Why an Orthodontist Is Better for Straightening Teeth Than a Dentist

Why an Austin Orthodontist is Better for Teeth Straightening than Dentists

Most people don’t have naturally straight teeth, so they look for help from an orthodontist or dentist. Straightening out your teeth can be a long, expensive process, and it’s not a decision to take lightly. You should choose your professionals carefully, and in most, if not all cases, it’s better to see an orthodontist than a dentist for straightening your teeth.

Orthodontists have more training.

Not all dentists are orthodontists, but all orthodontists are dentists. Orthodontists go through dental school before their orthodontic residency program, so they have the same training as dentists and more. The residency program usually takes two or three years to complete and gives them experience working on a variety of orthodontic cases.

Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth.

Dentists provide many valuable services, but orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth. Braces or other teeth straightening services can cost thousands of dollars, so you should choose someone who specializes in that field.

Orthodontists are highly trained on issues with jaw alignment as well. For your teeth to straighten properly and stay in place, your jaw has to have the correct alignment. An orthodontist can determine if your jaw can support straightened teeth and will suggest the best treatment option based on the current state of your jaw and teeth.

Orthodontists are familiar with the newest technology.

Orthodontists are teeth-straightening specialists, so they stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques. Every year, there are new strategies and inventions that make orthodontic work easier. You should see an Orthodontic specialist who will know the best treatment options for your specific case.

Orthodontists usually offer a wider variety of orthodontic services than dentists. For example, some dentists only offer Invisalign, which isn’t the right treatment for everyone. Your orthodontist will also be able to develop a treatment plan to keep your teeth straightened after your braces are removed. Keeping your teeth aligned is just as important as the initial treatment, and orthodontists know the best ways to accomplish that.

If you are interested in learning how Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson can help you achieve a new smile, give us a call to schedule an appointment. Initial consultation are always complimentary!

The Different Types Of Bite Problems That Need Orthodontic Attention

The Different Types Of Bite Problems That Need Orthodontic Attention

Not everyone has their upper and lower jaws aligned to be exactly perfect. Having both the jaws aligned perfectly is ideal, which is why people often seek orthodontic treatment to be able to correct this. If these are not fixed in time, they can lead to a variety of orthodontic problems in the long run, which can sometimes be difficult to handle. Things like wear and breakage of the teeth, speech problems, food retention are all problems that people face when their jaws are not aligned with each other. Adequately aligned jaws are also considered to be more aesthetically pleasing and can make a smile look better and brighter than it already is.

Here are some of the common jaw and bite related problems that people tend to face, which may require attention and orthodontic treatment.

A person is said to have an underbite when the lower jaw extends further out than the upper jaw. In this case, the teeth of the lower jaw are rested in front of the upper teeth. An underbite, when not treated in time, can cause a host of other bite related problems.

An overbite is similar to an underbite and is when the upper jaw extends forward as compared to the lower jaw, which is the case in underbite. The teeth of the upper jaw rest in front of the lower jaw. Sometimes, the teeth overlap in a way which makes the lower teeth appear hidden, resulting in a smile that shows more gums and fewer teeth.

A crossbite is something that forms as a result of an underbite and overbite not being treated promptly. In a crossbite, the teeth are not aligned properly and can appear disrupted. It is common for patients to have to move their upper jaw to one side, just to be able to close their mouth and align their laws properly.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
Upper Front Teeth Protrusion is characterized by the teeth of the upper jaw protruding forward extensively. In this, the functionality of the teeth and jaws are compromised, and the person cannot properly bite or use these front teeth. They have to rely on their back teeth to be able to chew their food.

Crowding happens when the teeth do not have enough room to grow out of the gums in the early stages of development. This starts to emerge when a child is around seven to ten years old, but can also emerge later on in life. It is one of the most common reasons for which people tend to seek braces.

Spacing happens between the teeth for a variety of reasons. One of them is because the structure of the jaw is big, and the teeth have a little too much room to grow out. If a person has missing teeth, or even if they have any of their teeth removed in the past, over time, the remaining teeth tend to spread out, causing spacing.

Open bite
Open bite is one of those jaw alignment issues that need to be addressed at the earliest before it becomes too late. In this, the upper and the lower jaw are both not aligned with each other, thereby creating a large space in between the upper and lower teeth. This can cause severe chewing issues and can lead to a host of other jaw-related problems.

Dental Midlines not Matched
The dental midlines should be attached so that the jaw can function adequately, and without any disruptions. This alignment is mostly done for aesthetic reasons. However, it can lead to other kinds of bite related problems, depending on the severity of the situation.

If you would like to get a thorough checkup of your smile and bite, contact our Austin Orthodontics practice for a complimentary consultation today!


Dental Care for Toddlers

Dental Care for Toddlers - Steiner Ranch Orthodontist

Although your baby’s teeth are temporary, keeping them clean and healthy is important. As soon as they appear, usually around six months of age, baby teeth are susceptible to decay. Referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries, early cavities affect the ability to chew and speak and may keep adult teeth from coming in correctly. Decay occurs when acid from sugar in fruits and vegetables forms on the teeth and damages the enamel. Therefore, it is so important to keep your baby’s teeth healthy. With the proper care, your child, by the age of three, should have a full set of 20 teeth, strong jaws that make room for permanent teeth, and good habits that will last a lifetime.

Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth

Good oral hygiene begins as soon as your child is born. You can start by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a sterile washcloth or moist gauze pad during the first days after birth. Around six months, you will see teeth pushing through the gums, although this may naturally occur later in some children. When this happens, brush your toddler’s teeth twice a day, or as directed by professionals, with a child-sized toothbrush and a tiny drop of fluoride toothpaste. As soon as the child has two teeth that touch, clean between the teeth daily.

Toddlers between the ages of three and six can brush their own teeth, but close supervision is needed to make sure the teeth are clean, no toothpaste is ingested, and the proper amount of paste is used.


Teething, like walking and talking, is a ritual celebrated by cultures around the world. You will likely see this process begin between the third and sixth month when the front teeth erupt, often causing symptoms of irritability, drooling, loss of appetite, or sleeplessness. One by one, teeth will push their way through the gums until there is a full set of 20, usually around the age of three. In some cases, however, the first teeth may not appear for 12 to 14 months, a process sometimes influenced by heredity. While some discomfort during teething is normal, signs of diarrhea, fever, or rash are not. If these occur, consult a medical professional.

First Dental Visit

The American Dental Association recommends a dental visit within six months, and no later than one year, after your baby’s first tooth appears. An early visit to the dentist helps to prevent future problems and teach healthy habits. During the first consultation, the dentist will examine your child’s mouth to see that it is developing properly, discuss risks of tooth decay or thumb sucking, clean the teeth, and give you tips for daily care. Future treatments and appointments are usually arranged at this time.

This visit is also an opportunity to give your dentist a friendly face. You can help by following a few simple steps: Schedule your child’s appointment during a time of the day when he is not tired or hungry. Be positive. If you are anxious, your child will sense your feelings and feel less confident, as a result. Never bribe your child or use dental visits as a threat or punishment. You want trips to the dentist to be a pleasant experience in the future.


Fluoride is a mineral found in all sources of water, including oceans, lakes, and rivers, in varying amounts. It is also added to some kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash, as well as to tap water, to fight tooth decay. Because fluoride makes teeth more resistant to cavities and repairs weakened enamel, young children who do not get an adequate supply of fluoride may have an increased risk for dental problems. If you are not sure of the fluoride content in the bottled or tap water your child drinks, contact your state or local health department or water supplier for more information. Your dentist or pediatrician may recommend a fluoride supplement if you live in a community where fluoride is not added to drinking water.

Pacifiers and Thumbs

Sucking is a normal and comforting part of your child’s development. It is so soothing, though, that it may lead to problems when it is no longer necessary for feeding and is used only for self-comfort. Infants and young children often become attached to thumbs, fingers or pacifiers, and caregivers may rely on these methods for calming. Especially when dipped in sugar, honey, juice, or other substances that harbor germs, pacifiers promote cavities. There is also a connection between pacifiers and middle ear infections.

The American Dental Association says that most children give up a thumb or pacifier by the age of four. Those who continue past the age of five not only risk tooth decay, but they also may have misaligned jaws, mouth sores, or misfitting teeth.

Get in touch

The Austin Orthodontist practice of Dr. RJ Jackson invites you to schedule a free initial consultation at our Steiner Ranch Orthodontist location. We will conduct a thorough evaluation and provide you or your child with the best course of orthodontic treatment.  Call us today at (512) 363-5792.

Four Reasons to Get Invisalign in 2018

Four Reasons to Get Austin Invisalign in 2018

The start of the new year is a great time to set goals and make improvements to your life. If you feel insecure about your teeth or smile, you should add getting Invisalign to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Maybe you’ve thought about Invisalign before but are worried that it will be inconvenient or ineffective. You’ll always be able to think of reasons not to take the plunge and work on straightening your teeth, but there are even more reasons why you should. Here are four reasons why 2018 should be your year to get Invisalign from your Austin orthodontist:

1. You’ll smile and laugh more.

Smiling and laughing are two things you should never have to feel insecure about. After your Invisalign treatment, you’ll be able to smile for group photos and laugh loudly without worrying about how your teeth look. You’ll feel much more confident and positive, and you’ll be excited to show off your smile.

2. You’ll have a more fulfilling social life.

As you become more confident in your appearance, your social life will only get better. You’ll experience less stress and worry about social events, and you’ll say “yes” to more invitations and opportunities.

3. It will put an end to jaw pain.

Invisalign isn’t just a cosmetic treatment. Crooked teeth can cause functional issues with your bite, which can lead to jaw pain. For example, your crooked teeth may cause you to favor one side of your mouth when chewing, which could cause you to overwork that side. You may not even realize the severity of your jaw pain, tension, or discomfort until your teeth start straightening out.

4. Your teeth will be healthier.

Crooked teeth are more difficult to brush and floss than straight teeth, which increases the likelihood of cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. If you can’t thoroughly clean your teeth because of crookedness, you may also suffer from bad breath. With Invisalign, you can remove your aligners to clean your teeth, so you’ll be able to keep them perfectly clean during and after the straightening process.

Invisalign is a comfortable, convenient alternative to traditional braces. It’s great for adults who want to achieve their ideal smile discreetly. No one will be able to see that you’re wearing braces, and you can remove them to eat and drink whatever you want. With Invisalign, your orthodontist can plan out the treatment in advance, so you’ll avoid the trial and error process of metal braces. If you want to straighten your teeth and improve your smile, 2018 is the year to do so. Schedule an appointment with your Austin orthodontist today to discuss Invisalign.

The Five Steps of Getting Braces in Austin

The Five Steps of Getting Braces in Austin Texas
Getting braces can be exciting! The idea of a perfect, beautiful smile is appealing. The thought of having dental work done is not so appealing. Knowing what to expect can make the process much less intimidating. Getting braces is an ongoing event that can be summed up in five basic steps.

1. The Referral

The first person to be aware of your need for braces will likely be your dentist. It’s important to visit your family dentist regularly. They will always spot potential trouble and help you to keep a healthy, attractive smile. Your dentist can let you know when you need an orthodontist. They will generally be able to recommend a good Austin orthodontist for you. Your dentist may even do the first X-rays at this stage of the process.

2. Your Consultation

When you meet with your orthodontist, they will examine your teeth. They may need to take X-rays of your mouth unless your dentist has sent along some recent ones. At this point, they will diagnose any issues. Braces may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Crowding, gaps, overbites and cross-bites are just a few of the reasons braces may be prescribed. The orthodontist will come up with a treatment plan and provide you with all of the necessary information.

3. The Treatment Process

For traditional braces, you will first have your teeth cleaned and conditioned. This may take as little as fifteen to thirty minutes. Brackets are cemented to each tooth involved in the treatment. A wire is then inserted through the brackets. Each bracket has a door that is then closed to hold the wire in place. It usually takes one or two hours for the entire visit.

Ceramic and clear braces are a couple of the other options. These work in the same basic way. A dental adhesive is applied to each tooth to hold the brackets into place when these methods are used. If you receive Austin Invisalign braces, the process is a bit simpler. Clear aligners are made for you and worn for one to two weeks. You must return to the orthodontist regularly for new sets as they slowly correct your teeth alignment.

4. Living with Braces

Braces may be required for six months or up to two years. The average time for Invisalign is about a year. Braces will mean certain restrictions on what you can eat. Hard foods could damage the braces. Sticky or crunchy items may get stuck in them and cause cleaning issues. You will need to visit a dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Regular orthodontist appointments will make sure that the process is working as intended. You may need minor adjustments to the braces as your teeth move and shift into place.

5. Removal

Before you know it, the day will finally come when your braces can be removed. You will often end up with a retainer after the braces are off. A retainer is a device worn on your teeth to prevent them from shifting back to their previous alignment. The retainer is normally worn at night while you sleep. In some cases, you may receive a fixed retainer that is cemented in, similar to how the braces were.

The typical time period for retainer use is equal to the length of time you wore braces. In any case, you will have follow-up visits with your Austin orthodontist to make sure the initial treatment is holding up. After everything is done, you can enjoy your new smile!

Taking Care of Your Braces During the Holidays

Steiner Ranch Orthodontist Offers Tips to take care of your braces during the holidays

The holidays are just around the corner. This means the thought of food and delicious treats begins to fill our minds! But, don’t forget about those braces; you want them to stay intact and in good shape. That’s why RJ Orthodontics near Steiner Ranch/River Place wants to ensure that everyone has a fun and enjoyable season, while keeping your braces and orthodontic treatment in perfect order.

Just before the holiday season starts, make an appointment to come by and get your braces checked by Dr. RJ. If you are unable to make the trip, make sure you have plenty of rubber bands, toothpaste, wax and retainer cases, so you aren’t left without the necessities. Going without rubber bands might prolong your treatment. Taking care of your braces during the holiday season requires a bit of effort, including keeping both your braces and your mouth clean.

Things you might want to avoid

Popcorn is one of the things you most want to avoid; popcorn kernels can pose a huge problem to braces. They can become lodged in your brackets and wires, and it’s difficult to remove all the pieces. Popcorn kernels can also cause pain, and in some cases, may cause bleeding in your gums. The holidays are also known for cookies and candy — sweets no one can resist! You don’t want to have an excess coating of sugar sitting on your teeth, since it can cause decay. Make sure you brush your teeth soon after enjoying your sweet treats.

Tips for Braces Care

Brushing: After each meal and before bedtime, brush your teeth and braces with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. There are special toothbrushes for braces called “interdental toothbrushes” that help get to those hard-to-reach places like under wires, between brackets and in the back of your mouth.

Flossing: Floss at least twice a day or even after each meal. Floss the areas between your teeth — even the hard to reach places. Floss threaders can make navigating between the brackets and around the braces easier.

Elastics: If Dr. RJ has provided you with elastics, wear them at all times. The only time you shouldn’t wear them is when eating and when brushing your teeth. Make sure you have the correct elastic size as well as some extras just in case you misplace them.  Failure to wear your elastics could increase the” risk of  your teeth shifting, thereby prolonging your treatment.

Water Pik: In addition to flossing, you can try the oral irrigation device, known as Water Pik. This device is a water power system that mimics flossing. For some, this system minimizes pain and bleeding in the gums, compared to flossing.

Travel Kit: If you are planning to travel during the holidays, having a braces kit is a great idea. Within this kit, keep a small toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, wax, elastics and a small mirror to check your smile. These are great for the car, backpack, bag, or purse.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed by all, even if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. By remembering just a few things, you can be sure your new smile stays healthy and your treatment time remains on schedule. For questions, feel free to contact RJ Orthodontics in Steiner Ranch / River Place area of Austin.

Happy Holidays everyone!

The Importance of Orthodontists

Orthodontics Health Month

The month of October was designated as the National Orthodontics Month, and it is reserved for the recognition of the orthodontists’ contribution to society. More than a million people in the United States and thousands in Austin, TX have braces on their teeth, or other types of enhancement that is being installed on the dental area in order for them to showcase better smiles. These people seek the help of the orthodontists to have their teeth fixed. Orthodontists are professionals who specialize in diagnosing and preventing bad bites. They are also responsible for the intervention of the problem with biting, offering some ways on how to correct it. Orthodontic treatments are made available by these professionals so that a person having problems with biting or chewing their food can have theirs jaw realigned so that it could perfectly fit with each other. Having difficulty biting would make it harder for these people to chew their food, and it would give them an unpleasant feeling when eating. Their ultimate task is to straighten the teeth, making sure that each individual tooth is in place by using techniques which are native to the profession.

Orthodontists are dealing with all sorts of deformities in the teeth. They deal with people who are having crowded teeth, protrusive teeth, teeth that are spaced and are too far from each other, teeth having an abnormal way of growing, or teeth that do not meet at all. They do their best to correct these deformities in order to fix the smile on their patients’ faces. If someone is experiencing one of these problems, all they have to do is to visit their orthodontist, and they will be checking out which kind of treatment is good for the condition. If someone is having difficulty biting or chewing their food, the orthodontist can recommend putting in some braces to fix the alignment of the teeth. Other available orthodontic treatment can be recommended as well, in order to make sure that the teeth will be straightened. A set of teeth that is aligned properly is not just pleasing to the eyes, but it also promotes good oral health. People who are ignoring these problems with the teeth can develop further deterioration of their dental health, including tooth loss, tooth decay, bleeding gums and jaw problems.

The most common types of methods that the orthodontists use in order to fix the alignment of the teeth will be braces and retainers. Austin dental braces, as stated earlier, is a type of metal that is being place on the teeth in order for them to move and become straight. The process can initially be painful, but as the mouth and teeth copes with the instrument, pain can be lessened. The effect of the braces can be seen in a few weeks, and the patient who has a brace on their teeth must visit their orthodontist regularly so that the progress of the treatment can be recorded. Realignment and fixing of the braces is also important, which is why patients with braces must regularly have their orthodontist check their teeth so that no further problems can develop. Another method being used by orthodontists are retainers. Retainers stabilize and preserve the outcome of the treatment provided by the orthodontist.

To summarize, orthodontists are important because they promote good oral health. Without them, difficulty in chewing might arise, resulting to other complications. For those who are living within the Austin metropolitan area and are having problems with how they bite and chew, RJ Orthodontics Austin welcomes you for a new patient consultation.

Austin Back To School Braces Care Tips

Austin Kids Heading Back to School - Orthodontic Tips from RJ Orthodontics in Austin TX

Summer is almost over and the temperatures have calmed down. It is the season for sporting, and most of all its time for children to go back to school. Parents tend to get caught up with school uniform, books, school fees, and other essentials for bracing their kids to resume learning but they tend to forget about oral health. Indeed, your child’s teeth are as crucial as their overall health. Dr. RJ Jackson your Austin Orthodontist, has the best oral practices for kids with braces as you prepare for them to go back to school.

Oral Hygiene Routine

A part of maintaining healthy teeth is following the 2×2 brushing concept. This means you need to train your kids to brush twice a day and for two minutes each time. Brushing at lunch time is advisable since food debris tends to get trapped in the teeth and encourages the formation of plaque. This is one of the reasons your child should carry a braces care kit. Apart from keeping up with oral hygiene, the braces kit also keeps your child prepared for situations that arise from wearing braces. The braces care kit should have the following:


  • Toothbrush
  • Dental wax
  • Dental floss
  • Lip balm

Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss will be handy for brushing after lunch. Dental wax will help if your child’s braces irritate their gums, cheeks, or lips. Wax reduces irritation whereas lip balm helps to moisten dry lips caused by wearing braces.

Carry a Water Bottle

Experts advise people to take 2 ½ liters of water every day. Water is not only refreshing it also supports many body processes. Drinking water is also necessary for ensuring you are hydrated. It also keeps the mouth clean, and fights decay and cavities. Drinking lots of water will also prevent your kid from taking sugary drinks to quench their thirst. These sugary drinks stain the teeth which result in white spots on the brackets. If your kid should drink sugary drinks or soda, then they should take it with a straw to prevent contact with the teeth.

Carry Extra Rubber Bands

Ensure you child carries an extra pack of rubber bands to school. If they have a locker, ask them to lock in extra rubber bands for emergencies. Elastics are important for moving the teeth and result in shorter treatment times. Since rubber bands wear out and loose elasticity in a short time, it is advisable to keep an extra set. Ask an Austin Orthodontist when and how often your child should replace rubber bands.

Watch Your Diet

Your diet is an important part of oral health. Chewy, hard, and crunchy foods are likely to damage your braces. Furthermore, sugary foods increase your chances of getting cavities and decay. Make teeth-friendly foods for your kids. These include foods like yogurt, eggs, fruit smoothies, cooked vegetables, and soft foods like spaghetti, lean meat, and macaroni and cheese. Bananas are also recommended for high fiber and potassium to keep the bones strong and for a healthy heart. If your child must take hard fruits like apples and pears, slice them into small pieces and instruct them to chew using their back teeth. Biting hard fruits directly is strongly discouraged because it can cause damage to braces.

As you plan to take your child back to school, remember not to neglect their oral health needs. Kids with braces need to pay more attention to their teeth. Apart from ensuring your kids brush their teeth 2-3 times a day, practices such as flossing should be encouraged. They should also carry a brace care kit for emergency situations. Braces are sensitive to foods and can easily get damaged; therefore, you should ensure your child eats the right foods. For more advice and for any queries about your child’s oral health as you prepare to take them back to school, feel free to contact our Austin Orthodontics practice. We’re always here to help!

Second Opinions Matter In Orthodontic Care

Austin Orthodontist offering second opinions

Did you know, according to a 2000 study, adults are more likely to get a second opinion on major home repairs than they are to get a second opinion on orthodontic care. Patients often assume that all orthodontists will offer the same treatment plans at the same cost. This simply isn’t so. With the great advancements in technology, getting a second opinion is always beneficial. Doctors may have different approaches when developing your treatment plan. Before deciding on an orthodontist, make sure to speak to several doctors, and choose the plan that is best for you.

Cost is always an important factor when picking the best treatment option. There are some clinics which offer free second opinions. RJ Orthodontics in Austin, TX, for example, offers free second opinions and competitive pricing. Dr RJ Jackson offers payment options that fit your budget, so you don’t have to stress about paying the bill. Second opinions allow you to learn about different payment options. You don’t have to worry about the price of your orthodontic care. Taking the time to research payment options at several orthodontic clinics, allows you to get the care you need at a price that works for you.

Not everyone has the time to come into the doctor’s office every few weeks to get their braces tightened. Luckily, there are several alternative orthodontic options. Different clinics often different treatment options. Some doctors feel comfortable performing procedures that other doctors may not feel comfortable performing. Look for an Austin orthodontist which offers the procedure that works best with your lifestyle.

Have you ever had a negative experience at a doctor’s office? Have you noticed the the doctors and staff are a bit rude and unprofessional? This is just another reason why you need to get a second opinion. Patients can spend years in orthodontic care. You want to work with a staff that you feel comfortable with. Taking the time to find an office that you work will with, will pay off in the long run. Foster a good relationship with your Austin Orthodontist.

Caring for your braces while on vacation

Orthodontic tips from your Austin Orthodontist

Braces are beneficial for straightening the teeth, but if you’re going on a vacation, there are a few tips that you need to remember so that you enjoy time with your family while keeping the braces secure. Before leaving on your vacation, Austin orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson can recommend a few supplies to take with you to help keep the brackets clean and to prevent any damage to the brackets or wires. When you pack your bag to take on your vacation, there are some items that you don’t want to leave at home:

  • Floss for getting between brackets and underneath wires
  • Toothbrush to ensure that the teeth stay clean
  • Mouthwash to remove debris from the mouth after brushing
  • Wax that can be put on wires to prevent them from poking the mouth

You can get a small plastic travel bag for toiletries to use as an oral hygiene kit. Some stores sell kits for people who have braces.

If you can’t contact your orthodontist office while you’re on vacation, you could search online for an office in the area you’re visiting. Many orthodontists will provide some kind of answer or relief to any questions that you have.

There are a few foods that you should avoid while on vacation as there are a few more temptations while away from home:

  • Anything sticky
  • Whole fruits
  • Corn still on the cob
  • Foods that are hard, like cookies or nuts

If you have an aligner and happen to lose the tray, you can wear the tray you had in before or the next one until you can get back to the office. Have a fun vacation, but take care of your teeth and braces at the same time.

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