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January 22, 2018
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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
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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!

5 T.V. Legends That Totally Rocked Their Braces


1.   Eliza Thornberry – The Wild Thornberry’s

Eliza could speak to animals (super cool) and used her gift to help out creatures from a variety of species around the world! Not to mention her best friend was a chimp named Darwin.

2.   “Tootie” – The Facts of Life

Tootie had the “Gift of Gab” and a heart of gold. Kim Fields, the actress who played Tootie, had braces in real life for three years,  throughout the show’s 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th seasons.

3.   Paul – The Wonder Years

Paul was the best friend everyone needed in middle school. Through thick and thin, Paul stuck it out with the show’s main character –Kevin Arnold – all while rocking that million-dollar smile! 

4.   Betty Suarez – Ugly Betty

Through her breakout show, Ugly Betty, America Ferrera showed the nation just how cool braces could be. On March 10th 2010, 4.63 million people watched as Betty got her braces removed in the show's fourth season, but we'll always remember her for totally rocking her iconic orthodontic gear!

5. Butthead – Bevis & Butthead

Huhhh, huh, huh, huhhh. If you were a teen in the 90s, chances are you remember Bevis and Butthead's apathetic antics. Butthead never let his braces get in the way of a good headbanging session. Totally rad dude. 

Honorable Mention: Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) 

While she might not be a "T.V. Legend", there's no doubt that KP's orthodontic gear is the star of her Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) video.  As of December of 2017, the vid has racked up over 1,000,000,000 (One Billion!!!) views on Youtube. More than worthy of an honorable mention! 

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

January 22, 2018
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Our Favorite


Smoothies can be a great way to mix fruits and veggies into your diet in a way that is easy on your orthodontic gear (and 100% delicious). The MAO has complied a list of our favorite smoothie recipes with the hope that you'll be inspired to break out your blender and start mixing up some tasty concoctions. Get out there and start blending! 

1. Paradise Pineapple Refresher

  • 1 Cup of Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Cup of Crushed Ice
  • 1 Cup of Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup of Pineapple or Orange Juice

2. Very Berry Burst

  • 1/2 Cup of Strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup of Raspberries
  • 1/2 Cup of Blueberries
  • 1 Cup of Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1 Cup of Ice
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk 


3. Watermelon Wave

  • 2 Cups of Chopped Watermelon
  • 1 Cup of Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1 Cup of Crushed Ice


4. Very Berry Burst

  • 2 1/2 Cups of Blackberries
  • 2 Cups of Spinach Leaves (Packed) 
  • 1/2 of a Banana
  • 1 Cup of Low-fat Yogurt
  • 1 Cup of Ice



5. PB & Jealous

  • 1 Frozen Banana (Diced) 
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Peanut Putter1/4 Cup of Oats or Granola
  • 2 Tablespoons of Strawberry Jelly




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

By Lien Orthodontics
January 02, 2018
Category: orthodontics
Tags: Invisalign   braces   clear braces  

There are many health benefits that you’ll enjoy when you have a straight smile.

Having a straight smile is something that not many people are born with but it’s easy enough to achieve. Our Blooming Prairie, MN, bracesorthodontist Dr. Deborah Lien has worked with countless patients to help them get the smile they want thanks to braces. If you’ve been contemplating clear braces, Invisalign, or traditional braces, discover the many smile pros you’ll experience if you decide to get orthodontic treatment.

Braces are used to fix a variety of misalignment issues such as crowding, crookedness, gaps between teeth and other malocclusions (or bad bites). While the most obvious benefit to getting braces is having a more attractive and symmetrical smile, which we know is important to you, there are also other benefits, as well:

Reduce your Cavity Risk

If teeth are overlapping or crowding each other, it’s really difficult to get into these areas to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth. As a result, plaque and tartar are more likely to build up in these hard-to-reach regions, which can increase your chances of decay and gum disease (and even tooth loss if you don’t visit your dentist regularly for checkups). Getting a straight smile means that it’s much easier to clean all surfaces of your teeth.

Prevent Dental Injuries and Damage

If you have a malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite”, this means that when you bite down or chew that your teeth are not properly aligned. As a result, certain teeth take on more impact and force from your powerful jaws, which can not only lead to wear and tear of teeth over time but it can also lead to fractured or broken teeth.

Boost your Self-Esteem

It’s amazing how much your smile can impact how you feel about yourself. If you’ve been hiding your smile from those around you or cancelling social engagements because you are embarrassed by your smile, getting braces from our Blooming Prairie, MN, orthodontist could finally give you the confidence booster you need to feel good about the way you look.

If you think your smile could benefit from braces then it’s time to find out. Call your orthodontist at Lien Orthodontics in Blooming Prairie, MN, today to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve the Austin, Owatonna, Hayfield and Blooming Prairie, MN, areas.

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