Help us welcome Kristen!

Ellis Orthodontics is pleased to welcome Kristen to our staff.  Kristen has many years of experience in orthodontics and will lend a hand as both Dr. Ellis's chairside assistant and new patient coordinator.  Dr. Ellis is thrilled to have such an experienced, friendly person join the Ellis Orthodontics team.  Our mission is to provide exceptional orthodontic care to our patients.  The hard work of our valued staff make that mission possible.  

Summertime Smiles

We have been super busy at Ellis Orthodontics this summer creating healthy, beautiful smiles.  It has been a lot of fun seeing my cute, braced up patients around the neighborhood, at the pool and in the office.  If you have been thinking about improving your smile through orthodontic treatment, summer is a great time to start!

Is maintaining your dental health possible on a budget?

I am posting this because it has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  The business person side of me understands (all too well) the importance of business cash flow from billable care but the health care provider side of me knows that some people just can't afford the cost of care at the prices we have in Dallas.  My schizophrenic dental personality is well represented in the raucous public discussion over our healthcare system.  One side calls for universal "free" healthcare while the other demands a  free market marketplace.

It is a privilege to work with good people who value their oral health to the point that they are willing to sacrifice other things for the sake of their teeth.  Dentists have spent many decades working to increase what we call the dental IQ - basically understanding the importance of good oral health - of the general public, only to reach the point that our high dental IQ patients fear that they cannot afford what they know they need to do.  

Prevention is always the best way to keep your dental costs down.  Establish good dental hygiene practices early and your teeth will benefit.

 Below you will find my do's and don't list of how to maintain your dental health without breaking the bank.

DO:  Brush after eating and before bed.  Floss.  Practice prevention by establishing a relationship with a dentist and see that same dentist every 6 months or more often if recommended.  Address problem areas in your mouth before they become bigger problems.  Wear a mouthguard for sports where your teeth are at risk.  Use Fluoride toothpaste.  Obtain orthodontic treatment if the position or fit of your teeth causes you problems with cleaning and/or chewing.  Reduce stress.  Life a healthy lifestyle.

DO NOT:  Smoke. Use chewing tobacco.  Eat or drink sugary foods in between meals.  Go to bed without brushing your teeth.  Visit the dentist only when a problem comes up.  See a different dentist every time you see the dentist.  Ignore dental pain.  

Your oral health often is a reflection of your overall health.  Take care of your body and it will save you big bucks in the long run.

Straightening teeth, running a business and blogging some thoughts, oh my!

In the post, I am going to blog a little about what it is like to be a business owner, particularly an owner / operator of a start up orthodontic office in an established (and awesome!) area of Dallas.  After opening Ellis Orthodontics in the Fall of 2015, I have been surprised at how many people are intrigued and curious about my experience "sticking it to the man", also known as becoming self employed.  So this blog is here for posterity, and to encourage others who may be considering or doing the same thing.

First of all, my experience with business ownership runs to all ends of the spectrum of feelings.  It is fun and exciting one day, and anxiety provoking and frustrating the next.  As a start up office, the anxiety provoking days are many, but the fun, exciting and rewarding days increase with time.  I believe that I feel a greater thrill with each success of my new business that those felt by seasoned business-people.  I suppose this is much like the way it is thrilling to see a baby take their first steps, but hardly a second thought to watch a 10 year old run down the sidewalk to visit a friend.  The newness of each success stands as proof that my business is making that slow but steady progression towards maturity.  In order to enjoy each success, I have come to realize that it is best to look at my practice and it's growth as an adventure and a project, not as a business plan.  While the plan is important, if I only judge my office on whether or not I meet a metric, that takes all the fun out of it.

 I've also come to realize that being a business owner is not something that is just one part of who I am, it has profoundly effected all of who I am.  Let me explain....because this sounds a little crazy and I don't what to leave any reader with the impression that business ownership will diminish the other areas of life like family, community, spiritual, etc.  Rather, as a business owner, I see things differently now, and consequently I participate differently and think differently in settings outside of my office.  For example, I have become much more patient with the struggles others are going through, as I have a very real knowledge of just how difficult and challenging and scary life can be at times.  Of course we all KNOW these things, but that knowledge is with me quite acutely now, as opposed to buried somewhat deep in my memory. 

For anyone considering opening a business or any new dentists/ orthodontists considering hanging out a shingle, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am happy to share the good, the bad and all the stuff in between with you about what it really is like.  

Just do it!

Ah, the holiday season is here once again!  I don't know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year.  I LOVE all the decorations, cozy clothes, excitement and anticipation that make the Thanksgiving/ Christmas / New Years season so special.  But I HATE the overwhelming feeling that hits about the morning of the Dallas Marathon, when I look at my to-do list and panic that it will never be done on time.  

Last week I was thinking about how I can approach the holidays differently, to improve the Love part of our relationship and reduce the other part.  My solution - I need to quit worrying about what won't get done and just do it!  Taking my mind off the worries and putting it on the preparation has done wonders to improve my mood this year.  

So how does this relate to orthodontics?  I have come to realize that many of my adult patients have a similar love/hate relationship with the idea of braces.  They love the idea of straight, healthy beautiful teeth but hate the anxiety they feel about braces as an adult.  As an orthodontist who has seen the great benefit that adults can receive from orthodontic care, I encourage anyone considering treatment to put the worries aside and just do it.  I have yet to have any adult tell me they wish they hadn't straightened their teeth - and have lots and lots tell me how glad they are that they did.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.  Ellis Orthodontics is blessed to have so many wonderful patients and colleagues to work with.  We are grateful for your support this year and always.

 

Why braces? Esthetics or Function or Both?

Recently I've seen a number of patients who wanted straight teeth but were questioning whether they should get orthodontic care because they thought they were "just being vain".  In fact, the generally understood reason people get braces is for straight teeth, but that is really only part of the story.  Yes - braces will give you nice looking teeth, but more importantly, braces place your teeth in the position where they will best function.  Proper dental function can improve both dental health and dental longevity.  Although it is almost never too late to gain the benefits of improved dental health with orthodontic care, the earlier one obtains needed orthodontic treatment, the better.  Preventing detrimental wear and tear that can result from malpositioned teeth and certain bite problems with early orthodontic treatment provides a life long benefit. 

I often tell my patients that I cannot give them improved dental function without also improving their appearance.  Taking steps to ensure dental health is wisdom, not vanity.  I welcome the opportunity to help my patients obtain a fantastic smile - onethat is both beautiful and optimally functional. 

Even the Wall Street Journal knows that straight teeth are good for everyone

There is a nice article in the WSJ today about how more adults are getting braces now than in the past.  After many years of helping adults straighten crooked teeth, I know what a great service orthodontics is for my adult patients.  If you have always wanted straight teeth, but thought braces were just for kids, think again and then call Ellis Orthodontics for a consultation.  The first visit is free!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-more-adults-are-getting-braces-1444066342

Welcome the cooler weather with cool, new braces!

Now that fall is finally in the air, we can all look forward to the seasonal changes that lie ahead - autumn colors, crisp nights, neighborhood block parties, school carnivals, and cozy clothes!  With the new opening of Ellis Orthodontics, fall is also a great time to get started with braces.  October is National Orthodontic Health Month and all of us at Ellis Orthodontics welcome the opportunity to help you obtain a beautiful smile.

Ellis Orthodontics is OPEN!

I am thrilled to announce that Ellis Orthodontics is up and running!  We are busy creating new smiles and want to thank those patients who have already been in to visit us.  Our external signage goes up this Friday.  Look for our logo at the Woodrow Wilson High School Homecoming parade!  Come back and check our site often as many new things will be posted in the coming days.