5 Tips To Get Through COVID-19

5 Tips To Get Through COVID-19


By Kenny Hackett

We are currently living through very uncertain and unsettling times. Whether you are juggling working from home with home-schooling, spending more time with your partner, or feeling confined and cooped up, there are many things you can do to get you and your family through this time with sanity and relationships intact.

Focus on What You Can Control

The lockdown caused by the COVID-19 crisis has brought about a wealth of new challenges and pressures to daily family life. During these extraordinary circumstances, it is reasonable to feel high levels of stress, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, sadness, and anger. These emotions and the triggers that cause them can affect all family members and often at different times to one another. But there is good news. While you may not be able to control what goes on outside your home, within your family sanctuary, you are in control.

In this article, we’ll take a look at five things you can do that will bring a semblance of calm to your household and help everybody to turn lockdown into a positive experience.

1. Good Hygiene Rules

You cannot go online or switch on the TV without being advised on how to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. Make sure the whole family is up to speed and practicing good hygiene, whether they are leaving home or not. Have sHANDWASHINGoap available in every bathroom, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. If you have smaller children, perhaps they already have a song they sing in their heads when they brush their teeth. Getting them to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song’ twice through while they wash their hands will ensure they are squeaky clean.

2. Keep Your Distance

While lockdown is in effect, the advice is to stay at home as much as possible. Of course, you still need to feed the family. If you need to leave the house, remember to keep your distance from other people at all times. Keeping your distance can feel quite strange at first, especially if you are walking around the grocery store. What happens if somebody comes around the corner and you bump into each other? Who has the right of way when approaching an aisle? In this weird new world, there are many questions, but don’t worry. Everybody is thinking about the same thing. Social distancing is new to all of us.

3. Find Serenity in Structure

There is notWAKEUPhing wrong with declaring a pajama day or waking up at 11 am. However, adding a little normality into the day will give you all more purpose and help you to stay disciplined and distracted in equal measure. Whether you are social distancing, in isolation, or unable to do your job from home, it can be tempting to slip into lazing around, eating too many snacks, and letting the days and evenings merge into one. Try to have a defined morning routine, set mealtimes, a designated ending of the working day, and a calm and enjoyable bedtime.  If you find that every day resembles the weekend, try to make actual weekends a little different with new activities, board games, take-out or a movie.

4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

The word ‘unprecedented’ will possibly become one of the most used words in 2020. Never has a term ever carried so much weight and meaning. Be realistic about what you can expect to achieve. There is no right or wrong way to deal with this. Some days will be easier than others. Some days, the news may give you a beacon of hope only to dash it the next with more unsettling news. Things will get better. They will. Don’t expect to experience perfection; in your work, as a parent or teacher, or in your relationships.

5. Turn Lockdown Time into Family-Bonding TimeFAMILY

With family stuck inside together, you have to make the best of the situation. Aside from home-schooling, spending quality and fun time with your children will help you all to become closer and make some sense of the situation you all find yourselves in. From playing silly games to cooking together and staying connected online to other family members, there are so many things you can do to make it through to the other side happy, healthy, and closer than ever. No matter what is going on outside your household, these are positive and happy memories that will last a lifetime.

Tips to get your child to brush their teeth!

Tips to get your child to brush their teeth!

By: Kenny Hackett


Dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day. As any parent knows, getting a child to brush their teeth can quickly become a struggle. By identifying what they don’t like and adding some creativity, you can conquer their reluctance, and even have fun doing it. Those two minutes, twice a day will go a long way toward a lifetime of good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums. Proper oral care is essential, especially if a child requires any orthodontics.

Parents should wipe a baby’s mouths with a soft cloth, even before their first teeth come in. Once your child’s teeth have appeared you will need to brush for them for a few years until they have the manual dexterity to do so alone. Dentist visits should begin at approximately age two. The following tips will help you get your child to brush their teeth:


Use the Proper Tools


Most dentists suggest choosing toothpaste and toothbrushes featuring the ADA seal of approval; the fun part is letting your children choose their own. Toothbrushes are available in a variety of their favorite characters and colors. Toothpaste tubes for kids also feature cartoon characters, and the toothpaste itself can feature different flavors or sparkles. Don’t forget to check out the electric toothbrushes designed specifically for children.


You can begin flossing your child’s teeth at about two or three years old. Oral picks can help make this task easier in their smaller mouths. Most children won’t be able to floss alone until they are at least school age. While younger children may not want or need to use mouthwash, older ones typically do.


Instilling these brushing habits early in a child’s life is essential, especially if your child requires orthodontics. The dentist will provide special instructions for oral care and cleaning. Poor oral hygiene can influence a person’s overall health and lead to secondary problems, including diabetes.


Measure Toothpaste


You might put an inch of toothpaste on your brush, but kids don’t need that much. Dentists recommend just a smear, about the size of a grain of rice, for younger children, and pea-sized for those over three.


Use the Right Method


Teach children to brush all surfaces of their teeth, front, back, and chewing surfaces. Help them hold the toothbrush up and down and spend as much time on the backs as on the front. Plaque build-up behind the teeth and around orthodontic appliances can cause problems and gum disease. Show them how to spit the toothpaste out, and how to rinse their mouths and toothbrushes when they are finished. Just watching themselves in the mirror, laughing at their faces while they brush, can easily entertain kids for the full two minutes.


Tips to Make Brushing Fun


You are prepared and ready to go. Now, all that is left is learning how to make this process fun so your child will want to brush their teeth, not once, but twice a day. For two minutes at a time!


bodyMake it family brushing time. Set a timer and have everyone go into the bathroom together and start brushing. Make faces at each other in the mirror. Relax, kids are going to miss spots, but they will get them next time. Have everyone start on one side or area of the mouth, brush and move onto the next.

Your oral hygiene time can be a great learning experience for children who are learning to brush their teeth. Let them watch while you brush, and explain to them what you are doing and why. Show them pictures of what someone’s mouth looks like when they don’t receive regular oral care. Once you are finished brushing your teeth help them do their own!

Start your child’s bedtime story in the bathroom in the evening while they are brushing.

Offer your child incentives. Candy is probably not the best incentive for brushing their teeth. Gold stars, an extra five minutes of story time, a few minutes of play time, or getting to choose a movie once a week are a few ideas that will encourage your child.

Let your child choose a brushing app. These apps are designed to keep kids motivated and occupied for the length of time that the dentist recommends.

Younger children often resist brushing their teeth before breakfast. If time is not of the essence, allow them to wait, as long as they spend the full two minutes brushing after they have finished.

Use positive reinforcement regarding your child’s trips to the dentist, rather than threatening them with dire consequences if they don’t brush.

Healthy oral habits will become routine as your child grows. Your child’s oral hygiene habits become more important as children get older, especially if they require orthodontics. Properly caring for teeth while wearing braces and retainers is extremely important to prevent decay. At this stage, children are often old enough to want to take special care with their appearances but may need more frequent trips to the dentist for cleaning and adjustments.

Comfort: the Unspoken Advantage of Invisalign Aligners

Comfort: the Unspoken Advantage of Invisalign Aligners


By: Adrian Pierce

Invisalign® aligners represent the latest in dental technology for straightening crooked teeth using flexible, transparent plastic aligners instead of metal bands and wires. Invisalign aligners also correct overbites, underbites, narrow dental arches, and unattractive gaps between teeth. Made from a hypoallergenic, polyurethane compound, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible mouth trays custom-made from dental impressions taken by a dentist specializing in orthodontics.


Invisalign can reposition severely crooked teeth under the care of an experienced orthodontist.  The less experienced orthodontist may need to use braces to straighten extreme underbites and overbites. In most cases of severe underbites and overbites, the jaw may need to be shifted to fully correct abnormally positioned teeth. Invisalign can reposition the jaw with the aid of removable elastics.


Amazingly Comfortable, Amazingly Effective

Several sets of Invisalign aligners are developed from a patient’s dental impression. Each aligner is slightly different in regards to shape and amount of pressure affecting teeth that need to be moved. Every week, Invisalign patients wear a new aligner. Each new aligner provides different applications of forces generated by modified aligner dimensions. Patients experience gradual repositioning of teeth without the discomfort and inconvenience of metal braces.


No Soreness, No Gum Irritation, and No Bleeding

Invisalign aligners promote subtle movement of teeth but without the soreness of your lips and gums associated with braces. Also, the ability to remove Invisalign trays improve the level of oral hygiene practiced by people using these trays as opposed to braces glued to teeth. People wearing metal braces can suffer from embarrassing halitosis as well as staining and pitting of teeth that require further treatment following removal of glued-on brackets due to difficulties with oral hygiene.


Invisalign aligners can be easily inserted and removed. You do not ha


ve to visit your orthodontist every month for adjusting brackets and wires. Metal braces require regular adjustment to make teeth move into straighter positions. Soreness of the mouth following an adjustment is a common complaint of people wearing metal braces.


So Comfortable You Forget You are Wearing Invisalign Aligners

AdobeStock_154310138.jpegWorn 22 hours a day, Invisalign aligners move teeth into desired positions within six months to two years.  Also, you can discreetly remove Invisalign trays to eat or brush their teeth when out in public, so nobody will even know you are wearing them. And best of all, Invisalign is made from flexible materials that do not irritate gums or force teeth to reposition too quickly. Simple but powerfully effective, Invisalign trays slide easily over your teeth to give you a beautiful smile with straight teeth that you’ve always wanted.

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?


By Stacey Long
West Paces Ferry Orthodontics Clinical Manager

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Between the ages of 16 and 23, a young adult’s wisdom teeth begin to erupt behind their back molars. Some people only have one or two wisdom teeth emerge while others have all four wisdom teeth erupt. Wisdom teeth are extracted for a variety of reasons, such as impaction, infection, and overcrowding of teeth. In some cases, they do not need to be extracted but are removed by people who do not want to worry about future problems with their wisdom teeth.

Why Wisdom Teeth Should Be Extracted


In addition to impaction (a condition in which wisdom teeth cannot erupt because they are lying sideways in the gums), good reasons for having wisdom teeth removed include:


  • Damage to other teeth by pushing teeth into other teeth’s roots
  • Painful bite problems due to an uneven bite
  • Development of sinus issues, sinus pressure, and chronic congestion
  • Swelling and inflammation of gum tissue around wisdom teeth (swollen gums encourage cavities by forming pockets around teeth that attract bacteria)

If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or are negatively affecting your oral and general health, you should consider having them extracted.

Not All Wisdom Teeth Need To be Extracted

Why would a large percentage of people decide to have their wisdom teeth extracted? One reason involves the perception that all wisdom teeth need to be extracted eventually anyway. Some dentists encourage extraction of wisdom teeth by telling patients they would not have to deal with possible future problems with their wisdom teeth if they just had them removed.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is not without the risk of complications, however. If you have more than two wisdom teeth extracted, you will most likely be sedated during the procedure. General anesthesia makes some people sick to their stomach when they wake up. Also, you could suffer bleeding issues, post-extraction infections and a painful condition called “dry socket.” This happens when blood clots fail to form correctly in a wisdom tooth’s empty socket.

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

Man with a toothache. Pain in the human bodyAlthough wisdom teeth are all-too-routinely removed, deciding whether extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary should involve a trip to your dentist for a complete examination of your wisdom teeth and an informed discussion with your dentist. You should also be aware that certain wisdom teeth myths may influence your decision in the wrong way. Some of the myths include:

  • It is easier on you physically if you have wisdom teeth removed as a young adult. Wrong & Right. You can experience the same complications as a teenager or young adult as you could as an older adult.  That said, the bone around wisdom teeth gets denser as we age making the process more uncomfortable as we get older
  • Leaving wisdom teeth in will force your front teeth to shift and become crooked. Wrong. As experts in orthodontics, we know that wisdom teeth do not crowd teeth, and should not affect the position of your other teeth at all.  They can damage other teeth, but only those teeth they are directly in contact with while growing in
  • Wisdom teeth increase the risk of oral disease. Wrong. Just because wisdom teeth are in the back of your mouth does not mean you cannot reach them with your toothbrush. If the wisdom tooth has partially broken through the gums but still remains partially covered this can be a cause for concern.  Making sure you see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning will also reduce your risk of cavities and gingivitis.

Have you had your wisdom teeth extracted? Have you chosen to keep your wisdom teeth? We are interested in hearing your stories about the pros, cons, and in-betweens of wisdom tooth extraction.  Share in the comments!

Tips For Dealing With Atlanta’s Crazy Pollen

Tips For Dealing With Atlanta’s Crazy Pollen


By Kenny Hackett

pollen_illustrationPollen allergy symptoms emerge when your immune system thinks pollen particulates are harmful invaders, causing the immune system to actually begin attacking your own body. Inhaling irritants such as pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander and other allergens provokes your immune system to release antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). When your immune system floods your body with IgE antibodies, you start suffering classic symptoms of a pollen allergy–sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and wheezing.


To confirm a pollen allergy, your doctor may order blood tests that measure IgE levels or a complete blood count test that determines whether elevated levels of white blood cells exist. Doctors also dissolve and drop tiny amounts of a suspected allergen into your lower eyelid to see how your immune system reacts. Dealing with high pollen counts in Atlanta to help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms is time-consuming but doable. Of course, the fastest way to achieve temporary relief is to take over-the-counter allergy medicines called antihistamines to eliminate histamine (the chemical causing your runny nose and itchy eyes) from your bloodstream.

These tips for decreasing pollen counts in your home can provide long-term relief to make living in Atlanta during spring and summer much more comfortable for pollen allergy sufferers.

Take Control of Your Pollen Allergy in Atlanta

  1. Cover pillows, box springs, and mattresses with pollen-proof fabric covers that have a mean pore size of fewer than 10 microns. Plastic sheets also work well but many people find them uncomfortable and hot. However, they clean easily and can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms.
  1. Clean household surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. It is natural and won’t induce allergy symptoms. If you do not like the smell of vinegar, a few drops of lemon juice will eliminate the vinegar smell.
  1. Place an air filter and dehumidifier in your bedroom after cleaning. Pollen and mold spores thrive in humidity.
  1. If you have blinds in your home, replace them with washable curtains or washable, moisture-resistant roller blinds.
  1. Wallpaper is notorious for attracting and harboring allergens. Consider removing wallpaper and replacing it with tile or a professional paint job.
  1. Vacuum fabric upholstery once a week using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
  1. Wear a paper mask when going outdoors, especially on windy days and during times of high pollen counts. You can get cheap “painter’s masks” at your local hardware store.
  1. Vacuum and shampoo living room carpets more frequently than you shampoo bedroom carpets since the living room is often the recipient of air rushing in through an open door.
  1. Use a Swiffer mop to wipe down kitchen walls and ceilings once a week. Additionally, change the cloth twice while cleaning walls and ceilings. Kitchen humidity attracts allergens that cling to walls and ceilings more readily than any other room except the bathroom.
  1. Invest in air purifiers, whole house filters, ionizers and dehumidifiers to reduce allergen content in your home. Ionizers work to inhibit the movement of allergens by altering the air’s electrical charge.


Finally, if your home is surrounded by trees, bushes and wildflowers, consider hiring a lawn maintenance company to remove wood-bearing plants or problematic land areas and replace them with decorative stones or AstroTurf to help relieve pollen allergy symptoms.

Balloon Sinuplasty for Atlanta’s Pollen Allergy Sufferers?

Insertion of a balloon sinuplasty device is a simple procedure involving the introduction of a tiny balloon catheter into sinus passageways. Inflation of this balloon opens your swelled passageways painlessly while a gradual restructuring of the sinus area takes place. Restoration of normal sinus functioning begins almost immediately, without harming the anatomical integrity of nasal passages.

Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, eases the uncomfortable swelling, itching, and burning of sinus passages so that you can breathe freely again and may reduce or eliminate your need to use nasal sprays or allergy medications that cause drowsiness.

Allergies & Orthodontics

Allergies can cause long-term skeletal issues for children that continue into adulthood without orthodontic intervention.  Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose at night can cause the upper jaw to form abnormally.  This can cause your child to have crossbites or even worse an overbite.  If caught at an early age, around 7 years old, an orthodontist can gently guide the upper jaw to grow into the correct position.  Without orthodontic intervention, many of these patients would require major jaw surgery to correct these issues.

For more health-related tips, please visit our website’s blog section today.

The Atlanta History Center

The Atlanta History Center


By Kenny Hackett

Are you looking for something to do that is family friendly, or would you like to learn more about the city we call home?  If so, the Atlanta History Center is a great destination!  The Atlanta History Center is open Mondays through Saturdays 10am to 5:30pm and Sundays 12pm to 5:30pm.  Adult tickets are $21.50  for ages 4-12, tickets are $9.  Student tickets for students ages 13 and older are $18.  The admission cost also includes admission to the historic Swan House, The Smith Family Farm, and The Marget Mitchell House.


The Atlanta History Center’s Main Entrance.

The Atlanta History Center is located on 33 acres in Buckhead. The Center features several exhibits in the main museum. The Center also features several historic homes and beautiful gardens.  Founded as The Atlanta Historical Society in 1926, the society’s mission was to preserve the City of Atlanta’s history After decades of collecting and preserving Atlanta’s history the Society, and it’s holdings, became The Atlanta History Center in 1990


The main lobby.


A steam engine in the lobby.


An Atlanta veterans WWI uniform with a standard-issue gas mask.


Flags of the Civil War.


A common campsite for soldiers during the Civil War.


A statue of a Confederate Soldier.


The Civil War had more US casualties than any other war.


Not Everything in the Museum is about war, The Bobby Jones exhibit offers a positive view of a famous Atlanta native!


Some of Mr. Jones’s trophies.


A statue of golf great and Atlanta native Bobby Jones.


The Swan House and other historical homes are also included with your admission.













Back To School Tips For Orthodontic Patients

Back To School Tips For Orthodontic Patients

School has returned! Summer is coming to an end, fall sports are gearing up, and all the children are headed back to school. At West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, Atlanta’s top provider of Invisalign, our Orthodontists, Dr. Paul Yurfest & Dr. Kristin Huber, want to offer a few helpful tips for going back to school with braces or Invisalign® aligners!

Beautiful Teenage Woman Brushing TeethMake sure to follow the 2×2 brushing rule: brush your teeth for TWO minutes, TWO times each day! Proper brushing will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which leads to quicker appointments and healthier teeth. If you want to brush after lunch, keep the travel toothbrush we gave you in your backpack. Brush your braces!

Bring a water bottle to school. Drinking water throughout the day helps to keep your mouth clean, fight cavities and tooth decay. Sugary drinks increase your chance for cavities, so stick with water, and you cannot go wrong!

Keep an extra pack of elastics in your backpack. If you have a locker, it is wise to store some extra rubber bands in there too. Remember that those elastics help move teeth, so not wearing them consistently will result in longer treatment times!

We know you have to eat well to perform well in the classroom. Always eat smart at every meal! Avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, or chewy to prevent bending wires or knocking off brackets. Damage to your braces can cause discomfort and lengthen your treatment time. Good breakfast foods for children with braces include yogurt, fruit smoothies, and eggs.

Check out your lunch menu every week to make sure something is offered each day that you like and can eat with braces. We recommend cooked vegetables, softer foods like spaghetti,AdobeStock_132329952.jpeg macaroni and cheese, and lean cuts of meat. Avoid chips, soft drinks, and sports drinks. Pack your lunch and take it with you if the choices are not right for you.

Bananas make a great snack. They are high in potassium and fiber which promotes heart and bone health. If you like hard fruits such as apples or pears, you must cut them into pieces before you leave for school and chew them with your back teeth. Biting into hard fruits can damage your braces.

If you are wearing Invisalign aligners, it is critical to have them on for at least 22 hours a day.  The good news is you can do almost all of your normal activities while wearing your trays!  Drinking sugar-free beverages and eating light snacks does not require you to remove your aligners!  Whenever you brush your teeth, you should also clean your aligners.

Good luck in the upcoming school year and remember to care for your teeth and braces every day properly! Contact West Paces Ferry Orthodontics in Atlanta, Georgia with any questions or to schedule an initial complimentary consultation!PY_Huber.png




Back To School Traffic Saftey Tips

Back To School Traffic Saftey Tips


By Kenny Hackett

The end of summer is upon us.  With the return of school comes something dark and evil, Metro Atlanta school traffic!  Traffic is never particularly kind in metro Atlanta, but the return of school can make it a nightmare.   Not only is the additional traffic annoying, but it can be dangerous for our children if safety is not observed more carefully.  With this in mind, we would like to share some tips from the National Safety Council to help everyone be as safe as possible.

When Dropping Off the Children

Make sure to go over your local schools drop off procedures before taking your child to school!  Being prepared not only will increase efficiency and reduce traffic backups but will ensure the process is as safe as possible for the students!   School zones have the highest number of incidents involving children and motor vehicles.

  • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

AdobeStock_158932701.jpegMost children who lose their lives in school bus related incidents are walking and between the age of 4 to 7 years old according to the NSC.  There is a danger of them being hit by the bus or a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.  These are some things that can make it safer for the kids!

  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

btst_busIf you are driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you are on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

btst_bikeOn most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually, they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of the collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door


I hope these tips help us all keep the kids safe as they return to school.  I tried to find some advice for avoiding traffic in Atlanta, but google just laughed at me.  Feel free to share any tips you have in the comments.






Orthodontic Treatments For Sleep Apnea

Orthodontic Treatments For Sleep Apnea


By: Kenny Hackett

When breathing is periodically blocked during sleep you may be suffering from a common condition called obstructive sleep apnea; several conditions may be causing the airway to narrow enough to restrict airflow during sleep. West Paces Ferry Orthodontics specializes in sleep apnea orthodontics, a unique field of dentistry that treats sleep apnea. With custom-fitted dental appliances, your Atlanta orthodontists Dr. Kristin Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest, prevent soft throat tissues from falling back into your throat and interrupting breathing during sleep.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts normal breathing patterns when airways obstruct airflow during sleep. OSA occurs when your anterior throat tissues relax so much they collapse into the airway soon after you fall asleep. Other possible causes of sleep apnea include having larger than normal tonsils, a large tongue, abnormally narrow airways or being overweight.

Man suffering from sleep apnea
Man sleeping with CPAC mask

When you are overweight, excess tissues may thicken your windpipe wall and restrict breathing. Cognitive issues associated with aging may also contribute
to the development of obstructive sleep apnea when your brain’s ability to process sleep signals decreases and your throat muscles do not remain stiff enough during sleep.

Finally, obstructive sleep apnea is often caused by your lower jaw being shorter than your upper jaw (retrognathia). Orthodontists will also measure tonsil and adenoid size to determine whether they may be contributing to airway blockage.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

In addition to experiencing unusual daytime fatigue, signs of possible sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring loudly enough that you abruptly awaken yourself throughout the night
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Feeling depressed and irritable for no reason
  • Having a parched mouth in the morning
  • Gaining weight even though your level of physical activity hasn’t changed (daytime tiredness leads to increased appetite)
  • Having elevated blood pressure when you do not have a previous history of hypertension

How Orthodontists Treat Sleep Apnea

An Orthodontic Sleep Apnea Appliance.

Your Atlanta orthodontist, Dr. Yurfest & Huber specialize in treating sleep apnea using customized dental appliances that prevent the tongue and/or throat tissues from falling back into the airway and interrupting breathing.

Acrylic dental devices designed by your Atlanta orthodontists can help restore normal positioning of your lower jaw or work as a tongue retention appliance to prevent the tongue from falling over the airway during sleep. By holding your lower jaw in a more forward position, a dental sleep apnea appliance prevents tissue collapse, significantly reduces snoring and improves the flow of air through your airway during sleep.

Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Since sleep apnea causes extremely loud snoring, inhibits breathing and forces you to gasp for air during sleep, untreated sleep apnea will significantly reduce the amount of sleep you get. When you don’t get good enough, sound sleep night after night, severe health problems often develop, such as

Diabetes–daytime fatigue leads to cravings for high sugar, high carb foods that may induce insulin resistance, weight gain, and development of diabetes

Hypertension/Heart problems–sudden decreases in blood oxygen levels due to obstructed airways strain your cardiovascular system, elevate blood pressure and raise the risk of atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rhythms.

Metabolic syndrome–a constellation of risk factors associated with heart disease, metabolic syndrome includes high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol and expanding waist circumference.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease–Research shows that people w
ith untreated sleep apnea could present abnormal liver function test results indicating scarring and defective liver cell activity.

If you think you have sleep apnea or wish to get rid of your CPAP mask, call your Atlanta
orthodontists, West Paces Ferry Orthodontics,  today to learn more about the benefits of sleep apnea orthodontics.

Dr. Kristin L Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.
Why Choose a Top 1% Invisalign® Provider?

Why Choose a Top 1% Invisalign® Provider?

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you when they meet you. Crooked, poorly spaced teeth can not only affect that first impression but can also impact your self-confidence. Invisalign® clear aligners help straighten your teeth without your having to deal with uncomfortable, noticeable, difficult-to-maintain metal braces.


Finding an orthodontist who is experienced with Invisalign therapy is important.  Invisalign Aligners only work at their best when guided by an experienced orthodontist.

Drs. Yurfest & Huber accepting their Life Time Achievement award from Align Technology CEO Joe Hogan.

The most experienced providers are designated as Top 1% providers.  These providers are the most experienced Invisalign providers in the world, and there are less than 100 of them in practice.  These Top 1% providers are given access to the newest and most advanced technology used in the Invisalign process.  Drs. Yurfest and Huber are two such providers. Together, they have treated more than 4,000 patients using these products, and their practice is frequently asked by the company to test new Invisalign products and techniques. They were even instrumental in the switch from a two-week wear protocol with Invisalign to the current one-week wear protocol.





About Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign aligners fit snugly over your teeth gently guiding your teeth to their desired positions. The aligners allow each tooth to be manipulated individually, helping to create a perfect smile and healthy bite. You will wear these aligners for most of the day and sleep in them. However, unlike traditional braces, they can easily be removed for cleaning and so that you can brush your teeth thoroughly. You can also remove your aligners when you eat.


The iTero Digital Scanner at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

During your initial appointment, our staff will make a digital 3D model of your teeth that will be used to create your first set of aligners. You will have follow-up appointments so that we can track your process. Once this set of aligners is complete, you will be scanned again for a second set of aligners. You will start out replacing your aligners with a new set every week so that a constant pressure is kept on your teeth as they move into their new positions.



At the end of the treatment, which can last between 12 and 24 months, patients transition to wearing a retainer. This retainer keeps teeth in their new position and prevents them from shifting back to their previous location.

Benefits of using Invisalign aligners

Invisalign aligners give patients all the benefits of traditional braces without having to endure heavy metal bands around your teeth for months or years. Also, Invisalign aligners also offer these benefits:

Appearance. Invisalign aligners are clear and fit tightly over your existing teeth. Most people will not even notice that you are wearing them.

Easy care. Since Invisalign aligners are removed for brushing, you do not have to worry about food getting trapped in them as can happen with traditional braces. You simply brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.

Easy monitoring. Invisalign aligners also make it easy to see how your smile is improving at every step in the process. You do not have to wait until the end of the treatment to see the result.

Comfort. With Invisalign aligners, there are no sharp edges or wires to cut your mouth.

About our practice

Dr. Yurfest and Dr. Huber have been helping Atlanta residents perfect their smiles for more than 40 years.  They have treated more patients with Invisalign than any other orthodontist in the Atlanta area.  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics was the first office in the world to treat adults, so you know that they have the experience to successfully treat you and your family.

To learn more about Invisalign and to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation, call their office today at (404) 262-2212 or visit wportho.com!