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Sydnee Mcinulty

Causes of Crooked Teeth in Children

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The most common causes of crooked teeth stem specifically from genetics, bad habits, illness or injury or timing. While most of these causes you are born with and cannot be changed, the others are completely preventable and may not result in Orthodontic treatment later in life.

While genetics is something that you are born with, and there is as much control with the uproot of your teeth as there is with the color of your hair and eyes when you are born. Dental traits obtained from your parents can lead to crowding of teeth and jaw misalignment. In often cases, crooked teeth are related to the size of an individual’s mouth. With smaller mouths, there is a greater chance of crowded teeth that can cause other teeth to shift and become crooked when growing in.

Misaligned jaws can also lead to issues later in life with underbites and overbites or abnormal protrusion. Sauses of misaligned bites and crooked teeth can 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 or using a pacifier beyond the age of 3. Facial traumas such as a jaw or mouth injury can have an affect on moving teeth out of place as well.

An individual’s adult or permanent teeth are directly affected by the health of the individual’s baby teeth, which sit directly on top of each other. If a baby tooth is lost due to decay, trauma or other factors, the permanent teeth will start shifting when moving upwards. Baby teeth can be seen as small anchors for adult teeth and if a baby tooth is lost prematurely it can directly affect the placement of the permanent teeth, and may often uproot in the wrong location.

Whatever the reason to your crooked teeth, the Braces and Invisalign in Orange County is happy to help and assist you in your journey to straighter teeth. During your consultation a Dr. will go over all of the different options for braces and together you will find a solution and treatment that works best for your lifestyle. Call now to schedule your consultation, today!

Invisalign® a Step-by-Step Process

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Invisalign is an alternative to original metal braces which consist of clear plastic aligners that move your teeth together or in a specific direction, similar to normal braces. Below is a step by step process of how the Invisalign treatment unveils.

You will start your journey with finding an Orthodontist office that you’re comfortable with, you will be visiting this location for the next few months during your appointments.  During your consultation with the Orthodontist, the Doctor will go over the treatment options that are suitable for you and your lifestyle. At this time you will be able to go over with your Doctor any questions or concerns that you may have with the treatment you’ve chosen, payment plans or financing options.

After your consultation appointment with your Orthodontist, you will schedule another appointment for you to return to the office to receive your impressions. Braces and Invisalign offer easy digital impressions, called Itero. Itero technology utilizes a high-tech, chair-side experience with no mess and no smothering residue.  This impressionable technology also allows for fewer and shorter appointments and does not require any powder to be placed on the teeth.  Scanning with iTero translates to seven times fewer aligner fit problems, thus reducing your overall cost of treatment.  The technology also delivers far more precision and accuracy than physical molds. After your impressions have been taken, your Orthodontist will send your digital impressions to Invisaligns team to plan your digital treatment using ClinCheck® software. The treatment plan will then be sent back to your Orthodontist for approval before the aligners are made. Using this digital treatment plan software, your Orthodontist can anticipate how your teeth will look at every stage during your treatment.

The amount of aligners you will receive to achieve your end result will depend of the complexity and severity of each patient’s case. It is crucial that you wear your aligners between 20-22 hours a day to start seeing results. The aligners will change every 2 weeks and during the first 2 days of each aligner tray, wear it as much as possible during the first 48 hours. It is often recommended during this time to only take out your aligners when eating and drinking and brushing your teeth. It is crucial to change your aligners on time, and in the right order- skipping steps will not make the treatment go any faster and can irritate your mouth. If you are looking for an alternative to speed up a treatment, some patients will receive ‘buttons’ to wear on their aligners. The buttons help the trays stay in place, or move a tooth.

During your first check up around the 6-8 week mark, your Orthodontist will check to see if there will be any refinements that will need to be made. Refinements are tooth-colored buttons that are placed on the inside of the aligners to move teeth in a specific direction. There buttons can also help speed up a treatment.

After completing your treatment, you will receive a fixed and removable retainer. On some occasions fixed retainers are not needed, and is up to the patient’s discretion. At this time another impression will be taken to make the removable retainer. Because the next 24 months are crucial to the movement of your teeth; your removable retainer will only be worn at night and you will see your Orthodontist periodically for check-ups to ensure your teeth are not shifting.

If you have any questions about the process of getting Invisalign braces, or could like to make a consultation appointment to see an Orthodontist, feel free to call our office at (714) 862-2053 and we will be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.

Different Factors that Damage your Teeth

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There are many different factors you may be doing unrecgonized in your daily routine that may be damaging your teeth. Addressing these habits at a young age before a child’s adult teeth are in is essential to ensure these bad habits wont linger into adulthood and damage their permanent teeth. Below, you will read about the most common bad habits that damage your teeth and solutions to help break those routines.

Young children that suck their thumbs past the age of 5-6 after their permanent teeth start coming in pose a risk of permanent changes to the jaw and tooth structure to their permanent teeth. Misalignment to the permanent teeth may result in a number of issues later in life, including; difficulty chewing and breaking problems. Try to identify the triggers and use gentle and positive reinforcement to break this bad habit that damages your teeth.

For many individuals, stress is the leading cause of teeth and 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. Clenching and grinding your teeth poses the risk of cracked teeth or micro-fractures in your teeth which can result later in cavities or more severely broken teeth. Ask your local general dentist about investing in a night guard to prevent breaking or chipping your teeth by clenching and grinding.

While your teeth may be extremely helpful for opening packages and wrappers, that is not what they are made to do. While it may sound convenient at the time, it can seriously damage your tooth enamel and root of your teeth in the long run. Using your teeth as tools can result in cracked teeth or painful jaw injuries over 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.

While ice is just frozen water, it’s actually way more harmful than helpful. Tooth enamel is  the hardest and most highly-mineralized substance in your entire body, but with this being said, they are still susceptible to damage. Not only can chewing on ice cause cracks within your teeth, it can also cause serious damage to fillings and crowns and individuals who wears braces. Keeping a pack of sugar-free gum may help break this tooth-damaging bad habit and will increase saliva production which can remove cavity causing bacteria.

Nail Biting. Everyone has done it as some point, but what most people don’t realize is that is a habit that most likely stemmed from childhood and is the result of dry hands and cuticles. Biting your nails can most commonly chip your teeth, but can also cause jaw dysfunction if you protrude your jaw for extended periods of time. By placing bitter-tasting nail polish on your nails can reduce the amount of times you are sticking your fingers in your mouth. Try placing cuticle oil or cream on your nails and cuticles multiple times a day. While stress can be a huge indication of nail biting, ultimately it is most likely that the hands are dry and itchy which is the subconscious reason individual bite their nails.

Every bad habit can be broken with the right amount of dedication and self perseverance. Try working on other solutions and different alternatives to save your teeth from damage in the long run. Call now or click here to schedule your consultation today!

Behind Lingual Braces

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What are Lingual Braces? While this technique has been around since the 1980’s, quite a few of dentist have yet to offer the technique due to the complex and special training that is required to apply and adhere the braces to the teeth.

Treatment for Lingual braces can be significantly longer than normal treatment for normal metal braces due to the teeth move more gradually and slower than normal braces. Lingual braces consist of small brackets glued to the backs of patient’s teeth on the side near the tongue. Wire and elastics will be used in the same manner as traditional orthodontics and braces, only hidden from view. Lingual braces offer a great cosmetic alternative for individuals who would like straighter teeth, without the actual braces showing. Depending on the severity of a patients case, it can take anywhere from 18-36+ months to complete treatment. Lingual braces take about 6 weeks to produce from the time of impressions to make the custom brackets. Because of the specific and special requirements of lingual braces, the cost of treatment tends to be higher than traditional metal braces. Woman in Dental Chair Getting Exam

Ultimately the specific type/brand of lingual braces depends on your Orthodontist’s recommendation and a patient’s discretion. Good oral hygiene is essential to ensure that gingivitis or tooth decay do not creep in as well. Be sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth at least a minimum of 2 times a day, as well as using a soft-round bristled toothbrush or an interproximal brush to remove excess food that left over or stuck between your teeth. It’s also recommended to get a waterpick (or any other similar type of oral irrigation device).

Lingual braces can be more difficult to get used to than traditional braces due to the metal brackets constantly being pressed up against your tongue. This can leave your tongue raw and irritated, and it is recommended to use Orthodontic wax to try to illuminate some of this pain and discomfort. If you have an excess over/under bite, unfortunately Lingual braces will most likely not be an option due to them not having the sufficient amount of tooth to adhere to when gluing the brackets onto the backs of a patients teeth.

While Braces and Invisalign in Orange County does not offer Lingual braces at this time we would love to hear your experiences with Lingual braces. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have regarding any other Orthodontic services that we offer at any of our locations. Please call (714) 862-2053 or submit a request though our website.

Payment Plans & Financing

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Braces and Invisalign in Orange County’s primary mission is to deliver the best and most comprehensive orthodontic care available today. We are also dedicated to making top-quality care as cost-effective as possible which is why we take pride in offering some of the Nation’s most commonly used and popular  financing companies while being able to give you some piece of mind.

Ortho Center OfficeAt the Orthodontic Center of Orange County we offer the following payment options to assist you with your investment:

  • Payments are accepted by cash, check, money order, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
  • A third-party financing option through CareCredit or SpringStone which is based on approved credit and requires no down payments or annual fees. Flexible options are available to meet your needs such as shorter payment periods.
  • Bad Credit or No Credit at all? Contact our office to find out more about other Easy & Flexible financing options!

Lending Club and Care Credit are some of the world’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. We’re transforming the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. We operate at a lower cost than traditional bank lending programs and pass the savings on to borrowers in the form of lower rates and to investors in the form of solid returns.

The Orthodontic Center of Orange County is happy to provide these options to allow you to make convenient, affordable payments and begin your treatment immediately.

If you have more questions about our financing options or payment plans, please don’t hesitate to contact us and an Orthodontic Specialist will be able to assist you with any of your questions or concerns you may have.

If you are interested in setting up a complimentary consultation to come in and explore which one of our Orthodontic treatments will be right for you please start by clicking here to fill out these forms prior to your appointment. If there are any specific questions or concerns that you may have prior to your consultation appointment, please feel free to give us a call at (714) 862-2053 or by filling out a form submission.

What to do During an Orthodontic Emergency

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Loose or Broken Brackets, Bands or Wires?
If any part of your braces become loose or break, call our office immediately to find out if you can wait until your next scheduled appointment for the repair or what you should be doing to prevent any pain or discomfort in the mean time. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it just as is; DO NOT try to pull it off or attach any elastic to it as it can cause severe damage. If there is any irritation or pain from the wire, it is recommended that you use orthodontic wax to cover the area that is irritating your mouth or move it back into place with a q-tip. It is never recommended to use your hands or fingers when handling a situation like this. If the bracket completely falls off, please bring it to your next scheduled appointment for your Orthodontist.

Tooth Pain or Signs of Ulcers
To diminish the pain, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil will usually work just fine. Rinsing your mouth with salt water daily can help provide relief for mouth ulcers that may have occurred from brackets rubbing on your cheeks or tongue. It is recommended you retrieve an 8 ounce glass of warm water mixed with just one teaspoon of salt. Topical numbing solutions such as Ora-base or Aspercreme are also helpful to ease ulcer pain for a more temporary solution.

Call your Orthodontist as Soon as Possible
While Orthodontic emergencies are rare, they do occur and it is crucial that you are prepared for such a situation if it were to ever arise. If you are in pain or are having any discomfort due to a loose or broken wire/bracket please call our office as soon as possible. In situations similar to this, sometimes X-rays will need to be taken as it is often necessary to determine the extent of the injury or incident and to determine whether or not the orthodontic appliances have been damaged.

clean your new braces

When Should my Child see an Orthodontist?

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Did you know that your child does not have to wait until all of their permanent teeth have grown in to visit the Orthodontist? What would you think if I told you waiting too long to take your child to the Orthodontist could actually do more harm than food in the long run? The following are some reasons why it may be harmful to bring your child to the Orthodontist after their permanent teeth have grown in.

Everything is Growing

A child’s mouth is a very busy place. Everything is still growing, shifting and changing within the child’s mouth. Approximately, around the age of 6-7, a child’s permanent teeth start to appear as more and more baby teeth start to fall out. Nearly 2/3 of a child’s tooth is covered by gum tissue as well as bone that secure the teeth. There are times when gum tissue has played a difficult card when a child’s permanent teeth start growing in. Early or late loss of baby teeth can indicate a problem as well as trouble chewing, biting, any speech difficulties or mouth-breathing issues. If any of these major issues occur after a child’s permanent teeth have grown in, the issue may more difficult to treat rather than before the permanent teeth erupted.Dental Assistant Giving XRays

It’s Not About the Smile, it’s all About the Bite

While having a beautiful smile is an added bonus it is not the main objective of Orthodontic treatment. The main objective of Orthodontic treatment is actually to perfect your bite and ensure that your upper and lower teeth fit together and match up like interlocking gears.  Depending on the severity of every child’s case can differ, but on most occasions, timing can be crucial. While it is a personal preference when you first decide to see an Orthodontist, it can be recommended that Orthodontic treatment may be better treated while the baby teeth are still present in the mouth. A child’s baby teeth act as anchors for the permanent teeth beneath and if it was lost abruptly or due to decay, it is possible it may affect the permanent tooth below and cause it to uproot crooked or in the wrong location. A child can require growth guidance of the bones in their upper and lower jaws so there is enough room of all of the permanent teeth to grow in. There are times where a treatment can be timed to an average predictable state of dental development and physical growth as well. Once your teeth are correctly aligned, the beautiful smile is just an added bonus.

Orthodontist VS. Dentist

Just because both doctors work in the mouth, their perspectives may differ intensively based on the case each individual provides. Dentists assess the overall health of oral hygiene and will address and treat cavities and gum disease.  Often times, Orthodontic treatment can be perceived as purely a cosmetic fix without the general knowledge behind what really goes on inside the mouth. Often times as you get older, Orthodontic treatment can be a lower priority to a dentist. Because Orthodontic treatment is about the bite and not the smile, Orthodontist use panoramic x-rays to visualize the teeth above the gum line and the jaw at the same time. Children do not need a referral from a dentist to see an Orthodontist or seek Orthodontic treatment.

Age 7

The American Association of Orthodontist (AAO) recommends that children have their first visit with an Orthodontist no later than the age of 7 years old. If an issue were to arise, an Orthodontist now has the opportunity to address the issue and provide the most appropriate treatment at the most recommended time.  There’s no need to wait until your child has lost all of their baby teeth, and it is fine to visit your Orthodontist then as well, even if your child is younger than 7 years old. Many Orthodontic Offices offer free consultations for first time patients and there’s no time like now to schedule your complimentary consultation to come and see us at Orthodontic Center of OC. Call now or fill out the form here to schedule your first appointment.

Different Types of Braces

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Invisalign: The Orthodontic Center of Orange County specializes in the Invisalign clear braces procedure. We can provide a complimentary consultation to determine if you would be a good candidate for clear Invisalign braces. Invisalign takes a modern method to straightening your teeth by using a series of custom-made, removable, plastic appliance called aligners which are made specifically from an impression of your mouth. While you wear these custom clear aligners, they gradually and gently shift your teeth into place based on a plan by our doctors here at the Orthodontics Center of Orange County.

While the benefits from Invisalign treatment are a straighter, more beautiful smile; this procedure can also improve the health of your mouth, which can have an impact on your overall health. Also, treatment time ranges 6-12 months depended on how much teeth alignment is needed by a patient.

Six-in6: Are you one of the millions of adults in need of adult braces who are unhappy, self-conscious or even embarrassed of your smile? Many adults spend their entire lives covering their mouths when they laugh, smile or talk. They feel stuck because they do not want to wear adult metal braces for years or they are concerned that other corrective teeth straightening procedures could be too invasive or too expensive. Now, there is an effective, safe and affordable cosmetic braces solution that fits your lifestyle. A revolutionary combination of proven orthodontic techniques, modern materials, and innovative thought – The Orthodontic Center of Orange County’s Six in 6 utilizes specialized clear braces to gently straighten and align teeth in an average time of just six months.

Digital Impressions: A comfortable, accurate and impression-free alternative experience to uncomfortable impressions. Below are some of the benefits of our I-Tero technology.

  • Eliminate uncomfortable impressions
  • Feel the benefits of a high-tech, chair-side experience
  • No more mess and gagging associated with traditional impressions
  • Fewer, shorter patient appointments
  • Does not require application of powder to teeth
  • Scanning with iTero translates to 7 times fewer aligner fit issues-reducing your cost of treatments
  • State of the art imaging technology delivers far greater accuracy than impressions

Metal Braces: Metal braces, or most commonly referred to as traditional braces, are the most common type of braces used in the practice of orthodontic care. The traditional metal braces used by the Orthodontic Center of Orange County utilize high quality stainless steel. Technology in traditional braces has advanced that today metal braces can be smaller, more comfortable and more effective than only a few years ago. Metal braces straighten your teeth by using metal brackets that are glued to your teeth, along with using archwires which can easily be adjusted for added comfort. The archwire can be fabricated from several alloys, but the most common are beta-titanium, nickel-titanium and stainless steel. Traditonal braces are often used to correct underbites, overbites, cross bites, crooked teeth, or other flaws of the jaw and teeth.

Treatment Duration: While wearing braces can last 2-3 years with adjustments needed about once a month. After the braces are taken off, your brand new, straight smile can last a life time. This time frame can be longer or shorter dependent on the age of the patient and the amount of tooth straightening needed. The overall benefits of metal braces compared to others types of orthodontic braces are their average lower cost, and the option to have colored bands placed on the braces. We also provide the option of adding colored ties which can be set in different and fun patterns. These colored ties can also be swapped out during your next office visit. Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can determine if you are a candidate for braces.

Ceramic Braces (Clear Braces): Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. Ceramic braces are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. Ceramic brackets can be used in place of metal brackets for a more discreet appearance. Ceramic brackets are constructed to mimic the color of the tooth so the only part of the braces that is clearly visible is the arch wire. The bands used to hold the arch wire in place are usually clear or white, but colored bands can also be chosen. Ceramic brackets generally cost more than standard metal brackets.

Call Orthodontic Center of Orange County today to schedule a free consultation and find out which types of braces will be good for you!

Orthodontics in Adults

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The main benefits of Orthodontic treatment can include a pleasing appearance, a healthier mouth and more likeliness of your teeth lasting a lifetime. Crooked teeth can become harder to maintain good oral hygiene and can be potentially damaging later in life when you are at a higher risk for early tooth decay, periodontal disease or TMJ. Individuals of all ages want to straighten their teeth. There are a number of adults hopping on the trend to finally get the smile they’ve always wanted.

Many individuals’ associate braces and Orthodontics with teenagers or younger children but the statistics of adults with braces in 2019 has nearly doubled from 1990. Sacrificing 12-18 months for a straighter smile and a more comfortable bite isn’t as long as it seems. It gets better, Orthodontics have come a long way from the original metal braces and almost every Orthodontist office’s offer nearly seamless and invisible trays to straighten your teeth called, Invisalign®.

Getting braces as an adult can bring some tricky changes into your life that may take some getting used to when first getting your braces on. Your whole life you’ve been able to eat whatever you wanted or didn’t have to worry about flossing and brushing on-the-go. It’s important with each individuals busy schedule that you ensure to make time for time-sensitive appointments and check-up’s as well as watching what you are eating and refraining from certain foods that may damage your brackets or wires. Oral hygiene will be more difficult as you will have to learn a new way to brush and specifically floss your teeth, especially after each time you eat- try to make it become a habit.

Because there are now many different types of braces it is important to go over all of your options with your Orthodontist, ensuring you are picking the right option that is right for you and your lifestyle. Call Orthodontic Center of Orange County today to schedule a complimentary consultation for your new braces!

6 Foods That are Bad for your Teeth

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Hard Candies

While a small piece of hard candy may not seem so harmful when you compare it next to a bowl of ice-cream or a piece of cake- but it is very harmful to your teeth. Biting and crunching hard candies with your teeth can risk breakage and chipping. Most hard candies leave a sticky residue within the crevasses in your teeth making it very difficult to properly clean and more susceptible to cavities.


While this small habit seems nearly harmless and that most people do it, it can leave long term negative consequences and impacts on your overall health of your teeth. Chewing ice regularly puts you at a higher risk for chipped teeth and damaged tooth enamel. 6 Foods that are

Citrus Fruits

When you think of eating healthy, most people think of fruits and vegetables for the important vitamins, minerals and fiber within them. Thought there are consequences for eating too many citrusy fruits. The acidity within the fruits can erode the enamel on your teeth and put you at a higher risk for cavities and tooth loss. Keeping citrus in your diet within moderation is the safest way to keep your teeth healthy.


Even though bread is soft and chewy, it can easily get stuck between your teeth. Because bread quickly breaks down into a sugar, you will have sugary substance lingering within your mouth and between your teeth after your sandwich or toast. Whole grain breads have less sugar than white bread and also contain fewer sugars as well. If bread is difficult to moderate in your diet, try switching to whole grain bread to save the overall health of your teeth.


Sugary Drinks

Too much sugar in your drinks can be just as bad as sugary foods lingering in your mouth. Having too much sugar in your drinks can be bad for your teeth and cause early tooth decay or even tooth loss. Because so many drinks including soda, coffee, tea and even sports drinks contain sugar it is good to drink in moderation or drink sugar free options.


Alcohol can affect your body’s ability to create saliva which can lead to chronic dry mouth and possible gum disease. Heavy drinking can also increase the risk of oral cancer. Most everything is okay in moderation or on occasions but it ultimately comes down to balance in your lifestyle. Brushing and flossing your teeth routinely with care as well as regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleansing will also help keep your oral hygiene and teeth strong and healthy.