The Ultimate Guide to Adult Braces

By | Orthodontics, Uncategorized

Parents — especially moms– invest enormous time and energy into their children. This year, we invite our patient parents to invest in themselves. We want you to feel confident and emboldened — and a beautiful smile can do just that. After all the effort you put into work and family, you deserve to treat yourself.

So why don’t you consider adult orthodontics?  While childhood is considered the ideal time to correct teeth positioning, here at Sturgill Orthodontics more than 30% of our patients are adults seeking to improve their smiles. Maybe you didn’t have braces as a child or maybe you didn’t wear your retainer as well as you should have. Whatever your needs, know that adult braces or clear aligners like Invisalign will improve your life. In fact, adult orthodontics may be necessary for your long term dental health. 

“You only get one life — and one set of teeth! Don’t hesitate to take care of yourself!”

Five Reasons You Should Consider Adult Braces:

Oral Health Concerns

By alleviating crowding and misalignment, orthodontics can improve the longevity of your teeth. Misalignment of teeth causes unnecessary and avoidable wear on your dentition. For some patients, orthodontics can even alleviate problems such as TMJ/TMD.


People notice a bright friendly smile. If you feel embarrassed by your smile, you could be misrepresenting your own great attributes. Don’t sell yourself short! A beautiful smile could give you a confidence boost and improve your personal and professional relationships.

Invisible Treatment

Braces aren’t just for children and teenagers anymore! If you hesitate to embrace “brace face,” there are a variety of treatment options to choose from. Perhaps clear aligner therapy is the best option for your lifestyle. We also offer lingual (“behind the teeth”) braces which provide a truly invisible way to straighten your teeth. For patients who require traditional braces, we have clear and gold brackets to keep your journey to a new smile a little more subtle. Why avoid treatment when it can be nearly invisible?

A Family Discount

We know braces are an investment; therefore, our office offers a 5% discount to parents who start their own treatment while having a child or spouse in braces also. We also offer interest-free in-house financing and accept most insurances. 

Celebrities Do It!

Don’t be shy about having “tinsel teeth.” After all,  celebrities like Faith Hill, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, and even Tom Cruise braved the spotlight to perfect their smile. You can too! 

Five Common Questions about Adult Orthodontics: 

Am I too old for braces? 

Let’s bust this myth! You are never too old for braces. 30% of our patients are adults; and more than half of those adults are over the age of 50. It is never too late to improve your smile. 

Do adult braces cost more and how do I pay for them?

Treatment costs vary depending on the severity of the individual case. What does that mean? Some patients may need simple corrections while others may have more complex needs. When you attend your first exam appointment, Dr. Sturgill, Dr. Williams, and our Treatment Coordinator will evaluate your case to determine what treatment plan would best achieve your smile goals. In fact, our adult consultations are free of charge so discovering your options is easy! We also offer interest-free payment plans to meet your budget. 

Does dental insurance cover adult orthodontics?

The short answer is yes — many plans do! Adult orthodontics is becoming increasingly common — and insurance companies know that. If your employer offers dental insurance, finding out your adult orthodontic coverage is an easy task for our financial department. When you attend your first consultation, you will leave the appointment with a financial breakdown that includes your estimated insurance coverage. It is important to note that this number is an estimate provided by your insurance company rather than a guarantee of payment. Any change to your dental coverage (such as dropping coverage or changing companies) could change the amount that your insurance pays. But the important thing to remember is that yes, many insurances do cover adult orthodontics. 

Do adult braces take longer?

No — generally adult orthodontic treatment takes no longer than adolescent treatment. In fact, many adult treatment plans take less time. Have you noticed a little shifting? Maybe you lost your retainer and now your teeth have moved a little bit. Or perhaps you’ve adopted the habit of grinding your teeth or are experiencing some jaw pain. The average treatment time to correct common problems like these is about 24 months. However many adult patients complete treatment in as little as 12 months — or even less! 

Can adult braces help TMJ?  

Adult orthodontics can absolutely help headache and jaw pain from TMJ/TMD. At Sturgill Orthodontics, we offer TMJ consults for patients experiencing these symptoms. Dr. Sturgill or Dr. Williams will perform a thorough exam to analyze your pain and determine the best method to treat it. We won’t let you leave our office without a plan of action to experience relief. 

“I’ve waited 38 years to do this for myself. I kept putting it off because of moving so often, finding someone I could trust to take the best care of me, but mostly because of the expense. I’ve always felt self-conscious about this… but yesterday I decided to stop making excuses and begin the journey to my perfect smile. I got braces! I got so emotional when I arrived to my appointment… not fully realizing how badly I’ve wanted to do this until that moment.”

– Patient Testimonial from Kelly

Although you may be able to think of many reasons “why not,” remember that investing in yourself is priceless. You only get one life — and one set of teeth! Don’t hesitate to take care of yourself.

So what do you think, Mama? Is 2020 the year for you? Do you still have some reservations or questions about adult orthodontics? Share them in the comments below or give us a call. Our front desk ladies would love to answer any questions you may have. Let’s get started on the path towards increased confidence and jaw pain relief.

Schedule your free consultation now!

A New Smile at Sturgill Orthodontics

By | Orthodontics

Sturgill Orthodontics is thrilled to announce the addition of a new smiling face to our team! In July, Dr. Allison Williams is joining our team as an associate orthodontist.

When selecting an associate for his practice, Dr. Sturgill devoted two years and a lot of care to the decision. Ultimately, Dr. Williams impressed all of us with her integrity, professionalism, and exemplary patient care. We demand only the best for our patients — and Dr. Williams certainly fits that bill. 

Let’s meet Dr. Williams!

“Hi everyone! I grew up in the Midwest in a small town called Carmel, IN. My husband, Matt, and I set out on an adventure traveling to Virginia for residency and now to East Tennessee to be with all of you. I love orthodontics because it gives me the opportunity to see amazing patients every day in the best work environment. Nothing makes me happier than when someone sees their new smile for the first time. I’m excited to join the Sturgill Orthodontics family because it is just that: a family. I felt that the very first time I walked through the clinic doors, and I’m grateful to be a part of this practice.” 

Some fun facts about Dr. Williams: 

What are your hobbies outside work? “You can usually find me walking Mowgli, our Australian Shepherd, hiking some mountain trails, running, water coloring, and cooking with Matt!”

What is your favorite thing about living in Tennessee? “I’ve never lived in a place with mountains in every direction and I cannot wait to explore. Also, being from the Midwest, there’s really nothing like Southern hospitality.”

Cat or dog person? “Honestly, I have a big heart for all animals. I’m biased because of our pup, but I love ‘em all!”

Do you have a favorite band/musician? “The top plays on my Spotify are Mumford & Sons, NEEDTOBREATHE, Dispatch, and one of our all-time favorites, Judah & the Lion.”

Favorite vacation spot? “Hands down has to be Sedona, AZ. We hiked there a few years ago with family. The red rocks, cloudless skies, and breathtaking views were unbeatable.”

We are so excited to see what the future holds for Sturgill Orthodontics and know that Dr. Williams will be an integral part. We hope that you will join us in giving her a hearty welcome at your next appointment.

 Interested in a consult for braces? Give us a call today!

5 Reasons We Love Clear Braces

By | Orthodontics

Here’s a conundrum. Your general dentist has recommended braces, but your teenager is worried about their appearance or being teased. Often braces are medically necessary to correct misalignments that could cause significant future issues; yet as parents, we hold our children’s worries and confidence close to our hearts. So how do you meet your child’s dental needs while considering their valid personal concerns? 

 Some parents chose aligner therapy (clear trays like Invisalign), but not every case can be fully corrected with aligners. Don’t worry — we have a solution!

Consider clear braces. 

Take a look at these staff members and patients rocking their smiles. At first glance, you can’t even see their braces! The only thing you see is a beautiful smile. 

Cool facts about Sturgill Orthodontics’ clear braces: 

  • They are made from a polycrystalline ceramic, which helps them to blend with your natural tooth color instead of standing out.
  • They are very durable. Some patients worry that clear brackets won’t “hold up”; but they are designed to move teeth just like metal brackets. Made by 3M, our brackets are specially designed to better adhere to your teeth, resist breakage, and maintain pleasing esthetics. 
  • They are stain-resistant. At Sturgill Orthodontics, we use the “Mercedes-Benz” of clear brackets. Our clear braces are designed to resist straining and should never permanently “yellow” as some other clear bracket brands do. 
  • They are cost-effective. We do not charge more for clear upper braces.
  • They maintain the patient’s self-confidence. Because ceramic brackets are so discreet, no one will notice them unless standing close. Instead they blend into your child’s wonderful smile!

Wondering if clear braces are an option for your teenager or even yourself? Give us a call to schedule a free consultation! Be sure to let our Treatment Coordinator know that you are interested in clear braces. See you soon!

The Truth about Getting Braces

By | Orthodontics

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take a major step towards a beautiful new smile. Now your braces appointment is drawing closer on the calendar, and you might be wondering what to expect.  Here is a quick walk-through of the day you get your new braces. 

What happens first? 

Most of our patients attend their New Patient Exam and receive braces the same day! This convenient option allows you to devote one day to braces rather than having to conform your schedule to two or even three separate appointments. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!

  1. Attend your New Patient Exam with Dr. Sturgill and our Treatment Coordinator. Dr. Sturgill will do a thorough exam to see what treatment option best suits your individual situation. We will take a few X-rays and photographs — all compliments of Dr. Sturgill, so no charge to you!
  2. Choose the best option to fit your needs. Our Treatment Coordinator will walk you through the options and pricing for your unique needs.You will decide together what the best choice is.
  3. Complete your paperwork. Are you ready to get started? If so, we can complete your initial paperwork and apply braces the same day!  We offer interest-free payment plans and autopay for your convenience.

What happens in the clinic? 

Now it’s time to head into the clinic to get started! Initial bonding may take an hour to an hour and a half. We recommend that mom or dad bring a book or some work to pass the time. Meanwhile, the patient can relax in one of our comfortable memory foam dental chairs while we get to work on your smile. 

Remember — do NOT be scared. Your appointment involves ZERO needles or shots. Looking at a tray of dental tools might be scary; but we promise there are no surprises and nothing painful!

  1. A dental assistant will begin by prophying (polishing) the teeth. This helps prep the teeth for the braces.
  2. Next we will apply etchant which helps clean the surface of your teeth. Afterward a primer is used to help the brackets adhere. You may see us using a “light wand” on your teeth. This is an LED light that helps the adhesives cure. Don’t worry — this light isn’t hot at all and won’t hurt one bit. Think of it as a flashlight. 
  3. Next we place the brackets. Our brackets are pre-pasted — which means that no human hands have touched them until they are placed in your mouth. We use the “Mercedes-Benz” of brackets because part of providing quality care starts with using the best products and materials available.  The brackets are made in the USA by 3M and utilize the latest technology in bracket prescription, adhesive, and biocompatibility.  Dr. Sturgill and an assistant will make sure that each and every bracket is placed perfectly. 
  4. Now for the fun part — You get to pick your rubberband color! We have a rainbow of colors for you to choose from. You can do all one color or get snazzy with multiple shades. You could pick ETSU or UT colors– or just your own favorite color! Have fun with it! 
  5. We will place the wires. For your first appointment, you will notice the wire is very thin.  This wire is a“high-tech” combination of nickel, titanium, and copper.  The precise combination allows for super-elastcity and heat activation.  What does this mean? Your wire will work at a lower level of force for months. This allows your teeth to move with less discomfort yet also allows your treatment to continually progress without having an appointment every 3 or 4 weeks. Instead, your appointment will be every 6-10 weeks. 
  6. If you have requested a custom mouth guard, we will take that impression now. We have multiple fun colors to choose from here as well. 
  7. You’re almost done! Next you’ll watch a quick hygiene video that teaches you how to brush and care for your new braces! Home care is a vital part of your treatment. We want you to leave our office feeling prepared for success. 
  8. Finally, don’t forget your Swag Bag. Before you leave, we’ll load you down with useful swag — like brushes, floss threaders, and wax — so that you can properly clean and care for your new smile. 

What happens at the end?

You’re all done! Now don’t forget to stop by the front desk to schedule your next appointment!

  1. If you’re comfortable with it, we would love to take your photo for our Facebook. Braces Day is a special day for us. We are so excited for you to be joining the Sturgill Ortho Family!
  2. Schedule your next appointment. Most likely, your first adjustment appointment will be scheduled anywhere from 3-12 weeks away. Your treatment plan is customized by Dr. Sturgill and unique to your needs so the interval varies from patient to patient. 
  3. Show off your smile! 

Soreness is normal after getting your braces.  We recommend taking some Tylenol or Advil to help mitigate it. Sugar-free chewing gum also helps reduce soreness. It’s also a great time to treat yourself to a milkshake or smoothie. Remember — if you have any questions about soreness or your new braces, you are always welcome to text or call our office. 

We hope you are as excited as we are for your first braces appointment! You will love your new Sturgill smile. In the end, the work and wait will be so worth it! See you soon!

Braces Care During Quarantine

By | Orthodontics

In this unprecedented time, home care for braces is vital. Government-mandated office closures prevent our team from performing routine hygiene checkups at appointments. At-home hygiene has never been more important! Improper brushing and flossing could result in cavities, white spot lesions, gum disease, or even early termination of treatment. 

We are all concerned with cleaning our homes and washing our hands — don’t forget your teeth!

Here’s a quick refresher on proper cleaning of braces:

1. Brush morning, evening, and after meals if possible. 

When you brush, it is important to clean around the brackets. Food easily catches on the appliances and can cause plaque buildup. Angle the toothbrush at the gum line to clean around the brackets. Our office prefers the Oral B electric toothbrush with the orthodontic brush head. Running low? Contact our office to order new brush heads. 

2. Brush for the correct amount of time. 

Most people brush too fast — in and out. In actuality, proper brushing takes about two minutes. Some electric brushes vibrate when two minutes have passed. No electric brush? No problem — set a timer on your phone or listen to a short song. The popular Old Town Road is about 2 minutes long if you want to have fun with your morning and evening routine!

3. Use your “Christmas Tree” brushes

These little brushes are ideal for cleaning around brackets and under wires. If you run out — simply give us a call and we will gladly mail you some. 

4. Floss regularly 

Yes, you absolutely can– and should!– continue flossing with braces. Use a floss threader  to get under the wires. We recommend flossing once a day!

Another important aspect of home care during quarantine is solving non-urgent problems like a poking wire or broken bracket. During this transition period of social distancing, Governor Lee has outlined specific situations considered urgent. Right now, we are not permitted to treat broken brackets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get relief. 

Problem-Solving Tips during Quarantine:

1. A loose or broken bracket

Fortunately, when a bracket breaks, it’s still attached to the wire and should not cause any damage. It can safely remain until your next appointment. However, if the bracket is causing any pain or discomfort or if you are concerned, we can guide you through the process of removing the bracket at home. 

2. A poking wire

Our first go-to remedy for poking wires is wax. Place a bead of wax over the wire; this may provide relief until your next appointment. Or, if your dad really wants to play orthodontist, you can use a pair of toenail clippers (preferably clean!) to snip the wire. Remember we want you to be comfortable; don’t worry about messing anything up by clipping a wire. 

3. General soreness

Soreness is a common orthodontic ailment. After all, your teeth are moving! We recommend Tylenol or Advil (or whatever OTC painkiller you prefer to give to your children) to help alleviate soreness. You can also use wax to cover any sore spots on the gums or cheek. Remember, if you are concerned or something seems out-of-the-ordinary, you can always text photos or give our office a call. 

4. Other issues 

If you have a broken appliance, expander, or spring — we recommend giving our office a call or sending a text. Use this video to photograph the problem area. One of our assistants will review your photos and either guide you through correcting the problem at home or schedule a safe visit. 

Please remember that if you are ever in pain, we are available to help. Sturgill Ortho team members are monitoring our phones and text messages, while clinical staff remain on call for emergencies. We are also offering Virtual Check-ins if you have any questions or concerns. 

Good news! Our team plans to reopen the Johnson City Office on May 4th! We will be contacting patients to reschedule appointments missed due to the COVID-19 closure. Of course the COVID-19 situation develops day-by-day, but we will promptly notify our patients by email and social media if any plans change.

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. We hope to see you soon!

Having a Happy Halloween with Braces

By | Orthodontics

It’s about to get spooky! Do you have your costume ready?

Halloween can be a challenging holiday for kiddos with braces. Those pumpkin-buckets full of sweet treats can be tempting, but don’t forget to take care of your braces this year! No need to feel left out though; there are still several yummy options that you can enjoy while in orthodontic treatment.

Sweet treats to avoid on Halloween (or anytime):

  • Hard candies

  • Caramel

  • Popcorn

  • Candied apples

These goodies could cause damage to your brackets or appliances. No one wants to worry about poking wires or broken brackets on the spookiest night of the year!

Swap hard and sticky candy for these delicious sweets instead: 

  • Chocolate bars without nuts

  • Peanut Butter Cups

  • Kit Kats

  • 3 Musketeers

  • Soft cookies

  • Peppermint patties

  • Apple bites dipped in caramel sauce

  • Apple cider

  • Root beer floats

  • Ice cream

Remember even “safe” candies can cause cavities. Be sure to brush and floss after enjoying your Halloween haul! You can use your Christmas-tree brushes to clean around individual brackets. Also, if you need a treat bag, use your Sturgill Orthodontics drawstring backpack. Feel free to come pick one up if you don’t have one already! 


The Sturgill Orthodontics Team wishes you a safe and Happy Halloween! 

Vote on our Third Annual Dentists Pumpkin Contest! And don’t forget to wear your costume to your appointment and receive a gift card! Stay spooky, everyone!


“DIY” and “Braces”: A Dangerous Combo?

By | Orthodontics

Are at-home aligners a smart choice for your wallet or your oral health?


Conduct a quick Google or Facebook search about orthodontic care — you’ll be bombarded with ads touting at-home aligners. These companies promise to cut treatment costs and provide an alternative to traditional orthodontic care. 

While these companies may provide convenience and savings, what are you being asked to sacrifice in order to achieve those aims? Your budget is an important part of your treatment choice, and no one likes the idea of assuming another bill. But when it comes to your teeth, you want your money’s worth. 

Here’s what you’ll be sacrificing if you choose at-home DIY treatment:

1. The team of office professionals devoted to your wellbeing

When you call Sturgill Orthodontics, the phone will be answered by a knowledgeable individual who knows you by name, knows your interests, knows your unique financial situation, and knows your schedule. You are not a customer, but a patient. You are not one of many, but one that matters.

2. The team of skilled dental assistants and lab technicians

At-home aligner companies cut costs by shifting responsibility for certain orthodontic tasks to unlicensed auxiliary staff and to their customers. Moreover, they limit the amount of correction to only extremely minor corrections. For example, customers are expected to take their own molds and are provided with the materials to do so. Sounds simple, right? In actuality, taking and making dental molds is a complicated task best performed by a licensed dental professional. Slight errors in the process could result in aligners that do not fit or do not properly shift your teeth. Still sound simple?

3. The licensed, highly-educated orthodontist of your choosing

While at-home aligner companies state that a dentist reviews each case, customers are not permitted to choose which dentist, do not know how much time the dentist spends reviewing their case, and do not receive a proper clinical exam. Many of these dentists are foreign-trained and pressured to never deny a case. 

When choosing your orthodontist, you should consider their educational background, their work, and their patient reviews. You want a care-provider who fits your needs; and you should be able to choose that dentist. Moreover, clinical exams are a vital part of your treatment. Your orthodontist examines you, talks to you, and considers factors such as your oral health and skeletal structure when reviewing your case. At Sturgill Orthodontics, you will see Dr. Sturgill at every visit: reviewing your case, chatting with you, and making sure you are progressing well.

4. The full comprehensive treatment you deserve

Many at-home treatment companies limit the number of trays provided as the movement that occurs is very minimal (1mm or less). In actuality, comprehensive aligner treatment could require several rounds of aligners, not to mention enameloplasty, occlusal equilibration, elastic wear, or interproximal reduction. “Straighter” teeth does not necessarily mean “straight” teeth. At Sturgill Orthodontics, additional aligners — called a “refinement” — are part of your fixed treatment quote. We will do whatever it takes to get you the perfect smile you deserve, without cutting corners. Furthermore, at Sturgill Orthodontics, you pay for your final results. This means that even if Dr. Sturgill determines that you need braces to get ideal results, he will do so at no additional cost, because we guaranteed a Sturgill Smile. We won’t settle for a job half-done; your teeth won’t be “a little better” but beautiful!

Remember that moving teeth is a medical procedure best performed by a licensed orthodontist. When choosing your care provider, make sure you have all the facts and make the selection that best suits your needs. 

Curious about your smile? Call us to schedule your free consultation and learn about your options! Or follow us on Instagram and Facebook to hear directly from our wonderful patients.



Do You Know How to Care for Your Braces? Take Our Quiz to Find Out

By | Orthodontics

Getting braces can be a totally life altering experience. You look different, your teeth feel different, and it can be tough to get used to the change. The best thing you can do right now is take care of your braces (and your teeth) to make sure your new smile stays on track. As your orthodontist in Johnson City, Dr. Jeremiah Sturgill is always here to help make your treatment as smooth as possible.

As the school year comes to an end, it’s time for one last quiz. Answer the questions below to find out how much you know about taking care of your braces. Keep track of your guesses and check them against the answers at the bottom — no peeking! And remember: if you’re ever unsure how best to care for your braces, call Sturgill Orthodontics for support. Read More


Am I too Old for Braces? Your Adult Orthodontics Questions Answered

By | Orthodontics

Adults are seeking out orthodontic treatment in record numbers. In fact, about 27 percent of patients in the United States and Canada are 18 years old and older. As a Johnson City orthodontist, Dr. Sturgill has experienced this surge in adult patients firsthand. Sometimes, patients never had the opportunity to straighten their teeth in their teenage years and, in other cases, they experienced a relapse after forgetting to wear their retainer for a while. Whatever their reasoning, thanks to so many advances in the field, there’s never been a better time to achieve your dream smile, regardless of your age. We’ll be covering the questions about adult orthodontics we hear most often at our practice to help you get a clear idea of the benefits. Read More


A Parent’s Guide to Invisalign® Teen

By | Orthodontics

Years ago, most of our Tri-Cities Invisalign patients were grown-ups. However, as the treatment has evolved, it has become a really effective option for younger patients too. In fact, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of teenagers opting for Invisalign Teen instead of braces. It makes sense. After all, what’s not to love about a smile solution that is removable, virtually invisible and has no food restrictions? However, parents often have questions when they’re considering Invisalign vs. braces for their child. Well, Sturgill Orthodontics has answers! Here’s what parents should know about Invisalign Teen:

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