Orthodontic Awareness Month

orthodontic awareness month

While children are celebrating the coming of Halloween, orthodontists are celebrating a different holiday of sorts – Orthodontic Awareness Month.

Orthodontic Awareness Month, which occurs every October, may not be an official holiday, but orthodontists still have fun celebrating it. This year to celebrate the staff at Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne, Florida have decided to provide you with a few fun facts about orthodontics, discuss ways to improve your experience if you are wearing braces or other orthodontic devices and provide you with ways you can improve your orthodontic health.

Some Fun Orthodontic Facts

  • At any given time in North America, there are approximately 1 million people who are wearing braces
  • Approximately 70% of those who do wear braces are female.
  • The average age for people wearing braces is between 12 and 15. However, in recent years more and more adults are starting to undergo orthodontic treatment.
  • Aesthetics is often listed as the most common reason to seek orthodontic treatment. The second most popular reason for seeking orthodontic treatment is to correct an overbite.

Orthodontic Treatment Options

Several decades ago braces were the only option available to people who wanted to correct the spacing and alignment of their teeth. Now there are several different treatment options available to correct your smile.

Some of the treatment options that are available include:

  • Traditional braces – this is the type with wires, brackets, and rubber bands
  • Clear braces – similar to traditional braces but with clear ceramic brackets
  • Clear aligners- trays that correct the placement and alignment of teeth like Invisalign or Clear Correct
  • Lingual braces – brackets and wires are placed on the back of the teeth instead of the front

Tips to Make Your Orthodontic Experience Easier

Whether you are a teen or an adult, you will need to make some adjustments after you undergo orthodontic treatment. In an effort to help make your experience easier and as a way to celebrate Orthodontic Awareness Month, we are providing you with some tips that will help you improve your orthodontic experience.

Some ways you can improve your orthodontic experience include:

  • Choose the foods and candies you eat wisely. Eating extremely hard, crunchy or sticky foods can break the brackets, wires, and rubber bands that you are wearing. Try to avoid these types of foods so you don’t end up having to make an emergency visit to your orthodontist.
  • Always carry your orthodontic kit with you. This kit contains all the things you need to fix any problem you encounter. The kits contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, picks, floss, dental wax, and handheld mirrors.
  • Brush after every meal and after snacking. Food can get stuck in your braces which may cause you to experience some pain or discomfort.
  • Keep all your appointments with your orthodontist. These appointments will help spot and fix any problems that may have developed.

Schedule an Early Orthodontic Treatment Consultation for Your Child

Parents often assume that their child will only need braces when they become teenagers, but that isn’t necessarily true. Some children could benefit from undergoing early orthodontic treatment to correct alignment and other issues.

Early orthodontic treatment usually begins between the ages of 7 and 10. Take part in orthodontic awareness month by scheduling an appointment for your child to have an orthodontic consultation. An orthodontist will be able to assess how their teeth and jaw is growing and determine if early orthodontic treatment is needed.

Some treatment options that are often used as part of early orthodontic treatment include:

  • Use of space maintainers to hold the proper spacing between teeth
  • Expanders to widen the arch of the teeth
  • Wires and brackets to correct placement of teeth
  • Extraction of baby teeth that may be causing problems

Call Valderrama Orthodontics to Schedule an Appointment

Think it is time to improve your smile? Call Valderrama Orthodontics at (321)420-5050 to schedule an appointment for a consultation with our orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Valderrama. Our orthodontist will work closely with you to get you the smile you have always wanted. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to welcoming you to our office!

 


The History of Braces

history of braces

Using orthodontic devices to improve your smile is nothing new. In fact, people have been trying different methods to straighten their teeth for hundreds of years. They just weren’t using the same techniques that are used in modern orthodontics.

Wondering how people used to try to straighten their teeth in the past? The following is a brief overview of the history of orthodontic braces.

Devices to Straighten Teeth Date Back All the Way to 400 BC

It is hard to imagine, but orthodontic devices date back all the way to ancient times. Many archeologists have discovered the creation of small devices that appear to have been used to straighten teeth or fill in gaps when teeth had fallen out.

The devices that were used look nothing like today’s modern orthodontic devices with metal wires and ceramic brackets. The ancient orthodontic devices that were found used things like animal intestines, pure gold, catgut, or ropes to push the teeth into their proper position.

The Very First Set of Braces

Due to a lack of record keeping, not much is really known about orthodontics until around 1720s. That is when there is considerable documentation that details some of the methods that were used to improve people’s smile.

Some of the methods that were used around the 1720s are similar to what is used in modern orthodontics. The difference is the devices used in the 1720s were often bigger and bulkier than the devices used in modern orthodontics.

Some of the methods that were used in the 1720s to help improve people’s smile include:

  • Use of a device known as the Bandeau. The Bandeau, which was created by a French dentist, was a giant piece of iron that was shaped like a horseshoe. It was placed in the mouth and used to widen the palate so that teeth would have room to shift and move into proper placement.
  • Tooth extraction. This was the first time that people recommended removing teeth, such as the premolars, to create extra space so that teeth could shift into proper alignment.
  • Jaw placement and growth impacts how teeth grow. Several dentists during this time period discussed how the placement of the jaw and how it grows could determine whether teeth grow in at a proper angle.

The Journey to Modern Orthodontics

Even though people in the 1720s improved their smile using methods that are similar to orthodontics, it didn’t become an actual dental practice until sometime in the 1800s. In the 1800s, dentists decided to specifically work to advance this form of dentistry.

Some of the significant dates in the history of braces include:

  • 1819 – the first wire crib was created and used to help improve the placement of teeth in the mouth
  • 1843 – gum elastics were first used to realign the placement of the jaw
  • 1850 – rubber bands were used to replace gum elastics. The rubber bands were made out of rubber tubing that was cut into thin pieces and used to create bands that fit a person’s mouth.
  • 1880 – dentists started experimenting with using force to move teeth into proper their proper position. It was suggested that applying a small amount of force every few weeks/months could help encourage the teeth to move into proper alignment.

A Look at Modern Orthodontics

Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, people who want to improve their smile have a number of different treatment options available to them. Some of the modern orthodontic treatment options that may be available include:

  • Traditional braces which include the use of rubber bands, wires, and brackets
  • Clear braces which are similar to traditional braces but use clear ceramic brackets so the braces appear ‘invisible’
  • Invisalign which uses clear plastic aligner trays to shift and move the teeth in the mouth
  • Lingual braces which places the wires and brackets on the backs of the teeth so they aren’t noticeable from the front

Interested in improving your smile? Call Valderrama Orthodontics at (321) 425-5050 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Valderrama to see what can be done to get you the smile you have always wanted.

 


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.