Posts Tagged ‘orthodontics’

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.

Dispelling Common Orthodontic Myths

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Starting orthodontic treatment can seem a little daunting. Understanding what is involved in having braces may help ease your mind. The following information will help you separate fact from fiction about what to expect from orthodontic therapy.

Some discussion about Orthodontic:

Myth: Getting braces will hurt.

Truth: You may experience mild soreness after the orthodontist places your braces, but this should subside after the first few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any discomfort.

Myth: I can’t play an instrument or participate in sports if I have braces.

Truth: Although you may have to get used to how your flute or clarinet feels with braces, you can continue to play your instrument during orthodontic treatment. The same goes for sports, but you need to speak with your orthodontist about a mouth guard. This soft, plastic device covers teeth and protects against injury.

Myth: After I get my braces off, my teeth will stay straight forever.

Truth: Once you finish with the active treatment phase, you will need to wear a retainer to keep teeth in their new position. Your orthodontist will fit you for the custom appliance and provide instructions for use. Often, patients start out wearing their retainers most of the day, but many move to a night-time schedule over time.

Myth: I’m too old for braces.

Truth: You can enjoy a beautiful, straight smile at any age. In fact, roughly 20 percent of orthodontic patients are 18 years or older. With options such as ceramic brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, adult patients can preserve their mature images while achieving the sensational smiles they desire.

What to Know Before Visiting the Orthodontist

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

It’s a big commitment to get braces, so you want to be as educated as possible before taking this step. Here are some important things to know before going to the orthodontist for the first time.

Important points before Visiting the Orthodontist

Braces are more than just cosmetic.

Although the goal for many people in getting braces is to achieve perfectly straight teeth, that’s not the only advantage to orthodontic treatment. The appearance of your smile may be the first thing others may notice, but braces can also improve the alignment of your jaw and bite. Serious problems and pain can result from misalignment, as well as difficulties in cleaning overcrowded teeth.

Braces aren’t just for teenagers.

Often associated with adolescence, braces are no longer only popular with this younger age group. It has become a common solution for adults who want to straighten their teeth and improve their bite. Braces can improve your smile at nearly any age.

Consultations are usually free.

The first step in considering treatment is making a consultation appointment with an orthodontist. Your teeth and jaw will be examined, and any treatment options will be presented. Consultations are usually free, so visit several specialists to find the right one for you.

Treatment and costs vary.

Don’t rule out braces because you’re afraid of the cost or the length of treatment. Your specific case is unique to you, and both treatment and financial commitment vary from patient to patient.

Braces don’t hurt as much as you might think.

A common concern about braces is the amount of pain involved. You can expect some discomfort at first and after each adjustment, but the pain is typically short-lived and manageable.

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 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.

Your Diet and Your Dental Health

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The foods you eat and when you eat them affects your overall health, but also the health of your teeth and gums. If you eat too many foods loaded with sugar, and not enough foods containing important nutrients, your risk of tooth decay increases.

How can choosing a smart diet prevent dental health problems?

When plaque on your teeth meets sugar, which then causes acid to attack your teeth, your teeth begin to decay. Foods and drinks containing any type of sugar can lead to tooth decay. You should make a habit of reading the nutrition labels on foods, so that you can opt for the choices lowest in sugar. Common sugar-filled items to avoid include sodas, candy, cookies, and pastries.

On the other hand, certain nutrients help build up the health of your teeth and gums. If your diet lacks those vitamins and minerals, the tissues in your mouth will be less resistant to infection. This can lead to gum disease, which if untreated can end up in tooth loss. Experts suggest that gum disease worsens faster in people who maintain a poor diet.

The key is to eat a balanced diet containing the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy foods. It’s also important to drink plenty of water. You should also limit snacking between meals, because those tend to be foods that fall outside the recommended food items for healthy teeth. Also, more saliva is produced during a meal, which is helpful in cleaning your mouth and reducing the harmful effects of acid on your teeth and gums.

For good dental health, remember to practice proper dental hygiene such as brushing and flossing regularly. Maintaining consistent dental checkups is another way to maintain your oral health. In the meantime, making smart choices in your diet will help keep your mouth in tip-top shape.

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.

Retainers: Made Just for You

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Most people who have worn braces must wear a retainer after the braces are removed, and sometimes retainers are used to close gaps in teeth, help with speech issues, or solve medical problems. These custom-made pieces of plastic and metal fit into the top of your mouth and teeth. No two retainers are identical, because they fit only the one patient’s mouth they are made to fit.

Why do I need to wear one Retainers?

The most common purpose of retainers is to help your teeth stay in their new positions after braces. The retainer minimizes the natural shifting of your teeth. Sometimes braces aren’t necessary and retainers can do the job alone, such as moving only one tooth or closing a small space. In addition to shifting teeth, retainers can help problems like tongue thrusting, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and teeth grinding.

What does wearing a retainer feel like?

Your orthodontist will customize your retainer to fit only you. It may feel strange at first, but you’ll get used to it in a short time. Certain teeth might feel slight pressure and be sore a few days, but this is normal and will go away. See your orthodontist if you experience lingering pain or rubbing against your gums. You may need to adjust to speaking with your retainer in your mouth, and it’s normal to have an increased saliva flow at first.

How do I take care of it?

The most important thing is not to lose your retainer. It is one of the most commonly lost or misplaced items people own! Try to keep it in the same place when you’re not wearing it. Also, ask your orthodontist about soaking your retainer when not wearing it to protect the plastic from drying and cracking. Don’t put it near anything too hot because it can warp, and avoid bending the wires. Since your retainer is in your mouth along with bacteria and plaque, ask your orthodontist for tips on how to best clean it every day.

An Overview of Orthodontics

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

In most cases, you have probably either had braces, need braces, or know someone with braces. When you need orthodontic treatment, you often receive a great deal of information. Having a basic knowledge about the world of orthodontics will help you make educated decisions for yourself or a loved one.

What is orthodontics?

Simply put, orthodontics is the dental specialty focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental or facial irregularities.

How is an orthodontist different from a dentist?

While all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. In addition to successfully completing dental school, orthodontists must also take another two to three years of advanced training.

Can I tell if braces are needed?

The best way to determine if you or a family member should seek orthodontic treatment is through an evaluation with an orthodontist. If you notice buck teeth, an overbite, under bite, or open bite, orthodontic treatment is a likely course of action.

What’s the difference between Phase I and Phase II?

With Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, patients are between 6 and 10 years old, and all their permanent teeth have not yet erupted. Certain problems are easier to treat when children are younger and they are still growing. Also called comprehensive treatment, Phase II happens once all permanent teeth come in and usually involves a full set of braces.

What are my treatment options?

That answer depends on your age and your specific case. Typically, younger children respond well to traditional metal braces. Older teens and adult patients often like less conspicuous choices. Braces with clear brackets and clear aligners like Invisalign can straighten your smile and allow you to maintain a professional image.

Healthy straight teeth at Dr. Fotovat – Burbank Orthodontist –

Bite Problems Lead to Orthodontic Treatment

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Since people are interested in looking and feeling their best, orthodontic treatment has become extremely common these days. The reasons that patients seek treatment aren’t only related to crooked teeth; bite problems are another common cause for getting help. Here are some bite issues that keep orthodontists busy.

Some problems of Orthodontic treatment:


When the top teeth rest on the inside of the bottom teeth instead of slightly on the outside, it’s called a crossbite. Orthodontic Treatment is most effective while the jawbones are still expanding, which is until about age 16 for girls and 19 for boys. If untreated, crossbite can cause problems like gum disease, chewing difficulty, and bone loss. Braces can help when only one tooth is affected by crossbite, and jaw expanders are needed when multiple teeth are involved.


An overbite, also called buck teeth, occurs when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. Often this condition is a result of genetics, thumb-sucking, or pencil-chewing. Thrusting the tongue against the backs of the top teeth while swallowing can also cause the teeth to protrude. Up until age 9, overbites may be treated with Orthodontic Treatment an appliance that aids proper development of the lower jaw. After this age, braces are required until the lower teeth meet and the upper teeth are moved appropriately.

Open bite

When the top front teeth don’t contact the bottom front teeth, it’s called an open bite. The upper and lower front teeth just don’t meet, which can be caused by genetics, thumb-sucking, and lisping. Patients must wear braces for a few months, and then surgery on the upper jaw is necessary. Correction for an open bite can take up to two years to complete.


An underbite means that the lower front teeth extend out, and is often characterized by an undersized upper jaw and oversized lower jaw. Tongue thrusting, thumb-sucking, and nasal obstruction can contribute to an underbite. It can cause poor teeth functioning and digestive issues. An early diagnosis of an underbite is important, because orthodontic treatment with headgear and braces is possible until puberty. Later treatment, however, often involves teeth extraction and surgery.

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