#bullyingbites - National Bullying Prevention Month

October 1st, 2022

Every October, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and 18,000+ orthodontists around the country recognize and celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month, a month dedicated to promoting awareness about the benefits of orthodontic treatment and the importance of having healthy, well-aligned teeth and a healthy bite. More recently, the AAO has shifted its focus during the month of October towards another important cause – National Bullying Prevention Month. The AAO began the #bullyingbites campaign several years ago to raise awareness about the impact of bullying, and to encourage its members to come together and take a stand against bullying.

One out of five adolescents in America between the ages of 12 and 18 experience bullying on a yearly basis – and teeth are the #1 feature bullies target – according to a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Children and adolescents are not the only ones affected by bullying, though. Seven out of ten adults report feeling self-conscious about their teeth and smile. Furthermore, a study conducted by OnePoll concluded that 57% of Americans cover their mouths when they laugh because they feel insecure about their teeth, and half of adults smile with their mouth closed to avoid showing their teeth. Yet again, in the adult population, teeth were the #1 insecurity.

More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to address these insecurities, and parents oftentimes seek orthodontic treatment for their children at an early age (typically between the ages of eight and ten, once the front permanent teeth have come in) in hopes of reducing some of the negative comments made by peers about their child’s teeth. Some parents report that their children will say, “I don’t like my front teeth”, “I don’t like the gap between my teeth”, or “my friends tease me about my teeth”. While there are several functional reasons to provide treatment at an early age (e.g. having a crossbite in the front or crossbite in the back), having social or aesthetic concerns about teeth is a reason to provide treatment at any age.

Nowadays, braces can even be the “cool” thing to have – and for some, simply getting them shows their friends that they are working on improving their teeth and smile, which can be enough to reduce some of the negative comments made by peers. Children and adolescents who anticipate orthodontic treatment expect an improvement in their social and psychologic well-being. Adults expect the same improvement, and for adults (as well as teens), many prefer aesthetic treatment options like clear aligners or clear braces, so they can improve the alignment of their teeth without the metal that was a staple of orthodontic treatment years ago.

It is no secret that orthodontic treatment can have a significant positive impact on an individual’s confidence, self-esteem, and quality of life. Thankfully, there are treatment options to fit most individual’s preferences, needs, and lifestyle. There are enough things we have to deal with as adults and parents, and bullying shouldn’t be one of them. At Doswell Orthodontics, we pledge to take a stand against bullying and help create healthy, beautiful, confident smiles, so children, teens, and adults never feel self-conscious about their teeth. I think we can all agree #bullyingbites.

When should your child see an orthodontist?

July 26th, 2022

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child see an orthodontist at age 7 to evaluate eruption timing and pattern and determine whether or not there are any orthodontic problems that need to be addressed early. At age 7, children typically have their 6-year molars in place and have lost 2-6 baby teeth, so we can start to see the eruption patterns present with his/her permanent teeth.

Although we recommend the first visit at age 7, we see patients of all ages, and each patient is unique and different. Kids, teens, and adults seek orthodontic treatment for various reasons. Our job is to customize your plan to meet your orthodontic needs and make orthodontic treatment a stress-free and fun process for you and/or your child. That process starts with your new patient consultation appointment.

What happens at your new patient consultation appointment?

Your consultation appointment is fun, easy, and free! We will take some photos, take a look at your child’s/your teeth, and take one or two x-rays to evaluate growth and tooth development, eruption, and position.

What do we look for at your child’s first visit?

  • Are things happening symmetrically within the mouth?
  • Were any baby teeth lost earlier than expected?
  • Are permanent teeth developing and coming in when and where they should be?
  • Are the permanent canines developing in the right place?
  • Are there any missing or extra teeth?
  • Is there enough space for the permanent teeth to come in?
  • Are there any habits (e.g. thumb sucking) that might need to be addressed?
  • How is your child growing? Is early growth leading to an overbite or underbite?
  • Is there a crossbite in the front or the back?

These are some of the things we can begin to evaluate at age 7, and although most patients don’t start orthodontic treatment until around age 11 or 12 (when all or most of the permanent teeth are in), studies have shown that some early treatment, such as crossbite correction, is most beneficial and effective starting at age 8 because of tooth eruption patterns and growth patterns (i.e. how and when your upper and lower jaws grow). By seeing your child around age 7, we can catch any orthodontic problems early and help prevent some orthodontic issues by intervening if needed. We take a conservative approach, and only recommend treatment if necessary. More often than not, we just need to monitor growth and eruption with orthodontic “check-ups”, called growth observation appointments, about every 6-12 months.

Do you need a referral to see an orthodontist?

Nope! Although many pediatric dentists and dentists can and do make referrals to orthodontists for specific reasons, you do not need a referral to see an orthodontist. Anyone can come see us without needing a referral! You can call (804-256-2808), email (info@doswellortho.com), or submit our online form https://www.doswellortho.com/schedule-a-free-consultation to set up your new patient consultation appointment. We can’t wait to meet you and get to know you and your family!

Doswell Orthodontics’ SMILE Campaign – Supporting Mental Health

May 1st, 2022

Simply smiling can improve your mood

Put a pencil between your teeth. Do you feel happier? Whether you are in a good mood or a bad mood, the pure act of smiling can make you happier. The facial feedback theory of emotion describes this finding, and furthermore, research studies have shown that facial expressions, such as smiling, can have an effect on your feelings. So let’s smile our way to happiness. It might not be that easy, but smiling can help.

…and that’s where we come in…

In orthodontics, we have the unique opportunity to straighten your teeth, correct your bite, improve your smile, increase your confidence, and have a significant and lasting impact on your life by giving you a healthy, beautiful smile…and as science shows…more happiness.

What makes you happy?

Smiling can make you happier, but there are many other things that can bring you happiness as well.

Every night I ask my 3-year-old, “what makes you happy?” I get some of the best answers:

  • Cammie (our golden retriever)
  • Twirling around and dancing
  • Putting hearts everywhere
  • Going to the river
  • Picking flowers with Daddy (sometimes these include flowers that aren’t supposed to be picked, but how can I complain when she is making a bouquet for me?)
  • Picking weeds
  • Having a picnic

It is so important to regularly check in with ourselves to answer that question and even more important to incorporate those answers into our daily lives. Sometimes that’s possible and sometimes it feels impossible because of the demands of our daily lives, but just like we need to take care of our bodies physically, we need to take care of our bodies mentally and emotionally and that means doing things that make you smile and make you happy.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health has become a widely talked about topic in recent years with individuals experiencing significantly more stress and anxiety due to life changes and job changes, many of which have been and are related to COVID. Mental health has also been talked about in the media recently in regards to professional athletes and the pressures of performing on a national and international level. You don’t have to compete in the Olympics to understand life’s pressures and mental health challenges.

Some of the goals of Mental Health Awareness Month are to raise awareness about mental health and its impacts on individuals of all ages, educate the public on such an important topic, and eliminate any stigma associated with mental health. One in five individuals experience mental illness during their lifetime, but everyone experiences stress and faces challenges in life that have an impact on their mental health. Despite having extremely skilled and dedicated mental health providers in our community and country, less than half of those struggling with mental health in our country receive the care, therapy, and treatment they need, which is where organizations like ChildSavers come in…

Our Doswell Orthodontics SMILE campaign and partnership with ChildSavers

Because we are so passionate about happiness, orthodontics, and mental health, we have made the commitment to partner with an amazing local non-profit called ChildSavers. ChildSavers’ mission is to guide our community’s children through life’s critical moments with trauma-informed mental health and child development services. ChildSavers was one of the first ten child guidance clinics in the United States and the first located in the South. For more information on ChildSavers and how you can help, please visit their awesome website: https://www.childsavers.org/.

For each patient that starts treatment with us, we will make a donation to ChildSavers. Our SMILE mural in our office is our constant reminder of our SMILE campaign and why we do what we do—to make a positive impact on those around us, spread happiness through smiling, and remember to live, laugh, love, and smile!

Live. Laugh. Love. SMILE.

Dr. Doswell



We're Hiring!

January 7th, 2022

We’re looking for an amazing treatment coordinator and orthodontic assistant to join our team at Doswell Orthodontics!

This is a unique opportunity to build and grow a brand-new practice and be part of something really special in the Richmond community! Construction of our new space is well underway, and we are planning to open our doors to patients this spring.

See attachments for job descriptions and application.

Our top values in a team member

  • Compassionate
  • Honest
  • Fun
  • Positive

There are many things you can teach someone, but you can’t teach someone to care. At Doswell Orthodontics, we truly care about our team, our patients, and the treatment and experience we provide for each patient and person who walks in our doors. You will become our family, and we will support each other, empower each other, and lift each other up every day. We are looking for team members who share these same values, genuinely care, and show up for “work” every day to embrace the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

If you think you are the right fit for us and we are the right fit for you, please email your resume and completed application to info@doswellortho.com. Thanks so much for your interest and we will be in touch in the upcoming weeks!

Live. Laugh. Love. SMILE.

Dr. Doswell

Doswell Orthodontics Application for Employment

job description_treatment coordinator

job description_orthodontic assistant