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Braces Tips

Orthodontist and Braces in OC specializes in Orthodontic services and offers helpful braces tips for children, teens and adults.

Bad Habits that Damage your Teeth

There are many things individuals may be doing subconsciously in their every day routine that may be damaging their teeth. Recognizing these destructive habits at a young age is detrimental to ensure they won’t linger into adulthood and damage permanent teeth. Below, are some of the most common habits for damaging teeth and solutions to help break the routines.

Children who suck their thumbs and use pacifiers past the age of 5-6 after their permanent teeth start coming hold a risk of lifelong changes to the jaw and tooth structure to their permanent adult teeth. Misalignment to the permanent teeth may result in a number of issues later in life, including, difficulty chewing and problems with breakage. To prevent these permanent changes to a child’s adult teeth, identify the triggers and use gentle and positive reinforcement to help break the habit.

When a dentist tells you that you need to start brushing better, they aren’t hinting that you need to start brushing harder like most people think. The Dentist are actually telling you that you need to brush your teeth at all angles and ensure you’re not focusing on a specific portion of  your mouth. Brushing your teeth too vigorously will do more harm in the long run than good, and can actually damage and irritate your gums while wearing down enamel on your teeth. To protect your teeth and assure you aren’t damaging your teeth while brushing, use a soft bristled tooth brush with the letters ‘ADA’ on the box. This means that the bristles are firm enough to remove the plaque on your teeth but soft enough to not cause any damage to your teeth and gums.

For many individuals, stress is the leading cause for jaw clenching and even grinding. The risk of clenching and grinding your teeth can result in cracked or chipped teeth and even joint and muscle pain in your jaw. Some individuals clench and grind their teeth in their sleep without even noticing that they do it and don’t see immediate damage until it’s too late. Clenching and grinding your teeth poses the risks of cracked or broken teeth which can result in cavities and more. Investing in a night/bite guard from your general Dentist may be necessary to minimize the clenching and grinding.

While using your teeth to open products may sound convenient at the time, but it can seriously damage the enamel and root of your teeth. Using your teeth as tools can result in cracked teeth or painful jaw injuries if the jaw us protruded for an extended amount of time. Take the extra time to find a safe and alternative way to open up a package and not risk cracking/chipping your teeth or injuring your jaw.

We all know ice chips are just water, but it’s actually more damaging than you would even begin to think. Tooth enamel is the hardest and the most highly-mineralized substance in your entire body. With this being said, your teeth are still susceptible to damage. Chewing on ice or pens/pencils can severely damage your tooth enamel, crack or even break a filling or tooth. Keeping a pack of sugar-free gum can help break this tooth-damaging bad habit and can increase saliva production which can remove cavity causing bacteria.

The most common bad habit for damaging your teeth is nail biting. Everyone has done it as some point, but what most people don’t realize is that nail biting is the result of dry hands and cuticles. Nail biting can most commonly chip your teeth, but can also cause jaw dysfunction if extended for a prolonged period of time. Try painting bitter-tasting nail polish on your nails, this can reduce the amount of times you are sticking your fingers in your mouth and cause an awful bitter taste when the polish hits your tongue. Another solution is to place cuticle oil or cream on your nails and cuticles multiple times a day. Even if you don’t notice your hands are dry and itchy, your subconscious mind will.

Every bad habit can be broken with the right amount of dedication and self perseverance. If your teeth have suffered change, we may be able to find a solution with the help of braces! Call now or contact us here to find out how our team at Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County can help you!

The Root Cause of Crooked Teeth

Have you ever wondered what the root cause was behind crooked teeth? The most common causes of crooked teeth stem specifically from genetics, bad habits, illness or injury or timing. Because a third of these root problems you are born with, there isn’t much besides orthodontic treatment that can fix crooked teeth.Because genetics are a trait that you are born with, there is as much control with your teeth as there are with the color of your hair or eyes. The dental traits you obtain from your parents can lead to overcrowding of teeth and jaw misalignment. With smaller mouths, there is a greater chance of overcrowding that can cause other teeth to shift and become crooked or uproot in the wrong areas.

Misaligned jaws can also lead to major issues with underbites and overbites or abnormal protrusion that can result in teeth extending beyond each other overlapping. Facial traumas such as a jaw or mouth injury can have an affect on moving teeth out of place. Facial traumas are actually the most sever cause of crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. Other causes of misaligned bites and crooked teeth include; early loss of baby/adult teeth, improper dental restoration, gingivitis, pressure on teeth/gums, misalignment of the jaw after an injury or oral habits as a child such as thumb sucking/using a pacifier beyond the age of 3.

An individual’s permanent teeth are directly affected by the health of the baby teeth, which sit directly on top of the permanent teeth beneath the gums. If a baby tooth is lost due to decay, trauma or other factors, the permanent teeth will start shifting when moving upwards often uprooting in the wrong area causing much needed Orthodontic treatment later in life. Baby teeth can be seen as small anchors for adult teeth and if a baby tooth is lost prematurely it can directly affect the permanent teeth below.

Orthodontics Center of Orange County is happy to help you in your journey to straighter teeth. Call now to schedule your consultation, today!

Tips for Taking Care of Your New Braces

At The Orthodontic Center of Orange County, we do everything we can to ensure the time you spend wearing braces is the best experience possible. However, some issues may arise throughout your journey; we hope you take note on these tips and tricks to make your experience the best it can be. Taking Care of your new braces

1. Never Stop Smiling!

Although you have now braces, that shouldn’t hold you back from smiling. Over 4 million Americans wear braces, 25% of them being adults, so it is not something that you should be ashamed of. You would be surprised at how many individuals try and cover up their mouth when they have braces. Smiling can also be contagious, where as it only takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 muscles to frown.

2. Carry Orthodontic Wax with You

When you first receive your braces or go for a monthly check up to tighten the brackets, it is normal to feel some discomfort within your mouth. It is always a great idea to keep orthodontic wax with you at all times. The wax can act as a barrier between your cheeks/lips and the metal brackets/wires and eliminates the friction between the two causing less irritation and discomfort in your mouth. The orthodontic wax can help a bracket that may have fallen off, or if the wire is poking your cheeks. If you feel wires and brackets are causing too much irritation and you are in pain, please give us a call for further instructions.

3. When to Remove Your Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are what help your teeth shift into the place they need to be in. Even though you may be a little sore at first, make sure you are ONLY removing your rubber bands when you are about to eat or brush your teeth. If you are not constantly wearing your rubber bands, this may result in your time wearing braces being delayed or halted.

4. Check Braces for Bent or Lose Wires

Regularly When your teeth are shifting into the correct place, it is sometimes common to experience the wire poking into your cheeks and irritating your mouth. If this happens, you should call our office immediately to set up an appointment for repair. A tip in case of emergency is sanitizing finger nail clippers and having someone help you safely clip some of the wire.

5. Make a To-Go Braces Care Kit

A to-go kit can be a life saver in many different ways, including bringing the kit to school, to work, or leave it in your car for emergencies. Products that go inside the kit can include: A travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and more importantly, dental wax. Many patients have said they recommend having a to-go kit when you are a braces wearer.

Clean your new braces with your to go kit

6. Be Aware With Your Retainer

Don’t be fooled by the freedom you feel when you have your braces removed, it is relieving but you still need to maintain your new straight teeth. Wearing your new retainer is mandatory and the only way to make sure your teeth stay straight. We have a few different options when it comes to retainers, your orthodontist will provide you with the best option that he/she finds fitting for your lifestyle.

We hope you enjoyed learning about those tips and tricks and that you can use them in your routine with your new braces. Remember that if you have any problems with your braces to call us as we are here to help you throughout this journey.

7 Common Questions And Myths About Orthodontic Treatments

When people are interested in getting Braces or Invisalign, they often have multiple questions to ask their Orthodontist. While asking questions is great, Orthodontists often get asked the same common questions. We are here to tell you about the 7 common myths about orthodontic treatments.1. Can Anyone Provide Braces And Aligners, Not Just An Orthodontist?
This is false. Only an Orthodontist who has had advanced training at an accredited residency can call themselves an Orthodontist specialist or be a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Making sure that your Orthodontist is an AAO member is crucial not only for your future beautiful smile, but more importantly your safety.

2. The Orthodontist Is Expensive
Most AAO Orthodontists offer free consultations and flexible payment plans. Most offices are willing to work with their patients to help them achieve the beautiful smile they desire. AAO Orthodontists carefully customize their patients’ treatment plans, and the fees will depend on the complexity of specific cases.

3. You Don’t Need To Go To See Your Orthodontist Often
In the past, patients needed to have monthly check ups to see their Orthodontist. The good news is that today’s technology allows patients to extend their appointments to about 8-10 weeks. Your teeth are shifting often, so your Orthodontist wants to see you frequently to be sure that your treatment stays on course.

4. Treatment Takes Several Years
The time of how long you need to wear your braces will depend on the severity of the treatment that is needed. And of course, if you are not skipping your scheduled appointments. From simple cases that may only take a few months, to more complex treatments that can take much longer. Your AAO Orthodontist has all the right experience, training and skills to deliver amazing results in the shortest amount of time possible. Remember that one of their goals is to make you happy with your smile, which also includes getting your treatment done in a safe, timely manner.

5. Orthodontic Treatment is Mainly A Cosmetic Reason
While most individuals think that Orthodontic treatments are to simply only achieve a beautiful smile, there’s much more that meets the eye. While improved appearance is the most obvious result, you’d be surprised  to learn that when your teeth and jaws are aligned right, it means a proper functioning mouth like: chewing, biting and your speaking is improved. That means that you receive a dual treatment!

6. Orthodontists Only Offer Metal Braces
At our Orthodontist office, you will find that we offer four different types of braces for everyone’s individual needs. These four options include: Invisalign, ceramic braces, regular braces, and six in 6. Invisalign are seen as the clear alternative to braces, which we see a lot of adults getting. Ceramic braces are translucent and also very popular with our adult patients. Our regular braces are our most common type of braces made out of stainless steel. And lastly, we offer six in 6. Six in 6 are our clear braces that gently straighten and align teeth in an average time of just six months.7. Orthodontic Treatments Are Strictly For Kids Only
This is very much false. We at the Orthodontic Center of OC have a ton of adult patients. While it is more common to have younger patients, we love helping our adult patients achieve the smile that they have always desired. Whether our patient is young or old, anyone can benefit from an Orthodontic treatment!