Smile for a Lifetime Comes to Central Indiana

Smile for a Lifetime Comes to Central Indiana

Try this today. Walk up to someone and give them your best smile. Now don’t go creeping them out, but just offer up a pleasant, toothy grin. See what you get back.

Most times, you’ll find that your smile produces another smile in that friend, family member, or stranger. And then that person offers up their smile to the next person they meet. Before you know it, you’ll see your smile begets many smiles.

Bringing Free Braces and Invisalign to Those in Need

Dr. Benjamin Burris recognized this phenomenon when he launched the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation in 2008. His hope was that if he could help create a healthy smile for a child whose family could not otherwise afford it, then that newfound smile would go on to produce multiple smiles in that child’s surrounding community.

And nine years later, the program continues doing just that throughout the U.S. and Canada—giving free braces, Invisalign treatment, and other orthodontic care to individuals with financial challenges, special situations, and orthodontic needs.

Offering Affordable Orthodontics to Central Indiana

The Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics practice first caught a glimpse of this grin of hope last year. Dr. Bunch, Dr. Gorman, and I all heard about the foundation while traveling on separate orthodontic training trips. When we returned, we couldn’t wait to tell the others what we’d discovered, only to find out that they had the same news to share. It was meant to be!

As we researched more about the foundation, we knew our practice needed to get Smile for a Lifetime to the greater Indianapolis area. And so in the fall of 2016, we launched the very first Central Indiana Smile for a Lifetime Chapter in our Carmel, Westfield, Kokomo, West Carmel/Zionsville, and Fishers offices.

Helping Families Who Can’t Afford the Cost of Orthodontics

What does that mean for you? Well, that depends on you and your particular needs. While we’d love to help everyone in need, we’re specifically able to serve those individuals who:

  • Fall between the ages of 11-19.
  • Live within one-hour driving distance of our Carmel, Westfield, Kokomo, West Carmel/Zionsville, or Fishers offices.
  • Do not have a family income that exceeds a threshold of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level Annual Gross.
  • Have a significant esthetic need for braces.
  • Agree to maintain good oral hygiene, follow the treatment plan, and arrive on time for all appointments.
  • Are currently enrolled in school with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • Can complete 40 hours of community service during the treatment period.
  • Demonstrate regular participation in extracurricular activities.

Even if that doesn’t describe you, you may know someone in need of a healthy smile but without the funds to afford the cost of braces or Invisalign. If so, please find out more about the Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics Smile for a Lifetime Program, and then tell a friend or family member who could benefit.

Our Smile for a Lifetime Board of Directors will be reviewing and selecting our first recipients in April 2017, so don’t delay! And if you have any questions, please reach out to Heather Edwards at 317-867-1133.

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Defining Common Orthodontic Terms That Get Lost in Translation (A-F Edition)

Defining Common Orthodontic Terms That Get Lost in Translation (A-F Edition)

Having an opportunity to work with over 19,000 patients across Central Indiana, our orthodontic staff has all seen “the look.” You can’t be in business for 54 years and not see it.

It’s the glazed eye, furrowed brow look of perplexity. It’s the face we all get (and give) when hearing a language we don’t quite understand. And in our offices, it’s the reaction we see from clients after our staff utters a slew of unfamiliar jargon.

We’re guilty of it from time to time. We admit. But we’re also here to help clear up some of the things lost in translation. Below, we’ve compiled an alphabetical list of common terms and phrases in the orthodontic industry—just A to F for now—and tried to explain them in words we all can understand.

– A –


No, it’s not countertop equipment designed by Kitchen-Maid. An orthodontic appliance is simply any device we affix to your teeth to realign your jaw and/or adjust the placement of your teeth. Some examples of orthodontic appliances include palatal expanders, quads, lingual holding arches, and retainers.


Every mouth has its own unique dental arch—or curve of your jaw from one molar to another. When in braces, this metal wire spans this shape, connects the orthodontic brackets on your teeth, and shifts your teeth into proper place. We tend to replace the archwire periodically throughout your treatment.

– B –


These metal rings fit around your molars—those teeth in the back of your mouth—and secure the base of the archwire (see above) via a safe, oral adhesive application.


The archwire wraps around your dental arch and slides into brackets, which are cemented to the front of your teeth. For years, brackets only came in shiny metal materials. But nowadays, Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics patients can select either metal or ceramic brackets in an endless variety of designs and colors.

Prepare Your Child for Their First Orthodontic Appointment

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– C –

Coil Spring

When patients require more space between teeth (see crowding below), we fit the coil spring between the target brackets and over your archwire.


With properly aligned jaws, the upper teeth sit slightly over the lower teeth. But with crossbites, the upper teeth are displaced behind the lower teeth or the lower jaw protrudes out beyond the upper jaw (a.k.a. underbite).


As the name implies, the term crowding indicates a lack of sufficient space for teeth along the dental arch. Sometimes this occurs when teeth are especially large. But other times, it’s due to a variety of factors such as top or bottom jaws that are too narrow, genetics, thumb sucking as a child that resulted in a narrower dental arch, and more. Crowding can cause some teeth to have inadequate space to come in normally on their own, otherwise known as impacted teeth.

– D –

D.D.S. and D.M.D.

Depending on the dental school, graduates are either awarded their Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (D.M.D.) degree. (All Gorman & Bunch orthodontists have been awarded D.D.S. degrees.) For orthodontists, it’s the requisite education level between a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in orthodontics.

Deciduous Teeth

Most often associated with trees or shrubs, the term deciduous simply means “that which falls off.” And so in the dental world, it’s your first set of teeth that eventually fall out—also known as baby or primary teeth.

– E –


More commonly referred to as rubber bands, these small elastic rings get hooked by our patients from a bracket on the upper teeth to a bracket on the lower teeth—pulling jaws and teeth into proper alignment.


Also known as a palatal expander, we secure this device to the upper molars in order to widen the upper jaw (see crossbite definition above). Patients gradually expand their upper palate by inserting a small key into the expander and turning it slightly each day. Patients feel light pressure while turning the expander, but overall it’s a relatively painless process. Watch the short video below to see the process.

– F –

Fixed Retainer

Unlike their cousin appliance that can be quickly and easily removed by patients, the stainless steel fixed retainers get permanently bonded to the backside of the front teeth to prevent teeth shifting over time.

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Best Age - Child Orthodontist

At What Age Should I Take my Child to an Orthodontist?

What’s the best age to take my child to an orthodontist? We hear this question a lot at any and all of our Indiana orthodontic offices. And it’s a good one! After all, you want the best for your child—including the healthiest of teeth—and we want to help everyone in your family get that winning smile.

The Best Age to Take Child to an Orthodontist

At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, we recommend bringing your child to an orthodontist no later than the age of seven—while he/she still has many of his/her primary (baby) teeth. And if you notice any signs of a potential orthodontic problem, we suggest bringing your child in even sooner.

Why seven? First, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends this age. But on top of that, we know and have seen that many orthodontic problems can be more easily corrected before the face and jaws finish developing. Not that they can’t be fixed afterward—in fact, we treat many teens and adults with braces and Invisalign—but early detection can mean a simpler process for you and your child.

How Thumb Sucking Can Affect Your Child’s Teeth

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And of course, bringing your son or daughter in for an orthodontic evaluation does not guarantee he or she will need treatment. Many do not. But it does give you peace of mind that we can identify any dental irregularities before they worsen as your child develops. And then, only if necessary, we can set the best plan and timing for orthodontic treatment, creating the healthiest environment for your child’s teeth and gums.

What We Do During Orthodontic Treatment for Children

If our orthodontic evaluation uncovers some dental irregularities, we’ll design our First Phase Treatment Plan around your child’s unique needs. This treatment helps to halt the progression of any current problems, prevent future problems from developing, and guide the jaw bones into the best environment for your child’s permanent teeth to enter.

Some specific goals of our First Phase Treatment plan include:

  • Adjusting and aligning upper and lower jaws to proper widths.
  • Make space for crowded teeth and forthcoming permanent teeth.
  • Shorten eventual treatment time for kids who require braces.
  • Lessen the likelihood of needing to remove permanent teeth.
  • Reduce the necessity for oral surgery brought on by unfavorable growth patterns.

Signs Your Child May Need Our First Phase Orthodontic Treatment

Some signs of orthodontic problems—like protruding front teeth—may be easier to spot than others. But some dental concerns may live under the surface, impossible for even the most detailed of parents to discover.

Here are a few things to look for when trying to diagnose the potential need for your child’s orthodontic treatment:

  • Loss of baby teeth too early or too late
  • Trouble biting or chewing
  • Sucking thumb or fingers
  • Underbite or a bite that shifts to one side
  • Misaligned lower and upper teeth

If you’re still unsure if your child needs orthodontic care, we’re happy to help. Contact any of our Central Indiana offices in Carmel, Westfield, Kokomo, Marion, Zionsville, Fishers, and Wabash to schedule a complimentary orthodontic examination for your child. In just 60 minutes, you’ll know what your child needs for long-term dental health.

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Janus Developmental Services

Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics Races to Support Janus Developmental Services

On October 1, the Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics family unveiled our handcrafted derby car and raced down Main Street of Westfield, Indiana, in the Grand Junction Derby & Street Festival—all in support of Janus Developmental Services. The event takes place annually, hosted by the Westfield Parks Department.

Built by Dr. Jason Bunch, his brother, Ashley, and their dad, Keith, “The Smile Ride” speedster took to the pavement four times—with our clinical assistant Chelsey behind the wheel all day. After a first-round loss, we rallied to win our next two races. But sadly, our little derby car’s pushbar could not hold up against Dr. Bunch’s over-exuberant competitive spirit and broke off the vehicle in the final push.

While we came up just a bit short in the end, we were all winners that day as all proceeds supported Janus Developmental Services, which provides individuals with disabilities opportunities for education, employment training, and independent living.

We’re already dreaming how we can enhance our derby car and bring home the championship next year. We hope you’ll join us then! In the meantime, check out some photos from the day above, as well a great video by the Westfield Parks Department below.

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Gorman Summit 2015 Park City Utah

The Gorman Summit in honor of Dr. Jack Gorman was a weekend of speakers, education, and fun. The topic was “The Ten Things You Learned Since Residency.” Dr. Guido Sampermans started the lectures with years of knowledge and information. We were very blessed to have Dr. Sampermans join us from the other side of the pond.


The next morning we were lucky to have a Dr. Chuck Alexander from Montrose Colorado. He shared some eye opening information from the Alexander Discipline and from his years of a successful practice. Dr. Courtney Gorman wrapped up the meeting with some insightful information on patient care and practice management. The three speakers all touched on a few things that were a common theme. It is nice to see all three speakers had noticed several common themes since graduating and to get each one of their perspectives on the topics. The free time was filled with skiing, friends, and laughs. We will be excited to see what the next Gorman meeting will bring and hope to see everyone at the next Gorman meeting.

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Why You May Need Braces for Your Overall Oral Health

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