Category

Braces Tips

Sleeping with Braces and How to Cope

Sleeping without having braces is much different than sleeping with them and anyone who has ever had braces can tell you how and why. In the first few days with your new braces you might find yourself having trouble sleeping from the soreness of your gums and cheeks. This is a very common thing to go through in the beginning of orthodontic treatment. Not every patient will experience this but a majority of patients do, so there are a few things that can help ease your pain while your adjust to your new life with braces.

Pain Relievers

Our staff and orthodontists highly recommend taking acetaminophen to help reduce any pain or discomfort the braces may cause in your first few days with them. If you are in an extreme amount of pain it is recommended to take one ibuprofen (Aleve) with one acetaminophen (Tylenol Extra Strength) combined they help reduce any type of swelling and diminish any pain caused by the braces.

Cold Foods and Drinks

Cold foods and drinks provide the same effect as ice packs, popsicles and ice cream; they not only taste delicious, but can actually help ease pain by numbing your mouth and reducing overall inflammation on the gums. Always brush after eating any type of food that has a large amount of sugars to prevent any decay. Simply sucking on an ice cube or sipping on iced water for relief is always a great route to take as well if you aren’t looking to add the extra sugar into your diet.

Rinsing with Warm Salt Water

Oftentimes soreness and irritation develops along the gums and cheeks as they adapt to tightened wires and metal brackets. Rinsing with warm salt water solution will help reduce infection and alleviate soreness caused by irritation from the braces on your gums and cheeks.

Gum Massages

Massaging your gums with your fingers can actually alleviate pain, especially if your gums are swollen or irritated. Massaging the gums can help to relax the soft tissues in the mouth, and in the process your newly tightened braces feel a little bit more comfortable. For the best results try applying an ice pack to your cheeks before massaging.

Signs you Need Braces

If you have ever been self conscious about your smile or your teeth, had any jaw or tooth pain it may be time to consider getting braces or Invisalign. While there are so many different indicators that you may need braces, our Orthodontists will be able to go over all of your questions and concerns with a consultation at any one of our 5 locations in Orange County. Below are a couple signs that you may need braces for a healthier and happier smile.

Gaps in Teeth

Having large gaps between your teeth can be a telltale sign that you need braces in the future. Having gaps in your teeth leaves you at risk for tooth decay, jaw misalignment and eating difficulties. Food can get caught between your teeth which can cause irritation in your gums and possible infection. An infection in your gums or tooth can lead to decay and tooth loss so it’s important to speak to your Orthodontist about treatment plans as soon as possible.

Painful/Difficulty Biting

If you are having any pain or discomfort when biting down it is likely you are in need of braces. The misalignment of your teeth may be the factor to this pain and why it is uncomfortable or painful to eat sticky or hard foods. Misaligned teeth that cause pain is very common and easily fixed with either braces or Invisalign.

Pain in Jaw

If you suffer from any sort of pain or clicking in your jaw it is likely that your teeth and jaw are misaligned. While it can be easy to ignore occasional jaw pain it’s very important to bring it up to your dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible to avoid any other issues later on down the road. By simply realigning your teeth with braces or Invisalign you can eliminate jaw pain as long as there is no other underlying issue.

Crowded Teeth

Having crooked or crowded teeth is also another telltale sign that you will require braces in the future. You are at major risk for tooth decay and infection with crowded or crooked teeth because of the lack of efficient space between your teeth to properly floss.

What If I Can’t Afford Braces?

Luckily, Orthodontic Center of Orange County offers in-house payment plans for all patients whether you have good credit, bad credit or no credit at all. In-house payment plans start at only $70/month with a credit check and $99/month without a credit check for patients who may have bad or no credit. Ortho Center OC also offers financing through Care Credit and Lending Club as additional flexible financing options.

Contact Ortho Center OC for a Free Orthodontic Consultation

If you are interested in starting your journey to a healthier and more beautiful smile, contact any one of our 5 locations in Orange County for a free consultation with our Orthodontist. We are happy to sit down with you and go over all of your questions and concerns and see which orthodontic treatment would be right for you, whether that is Invisalign or Braces. Visit our website and fill out the contact form or give our office a call to schedule your complimentary consultation, today!

Tips and Tricks for Keeping your Braces in Optimal Condition

By correcting dental misalignments and having braces you are already on the road to a straighter smile. Going to your orthodontist appointments every few weeks isn’t always enough to keep your braces in optimal condition. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is a huge factor in taking care of your braces to ensure that there aren’t additional problems to tackle when you have them taken off at the end of your treatment.

  1. Use the Toothpaste, Floss and Mouth Wash Recommended by Your Orthodontist

Be sure to ask your orthodontist what toothpaste, floss and mouth wash will be best for you during your orthodontic treatment. It’s important to use toothpaste that will eliminate bacteria. Bacteria that is not properly cleaned can lead to cavities, halitosis or gum disease. While some brands of oral health products can contain harsh ingredients that can actually damage metal braces so it’s important go over this information with your orthodontist. Using a mouth wash after you have brushed and flossed your teeth is always recommended, but it’s important to eliminate mouth washes that have red or green colors as the dyes in those products can discolor the metal materials and elastics on your braces.

  1. Brush and Floss After Eating

Brushing and flossing your teeth after eating with braces can be complicated and at times, frustrating to say the least. When brushing and flossing to rid extra food debris from your mouth you have to show extra precaution as to avoid breaking any wires or dislodging any metal brackets. Having a toothbrush with soft bristles will not harm your braces but will be very effective in removing leftover food particles hiding between your teeth. Because your teeth are covered by wires and brackets at all times during your orthodontic treatment it’s crucial to brush and floss after eating so no food particles are stuck or left behind lingering around all day. By taking the extra time to floss and brush every time after eating throughout the days you are benefiting yourself by keeping your braces clean and your teeth free from potential cavities.

  1. Invest in an Oral Irrigator

Investing in an oral irrigator is well worth the expense and a great alternative and addition to flossing as it will eliminate food particles left behind or that are stuck between your teeth. An oral irrigator is a wand-like device that emits water from its attached tank. The pressure from oral irrigators will dislodge any leftover food, bacteria or plaque that is between your teeth or on your gums. While flossing with braces can be extremely time-consuming and rather frustrating, oral irrigators are an easy way to supplement flossing in to your daily routine without completely avoiding or eliminating flossing all together.

  1. Don’t Eat Harmful Foods

Believe it or not, specific foods and your diet can be very impactful on your braces. While there are countless foods out there that are okay to eat and drink with braces there is also a rather large handful to avoid as well. A general rule of thumb for foods to avoid with braces include but are not limited to anything sticky, hard, tough or crunchy. It’s important to avoid any type of food that could be considered harmful to your braces, gums or tongue. Ask your orthodontic for a list of foods to avoid if you have any questions about any specific meal or foods you can eat.

  1. Don’t Miss Any Appointments

Missing any scheduled appointments are futile to the longevity of your orthodontic treatment. Skipping appointment dates or rescheduling for a much later date can be harmful to your braces as the wires need to be tightened regularly. By missing those scheduled appointments your teeth will have more room to shift and move and it is almost guaranteed that your teeth will not be aligned with your treatment plan. This means you will most likely have to wear your braces for longer than first anticipated.

Whether you are wearing braces for 10 months or 2 years the results will be more successful and your teeth and braces will maintain their optimal condition by following the recommended tips above. It’s important to keep visiting your Orthodontist for your scheduled appointments and ask your doctor if you have any questions along the way. Our doctors pride themselves in giving their patients healthier and more beautiful smiles every day. If you have any questions about how you can keep your braces in optimal condition during the course of the treatment, give us a call and one of our braces specialist will be able to go over any questions or concerns that you may have.

Invisalign over Metal Braces

If your parents didn’t opt for getting you braces as a child, have no fear! It’s not too late! Considering the origination of Invisalign, more and more adults are discovering the beautiful smile they have always desired and with much less embarrassment in their every day lives. Those days of smiling at your third-grade crush at lunch with PB &J stuck in your braces are over.

Metal braces in general are unattractive, clunky, and overall distracting. Invisalign are as the name suggests, are practically invisible. Invisalign is a tray made of clear thermoplastic material making it hardly noticeable that you have aligners on. Any type of mouth shifting treatment can cause discomfort however, Invisalign provides less pressure. Stained teeth and red gums are also a problem when traditional braces are removed.  It’s difficult to brush and flossing around metal braces. You need to maneuver around your wires to get to the parts you can’t normally reach. With Invisalign, you can remove the tray and do what you need to do. You are also able to whiten your teeth when needed.

The list goes on and on about foods you have to avoid when you have metal braces but this is not the same for Invisalign aligners. The clear aligners can be removed while you’re eating so you don’t have to worry about what you can and cannot eat. We recommend you to avoid or limit your sugar consumption in general. However, indulging every now and then is no problem when you don’t have to think about damaging your metal brackets. Sports activity also doesn’t need to take the backseat when you have Invisalign. Playing any sport with metal braces makes it harder when of the fear of the metal scraping and cutting your mouth is looming over you. Invisalign can be taken out when playing and even with it on you don’t have to worry about anything happening to the inside of your mouth.

If the appearance of metal braces has been holding you back from a straighter smile, Invisalign could be a great option. Give our staff at Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County a call to set up your free Invisalign consultation and find out if if metal braces or Invisalign is the right option for your straighter and healthier smile.

Healthy Snacks That Won’t Damage your Child’s Teeth.

You know what your child shouldn’t eat while they have braces, but what should they eat? When your child gets home from school they always look for a quick bite that provides the energy boost a little kid needs. Now that they have braces, many foods they use to be able to eat need to be avoided, such as carrot sticks and hard cheeses. Any food that’s too hard, crunchy, or chewy can damage brackets and wires and will need an extra trip to your orthodontist. Our dentists at Orthocenter recommend these healthy and braces-friendly options for your child’s midday snack.

Fruits and Vegetables
Strawberries and bananas are great, soft fruits that are easy on your child’s braces. If you want to incorporate greens such as kale and spinach, blending it along with sweet fruits will mask the grassy flavor making it palatable for children to drink. For apples and carrots, you should cut them in thin slices if your child would still want to eat them making their braces less susceptible to damage.

Meat and Dairy
Cheese and dairy provide the calcium and vitamin D that children need. You can give your child braces-friendly soft cheeses like string cheese and cream cheese. Yogurts and similar products are also a great option to give your child calcium. For meats, anything that doesn’t require much chewing such as chicken, ham, and eggs is full of the protein that children need.

These are dentist-approved foods to give your children. Parents only want the best for their children and they want to provide healthy nutrition-rich foods that are also delicious. Let us know what your child’s favorite snack is on their next visit to Orthocenter. If you have any other questions about foods your children should or should not eat contact us!

Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home During COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic almost all Orthodontic offices are closed or only open to emergency appointments. So, how can you handle potential orthodontic issues that may arise at home? There are a few different steps that can be taken while you are at home during the pandemic to keep your mouth free from any discomfort and maintain any temporary fixes.  If you are experiencing any extreme discomfort it is extremely important to notify your orthodontist as soon as possible to alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.

Tools and Supplies to Keep on Hand

Being sure to keep these tools and supplies on hand will ensure that you are readily prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues.

  • Orthodontic Wax
  • Dental Floss
  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
  • Topical Anesthetic
  • Salt-Water Rinse
  • Interproximal Brush

Experiencing Discomfort

While it is normal to experience discomfort while you are going through our orthodontic treatment, however, orthodontic discomfort should not last any longer than a couple of days at most. If you are having severe discomfort or pain it’s important to rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate some of the discomfort. Be sure to contact your Orthodontic office is the pain persists longer than a couple of days as there could be an underlying issue that may need to be addressed or discussed.

Mouth Sores or Irritation          

Sometimes braces and the wires can be irritating to a patient’s mouth, especially when eating, and can cause irritation or even mouth sores.  While braces themselves do not cause mouth sores, they can be precipitated or exacerbated by the irritation of the brackets. While mouth sores are not actually considered an orthodontic emergency, prompt relief can be achieved by applying orthodontic wax or topical relief such as ora-gel or orabase to the ulcerated or irritated area. By placing orthodontic wax on top of the bracket that is causing irritation you are creating a smooth surface barrier between the bracket and inside of your mouth to help eliminate irritation. Orthodontic wax and topical relief can be purchased at any drug store or large supermarket while you are awaiting your postponed orthodontic appointment. If after multiple days the irritation and or mouth sores do not subside, be sure to call your Orthodontist to create an appointment to help find the underlying cause or issue regarding the irritation.

Protruding Wires

Occasionally the ends of wires can come loose and ultimately can irritate the inside of your mouth. By using a Q-tip or disinfected tweezers try to push the exposed wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position coat the exposed wire with orthodontic relief wax to provide immediate relief until you are able to see your Orthodontist.

Loose Bands or Brackets

If any of your orthodontic braces or brackets have become loose or fallen off please contact your Orthodontist immediately. Experiencing a loose or broken bracket does qualify as an orthodontic emergency so it is crucial to call your Orthodontist immediately following the orthodontic issue regarding your brackets to make an appointment.

While we are all ready to get back to our normal lives, if you have an orthodontic issue during these times not all issues qualify as an emergency. If you have any questions regarding what qualifies as an orthodontic emergency, give our office a call and a braces or an Invisalign specialist will be able to answer any and all of your questions and guide you in the right direction regarding what steps you need to take to keep your smile healthy during COVID-19.

4 Ways to Relieve Painful Braces

Whether you just got them or getting them tightened, braces can be painful and the pressure on that’s on your teeth results in aching jaws and gums. Fear not as there are several ways you can relieve some discomfort with some of these tips.

  1. Drug Store Pain Medicine

As with headaches or cramps, you can take over-the-counter medications to relieve some pain. Taking the medicine an hour before your appointment is the most efficient way to reduce feeling sore.

  1. A Cold Compress

Holding a cold compress to your jaw and mouth a couple of times a day may provide some relief. The cold slows the flow of blood and constricts the vessels which help numb the pain to reduce inflammation.

  1. Gum Massage

Gently rub your gums in a circular motion by using your fingers. Using a cube of ice to numb your gums will have more effective results.

  1. Rinse with Warm Water

Gurgling warm salt water for about 30 seconds can speed up the healing of any sore or cuts you might have in your mouth. The saltwater can reduce swelling by drawing out fluids and cleaning the affected area.

The most important way to get over the pain of braces is time. The discomfort would only be last a couple of days, but your smile will stay with you. If you have any other questions, please contact us at the Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County.

Welcome to Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County

The Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County is an Orange County, CA-based Orthodontics practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long-lasting smiles! We are proud to have an exceptional group of dental professionals on our staff.

Our standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality orthodontics services our patients deserve. We provide comprehensive treatment planning to achieve your optimal dental health. Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.

Our exceptional, friendly staff is our greatest asset. They are excited about what they are doing, have high standards of quality and integrity, and are motivated to achieve the best results for our family of patients. Our dental assistants are highly skilled with many hours of training and meet all requirements for state licensure.

We pride ourselves on our ability to stay on top of all of our treatments and our communication with our patients.  During your consultation, we will take the time to assess any preexisting dental conditions you may have.  We will make sure we are aware of all of your dental goals and desires in order to provide you with the best course of action and all the information you need to get there.

Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County offers many different types of braces including Invisalign, Cosmetic Braces, 6 in 6 months’ braces as well as regular metal braces. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to see what types of braces you’re qualified for!

What to Expect When Getting your Braces Off

The day your braces come off is often a day that is celebrated and thought of for a long time to finally see the new smile you have achieved. When you arrive to get your braces taken off, your appointment should take about an hour+ to be on your way to show off your new smile to the world. Here are a few thing of what you can expect during your removal appointment:

De-Banding

First your orthodontist will use special orthodontic pliers to gentry crack the adhesive from the bracket to the tooth and remove the complete bracket. Often time’s people are worried about the brackets staining their teeth. Depending on how well you looked after your teeth during the course of your orthodontic treatment will depend on if/how big the stains may be. If your oral hygiene was poor during your treatment, it is possible that you could have staining from the braces. Luckily if that is the case, Orthodontic Center of OC offers teeth whitening service at all locations.

Fitting the Fixed Retainer

Your Orthodontist will determine if a fixed retainer is best for you and your treatment plan. Having a fixed retainer is a good solution for keeping your smile fresh and straight long term. A fixed retainer consists of adhering a thin piece of wire on the back of your top and bottom arches. The fixed retainer is permanent but it can also be removed if necessary. Our doctors will then go over with you the proper steps to take when keeping good oral hygenine and teach you how to brush your teeth and avoid the retainer.

Removable Retainers

If you’re Orthodontist determines that your smile does not need a fixed retainer and that you will be fitted for a removable retainer. Impressions of your teeth are taken to make the removable retainer and can be picked up shortly after your removal appointment. Removable retainers are meant to be worn for at least 22 hours a day except when you are eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. Your removable retainer needs to be worn full time for at least the first 3 months after your braces are removed to ensure your teeth are not moving and holding their new positioning. If you lose or break your retainer, do not hesitate to call our office- it is important to get your retainer replaced immediately to make sure your teeth do not start shifting.

Caring for your New Smile

Ensuring that you keep up with your routine 3-6 month check-ups is a crucial part to your treatment plan after getting your braces off. At these check-ups your Orthodontist will check up on your smile and ensure there are no problems arising with your retainer and that your teeth are still in the correct positioning. As you or your child grows tooth positions are expected to change throughout a lifetime so it is important to keep wearing the retainer your Orthodontist provide to minimalize any positioning changes.

If you or your child has any questions before getting their braces removed, don’t hesitate to ask your Doctor before the removal or give our office a call and one of our staff members will be able to answer all of your questions.

6 Common Types of Bite Problems

While everyone is born with different genes and genetics, often times environmental factors can come into play when baby teeth are growing in and can impact the alignment of the teeth. Below is a list of 6 different bite problems that children and even adults can have before corrective Orthodontic treatment:

  1. Overbites

Overbites are one of the most common bite problems in children and adults. An overbite is often times caused by the shape and size of the individuals jaw or teeth. If the jaw has too little or too much space in between the teeth, it can cause major problems and even cause crowding. When an overbite is severe enough it can cause irreparable damage to the teeth, including; jaw pain, tooth decay / cavities, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, sleep apnea, severe headaches, discomfort when eating or opening/closing mouth, and difficulty speaking.

  1. Crossbites

A crossbite is oftentimes when the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth or vice versa. This frequently can be caused by the misalignment of teeth, or misalignment of the jawbone. If the jaw were to shift to a single side it can wear down the enamel on the tooth/teeth. Anterior crossbites are when the front teeth sit behind the bottom teeth. Because a crossbite can occur from genetics, it can cause delayed loss of baby teeth or abnormal eruption of the permanent teeth. When the teeth are pushed out, the bone can be distorted. Addressing a crossbite as soon as possible is crucial as it can cause larger problems when left untreated later in life and may require more extensive orthodontic treatment.

  1. Underbites

An underbite is when the bottom teeth are in front and overlap the top front teeth. An underbite is the exact opposite of an overbite. An underbite only affects between 5%-10% of the population and can range from slight to severe, even though both can cause significant problems. Underbites are most often caused by genetics and cannot be prevented but are mainly caused by overcrowding of the teeth or a larger lower law. When an underbite is left untreated,existing complications such as difficulty chewing, and pain can increase. Sometimes symptoms aren’t noticeable until later in life but the wear and tear of misalignment causes pain and can erode the enamel, increasing the risk for tooth decay, gum disease and infection. Orthodontic treatments have a few different options to fix an underbite.

  1. Open Bites

An open bite occurs when the back teeth are together but the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. When an open bite is not corrected it can cause problems swallowing and even speech problems. One of the major causes for an open bite is actually thumb-sucking.Stopping the bad habit as soon as possible is essential to avoid an open bite later in life when the permanent teeth have grown in. Having an open bite is completely avoidable, but is still easily fixed with Orthodontic treatment.

  1. Crowding

Crowed teeth occur when there is inadequate space for the teeth. Crowding can be caused by insufficient space in the jaw or simply by large teeth. Having crowded teeth can result in rotated or teeth that overlap while appearing crooked or have a staggered appearance. While crooked and protruding teeth are their own problems, when combined they often lead to crowding as well. Because there is difficulty brushing and flossing crowded teeth it can lead to growth to bacteria, bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and plaque. In children and adults crowded teeth can be repaired with Orthodontic treatment. Call your closest Orthodontic Center of Orange County location to find out what treatment is best for you.

  1. Spacing

Having too much space between your teeth can result in missing teeth, undersized teeth, oversized jaws or a combination of all 3 of the conditions. While spacing between the teeth isn’t the worth of these common bite problems it can cause an annoyance with food getting stuck between the teeth and possibly suffering from cavities and gum disease later in life. There is a lack of protection to your teeth which can lead to reduced performance and of course, gum disease. Orthodontic treatment for spacing between the teeth is a relatively common treatment.

If you or your child is suffering from any of these common bite problems, call your local Orthodontic Center of Orange County location and schedule a free consultation to see what type of treatment would be best for you.