Archive for May, 2014

When to Call Your Orthodontist

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

While having braces may not seem like a ball of fun, it doesn’t have to create a negative affect on your life. Most people visit their orthodontist every six to eight weeks, finish treatment, and enjoy gorgeous smiles. Sometimes, orthodontic care doesn’t go as planned and you made need to contact the orthodontist for special circumstances. These tips can help you stay calm and handle the situation like a pro.

Tips for your orthodontist

Know Your Appliance

Understanding the limitations of your braces or retainer can stop you from damaging these devices. With braces, staying away from crunchy or sticky foods can prevent breakage. When you have a retainer, wear the appliance as directed and leave it in the case when not in use.

Assess the need

If you run into a problem, determine how serious the issue is before you act. Call your orthodontist during business hours if something breaks, comes loose, or gets lost. Immediately contact the office when a broken appliance prevents you from opening or closing your mouth, or if you have pain even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Be prepared

Because brackets or wires can break, keep orthodontic wax on hand to protect the area until you can get in to see your orthodontist.

Take precautions

During your time in braces, ask your orthodontist about a mouth guard if you play sports. Also, don’t mess with your brackets or wires because you can accidentally cause problems with the dental appliance.

We care about your smile at our Burbank, CA orthodontic office – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS.

FAQs about Palate Expanders

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Also known as a rapid maxillary expansion appliance, a plate expander is used to widen the jaw so that the upper and lower teeth will fit together properly. Usually, orthodontists place palate expanders in the mouths of young patients who need their arches to open more fully. After a palate expander, your child will probably need braces. Learning more about palate expanders will help you answer questions and reassure your child.

How long will my child have the palate expander?

Typically, patients wear these appliances for four to six month. The time frame usually includes the expansion process and a stabilization period.

How does the expander work?

The device has a center screw that functions in a similar manner as a car jack. When you turn the screw, the expander and the upper arch widen.

Will the expander hurt?

While your child may experience some initial discomfort during the placement, using the expander shouldn’t hurt. Chewing, swallowing, and talking may be awkward while your child gets used to the appliance. If your child feels pain when you turn the screw, contact your orthodontist right away for Palate Expanders.

How often do we adjust the palate expander?

Normally, you will turn the screw once every other day. Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions on when and how often you should make modifications.

How does my child care for the palate expander?

Because the expander is cemented in the mouth, your child can’t remove it during treatment. For optimal care, your child should brush the expander and his or her teeth after each meal. You may want to encouraging rinsing afterwards to remove any stubborn food particles.

We create beautiful smiles at Mehdi Fotovat Burbank Orthodontist

Understanding the Phases of Orthodontic Care

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

When people think about orthodontics, they usually envision a mouth full of metal. While braces are part of orthodontic treatment, there are other phases as well. Depending on the case, you or a loved one may have several phases of treatment. To determine the right steps for your particular case, the orthodontist will perform a complete evaluation. Children should visit an orthodontist by age seven for a thorough assessment because some problems respond better before growth stops.

More phases about Orthodontic

Phase One

Usually lasting 6 to 18 months, Phase One orthodontics involves children between the ages of 7 and 10. During this period, the primary goal is to address the position of the jawbone to prevent issues such as large overbites, cross bites, or facial asymmetries. Because this involves movement of underlying bone structure, Phase One is most successful for children who haven’t finished growing.

Phase Two

Most people are familiar with Phase Two orthodontic treatment, which involves actual placement of braces on the permanent teeth to move them into proper alignment. Usually Phase Two occurs after a child stops developing. When adults decide on orthodontic treatment, it typically falls into this category. Though metal braces used to be the only option for Phase Two, ceramic brackets, lingual braces, and clear aligners enable patients to select from other methods of treatment.

After Braces

Once you finish with the braces, your orthodontist will take impressions for your retainers. These appliances will keep your teeth from shifting back into the old position. Initially, you will the retainers for almost 24 hours a day, but the time will be reduced as your orthodontist monitors your progress with best orthodontic treatment.

Mehdi Fotovat DDS Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in Valley Village, CA

Preventing Damage to Your Braces

Friday, May 30th, 2014

During orthodontic treatment, you need to take special care of teeth and gums. Extra brushing and additional flossing tools may become part of your routine. At the same time, you need to ensure that nothing happens to your braces.

The following tips for braces to protect your investment:

Eat right

While you have braces, you should avoid certain foods. Hard candy and sticky substances can crack brackets or break off wires. When you have apples or carrots, cut them in bite size pieces just to be safe.

Wear a mouth guard

For sports activities, you need to protect your face and mouth by having a mouth guard. Normally, dentists and orthodontists recommend custom mouth guards, but during orthodontic treatment you need the store-bought appliances so that your mouth guard won’t damage your braces.

Report problems immediately

Even when you do everything right, you may still have a broken bracket or loose wire. Apply dental wax if you experience discomfort and contact your orthodontist for the next step.

Curtail bad habits

Chewing on ice or biting your nails can harm your teeth and cause problems with your orthodontia.

Don’t make adjustments yourself

If your wires or brackets don’t seem right to you, call the orthodontist. Attempting to correct the issue can create bigger problems.

Visit the dentist for checkups

At these appointments, your dentist can make sure teeth and gums are holding up well during your time in braces. If enamel weakens or you develop gum disease, you could have trouble with your brackets and wires.

Protect your braces – Dr. Fotovat – Burbank Orthodontist – WebBraces.com

Eating with Braces: Surviving the Challenge

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Having braces isn’t always fun, especially when it comes to food intake. Most orthodontists tell their patients to avoid sticky snacks or hard candy because these food items can damage brackets and wires. Although there are some limitations on your diet, you still have lots of choices for healthy eating during orthodontic treatment.

More about Eating with Braces

Fruits and vegetables are alright. An important part of eating right, most people several servings of both categories each day. Hard fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and broccoli, can be tough to bite into, so cutting these foods into bite-size pieces so that back teeth can chew them will prevent any issues. Choosing soft options, like bananas or cooked squash, is another good option.

Go with whole grains. Since most grain products are soft, having braces shouldn’t impact your ability to eat regular breads or cereals. You may want to avoid unground whole grains because the seeds can get stuck in between your brackets.

Get your dairy on. Calcium helps keep your teeth strong, and dairy products are a great source of this mineral. Low fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are soft on your braces too.

Eat more chicken (or beef too). Certain cuts of meat can be tough and difficult to chew when you wear braces. Don’t eat meat straight off the bone, and select lean cuts of fish, beef, and chicken for easier chewing.

Sweet treats you can still enjoy. Although taffy, lifesavers, and gummy bears are temporarily off the menu, feel free to indulge in chocolate or a bowl of ice cream every once in a while.

It’s time to schedule a visit to our Burbank, CA orthodontic office – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS.

Tartar is the Enemy

Friday, May 30th, 2014

It’s hard to miss with advertisements and visits to the dentist that tartar is something you want to avoid for good oral health. But do you know what this substance is, how to keep from getting it, and what to do if tartar does develop?

What’s so bad about tartar?

Even if you brush and floss regularly, it’s impossible to get rid of all of the bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria and food residue combine to form plaque on your teeth. If left to thrive, plaque attacks your teeth and gums. It causes decay, gum inflammation, and will harden into tartar if not removed before it has the chance.

What does it do to my teeth and gums?

Tartar buildup makes it more difficult to brush and floss well, and tartar along your gums may lead to gum disease. Mild gum disease, or gingivitis, is often caused by plaque and tartar on your teeth. It can usually be reversed with careful dental hygiene. If left untreated, it will progress into periodontitis. This more serious gum disease can damage the bones and tissue that support your teeth, increasing your risk of tooth loss. It may also cause infections that contribute to heart disease and other health problems.

How can I control tartar?

Here are some ways to prevent tartar formation:

  • Brush at least twice daily long enough to thoroughly clean every tooth and all of your gums. Consider using an electric toothbrush, which may be more effective for plaque removal.
  • Use tartar-control fluoride toothpaste. It is formulated to help prevent tartar formation, and the fluoride can repair damage to your teeth that may have already begun.
  • Floss every day to reach the areas that brushing cannot.
  • Eat a healthy diet low in sugars and starches, and limit snacks between meals. Drink plenty of water to help rinse away plaque and bacteria.
  • Don’t smoke because tobacco use has been shown to increase tartar buildup.

How do I get rid of it?

A professional cleaning is the only way to successfully remove tartar. See your orthodontist or dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings.

Fun Facts about Orthodontics

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

If you have braces, you visit the orthodontist on a regular basis. Orthodontics is one of several recognized dental specialties. Even though most people have heard of braces, they may know little else about the field of orthodontics. Expand your knowledge and impress your friends with these factoids:

Did you know that orthodontics?

  • Orthodontists must complete four years of dental school and an additional two years of graduate training before they can practice.
  • The first certified orthodontist in the United States was Dr Charles Tweed, who devoted himself to this area of study for 42 years.
  • In 1728, Pierre Fauchard designed the first braces, which consisted of a flat strip of metal connected to teeth by pieces of thread.
  • Edward Angle invented orthodontic brackets in 1915.
  • As early as 400 BC, Hippocrates wrote about issues with “irregularities of teeth.”
  • The ancient Greeks combined base metals and *cat gut* to improve smiles around 1000 B.C.
  • Although metal brackets and wires were the original form of modern braces, options like clear brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners are now available as well.
  • Many teen patients have turned their braces into fashion statements with colored bands and brackets.
  • Celebrities, models, and athletes want straighter teeth too. Tom Cruise, Brett Farve, Chelsea Clinton, and Gwen Stefani are a few famous faces that have worn braces.
  • You’re never too old to enjoy a healthy smile. In fact, an estimated 1 million Americans over age 18 have decided on orthodontic care to straighten their teeth.

It’s time to schedule your visit to our Burbank CA orthodontic office. Dr. Fotovat – Burbank Orthodontist – WebBraces.com

Demystifying Common Misconceptions about Orthodontics

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

As you check out orthodontic treatment for yourself or a family member, it’s important to make sure you have accurate information. Plenty of faulty ideas and folklore have been heralded as orthodontic gospel.

Get your facts straight as you check out this list of common orthodontics myths:

Myth: I can have my family dentist straighten my teeth

Reality: Just like people visit a neurologist, not a family doctor, for issues relating to the brain, you should see an orthodontist to correct alignment and bite problems. Beyond regular dental school, orthodontics complete another two to three years of advanced training relating to the function and fit of teeth.

Myth: Only kids need braces.

Reality: A little less than 20 percent of orthodontic patients are 18 years or older. Not only will a straight smile look fantastic, but it also makes brushing and flossing easier, which can improve oral health.

Myth: I can download songs onto an iPod off signals from my braces that link to the Internet.

Reality: Though this would be a great selling point for young patients, it’s not possible at this time.

Myth: Orthodontic treatment takes two years and is very painful.

Reality: Braces aren’t one-size fits all. Treatment time depends on your specific case, ranging from a few months to a couple of years. As for discomfort, you may experience some initial soreness, but after the adjustment period, most people have few complaints.

Myth: All braces are ugly and embarrassing.

Reality: While traditional metal brackets aren’t the most appealing choice, newer options exist for less noticeable orthodontic treatment. Many kids and teens choose brightly-colored wires and brackets to add flare to their orthodontics. Adults who want to preserve their professional images may want to consider Invisalign clear braces, lingual braces that go on the back of the teeth, or ceramic brackets.

Mehdi Fotovat, DDS. Burbank California orthodontics – we care about you and your smile!

What is a Cleft Palate?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Affecting one of every 700 babies annually, a cleft palate is a common birth defect that results in facial or oral malformations. With a cleft palate, a split or opening occurs in the roof of the mouth and can impact the hard and/or soft palate. A cleft lip is a split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip. These defects can occur on one or both sides of the mouth. In fact, patients can have a cleft palate without a cleft lip, a cleft lip without a cleft palate, or both a cleft lip and cleft palate.

Most of the causes of a cleft defect are unknown. These issues typically occur very early in pregnancy. A cleft palate or cleft lip develops when not enough tissue is present or the tissue does not join together properly.

Because cleft defects create an obvious physical manifestation, diagnosing these deformities is usually easy. Sometimes, an ultrasound will pick up a cleft palate or cleft lip. If that doesn’t happen, the physical signs are often identified and confirmed at birth.

Cleft palates and cleft lips can cause difficulties such as eating problems, hearing concerns, speech delays, and dental issues. Children with cleft palates or cleft lips often have an increased risk of cavities as well as extra, missing, or malformed teeth. Part of treatment involves addressing oral health concerns.

Issues of Cleft Palate

Treatment for cleft palate issues begins in infancy and can continue into adulthood. Usually, children diagnosed with cleft palate deformities will have a team of doctors and specialists, including:

  • A plastic surgeon to address the physical appearance
  • An ear, nose, and throat doctor to evaluate and treat hearing issues
  • An oral surgeon to reposition the upper jaw as needed and repair a cleft impacting the gum area
  • An orthodontist to straighten the bite and teeth
  • A dentist for routine dental care
  • A speech pathologist to identify speech and feeding problems
  • A speech therapist to work on language development

We care about your smile at Mehdi Fotovat Burbank Orthodontist

Orthodontic Treatment Levels Increase

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

In recent years, more kids and adults are wearing braces. Research indicates that 70 percent of the population could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Based on fossil findings, our ancestors had little trouble with alignment of their teeth, so what happened to us? As different ethnic and genetic populations began to merge, human growth pattern in the mouth didn’t accommodate teeth and jaw development.

How Orthodontic Treatment Levels Increase

Often, children inherit the need for orthodontic from one or both parents whose teeth didn’t align correctly, just as you inherit eye color or seasonal allergies. These tendencies can be passed down from generation to generation. Consequently, your child’s teeth may be too large or too small for the jaw area, resulting in crowding or extra spaces.

With modern orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist can correct alignment and spacing problems. Generally, it’s a good idea to bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation around age seven. At this time, the orthodontist can assess your child’s current and future development to determine if any intervention is necessary. Some children require Phase I, or early orthodontic treatment, to prepare their mouths for Phase 2, the straight-forward phase of treatment that usually involves traditional braces.

If you would like a straighter smile, but never made steps to change it, there’s still time. Even adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment. With modern alternatives like Invisalign clear aligners or ceramic braces, you can achieve a picture-perfect smile without the hassle and embarrassment of metal braces.

We’ll give you something to smile about at our Burbank, CA orthodontic practice – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS.

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