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By Lien Orthodontics
July 27, 2018
Category: orthodontics
Tags: braces  

After all of your child’s permanent teeth erupt, it is important to ensure that his or her smile matures and develops properly. Having a nice bracessmile could have an impact on a child in many ways and for many years. Take your child to an orthodontist to see if she or he will need braces so that you can make plans for ongoing orthodontic treatment. Dr. Deborah Lien at Lien Orthodontics in Blooming Prairie, MN, (also serving Austin, Owatonna, Albert Lea, and Hayfield, MN) will perform an exam and consult you about the process of getting braces.

Braces for Kids
Many children are not born with ideally aligned teeth—their smiles need some help. Braces guide, train, and straighten your child’s teeth over a period of months or years. Most traditional braces are made of metal or ceramic brackets. Each bracket is bonded to the front of each tooth using a very durable bonding agent and used as a support for wires that tighten and adjust the smile. Some older teens are candidates for Invisalign, which are nearly invisible aligners.

Common Orthodontic Needs in Children
There are a wide variety of orthodontic problems that children can experience, and your Blooming Prairie, MN, orthodontist can treat them all. Here are some of the most common issues:

  • Overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
  • Teeth that protrude because of thumb-sucking.
  • Extra teeth that sit above the gumline (also called abnormal eruptions).
  • Tooth gaps.
  • Teeth that are either too big or too small.
  • Crowded and overlapping teeth.

Determining if Your Child Needs Braces
There’s a good chance that your child will need braces for some period of time. According to a National Institutes of Health research study, as many as 90 percent of children may have some type of orthodontic issue. Your orthodontist will look at dental X-rays after examining the teeth visually and determine the best treatment plan. Some teen-aged patients may qualify for a special solution called Invisalign for teens.

Start Braces Treatment Early
The sooner the braces are placed, the better for your child’s dental health. Call (507) 583-6613 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Deborah Lien at her office in Blooming Prairie, MN, also serving Austin, Owatonna, Albert Lea, and Hayfield, MN.

By Lien Orthodontics
June 07, 2018
Category: Dental Appliance
Tags: ceramic braces  

Ceramic BracesHave you considered straightening your teeth with ceramic braces? Dr. Deborah Lien, who serves Austin, Owatonna, Albert Lea, and Hayfield, MN patients from her Blooming Prairie, MN, office, discusses several advantages of ceramic braces.

No flashes of metal

Metal braces aren't exactly the most discreet option when you want to improve your smile. Fortunately, ceramic braces offer a more subtle way to improve alignment issues. The braces consist of wires threaded through clear or tooth-colored ceramic, porcelain, or plastic brackets that are attached to the fronts of your teeth. Although metal wires are available, clear or tooth-colored wires are much less noticeable.

Smaller bracket size

Ceramic brackets are smaller and less obvious than metal ones. Thanks to their smaller size, the brackets blend in with your smile more readily.

Tooth-friendly bonding agent

Some bonding agents used to attach brackets to teeth can weaken tooth enamel around the brackets, increasing your risk of cavities. The bonding material used to affix your brackets doesn't demineralize tooth enamel and can be easily removed without damaging your teeth.

An effective orthodontic treatment option

Ceramic braces are regularly used to treat a range of orthodontic issues, including crowding, gaps and bite problems. Although they're not a good idea if you have severe or complicated problems, they're very effective in correcting mild to moderate issues. Ceramic braces do take slightly longer to realign your teeth than metal braces. Despite the slightly increased wear time, many patients choose ceramic braces.

An alternative to clear braces

Clear braces use removable aligner trays instead of wires and brackets to straighten teeth. The trays are removed when you brush your teeth or eat and should be worn for 20 to 22 hours for best results. If you're concerned about your ability to follow the typical wear schedule, ceramic braces might be a better choice. Ceramic braces are only slightly less noticeable than Invisalign aligner trays.

Transform your smile with ceramic braces. If you live in Blooming Prairie, Austin, Owatonna, Albert Lea, Hayfield, MN, or surrounding areas, call Dr. Lien at (507) 583-6613 to schedule your appointment.

By Lien Orthodontics
March 08, 2018
Category: Dental Appliance
Tags: Invisalign   braces   orthodontics  

Straighten your smile the modern and discreet way with Invisalign clear aligners from your Blooming Prairie, MN, orthodontist, Dr. Deborah invisalignLien. Also serving Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna, MN, Dr. Lien offers teens and adults orthodontic treatment that is fast and comfortable. Learn here about how Invisalign works wonders with all types of smile problems.

What are Invisalign aligners?

Used by orthodontists all over the world, Invisalign aligners transform crooked, gapped, and crowded smiles. Composed of clear, thin, durable, bio-compatible acrylic, Invisalign appliances fit tightly and smoothly over top and bottom teeth, progressively repositioning them so they are attractive, healthy and well-functioning.

What they treat

Invisalign aligners are versatile. They straighten a wide range of issues such as:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Openbite
  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • Tooth tipping
  • Tooth rotation
  • Overjet (overlapping front teeth)

Every patient needs to be assessed for their compatibility with Invisalign. Certain cases still require traditional clear, ceramic or metal braces. Many adults find that Invisalign works well for their smile issues and fits right into their lifestyles. The aligners are fully removable for meals and oral hygiene. Plus, many patients take them out for special occasions such as job interviews and weddings.

Getting started with Invisalign

Treatment with Invisalign begins with a complete oral examination. Dr. Lien takes X-rays and a special scan to compose a plan which shows how teeth will move into more favorable positions.

Then, the information goes to the Invisalign lab where a technician uses Dr. Lien's information to craft the aligners. They come in pairs and must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day to be effective.

Living with Invisalign

Invisalign patients have simple brushing and flossing routines and no restrictions on their healthy food choices. The appliances are wonderfully smooth and typically cause only minor tenderness of the teeth as do metal and ceramic braces.

To track progress, Dr. Lien asks her Invisalign patients to come to Lien Orthodontics every four to six weeks for simple progress check-ups and to receive the next sets of aligners. In all, there usually are 18 to 30 pairs of appliances.

Try it

With Invisalign, you really have nothing to lose but a crooked smile. The American Association of Orthodontists says orthodontics can benefit healthy patients of all ages; so why not give Lien Orthodontics in Blooming Prairie, MN and serving the Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna area a call and schedule your Invisalign consultation? Phone (507) 583-6613.

January 22, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

The Best Gadgets for Your Braces

1. Water Flosser

Water flossers are a powerful tool used to clean your teeth if you have braces. The flosser streamlines water which can be directed into tight spaces throughout the mouth – spaces created by braces and other orthodontic gear.  

2. Orthodontic Wax 

A longstanding staple for anyone with braces, orthodontic wax helps to soothe problem areas where metal gear can irritate the inside of the mouth. 

3. Threader Floss

This floss has a built-in threader that helps people with braces and other orthodontic gear to clean difficult-to-reach areas. 

4. Interdental Picks

These picks also help people with braces perform a deep clean of their teeth in places that traditional brushes will not reach. 

Visit Lien Orthodontics in Blooming Prairie, MN (also serving Owatonna, Hayfield, Alber Lea, & Austin, MN areas)

January 22, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged


In a recent survey conducted among its members, the American Association of Orthodontists reports that nearly 13 percent of its member orthodontists are seeing patients who have tried do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth straightening; some of those attempts have caused irreparable damage.

The methods and materials commonly used to attempt DIY teeth straightening include rubber bands, dental floss, fishing line, paper clips, biting on pencils, creating fake retainers and pushing teeth with fingers.  “What most people don’t understand is that moving teeth is a biological process that involves bone that dissolves and re-builds as teeth are moved into their new positions,” says DeWayne B. McCamish, DDS, MS, former president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). “Moving teeth is best done under the direct supervision of an orthodontist after an in-person assessment, including complete diagnostic records.

“It’s really a shame when someone comes in after attempting DIY orthodontic treatment and we determine that the damage they’ve done to their teeth is so extensive that teeth cannot be saved,” says Dr. McCamish.  “By the time a layperson recognizes something is wrong with their teeth, it may not be reversible, even with professional help.  The cost of dealing with replacing a lost tooth can easily exceed $20,000 over a lifetime and certainly be much less than ideal.  You have to remember that the goal of good orthodontic treatment is obtaining a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime – shortcuts can be disastrous.” 

One orthodontist who responded to the survey noted, “The patient tried to close a gap between her lower incisors by wrapping string around the two teeth.  I was horrified to see the string deep in the gum and the severe mobility in the two teeth.” 

The reported age range of people attempting to straighten their own teeth was from 8 years old to over age 60.  Thirty-nine percent of orthodontists who reported seeing DIY patients had to provide corrective and restorative treatment, and the majority of those doctors say the patients would have ultimately saved time and money if they had gone to an orthodontist in the first place for professional treatment.

Dr. McCamish attributes the DIY trend primarily to social media.  “There are literally hundreds of videos on YouTube alone, with ‘tutorials’ on how to straighten your own teeth.”   Approximately 70 percent of DIY patients seen by AAO members who took part in the study were in a social media-friendly age group, between the ages 10 and 34.  Social media usage in these age groups exceeds 80 percent.  (Source:

“If it’s a matter of economics, many orthodontists do an initial consultation at no cost and with no obligation.  It’s an opportunity to get the expert’s opinion about your problem, options to resolve it, and in so doing, avoid the unintended harmful consequences that could result from DIY treatment.  Most orthodontists work with patients to fit treatment into their budgets.  It’s common for AAO members to work out interest-free payment plans,” he continues. “We feel everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile.”  Indigent children may qualify for free treatment through the AAO’s Donated Orthodontic Services program.

Advances in technology and techniques offer patients more options than ever. Today’s next-to-invisible treatment choices include clear aligners, ceramic (tooth colored) braces, and lingual (behind the teeth) braces.  Small, sleek, more traditional braces can be an option, too.

“Having confidence in your smile is priceless,” Dr. McCamish says. “The best way to achieve that smile is by working with the most qualified healthcare professional: the orthodontist.  The public is invited to use the Find an Orthodontist service on to locate nearby AAO member-orthodontists.”


Visit Lien Orthodontics in Blooming Prairie, MN (also serving Owatonna, Hayfield, Alber Lea, & Austin, MN areas) for more information!

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