Wednesday, December 17, 2014

3 Way To Maximize Your Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontics is a big investment both in terms of time and money. Whether you are wearing braces currently, or you will begin orthodontic treatment soon, it's important that you get the most out of your investment. Our Las Vegas and Summerlin, NV orthodontist, Dr. Mark Truman and his team want all our patients to get the best, most efficient treatment experience possible.

With 2014 quickly coming to an end, many of us will be making New Year's resolutions to create some beneficial improvements in our lives for the new year. If you are planning on making a few resolutions for 2015, here are three things you may wish to include that will help you maximize your orthodontic treatment. Even if you're not the type to make resolutions for the new year, these tips will help you get the most out of your orthodontic care.

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

It is always important to brush and floss your teeth to keep your smile healthy. Good oral hygiene is even more important when you're wearing braces. Practicing healthy oral care is key to avoiding common dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. As oral hygiene can be more challenging with braces, people wearing them need to be even more diligent. 

Fortunately, practicing good oral hygiene becomes easier when you use products designed to help you do the best job you can when caring for your teeth. First and foremost, we recommend using an interdental toothbrush, such as Proxabrush, that's specially designed to clean underneath and around your wires and brackets. Another great product for those with braces is Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse that reduces inflammation to the gums and cheeks and helps to decrease irritation that may develop from your braces.

We understand that flossing takes time and requires patience when wearing braces. However, flossing isn't a chore when you use a special floss threader designed to easily get in and around all those nooks and crannies where food particles and bacteria hide under brackets and wires and along the gumline.

2. Wear Your Extra Appliances as Directed

In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment, it's very important for orthodontic patients to wear their extra appliances as directed, including rubber bands (elastics), spacers, turn key palatal expanders, and headgear. The key to success with your treatment depends upon you following the directions we give you. Neglecting to wear your appliances as directed can result in costlier treatment and longer treatment times. Our team will provide you with very detailed instructions regarding how and when to wear your appliances. If you have any questions about your rubber bands, palatal expander, spacers, or headgear, do not hesitate to give our Las Vegas orthodontic office a call.

3. Wear Your Retainer as Directed 

Once your braces are removed, you will enter the final phase of your orthodontic treatment called the retention phase. This is when you'll need to wear a retainer that holds your teeth in their new positions. If you fail to wear your retainer as directed, your teeth may shift back into their original positions, discounting the time and money you put into your treatment. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing and flossing your teeth and to brush and rinse your retainer before putting it back in your mouth.

Learn More About Getting The Most Out of Your Investment

We want all of our patients to get the most out of their orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions regarding your treatment, give us a call at (702) 360-9000 to learn more. Orthodontics is a two-way street, meaning it requires effort from both you and your orthodontist. By following the instructions we provide you with, you should sail through orthodontic treatment without any problems – resulting in a beautiful, straight smile you can enjoy for the rest of your life! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Braces-Friendly Holiday Recipes

With the holiday season quickly approaching, there are friends to see, parties to attend, and lots of food to eat. With the abundance of treats to enjoy at this time of year, it can be difficult for those with braces to find yummy foods and snacks that will not cause damage to their wires and brackets. Luckily, there are some braces-friendly holiday recipes out there that can be an easy crowd-pleaser for everyone at the party, braces or not. Our Las Vegas orthodontist, Dr. Mark Truman, and our staff put together a few tasty holiday dishes that are soft, and easy to eat.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple holiday delight that is present at almost every winter dinner party. The best thing about these garlic mashed potatoes is that their creamy consistency gives them a soft, smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture, making them the perfect side dish for people with braces. Enjoy them with your holiday turkey or as a simple snack.


  • 3 ½ pounds russet potatoes
  • 16 fluid ounces half-and-half 
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt 
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes, making sure to chop them into relatively similar-sized chunks.
  2. Place the diced potatoes in a large saucepan, add the salt, and cover with water.
  3. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil until the potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.
  4. In a medium sauce pan, heat the half-and-half and the garlic over medium-heat until it’s simmering. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
  5. Once potatoes are finished cooking and have been drained of water, mash them together with the garlic-cream mixture and Parmesan. 
  6. Let it stand for 5 minutes so that the mixture thickens and then serve.

Apple Spice Muffins

Craving something sweet but all you can find is sticky, chewy toffee? Have no fear because these sweet, crumbly apple spice muffins will satisfy your sweet tooth without impairing your orthodontic progress. Enjoy!

You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups peeled, cored, and finely chopped baking apples
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed (for topping)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  2. In an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the large egg and mix well, stop to scrape the bowl if necessary.
  4. Once mixed, add in the yogurt. Note: the batter will look grainy.
  5. Add in the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg and beat on low speed until just combined.
  6. Mix in the chopped apples until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  7. Using an ice-cream scooper or large spoon, dive the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups until each cup is full. Sprinkle the brown sugar topping evenly over the tops of the batter.
  8. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the muffins to determine if they are ready. If the toothpick does not come out clean, continue baking.
  9. After removing the muffins from the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
  10. Serve warm. 

Contact Our Las Vegas Orthodontic Office

At Truman Orthodontics, our Las Vegas, NV team specializes in orthodontics for all ages, including metal braces, ceramic braces, palatal expanders, and more. If you have any questions about what and what not to eat with braces, contact our office today. To schedule an appointment with us, please fill out our online form or give us a call at (702) 360-9000. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dr. Truman would love to go adventuring but he can't leave his patients. Take Dr. Truman with you on your summer adventures. Snap a picture of you with "mini Dr. Truman" and be entered in a drawing. Stop by our office for details and your "mini Dr. Truman" prop.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad Breath-Good Advice

If you've ever suffered from bad breath, you know how problematic it can be. There really are few things worse than dealing with bad breath. Not only is this unpleasant to have a bad taste in your mouth, it can make talking to other people and having a normal conversation difficult. Whether the cause is from your diet or morning breath, there are ways to get rid of bad breath and keep your mouth feeling fresh.
What Causes Bad Breath? 

Bad breath doesn't have one main reason, but can be caused by several lifestyle factors. One of the most common causes is eating foods that cause bad breath such as onions or garlic. While these foods are great for your health, they have a strong odor and eating even a small amount can cause bad breath for the rest of the day. 

Another common cause of bad breath is not eating enough. Although we usually think of food as causing bad breath, you can produce it yourself as well. When you have gone for a few hours without eating anything, your mouth will start to produce more saliva, which can have a naturally bad smell. 

How to Prevent Bad Breath

The good news is, preventing bad breath is pretty easy. By using these tips and suggestions throughout the day, you can help to keep your breath as fresh as possible.  

Eat every four hours: You don't have to eat a huge meal, but even a small snack can be a great way to prevent bad breath. Your breath will get worse the longer you go without eating. Eating more frequently encourages the production of fresh saliva, improving your breath naturally. 

Use mouthwash or mouth spray sparingly: Mouthwash is one of the best inventions for bad breath, but you can actually overdo it. Many brands of mouthwash have alcohol which actually dries out your mouth and can make your breath worse. If you use mouthwash, do so sparingly. 

Drink water constantly: Water is a great cure-all for a variety of conditions, especially for bad breath. Water keeps your mouth from drying out and helps to keep you hydrated as well. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and drink periodically to help freshen your breath.

Wash your mouth with water: Mouthwash is a great idea, but washing your mouth out with water works well also. If you rinse your mouth with water after meals, you'll get rid of excess food particles and bacteria which can contribute to bad breath.

Brush your tongue in the morning: In the morning your mouth is generally the dirtiest, especially your tongue. While you probably brush your teeth in the morning, you may be missing your tongue entirely. Brush it gently to remove the bacteria-covered film that builds up overnight.

These tips can help to improve the health of your mouth and significantly decrease any bad breath issues. If you put these suggestions to use every day, you'll soon start to notice fresher breath and chances are your friends and colleagues will also. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Overbite Correction Using a Functional Appliance

In a growing patient with a significant overbite caused by a short lower jaw, a functional appliance can be used.  The appliance holds the lower jaw forward for 10-12 months until the teeth and jaws have adapted to the new, correct position.  Braces are worn in conjunction with the functional appliance and continue to be worn after the appliance is removed to finalize bite correction and tooth alignment.  This patient was treated for a total of  2 years and 5 months.


Profile photographs below show improved facial balance resulting from functional appliance treatment and braces.  The Lower jaw is moved forward to correct the bite. 

In the intra-oral photographs below, you can see that before treatment, the lower jaw is back.  The upper front teeth are flared forward and there is a space between the top teeth.  After treatment, the lower jaw has come forward and upper teeth angulations and spacing is corrected

The X-rays show the relative position of the jaws and teeth before and after treatment.


Cases such as this demonstrate why it is so critical to have children evaluated by an orthodontist at a fairly early age.  If this patient were not treated in her youth while she was still growing, this type of result could not be achieved.  Adults with this type of malocclusion require jaw surgery to reset the bones in order achieve similar results.  



Friday, January 11, 2013

How To Take Care of Braces

There are a number of reasons why someone might need braces on their teeth, despite the stigma that once came with having them. From crooked, gapped or crowded teeth, to overbites and underbites, the idea is to wear them for as long as is necessary to fix the condition and not a moment longer. As expensive and inconvenient as these devices can be, the best way to avoid wearing them any longer or having to get them repaired is to take proper care of them from the start. This can be accomplished with a few good oral hygiene habits and a touch of common sense.

1.) Brush carefully

If you ever took brushing for granted in the past, you'll need to develop some more consistent and meticulous brushing habits. Brushing after every single meal is one of the best ways to avoid trapping food particles and bacteria that might cause cavities. It might hurt a bit at first to brush, but this should go away after the first week. Keep in mind that there are special toothbrushes designed specifically for this purpose, allowing you to get into those hard-to-reach places.

2.) Floss regularly

Although flossing might seem incredibly difficult with braces, it's actually more important than ever before, since there are that many more places where food can get caught. Ask your dentist or orthodontist about flossing techniques to help you get behind the main arch wire and up to the gum area. There are also special flossers available to make this easier.

3.) Stay away from certain foods

Your orthodontist will give you a list of foods to stay away from that you should pay special attention to. This is likely to include hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods. Hard foods like nuts and hard candies can actually damage the wires and most of the others on the list can get easily stuck in places that are hard to reach. In addition, it is often recommended that you stick to soft foods for the first few days, avoiding tough meats, raw vegetables and hard bread.

4.) Wear a mouthguard when necessary

This applies primarily to athletes who participate in contact sports where there might be a chance of getting hit in the mouth. Wrestling, martial arts and football are a few examples of activities where there's a greater chance of either damaging your orthodontics, or possibly even causing injury to the soft tissues of the mouth.

5.) Don't miss any dental appointments

Your orthodontist will expect to see you regularly, to check your progress. Treatment time varies from one patient to another and these follow-up appointments are necessary to make any adjustments and further recommendations, based on how well your particular treatment is progressing. If there is any damage to your braces, this is the time to get it fixed. Most orthodontists will take care of any normal or common repairs, but don't expect them to cover damage due to neglect or missing appointments. Remember not to miss any non-orthodontic dental appointments, either.

The length of time you have to wear your braces can range from a few months to a couple years, or more. Until it's time for them to come off, it's important that you take better care of your teeth than you ever have in the past and treat your orthodontics with the very same care, as though they were a part of your own mouth. Think of them as an investment not only in financial terms, but also in terms of what they will do for your appearance in the years to come. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Ten New Year’s Resolutions To Improve The Brain

In order to stay healthy and vital, the mind needs regular attention like all parts of the body. Follow these suggested resolutions for improved brain function.

Improve Your Diet

The brain thrives on a healthy diet. Incorporate an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily meals to ensure your brain receives the nutrients it requires to function at its best.

Eat Less Sugar

Sugar contributes significantly to the condition we refer to as “brain fog.” Avoid high carbohydrate foods when you need your brain to function at its highest level.

Read Two Books A Month

Reading engages the brain in physical activity. Look up new words and memorize them. Read a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles for a blend of entertainment and education.

Keep A Journal Or Diary

Keeping a daily journal lets the brain know the things that are important to you. By writing them you are reinforcing their place of importance in the brain. These events will be easier to recall at a later time.

Write About Your Family

Record the fun and exciting events of family life in notebooks. From a baby’s first tooth to the six year old riding a bike with no training wheels, you will remember details better if you have written them down. Your children and grandchildren will appreciate the stories too.

Learn A Language

The world is as close as the Internet, and knowing a second or third language is a definite asset in both your business and personal pursuits. Learning a new language is an excellent brain exercise.

Quality Sleep

Get good quality sleep every night to enhance brain function. Quality sleep refreshes and recharges the brain for the next day’s challenges.

Take Walks

Walking is good exercise and improves circulation, which is critical for a healthy brain. A good walk “clears the brain” and strengthens the memory. Daily walking can help improve the memory of senior citizens.

Play Word And Number Games

Crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Sudoku, and other word and number puzzle games create mind-stimulating challenges for the brain. Playing “thinking” types of games on a consistent basis keeps the brain functioning at a healthy level.

Never Stop Learning

When the brain is called upon to learn new things, the challenge stimulates and improves overall brain function.

Making healthy New Year’s resolutions for your brain results in improved memory and increased brain function.