The Importance of Keeping your Scheduled Appointments

scheduled appointments

When you opt for metal, ceramic, or lingual braces, you make a commitment to straightening your teeth. Part of that commitment is regular appointments with your orthodontist, and in most cases, this means that you will be seeing Dr. Valderrama every few weeks for a brief appointment. Many patients wonder why are those appointments so important, and we always say that there are many reasons — read more about them below.

Making the Movement

While the braces themselves are vital to teeth straightening, they’ll only work effectively if you have them adjusted as needed. Every six to eight weeks, Dr. Valderrama will make small but crucial adjustments that tighten the braces. While you’ll notice a sensation of tightness for a day or two after each appointment, it’s rare for patients to have serious pain or discomfort. You’ll grow accustomed to the sensation and it will become routine very quickly. With every appointment, your teeth are shifted into a better position. Over time — usually anywhere from a year to two years, depending on your particular situation — your teeth can be moved into the optimal position if you’ve had those appointments. If you miss appointments here and there — even if it’s just a few appointments over the course of a year — that can mean that your teeth won’t move into the right position. This, in turn, means that you’ll likely have to wear braces longer than you had planned to get the desired results. At Valderrama Orthodontics, we always send reminders before your scheduled appointments — and it’s a wise idea to make note of your appointments on your personal calendar as well.

Identifying Issues

While most patients enjoy a relatively problem free braces experience, there are always potential issues that may develop. Problems like loose wires or brackets or even broken brackets can mean big issues for your braces and for your smile in the long term. If you stick to your scheduled appointments at Valderrama Orthodontics, Dr. Valderrama can identify these types of problems before they have a chance to cause serious damage. Loose wires can cause tearing or even ulcerations in your delicate mouth tissues and loose brackets or wires can mean that your teeth aren’t in the position needed to achieve the correction you want. You’ll never have to worry about these issues when you’re seeing the orthodontist on your regularly scheduled appointments.

Adjusting the Teeth Straightening Plan as Needed

While Dr. Valderrama will usually be able to give you a general idea of how long your teeth straightening will take, it’s important to realize that this timeline is just an estimate. Many different individual factors may play into your braces timeline, which means it can be very difficult to be precise about how long you’ll wear braces in total. As you come in for each scheduled appointment, Dr. Valderrama can adjust the teeth straightening timelines as needed — and this might sometimes mean that you’ll get the good news that you won’t need braces quite as long as you had previously thought! Of course, a big part of this is your own behavior. You’ll need to strictly follow the guidelines that you’re given for braces care to make certain that you’re getting the most out of your straightening time.

Seeking a Reliable Orthodontist For Your Child or Yourself?

The team at Valderrama Orthodontics specializes in orthodontic care including metal braces, ceramic braces, clear braces, lingual braces, clear aligners, retainers, mouth guards, and much more. Patients of all ages from children to adults can get a straighter and healthier smile with the help of Dr. Valderrama and the Valderrama Orthodontics team.

The focus is always on patient comfort and convenience. Our cozy office, compassionate staff, and special after-school program are some of the many things that help Valderrama Orthodontics patients feel welcome. We want to help you get the straight teeth that you have always dreamed of — and it might be easier than you had imagined thanks to all of the teeth straightening options available today. Contact us anytime to arrange a visit!

What Do My Rubber Bands Do?

rubber bands

Many orthodontic patients are given a bag of rubber bands and told they have to wear them daily. This type of request may seem unusual or a bit odd, but those tiny rubber bands play a huge role in helping you to improve your smile. Discover why orthodontists use rubber bands as part of your treatment and learn some tips that will help you adjust to wearing rubber bands.

The Two Types of Orthodontic Rubber Bands

Orthodontists use two different types of rubber bands to help shift and move your teeth into proper alignment. Every orthodontic patient will have at least one type of rubber band – ligatures – as their treatment, while not everyone will need the second type of rubber bands – interarch rubber bands – as part of their treatment.

Ligatures are tiny little rubber bands that are used by every orthodontic patient who gets traditional braces. These small rubber bands are wrapped around each of the brackets that are placed on your teeth. Their purpose is to hold the archwire in place during your treatment.

Ligatures are the fun part of having braces. They come in a variety of colors which allows patients to customize how their braces look. Some patients love picking out different colors during each of their appointments while others prefer the clear rubber bands that have a more natural look.

The second type of rubber bands, interarch rubber bands or elastics, are a common part of orthodontic treatment, but not everyone will need this treatment. These are larger than ligatures and are placed on both sides of your mouth.

The purpose of the interarch rubber bands is to help adjust your bite. The rubber bands provide enough tension that your jaw will subtly and slowly shift forwards or backwards. Over time, the jaw movement will give you a properly aligned jaw and completely fix your bite.

How are Interarch Rubber Bands Worn?

Unlike ligature rubber bands that only can be removed by your orthodontist, interarch rubber bands will need to be replaced on a daily basis. This means you must learn how to properly hook them up to your braces.

The following is a brief look at how you attach the rubber bands:

  • Rubber bands are worn on each side of your mouth
  • Top of the rubber band is hooked on a bracket that has been attached to one of your canines or one of your molars
  • Rubberband is stretched and then hooked on the bracket that is on a bottom molar or on a bottom canine
  • Sometimes rubber bands are worn as triangles or boxes or in the center of your mouth to align your front teeth also.

Dr. Valderrama will show you how to properly remove and replace the interarch rubber bands. If you should encounter any problems, you can always call the staff at our Valderrama Orthodontic’s office who will gladly answer any questions you may have or walk you through how to replace the rubber bands.

Tips for Adjusting to Wearing Rubber Bands with Braces

Wearing stretchy, rubbery material in your mouth is a completely new experience. There will be a period of adjustment as you get used to how the rubber bands feel, the subtle pain they may cause, and the new routine you will have to do on a daily basis.

Orthodontic patients have found the following tips useful in helping with the adjustment period:

  • Use a mirror the first few times you replace interarch rubber bands
  • Be patient. It will take a while to learn how to hook the rubber bands in your mouth. If you still find it difficult, your orthodontist may be able to give you bigger rubber bands. However, they often like to keep the rubber bands as small as possible as that helps create the tension needed to move the jaw.
  • Always keep the rubber bands close by as you never know if they may break
  • Change the rubber bands daily at the same time. This will help it become a part of your daily routine.
  • Make sure you remove the rubber bands before you brush your teeth or whenever you want to eat something – even if it is a small snack
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water if you feel any pain or discomfort

Have any other questions about rubber bands or want to learn more about orthodontic treatment options then call Valderrama Orthodontics. Our office staff will gladly answer any questions you may have or schedule an appointment so you can speak with our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama at 321.425.5050.

Is Invisalign as Effective as Traditional Braces?


Kids, teens, and even adults who need teeth straightening today have several potential treatment options. While traditional metal braces are the best-known teeth straightening option, newer devices like Invisalign are becoming increasingly popular. One of the first questions that many patients have is whether Invisalign is as effective as traditional braces. Here’s what you need to know.

How Effective is Invisalign?

The main reason that many patients want Invisalign rather than traditional braces is that it’s virtually invisible. Nobody will even be aware that you’re wearing clear aligners in most cases. While this is certainly a major benefit, Invisalign isn’t always exactly like traditional braces in terms of effectiveness.

Invisalign can treat teeth alignment issues including overbite, underbite, crossbite, crowded teeth, and open bite. All of these issues can be treated with traditional braces as well. The main difference is that Invisalign is appropriate for mild to moderate alignment problems.

Invisalign is typically best for cases where you want teeth straightening primarily for cosmetic reasons. However, if the problem is very severe and major re-shifting of the teeth needs to take place, traditional braces may be the superior option. For example, if teeth have to be shifted vertically to achieve proper alignment, traditional braces can do that more effectively than Invisalign.

Ultimately, this doesn’t mean that Invisalign can’t be as effective as traditional braces — but it does mean that Invisalign and traditional braces each have an area where they perform particularly well. For Invisalign, it’s mild to moderate realignment of teeth for aesthetic reasons. For braces, it’s moderate to severe realignment of the teeth for aesthetic reasons, structural reasons, or both.

Is Invisalign Right For You?

If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign, consider the following questions.

  • Can you adhere to a strict schedule of wearing the aligners? If you choose Invisalign, it’s very important to remember that it can only work while you’re wearing it. You’ll need to wear the aligners almost all the time, removing them only for oral hygiene and eating.
  • Is having metal free teeth important to you? If having metal free teeth is important to you, you might just be the perfect Invisalign candidate. With Invisalign, you get to skip the metal brackets and wires.
  • Are you willing to wear a retainer to preserve your Invisalign results? After Invisalign treatment — usually 12-24 months — you’ll need to commit to wearing a retainer to preserve your good results. Most Invisalign patients opt for a clear retainer which is similar in style to the Invisalign aligners.

What if the Dentist Recommends Braces Instead?

If you’ve got teeth alignment issues that would be more effectively corrected with traditional braces, you still have options. These include:

  • Traditional metal braces: traditional metal braces include brackets and wires that are periodically tightened to help reposition your teeth into the optimal position.
  • Clear ceramic braces: clear ceramic braces still have traditional hardware, but it’s made from a clear ceramic that makes it difficult to see the braces on your teeth.
  • Lingual braces: lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth, which means your smile isn’t affected at all.

As you can see, braces have come a long way in the last couple of decades, so you now have plenty of good options for straightening your teeth. Ultimately, the question of Invisalign versus traditional braces isn’t black or white. It all depends on your particular problems, your needs, and your treatment goals. Dr. Valderrama will be happy to work with you to help you determine whether Invisalign or traditional braces is more effective for your needs.

Valderrama Orthodontics is a Melbourne, Florida orthodontic practice led by Dr. Natalia Valderrama, fondly called “Dr. V.” by her patients. Dr. V offers skilled and compassionate orthodontic care to children, teens, and adults. Services include not only Invisalign, Clear Correct, and metal braces but also clear braces, lingual braces, retainers, and mouth guards for sports. The Valderrama Orthodontics team always goes the extra mile to make sure that patients feel welcomed and supported. Contact the office anytime to arrange an appointment for you or your child.

Braces Myths Busted!

braces myths

Dental braces are a rite of passage for many people. More than four million people living in the United States are currently wearing braces to reposition crooked or out-of-place teeth. Some wear braces to improve the function of their bite so that they chew or speak correctly. Many more straighten their teeth for a more attractive smile.

While millions of Americans have worn braces or have known someone who has, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings when it comes to straightening teeth. Our Melbourne/Viera orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Valderrama, would like to bust some of these myths and present a few facts about the benefit, effectiveness and comfort of modern braces.

Melbourne/Viera Orthodontist Busts Common Myths about Braces

Everyone will know I’m straightening my teeth

Nobody needs to know. Lingual braces, such as 3M Incognito Hidden Braces™, place the hardware of braces behind your teeth so nobody can see the wires and brackets. Clear ceramic braces are beautifully transparent – most people won’t even notice that you are wearing them. Invisalign® aligners use a custom-made set of aligners made from smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible plastic.

Metal braces are the only option when it comes to straightening teeth

Untrue! In addition to traditional braces, today’s orthodontic patient can choose from clear braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners.

Braces have to hurt, or they won’t straighten your teeth

Not at all! Advances in orthodontic technology have made all types of braces, including traditional braces, more comfortable and subtle than ever before. It is true, though, that your mouth might feel a bit sore for the first few days after getting your braces or after having your braces tightened. This discomfort should go away quickly, and you should be able to eat, talk and smile comfortably.

Metal braces taste like metal

Your braces may feel odd when the orthodontist first puts them on your teeth, but they should not taste like anything. Any odd taste in your mouth could mean that you have something stuck in your braces and that you should contact your orthodontist.

Metal braces cause radio interference

No. Braces are not powerful enough to interfere with any type of radio or electronic devices.

Traditional braces are ineffective at complex teeth straightening

While aligners work well for aesthetic purposes and for resolving simple tooth alignment issues, traditional braces work efficiently for fixing complex issues. Traditional braces are good for correcting crooked or crowded teeth, known as malocclusion, and bad bites.

There are no benefits to wearing traditional braces

Actually, today’s low-profile braces are small and easy to wear. Traditional braces are relatively inexpensive, durable, effective and more comfortable than ever.

Traditional braces take too long to straighten teeth

Actually, traditional braces are the treatment of choice for anyone who wants to move their treatment along as quickly as possible. Traditional braces work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than aligners.

Metal braces can rust

Today’s metal braces are made from strong materials, such as titanium alloy, and are specially designed to spend time in a person’s mouth.

Braces are not for adults

Myth busted! About one million adults wear braces. Teeth can move at any age, so wearing braces can correct misaligned teeth – even in adults.

OK but adults would have to wear them forever, right?

While it does take longer for braces to straighten the teeth of adults than it does for adolescents, adults wear typically wear braces for 10 months to two years.

Once the braces come off, my teeth will stay straight

Not so fast! Elastic fibers connect your teeth to your jawbone. Braces stretch some of these fibers and compress others. After you get your braces off, these fibers try to resume their normal position and, in the process, pull your teeth out of alignment. You will need to wear a retainer every day for the first few months after your orthodontist removes your braces. Then, every night for the rest of your life or as long as you want to keep your beautiful smile.

There is no where to get more information on braces

OK, that one is not really a myth – everyone probably knows that they can learn more about braces by talking to their orthodontist. The more you know about braces, the better your smile can be! Call us today at 321-425-5050.

What are TADs?


Over the years, many people with braces have had to wear uncomfortable and often embarrassing headgear. While this headgear performs an important job in moving your teeth by applying extra force, wearing headgear is cumbersome. The good news is that many patients can now use TADs instead of headgear.

TAD is an acronym that stands for Temporary Anchorage Device. These small, screw-like devices work like small anchors that help your braces apply enough force to move your teeth effectively. TADs are not new – they have been around for more than 35 years – but their use has become more common in the past decade or so.

Temporary anchorage devices offer a more attractive and comfortable alternative to those orthodontic appliances with external parts braced by the head, neck or chin, also known collectively as “headgear.” Unlike headgear that sits in front of your face to hold braces in place, TADs work behind the scenes to give you a more attractive smile. Most people will not even realize you are wearing TADs.

How Braces and TADs Work

Braces work by applying force to teeth in ways that make the teeth move to a new position on the jawline. Whenever possible, orthodontists use the patient’s back teeth as an anchor. In some cases, though, the back teeth do not work well enough as anchors to move the other teeth. In these cases, an orthodontist might recommend cumbersome headgear.

Moving teeth to a new location in your jaw is a little bit like moving a stick through deep sand. You apply force to the stick to move it through the sand. As the stick moves, sand moves to the side in front of the stick and fills up the empty space left behind by the stick.

The “sand” in orthodontics would be the bone cells and other cells of the ligament that attaches your teeth to the bone. Applied force from the wires and brackets of braces causes teeth to move, while the tissues move aside and reform behind the moving teeth.

To do its work, though, the force needs a fixed point on which to push. Going back to the stick comparison, imagine trying to move the stick while you float free in water. Instead of causing the stick to move through the sand, the force of pushing against one end of the stick would cause you to float around while the other end of the stick would remain in the same spot. If you plant your feet deep in the sand to use an anchor, however, you have enough force to push the stick through the sand.

About Placing TADs

Orthodontists place TADs directly into the bone between the roots of your teeth. The dental professionals may place the anchors on the lip side of your upper or lower jaw, or position the TADs in your palate. As the name implies, TADs are only temporary – your orthodontist will remove them once your teeth have moved to the desired position.

Everyone’s mouth is a little different. TADs allow orthodontists to place the anchor in the location that works best for each person, depending on the patients’ individual dental needs and cosmetic goals. It is a personalized procedure, so the location of your TADs may be different from someone else’s. The orthodontist will decide on the correct location by evaluating the amount of force required to move the teeth and determine the direction, or vector, the teeth should move.

You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that this procedure requires only a small amount of local anesthesia. Placing and removing TADS is a pain-free, minimally invasive procedure. Your orthodontist will numb the area, so you will feel only gentle pressure as the TADs device is inserted. The entire process usually takes just minutes to complete.

TADs require very little maintenance, so they are easy to take care of. To keep your TADs clean, just brush your teeth as normal.

Patients like TADs because they are comfortable and nearly invisible but orthodontists like temporary anchorage devices because TADs produce predictable results, even in the most serious or difficult orthodontic cases. TADs allow teeth to move more efficiently and comfortably

To learn more about TADs, talk with your Melbourne orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama. Call today to schedule a free consultation! 321-425-5050.

Everything You Should Know About Expanders


Seeking orthodontic treatment for your child at an early age has one major benefit – expanders can be used to easily correct crossbites, overcrowding of the teeth, and shifting teeth.

Expanders, which are a specific type of orthodontic appliance, can play a huge role in helping to improve your child’s smile and oral health. Since expanders are commonly used in childhood and teen orthodontics, parents are encouraged to learn as much as possible about them.

To help parents get the information they need about the possible orthodontic treatment that may be recommended for their child, Valderrama Orthodontics has created a comprehensive guide that discusses what expanders are, why they are needed, and what to expect when your child has one.

What is an Expander?

A palatal expander, or jaw expander as it is called, is an orthodontic device that works over a period of time to slowly make room in the mouth to allow teeth to grow in properly. An expander can be used to expand the natural arch of the teeth, shift the teeth’s position, fix overcrowding of the teeth, or correct a crossbite.

While the general function of an expander is the same whether it is placed on the upper or lower jaw, there is a difference in how they work. An expander that is placed in the upper jaw works to shift and stretch the cartilage and bone of the palate. This shifting and stretching expands the arch of the mouth which gives orthodontist room to correct overcrowding and crossbites.

The lower jaw expander works differently. Instead of being focused on shifting and moving the bones and cartilage, it focuses on only moving the teeth. The ultimate goal is to shift teeth so they are standing straighter and aren’t tipping inwards or shifting on top of each other.

What Does an Expander Look Like?

An expander looks like a metallic bulky device. It is made out of metal. The metal is attached to the molars in the back of the mouth with a pair of circular rings. Screws are attached to the metal rings. In the middle of the device is a small metallic lock. Over the course of your treatment, you will take a small key, put it into the lock, and turn it. This activates the springs and pushes a subtle amount of force onto the bones and cartilage. The force is what is needed to expand jaw and move the teeth.

Who is a Good Candidate for the Use of Expanders?

Teens between the ages of 12 and 16 are often the best candidate for the use of expanders during orthodontic treatment. Teens are good candidates because their bones and cartilage have not fully formed. This allows the expander to easily shift and move the bones and cartilage as it goes with the natural growth of a teen’s body.

Expanders are not usually used with adult patients. Usually, an orthodontist will try other expansion methods such as tooth extraction or surgery to expand an adult patient’s arch or correct a crossbite. However, some adult orthodontic patients have had success with expanders.

What to Expect When Wearing an Expander

If your orthodontist recommends an expander, you should prepare to experience the following things:

  • Subtle changes in your speech. The expander is bulkier and it may take several weeks to get used to talking with it in your mouth.
  • Pain and slight discomfort will be felt for the first few days after the expander has been placed in the mouth
  • Eat soft foods, such as pudding or yogurt, for the first few days
  • Avoid super sticky or jelly-like foods as they can get stuck in the screws of the expander
  • Pain may occur behind the nose, in the temples, or around the eyes after the daily activation of the expansion screws. The pain usually goes away after a few minutes.
  • Extra saliva may be created in the first few weeks after the installation of the expander
  • Keep to the schedule your orthodontist created. The schedule will outline how often you need to activate the expansion screws and how many times you will need to turn the key.

If you have any questions about expanders or want to see if you or your child may need it as part of your orthodontic treatment, contact Valderrama Orthodontics to schedule a consultation. Our orthodontist will be able to answer any questions you may have or talk about a treatment plan, that may or may not include expanders, that will get you the smile you have always wanted.

Children’s Dental Health Month

childrens dental health month

National Children’s Dental Health Month might not appear on your calendar, but it is a very important awareness campaign that has benefits for everyone. Everyone from caregivers and children to teachers, teens and even adults without children can benefit from the information presented throughout Children’s Dental Health Month.

What Exactly is National Children’s Dental Health Month?

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a month-long campaign dedicated to helping spread the word on the importance of developing good oral hygiene habits in children. It was created by American Dental Association, or ADA, and Crest + Oral B.

Dental professionals, educators, caregivers, and healthcare providers throughout the United States are invited to take part in National Children’s Dental Health Month. Those that wish to take part make a commitment to help educate and inform parents, children, caregivers, and the community about how important it is to establish good oral hygiene habits in children.

Some of the ways dental professionals, caregivers, and healthcare professionals can raise awareness for the benefits of good oral health in children include:

  • Running promotions to encourage new patients to visit their dentist
  • Offering open houses that help familiarize children with the dentist
  • Running an educational campaign that provides important oral health tips for parents and caregivers of young children
  • Hosting free events that revolve around the dental industry
  • Placing ads in local newspapers to promote the importance of establishing good oral health in children

The Theme for the 2018 National Children’s Dental Health Month

Every year the organizers of National Children’s Dental Health Month pick a theme for their campaign. The theme for the 2018 National Children’s Dental Health Month, which starts in February, is brushing with fluoride toothpaste and encouraging flossing.

Tips for Kids Oral Care for Parents and Caregivers of Children

To get a jumpstart on National Children’s Dental Health Month, the staff at Valderrama Orthodontics wishes to provide you with some kids oral care tips. Caregivers and parents of children can use these tips to help work to establish good habits and practices that lead to good oral health.

Some kids oral care tips include:

  • Don’t wait for teeth to grow in to start brushing. If your child doesn’t have any teeth, use a gentle towel or piece of gauze and wipe down the gums. This will remove any bacteria or sugar that could lead to dental problems in the future.
  • Use a child’s size toothbrush when a tooth appears. Make sure to brush at least two times a day for two minutes and use a pea sized amount of non-fluoride toothpaste.
  • Switch to fluoride toothpaste once your child is able to properly brush their teeth and will not swallow the toothpaste. Until you are sure they won’t accidently swallow the toothpaste while brushing, it is best to use non-fluoride toothpaste. Children are often ready for fluoride toothpaste between the ages of 2 and 4.
  • Start flossing when your child develops multiple teeth that are close together. If the teeth are touching, there is enough room that food particles, bacteria and plaque can build up. Gently flossing between the teeth will remove these things and improve your child’s oral health.
  • Help your child with brushing and flossing until they are approximately 7. Children don’t have the motor skills or strength to properly brush and floss until they are 7. Caregivers and parents should make sure they help their children brush and floss in an effort to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
  • Stick to a routine. Children do best when they have stick to a schedule. Try to brush and floss at the same time every day. This will get your children in the habit of doing these things on a regular basis. That habit will carry with them throughout their entire life.
  • Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a routine checkup and professional cleaning. Children should see their dentist approximately twice a year.
  • Schedule an appointment with an orthodontic specialist before the age of 7. Some children could benefit from undergoing early orthodontic treatment.

Parents and caregivers located in the Melbourne, Florida area can schedule a consultation with Valderrama Orthodontics to discuss the need for early orthodontic treatment. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

Why You Need to Wear Your Rubber Bands

wear your rubber bands

Undergoing orthodontic treatment will change the way you view rubber bands. No longer are these stretchy elastic bands used to hold piles of paper. Instead, they become valuable orthodontic tools that will help you get that perfect smile you have always wanted.

Why are Rubber Bands Needed During Orthodontic Treatment?

In order to get that perfect smile, your teeth will need to shift, rotate, and move into a new position. While brackets and archwire, two types of orthodontic tools, help guide your teeth into their proper position, they don’t provide the force needed to actually correct your bite. That is where the rubber bands come in.

The rubber bands that are applied to the sides of your braces are called interarch rubber bands. They hook up to the brackets on the upper and lower teeth. When they are finally hooked up, they provide just enough force to reposition your jaw and subtly move the teeth in your mouth. Over time, this slight movement of the jaw and teeth will make sure everything lines up properly so you have that perfect smile.

Interarch rubber bands aren’t the only type of rubber bands used during orthodontic treatment. Another type of rubber band, called ligatures, is used by orthodontists. Ligatures are very tiny rubber bands that wrap around the brackets and hold the archwire in place. The ligatures are often people’s favorite part about wearing braces because they come in a variety of colors which allows people to personalize their braces.

How Long Do You Have to Wear Rubber Bands?

The length of time that you have to wear rubber bands will depend upon your individual treatment plan created by your orthodontist. Some people will need to wear interarch rubber bands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the entire time they have braces while others may only need to wear them at night or for several hours throughout the day.

The amount of time your orthodontist will recommend you have to wear your interarch rubber bands will depend on the model of your teeth, how much movement needs to be done to your teeth and jaw, and what your goals are for treatment. Your Melbourne, Florida Orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama will be able to give you a general time frame for how long you will wear interarch rubber bands during your consultation.

The ligature rubber bands will need to be worn the entire duration of treatment. Without these bands, the archwire will not be able to be held in place and your teeth will not be moved into their proper positions.

What to Expect When Wearing Rubber Bands with Your Braces

Wearing rubber bands during your course of orthodontic treatment isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, after a week or so you won’t even notice that you are wearing rubber bands.

Many patients find understanding what to expect when they wear rubber bands with their braces to be helpful in preparing them for their orthodontic treatment. The following are some common things people can expect to happen when they wear rubber bands with their braces:

  • Interarch rubber bands will need to be removed during meals. This will prevent food from getting stuck in the rubber bands.
  • Interarch rubber bands will need to be removed when brushing or cleaning your teeth. If the rubber bands were to stay in place while you cleaned your teeth, there would be a number of areas that are missed.
  • Interarch rubber bands tend to be replaced on a daily basis. This is because they wear down quickly. Replacing them helps keep the proper amount of force on the teeth and jaw.
  • Ligature rubber bands are often changed out during every orthodontic adjustment appointment
  • Ligature rubber bands come in a variety of colors ranging from bright neon colors to clear and neutral tones.

If you have any questions about wearing rubber bands during your orthodontic treatment, feel free to call Valderrama Orthodontics. Our friendly office staff will gladly answer any questions you may have about why rubber bands are needed, how to care for your rubber bands, or any other questions you may have about wearing braces.


Your Teeth’s Worst Enemy

your teeths worst enemy

It’s common knowledge that excess sugar can cause tooth decay. However, most people don’t know much about the tooth decay process and how it actually works. It’s technically not the sugar that directly causes the tooth decay, but instead the body’s reaction to the sugar. Here’s what you should know about sugar — and why it’s your teeth’s worst enemy.

The Way That Cavities Grow

Your mouth contains tons of naturally occurring bacteria — and many of these bacteria are good for you! However, the harmful bacteria — which are bad enough on their own — happen to love sugar. After consuming sugar, the bad bacteria get even worse by producing damaging acids that attack your tooth enamel. Those acids cause bacterial infections that create a hole in the teeth — more commonly known as a cavity. When cavities aren’t treated, they can move through the enamel and into the middle of the tooth. This can cause so much damage that tooth extraction may eventually be necessary.

How Your Teeth Defend Themselves From Sugar

While damaging acids are always trying to attack and cause cavities in your teeth, the good news is that your teeth are able to defend themselves — at least to some degree. While the acids pull valuable minerals from your tooth enamel, your body has a natural re-mineralization process to combat it.

Your saliva has all the minerals that are crucial to re-mineralization, so your body’s always attempting to fight off the effects of sugar through your saliva. Another way to combat the damaging acids is fluoride. It combines with the saliva to keep your teeth as healthy and acid-free as possible. However, even with your saliva’s beneficial properties and the help of a quality fluoride toothpaste, sugar can still be damaging for your teeth.

How Can You Minimize the Effects of Sugar on Your Teeth?

The best way to minimize the effects of sugar on your teeth is to minimize the sugar itself. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid sugar completely — but you do have to be smart about your intake. If you’re a parent, you’ve got the chance to teach your kids how sugar can impact healthy teeth. Teach your kids that occasional treats are fine — but that nobody needs a diet that includes lots of sugar on a daily basis.

In some cases, young children may benefit from a fluoride treatment that coats the teeth. The back teeth, for example the molars, are especially easily damaged by sugar since it’s less likely that kids do a proper brushing and flossing job on those harder to reach teeth. Therefore, fluoride treatments can be particularly useful for the back teeth in young patients.

Before You Have Any Type of Orthodontic Treatment

Before you have any type of orthodontic treatment, it’s very important that your teeth are as healthy as possible. This means minimizing sugar, taking care of any current tooth decay, and practicing good oral hygiene every day.

Any orthodontic treatment will involve metal or plastic on or close to the teeth, and this can make it even easier for sugar to get trapped and cause serious damage. For this reason, it’s very important that you discuss proper care of your braces, aligners, retainer, or other orthodontic device with Dr. Valderrama. As long as you practice good oral hygiene, you’ll be able to get the most from your orthodontic treatment.

Need an Experienced Orthodontist in Melbourne?

Valderrama Orthodontics is a highly respected local orthodontic practice serving patients in the Melbourne, Florida area. We offer care for patients from early childhood through geriatric years. At Valderrama Orthodontics, we want you to feel like a valued part of our family. We offer support for moms, dads, kids, and every member of the family — we even have an After School Program to make it easier to get your kids to the dentist!

Dr. Valderrama and the entire Valderrama Orthodontics team are happy to be your Melbourne orthodontist. Please call us anytime at (321)544-4127 to arrange an appointment!

Start Off 2018 with New Braces

With the new year just starting, now is the time to think about improving your smile with the help of orthodontic treatment. A straighter, whiter smile can instantly boost your confidence, increase your self-esteem, and improve your overall oral health. Valderrama Orthodontics offers a wide variety of orthodontic treatment options that can help teens, young adults, and adults get a perfect smile.

Deciding which orthodontic treatment you will use is a personal decision. Every person is different and the treatment that works for one individual might not be the best for another. In an effort to help you on your quest to improving your smile, we will take a closer look at some of the orthodontic treatment options that are available to you.

Durable, Inexpensive Orthodontic Treatment Options for Teens and Adults

Traditional braces are the first thing that comes to mind when people think about orthodontic treatment. This is the orthodontic treatment that includes brackets, wires, and even rubber bands. While this treatment option is noticeable, it is often the preferred choice for people on a budget or those who have a severe orthodontic case with overcrowding and spaces.

Teenagers and those with an active lifestyle often prefer to use traditional braces. They prefer traditional braces because the brackets and wires are durable. If the wires and brackets do break, they are extremely easy to replace.

An Invisible Option to Traditional Braces

Many individuals don’t want to go with traditional braces because they have to wear unsightly wires and brackets for a number of years. Invisible braces allow people to get the benefit of traditional braces without having to wear the unsightly brackets and wires.

Clear braces still have brackets and wires, but they are made of durable, clear material. People will not notice you are wearing braces unless they get up close to you.

Clear braces have all the same benefits of traditional braces. They can fix complicated orthodontic cases, the orthodontist has complete control of your treatment, and the brackets or wires are extremely durable.

Orthodontic Treatment Option for the Busy Professional or Adults

Adults are often worried that they will have to go around with a ‘metal mouth’ if they want a straighter smile. Lingual braces offer a solution for these individuals.

Lingual braces are uniquely designed to be places on the backs of the teeth. This means no one will be able to see the wires or brackets. This inconspicuous treatment option is great for business professionals, people who are getting married, or anyone who doesn’t want their outward appearance impacted by their orthodontic treatment.

The Most Discreet Orthodontic Treatment Option

Invisalign, or clear plastic aligners, are the best orthodontic treatment option for anyone who wants to straighten their teeth without compromising their outward appearance. The clear aligners are placed over the teeth and gently shift or move the teeth until they appear straighter.

People often choose Invisalign because it is discreet, causes less irritation, faster, and has fewer eating restrictions. Invisalign is also preferred because you can easily brush and floss your teeth with little or no problem. People who want to maintain their overall oral health will often choose Invisalign so they don’t have to go through the struggle of having to brush or floss between stiff wires and uncomfortable brackets.

Invisalign tends to be more expensive than other orthodontic treatment options. This is because a series of custom-made aligners need to be made, which can increase the cost of treatment.

Start the Year Off on the Right Foot by Scheduling a Consultation for Your New Smile

Consider starting the new year off right by scheduling a complimentary consultation at Valderrama Orthodontics to discuss getting new braces. We specialize in creating perfect smiles that will increase your self-confidence and boost your self-esteem. Some of the treatment options we offer to help our patients get that perfect smile include traditional braces, lingual braces, clear braces, and clear aligners.

When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Valderrama, you will get personalized recommendations for orthodontic treatment options that will get you the smile you have always wanted. During the consultation, we will take diagnostic x-rays, conduct a complete examination, and create a customized treatment plan for you. Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.