Patient testimonials

Back To School With Braces

August 15th, 2023

Back to School activities are back in full swing! Our doctors and staff hope you’ve all had an awesome summer break, and wish you all a successful and fun new school year. SmilesForever Orthodontics wants to help our patients return to school prepared for school life with braces.

If you’ve started orthodontic treatment over the summer, your new braces and confident smile are going to be part of your school year success. We’re excited to help you achieve your forever smiles and want to ensure our patients are comfortable with new braces and appliances. 

Going back to school with braces can be a bit of an adjustment, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a smooth experience. Here are some tips Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and Dr. Svetlana Lekht have put together to help you navigate school with braces:

  • Back to School with Braces Kit: Pack your very own "Back to School with Braces" kit - something as simple as a ziplock plastic bag including items such as: Orthodontic rubber bands, mini toothbrush and toothpaste, orthodontic wax, small mirror, floss, floss threaders, Platypus flossers, retainer case and tissues. This kit can easily be tucked into a locker, backpack, bookbag or purse and will help as a reminder of orthodontic care even when at school.
  • Practice Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing become even more important with braces. Clean your teeth and braces after meals to prevent food particles from getting stuck. While at school, also make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly each time after eating. 
  • Pack a Braces-Friendly Lunch: Opt for soft foods that won't damage your braces. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can potentially break your brackets or wires.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water throughout the day can help flush away food particles and keep your mouth clean.
  • Brace-Friendly Snacks: Pack braces-friendly snacks like yogurt, soft fruits, cheese, or pudding for quick bites during breaks.
  • Avoid Habits That Can Damage Braces: Be mindful of habits like chewing on pencils or biting your nails, as these can damage your braces.
  • Be Patient: If your braces are very recent, it might take a little time to adjust to speaking with braces. Practice speaking slowly and clearly, and you'll get the hang of it.
  • Participate in Activities: Don't let braces hold you back from participating in activities or sports you enjoy. If you’re involved in sports, just make sure to wear an orthodontic  mouthguard if needed. An orthodontic mouthguard will help to protect your braces and teeth from potential impact.
  • Stay Positive: Braces are a temporary part of your journey to a beautiful smile. Focus on the end result and take pride in your commitment to your oral health.
  • Educate Your Peers: If you're comfortable, take the opportunity to educate your classmates about braces. This can help reduce any teasing or misconceptions.
  • Regular Orthodontist Visits: Keep up with your scheduled orthodontist appointments for adjustments and check-ups.
  • Have Confidence: Braces are common, and many of your classmates and teachers might also have them or have had them in the past. Embrace your braces and don't be afraid to show off your smile.

Remember that going back to school with braces is a temporary phase, and the end result will be a beautiful, confident and healthy smile. If you ever experience any issues or concerns with your braces, don't hesitate to reach out to us at any of our four practice locations in Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA., for guidance. We’re always happy to help our patients and look forward to seeing your smile at your next appointment!

Can I Go Swimming with Braces?

July 10th, 2023

Can I Swim with Braces?

Georgia is heating up this summer and many of our Gwinnett County, Hall County, and Walton County patients are wondering if they can swim while in orthodontic treatment. The great news is that swimming with braces is generally safe, allowing you to splash your way through the summer heat!

Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells, Dr. Svetlana Lekht and our SmilesForever team get lots of questions from our new patients about which sports are safe to play while in braces. One of the most common summer questions we get is, “Can I swim with braces?” Our answer? Yes, you sure can! Here are some things to remember to keep your teeth and your braces safe while swimming.

Is swimming with braces safe?

Swimming with braces is safe because the materials used to make braces will not rust in your mouth or in the pool. The chemicals used in pool water also will not effect your braces or cause damage to them.

Are my Invisalign® aligners safe to swim in?

You may be wondering about the impact of chlorine on your Invisalign® aligners. The good news is that chlorine typically found in pools will not harm your Invisalign® aligners. It’s generally safe to remove your aligners before swimming. However, if you swim for extended periods, our team at SmilesForever Orthodontics advises keeping your Invisalign® aligners while swimming.

Remember, Invisalign® aligners should be worn for about 22 hours a day to ensure optimal treatment progress. If you swim several hours a day or on multiple days a week, our doctors may recommend keeping your aligners in while swimming. This helps prevent any potential treatment delays that might occur if the aligners are out for longer than two hours.

What about playing water-sports with braces?

Even if you have braces, engaging in water-sports such as waterpolo or pool volleyball is typically allowable. Our SmilesForever doctors and team strongly recommend wearing a mouthguard during physical activities. Taking this precaution provides protection for your teeth and braces. It’s important to wear the correct protection while in orthodontic treatment, so be sure to check with our doctors on the appropriate orthodontic mouthguard and fit for your sports activities, including swimming and water-sports.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Braces During & After Swimming

Even though braces are durable, the following advice will help you keep your braces and aligners safe when swimming:

a. Mouthguard: When you swim or engage in water-sport activities, a mouthguard serves as a barrier of protection, protecting your braces and teeth from any potential impact or injury. Ask our doctors whether they recommend you wear a mouthguard based on your activity and time spent swimming. If a mouthguard is recommended for you, you’ll want to use one made especially for people with braces. Our team is happy to ensure a proper fit of your new mouthguard. 

b. After swimming, make it a practice to rinse your mouth with clean water to remove any chemicals or chlorine that might have remained behind. This little action might assist in keeping your braces clean and preventing any potential tooth discoloration or dental problems.

c. Brushing and flossing: After swimming, maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly.

d. Clean your mouthguard and Invisalign® aligners after swimming, making sure to secure your mouthguard or replace your aligners. 

e. If you swim multiple days each week or several hours a day, you might want to avoid choosing clear or light colors for your braces as the chlorine may possibly discolor or fade them a bit.  

We understand that many of our patients are trying to stay cool this summer and swimming is a fun option to beat the heat. That’s why our SmilesForever doctors and team want to reassure you that braces won't slow you down a bit while enjoying pool time with friends and family. Your safety and comfort during treatment is our priority and we want to ensure your journey toward your forever smile is enjoyable!

You can feel comfortable knowing that your orthodontic and oral health are in good hands with our professional care and direction. We welcome you to call us at any of our four practice locations in Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA., or request an appointment online.

Interested in starting toward your beautiful, confident smile? Request your complimentary initial consultation for comprehensive treatment by contacting us today -- our staff will be delighted to help you!

How Long Are Retainers Worn Once Braces Are Removed?

June 7th, 2023

Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

The duration of wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment can vary depending on several factors, including the specific treatment plan, the individual's orthodontic needs, and the recommendations of the orthodontist. However, typically, Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and Dr. Svetlana Lekht advise wearing a retainer for an extended period after the active orthodontic treatment is complete.

How Often Are Retainers Worn?

Initially, after the braces or aligners are removed, a full-time retainer is often prescribed. This means wearing the retainer consistently, usually 12 to 24 hours a day, for a few months and may include alternating removable upper and lower retainers. This phase allows the teeth to stabilize in their new positions and ensures that they do not shift back to their original alignment.

After the initial full-time wear period, the orthodontist may recommend transitioning to part-time wear, usually during sleep. This phase can last for several more months or even years. It's crucial to follow the orthodontist's instructions regarding the frequency and duration of retainer use during this phase.

Eventually, many individuals are advised to continue wearing the retainer on a less frequent basis, such as a few nights a week, to maintain the results achieved through orthodontic treatment. Some individuals may need to wear retainers long-term, while others may gradually reduce their usage over time. The orthodontist will provide specific guidance based on individual circumstances.

It's important to note that every person's orthodontic treatment and retention needs are unique, so the duration of retainer wear can vary. It's vital to consult with your SmilesForever Orthodontics orthodontists to determine the appropriate duration and retainer regimen for your specific case.

Should Retainers Be Removed With Sports Activities? 

When involved in sports activities or swimming regularly, it’s advisable to speak with Drs. Gilbert, Wells and Lekht as they’ll give you specialized instructions. In some cases, they may suggest using a mouthguard for sports activities to provide protection and minimize the risk of dental injuries.

Types of Retainers & How To Choose

We offer several types of retainers at our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA., SmilesForever Orthodontics locations. You’ve worn your braces and appliances and want to make the best choice and we’re going to help! Toward the end of your treatment, our doctors will guide you in the best retainer options to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.

  • Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
  • Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.

If you’re ending the final active treatment phase of braces and preparing for retainers — CONGRATULATIONS! You’re almost done with braces and closer to revealing your beautiful, confident forever smile! Remember to wear your retainers exactly as we’ve instructed and call us with any questions at any of our Gwinnett County, Hall County and Loganville County, GA locations. 

Helpful Guide To Adult Orthodontic Treatment

May 1st, 2023

Here at SmilesForever Orthodontics, we’re on a mission to let people know that there’s no age limit for achieving a beautiful smile! Our team has successfully treated patients from ages 7 to 78, and we’ve seen how treatment can transform smiles and lives. Still, many adults we speak to are worried that the opportunity for straighter teeth has passed them by. We have good news — you’re never too old to improve your oral health with orthodontics! 

Have you felt uncomfortable with the way your teeth look or function? Have you been experiencing issues with your teeth or jaw and aren’t sure what can be done to relieve them? Would you like a more aligned smile but aren’t sure if traditional braces are for you? Our expert team is here to help! Keep reading below to learn what we have to offer adult patients like you. 

Your Complimentary Consultation With Us

Your first visit to any of our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch or Loganville locations is one of the most important appointments you’ll have. This is our chance to meet and get to know a bit about each other and discuss the concerns you have about your smile. You will have the opportunity to learn more about orthodontics, receive a complete initial exam, and find out which treatment options will best meet your needs. During this initial consultation, you can expect our team to:

  • Review your dental and medical history forms
  • Perform a complete oral exam, with X-rays, to determine whether treatment is necessary
  • Help you create a customized treatment plan
  • Discuss all financial information, insurance options, and payment plans

We want every patient to feel comfortable with the treatment process and that begins with this initial consultation! Our team will ensure you’re fully informed about each step in your orthodontic journey, and we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can trust us to provide you with all the information you need to determine which treatment is right for you.

Your Investment In A Healthier, Happier Smile 

Once you’ve spoken with our doctors about your concerns, Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells or Dr. Svetlana Lekht will perform a thorough but painless examination of your mouth. They will create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs and determine the necessary treatment fee. We’ll outline everything your treatment plan includes and the investment needed for your new smile during your consultation. 

We understand that orthodontic treatment can be a significant expense for any family. However, we believe it’s an important investment in your health and confidence that will pay off in a big way for years to come! Our practice never wants finances to stand in the way of our patients receiving the orthodontic treatment they need. To make the best treatment possible for you and for your family, we accept orthodontic insurance benefits and offer convenient payment plans. 

For your added convenience, our SmilesForever Orthodontics team is happy to review your insurance coverage and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf! We do whatever we can to eliminate any financial barriers standing between you and your healthiest smile.

Orthodontic Treatments For Adult Patients

Cutting-edge technology and efficient techniques allow us to offer our adult patients a wide variety of treatment options. These advanced options are more comfortable and customizable than ever before and allow our orthodontists to give you the results you desire. We offer the following treatments for adult patients and several more you may be a candidate for:

  • Traditional Metal Braces 
  • Clear Braces
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

Clear (Ceramic) Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

The aligner series are invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are much easier. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. Our patients love the freedom and flexibility Invisalign offers. 

Keep in mind that not every treatment will be suitable for all patients. Working with our experienced orthodontists will ensure you receive only the most appropriate treatment for your individual smile.

Find Your Best Smile at SmilesForever Orthodontics

If you’ve been waiting for a beautifully aligned smile that feels as good as it looks, you’ve come to the right place! SmilesForever Orthodontics will build a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. Our skilled and experienced team is committed to providing you with a rewarding orthodontic experience from your first visit with us to your last. Call us today at any of our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch or Loganville, Georgia locations or request an appointment online to schedule your FREE consultation and take the first step toward the beautiful, confident smile you’ve always wanted!

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 6th, 2023

During National Facial Protection Month in April, it’s a reminder for all organized sports athletes and recreational sports players to wear mouthguards to protect their teeth and their smiles. Research shows 13 to 39% of all dental injuries are sports-related. Many injuries can be prevented or far less severe by wearing a mouth guard; they should be part of an athlete’s standard equipment from an early age.

Any time you and/or your child is engaged in an activity where the face can come in contact with something hard— another player, a ball, an elbow, the pavement, etc. — it’s a time to be wearing a mouthguard. It is important that the mouth guard is comfortable, well-fitted, doesn’t restrict breathing, and is strong enough to resist tearing. For our SmilesForever Orthodontics patients it’s also very important that while the mouthguard protect the inside of the cheeks and lips, it not restrict tooth movement into their proper alignment. 

Children and teenagers tend not to wear ill-fitting mouthguards. Just as one size doesn’t fit all — all mouth guards types are not right for every patient. You may see over-the-counter brands advertising “comfort fit” products, which require boiling, or dentists requiring a mould of your or your child’s teeth to custom fit a mouthguard. While in orthodontic treatment mouthguards that protect the lips and cheeks, the inside of your mouth from possible injury should not fit to the teeth tightly as it is important to allow the teeth to continue moving into proper alignment. 

So this month we’re highlighting the importance of a properly fitted orthodontic mouthguard. Our orthodontists Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and Dr. Svetlana Lekht provide the most advanced orthodontic options for purchase to our patients. They’re also available in colors to help match your team! 

Take proper care of your guard so it’s ready when needed and will last a long time. Brush the guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste before and after each use. Regularly, clean it in cool, soapy water and rinse it well. Store and transport your mouth guard in a sturdy container. Don’t chew on the mouthguard and don’t wear a removable retainer with it. Be sure to replace it when it shows signs of wear and tear.

Talk to our orthodontic team to ensure you are choosing the protection that is best for you and/or your child. Orthodontic mouthguards are available at each of our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA practice locations. Should you choose to purchase one elsewhere, please make sure they are specifically made for orthodontic wearers and do not require boiling. Patients are always welcome to bring their guards with them to their appointments to inquire about the fit. Protect your face — protect your teeth — protect your SMILE! 

National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

2022 Best of Gwinnett Award

February 14th, 2023

The Votes Have Been Counted And The Results Are In! SmilesForever Orthodontics is a 2022 Best of Gwinnett Winner for Best of Orthodontic Practices.

Our doctors and staff at SmilesForever Orthodontics want to thank our patients for voting us the best in the Gwinnett area, again this year! Thank you to each and every one of you. We are beyond delighted to announce your votes helped us achieve, and to now celebrate, being awarded our 14th consecutive “Best Of” blue ribbon! With this 2022 Best of Orthodontic Practices, valued distinction, it tells us you love your smiles and are proud to share our practice with your friends, families and neighbors. Thank you. We want you to know we value your trust in allowing us to continue treating your families smiles. Your trust means the world to us.

With the rapidly evolving field of dental and orthodontic treatment, it is important that our practice remains on the cutting edge, while providing excellence in treatment and results, patient care and affordable payment options. At SmilesForever Orthodontics, our orthodontists Drs. Brad Gilbert, Adam Wells and Svetlana Lekht offer the full scope of advanced technology, diagnostic testing, and treatment. Our physicians take the time necessary to provide each patient with information needed to understand their treatment options and to achieve the best possible results. 

Additionally, our orthodontists are fortunate to be working with a devoted and skilled staff of which each member stands out at their respective positions with a complimentary skill set and a caring attitude. We believe this approach allows us to be the best orthodontic practice for quality care.

Thank you again to all of our patients, peers and to Gwinnett Magazine’s Guide to Gwinnett division, that voted us Gwinnett’s 2022 Best of Orthodontic Practices!

We love all of our patients and communities serving Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville and throughout Gwinnett, Hall and Walton counties!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 10th, 2022


October is National Orthodontic Health Month! During the month of October, orthodontists around the country work to promote awareness about the benefits of orthodontic treatment and the many advantages of a healthy smile. Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and Dr. Svetlana Lekht believe that simply hiding the Halloween candy this month won’t be enough if you’re looking to improve your child’s (or your own) smile and maintain oral health. Read on to learn how a healthy mouth begins with a straight smile.

What is Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatment creates alignment between the positioning of the teeth and jaw. Many different types of appliances can be used to correct various bite issues including braces, headgear, palatal expanders and retainers, among others. While many treatment plans will be most effective on children whose jaws are still developing, adults have plenty of orthodontic treatment options available to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile, including clear braces and removable aligners.

Why is Orthodontic Treatment Important?

For proper function of the jaws and teeth, orthodontic treatment may be a crucial part of any oral care routine. Under the care of an orthodontist, patients will gain:

An aesthetically pleasing smile.

Having a beautiful, confident smile has long-reaching effects. Numerous studies have proven that a straight smile is becoming increasingly mainstream in today’s society. From school age children to adults, those with straight teeth are quite often perceived as being more successful. The impression your smile leaves can make all the difference between gaining opportunities or being passed over.

A strong and healthy bite.

The jaw functions best when it is properly positioned. Ill-positioned Jaws that are not positioned correctly may contribute to problems such as, difficulty in chewing, speech impediments, cracked or broken teeth and other dental issues.

Proper alignment of the teeth.

Properly aligned teeth fit together like puzzle pieces, working and resting together. When the upper and lower teeth don’t match up, you are leaving your teeth exposed to years of extensive wear, which may lead to an increase of dental health problems down the line.

How You Can Participate in National Orthodontic Health Month

October is the perfect time to visit the orthodontist! Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Your child doesn't need to have lost all of his/her baby teeth before going to the orthodontist. On the contrary, going before all your child’s baby teeth have been lost is advantageous. This allows for early identification of potential issues and, in some cases, more effective treatment outcomes because the jaw is still growing.
  • The American Academy of Orthodontics recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist by age 7. This enables the doctor to determine what issues, if any, are present. This early start allows the orthodontist to identify early warning signs to monitor, as well as tackle current issues while the jaw is still growing.
  • You ABSOLUTELY can visit the orthodontist as an adult! With many more options available than ever before, adults are increasingly seeking to improve the function of their jaws and bite, improve their oral health and obtain beautiful, confident smiles. Our SmilesForever Orthodontics practice treats a large percentage of adults, offering both INVISALIGN® and iTero® digital scanning. We offer many treatment options to suit your needs and strive to make treatment comfortable as well as affordable.

Let this October be the treat and not the trick into putting your oral health first! Take the first step toward your child’s (and your own!) healthy, beautiful and confident smile by setting up a complimentary consultation with us today. You’ll be glad you did!


Our Summer Photo Challenge Contest Starts Today!

May 25th, 2022

SmilesForever Summer Photo Challenge

What could be MORE exciting on the last day of school, than a FUN Summer Contest? Back by popular request, our SmilesForever Orthodontics Summer Photo Challenge Contest begins TODAY! We are SO ready for SUMMER, SUNSHINE & SMILES. 

How Do I Start?

At your next appointment be sure to pick up one of our Summer of Smiles postcards to take your summer pictures with! Feel free to drop by for a postcard & instructions before then if you'd like to better your chances in the drawing - each new picture posted earns you an entry! You are also welcome to print the front of the Postcard found on our Facebook announcement post and follow the instructions here if you can’t get in to pick up a postcard before your vacation fun starts.

How Do I Enter?

It’s super easy to enter the photo challenge contest. 

  1. Simply take a picture of yourself with the front of the postcard while on your summer vacations, staycations and adventures. 
  2. Post it on Instagram or Facebook. 
  3. Tag @SmilesForeverOrtho including #smilesforeverortho and patient’s first name.
  4. Each image will earn you one entry into the contest random drawing for some cool prizes like gift cards to Target, Amazon, the Movies and MORE! 

Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Wells, Dr. Lana and our staff can't wait to see what fun and mischief our patients get up to this summer. Have fun smiling and GOOD LUCK!

*Make sure your account and/or the post is public so we can view your entry. Terms and conditions apply. Contest ends 08/02/22

Back To School With New Braces

August 11th, 2021

Where did the summer go? It’s hard to believe, but summer is fading away and a brand new school year is under way. Many of our patients’ new school attire includes braces and they are returning to school with a new experience. Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and our staff want all of our school-aged patients wearing braces, to have a smooth transition into the classroom and new school year. At SmilesForever Orthodontics, our goal is to make treatment as easy and as enjoyable as possible. If your child is going back to school for the first time with braces,  we’ve put together some tips below for making this adjustment easier.

Keeping Lunches & Snacks Braces-Friendly

Foods that are sticky, chewy and crunchy must be avoided to prevent damage to wires and braces. While it’s easier to avoid at home, if your child buys their lunches at school, indulging in some of their favorite forbidden foods can be a pretty strong temptation. Simply checking the school’s lunch menu each week, and making sure it includes braces-friendly options like spaghetti, chili or mac and cheese, is a great start to making sure there’s something safe for your child to eat.

If you find the school lunch choices are limited, packing a lunch can make things easier for them. Healthier foods and snacks like chicken salad, cheese yogurt and applesauce are gentle on the braces and can help your child feel full throughout the day. Prepping the night before, by cutting foods into bite sized pieces, and thinly slicing fruits and vegetables, can be a time saver in the mornings and help make it easier to chew and eat for orthodontic patients. 

Take Along A Braces Care Kit

It’s ideal for patients to brush after eating since braces and wires can trap food particles. We  recommend patients carry a braces care kit with them at school. For any braces related issues that may pop up during the day, having a few common items on hand in their backpack or school locker can keep them prepared to handle them confidently. Some of the Items we’ve found best to include are:

  • Soft-Bristled Orthodontic Toothbrush
  • Dental Wax
  • Dental Floss
  • Floss Threaders
  • Lip Balm
  • Toothpaste
  • Orthodontic Elastics (If prescribed)
  • Mouthguard

A comfortable orthodontic patient equals a more focused student! For lips that become dry and irritated from braces and appliances, we find that lip balm is a definite must-have! A small amount of dental wax can be placed over dental brackets and wires that sometimes can cause mild irritation to lips, gums and cheeks. 

Have our orthodontists prescribed elastics for your child to wear during treatment? Keeping an extra bag of orthodontic elastics in their care kit, locker and backpack will make it much more convenient to replace worn bands after eating lunch and snacks.

Oh, Mirror, Mirror On The Locker Wall!

Admit it! We’ve all experienced that moment. THE MOMENT when we look in the mirror and realize we’ve gone about our afternoon talking, smiling and laughing - only to realize we’ve had a food particle stuck in our teeth, SINCE LUNCH! Many of us are too polite to point out when someone has food stuck in their braces or teeth. Encourage your student to carry a small mirror with them or place one on the inside of a locker.  Checking their teeth after eating can help them in avoiding feeling self-conscious. Even sticking to braces-friendly foods, eating with braces and wires can be tricky. Nooks and crannies can easily trap food debris, which can cause your child embarrassment when noticed by others. 

Have A Mouthguard On-Hand

Protect that smile! Whether you have a student-athlete or your child or teen has recess or gym class, investing in an orthodontic mouthguard while in braces is highly recommended. Sports and other physical activities can increase the risk of injury to your child’s lips, cheeks and mouths as well as damaging braces. Because they are specially designed to wear with braces, orthodontic mouthguards are the simplest way to ensure oral health and prevent injury. These specialized mouthguards do not form to the teeth and are NOT the take home and boil guards typically sold at sporting goods stores. Though sometimes available at stores, for our patient’s convenience, we also offer these for purchase at our front desk. We’ve pinned our recommended care kit list and reminder on our Taking Care Of Your Teeth And Braces Pinterest board. 

Starting The School Year Off Right

You may want to head over to our SmilesForever Orthodontics Pinterest page to check out our Braces-Friendly School Lunches board for nutritious and yummy ideas. While you’re there, be sure to also check out our Taking Care of Your Teeth and Braces board for our Braces Care Kit flier of recommendations!

With a little encouragement and patience, your child can conquer the school year with a healthy, shining smile! When braces are new, it’s completely normal to feel nervous returning to school. After all, it’s a brand new experience! Working towards a healthier and straighter smile takes time and effort, but it won’t take long for it to become familiar to your child and they will adjust and adapt quickly. To become and remain active in their orthodontic journey, it’s important for patients to stay informed. Knowledge often creates a strong desire to do our best! Our SmilesForever Orthodontics doctors and staff are ready to help you and your child navigate a new school year with braces and we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. Our existing and new patients are always welcome to call or drop by our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA locations.

We wish all of our student-patients a happy, healthy and successful 2021-2022 school year!

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite 2021 Best of Gwinnett Orthodontic Practice here:

Vote SmilesForever Orthodontics Best Of Gwinnett 2021!

Adult Orthodontic Treatment

March 4th, 2021

Almost one third of our SmilesForever Orthodontics patients are adults. In fact tooth alignment can be achieved at any age! A bad bite and crooked teeth often contribute to tooth decay, gum and bone loss, headaches, abnormal wear of tooth enamel and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain. A great smile can dramatically improve your self esteem and personal appearance, not to mention studies clearly show that healthy gums and aligned teeth have a positive effect on your health, and your heart in particular.

Dr. Brad Gilbert and Dr. Adam Wells are highly skilled in using new techniques which greatly increase comfort levels, while decreasing the frequency of visits and often shortening overall treatment time. New technology also provides discerning adults today with several lower profile treatment options, that may include clear braces with tooth color arch wires, mini metal braces and Invisalign. Drs. Gilbert and Wells specialize in blending treatment goals with outstanding results, and in many cases, work closely with your general dentist or other specialists to ensure that all treatment objectives are met.

Are you ready to discuss your options for a healthy, beautiful smile? We’re happy to help schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation with Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Wells at any of our four convenient locations in Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA. Give us a call today at (770) 963-3963 or simply click on the provided link to request your free appointment. We can’t wait to greet your smile!

SmilesForever Orthodontics awarded “Best of Gwinnett” for 2020!

February 14th, 2021

At SmilesForever Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing patients in the Gwinnett area and surrounding communities with the absolute best in orthodontic care and services. Knowing our caring and specialized orthodontists and staff are doing our best to help improve the lives and oral health of our patients is extremely rewarding. Having our patients, associates and community actively showing their support through voting as a tangible acknowledgement is very appreciated too. That’s why we are so proud to announce that we have been named “Best of Gwinnett” in the field of Orthodontic Practices for 2020 by Gwinnett Magazine!

Being voted Best Orthodontic Practice in the largest county in the state of Georgia is quite special to us. 40 years ago, Dr. Ron Parsons and SmilesForever Orthodontics opened our doors and became part of the Gwinnett community. This year, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we are proudly providing orthodontic excellence with four office locations. Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Wells, along with every one of our SmilesForever team are committed to helping create beautiful, confident smiles. We enthusiastically participate in extensive training and continuing education to treat our patients with the utmost skill, technology, care, and compassion. We simply love bringing smiles to Gwinnett!

What is the coveted “Best of Gwinnett” award?

“Best of Gwinnett” is an annual poll created by Gwinnett Magazine. The goal of the poll is to acknowledge and award the Gwinnett area’s best businesses in over 20 professional fields in a wide variety of categories. Nominees are submitted by people in the Gwinnett area in categories including Health and Medicine, Orthodontic Practices, Dental Health, Education, Food and Drink, and many more. The winners are determined by reader voting and the editorial staff at Gwinnett Magazine. Before winners are announced, the results are confirmed by the Better Business Bureau reports, ranking sites and voting pattern analysis reports to verify their legitimacy.

We are beyond honored and humbled!

This is the 12th consecutive year that we have been awarded and named “Best of Gwinnett”, which makes this honor all the more special. From our board certified orthodontists, Dr. Brad Gilbert and Dr. Adam Wells, to our front desk to our team of specialized orthodontic assistants, everyone here at SmilesForever is so touched and genuinely grateful to receive this honor once again. With this in mind, we would like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped in making this possible, including the incredible patients we treat and the entire staff at Gwinnett Magazine. Our commitment to upkeep our rigorous standards and compassionate patient and community care strengthens with your trust and confidence into 2021 and beyond!

Alternate Spring Break Staycation Ideas

March 30th, 2020

While this is not a typical year, spring break is already upon us and many families have had to look toward alternate spring vacation plans. If you’re among those now planning a staycation, consider these alternative ideas from Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and our SmilesForever staff to keep the family entertained safely.

Visiting Grammy and Granddad (Electronically, of course!)

Staying connected is so important when families can’t be together and a staycation allows ample time for sharing exciting news! Visiting with Grammy and Granddad over spring break is something both children and grandparents really look forward to. While traveling outside the home isn’t advised right now, video chats and phone calls certainly are!

  • Consider setting up an evening chat time throughout your staycation and the kids can share the fun they’ve been having or the adventures they’ll take next!
  • Have favorite recipes the family shares? Each family can cook the same meal and share pictures of their masterpiece!
Let’s Go Camping
  • Pitch a tent in the backyard and bring a sense of adventure. Make it as real as possible with traditional camping food like hot dogs or hamburgers and let’s not forget the s’mores! This is a great time to connect, tell stories and stargaze.
  • If rain is on the horizon, pitch your tent in the living room! Turn out the lights and tell stories around your fireplace or make a campfire out of flashlights or lanterns. Can you say finger puppet shadows? They're the BEST!
Science Camp

  • Original plans for a learning vacation can still be super fun at home! Simple outdoor scavenger hunts for a list of items to learn about are stimulating. On the list? Feathers, a maple leaf, butterfly, clouds, fruit…the list can be endless and offer a great learning opportunity on each item found!
  • Pinterest has loads of recipes for so many science projects like making bath bombs and gooey or glittery slime. A great FREE resource for at-home learning, including STEM crafts and everyday science experiments can be found online at
Host a Family Film Festival
  • Popcorn and pillow time! Family vote for 2 movies will make it a double feature. This is a super fun way to cozy up with the whole family!
  • Feel up to a Film-fest challenge? Pair off and shoot some short videos and gather round to watch. You can even dress up & host your own Family Grammy’s!
Take a Culinary Vacation
  • Plan a day exploring the cuisine of another culture. Choose a recipe online and the whole family can work together to create a tasty meal.
  • Take your culinary adventure even further! Pick a few different countries and enjoy cuisines from around the world each night of your staycation!
Artists’ Retreat
  • Inspire creativity, gather craft items and art supplies and let your imagination run wild! Set up stations to keep organized while attempting different projects and a final station to display your finished works of art!
  • Google Arts & Culture offers online exhibits and virtual tours to some of the most well known museums and galleries around the world.
  • Pack a delicious lunch or dinner and head out to the backyard for a sun drenched meal!
  • Raining or avoiding those pesky picnic ants? Don’t miss out on a family favorite-throw an old sheet or shower curtain down on the family room floor and picnic indoors!
  • What family member DOESN’T love to be pampered? Robes required! Set up stations for nails and hair. Mix up a replenishing face mask. This can be relaxing but we’re betting this turns into tons of silly fun for the whole family, especially with Dad manning the “nail salon”!
  • Don’t forget the pets! Your furry friends have been cooped up too and are longing for a shampoo and puppy or kitty massage!

All of us at SmilesForever Orthodontics are looking forward to hearing about your awesome and adventurous staycations! We know you'll find loads to keep you busy and we wish each of you a relaxing, fun spring break. Stay well and we'll see you soon!

Back to School With Braces

August 19th, 2019

The summer went by so fast and we’re already into a brand new school year! Getting prepared for a new year at school is exciting for kids (and parents) but, for students who may have recently gotten braces or appliances over the summer, it may feel a little stressful.

Adding changes in routine for brushing, flossing and braces-friendly foods may feel a little overwhelming in the first few days or weeks at school. Here at SmilesForever Orthodontics, we do our best to make every patient’s orthodontic experience as rewarding as possible. If you have a child who is just getting back to school with braces, here are a handful of tips we’ve put together to help make the transition smooth and stress-free!

Keep a braces kit in your purse, book bag or locker!

  • Wax - is great for poking wires and to ease braces and appliances over tender areas in the mouth.
  • Floss - proxy brushes get under the wire if food gets stuck.
  • A toothbrush!
  • Retainer Case - If you have a removable retainer or appliance, Keep that retainer case handy to store your removable retain or appliance while you eat! Remember to NEVER wrap a retainer in a napkin or store in a pocket as they are clear and hard to miss when cleaning up or washing.
  • Elastics - You’ll need to replace your rubber bands after you eat. They will need to be replaced after sports too.
  • Mouth Guard - Playing sports this school year? Remember your orthodontic mouth guard. Tip: Keep your mouth guard in your sports bag so that you will always know where it is!
  • Allow a little extra time in the mornings so that brushing and flossing around braces doesn’t make you late for the bus!

Colors. Pick a favorite color at your next braces adjustment to coordinate morning outfit choices. Need some color inspiration? Colgate has a fantastic blog article on choosing the best braces colors. Colgate Perfect Shade for Braces

Visit our Braces Friendly Pinterest Board for easy make-ahead lunch ideas. Soft foods can be especially helpful when new to braces and after adjustments. SmilesForever Braces-Friendly Lunches

Take an unopened bottle of Ibuprofen or Tylenol, along with a doctor’s note to the school nurse. The nursing staff will happily keep the over-the-counter medication on hand for the school year, just in case there is discomfort after an adjustment.

Dr. Brad Gilbert and Dr. Adam Wells know that it can typically take a few days to adjust to new braces and appliances, where the teeth may feel a little sensitive. Some patients may experience a little tenderness after an adjustment too. Our SmilesForever team and doctors want you to have the best school year - WITH BRACES! Remember to keep to the, “Nothing hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy”, rule and you’ll be off to a great start!

Summertime Smiles

May 13th, 2019

Summertime Smiles For Kids, Teens and Adults

At SmilesForever Orthodontics, we simply love helping kids and adults achieve their healthiest, most confident and beautiful smiles! With the last days of school in summer countdown, it’s the perfect time to get started on an orthodontic treatment plan for summer! Dr. Brad Gilbert and Dr. Adam Wells feel this season is a great opportunity to start improving your child’s or your own smile with braces and here’s why:

Scheduling Made Easy

Many parents worry about scheduling consultations and initial orthodontic appointments near the end of the academic season. Though we make every effort to accommodate busy schedules, we understand your concerns.

When school classes are in session, it can be a bit hectic planning appointments between work, classes, sports, homework, dance and all those extra activities that keep us busy and running around. Summer usually brings a since of calm to the school activity storm. The added benefit to slowing down is that parents schedules become less hectic too, allowing more freedom in adding the occasional orthodontic appointment to the calendar!

Time To Adjust To Wearing Braces

Getting braces before the school bell rings in the fall children, and teens can use the additional time over the summer to get used to caring for and being comfortable with their new “bling”! Some things to adapt to with new braces for children and adults can include:

  • Learning proper brushing and flossing techniques
  • Speaking clearly with a new appliance (and new retainers)
  • Eating braces-friendly meals and snacks
  • Adjusting to instrument playing
  • Playing sports with a mouth guard
  • Feeling comfortable with braces on the teeth
  • Gaining confidence not just with braces - with blossoming smiles too!

If you’re ready to start or have your child get started on their orthodontic journey toward a beautiful, confident smile, we’re happy to help! Give us a call at any of our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville locations or request an appointment online for your FREE consultation to meet with Dr. Wells and Dr. Gilbert! After a thorough exam, our orthodontists will let you know whether you or your child can benefit from orthodontics at this time and their recommended treatment. We look forward to seeing you soon to get you started on your BEST smiles over the summer!



Make Every Day Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2019

Earth Day is observed worldwide on April 22nd and with it brings an important reminder that our planet belongs to each and every one of us. It takes all of us equally doing our part to preserve it! As Earth Day rolls around each year, we’re reminded of the importance of being environmentally friendly but you don’t have to wait for Earth Day to start protecting the planet or look for big ways to make an impact. Every small step you take leads to a  more sustainable planet and SmilesForever Orthodontics strives to reduce our carbon footprint every day!



There are Clean Teeth and there are CLEAN Teeth

What’s the difference? Brushing and flossing help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Both are very important in maintaining good oral and dental health, in and out of braces. We can all make wiser choices regarding the products we use to maintain our sparkly teeth and healthy gums. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. The standard toothbrush is made of a hard plastic handle and a set of soft nylon bristles which are bad for the environment. Most come in plastic packaging which greatly impacts our landfills.

While taking care of your oral hygiene you can make a difference in helping the environment by:

  • Going Natural: Choosing a toothbrush made from recycled and renewable materials.
  • Recycle your old toothbrushes. The Colgate Oral Care Recycling Program accepts old toothbrushes, used toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers as well. As these items are each made from multiple types of materials, they can't be processed by your city’s regular recycling plant.
  • Turning off the water: You’re diligently brushing, paying careful attention to technique and time - but wait! You’re in the zone and zoning out - by leaving the water running? It’s time to turn that water off while you brush!

What we’re doing:

  • We strive to limit our SmilesForever Orthodontics carbon footprint by minimizing our paper usage and keeping digital records and charts for our patients.
  • Our insurance coordinators make every effort to handle claims for our patients, using secure and HIPAA compliant protocol.
  • Our patients can receive their appointment reminders through e-mail or text messages.
  • The toothbrushes at our brushing station are made from recycled products!
  • Our ligature ties (the cute colors holding the arch wire into the brackets) and our rubber bands are BPA free!
  • We minimize radiation for our patients by providing in-house digital cephalometric and panoramic x-rays.

Take a moment to consider how you can help save our beautiful planet. If you’re concerned with making changes, rest assured that when it comes to your orthodontic treatment and care, Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and our SmilesForever team are striving to make a difference with products carefully selected to ensure our practice complies with reducing our carbon footprint!

Adults and Invisalign®

March 28th, 2019

Are you an adult thinking you may be too old for braces? Have you always wanted straight teeth and a confident smile but have shied away from a mouth full of metal?

Is There A "Best" Age For Straightening Teeth?

You may be aware that the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend an orthodontic evaluation beginning at age seven with the majority of straightening teeth during the teen years. Perhaps you have younger children or teenagers who are just getting braces or have been through their orthodontic treatment to result in their own beautiful, confident smiles.

Orthodontic treatment can be beneficial at ANY age. The AAO also states that one in four orthodontic patients are adults! Adult teeth are also able to be moved using braces or Invisalign®. Thinking braces and Invisalign® are only for children and teens shouldn’t be a deterrent to achieving the straight smile you have always wanted.

Why Choose Invisalign®?

While we offer clear porcelain brackets and tooth colored arch wires for our adult patients choosing a more discreet orthodontic process, we equally treat a large amount of adults with the Invisalign® straightening treatment option. Invisalign® clear aligner trays are made from a clear, comfortable, medical grade acrylic material that fit over the arch of your teeth, and are often undetectable. This means no bulky metal and no potentially uncomfortable comments from friends and acquaintances.

Another major advantage of Invisalign® for our adult patients is the fact that the trays are removable. Removable trays mean patients are able to brush and floss teeth as normal, maintaining their normal oral hygiene regimen throughout the entire straightening process. This also allows patients the flexibility to remove their aligners for eating as the recommended time to wear them is 22 hours per day.

Choosing An Invisalign® Provider

Adults often become confused on just who to choose as their Invisalign® provider as many dentists are now offering Invisalign® as a dental service. While it may seem easier to purchase Invisalign® through your dentist and not switch between dental and orthodontic practices, dentists often do not have extensive experience or broader understanding of orthodontic tooth movement compared to orthodontists as they have not gone through the extensive orthodontic schooling and training that orthodontists must acquire. At SmilesForever Orthodontics, we are confident that the extra years of study and experience Dr. Brad Gilbert and Dr. Adam Wells have achieved will provide a more comprehensive treatment for you. Our highly trained SmilesForever orthodontists and our orthodontic team understand the complexities of the mouth and have a thorough understanding of all orthodontic treatment, allowing us to offer the best treatment for your needs.

Is Invisalign® right for me?

Invisalign®, in part, relies on the compliance of the patient. As the aligners are removable for eating and cleaning, some patients find it hard to remember to wear them or choose only to wear them at certain times. While offering the flexibility of briefly removing them, leaving them off for extended periods of time will limit the effectiveness. As mentioned previously, it is very important to wear the aligners as instructed by the orthodontist, typically 22 hours per day to ensure optimal results.

No two mouths are the same and your mouth is uniquely yours. Invisalign® has helped thousands of patients around the world achieve the cosmetic results they were looking for. However, there are a few instances where the Invisalign® system may not achieve optimal results. For example, problems concerning bite, crowding or an over abundance of space, to name a few, may require treatment such as traditional braces. The best way to know whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign® aligners is to come in for your FREE orthodontic consultation with SmilesForever Orthodontics where Dr. Wells and Dr. Gilbert will help you to make the right decision for you.

Announcing Our Summer Contest

May 1st, 2018

Smiles - Sunshine - Summertime FUN!

We are SO ready for summer. Like really ready. Early ready. SO ready we're starting our SmilesForever Orthodontics Summer Contest Photo Challenge TODAY!

At your next appointment be sure to pick up one of our Summer of Smiles signs to take your summer pictures with! Feel free to drop by for a sign before then if you'd like to better your chances in the drawing - each new picture posted earns you an entry!

Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Wells and our staff can't wait to see what fun and mischief our patients get up to this summer. Have fun smiling and GOOD LUCK!


2017 Best Orthodontic Practice!

February 12th, 2018


It is with great honor and our heartfelt gratitude we announce SmilesForever Orthodontics has been voted Best Orthodontic Practice by our valued patients and Gwinnett Magazine readers! Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and our entire SmilesForever Orthodontics Team thank you for helping us win the coveted “Best of Gwinnett Blue Ribbon” for 2017! You have voted us Best Orthodontic Practice NINE years in a row!!!

We are sincerely humbled and honored to receive this award. Our doctors and many of our staff live, work and play in Gwinnet County where we enjoy actively participating in and supporting our community. Partnering with local schools, sporting and academic teams, and community festivals, bring to focus that this is truly our home.

Being voted Best Orthodontic Practice in the largest county in the state of Georgia is quite special to us. 36 years ago, SmilesForever Orthodontics opened our doors and became part of the Gwinnett community. Today, as we celebrate our 36th anniversary, we are proudly providing orthodontic excellence with four office locations. Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Wells, along with every one of our SmilesForever team are committed to helping create beautiful, confident smiles. We enthusiastically participate in extensive training and continuing education to treat our patients with the utmost skill, technology, care, and compassion. We simply love bringing smiles to Gwinnett!

Thank you to Gwinnett Magazine and to all who voted for SmilesForever Orthodontics in “Best of Gwinnett”, making this notable award possible. We appreciate your support and your votes of confidence. Your votes let us know that our dedication to providing our patients the quality care and treatment are appreciated. They let us know that the families, schools and businesses we are so proud to work alongside recognize and value our services. They let us know that we are always welcome at home!

We look forward to helping our community smile for many many years to come!

Best of Gwinnett 2017 Voting Has Started!

July 17th, 2017

You can vote simply by clicking the button above!

We are sending out an enormous THANK YOU to all of our patients who have nominated SmilesForever Orthodontics for Best of Gwinnett 2017!

Your previous year's nominations and votes have placed us "Best" in the Best of Gwinnett County Orthodontic Practices category these past NINE years running! Our staff and orthodontists, Dr. Brad Gilbert, and Dr. Adam Wells take pride in the trust and confidence you continue to place in us to care for your families. Honestly, we don't take that lightly. Helping you to achieve beautiful, confident smiles is our utmost goal. That's why our SmilesForever doctors and staff continue to stay up-to-date on the latest and most beneficial orthodontic technologies each year.

It means the world to us that you have shown us just how much you truly appreciate our commitment to helping you achieve your BEST smiles, by nominating SmilesForever for BEST Orthodontic Practice in Gwinnett County, again this year!

We humbly ask you to cast your votes now for SmilesForever Orthodontics in the Orthodontic Practices category by clicking the button above and voting for us.

2016 Best of Gwinnett!

February 6th, 2017

SmilesForever Orthodontics has been chosen "Best" Orthodontic Practice!

As large as Gwinnett County has become, with so many options, you may wonder how you can trust that you are choosing the best businesses, service providers and health, medical and dental professionals for your families.

Each year, the readers of Gwinnett Magazine vote for their favorite businesses in a number of categories. The result of this voting is Gwinnett Magazine’s “Best of Gwinnett” awards. A list of the best places to dine, relax, work, play and get the qualified healthcare you are looking for. The 2016 votes were cast and tallied as thousands of voters logged online to share their thoughts.

The Results Are In

With your confidence and trust in us - we’ve been chosen “Best” 2016 Orthodontic Practice and have received the Best of Gwinnett award the past EIGHT years running! This is one of the awards we are most proud of! Why? Because our patients, have voted for us!

As we have for the past 30+ years, we remain committed to providing the highest quality of clinical care and personalized service. We truly enjoy getting to know each of our patients and your families. Along with beautiful, confident smiles, we love creating relationships that last multiple generations.

Dr. Brad Gilbert and Dr. Adam Wells along with our entire team THANK YOU for taking your valuable time to cast your votes, and most especially, for your continued confidence and trust in us!

Best of Gwinnett
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