. You will still need to visit your regular dentist a minimum of once every six months in order to get a professional cleaning. Regular professional cleanings can help prevent decalcification by removing any hardened plaque that may be building up around the brackets.

Food Limitations

Candy.jpg#candy #orthodontics #nonofoods #braces #hardfood #orthodonticblog #brokenbracket #pokeywire #coloradoorthodontist

Let’s talk about food with your new braces! Orthodontist place limitations on food so that they can have treatment go as smoothly as possible. Crunchy and sticky foods can wreak havoc on your new hardware. Anytime you have broken brackets or broken wires it can set your treatment back. To avoid anything from breaking we ask patients to limit their consumption of really hard candy such as jolly ranchers or lollipops as well as sticky foods such as caramel and laffy taffy. The most important thing is to be mindful when chewing your food. When eating apples instead of having them on the core, cut it up and use your back teeth to chew your food. Doing this really reduces the impact on your braces! If you try to eat anything hard or sticky straight on, you will feel it just rubbing on your bracket, which can lead to it breaking. Keep your chicken off the bone and cut your food up and you will be golden. When it comes to popcorn, as long as you are not eating the kernels you can have it. Pieces will get stuck in your braces so really make sure you are taking the time to brush all around your brackets and flossing to make sure to get everything from under your gums. Cleaner teeth move quicker so your timeline given at the initial consultation could be a little shorter! Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is super important for your oral health and overall health. The healthier your body is, the better the results of your orthodontic treatment because a proper diet provides essential nutrients to bones and tissues undergoing significant change during braces treatment. Many patients when they come in with a broken bracket we will ask what happened and they will say “I was drinking water!” or “I was eating pasta!”. We all know those things are not what are breaking the brackets; it is usually something you ate prior! Just because it did not come off as you were eating it does not mean it is not breaking the glue down! Make sure to listen to the orthodontic assistant and the Orthodontist with their instructions of taking care of your braces, especially if you want it to go quickly and painless as possible! In a nutshell as long as you are eating mindfully and cutting your food up and chewing with your back teeth, your treatment should go pretty smoothly. In the instance that something does happen to your braces please call the office and let them know so they can either schedule you in to get it fixed right away or if it is something that can fixed at your next appointment they can plan and prepare for it! If they are prepared to fix any issues it will only make your time in the chair shorter!


If you have any questions or concerns with your braces please give our office a call at 719-487-9303, we will be happy to assist you!


Summer Happy Smiles!

Ms. Sheryl wanted me to let everyone know we treat adults too! She said she wanted to make sure all adults in the Springs know that Smiling Springs does a great job and treats adults too! We are very happy to hear that she is going to spread the word with her beautiful smile.

Adult treatment is very similar to treating Teenagers! The same tools are available. Adults love clear aligners, Invisalign but that is not always the fastest or the best fit! Sometimes a short time of traditional braces can do wonders. With Adults we often focus on what is bothering them so times can be a lot shorter depending on what our goals are. Often the teeth on the bottom in the front are not aligned and adults want that corrected and not much else. This can be a quicker treatment time than you might think. Braces, Adjustments, Retainers, all very similar to teenagers.

Colorado Springs Adults love coming to Smiling Springs Orthodontics for braces, invisalign, whatever we can do to help get them the smile they love!

#braces #bracefree #smile #smilingsprings #orthodontics #orthodontist
#braces #bracefree #smile #smilingsprings #orthodontics #orthodontist


Retainers are super important to your Orthodontic treatment! When you are done with your treatment everyone gets a retainer. Lets talk about some different types of retainers.

Fixed/Bonded Retainers

These retainers are glued in your mouth. You do not need to think about them daily and are overall pretty nice. They make brushing and flossing a little more difficult and there are no health side effects to them as long as you can keep your teeth clean. So that is great. Normally they are glued on your tongue side on the top if you started with a space between your two front teeth, and routinely on the lower normally canine to canine. The downside to these retainers is they can break! Breakage is a huge issue. Some people have great experiences with fixed retainers and that is great. Every week I see a broken fixed retainer that has been placed somewhere and they come to me for an emergency. They last 1, 2, 5, 10 years maybe longer, but anything glued in your mouth will break at some point. Some people catch it and when it breaks they know right away and we can repair it and keep your teeth perfectly straight. A lot of times people only know the fixed retainer is broken because their tooth has moved and they want to know why. Then this becomes an issue because in order to get your teeth back to where you want them you need to get some sort of orthodontic treatment again. I want to avoid ever having you back in Braces or Clear aligners!

Essix/Clear Retainers

These are my favorite type of retainer. They are clear retainers that are suction molded around your teeth in the perfect position. You wear them at night while you sleep and that is enough to keep your teeth in the ideal spot. The great thing is if you forget to wear your retainer for a few nights and your teeth move you can pop these back in and they can get your teeth back to where you want them! This is fantastic and a huge bonus. A big downside is you need to remember to wear them every night. There are some good and bad things about each option!

Hawley/Traditional Retainers

Hawley or traditional retainers I still use but is case dependent. People often dislike the fit and comfort of these vs clear essix retainers. They are a bit bulkier and they can not get your teeth back to where they belong if you do not wear them for a few days. But they do a great job at letting teeth come together and touch naturally without having any plastic between your teeth.

Which type of retainer is a discussion and we will figure out what is best for you. Often if someone wants a fixed retainer I will do both a fixed and a clear essix retainer. That way you know if you are wearing your retainer nightly and when the fixed retainer breaks you have a backup! you can get the fixed retainer taken out and continue to wear your clear essix retainer that was made when you finished treatment!

Gaining Strength

There are so many benefits to exercising. Not only is it good for your overall health but it is great for mental health as well. You know the good hormones that make you feel happy? Endorphins are released with physical activity. I know, I know many of you are probably saying “yeah, right!” If you give it time and practice it just like anything else you will get better and better and you will start noticing a difference within a few weeks. The beauty of lifting weights versus cardio is you do not have to feel like you are dying and be completely out of breath to make progress.  What is your preferred method of exercising?

Once I got out of high school I always thought I would have to eat and run like a bunny rabbit. That is not the best method to having an overall good body composition. I would always try to run and get my heart rate high as possible and stay there for thirty to forty minutes and then would just eat really small salads. Do you know how quickly that motivation went away? Within days and I would cycle this mentality which is called ‘yoyo dieting’. This can slow your metabolism and make it even harder to lose weight and easier to gain as well. I honestly went through this for roughly seven years. If only I had the knowledge that I have now and how awesome the human body is; I would have progressed much quicker with better results.

Did you know building muscle burns more fat than cardio alone? You may not burn as much during your actual workout but the after affects are far greater than hopping on a treadmill for thirty minutes. People that struggle losing weight usually just don’t have the right knowledge and tools to get to where they want. Some of us are all or nothing but in my opinion the healthiest people learn balance. When I say ‘balance’ I mean that you know in moderation it is okay to have a burger or a cookie. You do not have to eat three or four cookies at a time. You learn to stop eating when you are satiated instead of continuing to eat, especially to the point of making yourself sick. Once you learn balance the weight will come off. You most certainly don’t have to cut any food groups out.

There are a lot of fad diets out there but the diet you should be on is the one you can see yourself continuing for the rest of your life, otherwise you will gain any weight you lose right back. People will swear by what they are doing to lose a lot of pounds really quickly, such as the keto diet. I don’t know about you but I could not cut carbs for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy my life and be happy in the body I am in. You know what the secret is to losing weight? The big secret is calorie deficit. No matter what anyone tells you, it is calories in versus calories expended. As long as you are eating less calories than you burn throughout the day and through exercise you will lose weight.

Dieting does not have to be complicated. Figure out what your maintenance is by tracking what you eat and eat under that amount. Lift weights four to six times a week. You will see a difference pretty quickly. Be careful though not to eat below five hundred calories of your maintenance because your body can retaliate.  It will want to hold onto any body fat you have and continue storing anything you eat as fat. It is known as going into “starvation” mode. Keep it simple and start with two hundred calories from what your maintenance is and lift some weights!


Smiling Springs @ the American Association of Orthodontics

We all had a great time in Los Angeles learning more Orthodontics to bring back and share with all our wonderful patients and the Colorado Springs community. I learned about some new innovative bracket systems that were introduced this year (More ways to move teeth!) Ashley and Nina learned about new ways to be in better contact with our patients and share what we are up to on a daily basis.

A few interesting things I learned about were some more clear aligner systems. Invisalign is a huge leader but there are many others and many doing things unique and better. Clear aligners are a great way to treat teeth and how they fit together. There were about 8 new aligner companies at the meeting, some big some small. A few of the most interesting things are where they are manufactured and the process. Invisalign does all of its manufacturing in Central America. For the last few months all of the clear aligner cases we have started at Smiling Springs Orthodontics have been modeled with 3M. They are 100% manufactured in the United States, currently in Minneapolis and moving to California. They are a large company with a long history in orthodontics, all of the brackets we use are also made in the United States which is great for so many reasons.

All of our brackets are also made in the United States with 3M. I like them for many reasons although at the meeting one smaller company located in Indiana now has similar brackets. I like the brackets I use because they have a much lower rate of bracket failure (so they stick to your tooth better!). There are some great advantages to so many things which we learned about at the American Association of Orthodontics Annual meeting.

Made in the USA
All Brackets, Wires, Clear Aligners, glues, retainers.

I will post more soon!
Dr. Horne


Color Options for Your Braces

#braces #orthodontist #coloradobraces #coloradoorthodontist Smiling Springs Orthodontics Braces Orthodontist

For most kids the fun part about braces is getting to pick which colors you want to wear! They can change them to different ones at each visit. We have options to blend in if that’s what they prefer. Most of our patients like to pick colors according to their interest such as: sports, big events (prom), school colors, or simply their favorite color! The color rubber band’s hold the wire in the slot of each bracket so that we can guarantee that each tooth is tracking along with the rest of their teeth. If you ever see one of the colors missing it means either the bracket broke or the tie came off, usually with something sticky, and that tooth can fall behind. When this happens call our office and let us know as soon as you can because it can extend your original treatment time. That applies to broken brackets as well!

 If you are looking for ideas on what colors you want to do each month you come in we have some great ideas for you!!

January: Celebrate Winter with navy or dark purple!

February: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with pink and red!

March: Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with green!

April:  Celebrate Easter with Pastels! I suggest yellow and light blue!

May: Recognize Memorial Day with wearing red!

June: Summer Time! Fun and bright colors such as teal and screaming pink!

July: Celebrate Independence Day with wearing red with and blue!

August: Celebrate Colorado Day with dark blue and yellow!

September: Celebrate Football season and wear your favorite team’s colors!

October: Celebrate Halloween with your costume colors or go for orange and black!

November: Celebrate Thanksgiving with orange and red!

December: Celebrate Christmas with green and red or Hanukkah with blue and white!

New Smiles!

Three of the newest smiles from Smiling Springs Orthodontics! They all look great and are so happy with their smiles. Having braces or clear aligners was a lot of work but they all look great! They all have retainers and instructions for how to wear them. We look forward to keeping their fantastic smile forever! Everyone can check them out in Colorado Springs or we know one of these patients is off to Pueblo for school! Thank you for being with us for your smile transformation!

#coloradoorthodontist #coloradospringsbraces #debond #bracefree #SmilingSprings
#coloradoorthodontist #coloradospringsbraces #debond #bracefree #SmilingSprings
#coloradoorthodontist #coloradospringsbraces #debond #bracefree #SmilingSprings

Rest and Relaxtion

#r&r #adventure #relax #fun #orthodontic #braces #coloradospringsorthodontic

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day? For some of us, we work, go to school, then come home to take care of the kids and do it all over again the next day. Then there are those days where you have to make time for things like laundry or grocery shopping. You barely have time with your kids let alone some rest and relaxation for yourself. When you find free time for you, what do you enjoy doing with it?

Personally, I’m on the lookout for more hobbies and things that interest me. As an adult it can be hard to find new hobbies in the midst of the hustle and bustle of day to day life. I like to hike in the mountains. I love movies. I like the old school gaming systems such as; Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sega, and Atari. I have found a passion in painting. It started as an event with some girlfriends at ‘Painting with a Twist’. If you have never been before, I highly recommend trying it just once. It is so much fun to get out and try something new! The instructors make painting fun and they are available to help out when you get stuck. For the adults, they offer adult beverages and it is okay to bring your kids with you! You get to pick what painting you will do based on the date and time you go. They also let you host parties for your birthday and any other party events. Because of this experience, I made painting something I do for me, something I can enjoy and take pride in.

I was excited with my new found hobby and went out and got all the basic essentials; an easel, a new pack of paintbrushes full of variety, canvases, acrylic paint and the pad to put your paint on. Not too expensive either. I started searching “acrylic painting for beginners” in YouTube and I found a plethora of awesome paintings. A lot of the time I like to follow them step by step with the colors they pick. But sometimes I will switch it up and start off with their idea and turn it into something completely different, something of my own. Sometimes I will do their art with my colors. Regardless of the paintings I choose, I enjoy the time I put into them and the outcome. A lot of the time I can look at them and I am astounded that I actually did that. Not to mention the compliments I get from them. Who would’ve thought something you enjoy as simple as painting can brighten up someone’s day. Pun intended.

Even though it can be tough to find time for yourself after taking care of your spouse and kids, we should all make plans to do what we love aside from family. I know for me it is how I can recharge and do my best to reach my goals. I encourage you all to adventure out and do whatever it is that makes you light up! If you haven’t found that yet then plan on trying the things on your bucket list! I know it is one of my goals this year to try more things.

Finding Your Way to Healthy Eating

#health #braces #healthylife #coloradoorthodontist #blog

Many of us deem healthy eating incredibly hard. It can be quite daunting in the beginning, but once you create good habits it will come natural to you. You don’t want to just jump in all or nothing if you are used to eating out several times a week and haven’t worked out since PE in high school. That will set you on the fast track to failure. I have the tendency to have an ‘all or nothing’ mindset to any goals I want to reach. When in reality the best approach is to have balance. Think of it as your job. We all have to take time off to recover so that we can be better at our tasks at hand. I finally learned that just because I eat one cookie doesn’t mean I failed at dieting and eating right. It just means I craved a cookie and ate one and got it out of my system.  What got me to finally stick to it and not throw in the towel was creating that balance for myself. Once or twice a week I will indulge in whatever I was craving the prior few days and then move on.  I am definitely not perfect and there are times where I end up doing it more like three or four times but you know what that is okay! Your body can handle it as long as you don’t make that a habit.

                How do I create my own balance? I would start tracking what you eat in a journal or food log app. Just for a few days see where you fall at when you are eating. It is good to have a gauge at around how many calories you are consuming so you know where to go from there. Many women have this idea that 1200 calories is what they have to diet on and for most women it just is way too low. After you get the hang of tracking what you are eating then I suggest starting to read nutrition labels. See what it is you are eating.  Are you getting the micro-nutrients that your body needs to thrive? Most of us aren’t, especially if we eat out for most of our meals. Fast food is very high in calories and have very little to offer your body as far as nutrients go. Once you start learning what food contains then start doing some smart swaps. For instance I opt for whole grain bread that contains fiber and usually cut a bit thinner so it is less calories. Take your favorite meals and swap some of the ingredients for lower calorie versions. I love pizza, I mean who doesn’t? So if I need it during the week I will usually take lavash bread and add a lower calorie marinara, two percent milk mozzarella, which saves a ton of calories, then add my toppings! I opt for high protein options such as turkey pepperoni and Canadian bacon! Pop it in the oven set at three hundred and fifty degrees until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted which is around nine to ten minutes. You can do this for any of your favorite meals! Will it taste as good as your favorite take-out? Probably not at first but once you get used to eating better you will like it more and more.

Finding balance doesn’t have to be a race, just make small changes week by week and eventually it will come more natural to you reach for an apple instead of chips.  Another concept I find that has helped me succeed is I don’t eat something if I don’t like it and I am not going to finish it just because it taste really good even though I am full. Listen to your body and eat things that actually make you feel good and give you energy. It is okay to enjoy food with friends and family especially during any holidays and traditions. Afterwards make your next meal something more nutritious. It takes time to find your own balance but you owe it to yourself and your health.


After undergoing months of intensive orthodontic treatment to improve your smile, you tend to walk out of the final appointment extremely committed to following all the aftercare instructions your orthodontist provides you regarding wearing your retainers. After all, you want to do everything you can to keep your teeth straight. Unfortunately, sometimes that dedication and commitment to following instructions tend to lessen and before you know it, you are completely neglecting your retainer.

Think it isn’t a big deal that you aren’t wearing your retainer? Think again. Learn about some of the things that can happen if you neglect your retainer.

Bacteria Can Grow on the Retainer if Not Properly Cleaned

Failure to properly clean retainers is one of the most common forms of retainer neglect that we see at an orthodontist office. People fail to properly clean their retainer because they are running short on time, don’t know the proper way to clean their retainer, or just don’t know that retainers need to be cleaned.

Retainers come into direct contact with a lot of things ranging from sugars and acids to bacteria and food particles. Cleaning your retainer will not only prevent bacteria that can harm your teeth and cause tooth decay from growing on it, but it will extend the lifetime of the retainer.

The following tips will help you keep your retainer properly cleaned:

  • Use cool water and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your retainer. Don’t use toothpaste because it has abrasive particles that will scratch and dull them.

  • Clean your retainer at least once a day.

  • Clean your retainer immediately if it has been exposed to sugar or acids.

  • Your retainer can be soaked in the dentures solution to help deep clean them

Teeth Start to Shift Without a Retainer

Many people assume that because the orthodontic treatment worked so well that they no longer have to wear their retainers. That isn’t the case. If you fail to wear your retainer, your teeth will slowly shift and you will end up with crooked or misaligned teeth.

The teeth naturally want to shift, many times back toward their original positions. Your retainers keep your teeth straight by preventing them from shifting and moving after orthodontic treatment.

Of course, failing to wear your retainer one day isn’t going to mean you will wake up with a completely distorted smile. However, if you continue to neglect your retainer and don’t wear it as you are supposed to, you will slowly notice changes in your smile and eventually, your teeth will be misaligned.

To prevent your teeth from shifting, do the following:

  • Retainers need to be worn every night to maintain your smile. The longer you go without it your teeth will shift. If you find that it is difficult to get them in and out then more than likely you should be wearing them more often!

  • Retainers will need to be worn for your entire life if you wish to keep your teeth straight. Even if you never received orthodontic treatment your teeth will shift with age so if you want to keep your current smile throughout your life, we still suggest wearing a retainer at night.

  • Your retainers could last many years, but if they are lost or broken, new ones can be made.  The sooner you get to your orthodontist when you encounter a problem like this, the better. The longer you wait, the more likely you will have significant shifting.

  • Do not leave your retainers out in the sun or rinse them in hot water. This may cause them to warp, and your teeth will shift.

  • When not wearing your retainers, always keep them in your retainer case. Never wrap them in a napkin or leave them out on a table. This only makes them more likely to be thrown out or chewed by a pet!

Has it been a while since you have worn your retainer?  If so, it is time that you see Dr. Horne before your teeth have more time to shift.  Call Smiling Springs Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment 719-487-9303. Dr. Horne will be able to assess your individual case and determine if you just need a new retainer or if your teeth have shifted so much that you may need to undergo orthodontic treatment.

What Prolongs Your Treatment?

Don’t Miss Scheduled Appointments

Making trips to the orthodontist’s office is all part of undergoing treatment. After the first few visits you may start to see these appointments as inconveniences and be tempted to miss them. Don’t do that!

Skipping scheduled appointments with your orthodontist could prolong your treatment. One of the reasons you need to have regular appointments is so that your orthodontist can check your progress. If, for some reason, your teeth aren’t shifting or moving like they should, your orthodontist can make adjustments so there aren’t delays in your treatment.

Another reason for visiting the orthodontist is for planned adjustments. If you skip an appointment where your orthodontist was going to tighten or adjust the wires, it could delay treatment because your teeth won’t be moving in the same timeframe as predicted.

The best thing you can do is to try to make all of your scheduled appointments. In the event something comes up and you can’t make an appointment, call your orthodontist and reschedule as soon as possible. This will help keep you on schedule and help you complete your orthodontic treatment in a timely manner.

Avoid Chewing on Hard Candy, Ice, and Other Objects

If you are one of those people who likes chewing on your pencil when you are thinking or snacking on ice, you should stop while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Of course, that is if you want to complete your treatment in the estimated timeframe.

When you chew on hard objects like candy, ice, and pencils, you put yourself at risk of damaging your orthodontic appliances. If your braces or wires get damaged, they won’t function properly. When your teeth aren’t shifting or moving as they are supposed to, it could result in having to wait longer to complete orthodontic treatment.

It is also best to avoid sticky foods, as they can damage or loosen parts of your appliances which can slow your treatment progress down.

Don’t Get Lazy with Oral Hygiene

We cannot stress enough how important it is that you practice good oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Failure to brush and floss regularly while undergoing treatment could result in the development of cavities. If a cavity forms or your gums get inflamed, these issues must be dealt with right away and this will take precedence over your orthodontic treatment progress.

Practicing good oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment means doing the following:

  • Trying to brush your teeth after every meal or snack, a bare minimum of twice per day

  • Brushing all of the surfaces of your teeth and around the brackets and wires, paying special attention to the gum line

  • Flossing at least once per day

  • Scheduling regular visits with your dentist, at least once every six months, for professional cleanings

When you become a patient at Smiling Springs Orthodontics we want you to improve your smile as fast as possible. That is why we take the time to explain all instructions to you and answer any questions you may have about wearing braces or undergoing orthodontic treatment. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Horne about how we can help you improve your smile!


Invisalign sounds like an ideal orthodontic treatment option. It is practically invisible, has no food restrictions, and is relatively painless. Unfortunately, while Invisalign is a great orthodontic treatment option, it isn’t for everyone.

Think you might want to get Invisalign? Learn more about who is a good candidate for this type of orthodontic treatment.

Older Teens and Adults are Better Candidates for Invisalign

Age plays a role in whether or not you are a good candidate for Invisalign. This orthodontic treatment option usually works best for older teens and adults because in most cases, responsibility increases with age.  Younger teens and children can get Invisalign treatment but other treatment options, such as traditional braces, may be a better option. Each patient and situation is different though.

Older teens and adults are better candidates because they are often able to follow the strict instructions that come with Invisalign. Invisalign aligner trays must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours a day and changed out on schedule. Younger teens may be tempted to frequently remove the aligner trays or forget to switch to a new tray as scheduled.  Younger patients also tend to lose things more often and losing trays can lead to problems.

The Orthodontic Problems That Need to be Corrected

Invisalign can correct a wide variety of orthodontic problems. However, it cannot properly correct major orthodontic problems, such as a severe overbite or underbite. It cannot correct these major orthodontic problems because the structure and positioning of your jaw need to be corrected and Invisalign primarily corrects the placement and position of your teeth.  Technology is always advancing, however, so Invisalign may have even more uses in the future!

Minor orthodontic problems that can be corrected with Invisalign include:

  • Crooked teeth that slightly overlap each other

  • Protruding teeth or teeth that are not in their proper position

  • Gaps that have formed between the teeth

  • Overcrowding of the teeth

  • Some crossbites – when the upper teeth fit on the inside of the lower teeth

  • Minor open bites

  • Minor underbites and overbites

If you need to have severe orthodontic problems corrected the only treatment option that may be available to you is traditional braces. An orthodontist can give you a better idea of the type of orthodontic problems that need to be corrected in order to give you the smile you always wanted.

Other Qualities That Make a Good Candidate for Invisalign  

The activities you engage or things you like to do in often determine what type of orthodontic treatment option is best for you. Invisalign may be a good treatment option for the following type of people:

  • People who do a lot of public speaking – the aligner trays can be easily removed if there is a concern about slurring or mumbled speech while talking. However, most patients easily adapt to the trays and can speak with ease.

  • People who play full-contact sports – the trays can be removed while you play a favorite sports activity.

  • People who lead busy lives – many times, there are fewer visits to the orthodontist required with Invisalign. You will still need to go to the orthodontist, but you won’t have to go as often as those with traditional braces

Schedule a Consultation with an Orthodontist to Discuss Invisalign

The only way to know for sure if you are a good candidate for Invisalign is to visit an orthodontist.  After conducting a brief examination, your doctor will speak with you about what results you wish to see from undergoing orthodontic treatment. Once this information is gathered, your orthodontist will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign or if you should consider other orthodontic options.

Choosing The Right Orthodontist

When choosing an orthodontist and seeking professional orthodontic care, we hope that price will not be the primary factor in making your decision. Rather, it should be the experience of the professional and the quality of service.

Orthodontics can shape the experience and quality of your life. Choosing the right orthodontist is very important and that choice cannot be made based on cost alone. It must be noted that while all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists: only 6% of dentists are orthodontists. You should ensure that the individual providing orthodontic treatment is in fact an orthodontist, because if treatment is not done right, it can take a lot of time and money to fix.

Factors To Consider in Choosing The Right Orthodontist

While we understand that cost will be an important factor in your final decision about where to seek treatment, we advise that you also choose your orthodontist based on these important factors.

  • Ensure that the individual is a licensed orthodontist. Some dentists who offer orthodontic treatment are not licensed orthodontists.

  • Ensure that the orthodontist has a credible reputation. Check online reviews or ask previous patients if possible.

  • Choose an orthodontist that has a clean, organized office and friendly staff. The office atmosphere is integral and can tell you a lot about the orthodontist.

You should always take advantage of initial consultations as they can help you to make the right choice. These consultations can give you a chance to ask the right questions, meet the orthodontist, and hear about the treatment options that are available to you.

What Makes An Orthodontist?

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Orthodontists are dentists that are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of orthodontic problems. They dedicate their professional lives to creating healthy, beautiful smiles in children, teens and adults. Well-aligned teeth are more than attractive: they make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively!

Orthodontists use a variety of “appliances,” including braces and clear aligner trays (Invisalign), to move teeth. Because of orthodontists’ advanced education and clinical experience, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to recommend the best kind of appliance to meet every individual patient’s unique treatment goals.

When making the decision to receive orthodontic treatment, make sure to select an orthodontist for your care as orthodontists are the only type of dentist specifically certified to provide tooth and jaw alignment treatment.


There are three steps in an orthodontist’s education:

  • Four years of college

  • Four years of dental school to become a licensed primary care dentist

  • Two to three years of orthodontic residency (additional training which focuses only on the specialty of orthodontics)



After completing college requirements, the prospective orthodontist attends dental school. Upon graduation from dental school, the future orthodontist must be accepted as a student in an accredited orthodontic residency program and then successfully complete a minimum of two academic years of study. The orthodontic student learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

  • Only those who have successfully completed this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.”

  • Orthodontists limit their scope of work to orthodontics.