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The Benefits of Getting Braces

By Articles, Braces & Invisalign

There are a lot of benefits of getting braces whether you’re an adult or a child. They are obvious advantages, such as straighter teeth. However, they also have their cons as well, such as discomfort, food limitations and additional oral care that’s needed daily. When you have crooked or crowded teeth, braces can help make everything look a lot better and help you to have less or more space between your teeth. Opting out of braces can allow bacteria and cavities to grow causing decay so it’s important to see your dentist or orthodontist to see if you’re a candidate for getting braces.

Braces can Fix Jaw Misalignment

An advantage of braces is that they can fix jaw misalignment problems such as overbite or underbite. This can be fixed by using additional wires and brackets on the teeth to train them to move in the opposite way of your bite. Which in turn, moves the teeth to a more ideal position for chewing, biting, and being less susceptible to cavities, decay and poor oral hygiene. It can also fix problems with overlapping teeth, crooked teeth or large gaps between the teeth. Teeth can become misaligned for numerous reasons, which include things like improper eating habits, sucking a thumb at an early age, teeth damage from biting, and gum disease.

Some adults have jaw disorders such as overbite or underbites, which make getting braces mandatory in order to eat, chew, talk and smile normally. For people with crooked teeth, wearing braces is more difficult and can be more uncomfortable than the traditional metal braces while the teeth shift into place. After your treatment is over it is crucial for a patient to wear the retainer given to them by their orthodontist. Not wearing your retainer gives teeth the opportunity to become misaligned again and make it more likely that they will shift or move resulting in a completely new orthodontic treatment plan to get your teeth straight again.

Bruxism Can Misalign Teeth

Bruxism is another issue that can lead to teeth misalignment. Bruxism occurs when you grind or clench your teeth while you are asleep during the night. Clenching and grinding are usually the result of stress, tension or a hard bite and should be treated with a nightguard if you’re aware that you are clenching and grinding you teeth at night.  Having a nightguard prevents the teeth from touching and in result does not allow the teeth to grind or clench. In addition, severe bruxism can also cause TMJ which can be extremely painful so it’s important to see your orthodontist if you think you may be suffering from Bruxism so you can start your orthodontic treatment and get your teeth and jaw aligned correctly to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

We Can Help!

At The Orthodontic Center of Orange County, we offer multiple different orthodontic treatments such as braces or even Invisalign to help straighten your teeth and give you a straighter and healthier smile. If you are wanting to learn more about how braces could benefit you but aren’t sure where to start- give our office a call and we will set you up with a consultation where we can go over any questions or concerns that you may have, such as which orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Sleeping with Braces and How to Cope

By Articles, Braces & Invisalign

Sleeping without having braces is much different than sleeping with them and anyone who has ever had braces can tell you how and why. In the first few days with your new braces you might find yourself having trouble sleeping from the soreness of your gums and cheeks. This is a very common thing to go through in the beginning of orthodontic treatment. Not every patient will experience this but a majority of patients do, so there are a few things that can help ease your pain while your adjust to your new life with braces.

Pain Relievers

Our staff and orthodontists highly recommend taking acetaminophen to help reduce any pain or discomfort the braces may cause in your first few days with them. If you are in an extreme amount of pain it is recommended to take one ibuprofen (Aleve) with one acetaminophen (Tylenol Extra Strength) combined they help reduce any type of swelling and diminish any pain caused by the braces.

Cold Foods and Drinks

 Cold foods and drinks provide the same effect as ice packs, popsicles and ice cream; they not only taste delicious, but can actually help ease pain by numbing your mouth and reducing overall inflammation on the gums. Always brush after eating any type of food that has a large amount of sugars to prevent any decay. Simply sucking on an ice cube or sipping on iced water for relief is always a great route to take as well if you aren’t looking to add the extra sugar into your diet.

Rinsing with Warm Salt Water

Oftentimes soreness and irritation develops along the gums and cheeks as they adapt to tightened wires and metal brackets. Rinsing with warm salt water solution will help reduce infection and alleviate soreness caused by irritation from the braces on your gums and cheeks.

Gum Massages

Massaging your gums with your fingers can actually alleviate pain, especially if your gums are swollen or irritated. Massaging the gums can help to relax the soft tissues in the mouth, and in the process your newly tightened braces feel a little bit more comfortable. For the best results try applying an ice pack to your cheeks before massaging.

What to Expect when Getting Braces

By Articles, Braces & Invisalign

Preparing for braces can seem a little intimidating at first but as long as you are prepared there isn’t anything to be worried of. These following tips will educate you and can help you get ready for when you get your braces.

Prepare yourself mentally         

It’s normal to feel nervous before your orthodontic appointment. The best cure for unsettling nerves is to become educated on the treatment! Do some research of your own regarding what it’s like to get braces as well to reduce any lingering fears. It can also help to read about other people’s experiences with braces and what to expect from a patient’s point of view. Prepare yourself mentally so you go into your appointment knowing what’s going to happen next and what purpose it serves in your braces treatment.

Preparing for soreness and slight discomfort

You will experience a little soreness in your gums when you first get your braces on and its best to prepare so it doesn’t hurt as much. One of the best things to do is to take some Tylenol a couple of minutes before going to your appointment. By the time you get them on it will start taking its role and relieving the discomfort.

Clean your teeth thoroughly before                

In order to have the cement adhere to your teeth correctly, your orthodontist needs a plaque-free surface, so if you want to avoid a professional clean before your application it’s best to gently clean your teeth after your last meal before your appointment to avoid a cleaning during your appointment.

What Can you Expect After your Braces are On?

Trouble eating: For the first couple of days you may experience discomfort when chewing or biting. Its recommended to eat softer foods such as yogurts, jello, bananas and soups to make it easier to eat.

Sore Gums and Teeth: You may feel as if your teeth are being stretched which is normal when tightening the wire taking pain relievers such as Tylenol and applying a cold compress can help reduce pain and discomfort.

Braces Rubbing on Side of Cheeks: When you get braces, the skin inside of your mouth may rub with your brackets. Wax is important to use and helps reduce this friction against them and helps discomfort

Signs you Need Braces

By Articles, Braces & Invisalign

If you have ever been self conscious about your smile or your teeth, had any jaw or tooth pain it may be time to consider getting braces or Invisalign. While there are so many different indicators that you may need braces, our Orthodontists will be able to go over all of your questions and concerns with a consultation at any one of our 5 locations in Orange County. Below are a couple signs that you may need braces for a healthier and happier smile.

Gaps in Teeth

Having large gaps between your teeth can be a telltale sign that you need braces in the future. Having gaps in your teeth leaves you at risk for tooth decay, jaw misalignment and eating difficulties. Food can get caught between your teeth which can cause irritation in your gums and possible infection. An infection in your gums or tooth can lead to decay and tooth loss so it’s important to speak to your Orthodontist about treatment plans as soon as possible.

Painful/Difficulty Biting

If you are having any pain or discomfort when biting down it is likely you are in need of braces. The misalignment of your teeth may be the factor to this pain and why it is uncomfortable or painful to eat sticky or hard foods. Misaligned teeth that cause pain is very common and easily fixed with either braces or Invisalign.

Pain in Jaw

If you suffer from any sort of pain or clicking in your jaw it is likely that your teeth and jaw are misaligned. While it can be easy to ignore occasional jaw pain it’s very important to bring it up to your dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible to avoid any other issues later on down the road. By simply realigning your teeth with braces or Invisalign you can eliminate jaw pain as long as there is no other underlying issue.

Crowded Teeth

Having crooked or crowded teeth is also another telltale sign that you will require braces in the future. You are at major risk for tooth decay and infection with crowded or crooked teeth because of the lack of efficient space between your teeth to properly floss.

What If I Can’t Afford Braces?

Luckily, Orthodontic Center of Orange County offers in-house payment plans for all patients whether you have good credit, bad credit or no credit at all. In-house payment plans start at only $70/month with a credit check and $99/month without a credit check for patients who may have bad or no credit. Ortho Center OC also offers financing through Care Credit and Lending Club as additional flexible financing options.

Contact Ortho Center OC for a Free Orthodontic Consultation

If you are interested in starting your journey to a healthier and more beautiful smile, contact any one of our 5 locations in Orange County for a free consultation with our Orthodontist. We are happy to sit down with you and go over all of your questions and concerns and see which orthodontic treatment would be right for you, whether that is Invisalign or Braces. Visit our website and fill out the contact form or give our office a call to schedule your complimentary consultation, today!

Tips and Tricks for Keeping your Braces in Optimal Condition

By Articles, Braces & Invisalign

By correcting dental misalignments and having braces you are already on the road to a straighter smile. Going to your orthodontist appointments every few weeks isn’t always enough to keep your braces in optimal condition. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is a huge factor in taking care of your braces to ensure that there aren’t additional problems to tackle when you have them taken off at the end of your treatment.

  1. Use the Toothpaste, Floss and Mouth Wash Recommended by Your Orthodontist

Be sure to ask your orthodontist what toothpaste, floss and mouth wash will be best for you during your orthodontic treatment. It’s important to use toothpaste that will eliminate bacteria. Bacteria that is not properly cleaned can lead to cavities, halitosis or gum disease. While some brands of oral health products can contain harsh ingredients that can actually damage metal braces so it’s important go over this information with your orthodontist. Using a mouth wash after you have brushed and flossed your teeth is always recommended, but it’s important to eliminate mouth washes that have red or green colors as the dyes in those products can discolor the metal materials and elastics on your braces.

  • Brush and Floss After Eating

Brushing and flossing your teeth after eating with braces can be complicated and at times, frustrating to say the least. When brushing and flossing to rid extra food debris from your mouth you have to show extra precaution as to avoid breaking any wires or dislodging any metal brackets. Having a toothbrush with soft bristles will not harm your braces but will be very effective in removing leftover food particles hiding between your teeth. Because your teeth are covered by wires and brackets at all times during your orthodontic treatment it’s crucial to brush and floss after eating so no food particles are stuck or left behind lingering around all day. By taking the extra time to floss and brush every time after eating throughout the days you are benefiting yourself by keeping your braces clean and your teeth free from potential cavities.

  • Invest in an Oral Irrigator

Investing in an oral irrigator is well worth the expense and a great alternative and addition to flossing as it will eliminate food particles left behind or that are stuck between your teeth. An oral irrigator is a wand-like device that emits water from its attached tank. The pressure from oral irrigators will dislodge any leftover food, bacteria or plaque that is between your teeth or on your gums. While flossing with braces can be extremely time-consuming and rather frustrating, oral irrigators are an easy way to supplement flossing in to your daily routine without completely avoiding or eliminating flossing all together. 

  • Don’t Eat Harmful Foods

Believe it or not, specific foods and your diet can be very impactful on your braces. While there are countless foods out there that are okay to eat and drink with braces there is also a rather large handful to avoid as well. A general rule of thumb for foods to avoid with braces include but are not limited to anything sticky, hard, tough or crunchy. It’s important to avoid any type of food that could be considered harmful to your braces, gums or tongue. Ask your orthodontic for a list of foods to avoid if you have any questions about any specific meal or foods you can eat.

  • Don’t Miss Any Appointments

Missing any scheduled appointments are futile to the longevity of your orthodontic treatment. Skipping appointment dates or rescheduling for a much later date can be harmful to your braces as the wires need to be tightened regularly. By missing those scheduled appointments your teeth will have more room to shift and move and it is almost guaranteed that your teeth will not be aligned with your treatment plan. This means you will most likely have to wear your braces for longer than first anticipated.

Whether you are wearing braces for 10 months or 2 years the results will be more successful and your teeth and braces will maintain their optimal condition by following the recommended tips above. It’s important to keep visiting your Orthodontist for your scheduled appointments and ask your doctor if you have any questions along the way. Our doctors pride themselves in giving their patients healthier and more beautiful smiles every day. If you have any questions about how you can keep your braces in optimal condition during the course of the treatment, give us a call and one of our braces specialist will be able to go over any questions or concerns that you may have.