Tag: dental

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.
Can Straightening Your Teeth Improve Your Posture?

Can Straightening Your Teeth Improve Your Posture?


Kenny Hackett, Communications Director – West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

By: Kenny Hackett, Communications Director


There are many obvious benefits of straight teeth.  Better chewing, a more esthetic smile, and better oral hygiene are well-known benefits of properly aligned teeth.   A new study from both the University Barcelona in Spain and the University of Innsbruck in Austria show that our posture and balance are also affected by the relationship of our upper and lower jaws while biting.  The alignment of our jaws when we bite is called our occlusion.  When there is a misalignment of the occlusion, it is known as a malocclusion.

Sonia Julia, a researcher from the University of Barcelona, states ” Postural control is the result of a complex system that includes different sensory and motor elements arising from visual, somatosensory — denoting a sensation such as pressure, pain, or warmth — and vestibular information — regarding motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation.  Malocclusion has also been associated with different motor and physiological alterations, especially when people were fatigued.  But postural control was shown to improve — both in static and dynamic equilibrium — when different malocclusions are corrected by positioning the jaw in a neutral position.”

She continued “This relationship can play a crucial role in athletes in how well they ultimately perform as well as in the prevention of injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures caused by unexpected instability as fatigue increases and motor control capacity decreases.”

Picture courtesy of CBC News.
Picture courtesy of CBC News.

“Therefore, it would be helpful for both the general population and athletes to consider correcting dental occlusions to improve postural control and thus prevent possible falls and instability due to a lack of motor system response,” she concluded.

Orthodontists specialize in the occlusion and correcting malocclusions.  If you feel like your bite may be misaligned you should schedule a complimentary consultation with experts such as Dr. Paul Yurfest and Dr. Kristin Huber of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

The iTero Element Laser Scanner

The iTero Element Laser Scanner

New technology at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

By: Kenny Hackett

The iTero Element is the newest piece of technology at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  It is a digital laser scanner used to provide Invisalign with an accurate model of the mouth.  The machine uses laser light to read the surface of the teeth and then recreates a virtual model of these teeth.

Orthodontic Technician Michele scanning a patient for Invisalign with the iTero Element.
Orthodontic Technician Michele scanning a patient for Invisalign with the iTero Element.

“As of March 2016, iTero scans have been used in more than 2.7 million iTero orthodontic scans, including more than 1 million Invisalign® scans.”According to the iTero website.  The scanner is more accurate than the older model and the scans also take half the time.

For a patient, this means getting in and out faster and having a lower chance of needing a second scan.  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics was so impressed with how much the machines improved the patient experience that we bought two of them!  Visit Westpacesferrryortho.com to request an appointment today and experience the latest technology available to orthodontic patients!


Why I love to volunteer

Why I love to volunteer


By: Paul Yurfest, DDS
I have been in Orthodontic practice over the last 41 years and have had a lot of time to help people while doing what I like to do.

I provide free orthodontics to families who have no means to pay for the service. It’s a lot of fun! I have been doing
ing that since 1975 at the Ben Massell Free Dental Clinic in downtown Atlanta. As part of the JFC&S and United Way organizations, the clinic helps many varied members of the Atlanta community. Helping people is rewarding!

Photo Courtesy of The Ben Masell Dental Clinic.
Photo Courtesy of The Ben Masell Dental Clinic.

Getting into an activity other than Orthodontics has great appeal to me as well. I love gardening, and I love helping people! When I decided to become a Georgia Master Gardener, I did not know I would be combining both gardening and volunteering together!

The Georgia Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Georgia has an office in many of Georgia’s counties. This office is where homeowners or businesses can contact an agent to have questions related to gardening answered.

Photo courtesy of The Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program.

As a Master Gardener, I volunteer there to answer the questions of many homeowners related to their lawns and gardens. Also, I help teach gardening at Farm Chastain, a small farm in the center of the North Fulton Course at Chastain Park!

The doctors and staff of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics are involved in many types of volunteer activities-  all to help make Atlanta a better place!

If you are thinking of volunteering or are currently volunteering,  share your thoughts in the comments!

Make Your Teeth Whitening Gel Work Better!

Make Your Teeth Whitening Gel Work Better!

Make any brand of whitening gel work better with this easy method

kennyblogprofileBy:  Kenny Hackett

Whitening our teeth has become the norm in America.   According to NBC News, “Teeth whitening is the No. 1 requested cosmetic service today and its popularity continues to soar“.  The popularity of this service has lead to the dental product industry developing stronger and safer gels over time.   Even though these materials are improving, there is still a simple trick you can use to make any bleach more effective.

Picture courtesy of Beyonddiseas.com

For this easy to do trick, you need baking soda, a q-tip, and just a little bit of effort.  Take the baking soda and add just enough water to create a paste.  Then use your q-tip to buff the front of your teeth.  You have to use a q-tip because a brush’s bristles are too flexible.  What you have done is buffed off the bio-film that lives on the surface of your teeth.  This film comes back in approximately 30 minutes, so it is very important to place your tray with the gel on immediately.


Have you been given any helpful tips by the staff of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics? If so, share them in the comments below.




JAmieblogprofilepic.jpgBy:  Jamie Perez

There are many benefits to being a bi-lingual speaker. It especially helps when you are at your workplace.  The United States of America consist of people from many countries. Spanish is the second most common language after English.  Sometimes we come across situations in which a person only speaks Spanish. What do you do? Having someone in the office that speaks Spanish is great. Our patient can communicate in their native language.  This natural communication ensures no details will be missed with the mindset of “I just did not understand!”  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics’s Spanish-speaking patients will be more comfortable.  It is also nice to have a variety in our office. Working with people of different cultures and diversities is wonderful. How do you feel when you go into an office and see a range of staff from different countries and parts of the U.S?  If you are a Spanish speaker, how do you feel when you know that there is someone in an office that speaks Spanish? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Flossing Is Important!


By: Kristin Huber DMDhubertitle

If the media reported there is no proof you needed to wash your hands would you believe it?  Would you never pick up a bar of soap again?  Of course not!  Recently an article was published that flossing doesn’t have any benefit. As a dental professional, this is mind-blowing. There is no doubt that the mechanical removal of plaque is essential to healthy gums. Plaque is bacteria that builds up on the teeth daily. If not removed, it will cause inflammation and infection of the surrounding tissues. Brushing alone cannot remove all the plaque. Plaque builds up in between the teeth as well, and only dental floss can remove it.

If you have any doubt of the effectiveness of flossing, take a day or two off.  When you floss again,  inspect some bacteria that has built up that you can remove with floss. Better yet, smell it!  Do you want to leave all that bacteria behind in your mouth?

The Hottest Event of the Summer!

The Hottest Event of the Summer!

By: Dr. Kristin L. Huber

As summer is winding down, Atlanta’s party scene is heating up! One of the best parties of the summer is the Summer Sizzle that benefits Children’s Healthcare Of AtlantaWest Paces Ferry Orthodontics is proud to be sponsoring this amazing event.  Dr. Huber and Dr. Yurfest have been affiliated with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for many years.  Dr. Yurfest has been a part of the staff for over 20 years.  Dr. Huber is a member of the craniofacial and cleft palate team.  She is also active in her local FRIENDS group.  FRIENDS is the community volunteer organization of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  They raise millions of dollars each year on behalf of Children’s Healthcare.


This year’s summer send-off party will take place on Friday, August 26th, 2016. The event starts at 8 p.m. and will last until 12 a.m. at the chic Summerour Studios in midtown.  Planners expect more than 400 Atlantans will attend and show their support for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Guests will enjoy catering by Epting Events, summer cocktails, and music by Anita, a Motown band. There will also be an exciting silent auction, featuring rare art and travel deals.  So, put on your summer whites and we will see you there!

10 Things Parents Should Know About Invisalign Teen

10 Things Parents Should Know About Invisalign Teen

As the nation’s leading Invisalign provider, West Paces Ferry Orthodontics understands making the best choice for your teen’s dental health can be daunting with all the choices at your disposal.  Invisalign Teen is a great option for straightening your teen’s teeth and correcting an unhealthy bite.  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, in Buckhead Georgia, qualifies 99% of teens as  Invisalign Teen patients… even if they have been told they don’t qualify at other orthodontic practices.  There are many misconceptions about Invisalign Teen so we are sharing 10 facts every parent should know, before deciding whether braces or Invisalign Teen is the best choice for their teen!




Invisalign Teen is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teen’s teeth without the restrictions that come with metal braces. invisaligntray Rather than wires and brackets, Invisalign® uses a series of clear, removable aligners that have been custom-made for your teen’s teeth. Your teen simply wears them over their teeth and changes them out for a new set of aligners every  week. Your teen’s teeth gradually shift into place, achieving that confident smile.



Yes. When worn according to the recommendations of Dr. Yurfest and Dr. Huber, Invisalign Teen is as effective as traditional braces. Invisalign can effectively treat mild to severe cases, including underbite, overbite, overcrowding and gaps between teeth. Your teen will be a great candidate for Invisalign, as 99% of Teens qualify at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics offers complimentary consultations, and is conveniently located in Buckhead Georgia.




If you’ve had braces yourself, you already know the issues associated with metal wires and brackets – aggravated lips, food restrictions, and difficulty brushing.  With Invisalign, the aligners are removable, so your teen can play sports without the worry of being hit in the mouth by a ball, which can cause real damage in braces. softballsmall_HRThey can also continue playing musical instruments properly, without braces getting in the way. With braces, there is a long list of foods your teen shouldn’t eat, from popcorn to apples and raw carrots. With Invisalign, there are no such restrictions. The removable aligners make it easy to brush and floss normally to maintain proper oral hygiene.



Research shows that moms underestimate the extent to which teens feel self-conscious about crooked teeth, and using braces as a solution can often make this lack of confidence even worse. But with Invisalign Teen, no one needs to know your teen is straightening their teeth, removing a potential source of real anxiety for them and giving them the confidence to be themselves in front of everyone.



As the nation’s leading Invisalign provider West Paces Ferry Orthodontics is able to qualify 99% of teens for Invisalign Teen treatment.  Invisalign can be used for teens who have erupting teeth — this includes most teenagers. Dr. Yurfest and Dr. Huber will evaluate your teen’s specific dental issues to plan the best treatment for your teen. To see a comparison of experience, log on to Invisalign – Find A Doctor .  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics is the Top provider based on experience.  Your teen will thank you for making that extra effort!



The average treatment time is about the same as with traditional braces, but the actual length of your teen’s treatment depends on the severity of their condition and can only be determined by Dr. Yurfest or Dr. HuberWest Paces Ferry Orthodontics offers multiple Accelerated Orthodontic treatments that work in conjunction with Invisalign Teen that can cut most treatment times in half!



Invisalign Teen costs about the same as traditional braces. Check your dental insurance plan—orthodontic treatment with Invisalign Teen is covered by many dental insurance policies. West Paces Ferry Orthodontics offers flexible and affordable monthly payment plans as well as complimentary consultations.



Invisalign Teen is most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day. West Paces Ferry Orthodontic’s data show that teens wear their aligners on average for just under 21 hours per day, exactly as recommended and better than adults.  Plus, Invisalign Teen has a built-in assurance check; each aligner has blue indicators that fade over time when used as directed, so Dr. Yurfest & Dr. Huber can track compliance.2girls-phone_HR.jpg


Not to worry—Invisalign Teen offers six replacement aligners for free! In the event that an aligner is lost, you should inform a West Paces Ferry Orthodontics representative right away.



Invisalign Teen often requires less time with your orthodontist than traditional braces do. There are no adjustments to make, no broken wires to fix. After the initial appointment, follow-up appointments are usually scheduled periodically.

Request An Appointment For  a Complimentary Consultation!

Appointment Request

Parents, Learn More About Invisalign Teen.

Learn More About Invisalign and invisalign Teen

Invisalign Teen vs. Braces Treatment Comparison Chart

Invisalign Teen Compare Chart




How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

Good oral hygiene is not just for a whiter smile and fresher breath, it’s important for your overall health.[1]  Brushing your teeth removes plaque—a thin film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth and will cause cavities, gum disease, and if you ignore it long enough, will cause your teeth to fall out! Bad breath affects how people want to be near us.[2] You know why to brush, but if you would like to learn how to brush your teeth effectively, these suggestions will help.

Use A Good Toothbrush

Choose a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. This will effectively remove plaque and debris from your teeth, without irritating the gums or eroding tooth enamel like hard bristled brushes can do when used with sideways action. The toothbrush should also fit comfortably in your hand, and have a head small enough to easily reach all of your teeth, especially the ones at the back. If you have difficulty fitting the toothbrush into your mouth, it is probably too big.[3]

  • Electric toothbrushes are a great choice. However, you can do a good job with a manual toothbrush — it’s all in the technique.
  • You should definitely avoid toothbrushes with “natural” bristles made from animal hair as these can harbor bacteria and are hard.


Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

The bristles will wear out over time, losing their flexibility and effectiveness. You should purchase a new toothbrush every year, or as soon as the bristles start to splay out and lose their shape. Visual inspection of the toothbrush is more important than the actual timeline.

  • Researchers have established that thousands of microbes grow on toothbrush bristles and handles if stored improperly.[4]
  • Always rinse your brush after using it, and store it upright and uncovered so that it can dry before your next use. Otherwise bacteria will grow.[5]


Use A Fluoride Toothpaste

It not only helps remove plaque, it also helps strengthen tooth enamel.[6] However, it’s important to note that fluoride toothpaste is not to be swallowed. It should not be used for children under the age of 3.[7]

You can get toothpastes to target a wide variety of dental and gum problems, including cavities, tartar, sensitive teeth and gums, gingivitis and stained teeth. Choose the one that suits your best or ask your dentist or hygienist for advice.[8]


Use A Small Amount Of Toothpaste

Squeeze only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Applying too much toothpaste can cause to much foam to form, tempting you to spit and finish too early. Plus, it increases the risk of you ingesting more fluoride-filled toothpaste. [9]


  • If brushing is painful, try brushing more gently with accurate up/down motion only or switch to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.
  • Set your bristles at the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Gently brush with a short, vertical or circular motion. Bite your teeth together as you brush and brush the gum line. Don’t brush across your teeth.[10]
  • Spend three minutes brushing. Brushing just a few teeth at a time, work your way around your mouth in a cycle (start outside lower left round to outside lower right then outside upper right to upper left, change to inside uppers before inside upper right ,inside lower right, finally inside lower left). Be sure that you get every tooth, spending about 10 seconds in each spot. If it helps, you can divide your mouth into quadrants: top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right.
  • If you get bored, try brushing your teeth while watching television or hum a song to yourself while you brush. Brushing your teeth for the duration of an entire song will ensure that you brush thoroughly!


Brush Your Molars

Position the toothbrush so that the bristles are resting on top of your bottom molars. Work the toothbrush in an in-and-out motion, and move from the back of your mouth to the front. Repeat on the other side of your mouth. When the bottom teeth are clean, flip the toothbrush over and work on the top molars. To access outside top molars always swing the lower jaw to the side you are working on. This will increase the space available to move your brush up and down by several times so that no sideways motion occurs .


Brush The Inner Surfaces Of Your Teeth

Tip the toothbrush so that the head of the toothbrush is pointing towards your gum line, and brush each tooth. Dentists report that the most commonly skipped area is the inside of the lower front teeth, so be sure not to forget those or other areas hard to reach![11]


Gently Brush Your Tongue

After you’ve cleaned your teeth, use the bristles of your toothbrush to gently clean your tongue. (Don’t press too hard, or you’ll damage the tissue.) This helps keep bad breath away and gets rid of bacteria on your tongue.


Rinse Out Your Mouth

If you choose to rinse after brushing, take a sip of water. Swish it around your mouth, and spit it out.

  • Note that there is some debate on whether or not this is recommended. While some feel that it reduces the efficacy of the topical fluoride treatment, others wish to ensure that no fluoride is ingested. There are also those who just don’t like having toothpaste in their mouths! If you’re at a high risk of getting cavities, it may be beneficial not to rinse, or rinse with just a small amount of water—effectively creating a fluoride mouthwash.[12]
  • Other studies have shown that rinsing after brushing has no significant impact on the effectiveness of brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.[13]


Rinse Your Toothbrush

Hold your toothbrush under running water for a few seconds to remove any bacteria from the brush. If you don’t rinse the toothbrush properly, you can actually introduce old bacteria into your mouth the next time you use it. Rinsing also removes any leftover toothpaste. Place your toothbrush somewhere where it will easily dry out.

Finish with a fluoride-based mouthwash (Optional). Take a small sip of mouthwash, swish it in your mouth for about 30 seconds, and spit it out. Be careful not to swallow any.


Remember to brush at least twice a day. Most dentists recommend that you brush at least twice a day — once in the morning and once before bed (this is the most important time to brush). If you can fit in a third time somewhere in the middle, even better!   Remember to brush at a 45° angle as this helps remove plaque and food/drink particles on your teeth better than if you did it normally. You should also try to avoid snacking on sticky candy between meals as much as possible, as this results in more food debris and bacteria building up in the mouth.





  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20100527/brushing-teeth-may-keep-heart-disease-away
  2. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=b&iid=291&aid=1134
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-10/brushing-teeth-mistakes
  4. http://www.adha.org/oralhealth/brushing.htm
  5. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00003
  6. http://www.ada.org/1322.aspx
  7. http://www.fluoridealert.org/issues/dental-products/toothpastes/
  8. http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Oral-Hygiene/Brushing-and-Flossing/article/How-to-Brush.cvsp
  9. http://blog.juliegillisdds.com/?p=47
  10. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-10/brushing-teeth-mistakes?page=2
  11. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-10/brushing-teeth-mistakes?page=2
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8281561
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12399689
  14. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/brushing-your-teeth/AN02098
  15. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-10/brushing-teeth-mistakes?page=1