Top Tips For Relieving Braces Pain

Top Tips For Relieving Braces Pain

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The decision to improve your smile with braces is an important one, and the results they yield once treatment is complete can be life-changing. But just like any new adventure, it comes with a lot of unknowns! Here at Sturgill Orthodontics, new patients often want to know what they can expect from the treatment process. Some worry that braces will be uncomfortable or painful. Fortunately, modern braces are easier to wear than ever before! 

That said, braces can still involve occasional discomfort, even with an improved design. Follow-up appointments are an important part of every orthodontic journey, and patients in braces can expect to see Dr. Sturgill or Dr. Williams every 5-10 weeks to monitor their progress. During these visits, our doctors may tighten, bend, or replace the thin metal wire that runs from bracket to bracket. The elastic ties that hold the brackets on the arch wires may also be replaced. This can put additional pressure on the teeth and gums, and may result in a bit of temporary soreness, sensitivity, or irritation. 

While wearing braces can cause mild discomfort from time to time, this is normal and shouldn’t last long. The good news is, there are several simple ways to reduce or eliminate any pain associated with braces! We’ll outline some of our best tips below, so keep reading for more information.

Swish with salt water 

While orthodontic treatment itself doesn’t cause mouth sores, some patients do seem to be more susceptible to them while they’re in braces. These sores can also develop along the gums and cheeks as they adapt to tightened wires. You can get relief from these painful ulcers with a simple salt water rinse!This tried-and-true remedy helps reduce infection and alleviate soreness. Simply mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. 

Keep it cool

Ice works on more than muscle injuries, bumps, and bruises. It’s effective for aching mouths, too! An ice pack can decrease inflammation and swelling to help reduce pain. If your newly adjusted braces are causing soreness, apply a cold ice pack to the area that’s bothering you for 10 minutes at a time, once an hour, until the pain has abated. Cold treats like popsicles and ice cream can have a similar soothing effect! Not only do they taste delicious, they also numb your mouth for immediate relief. Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating anything sugary to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

Stick to softer foods

After an adjustment appointment, your teeth and gums may feel more sensitive than usual. This can make eating painful, especially if the foods are hard to bite into or chew. If you find it difficult to eat due to a sore mouth, stick with softer foods and liquids until your teeth have adjusted. This could include soups, smoothies, yogurt, and mashed potatoes, among other tasty choices! Any pain should subside relatively quickly, at which time you’ll be able to resume your normal eating habits.

Take advantage of orthodontic wax

As your treatment progresses and your teeth begin to move, the archwire connecting them may also shift. This can sometimes result in a bit of it poking out near the back of your mouth, which might irritate your cheeks or gums. You can use the eraser end of the pencil or a clean cotton swab to gently move it back into the correct spot, but this is where orthodontic wax really shines! Put a pinch of it over the parts that are sticking out to help relieve the immediate discomfort. 

Keep in mind that if any part of your braces comes loose or breaks during treatment, you should contact our office as soon as possible. If a band or bracket is broken but still attached to the wire, try to leave it alone until you speak with us, and don’t connect any elastics to it in the meantime. If any piece of your braces has completely broken off, place it in a secure bag and we’ll advise you on what you should do next. 

Over-the-counter pain relievers

If you’ve tried the above tips and are still experiencing discomfort, you may benefit from an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, but you should check with one of our doctors before taking any medications and always follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.

Topical oral anesthetics like Orajel can also be applied directly to the teeth and gums with a cotton swab or finger to help desensitize the specific area in your mouth that’s bothering you. This can be particularly helpful at bedtime if you’re having trouble getting to sleep due to your mouth or teeth being sore.

Give yourself time to adjust 

As your teeth adapt to new braces or braces that have just been adjusted, remember that any discomfort will only be temporary. It’s entirely normal and even expected for this to occur as your teeth begin moving towards their optimal positions. Although it can be frustrating at times, all your hard work and dedication will be more than worth it once your braces are removed and we reveal your beautiful new smile! 

Top Tips For Relieving Braces PainGet the smile you’ve always wanted with braces by Sturgill Orthodontics

Braces are one of the most effective ways we have to improve the appearance and functionality of your smile. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to get through the discomfort they can cause from time to time and be on your way to straighter teeth and a healthier mouth in no time! 

Sturgill Orthodontics is committed to providing our patients with a rewarding and stress-free orthodontic process from start to finish. If you have any questions or concerns about your own braces journey, get in touch with us any time and we’ll be happy to set your mind at ease! Have you been thinking about improving your oral health with braces? Schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Sturgill or Dr. Williams today by clicking here.  

A Letter to Our Patients

A Letter to Our Patients

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Well, we made it to the end of 2020, and the holidays are right around the corner. For many of us, this year was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, uncertainties and blessings. To say this year has been challenging would be an understatement.

Dr. Williams, the Sturgill Ortho Team, and I wanted to take a moment to express our sincere thanks to our patients. We know this year was difficult for many of you. Regulations, masks, social distancing — none of us foresaw these strange new aspects of daily life. Here at Sturgill Orthodontics, we have striven to ensure your experience stays safe, positive, and welcoming alongside these new regulations.

We know that you have a choice in care. Our hearts overflow with gratitude that you entrust us with your family’s treatment. At every appointment, we look forward to you walking through that front door. Our sincerest thanks for choosing us and for cooperating as we work to keep our practice safe and healthy.

From our home to yours, we wish you the happiest holiday yet. Thank you for being part of our family. We can’t wait to see you next year!

Warmest Regards and Merry Christmas,
Dr. Jeremiah Sturgill

How To Have A Happy Thanksgiving That's Orthodontist-Approved

How To Have A Happy Thanksgiving That’s Orthodontist-Approved

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the team here at Sturgill Orthodontics is already planning our plates and dreaming of the dessert table. As exciting as it can be thinking about all the food that’s yet to come, we know that this season can also be frustrating for our braces patients. Straightening your smile comes with a lot of changes, and we understand that food restrictions can be especially frustrating around the holidays. 

While all your hard work will be worth it once your braces come off and we reveal your beautiful new smile, we want you to be able to enjoy life in the meantime, too. That’s why we’ve put together a few hints for keeping your Thanksgiving feast braces-friendly! Keep reading below for a helpful list of orthodontist-approved foods, plus a few tips on keeping your braces clean after you clear your plate. 

A quick note for Invisalign patients

If you’re one of our Invisalign patients, you’re free to enjoy whatever you want from the Thanksgiving table. Just remember to remove your aligner, then brush and floss your teeth before putting it back in.

Now back to our braces patients!

Pile up your plate with these items

When it comes to what you can safely eat while protecting your braces, there are lots of traditional favorites to choose from! Holiday staples like turkey, ham, or chicken get the okay from orthodontists as long you’re not eating any meat directly off the bone. You’re also good to go with side dishes like mashed potatoes, dressing or stuffing, steamed vegetables, and soft rolls. You can even enjoy a taste of sweet potato casserole, just be sure your portion doesn’t have any nuts or marshmallows in it. 

Wondering what desserts you can fill up on after everyone’s left the table? There’s an entire arsenal of sweet treats with your name on them! Creamy classics like pumpkin and sweet potato pie are soft and easy on your teeth, as long as they don’t have a crunchy topping or nuts in the filling. That goes for any cakes or cookies, actually—the key is sticking to recipes that aren’t crunchy, sticky, or likely to damage your brackets or wires. 

How To Have A Happy Thanksgiving That's Orthodontist-Approved

Keep passing the platter when you see these foods

Although there are many good foods you can happily dig into over the holidays, there are still quite a few you need to keep a close eye on. Skip any salad that isn’t heavy on the actual salad, for starters! Hard croutons, nuts, or crunchy crusts can do a number on your brackets and raw fruits and veggies may be too crunchy for comfort. Corn on the cob can also be a problem unless you cut the kernels off and eat it that way.  

As we mentioned above, leave anything chewy, sticky, or crunchy on the dessert table. Things like marshmallows and caramel can easily stick to the components of your braces, while toffee, nuts, and hard toppings can actually bend wires and damage brackets. Stick to sweet stuff that’s smooth and creamy to get the most out of your post-meal trip to the dessert table!

How to maintain good oral health during the hectic holidays

Thanksgiving may look slightly different this year, but some things don’t change. Wherever you have your holiday feast and whatever it looks like, it’s important to continue practicing basic care for your braces by brushing after every meal and flossing every night before bed. Need a refresher on how to keep your braces looking bright? We’ve got you covered! 


  • Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Brush each bracket and the front, sides, and back of every tooth using a circular motion.
  • Brush gently along the gum line.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue, and the roof of your mouth, too! Lots of yucky bacteria like to hang out here, as well as in between your teeth and braces.

A good indicator of careful brushing is braces that look shiny and clean. Inspect your teeth and braces every now and then during the holidays to make sure they’re spotless and don’t have anything stuck in them. This is also a good time to check for any loose or broken brackets!


  • Floss every night before bed, carefully pulling the floss between the wire and the brackets.
  • Floss around the brackets.
  • Gently floss along and under the gum line.
  • Floss around each tooth.

Flossing effectively when you’re wearing braces can take a little extra time and patience, but it’s an important part of your oral care routine so try not to skip it. This is especially important over the holiday season when you may be eating things that aren’t part of your normal diet. If you find the process frustrating, try using a floss threader or water flosser to give you easier access and help speed things up. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Sturgill Orthodontics

There’s a lot to love about Thanksgiving, and this year in particular it’s good to take a moment to appreciate all we have, enjoy a table full of delicious food, and focus on family, friends, and the future!

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to lose sight of the little things that make the world around us such a beautiful place. Whatever is happening in your life this Thanksgiving, we hope the day is full of good food, lots of laughter, and the kind of memories you’ll love to look back on one day.  

Speaking of gratitude, we don’t want to forget to mention how thankful we are for patients like you! Thanks for supporting Sturgill Orthodontics throughout the year. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

5 Reasons To Consider Invisalign Clear Aligners

5 Reasons To Consider Invisalign Clear Aligners

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For a long time, traditional braces were the only choice for patients wanting to straighten their teeth and improve their oral health. These braces have a long history of successfully correcting a range of orthodontic issues, and they’ve seen some major improvements in recent years. Today’s braces may have the same basic design as their predecessors, but they’re sleeker, more comfortable, and more aesthetically pleasing than ever before. They are a fixed orthodontic appliance, however, and as such, they come with some limitations and restrictions. For this reason, some patients are hesitant to use them. Fortunately, there are other options available!

Here at Sturgill Orthodontics, we hear from many teens and adults who want the benefits of a healthy smile but aren’t sure that traditional braces are the right choice for them. Invisalign clear aligners offer patients an alternative to braces, straightening the teeth without the need for brackets, bands, and wires. If you’ve contemplated orthodontic treatment but weren’t ready to commit to braces, the Invisalign system may be just what you’re looking for! Let’s take a closer look at how these aligners work and our top reasons to consider them for all your orthodontic needs. 

What are clear aligners?

Invisalign aligners are made of a special polyurethane material and custom-designed to fit snugly but comfortably over the teeth. Like braces, they gently and gradually shift the teeth until they reach the desired positions, but aligners are a removable orthodontic appliance. They are meant to be taken out for short periods of time, such as prior to eating and brushing the teeth. This gives patients an extra measure of freedom that braces just can’t beat.

Patient compliance is part of any orthodontic journey, but it’s especially important with a clear aligner system like Invisalign. The aligners will need to be worn 20-22 hours per day throughout the treatment process, and each one will need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making and ensures the most optimal results in the shortest time possible.  

Invisalign aligners can be just as effective as braces when worn as directed

As long as the aligners are worn as directed, Invisalign can just as effective as traditional braces at treating many of the most common orthodontic issues. This is particularly true for mild to moderate cases of overbite, underbite, overcrowding, and gapped teeth. As noted above, patient compliance plays an essential role in how successful treatment with Invisalign will be. If the patient fails to follow their orthodontist’s guidelines, it can render the aligners less effective, lead to longer treatment times, and produce subpar results.

Clear aligners give patients extra flexibility

Any type of orthodontic appliance will come with a learning curve, but traditional braces can take a little more time to get used to. Take food restrictions, for example. In order to protect the brackets and wires, braces patients must avoid anything that could damage them. This includes crunchy or sticky snacks like popcorn, chips, and different types of candy. Even when it’s only temporary, it can be frustrating to have to give up some of your favorite snacks and foods.

Because Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed during mealtimes, patients can still eat anything they normally would, as long as they brush and floss afterward. Speaking of, a good oral hygiene routine is an important part of the treatment process, and this is another area where Invisalign excels! Patients simply take the aligners out before brushing and flossing as they normally would, then put them back in when they’re done. Dental hygiene is a breeze when there aren’t any brackets or wires to navigate around.

Clear aligners are as affordable as traditional braces

You may think that an alternative to braces would be more expensive in the long run, but Invisalign aligners are actually comparable in cost. There are a number of factors that will determine the total investment needed for a new smile, whether it’s braces, aligners, or some other treatment. This includes how complex the case is, how long we expect treatment to take, and other considerations. On average, however, Invisalign tends to cost just about the same as traditional braces.

Whatever treatment option you choose, we’ll work with you to make your dream smile a  reality! We offer low- and no-interest financing plans and participate with many insurance plans. We’re also a preferred provider for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee and Delta Dental. If you have dental insurance that will cover orthodontic treatment, it can greatly reduce your personal costs! We’ll review your insurance information and help you maximize your benefits. For your convenience, we’ll also file the claims on your behalf.  

5 Reasons To Consider Invisalign Clear AlignersInvisalign aligners give patients a discreet treatment option

Crooked teeth and other dental issues can have a negative effect on your self-confidence, and many people worry that wearing traditional braces will make them stand out even more. With Invisalign clear aligners, the clue is right there in the name—because they’re clear, they’re virtually invisible and many patients are able to get through an entire course of treatment without anyone even realizing they’re an orthodontic patient! This makes them an excellent option for image-conscious teens and adults who are concerned that traditional braces will affect their appearance and lifestyle.

Invisalign aligners can lead to less time in the chair

In today’s world, families stay busy. It can be tough to try and fit work, school, and extracurriculars into the schedule, let alone regular orthodontic check-ups! While these follow-up appointments are an important part of every treatment process, patients wearing Invisalign aligners tend to require less frequent visits overall. That’s because there aren’t any adjustments to make, and no broken wires and brackets needing repairs. Progress checks usually happen once every 4-8 weeks, and we always do our best to get patients in and out of the chair as quickly as possible.

Create a confident smile with Invisalign and Sturgill Orthodontics

Sturgill Orthodontics is the clear choice for high-quality orthodontic care in Johnson City and the surrounding communities! We’re proud to offer patients of all ages customized treatment plans designed with your unique smile in mind, and work hard to provide a stress-free orthodontic experience with exceptional results. In addition to the Invisalign clear aligner system, we also use Clarity 3M aligners. This gives patients even more choice when it comes to treatment options! 

Are you interested in how our clear aligners can give you a smile makeover? Get in touch today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sturgill and take the first step towards the healthy, happy smile you deserve! 

Meet Louie: Our Therapy Dog in Training

Meet Louie: Our Therapy Dog in Training

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Overcoming dental anxiety with our therapy dog (in training!)

Here at Sturgill Orthodontics, we know that orthodontic appointments can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, especially the first one. It’s not unusual to feel nervous about that initial visit, and even the ones that come after. That’s exactly why we decided to adopt Louie!

Louie is a Golden Retriever, a therapy dog in training, and a big old bundle of furry love. When considering how to make appointments as stress-free as possible for our patients, we knew we wanted to find a way to help them relax and focus on something other than their anxiety. Research has shown that therapy animals, especially canines, can provide emotional, psychological, and physical support to those who need it. In fact, just seeing a dog can have positive effects on the body, while petting one can improve our mood and even lower our blood pressure. 

Dr. Sturgill and his family have always loved golden retrievers. Many of our patients are familiar with Patton, the resident pup at Dr. Riley Sturgill’s endodontic practice. Having a therapy dog at Sturgill Orthodontics has been a goal of ours for a long time, so when the opportunity arose locally to give Louie a home, Dr. Sturgill jumped at the chance! 

Meet Louie: Our Therapy Dog in Training

Louie is still a bit of a baby at just 9 weeks old, but he’s growing and learning more every day. As he gets older, he’ll be receiving professional training to become our office’s official emotional support animal. His training will focus on obedience, impulse control, and how to maintain a gentle temperament around his human friends. 

By welcoming Louie into our office, it is our hope that he will help patients feel more connected and grounded, with less stress and more zen. We also believe that Louie will contribute to a more relaxed and laid back office environment, one that feels calm and welcoming. All of these improvements increase the likelihood of a positive orthodontic experience, something our practice truly strives for. 

Sturgill Orthodontics is devoted to creating beautiful smiles, and Louie will truly give you something to smile about! We’re proud to be the first orthodontic practice in the Tri-Cities area to utilize pet therapy. Our ultimate goal is for every patient to enter our office feeling welcomed, safe, and happy! We know that Louie will be an important part of that going forward.  

Plus, he’s adorable! Just look at that sweet face—who can resist the power of paw-sitivity when this happy ball of fluff is around?!

If you or your child are feeling anxious about an upcoming visit, give us a call and we’ll schedule Louie for an appearance during your appointment! You can also ask one of our team members what he’s up to when you’re in the office. If he’s not in the middle of an epic puppy snooze, we’ll be happy to bring him to you for a quick cuddle. 


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!

Fun with Our Families during Quarantine

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These past several weeks, most of us find ourselves stranded at home with only limited essential outings at our disposal. Who knew the car ride to the grocery store could be such an escape?

While mandatory quarantine is difficult for everyone, keeping the kiddos entertained can be especially challenging. So here at Sturgill Ortho we asked our staff members how they are passing the time in isolation with their families. So if you are “bored in the house and in the house bored,” here are a few of the activities we have found helpful.

Quarantine Activities for Kids


Colorful sorting and counting

Sturgill Endo team member Alyssa practiced counting with her son using coffee filters and candy! We certainly won’t judge if an M&M or two goes missing along the way. 

Build a living room fort

Transform the couch or dining table into a circus tent with blankets and pillows. It’s the perfect place to curl up with take-home schoolwork, a movie, or a coloring book.

Make art together

Dr. Sturgill’s baby girl painted some abstract art this week. Another idea is to use poster board or an old sheet and paint a sign for first responders. Hang it in your lawn or neighborhood. Or, you can create a family photo collage with an encouraging message — as the Sturgill Ortho team did for Instagram.

Make oobleck

What’s oobleck? Oobleck is simply cornstarch mixed with water — it’s neither a liquid nor a solid but rather a non-Newtonian fluid. Aka homemade slime! It’s a great homemade science experiment for little ones. Add a little dollop of food coloring for fun. Here is an easy recipe to follow.

Homemade finger-painting 

Sturgill Ortho team member Jess used cool whip and food coloring to create toddler-safe finger paints. It’s suitably messy and no harm done if little fingers go in little mouths. 

Live storytimes

Several broadcasting and publishing companies have taken steps to livestream story hour for little kids. It’s a great way to entertain your little one — and if they happen to have the book, they can practice reading by following along. A few resources include: Penguin Kids, Harper Kids, and Goodnight with Dolly. 

Bake and cook together

Our office manager Holly has been teaching her little girl how to cook! They’ve baked fun birthday cakes and enjoyed homemade breakfasts on their porch. Cooking together is a great way to practice measuring, math, and following instructions. 

Camp in your own backyard 

Even though the campsites and state parks may be closed, we can still get outside. Create a isolation-approved staycation by setting up a mini campsite in your own backyard — or on your apartment balcony. Snuggle together in sleeping bags, tell funny stories, and, if safe to do so, have a little campfire to toast smores. 

Other ideas

Watch a free Broadway show every Friday on the YouTube channel The Show Must Go On. Take advantage of Audible’s Free Stories for Kids. Or download the Duolingo app to learn a new language together. 

As hectic as parenthood may be, we all crave more time with our families. How many times have we said “time is flying by” or “I wish I had more time with my kids.”  Despite the hardships around us, isolation has forced us to slow down and focus on our loved ones. America’s work-centered culture often robs us of precious time together — but maybe being #TogetheratHome is the silver lining in the midst of this national health crisis. 

Also remember, it’s okay to relax as well. We are experiencing uncertain and unprecedented times — and there’s no roadmap for how to best navigate them. It’s perfectly acceptable to have “down moments” in which you vegetate on the couch or watch a movie. Every day need not have an Instagram-worthy or teachable moment. We will all survive this time the best way we can — and maybe carve out a  little fun along the way.

Currently, Sturgill Orthodontics is open and seeing patients on a modified schedule.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

A Letter from Dr. Sturgill about the New Coronavirus

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“This effort has resulted in unprecedented changes for all our daily lives…

I pray we can find a silver lining.”

This picture may seem odd in relation to the current coronavirus health crisis.  However, I found it appropriate as yesterday would’ve been my grandmother’s (Nanny’s) 98th birthday; she passed away four years ago. This photo shows my Nanny and myself at my dental school graduation. She inspired me to have a giving heart. She inspired me with her unwavering faith and unfettered generosity. 

Lately we have heard a lot of talk in the media about “flattening the curve.” Many people may not understand what our government and the CDC mean by this, or why it has such a dramatic impact on our day-to-day lives. “Flattening the curve” means to delay the spread of a virus — not necessarily to contain or halt the spread of a virus. If successful, our healthcare system would be better able to cope with the patient load. Decreasing the burden on our healthcare system gives our aging population a better chance of survival if they are infected with COVID-19.

This effort has resulted in unprecedented changes for all our daily lives.  Governors nationwide have mandated closure of elective medical and dental procedures along with closure of restaurants, churches, theme parks, and public gatherings. During this time families will go through unavoidable hardships and inconveniences due to the stress and anxiety of experiencing a pandemic. Yet these hardships reveal the values of our country. As a nation, we so value the life of our elderly and immunocompromised that we are willing to press pause on everything. 

I pray that we can find a silver lining: whether it be this wonderful spring weather or the time gained with our families to slow down, reconnect, and be present. For the first time in our 11 years of marriage, Riley and I have found time to actually enjoy cooking– a true miracle!

“These hardships reveal the values of our country.”

We offer heartfelt thanks to those who are still working — the single-mother cashier at Wal-Mart, the teenage gas station attendant, the hospital janitor, the assembly line worker  laboring overtime to produce much needed PPE, and of course all of the healthcare workers who unwaveringly step to the front lines. And lastly, thank you to all those who stay home despite the difficulties. I think of all the “Nanny’s” out there who need our efforts to help ensure their safety.

Know that the Sturgill Orthodontics team is here for you, not only to ensure your beautiful smile, but we are here for our community.  If you know anyone who is in need because of COVID, please let us know. We want to help the community that has always supported us.


Dr. S


Merry Christmas from Your Sturgill Ortho Family!

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Community is hugely important to the Sturgill Orthodontics team. We love the TriCities and are so grateful for the opportunity to give back to that community. And what better season for giving than the holidays?

For the past several years, Sturgill Orthodontics has sponsored Christmas Angels through the Salvation Army. This year, we were fortunate enough to “adopt” four angels. Together, we shopped for gifts (toys, clothes, needed items) which were then delivered unwrapped to the Salvation Army and distributed as needed. We had so much fun shopping together. This tradition holds a special place in our hearts. We hope to continue it for many years to come!

“This tradition holds a special place in our hearts.

We hope to continue it for many years to come!”

Here at Sturgill Orthodontics, we believe we have the absolute best patients. We love serving your families and creating beautiful smiles. Thank you for being part of our Sturgill Ortho Family! We hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Follow our Instagram and Facebook for fun Christmas photos with our staff and patients!

Care for a Coke? Norton + Sturgill Orthodontics Unveil Renovated Sign

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“What’s more American than a cold Coke?”

Our Norton patients may recognize the rusty landmark hanging outside our downtown practice. Beneath decades of chipped paint and corrosion lingered an iconic symbol of Americana: “Drink Coca-Cola in bottles!” This vestige of Norton’s past whispers of a long-forgotten era before Google, Twitter, or Youtube. A time when roads winded through picturesque communities like Norton rather than austere highways. A time when roadsigns and murals were companies’ only way of advertising to the American people. And what’s more American than a cold Coke?


Community has always been important to Dr. Sturgill, a native of Big Stone Gap, VA. In fact, his affection for Wise County is a large motivator behind his maintaining a practice in Norton and purchasing the historic building that houses it. So when he learned of City Manager Fred Ramey’s goal to restore the old Coke sign hanging outside our practice, Dr. Sturgill was immediately on board.

Coca-Cola Consolidated operates a Ghost-Sign Restoration Program, which primarily focuses on building murals. However, Norton’s unique clock sign (apparently the only one known to Coke archivists) caught the program’s attention. Historians estimate our sign was erected circa 1930 and has endured everything from mountain weather to a neighboring fire to a collision with  a passing truck. Yet since 1960, the sign languished in disrepair. 


Coke Consolidated, the City of Norton, and Sturgill Orthodontics unveiled the renovated sign on August 20th. Bright poppy red with neon lettering and a functioning clock — the sign brightens downtown and reminds us of our past. 

Sturgill Orthodontics was so proud to participate in a project that meant so much to so many. We hope this beautiful sign hangs proudly for another 100 years! 

“We were so proud to participate in a project that meant so much to so many!”


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to catch other exciting news, giveaways,  and projects!