Adult Braces: Why They’re Worth It

adult braces

Getting braces as an adult may be the right decision in order to improve your ability to chew and make it easier for you to properly brush and floss your teeth. Many individuals also feel better about themselves and their appearance after straightening their teeth with braces.

Reasons to Get Braces as an Adult

Adults have many reasons for getting braces and clear aligners. They may be concerned that their crooked teeth are preventing them from excelling in their profession or creating a negative impression while on job interviews. They may also have problems chewing and experience frequent accidental bites to the cheeks. They may have even had braces as a child and their teeth have since shifted, or their parents may not have had the money to purchase braces.

Benefits of Adult Braces

Braces aren’t just for preteens and teenagers anymore. Many adults choose to straighten their teeth in order to improve their appearances and to make it easier to clean every surface of the tooth and between the teeth.

1. You have More Options

Braces no longer have to be metal. Instead, you can choose to wear clear aligners or ceramic braces. Clear aligners are an alternative to metal braces, and they are able to fix many of the same problems as metal braces, including crooked and twisted teeth and bad bites. Clear aligners are nearly invisible when worn, and they can be removed to eat and drink. If you have a bite problem that cannot be correct with clear aligners, you still don’t have to choose metal braces. Ceramic braces are clear, which means they are less noticeable than traditional metal braces.

2. Braces Can Help You Improve Your Oral Health

Teeth that are irregularly spaced, crooked, twisted and crowded can cause problems with your oral health by making it hard for you to brush every surface of your teeth and between your teeth. When food particles and plaque are left on the teeth for an extended period of time, it can result in tooth decay cavities and gum disease. Having your teeth straightened can make it easier for you to crush and floss your teeth, which reduces your risk for developing gingivitis and periodontal disease as well as cavities.

3. You Want to Correct Face and Jaw Pain

Severely crooked teeth and bad bites can lead to jaw pain, headaches, ear aches, TMJ disorder and pain in your face. If you have crooked teeth and are experiencing any of these problems, straightening your teeth and correcting your bite may be able to help lower your face and jaw pain.

4. You Want to Improve Your Appearance

If you constantly worry about how your teeth look when you smile or if other people are judging you on your crooked teeth, straightening your teeth with braces or clear aligners can help you feel less self-conscious and boost your self-esteem. You may even feel like getting additional cosmetic treatments in the future, like teeth whitening or veneers.

5. You Have Dental Insurance

As an adult, you probably have dental insurance either as a plan you pay for as an individual or as part of your employee benefits. Dental insurance often covers most of the costs associated with braces and orthodontic treatments, even if you’re older than the traditional age for braces. You may also be able to pay for your treatments with your HSA or FSA account.

Adult Braces at Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne, FL

If you are considering straightening your teeth with adult clear or lingual braces or clear aligners, our dentist Dr. Natalia Valderrama at Valderrama Orthodontics in Suntree, Melbourne, FL can help you make a decision. Our orthodontist can examine your mouth to determine if you need your teeth straightened, and he can give you all the pros and cons of the various types of braces available to adults, including metal, lingual and ceramic braces or clear aligners or a combination of all. Sr. Valderrama can even answer all of your questions regarding treatment times and oral health benefits.

To learn more about braces for adults and to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation,, call us at 321-425-5050.


What Happens When You Don’t Wear Your Retainer?

wear your retainer

Once your braces come off or your done wearing invisible aligners, you’re probably ready to keep appliances out of your mouth. However, your retainer is very important to keep your teeth looking great. Fail to use your retainer as directed and you could lose the progress you made throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Unfortunately, many patients think that their journey is over once the braces are gone, but your retainer is an important part of the next phase of tooth correction. Here’s a closer look at what can happen if you fail to wear your retainer as recommended.

The Importance of the Retainer

First, you need to know what your retainer actually does. A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that’s removable, and it works to hold your teeth in their proper place after braces have been removed. They come in various forms, and if you take care of them, they can last a long time. Some are made with plastic and wires, while other retainers look just like the clear Invisalign braces. Your orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Valderrama,  will custom make a retainer for your mouth and teeth so it’s as effective as possible.

When braces are taken off, your teeth can start to move back towards their initial positions. The whole purpose of wearing a retainer is to keep your teeth in place so you can continue enjoying your beautiful, new straight teeth for a lifetime.

Why Teeth Move

During that first year after braces, teeth are the most likely to make some big moves. When you’re done with braces, your gums and teeth will remain a bit flexible. You’ll no longer have brackets and wires holding them in place. The natural process of aging can result in shifting teeth as well, so over the years your teeth will move. Unless some type of external pressure is used to keep them in place, they’ll keep moving back to their natural positions. A retainer is a tool that puts pressure on your teeth so they stay in the corrected shape.

If you don’t wear your retainer as ordered by your orthodontist, then your teeth will go back to their original positions. Nature will eventually win the fight if you don’t have the force of the retainer.

How Long Will You Need a Retainer?

Everyone is different, and your orthodontist will give you some specific instructions tailored to your unique situation. In most cases, you’ll have to wear your retainer frequently right after your braces are removed. Most people end up wearing their retainer daily for 1 month, and then they can go to nightly retainer use.

Later, to keep teeth in place for life, you may be required to wear the retainer every night or at least 4 nights per week. As time goes by, you may need to replace your retainer so it keeps its strong holding power.

The most crucial time for wearing your retainer is right after you’ve completed orthodontic treatment. This is when your teeth have the highest risk of moving back to their original positions.

When Should You Replace Your Retainer?

Different types of retainers are available, and each type varies in holding power and quality. If your teeth were only moved slightly, then clear retainers that look much like Invisalign aligners may be enough to keep your teeth in shape. However, these retainers aren’t as durable as others and should be replaced every few months.

If your teeth were drastically moved, then you may need to go with a stronger type of retainer that’s made with wires and acrylic. With good care, these retainers may last for 5-10 years. To prolong their life, make sure you clean them every day and store them in a safe place where they won’t get damaged.

If you notice that your retainer isn’t as effective or it’s not holding its shape, be sure to see your orthodontist so you can have a new one made.

When You Don’t Wear Your Retainer

Wearing your retainer as directed is a big deal. If you fail to wear it, all the time you spent going through orthodontic treatment will be wasted and you will lose your straight smile. You’ll have to go through treatment all over again to get it back. Avoid losing the beautiful smile you’ve waited so long for – make sure you talk to your orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama about how often you need to wear your retainer to maintain your results.


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.

 


The Day Your Braces Come Off

braces off

After months of having to deal with uncomfortable wires that poke and prod your cheeks, being unable to eat some of your favorite foods, and spending hours in the orthodontist’s office, it is the day you have been waiting for – the day your braces come off.

We want you to be fully prepared for this extremely exciting day. That is why we have created a brief guide that outlines what to expect when you head to your last orthodontist visit and the braces are to be removed.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Just because you are heading to your last orthodontist visit doesn’t mean something unexpected can’t occur. To avoid disappointment, prepare for the unexpected. In this case, prepare for the possibility the braces may not be removed.

Many orthodontists make an estimate on when the braces should be removed. This estimate is based on how fast or slow they believe your teeth will move within your mouth. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, which can delay when your braces will be removed.

If your teeth don’t shift into place as expected between your last adjustment appointment and the day your braces are supposed to come off, your orthodontist may need to push back their removal. This doesn’t always happen, but to avoid disappointment, it is important to realize there is a possibility you might need to wait just a little longer to have those braces removed.

A Closer Look at the Removal Process

The removal process may appear to be intimidating and scary but it is fairly straightforward and relaxed. The orthodontist will start by assessing whether your teeth have shifted to their desired position. Once it has been determined that your orthodontic treatment is complete, it is time to remove the braces.

The orthodontist will take a pair of dental pliers and remove each of the brackets on your teeth. This is a time-consuming process. After the removal of the brackets, the orthodontist will use professional dental tools to scrape any glue leftover and clean the teeth.

Removing braces looks painful, but you will experience little pain. There may be some pressure placed on the teeth and gums as the wires or brackets are removed, but there is no pain with the removal process.

The Very Last Step of the Removal Process – The Retainer

Almost every person who has worn braces will have to wear a retainer at night. The retainer keeps your teeth held in position and prevents them from shifting. Being fitted for your retainer is the very last step of the removal process.

Once your orthodontist has completely cleaned your teeth and removed all wires and brackets, he or she will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used to create your customized retainer.

The retainer may be uncomfortable when you first wear it. However, over time, you will notice it becomes more comfortable.

The length of time you will have to wear the removable retainer is full time 24/7 for the first 30 days, then, you will need to wear it at night daily for the rest of your life or as long as you would like your teeth to remain in the same positions as they were when the orthodontic treatment finished. If you have clear retainers, they have to be replaced every 6 months to 2 years depending on the care you gave them and if you have the traditional Hawley retainers, they have to be replaced every 5-10 years depending on their wear. Your Orthodontist will choose the best retainer for you to wear and will give you instructions on how to wear it.

Other Things to Consider After the Removal of Your Braces

There are other things you need to consider and/or do once your braces are removed. Keep the following things in mind as you prepare for the removal of your braces:

  • Spots and discoloration may be present on your teeth
  • Teeth may be sensitive for several months as the enamel thickens
  • Avoid bleaching or whitening your teeth for several months as your teeth are sensitive
  • Don’t go overboard with eating all the foods you had to avoid without braces
  • Prepare to wear your retainer every evening as directed
  • Schedule a full professional cleaning with your dentist as there may be spots that need a complete cleaning

If you are considering braces or in need of a new orthodontist, contact Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne, Florida. We provide a variety of orthodontic treatment including traditional braces, Invisalign, retainer creation, and lingual braces for teens and adults. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to ask our friendly staff any questions you may have regarding orthodontic treatment.


The Benefits of Early Treatment

early treatment

Many orthodontic issues are much more easily corrected with early intervention. By the time that your child reaches the age of 7, their mouth has developed a distinct structure even though it’s not completely done growing yet. With the help of comprehensive examination and X-ray images, Dr. Valderrama can determine whether your child is likely to have orthodontic issues as they grow. If problems with their permanent teeth are expected to develop, Dr. Valderrama can do early orthodontic treatment to prevent those issues from occurring.

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

There are a number of significant benefits to having early orthodontic treatment for your child. They include:

  • Avoiding problems caused by an overcrowded mouth as the adult teeth emerge
  • Avoiding the development of problems like overbite, underbite, or crossbite
  • Avoiding jaw development problems as the adult teeth grown in
  • Avoiding pain and discomfort caused by teeth growing with improper alignment
  • Improved appearance, with a straighter and more attractive smile overall
  • Improved self-confidence as your child enters their teen and tween years — your child can smile confidently
  • Prevention of more complex and costly orthodontic corrections later

It’s also important to note that early orthodontic treatment is often less complex and time-consuming than adult orthodontic treatment. Problems are far more easily corrected when the mouth is still growing. When the mouth is fully grown and has been in a specific state of alignment for many years — which is the case with adult orthodontic patients — the correction can take twice as long and be far more difficult.

The Early Orthodontic Treatment Approach — and How it Benefits Your Child

Early orthodontic treatment is usually done in two different phases. The first phase starts as early as age 6-7, but it can begin later than that depending on when the problems are diagnosed. In the first phase, your child will still have most of their baby teeth. The first phase can correct issues with biting, help move the jaw into the proper position for the future, and help set the stage for the next phase of correction.

In the second phase, correction is done on the adult teeth as the growth patterns become clear. The second phase of correction usually consists of braces for anywhere from six months up to around 18 months. The braces will guide your child’s adult teeth into the right position for the long term.

When you decide to begin orthodontic treatment early in your child’s life, your child will come to accept it as a normal and healthy part of health and wellness care. Children who have early orthodontic treatment are much less likely to develop a fear of the dentist’s office because they are there on a regular basis. Dr. Valderrama and the Valderrama Orthodontics team really strive to make young patients feel comfortable. Early orthodontic treatment is enormously beneficial for your child, and they’ll be well aware of that as their teeth emerge without problems or pain.

Need Early Treatment for Your Child? Valderrama Orthodontics Can Help!

Valderrama Orthodontics is a highly respected orthodontic practice located in Melbourne, Florida. Patients from Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Palm Bay, and the whole Space Coast area count on Valderrama Orthodontics for the best in early intervention and treatment. A wide range of services are offered, including early treatment, metal braces, clear braces, lingual braces, invisible teeth straightening aligners, retainers after braces, custom mouth guards for sports, and much more. At Valderrama Orthodontics, patients are treated with respect and compassion.

We look at patients like family members. Valderrama Orthodontics makes getting dental care as easy as possible. We offer an after-school program in which one of our team members will even pick up your child from school to bring them in for their dental visit. You can meet your child at our office or simply pick them up after their visit. Early treatment, and in fact all types of orthodontic treatment, are as easy and simple as possible at Valderrama Orthodontics. Feel free to contact our office anytime to arrange a visit.


How Do You Clean Lingual Braces?

Lingual Braces

While traditional braces are visible, lingual braces are not. Their ability of these braces to remain hidden behind the teeth has made them a popular alternative to the traditional braces worn on the front of the teeth. However, lingual braces are trickier to clean than traditional braces are and if proper cleaning techniques are not utilized throughout the straightening process, after removal, spotty teeth with cavities may be evident.

Tips for Cleaning Lingual Braces

Use the Proper Tools

It can take several weeks to adjust to wearing and cleaning lingual braces; however, once you have made this adjustment and determined which tools are the most comfortable for you to use, this cleaning process will become second nature.

There are a couple options available for flossing:

  • Interdental Cleaners Interdental cleaners are ideal for cleaning lingual braces. These cleaners fit between tight spaces and are able to remove plaque more efficiently than traditional floss. Interdental cleaners are available in a variety of sizes. Purchase a combo pack to determine which size or sizes fit between your braces the best.
  • Super Floss Super Floss is a tool designed to clean between braces, wide dental gaps and bridges. Super Floss consists of three unique components, a stiff threader, a spongy floss and conventional floss. The stiff threader makes it easier to gain access to the backside of the teeth (beneath the braces) as well as between the teeth, the spongy floss picks up more plaque and food particles than traditional floss will, and the conventional floss can be used between the teeth themselves.

Practice Proper Dental Hygiene Daily

To ensure that tooth decay and gingivitis are not an issue, you must practice proper dental hygiene every day.

Daily dental hygiene includes:

  • Brushing the teeth and the gum line with a soft, round-bristle toothbrush. Brush two times a day for at least two minutes per session (30 seconds in each of the four quadrants of the mouth). Most patients choose to brush their teeth upon rising and directly before they head to bed. Oral-B™ Electric Toothbrushes are a great investment because they have a built-in mechanism that causes the toothbrush to pulsate every 30 seconds, which directs the user to move to another quadrant of the mouth.
  • Flossing to remove food debris and plaque between the teeth and behind the braces.
  • Using some type of oral irrigation device to flush out food particles around the teeth and the lingual braces.
  • Strengthening teeth by using a fluoride rinse.

Remove Debris Directly Following Meals

While the majority of people brush and floss twice a day, adding cleanings following food consumption is recommended. By cleaning out debris with a dental pick, Waterpik™ or floss directly after a meal, there is less time for the food to negatively affect the teeth and the gums. Furthermore, removal of food particles is much easier following a meal than it is hours later.

About the Waterpik™

For people with and without braces, the use of a Waterpik™ can be beneficial. However, using a Waterpik™ is not as effective as using dental floss or interdental cleaners. The Waterpik™ is unable to reach some of the tighter areas between the teeth. However, a water pick can be used as a mechanism to flush out large food particles that are sitting around the teeth and the braces after a meal.

Food Choices

Chewing gum and sticky foods (e.g., caramel and taffy) tend to get stuck in and around braces. Additionally, crunchy and hard foods have the potential to loosen bands, bend wires or cause the adhesive that holds the brackets in place to become loose. If the brackets are loosened, the length of time the braces need to be worn increases. Thus, affecting your removal date: For this reason, avoiding these kinds of foods is recommended.

Professional Dental Cleanings are Vital

Diligently cleaning your teeth while you wear your lingual braces substantially decreases the likelihood of white spots or cavities being present upon their removal. Even so, professional dental cleanings must be performed every six months. During these cleanings any missed plaque and debris is removed before it can build up.

Schedule Regular Checkups at Valderrama Orthodontics

During your regular checkups, Dr. Natalia Valderrama will make sure that your lingual braces are not bent, loose or becoming loose: Since the length of time braces are worn can be affected by these issues, regular checkups ensure that your braces will be removed sooner, rather than later.

If you are looking for a caring, compassionate and experienced orthodontist, please contact Valderrama Orthodontics today at 321-544-4127 to schedule your complimentary initial consultation. Dr. V and her staff understand that life is busy, which is why an After-School Program has been created: This program is designed to assist families with making sure their children are able to receive the orthodontic care they need.


Proper Care For Mouth Guards

Directly after receiving their mouth guards, the majority of athletes take good care of them; however, as time passes, they become less diligent about keeping them clean. Typically, this occurs due to busy routines and tight schedules. Nevertheless, proper cleaning is essential to decrease the likelihood of introducing bacteria into the mouth.

Mouth Guards Protect the Teeth

At Valderrama Orthodontics, we create custom-designed mouth guards to be worn while participating in sports. These guards protect the teeth during gameplay: Thus, eliminating concerns related to the injuring, fracturing or breaking of teeth.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for a Mouth Guard

A mouth guard will last a lot longer if your child takes the time to properly care for it.

The Do’s:

Clean the Mouth Guard

Unfortunately, a mouth guard is the perfect living environment for microorganisms. The moist, dark conditions within the mouth guard’s case allow bacteria and mold to thrive. The germs found in these guards can cause staph infections and strep: Both of which can lead to benching the entire team.

Tips for cleaning guards:

  • Washing mouth guards directly following removal helps decrease bacteria buildup; however, if your child is unable to wash it immediately, at least ask him or her to rinse it off before returning it to its case. Then, wash it and the case, as soon as possible.
  • Water alone will not effectively clean the guard; therefore, your child should use soap and water or some other non-alcohol based cleaner (e.g., Fresh Guard) to clean the mouth guard. Once washing is complete, rinse it with warm water.
  • Now, use toothpaste and a toothbrush (designated for the guard) to move the toothpaste into the crevices where the teeth sit.
  • In addition, the mouth guard can be placed in mouthwash for 10 minutes or overnight.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The fewer germs on your child’s teeth when he or she applies the mouth guard, the better. While brushing the teeth at least twice a day (typically morning and night) is recommended, athletes should also brush before and after wearing their guards.

Store the Guard in Its Case

From sweaty socks to cleats and jerseys, numerous dirty items are carried around in a gym bag. Your child can keep his or her mouth guard safer and cleaner by making sure it remains in its firm, perforated case.

Keep the Mouth Guard Away from Heat Sources

The tailored shape of a guard may change if it is left in the heat too long. Therefore, your child should avoid leaving it in the car, near a radiator or in direct sunlight.

Replace the Guard as Needed

With use, a mouth guard will start wearing down. You or your child need to examine his or her guard after each use. If breakage, cracks, rough spots and/or holes are evident, replacement is necessary. This ensures that during gameplay their teeth receive the most protection possible. Furthermore, if the guard has not already been replaced, once a season comes to an end, Dr. Natalia Valderrama recommends that her patients replace their mouth guards.

The Don’ts:

Avoid Chewing on the Mouth Guard

Approximately 50 percent of teens experience at least one dental injury prior to graduating from high school. If your child is able to chew on his or her guard, chances are it is not secure enough to protect the teeth: Therefore, it is time to make an appointment with Dr. V.

Never Trim the Guard

Trimming the mouth guard may put your child’s teeth at risk for injury. Furthermore, if the guard is under warranty, trimming it on your own makes that warranty void.

Do Not Store the Mouth Guard in Anything Except Its Case

Using a plastic bag or a dish with a lid to store a guard inhibits its ability to dry out properly, which can lead to an accumulation of bacteria, mold and yeast. Therefore, your child should only store his or her mouth guard in its case: These cases are ventilated, which allows it to dry out.

If your child participates in sports, his or her teeth are at risk. Contact Valderrama Orthodontics today at 321-544-4127 to find out more about the custom-designed mouth guards we offer. Dr. Natalia Valderrama is dedicated to providing her patients, in and around Melbourne, Florida, with convenience, a comfortable environment, compassionate dental professionals and the high-quality orthodontic care they deserve. We look forward to welcoming you to the Valderrama family and meeting all your orthodontic needs.