Archive for the ‘Adult Orthodontics’ Category

How to Know you Need an Orthodontist and How to Find One

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The best indication that you should visit an orthodontist is that you hide your smile or resist showing your teeth. If you are embarrassed about your mouth because your teeth are misaligned or crooked, then it’s time to seek the help of an orthodontist who can transform your smile into a straight and healthy one.

How can orthodontists help?

Orthodontists complete four years of dental school, plus several more years specializing in orthodontics. Orthodontists are trained in all aspects of giving you the ideal function and appearance for your mouth. They can treat malocclusion, which means that your bite doesn’t fit together as it should. Not only can you have the way your jaws line up corrected, but also the positioning of your teeth to make them straight and without gaps. Braces, aligner trays, headgear, rubberbands, and retainers are some of the tools that orthodontists may use during treatment.

What are some reasons to see an orthodontist?

You already know that an orthodontist can help straighten your teeth and correct your bite. These improvements will likely also enhance your overall oral health, since some mouth problems contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss. Your ability to speak and chew may also benefit.

At what age should you get orthodontist treatment?

Orthodontic treatment really doesn’t have an age requirement. Parents may begin taking their children for evaluations as young as age 7, just to catch problems early. Most children undergo treatment between ages 9 to 14, but it has grown increasingly common for adults to be treated as well. With advancements being made such as clear braces and hidden lingual braces, adults are more likely to consider orthodontic work. Each patient’s case is unique, but the average length of treatment is 1 to 3 years.

How do you choose an orthodontist?

Asking friends and family for recommendations is a good way to find an orthodontist. Some things to consider include office location, appointment hours, cost, office technology, staff personalities, and proposed treatment plan.

Orthodontic Treatment Using Palatal Expanders

Monday, June 9th, 2014

One of the tools orthodontists may use to help you achieve a perfect smile is called a palatal expander, which is an appliance that gently widens the upper jaw so that it fits properly with the lower jaw. The goal is to expand the jaw to avoid overcrowding of the teeth. Not every patient needs an expander, but if you do here are some common questions answered.

Who needs an expander?

Your orthodontist will evaluate if your jaw needs to be widened in order to get the results you desire. Expanders work best for people under age 15, because the jaw bones are still pliable and the roof of the mouth has not completely finished growing.

How does it work?

The palatal expander is made up of a screw attached to your upper teeth by bands secured around your molars. It is activated by turning the screw with a key. You will do this yourself after specific instructions from your orthodontist. The expander remains attached in your mouth until your doctor indicates it’s time to remove it.

Does it hurt?

As with many treatments for your mouth, it will take a few days to get used to the palatal expander. There may be some lisping at first, but your speech will return to normal as you get used to the device. You might feel slight pressure when the expander is activated with the key. Pain is rarely experienced, but over-the-counter pain medication usually relieves the discomfort.

How long do I have to wear the expander?

Treatment length varies among patients, but often expanders remain in place for 3-6 months. It is vital to follow your orthodontist’s instructions for activating the expander, in order to achieve the desired results within the anticipated timeframe. You will have periodic visits to your doctor to make sure the appliance is in the right place and is tight enough.

What do Rubber Bands Do?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

If your orthodontist has told you that you need to wear rubber bands as part of your treatment, no need to panic! Many braces patients before you have worn them and lived through it. Maybe if you understand the reasons that rubber bands can help you achieve a beautiful smile, it will be easier for you to wear them faithfully.

Learn more reasons and benefits of wearing your elastics of Rubber Band:


The brackets and wires of your braces align your teeth, but rubber bands are used to move your bite into correct alignment. The tension of the elastic creates pressure on the bracket that it’s attached to, and can correct an overbite or underbite. The phase of treatment to correct your bite is often the longest part of the process, but using rubber bands will hasten the movement of your jaw.

Following directions

Be sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions completely. Failing to wear them as directed can lengthen your treatment time and may negatively affect your results. Your full cooperation in wearing the rubber bands will create the best outcome in the least amount of time.

Getting used to rubber bands

It takes a few days to get used to putting in your rubber bands, but after some practice it becomes simple. It’s normal for your teeth and jaws to be sore for the first week or less of wearing elastics, but the best way to decrease that time is to wear them faithfully. If you wear them intermittently, your mouth will be constantly sore because they don’t have a chance to get used to the extra pressure.


Some orthodontists require you to wear rubber bands while eating, and others don’t. Most patients are required to wear the elastics while sleeping. Just make sure you follow your doctor’s treatment plan specific to you. Wear your rubber bands if you play sports, unless you are wearing a mouth guard. Finally, continue to practice good oral hygiene as your orthodontist has instructed.

What Should I Do About Loose Braces?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

It’s not unusual for a portion of your braces to become loose at some point during treatment. Whether it’s a wire or a bracket or some other piece, it is not likely to go unnoticed. Loose pieces can poke the insides of your mouth, or affect your eating or speech.

The most frequent reasons for your braces becoming loose include:

  • eating foods from the restricted list that your orthodontist provided
  • a poor bond between the tooth and the bracket
  • bad habits like biting your fingernails or chewing ice
  • mouth trauma or injury
  • change in your bite

Contact your orthodontist

The first thing you should do is discuss the problem with your orthodontist’s staff. The orthodontist may be able to recommend a temporary fix until your appointment. If an injury caused the problem, get help as soon as possible so that your orthodontist can evaluate the damage.

Common issues:

  • If a bracket or wire is poking you and causing discomfort, place a piece of orthodontic wax over the item as needed. If you don’t have any wax, try using a piece of sugarless gum instead.
  • If the small rubber elastic around a bracket has come off, try to avoid disturbing the bracket or touching it with your tongue.
  • If something is extremely loose, remember that there is a risk of accidentally swallowing it. See your orthodontist if you feel that this might happen.

Is Tooth Extraction Necessary for Braces?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Pulling teeth in conjunction with orthodontic treatment is nothing new, but it has gained controversy because some orthodontists advocate extractions and others say it’s unnecessary and overdone. It seems that there is no steadfast answer for every patient. Tooth extraction must be decided on a case-by-case basis, and is determined by a number of circumstances.

Many circumstances of Tooth:

The most common reason for tooth extraction is to reduce crowding so that the teeth can be positioned properly. Sometimes crowding is so severe that there are no alternatives to pulling some teeth. There are also situations when it’s possible to move all of the existing teeth into place, but it might negatively impact teeth’s stability, gum tissue, or the appearance of the teeth.

Other common reasons for extraction include bite correction and profile improvement. Your orthodontist must consider many things in making the recommendation about whether or not tooth extraction is needed. The bite, crowding, jaw positions, teeth positions and sizes, profile, and other characteristics are all analyzed to determine the optimum treatment plan.

The goal of orthodontic treatment is to improve the arrangement and appearance of your teeth. Each patient’s dental and facial qualities will require either extraction or non-extraction of teeth. It’s up to you and your orthodontist to decide if it would benefit you and your smile.

The Phase Approach to Orthodontics

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

It may be a surprise to some parents to see 7-year-olds with braces on their teeth already, but it’s becoming more common in today’s orthodontics world. Traditionally, treatment with braces began after most baby teeth were lost, and the majority of adult teeth have developed. Newer theories have led to putting braces on baby teeth so that orthodontists can manage jaw development and positioning of adult teeth. This has created a two-phase approach to orthodontics, with baby teeth braced in the first phase, followed by a rest period, and then a second phase of adult bracing.

 Following points of orthodontics

Types of braces

Baby teeth usually don’t need full braces in the entire mouth. It depends on your child’s specific orthodontics issues as to what kind of bracing is required. Sometimes a retainer is needed to manage a cross bite, or bracing of only the front baby teeth to correct an overbite or minimize the protrusion of front teeth. Back molars and front teeth are the most commonly braced baby teeth.


Once baby teeth have been positioned to create room for permanent teeth, the second phase of braces is usually shorter than the first. Sometimes a second phase isn’t even needed if the first set of braces allowed the adult teeth to align correctly. A healthy bite has been created that doesn’t need further treatment.


You should have your child evaluated by an orthodontist by age seven, so that the need for early intervention can be determined. This lessens the requirement for more aggressive treatment later, like pulling teeth if there isn’t enough room in the jaw.

Special circumstances

Early orthodontics intervention is especially critical if your child was a thumb sucker or used a pacifier for a long time. Habits like these may have altered your child’s jaw or created a crossbite Teens. Without bracing the baby teeth, your child’s jaw may not develop correctly and lead to a permanent misplacement of the jaw and a poor profile.

Cleaning and Care during Orthodontic Treatment

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

When you have braces, oral care can be tricky. Brackets, wires, rubber bands, and other orthodontic appliances can catch food. Breakage can occur if you don’t watch what you eat. Understanding how to protect your orthodontia and your teeth will help ensure a successful outcome.

Outcomes of Orthodontic Treatment

Flossing with Braces

Although flossing is more difficult, it’s especially important when you have braces. To make it easier you may need to buy flossers, which will help you thread the floss between the wires. As you floss, don’t pull to hard on the arch wire.

Brushing Tips

With braces, you need to brush after every meal to remove any trapped food particles. Carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to make it easier during your busy day.

Avoid Problem Foods

Certain choices like sticky treats and hard substances aren’t a good idea while you have braces. Pretzels, popcorn, suckers, and taffy can pull off brackets or damage wires, so save these goodies for after you finish treatment.

Safeguard Your Smile

If you play sports or participate in activities that could involve contact, like basketball, soccer, and even skateboarding, ask your orthodontist about a mouth guard. These plastic devices cover teeth and gums to prevent mouth injuries.

Keep your orthodontist informed

If you break a bracket or have a wire come loose, call your orthodontist’s office and find out the next steps. You can cover the area with dental wax to prevent irritation. Don’t try to repair the problem yourself because you could cause further damage.

Giving you something to smile about at our Burbank, CA orthodontic office – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS.

Why Not Consider Adult Orthodontics?

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

At one time, braces were primarily seen as a treatment option for kids and teenagers. Modern advances and the desire for an attractive smile have changed that idea. Now, many adults are seeking orthodontic care. In fact, estimates suggest that over 1 million Americans 18 years and older are wearing braces.

More reasons of Adult orthodontics

One reason for this shift is the benefits that come from having a perfect smile. Most adults want to project a confident, positive image to the people they meet. A stunning smile helps convey this message. Your oral health also improves when you have straight teeth. Crooked teeth are harder to clean, which can lead to a greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

As orthodontics has evolved, the choices for adults who want to correct their teeth have improved. The embarrassment and discomfort of traditional metal orthodontia probably deterred many adults from considering treatment. Luckily, options like clear brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear braces make it possible for image-conscious adults to achieve the smiles of their dreams.

Barely noticeable, clear or ceramic braces work like their metal counterparts in that they are bonded to the teeth for the duration of treatment, but most people won’t notice you are wearing them. With lingual braces, the brackets actually attach to the back of your teeth. The Invisalign system uses a series of custom, removable aligners to shift teeth into the proper position. During a consultation appointment, your orthodontist can explain your choices, answer any questions, and make recommendations for your specific situation.

Happy Holidays from our orthodontic dental practice in Burbank, CA – Mehdi Fotovat, DDS

Reasons to Consider Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Anyone can enjoy a straight, attractive smile. Many people assume that orthodontic treatment is just for kids and teens, but that isn’t the case. Approximately one million adults wear braces, suggesting that age shouldn’t influence orthodontic treatment decisions. Celebrities like Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage, and Gwen Stefani are a few famous examples of adults who chose to straighten their teeth.

Main points about Orthodontic Treatment:

The following points might help you make your decision if you are thinking about adult orthodontics.

Crooked teeth can create health issues

When your teeth aren’t straight brushing and flossing are more difficult, which may increase your risk of cavities. Chewing issues and alignment problems, like TMJ dysfunction, can also arise if your teeth aren’t in the proper position.

Misaligned teeth may contribute to gum disease

If you have crooked teeth, it is harder to remove plaque, the sticky layer that forms on teeth and gums. Plaque build up often leads to tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

Adults have options for orthodontic treatment

At one time, metal braces were the only choice for people who wanted a straighter smile. Modern advances mean that adults can attain the beautiful smiles they desire with less conspicuous orthodontic treatments such as ceramic brackets, lingual braces, or Invisalign clear braces.

A flawless smile has benefits

Not only will your oral health improve, but you will look and feel better than ever with a stunning smile. Improved confidence and a warm presence can help you achieve personal and professional success.

Consider our Orthodontic team in Burbank California – Dr. Fotovat – Burbank Orthodontist –

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