Chewing Gum: Does it Help or Hurt?

Young charming smiling dark-haired woman puts in mouth chewing gum, on green summer background.

For a long time, people thought gum was candy. After all, it doesn’t have nutritional value and is coated with sugar. Chewing gum is still considered to be candy by some today. Gum is also messy and sticky leaving spots on schoolgrounds and sticking to the bottom of your shoes.  How can that stickiness and sugar possibly have any health, let alone dental benefits?

Gum is Good for Your Dental Health, Well, Certain Kinds Are

Believe it or not, studies have shown that chewing gum relaxes, improves mood, reduces acid reflux and boosts brain power through increasing the heart rate and blood flow to the brain, according to a CNN article. The act of chewing also burns calories and can help curve hunger cravings. Gum not only has overall health benefits, but it also has many benefits to your dental health as well. Not any gum has these health and dental benefits. The American Dental Association only has its seal of approval on sugarless gum. Other studies have shown that the above health and dental benefits can only be provided by chewing sugarless gum. Most sugarless gum contains no calories and they have sugar substitutes that offer the same sweet taste but does not induce cavity formation like sugar does. The regular, sugar gum doesn’t offer the same health and dental benefits, making it a way like candy.

Dental Benefits of Gum

Chewing sugarless gum also has many dental benefits you may not have known about, with the most notable being its effectiveness in helping to prevent cavities. Yes, your favorite chewing sugarless gum can help prevent cavities. Other dental benefits of sugarless gum include tooth enamel strengthening and the strengthening of the teeth and jaws. Gum also helps protects teeth from food acids and the acid from acid reflux which can destroy tooth enamel. Sugarless gum contains aspartame, mannitol and sorbitol in place of sugar. These sugar substitutes, ironically, provide additional nourishment and strength to teeth enamel, making teeth more resistant to plaque build-up and cavities.

How does chewing gum achieve these benefits? The main answer is in the increased production of saliva. Whenever you chew something, your mouth will automatically produce saliva. Since gum is chewy, a prolonged influx of saliva production can clean the inside of the mouth. Your saliva is your body’s natural, built-in mouth cleaner. Saliva washes away food particles, plaque and other bacteria from on or between teeth. Your saliva also contains calcium and phosphates that strengthen and rebuild tooth enamel. The chewiness and softness of the gum won’t cause accidental chipping or fracturing of the teeth. Your teeth and jaw will become stronger with the chewing motion. The friction and grinding of teeth involved in chewing will build teeth up. Chewing also builds-up jaw muscles, joints and bone.

While sugarless chewing gum is great in preventing plaque build-up and cavities, it is still no substitute for teeth brushing and flossing.  Patients should also continue to see us at… twice a year for a professional teeth cleaning and teeth exam. Contact us today to set up an appointment so you can enjoy your gum in a healthy mouth for years to come.

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5 Worst Halloween Candies for Those Who Have Braces

5-worst-hallowe_172_d36233d23c41e74f05553ff4ef117b1cee1c2abeTrick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something that won’t damage my orthodontic treatment. Now that is a “rhyme?” that we can sink our teeth into. Halloween is a dangerous time for those who are navigating the world of braces. One wrong bite into a tasty treat can cause damage to your braces and prolong your treatment. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some of the candy that this holiday brings.

Here are some tips for the ghouls, witches, monsters, and superheroes going door to door on All Hallows Eve, collecting delicious treats, but being mindful of how this night of spookiness can affect their braces.

Here are 5 of the worst Halloween candies for kids with braces:

1- Blow Pops

Although delicious, these are the number one culprits of popping off brackets. Although they are suckers, so technically you should savor their flavor by “sucking” on them, inevitable the urge to bite into them wins. The hard-outer shell is a brackets enemy. But wait! There’s more… the bubble gum center is a sticky, chewy, recipe for disaster.

2- Candy/Caramel Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Right? Not when that “granny smith” is covered in sticky caramel or has a hard candy coating. These fruity snacks will most certainly cause a trip to the doctor. In this case, our office. The stickiness of the caramel is kryptonite to braces, so is the hard-candy shell. As tempting as this delicious treat may be, you must avoid them to keep your braces in working order.

3- Gummy Bears

Just look at those chubby-little cheeks, how can a tiny-tasty bear do you harm? Well, the sticky gumminess and sugary joy can break off brackets and bend wires. These little morsels are on the list for a good reason, so keep them off your “to munch on” list this Halloween.

4- Jolly Ranchers

More like Not-So-Jolly Ranchers. This sugary treat gives Blow Pops a run for their money when it comes to wreaking havoc on braces. Chewing on this hard candy will most certainly be a problem when it comes to breaking brackets and bending wires. You may have the best of intentions not to chew on these, but then… oops, there goes a bracket.

5- Laffy Taffy

Once again the sticky, gooey, chewy deliciousness threatens to undo the hard work of orthodontics. Even though this candy is soft (and often a source of hilarity), it has a way of latching itself onto your brackets and wires. “Jokes on you” when you bite into these fruity candies, so steer clear.

We are not saying that these treats are not 100% scrumptious, they just happen to be orthodontic enemies, so choose wisely this Halloween. Steer clear of the gooey, the sticky, and the chewy. But if you do find yourself in a braces emergency, contact our office and we’ll have the problem fixed in no time. We want to help you get the straight smile you’ve always dreamed of, in the fastest amount of time, so don’t let these candy culprits prolong your treatment during this night of fright.

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6 Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist

Orthodontist MesaGetting treatment (braces) from an orthodontist is a commitment that will most likely take a long time and require many dental appointments. The more you know about what to expect from the beginning, the better your journey to a perfectly straight smile will be.

Here are six important questions you should ask your orthodontist before you start your treatment:

#1 – What type of braces will I get?

There are three types of braces:

  • Metal – These are the traditional kind and are made out of stainless steel. They feature brackets that are bonded to each tooth and connected with a thin wire, which is adjusted with each visit in order to shift and align your teeth
  • Ceramic – These are made out of a translucent material and tend to have more of a cosmetic appeal in young adults and they function just like traditional-metal braces
  • Invisalign – These are a clear-fitted tray and are typically used on patients with mild orthodontic problems

Each patient is unique and you’ll want to discuss with your orthodontist which type of braces will work best for your individual situation.

#2 – How long will treatment take?

There are several variables that will determine how long a patient will need to wear their braces:

  • The type of braces
  • The severity of the needed correction
  • The compliancy of the patient’s treatment

However, the typical time for treatment is between six to 18 months.

#3 – Will tooth extraction be necessary?

Some patients may need to have teeth extracted to make room for their new smile. It is not always common, but sometimes a necessary part of treatment. If tooth extraction is needed, ask your orthodontist for an explanation for the reason why, so that you understand why it is necessary.

#4 – Will I feel pain?

Technology has made the materials used for braces more comfortable in today’s age, but the truth is that your teeth are moving, so there will be a level of discomfort. With each visit, braces get tightened, but any pain will subside within a few days.

#5 – Will I need a retainer?

It is a natural part of aging that our teeth tend to shift, so in most cases a permanent retainer will be necessary after braces. After all, you don’t want you newly straight teeth to shift out of position, right?

#6 – How much will it cost?

Make sure you discuss the total cost for treatment with your orthodontist. Before you start, you should know if they accept your insurance and get a breakdown of how much you will be paying (including the cost of a retainer after braces). Then you’ll know that there will be no billing surprises.

Making the decision to get braces can help you gain confidence in your smile and allow you to feel complete joy when you share it with the world. For more information on how braces can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of, contact our office today!

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Candy Corn Contest

captureDouble double, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble…

The great month of October brings crisp air, colored leaves, and the promise of ghouls, ghosts, and goblins to be out and about. It will soon be All Hallows’ Eve, and when dusk approaches, the streets will be filled with miniature batman’s, peg legged pirates, magical princesses, and chubby-little pumpkins.

All of those things are great, but we have something that will make this spooky month even better: a jar o’ candy corn and a cash money prize!

This month we are going to have a guessing/counting contest for our patients (so, be sure not to miss an appointment). Our front office will have a jar full of candy corn, come in, have a look, and give your best guesstimate at how many little Halloween treats are inside the jar. The person who guesses the closest wins the delicious contents of the jar and $50 (which can buy you even more delicious treats).

You don’t need an appointment to join in on the fun, stop by our office and see if you have what it takes to guess the amount of candy-corn in the jar.

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The Psychology of Smiling and How Straight Teeth Can Help You Smile More Confidently!

Straight white teeth

We smile when we’re happy, satisfied and confident. We like being around people who smile and our days get a little brighter when someone smiles at us as we walk by. We also admire people who have confident smiles.

What can smiling tell us and why are straight teeth more desirable?

The Psychology of Smiling

Smiling has been the subject of much psychological research. The first person to observe smiling and its connection to laughter and happiness was Charles Darwin. One of his findings indicated that smiling is universal. Though smiling is universal, the rules and etiquette around smiling is culture dominated. Southerners, for instance smile more than those up north. East Asians cover their smiles. Here are some other psychological observations concerning smiling:

  • Women smile more than men.
  • Powerful men smile more than less powerful ones.
  • The English smile less than many other groups.
  • Smiling helps bond people together.
  • Smiling has hormonal and physiological consequences which make us feel better and want to smile more. Smiling self-medicates and heals.
  • Smiling in humans can indicate dominance.
  • Psychologists have made many distinctions between genuine vs. fake smiles.

Why Straight Teeth Are Important

The unfortunate truth is that we often judge others by appearance. A Kelton Research study mentions, “whether a person’s smile and teeth are straight or crooked can have significant impact on her or his romantic and career success.” Because of the negative perception of crooked teeth, most people turn to corrective dental wear such as braces, Invisalign, and veneers.

Did you know that straight teeth not only give you more confidence, and makes you look good, but they are also beneficial to your dental health?

Straight teeth provide greater protection against potential dental issues in multiple ways:

  • Straight teeth are easier to clean. Crooked teeth are harder to clean with a toothbrush. They can also be hard for professionals to clean. There are fewer awkward, hard to reach crooks and crannies for germs, bacteria and plaque to grow. This is a good thing as plaque that is not cleaned out can turn into tarter within 24 hours. This can better protect you from cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Straight teeth are also in proper alignment. With teeth being proper alignment, the natural wear and tear of chewing is evenly distributed. This keeps you from dental issues that can arise from certain teeth bear more weight than what is normal. This can also help lessen the negative effects of teeth grinding as in Bruxism.
  • Straight teeth can protect your jaws. Straight and aligned teeth greatly reduce the risk of over-and under-bites. Dental issues such as jaw pain and temporomandular joint disorder (TMJ) arise when the two jaws are not properly aligned. Straight teeth can drastically reduce your risk of jaw and jaw joint disorders which can save you from potential surgery and pain.

Straight teeth are therefore, not only good for your self-image and self-esteem, but they can save you from potential long-term, future dental problems.

At Glauser Williams Orthodontics, we strive to give you the perfect smile with the straightest teeth possible. Whether you’re an adult who is serious about regaining your lost smile or your looking for braces for your child so he or she can have a lifetime of straight teeth, you’ll find the treatment you need to meet your specific dental goals. We work with children, teens and adults with minor to severe dental alignment needs.

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History of Braces

history-of-braces-infographicBraces are an effective teeth straightening technique that has been refined over the years. How did braces come about? Who came up with this innovative dental alignment technique?

Ancient Times

Though the field of orthodontics didn’t appear until the 1800s, archeologists have found ancient remains of people, dating back to 300-400 BC, who have some type of braces on their teeth. Whether the braces were an attempt to straighten teeth or for decoration, remains unclear. These braces consisted of simple metal wires wrapped around teeth. Some ancient people placed dental appliances into the mouths of the deceased, to prevent loss of teeth in the afterlife.

The first ever recorded teeth treatment was performed by a Roman physician and philosopher Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who advocated the straightening of teeth with one’s fingers.

18th Century

Advancements in orthodontics really took off in the 1700s. In 1728, French dentist Pierre Fauchard, who is often credited with inventing modern orthodontics, used a tooth straightening devices called the “Bandeau,” which was a horseshoe shaped piece of iron that was used to expand the arch. A few years later, another French dentist named Louis Bourdet, perfected the bandeau and became the first dentist recorded to recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth to avoid tooth overcrowding.

19th Century

While teeth alignment and extraction were now commonplace, the 19th century saw further advancements in orthodontics, making it an official science of its own. Dentists Delabarre, Maynard and Tucker came up with orthodontic appliances that refined braces. Delabarre ushered in the birth of contemporary orthodontics with his wire crib and Maynard was the first to use gum elastics. Tucker was the first to use rubber bands.  A dentist named John Nutting Farrar was the first to suggest the use of mild force at timed intervals to move teeth. American dentist J.S. Gunnell invented the first headgear. In the late 1800s, dentist Edward Hartley Angle, who is considered to be the Father of Modern Orthodontics, began using various orthodontic appliances to effectively treat malocclusion, or misalignment teeth and jaws. Angle also came up with a system of classifying crooked teeth which is still used by orthodontists today.

20th Century

In 1901, Edward Angle founded the first college of orthodontics, formed what is now the American Association of Orthodontists and founded the first orthodontic journal. Other innovations in orthodontics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries included the first textbook on orthodontics for children, published by J.J. Guilford in 1889, and the use of rubber elastics, which was pioneered by Calvin S. Case and Henry Albert Baker. In the mid-1900s, stainless steel came to replace gold and silver wiring and the invention of dental adhesives allowed brackets to be applied directly to teeth surfaces.  In the 1970s, behind-the-teeth braces were first used.

The field of orthodontics continue to advance and improve. There are now many types of braces available from traditional metal braces to ceramic braces to virtually invisible Invisalign. At Glauser Williams, we provide exceptional orthodontic services.  Contact us today to begin the journey to straighter teeth.

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Patient Appreciation and Backpack Drive!

Woman holding we love you signThank you to all our patients who attended our patient appreciation event held on August 11th. We enjoy putting on these regular patient appreciation events and hope our patients had a good time. It is our patients that we work for and Glauser-Williams Orthodontics would not be where it is today without them. We do all we can to give each patient a relaxing and enjoyable experience while receiving the best care. Our experienced orthodontists use the best orthodontic practices while using the latest technology.

While we love our patients, we realized we could extend love to those less fortunate. With school starting, we decided to serve homeless children in our communities. Homeless youth have a harder time completing and doing well in school. Part of this problem comes from their inability to purchase necessary school supplies. At the patient appreciation event, our patients had the opportunity to love these kids and make a positive difference in their lives. We held a backpack drive where patients can drop-off a new or gently used backpack at our office which were then given to homeless children so they can be better equipped to start school. After the patient appreciation event, the backpacks were delivered to the local homeless shelter. We had a great turn out, and though our patients didn’t need any incentive to help those in need, we still gave patients an opportunity to be entered into a drawing for a Tilly’s gift card when they brought in their backpack donation.

Our lucky drawing winner was Emma Johnson.

Glauser-Williams Orthodontics is proud to be a member of the Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Ahwatukee communities. We strive to have a welcoming environment in all four of our offers. At Glauser-Williams we want our patients to feel appreciated every day, not just at our patient appreciation events. Our office is fun, yet comfortable. We offer amenities that many orthodontic offices don’t have, such as portable video games at every chair and Wii and PSP 360 available while you wait. We even give each patient ice cream at the end of each office visit. Our unique amenities don’t end there. Come on in and check all our amenities out for yourself.

Glauser-Williams Orthodontics is a full-service orthodontic practice what provides a wide range of services including braces, Invisalign and oral surgery. We also cater to the specific orthodontic needs of children and teens. We have multiple financing options available and will work with you on the best one for you. We offer information and resources for not only the services we offer, but other orthodontic appliances.

If you’re currently not a member, we invite you to stop by our office and become a member of our great family. During your first visit, you’ll fill out a dental profile summarizing your orthodontic history and needs. We’ll give you a complimentary exam which will include x-rays.

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What You Need to Know About Life After Braces

Oral Care After BracesKnowing what to expect while you have braces is much different than knowing what to expect after your teeth have served their time and the braces are removed.Here is a look at what you should be doing to keep your mouth clean and healthy during and after braces:

Keeping bacteria from finding a harmful home around brackets and wires is extremely important. With all that extra “equipment” comes extra places for bacteria to linger and cause decay. Taking care of your oral health is important with or without braces, but paying extra attention when you have braces will play a major role in the health of your teeth and gums.

What you need to know about life after braces:

This is when your “metal mouth” turns into a brilliant and beautiful smile. You will be able to bite into a delicious sandwich or burger without the fear of having bread lodged in your brackets, and that is an incredible feeling. The only thing better than not having food constantly stuck in your braces is the feeling you’ll have when you check out your perfectly straight grin in the mirror.

Being able to munch on your favorite foods, without a mouth full of crumb-covered brackets, is just the tip of the iceberg. After you get your braces removed you’ll need to pay close attention to your oral health, so that all that time and effort doesn’t go to waste.

How do wisdom teeth affect your smile?

Most people have their wisdom teeth removed around the age of 20, which is when they start to erupt. Here is why and how they can affect your newly straightened smile once you get your braces off…

Our ancestors had the need for third molars (wisdom teeth) in order to properly chew food, such as meat, nuts, and roots. However, evolution has made wisdom teeth unnecessary because we no longer rely solely on our teeth to break down our meals. We now have the luxury of utensils, such as knives and have the ability to cook our food in ways that makes it easy to chew.

Wisdom teeth can wreak havoc within the mouth if they do not erupt properly. They can be impacted or grow horizontally, which causes the other teeth to shift and move. Anyone who has gone through the “braces” years should be aware that having your wisdom teeth removed will help insure that your newly straightened teeth don’t become crooked again.

Permanent & Removable Retainers

Many people who have braces will require a retainer to make sure their teeth don’t move once they are taken off. This can be something that is attached to back of the teeth permanently or in the form of a mouthpiece that is fitted to the teeth and worn at night.

Oral Care After Braces

Braces are an incredible way to turn a “not so perfect” smile into something to show off to the world. Having straight-beautiful teeth boosts confidence and self-esteem. But, all the time spent with a mouth full of equipment can be destroyed if oral hygiene is neglected. Your time wearing brackets will be worthwhile if you take care of your dental health. Brush your teeth (at least) twice a day, floss (at least) once a day, and make regular dental visits a part of your routine. Contact our office for more information on what to expect after braces.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About the Different Types of Braces

Straight teeth not only look good, but they are also good for your mouth’s health. Crooked teeth can lead to crowding which can inhibit tooth function and cause jaw misalignment. If not treated, severely crooked teeth may need to be extracted. To straighten crooked teeth, braces are used. There are four kinds of braces patients can choose from. For patients in need of braces, it is suggested they talk with us about which type of braces will most benefit them.

Below are the four types of braces you’ll find at our four offices:

Traditional

teeth with bracesTraditional, or metal braces are made of high grade stainless steel. These types of braces are the most commonly used and tend to be the least expensive option. Brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth and are decorated with colorful ligatures. These ligatures come in a variety of colors and are changed out every 6-8 weeks when the braces get adjusted.

Traditional braces are best for children and are used in severe tooth misalignment and over/under bite problems.

Ceramic

a13fdf72ef209f13dd57f28c68e39de7 Contrary to how it sounds, ceramic braces are made from a clear, transluc
ent material, not a cream or white colored putty. Like behind the teeth and Invisalign type of braces, ceramic braces are popular among adults and teens because of their discreet, cosmetic appearance. Ceramic braces are just as effective as traditional braces, but are not as noticeable.

Behind tooth

braces-behind-your-teethBehind the teeth braces, also called Nano braces, are similar to traditional braces, except these braces are cemented onto the back of your teeth, not the front. These are popular options for teens and adults who want straight teeth, but don’t want the unappealing look of traditional braces.

Invsalign

invisalignInvisalign has become popular the past few years and are popular among our adult and teen patients. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign uses aligner trays, rather than bonding metal brackets and ligatures to each tooth. These types of braces are good for patients with less severe orthodontic problems. These types of braces are also a good choice for our adult patients because of their discreet appearance. Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic trays that gradually move teeth into their proper position. These trays usually come in pairs and need to be changed out every two weeks. Invisalign patients will be seen by our dentists every 8 weeks to assess and monitor progress. Invisalign is one of the more expensive options and may not be right for everyone. Come and speak to one of our dentists to see if this type of braces is best for your dental needs.

Braces are the most effective way for you to get straight teeth which will give you’re a beautiful smile and help you avoid future dental complications and issues. With four Glauser Williams Orthodontist offices located in Queen Creek, Gilbert, Mesa and Ahwatukee, there is one near you. Visit the closest office to get started on your way to a perfect and healthy smile.

Visit one of our four Arizona locations to find out how braces can help you get a straight, beautiful smile.

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Invisalign vs Traditional Braces

Glauser williamsHaving a smile that you are proud of can make or break many aspects of life. Everyday happiness can come from feeling good about showing off your beautiful smile. However, the opposite happens for many. When you don’t feel comfortable or are embarrassed about having misaligned teeth, you tend to hold back on smiling. This can play a very major role on your health and overall happiness. When we smile there is a chemical reaction within the brain that allows us to feel joy. When we share that same smile with others, they have the same reaction. It is difficult to share that joy if you feel uneasy about your teeth.

Not to worry, advances in the dental technology world have given us ways to take a not-so-straight set of teeth and turn them into a set of chompers that you will be proud to show off. Now the question is: Traditional braces or Invisalign? Which is right for you?

Take a look at the differences, how they work, and the pros of cons of both.

Traditional Braces

This is the original way to straighten teeth and still an incredible option. These are made up of three parts:

  • Bonding – the “glue” that holds the bracket onto the tooth
  • Brackets- how the archwire is connected from tooth to tooth
  • Archwire – a thin wire laced through the bracket that gently forces the teeth to move

Each of these components are important in the process. The first day that you receive your braces your teeth will be unfamiliar with the feeling of being forced to move. But hang in there, through regular visits and adjustments your teeth will be well on their way to finding that perfectly straight position.

Pros – they work, they stay in place (unless you break a bracket chomping on a hard candy), and they will most certainly give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of

Cons – they are difficult to keep clean, brackets may break (there is that candy issue again), and they tend to give people the look of “metal mouth”

Invisalign

Invisalign is a computer-generated tray that through a series of adjustments will force your teeth into the desired position. Each series generally takes about two weeks, and the amount of series depends on the patient.

This one is most popular among adults who are in the market for straighten their teeth. Most people seek the help of professionals to straighten their teeth within their teenage years. This is because it is easy to walk around with a mouth full of metal when all of your peers are doing the same. It isn’t the same in the adult world, which brings us to the pros and cons:

Pros – they are discreet. Most people will not even notice that you are wearing them and they are removable

Cons – limited treatment abilities, which means the process may take longer

One is not better than the other, it will ultimately come down to determining the specific need of each patient. Contact us for more information and we will be happy to answer questions to help you decide whether traditional braces or Invisalign will work best in giving you a beautiful smile.

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6848 E. Brown Rd
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Phone: (480) 832-8686
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3233 E. Chandler Blvd
Suite 14A, Phoenix, AZ 85048
Phone: (480) 704-0408
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3329 E. Baseline Rd
Gilbert AZ 85234
Phone: (480) 632-6868
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21321 E. Ocotillo
Suite G 115, Queen Creek AZ 85242
Phone: (480) 358-4310
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