Articles | Summit Dental - Part 2

Invisalign Diary: Part 2 – The Trays Have Arrived

After your initial consult and impressions, it usually takes about 4 weeks for your clear aligner trays to arrive.  Then, it’s time to get started!

My trays conveniently arrived just before the Christmas holiday, so I selfishly decided to hold off until after the vacation be begin my treatment.  The reason?  Honestly, I partly didn’t want to have to worry about taking them in and out during all of the fantastic snacking that happens during a holiday at Mom and Dad’s house and partly I was nervous that they would be visible in all of our family Christmas photos…as if those aren’t already awkward enough. 🙂

The Christmas tree is down, the decorations are put away, and the snacking on treats is done (or at least it should be) so today was the big day.  Plan on an hour appointment to get everything in place before you walk out with that first set of trays in your mouth.  Also, plan to eat lunch beforehand (I’ll explain later.) We had an extra helper in the chair today, our eight-month-old son, so this speaks volumes to the difficulty, or lack there of, involved in getting the treatment started.  I leaned back in the chair and he sat on my lap, mostly trying to tear off my green bib and taking a break to play with his toys once in awhile.  For my case, two things had to be completed before the tray was popped in for good and I was ready to walk out the door.

  • Buttons: Several places around your mouth, there are small “buttons” that need to be adhered to your teeth.  These buttons help the trays get more leverage in certain areas to move the teeth they need to move and keep those they don’t need to move in place.  My case required 4 buttons, all on my upper teeth.  Adhesive is placed on top of your tooth and then the buttons, tiny clear bumps made of a composite material, are essentially glued on.  My first question: How do you get these buttons back off?  Answer- They have to grind down the button and then polish the adhesive off the surface of the tooth.  My next question: How noticeable are these going to be because they feel pretty huge in my mouth?  Answer- After looking in the mirror, I realized they feel a lot more noticeable than they actually are.  I can live with the buttons.
  • Polishing the Sides of My Teeth: There were two places on my bottom teeth that needed to be polished down so that when my teeth straighten out, they can fit together nicely.  This was quick and painless, although the buzzing sound did scare our little one a bit.  The weirdest part wasn’t the actual polishing with the drill, but the second phase where he slid what felt like a tiny piece of sandpaper in between my teeth to finish shaving off what was necessary.

After that, they trays were popped in and I was all ready to go with the following instructions:

  1. Wear trays for 22 hours a day.  Basically, this means only remove trays to eat, drink, or brush/floss your teeth.
  2. Don’t eat or drink with the trays in.  Cool water is okay to drink while wearing the trays.
  3. Brush and floss after eating or drinking and before putting trays back into your mouth.  If you are unable to brush and floss your teeth, be sure to at least rinse your mouth out with water prior to reinserting the trays.

My questions and concerns at this point:

  1. How do I get them in and out?   I could tell, even from the first few minutes, that the trays fit very snugly.  When I mentioned to eat lunch before coming in to get your first trays, here is why:  They are hard to get in and out at first!  In fact, when we initially got home and went to eat lunch, neither one of us could get them off of my teeth.  After several minutes of pulling and prying and experimenting, I did find a way to get them out and now, at the end of the day, I am not struggling nearly as much.  That first time is hard, though.  I would imagine that what approach you take depends on the shape of your teeth and the location of your buttons.  For me, I found that I had to reach all the way to my back teeth and pop down the corners of the tray.  From there, I could continue working my way around the inside edge of my arch (closest to my tongue) until they were totally free.  Pulling and prying on the front part of the trays did not budge them.
  2. Can I whiten my teeth using these trays?  Our office does not recommend that you do any whitening during active Invisalign treatment.  This makes sense because I wouldn’t want darker spots left on my teeth where the buttons are currently covering a small part of my tooth surface.
  3. Can they break?  Yes, but not easily. 
  4. How long do I have to wear these trays before I switch to my next set?  Two weeks.  I have a total of 5 trays, at 2 weeks each, which means the treatment will be concluded in 10 total weeks.  Let the countdown begin!
  5. How do I take care of the trays?  Brush them with a soft bristled toothbrush at least once a day.  You do not need to use toothpaste, but can use an alcohol-free mouth rinse for brushing or rinsing the trays if you want to freshen them up.
    Invisalign Kit

    My Invisalign Supplies: Two retainer cases and 5 sets of aligner trays.

     by Jessica Hagedorn

Latest Six Month Smiles Case at Summit Dental

Before and After Photo of Six Month Smiles Case

This 40-year-old male has been a long-time patient of our office.  At an appointment earlier this year, he expressed concerns about how his front teeth looked and wanted to hear about options for straightening them.  After a free consultation, we determined the Six Month Smiles treatment as his best option for quickly and efficiently correcting his smile.

We started treatment with this patient in April by bonding clear brackets onto his teeth and inserting a white wire.  We also ‘slimmed’ the crowded teeth slightly by gently polishing the sides to make just enough room for the teeth to fit together.  ‘Bumpers’ (tooth colored filling material) were placed on the biting surfaces of several of the upper teeth to prevent the teeth from closing down all the way and knocking off the lower brackets.

We saw the patient every four weeks to make adjustments and track progress.

In December, we were able to remove the braces from our patient’s teeth. His total treatment spanned 8 months and the results were outstanding!  I couldn’t stop smiling and neither could the patient.

Short-term orthodontics, like Six Month Smiles, can greatly increase your confidence in your smile.  Also, by aligning the teeth in a more favorable position, you are able to better care for them, including keeping tooth surfaces clean, and can drastically improve the health your teeth and gums.

Dental Advice for Every Age

Read these tips from our office and a Real Simple article titled “Your Dental Health, Examined,” by Dimity McDowell Davis


Take Care of Your Smile

Are you brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing at least once daily?

Things to Watch For

Sensitivity – As gums recede, the roots of your teeth can become exposed and this can increase sensitivity.  Proper brushing techniques are one of the keys to preventing gums from receding and roots from being exposed.  Use a soft bristled brush and don’t press too hard.  Brush in small circular motions, not back and forth.  We recommend you choose both toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain fluoride, just be careful with these products for children.  Also, ask us about fluoride treatments at your next office visit!

Teeth Grinding – Stress can do quite a number on your teeth and it most often occurs when you are sleeping, so you may not even be aware of it.  Grinding wears the tops of your teeth and can lead to various problems, including an increased risk of cavities.  Our office offers custom night guards (Dr. Hagedorn wears one himself every night) that can help protect your teeth.  This can also help alleviate headaches and sore jaw muscles, too.

Diet – Proper nutrition is key to both overall and oral health.  When eating sweet or starchy goods, be sure to take a moment to rinse out your mouth with water after you eat.  Also, be careful of what you are drinking as well.  Acid content in drinks like juice, lemonade, or even lemon water can wear down tooth enamel.  Be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water and don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic, it can actually make it worse.

How Does Your Smile Look?

Any age is a great age for an adult to take advantage of our Invisalign or Six Month Smile treatments. Convenient, less expensive, and less noticeable than traditional braces, talk to us to see if you might be a good candidate.  We love to help patients achieve their dream smile!


In Your 40’s

Continue to Take Care Of Your Smile

In addition to brushing and flossing daily, be sure you are visiting your dentist for a cleaning and exam twice a year.  This preventative treatment can keep you out of our office and your mouth in tip-top shape.

Things to Watch For

Old Crowns, Bridges, and Fillings – Most crowns, bridges, and fillings have a lifespan and will eventually wear down and/or need to be replaced.  Our office can identify these issues at your 6-month checkups and let you know if we see anything beginning to come loose or crack.  Leaving old dental work untreated can lead to further decay when bacteria creep into the area.

The Health of Your Gums – We often think of the dentist as treating our teeth, but the health of our gums is equally important!  Be sure to mention it to Dr. Hagedorn if your gums are red, swollen, or bleed when you floss.  This can be a sign of other issues and should be treated.

Your Overall Health – Exercise and diet also contribute to the health of your smile.  Follow daily guidelines.  You’ll feel better about yourself and your body, including your teeth and gums, will thank you.

How Does Your Smile Look?

Whitening is one of the easiest ways to make a beautiful difference in your smile.  Years of drinking coffee, tea, and red wine may have contributed to staining your teeth.  Our office offers whitening treatments.  All new patients to the office receive free whitening ($300 value).


50’s and Over

Things to Watch For 

Dry Mouth – A variety of things, including medications you are taking or medical conditions you might have, can cause dry mouth.  Bacteria in your mouth is washed away by your saliva, so it is important to keep your mouth moist.  Be sure to stay hydrated!  You can also try chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless mints.

Osteoporosis – Be sure you are getting the daily recommendation of calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong. Older women with osteoporosis can be more likely to lose teeth.

Mouth Sores – Another advantage of 6 month checkups is that Dr. Hagedorn can help check for mouth sores and other suspicious areas that could be a sign of cancer.  If you have a sore that doesn’t go away in one to two weeks, contact our office. It could be a sign of something greater going on.





Invisalign Diary: Part 1 – How I Got Started?

by Jessica Hagedorn

I’m one of those tremendously lucky people whose parents made sure I had braces when I was younger.  I was also one of those typical teenager-types who wore her retainer sometimes…and by sometimes I mean not nearly enough.  Now, as an adult, my teeth are mostly straight, but I can’t help admit that the way they’ve shifted makes me frustrated that I didn’t wear that retainer religiously and ashamed I didn’t follow through to make the most of my treatment.

Lucky for me, I just happen to know someone who can do a little touch up.  🙂

I’ve been talked into trying Invisalign myself, but not without a certain amount of anxiety and a few questions:

1.  Will it hurt?  (I don’t recall traditional braces being all that comfortable.)

2.  Will people notice my clear aligner trays?  Will it make me sound funny when I talk?  Will they be visible in pictures?

3.  Will it be a hassle to take them in and out every time I want to eat or drink something?

4.  How long will I have to wear them?

5.  Do I have to do anything special to keep them clean?

6.  Will it make my teeth loose and/or fall out?  (Silly, I know, but something about moving my adult teeth makes me nervous.)

7.  How often will I have to visit the office?

8.  Will it hurt? 🙂 (I may have already asked this question.)

Teeth Before Invisalign

My lower teeth prior to starting treatment.

Last week, I spent about 30 minutes in the office getting digital x-rays, photographs, and impressions taken.  After that, all of my information was boxed up and sent to Invisalign for the creation of my custom plan and trays.  I’ll keep you posted on the answers to some of my questions above once they arrive and I start treatment.

How is Launching a Website Like Launching the Space Shuttle?

A little over a year ago, Spot Color Studio helped our dental office complete our new website and we officially launched  It was an exciting day and an event we eagerly anticipated after months of designing and writing content for the brand new website.

My husband, Brad Hagedorn, DMD, recently purchased the office from a retiring dentist and one of our first tasks was to get a web-presence up and running.  Knowing the power of technology as a source of information for those searching for a new healthcare provider, we knew that establishing an online presence was crucial to the strength of our new Cedar Mill business.

While typing in for the first time and watching our website appear was exhilarating, we quickly learned that the launch of this site onto the internet was simply the very beginning.

Here are the five things we did after we launched the site:

  1. First and foremost, we continued to sift through the website with a fine toothed comb searching for mistakes that had gone unnoticed during the creation and editing process.
  2. We then asked family members to do the same, knowing full well that the site needed fresh critical eyes.
  3. Afterwards, we invited friends to cruise over the Summit website testing out its ease of use.
  4. We reached out to all of our current patients introducing them to site and offering an incentive for anyone who was willing to submit a feedback through one of our new online forms, giving us an opportunity to test the form and how best to respond to the submissions.
  5. Finally, we made an attempt to update our business information with the details and address of the new website in as many online business directories as we could think of.  A website that no one knows about was not going to be a website that received much traffic.

After the website we added social media through Facebook and Twitter.  Being new to social media, we dove in headfirst in hopes of making the appropriate information available for the right consumer.

As the weeks and months passed, we continued updating news at the office, adding blog posts about relevant topics for our patients and posting our latest promotions.  We came across a few bumps in the road too, reminding us to check more frequently to be sure there are no dead-end pages, that information is up to date and that all of our forms for patients to contact us are in working order.

Slowly the Summit Dental site is making its way up the list in Google keyword searches.  Being a small, new business owner, our budget for advertising is very limited.  We continue to work hard to keep our website fresh and improve the content to serve our current patients and increase the opportunity for future patients to come across Summit Dental.  The challenge is finding the time to devote to maintain the site and knowing what will be most the effective target keywords.

To answer the questions I posed in the title of this article, to launch a website and leave it unmanned would be no more effective than doing so with a NASA space shuttle.  Despite all the planning and hard work it takes to get it up and running, if a website is launched onto the worldwide web and left to float there to fend for itself, it will be serving little purpose and will most certainly not land where you want it to or accomplish the goals you have in mind.

Our website is a living document in need of care, maintenance, and direction for it to remain relevant and hopefully someday soon reaching our mission of achieving the number one spot on Google.

Jessica Hagedorn is the marketing director for Summit Dental.  She and her husband Brad Hagedorn, DMD, have been in the office since 2011.  You can visit their website at

Visit Spot Color Studio’s website at: for more information about their marketing and web design services.

Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

It’s October and Halloween-season has arrived!

Halloween candy consumption poses a risk for increased chances of tooth decay.  Does this mean you should prevent your child from enjoying any of their trick-or-treating rewards? Definitely not.  However, there are some things you can keep in mind when making decisions about what kind, how much, and how often you allow your son or daughter to enjoy their Halloween candy.

The longer the teeth are exposed to sugar, the higher chance of developing cavities or decay.

If a child sucks on a small candy for 15 seconds it will be far less harmful than if he or she spends 20 minutes with a lollipop.  Try offering as much as you’re are comfortable with in one setting for the day and then have your child brush their teeth immediately afterwards.  Or, give them one or two pieces after dinner or their snack since they are already being exposed to some sugar while eating.  Then, make sure they brush.

The sticky or chewy candy is the worst.

Sugar gets stuck in between teeth and in the grooves of teeth.  Sticky and chewy candy takes much longer to rinse out.  Bacteria eats this sugar and then produces the acid that causes tooth decay.  Some of the worst candies include:

  • Anything gummy like Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls, taffy, and gummy bears
  • Gobstoppers, Blow Pops, and lollipops

Try chocolate like M&M’s, Kit Kat, or kisses.  Saliva will wash away these foods more easily.

Opt for candy sweetened with Xylitol.

Xylitol is a sweetener from natural sources that has actually been shown to fight cavities.  Some types of gum and lollipops are sweetened with Xylitol instead.

Continue to think about healthy teeth year around!

Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and flosses once a day.  Encourage children to drink water and milk instead of sugary or acidic drinks like soda and juice. Be sure they see your family dentist for checkups and cleanings twice a year as well.

How Often Should I Floss?

According to an American Dental Association quiz, most Americans floss about twice a week.

Fact: You should floss daily!

We know you hate it, but flossing is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your mouth and teeth. Floss removes plaque-a colorless, sticky film of bacteria-and reaches surfaces between the teeth and under your gumline that a toothbrush simply can’t get to.  This is crucial in preventing cavities and gum disease!

There are other overall health benefits from flossing too.  Read this excerpt from RealAge ( below.

“As if that weren’t reason enough to floss, now research suggests that regular flossing may affect more than the health of your mouth.

  • Flossing may protect your heart. Research has shown a link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. And although they’re not sure what is behind the connection between flossing and heart disease, it makes the simple task of flossing a no-brainer for optimal health.
  • Flossing may protect your arteries. Flossing and clogged arteries also may be related. Inflammation is a crucial link in the causal chain that leads to arterial plaque and obstruction. Researchers also speculate that bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and artery clogging.
  • Flossing may reduce your risk of diabetes and its complications. If you already have certain health concerns, flossing may help protect you from any further health complications. For example, periodontal disease appears to make insulin resistance worse. When cells require more insulin to take up blood sugar from the bloodstream, blood insulin and, eventually, blood sugar levels will rise. Increases in blood insulin and blood sugar levels both have undesirable effects, such as the development of type 2 diabetes.”

If you would like more instruction on how to floss properly, be sure to ask Dr. Hagedorn, Natalie, or Kathy during your next exam and cleaning.  We are happy to offer complimentary floss or floss picks.

Summit Dental Launches New Website

Summit Dental is proud to announce the launch of our new website on October 14, 2011.  Check it out!  We can’t wait to hear what our patients think.