How do you choose an orthodontist?

People are often faced with many choices when it comes to choosing orthodontic care for themselves or their children. In the past, people were usually referred to an orthodontist by their general dentist, and this frequently still occurs. However, many general dentists are now performing orthodontic treatment themselves and may try to convince you to get treatment directly from them. Only an orthodontist has graduated from an accredited orthodontic program, and a specialist will have the advanced training in the latest diagnostic methods and advanced treatment technology. To find a uniquely trained orthodontic specialist, check out these resources: The American…
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Why are extractions sometimes necessary for orthodontic treatment?

There are certain conditions in which the removal of permanent teeth is recommended to provide the best solution to an orthodontic problem.  This sometimes causes concern with families since the teeth that are removed are often healthy permanent teeth. Extractions are typically recommended for problems including crowding, bite issues, protrusion, and asymmetries. We are all conditioned to try to avoid losing our teeth, which is good motivation to take good care of our mouths.  While I always prefer treatment modalities that do not involve extractions, there are many instances in which extractions are simply the most appropriate treatment option to…
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Do you dread getting dental impressions?

Dental impressions are required as part of our dental records as well as to make retainers and other appliances including Invisalign. The gagging, mess, and discomfort that can accompany  impressions make them one of the least favorite experiences our patients encounter. I have often been asked, isn’t there a better way? Now there is! In January our practice took delivery of one of the most impressive technological advances available to orthodontists, the iTero Element Scanner.  Featuring cutting edge laser and optical technology, the iTero scanner digitally captures the structure of your teeth and gums using a convenient wand.  It only…
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Celebrating 20 years of making smiles perfect!

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Gehring Updates
August 2nd of this year marked the 20th anniversary of opening my practice in Cedar Rapids. I had just completed my orthodontic residency at the University of Iowa and decided to open my own office rather than join an existing practice. I ended up “hanging a shingle” in a small office with two employees that is just a few doors down from my current office. While opening my own practice was not easy, I was blessed with the help and support of many dentists who entrusted their patients’ orthodontic needs to me. I also had the help of great employees,…
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#GehringSmiles

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Gehring Updates
We want to see you flashing your smile this summer! Share a photo of you during your vacation or other summer activities wearing your Gehring Orthodontics t-shirt, and enter to win some great prizes! SUMMERTIME SMILES CONTEST  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram (gehringortho) Post a photo of you on our Facebook wall or your Instagram account on vacation, at camp, or just out and about showing off your smile. (Don’t forget to wear your Gehring Orthodontics t-shirt!!) Remember to tag us (@gehringortho) and use #GehringSmiles Encourage your friends & family to “Like” your picture! Submit your…
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Summertime Smiles!

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Gehring Updates
School is almost out, which means it is time for vacations, camps, and great memories that summer brings for our patients at Gehring Orthodontics. We hope the summer fun gives all of our patients plenty of reasons to show off their smiles.  In order to keep your smile looking healthy and white during the summer months, we have some tips to help! With the summer heat it is important to stay hydrated, especially during physical activity.  Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, tea, or dark colored juices. In addition, pop and soda are…
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Do I need to wear a mouth guard?

This is a question I hear often, especially now that the outdoor sports season is upon us.  April is National Facial Protection Month, so this is a good time to emphasize the importance of routine use of mouth guards. It is well established that mouth guards can protect the teeth and jaws from serious damage and trauma, especially for somebody with braces on.  Many people are surprised to learn that mouth guards also play an important role in the prevention of concussions. While mouth guards are typically required equipment for sports such as football and wrestling, I am often asked…
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My Orthodontic Assistants ROCK!

Last week we celebrated Dental Assistant’s Week, when dentists throughout the country recognize their dental assistants for the variety of duties they perform and helping them provide patients with quality dental care.  This year’s theme, “Dental Assisting: Embracing the Changes of the Profession,” acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry’s role in health care and the responsibilities of dental assistants. My first employee Kay started with me 20 years ago working as our receptionist.  She gradually started doing lab work for us and is now our talented, full-time laboratory technician.  In fact, all of my assistants have been with me a…
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Are retainers forever?

We see many adults who come to us seeking orthodontic treatment, many of whom were treated as teenagers.  They often tell me that they were told to wear their retainers for two years and then they could stop.  Unfortunately, many of these individuals are back at the orthodontist because their teeth have shifted, sometimes dramatically.  They often report that they would have worn their retainers longer if they knew their teeth were going to shift later. These days we make it a priority to remind our patients that long-term retainer wear is required to prevent the inevitable shifting that occurs…
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Early Treatment Misconceptions

Parents often wonder “When should I bring my children to the orthodontist for the first time?”  There is a common misconception that the child needs to have all of their permanent teeth prior to seeing an orthodontist, which is definitely not the case.  There is also a misconception that your dentist needs to make the referral to the orthodontist, but no referral is ever required to schedule a complimentary orthodontic evaluation at Gehring Orthodontics. In fact, the best time for an initial orthodontic evaluation is around seven years of age.  This is an ideal time to assess the bite and…
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