Posts Tagged ‘braces burbank ca’

Avoiding Gum Disease While Wearing Braces

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

While braces are a fantastic way to achieve a beautiful and perfectly aligned smile, they also can create difficulties in keeping your mouth completely clean and healthy. It can be tricky to clean effectively around the metal wires and brackets, and if you don’t realize the importance of maintaining a clean mouth, you may be destined for developing gum disease while you are wearing braces.

Know more about Disease While Wearing Braces

The best way to keep your mouth clean is to brush and floss regularly. While wearing braces, this often means several times a day for the best results. When you eat, the food gets caught in the wires and brackets that are part of your braces. Without brushing and flossing the trapped food away, it remains trapped and collects bacteria. This means that the bacteria combines with the acid in your mouth and can begin attacking your teeth and gums.

The more plaque and bacteria that attacks your gums, the greater your risk of developing gum disease. It starts out in the minor stages as gingivitis, but if left untreated will advance to periodontitis. If gum disease reaches this advanced stage, tooth loss can result. Your orthodontic treatment won’t be worth it if you end up losing your teeth!

Instead of fighting the battle of trying to regain healthy gums once you’ve developed gum disease, the better approach is to combat it in the first place. This means making time to brush and floss your teeth so that your mouth is kept clean. You’ll end up with a healthy mouth and an attractive smile, which was the goal of wearing braces in the first place.

Deciding if Invisalign is Right for You

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Braces have traditionally been the way to achieve a beautiful smile, but there’s a new kind of technology available that provides an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligning trays to move your teeth into a better position, while having less impact on your lifestyle and self-confidence.

More about Invisalign:

With Invisalign treatment, you will be custom fitted with trays that fit over your teeth. They are clear, and therefore practically invisible to others. Each aligner is worn for two weeks for twenty hours or more each day. Then you visit your orthodontist to obtain a new aligning tray, and repeat the process. You continue to get new trays every couple of weeks until treatment is complete. The time period for Invisalign treatment varies from patient to patient, but typically the length of treatment is shorter than that of traditional braces.

Invisalign offers some unique benefits compared to traditional braces. Because they are removable, the aligning trays are taken out for meals. Therefore, no food gets stuck like with braces. This also means that oral hygiene is much easier with Invisalign. Your dental care routine is the same as without braces, so it’s simple to brush and floss. Another good thing is that the aligners do not break and there aren’t any wires to break either. Also, the periodic changing of trays does not trigger the amount of soreness that accompanies the tightening of braces. Finally, probably the most popular benefit is that Invisalign trays are invisible, so there is no embarrassment associated with having a mouthful of metal.

As with any type of medical care, the results and specifics of each patient’s treatment varies. Ask your orthodontist about Invisalign and if it can give you the smile that you have always wanted.

Deciding When your Child Needs Braces

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

You may have noticed that some kids begin orthodontic treatment at a young age, and others don’t begin until their teen years. The answer is that each patient is different, and the exact reasons your child needs braces will differ from other kids. Any way you look at it, you and your orthodontist will likely share the same goals for your child of a beautiful smile, healthy teeth, and confident attitude. Wearing braces can often help achieve those goals.

Reasons for braces

There are a variety of reasons that kids can benefit from braces. They straighten overlapping teeth or move crowded teeth to achieve the best alignment. Underbites, overbites, and other problems related to how the teeth fit together can also be corrected. Jaw problems and palate issues may be addressed so that the teeth fit better in the mouth.

When to get braces

Many factors contribute to an orthodontist’s recommendation as to when your child might benefit most from treatment. Most experts advise an initial orthodontic screening around age seven, when permanent teeth start erupting. Sometimes early intervention is helpful with young children to guide the teeth, palate, and jaw during growth. Palate expanders are an example of treatment that should be done early for the best results. Early intervention isn’t recommended for all kids, because some issues must be addressed after growth is complete. Your orthodontist can identify any problems that might be treated and suggest the ideal timing for correcting them.

What braces mean for your child

Even though braces are very common among young people today, your child may still have some hesitations about treatment. Appearance is a normal concern, but there are new technologies such as Invisalign or clear braces that are less obvious than traditional braces. Fun, colorful bands may be enough to entice some children to embrace the look instead of fear it. Playing musical instruments is possible for kids with braces, and participating in sports is also acceptable as long as your child wears a mouth guard for protection.

Retainers after braces

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Your braces have been removed and your teeth are perfectly straight! It’s time to just enjoy your new smile since treatment is complete, right? Wrong! It’s time to wear your retainer so that your teeth stay in their new positions. A retainer is a custom-made appliance that continues to train your teeth to remain in place after your braces have been removed.

There are three types of retainers that orthodontists use to secure your new smile:

  • Hawley: The most popular style, this is the traditional metal wire attached to an acrylic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. You can take it in and out as desired.
  • Essix: This type of retainer looks similar to Invisalign braces or to whitening trays. These are less noticeable than the traditional type, but are also flimsier and more breakable.
  • Bonded: This permanent retainer consists of a wire being glued to the back of your teeth, and it cannot be removed by the patient. Your orthodontist will decide how long it remains in place; some remove the retainer dependent upon wisdom teeth removal, and others keep the retainer in place forever. One downside to this retainer is that tartar is difficult for dentists to remove with the retainer in place, so it’s very important to brush and floss properly and to see your dentist regularly.

Your orthodontist will help you decide which retainer is best for you. No matter what kind it is, the key is to wear it regularly for the recommended timeframe. Initially, that will be all day long for a number of months. Later, you’ll be able to only wear it at night. Remember, if you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will shift. It may be the last step of your orthodontic treatment, but it’s also one of the most important.

The Don’ts of eating with braces

Monday, June 9th, 2014

It’s not enough just to wear braces on your teeth; you have to hold up your end of the bargain. You must care for them as your orthodontist instructs, and that includes sticking to the diet guidelines. Some foods can loosen or break braces, which will probably mean you’ll have to wear the braces for a longer period of time. Follow these rules to achieve quicker treatment and a great smile.

DON’T eat hard foods with braces

Anything hard cannot safely be chewed with braces. Avoid items like raw apples and carrots, popcorn, nuts, hard candies, crunchy chips, corn on the cob, and ice.

DON’T eat sticky or chewy foods

Braces can be pulled apart by sticky foods. Don’t eat foods like taffy, caramels, gummy candy, jelly beans, caramel apples, and peanut brittle.

DON’T eat sugary foods

Braces make it harder to keep your teeth clean, and sugar can cause cavities, tarter buildup, and stains. Eat sparingly foods like soda, fruit juices, ice cream, candy, cake, cookies, and pie. If you do eat foods high in sugar, brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

DON’T eat highly acidic foods

Items high in acid content can lead to permanent stains and tooth damage. Avoid items such as sodas (even diet ones), citrus fruits, and lemon juice.

DON’T use your front teeth to bite foods

You can loosen your brackets by biting into foods with your front teeth. Cut meat off the bone from ribs or fried chicken, use a knife to cut corn off the cob, and tear or cut pizza into bite-sized pieces.

Does My Child Need Braces?

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Nearly 4 million children under the age of 18 in the United States and Canada are currently wearing braces. How do you know if your child should be one of them?

Here are some guidelines to help you decide about braces:


Braces are used to move teeth into the best position, but remember that braces are not only about appearance. They fix minor problems from slightly crooked teeth to serious issues like jaw disorders. With treatment, your orthodontist can repair overbites, underbites, and reposition teeth. Orthodontics may also correct problems like speech impediments, TMJ pain, and teeth grinding.


The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that kids have their first orthodontic consultation by age 7 so that your orthodontist can take preventative actions and possibly avoid the need for braces in the future. Usually, children get braces between the ages of 10 and 14 because kids in this range have some permanent teeth and are still growing. Your dentist is a great resource for telling you if your child, regardless of age, should see an orthodontist. Because 25 percent of today’s orthodontic patients are adults, any individuals with concerns should schedule an orthodontic consultation.

Warning Signs

You may observe some obvious signs that braces are in your child’s future, such as very overcrowded or crooked teeth. Some kids may have trouble chewing or closing their lips over their teeth. If children grind their teeth or have a history of thumb-sucking, orthodontic problems may arise. Early or late tooth loss is another sign that braces may be necessary as your child grows.


Keep in mind that a dentist’s or orthodontist’s recommendation does not mean that you have no choice about your child’s treatment plan. Make sure you understand the reasons for the suggested treatment, and ask any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion so that you are completely confident in the decision you are making about your child’s smile.

Rubber bands and your braces

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

If you wear braces on your teeth, there’s a chance that you will be one of the many orthodontic patients who must wear rubber bands as part of their treatment. They play an important role in achieving a perfect smile.

How do rubber bands help?

Braces by themselves only move teeth along the upper or lower sets of teeth, but rubber bands apply constant pressure to move the lower jaw and upper jaw into proper alignment with each other. The goal of rubber bands is to achieve a perfect bite. Repairing the bite is often the longest and most difficult phase of the orthodontic process, but rubber bands help move your jaw into the correct position more quickly. The way that the bands are attached to the braces is customized to each patient to direct tension in the best way for you.

How much should I wear them?

Orthodontists recommend that you wear rubber bands all day, removing them only to brush, floss, replace with new bands, or occasionally to eat. Most of the time you should eat with them in place, as it is helpful for your mouth to learn to work with that tension. Rubber bands should be worn when sleeping and playing sports. Leaving them off for even just one day can erase progress you’ve made.

Will I get used to them?

It takes a few days to learn to take the rubber bands in and out, but after some practice it becomes simple. It’s normal for your teeth, jaws, and mouth to be a bit sore at first, but that goes away. However, if you do not wear your rubber bands consistently, you will have constant discomfort because your mouth won’t get used to them.

What if I don’t wear them consistently?

To achieve the best orthodontic results in the shortest amount of time, you must be committed to wearing your rubber bands as your orthodontist has recommended. Wearing them intermittently will negatively affect your progress, so it’s vital to wear them full time.

What Questions Should I Ask my Orthodontist?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

In many cases, choosing an orthodontist is not a clear-cut task. Often there are a number of doctors to choose from in your area, and there are various skill levels, office attributes, and cost variations that may impact your decision. There are also different considerations based on whether the orthodontic treatment is for yourself as an adult, or for your child. Either way, you should go prepared to your first office visit with a list of questions to ask. Each situation calls for its own specific questions, but here is a list of typical ones to get the ball rolling:

 Some Questions whose ask my orthodontist

  • What is your orthodontic experience?
  • What types of braces are available for adults? For kids?
  • Do you recommend braces or a different treatment in my case?
  • What kind of braces will work best for my situation? Why?
  • Is my child at the ideal age for treatment? What if we wait to pursue treatment?
  • Is your treatment approach in one or two phases? What are the advantages of early treatment?
  • How much discomfort should be expected? How do we treat it?
  • How long will treatment last?
  • What are the care requirements while wearing clear braces? Are there restrictions?
  • Is sports participation impacted by wearing braces?
  • How often are office visits necessary during treatment?
  • Is follow-up care needed? What about retainers, and for how long?
  • What are your fees? Are they fixed? What is covered? Are there any extra costs that might arise during treatment?
  • Do you accept insurance?

Once you have gotten answers to these types of questions, you can decide whether or not that orthodontist and the suggested treatment plan is right for you. It’s important to be confident and comfortable about all aspects of orthodontic treatment, so interview multiple orthodontists in your search for the one who best fits your needs.

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.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Most problems that happen with your braces or other orthodontic appliances can be treated as soon as you can schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. You should contact their office if you have severe pain or a painful problem with your appliance that you can’t remedy yourself. In the meantime, there are some solutions you can try that offer temporary relief until you can get into the office.

Problems of Orthodontic Emergencies

Here are some common problems that occur with appliances, and solutions that may help.

Loose bracket or band

Leave the bracket or band in place if it’s loose but still attached. Place some wax on it to hold it steady. If the bracket or band falls off completely, wrap it in a tissue to take with you when you see your orthodontist.

Loose wire

Try using tweezers to put the wire back in place, and cover it with wax. If neither of these help, use a fingernail clipper to trim the wire after the last tooth to which it’s attached. Place wax over that until you see your orthodontist.

Loose appliance

Place wax over any part of the appliance that is loose and poking you.

Poking wire

Use a pencil eraser to push down the wire that is poking you, or place wax on it so it’s not uncomfortable.

Headgear discomfort

If you haven’t been wearing your headgear as instructed, that may be causing your discomfort. The more you wear it, the more comfortable it becomes. If any portion of it is bent, such as the facebow, call your orthodontist for Orthodontic treatment.


It is normal for your mouth to feel sore for the first three to five days after getting braces. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water may help of Orthodontic, as does taking ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain reliever.

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