Why Is Early Treatment So Important?


A child’s first visit to the orthodontist should happen no later than age 7. The reason for this is because the child will have a mixture of adult and baby teeth by this time. Once they have a few adult teeth, it provides a wealth of information to the doctor about how the rest of the teeth and the jaw are going to develop. Some orthodontic issues are going to be easier to correct if early intervention happens, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. Here’s a closer look at the importance of early orthodontic treatment.

Early Treatment Prevents Long-Term Problems

When your child has their first visit with Dr. Valderrama, there is likely to be one of these three outcomes:

  • No treatment recommended
  • Treatment recommended later on, so the doctor will monitor the growth of the teeth and jaw
  • Early treatment recommended

Some problems that are detected have better outcomes in the long run if early treatment happens. An issue with a person’s “bite” or jaw alignment can result in the need for surgery later in life. If your orthodontist can correct that problem while the child is young, the need for surgery can be avoided and the problem will likely be less expensive to treat.

Early Treatment Helps with Speech Issues

Does your child slur their speech or have a lisp? Do they mispronounce the letters ‘T’ or ‘S’? These are very common speech problems in children, but a lot of people don’t realize that they can be caused by a misalignment of the teeth or jaw. If a problem like this can be corrected in your child’s teeth or jaw at an early stage, their speech problem won’t be an issue later on in school or in life.

Early Treatment Improves Self Esteem

Many children struggle with self-esteem as they grow up. Misaligned teeth can cause harm to a child’s confidence levels. Low self-esteem can in turn have an impact on their outcomes in school and career later in life. Most kids love being fitted with braces, because it means a straighter smile is on the way — and all their friends in school know it too! Your child can even choose the color of the bands on their braces, which lets them personalize the experience. The confidence provided by a great smile is something your child will be able to carry with them for the rest of their life.

Lowered Risk of Cavities & Tooth Decay

When a person has straight teeth, it makes it easier to brush and floss for the rest of their life. Crooked teeth usually leave spots in the mouth that are harder (or impossible) to reach with a toothbrush. This means that the bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay have a hiding spot in the mouth, and this can lead to cavities in hard-to-treat areas. If an orthodontist corrects the alignment of your child’s teeth when they’re young, they’re likely to have good oral health as an adult.

Reduces Teeth Grinding at Night

Nighttime teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a common problem that your child might not even realize they have. If your child experiences frequent headaches or neck pain, it could be due to grinding their teeth when they’re asleep. This problem is often caused by a misalignment of the jaw. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to a more serious condition called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. A badly misaligned jaw that goes untreated for years might even require the help of an oral surgeon to correct it in adulthood.

Improved Digestion

Food has to be thoroughly chewed in order for proper digestion to take place. And proper digestion is really important for a child’s development. A misaligned “bite” can mean that your child is unable to properly chew their food, resulting in poor digestion. Correcting teeth and jaw alignment at an early age ensures better lifelong health outcomes when it comes to nutrition.

Schedule An Appointment Today

If your child has crooked teeth or any of the problems described above, we recommend that you Contact Us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Valderrama. We serve patients in the Melbourne, Suntree, Viera, and Rockledge area.

Getting Used to New Braces


Going through the process of straightening your teeth to attain that perfect smile is what makes having braces so special. You know the end result is going to be amazing! But it does take a little while to get used to having them attached to your teeth. It’s a new sensation. You have metal, elastics, and wires taking up space in your mouth; it doesn’t feel “normal” at first. Here are some tips from your orthodontist to help you prepare for that first week or so, when your braces are brand new.

Ask Questions About Your New Braces

As soon as the procedure to install your braces is complete, ask every single question on your mind before leaving the office. Move your tongue around on the wire to make sure it’s not poking anywhere inside the mouth or on your tongue. Ask Dr. Valderrama about elastics,  and any toothbrushing questions that you still have. Also, check your supplies. Make sure you have all the dental wax and other supplies you need for caring for your teeth and braces.

Stick to Soft Foods the First Few Days

If you’re hungry when you leave our office, you can eat something right away. However, you should stick to a diet of strictly soft foods for the first few days. Soup, pasta, soft vegetables, yogurt, and other soft foods should be your new best friends for about three or four days. Any remaining soreness should go away after about three or four days, and then you can start trying some harder foods. And remember: No chewing gum allowed, ever!

Use the Wax!

Until you get used to the brackets attached to your teeth, they can cause irritation as they rub against the soft interior of your mouth. Your mouth will eventually adjust and get tougher. But until that happens, use the wax to cover the brackets and prevent sore spots from getting worse. That’s what it’s for!

Do a Saltwater Mouth Rinse

If your mouth becomes irritated from the braces, start doing a saltwater mouth rinse five or six times daily. Use one teaspoon of regular table salt and stir it into a cup of warm water. It might sting a little bit at first. The saltwater works as a natural pain reliever and helps sores in the mouth to heal faster. The saltwater tastes awful, but trust us – this works.

Take Care of Your Teeth and Braces

Now is the time to establish good oral hygiene habits, which will hopefully stick with you for the entire process of braces. After every meal, brush your teeth. Be sure to get all the bits of food that are stuck to your brackets. In addition to brushing after every meal, remember to floss at least once per day, preferably before going to bed at night.

Teeth May Feel Loose

Braces shift your teeth over time, until they’re all in the proper location to give you that perfect smile. But in order to shift the teeth, they have to loosen. This feeling can be a bit unsettling for people at first. Don’t panic. The sensation is perfectly normal when undergoing treatment with braces, and your teeth are not going to fall out. It just feels weird.

Wear Your Mouthguard if Needed

Many children who get braces also like to play sports in school. It is a good idea to have a professionally fitted sports mouthguard. This will protect your teeth and braces if you take part in any sport where there is a risk of being accidentally struck in the face.

Call Us About Braces Today!

If you are interested in dental braces for yourself or your child, you don’t need a referral to come see us. Contact Us  at 321.425.5050 to schedule an appointment and we’ll get the process started.

Keeping Teeth White While Wearing Braces


One of the main instructions your orthodontist is going to give you is to not use teeth whitening products of any kind while wearing braces. The brackets from your braces are bonded to the teeth, so only the exposed surfaces will be whitened. The best way to keep your teeth white while wearing braces is the old-fashioned way: by brushing, flossing, and a consistent dental routine. Here’s what we recommend.

The Right Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes are more efficient at getting plaque and food particles out of those hard-to-reach spots when you’re wearing braces. We recommend a good electric toothbrush. Just be careful not to use too much pressure since the vibration could potentially detach the bracket off the tooth. Also, check with your dentist to purchase ortho heads to attach to your electric toothbrush. However, there’s nothing wrong with using a normal manual toothbrush as long as you brush thoroughly. We’ll even recommend special orthodontic toothbrushes that are smaller and shaped correctly to work around your wire and brackets.

The thing that’s most important is that you brush thoroughly for two full minutes, regardless of what type of brush you’re using. Brush your teeth in the morning after you wake up, after every meal throughout the day, and once again before bed. This is the best way to fight off cavities and teeth staining while you’re wearing braces.


Floss threaders work great with braces, although you can use a regular piece of dental floss for the job. There are also specialized orthodontic flossers or a floss called superfloss that we can recommend. It’s best to floss at least once a day, preferably in the evening before bed. This cleans the areas between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Non-Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste

You will want to avoid abrasive toothpastes or ones that say “whitening” while you have braces. A whitening toothpaste will only whiten the visible parts of your teeth, not the locations behind your brackets. A toothpaste that has fluoride will keep the enamel of your teeth strong, and helps to stave off cavities.

Interproximal Brush

This specialized orthodontic toothbrush is designed to fit into the tight spaces behind the wire. Try to get into the habit of carrying one around with you, since it’s a great tool for dislodging any piece of food that gets stuck. It’s important to choose an interdental or interproximal brush that’s the right size for your teeth and braces, in order for it to work most effectively.


A waterpik or water flosser is another great tool to use while wearing braces. It uses water to loosen pieces of food during your oral hygiene routine. The water jet gets into more hard-to-reach places. Remember that a waterpik does not replace regular flossing, which you’ll still have to do at least once per day.

Fluoride Mouthwash

Braces make it easier for plaque and bits of food to get stuck in your teeth, so you need to use every tool in the arsenal when it comes to keeping your teeth white. That includes a good fluoride mouthwash, preferably one that does not have alcohol in it. Alcohol can cause your mouth to dry out, which makes it easier for plaque-causing bacteria to form there. Remember that the same rule applies with mouthwash as it does for toothpaste and other products: don’t use a whitening mouthwash. Something with a bit of fluoride keeps your teeth clean and keeps your breath fresh.

MI Paste, HD Paste, Xylitol Mints

MI paste is sold only at dental offices by prescription and can be used to remineralize your teeth and protect the enamel from decalcifications that can appear during treatment. HD Paste can help you identify plaque left behind during brushing and flossing so your oral hygiene routine is more successful. And finally, 100% Xylitol products can help manage the harmful bacteria in your mouth to help protect your teeth while you are in braces.

Just remember also to visit your regular dentist every 3 to 6 months to have a professional cleaning done while in treatment with us.

Contact Us

Be sure to keep all of your appointments with Dr. Valderrama, your orthodontist. Another important thing to remember about braces is that teeth whitening can always happen after the braces come off. You can use whitening products again or work with a cosmetic dentist to finish up that perfect smile, once the work of shifting your teeth into place is finished. If you’d like to know more about braces or Invisalign, give our office a call 321-425-5050 to set up an appointment.

Foods To Avoid With Braces

One of the most common questions we hear is, “What can I still eat when I have braces?” We get it! And the fact is, there are a lot of foods you can still eat with braces for the next couple of years while undergoing treatment. The important thing to remember is that you’ll end up with a perfect smile after all of this, right? Here’s a look at the foods you should avoid with braces, and some of the great food that you can still eat!

Why Some Foods Should Be Avoided with Braces

Certain types of foods can be damaging to the wires, brackets, or bands on your set of braces. If that happens, you’ll have to come in for an extra appointment.

Hard or sticky foods are the most important things to avoid. Along with changes to your diet, taking care of your teeth through good oral hygiene is also important. Brushing and flossing after every meal is doubly important. If bits of food are allowed to stay on the teeth, it can cause spotting or discoloration on the teeth when your braces come off at the end of treatment.

So, follow your dietary instructions and take good care of your teeth and braces!

Foods to Avoid with Braces

We’ve already mentioned that you should avoid hard and sticky foods while wearing braces. This includes stuff like gum and nuts, or hard types of candy like lollipops or candy canes. Foods like this can loosen the wire on your braces, or cause a bracket to come loose. That can delay or extend the amount of time you’ll have to wear braces, so it’s better to avoid those foods altogether. Here’s a list of additional things you should avoid while wearing braces:

  • Potato chips and corn chips
  • Hard candy
  • Nuts
  • Chewing gum
  • Sticky candies
  • Popcorn
  • Corn on the cob
  • Raw apples
  • Jerky

This is only a partial list. When your braces are first installed on your teeth, our staff at Valderrama Orthodontics will provide you with literature and brochures that explain all the changes you’ll need to make to your diet while undergoing treatment. If you ever have any questions during the process of wearing braces, you can always call us at (321) 425-5050 during business hours and ask questions.

Foods are not the only things that can cause problems with your braces. A lot of kids have habits of biting or chewing on hard substances, which can also break or damage the wire or brackets on your braces. You should avoid chewing pens or pencils in class. Don’t bite your fingernails, don’t chew on a toothpick, and don’t chew on a drinking straw. Basically, if you have any habit where you bite or chew on hard objects, you should break that habit while wearing your braces.

Foods You Can Still Eat While Wearing Braces

We covered the list of foods that you should avoid while wearing braces. That still leaves a ton of other great foods you can still enjoy during your treatment! You can still enjoy:

  • Pasta
  • Mashed potatoes (and gravy!)
  • Boneless meats
  • Soft, cooked vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Soup
  • Pancakes
  • Casseroles

Wearing braces is actually a fun and exciting process. And as you can see, there are still many types of food you can still enjoy. It’s also important to remember that treatment with braces is temporary. After a couple of years, you’ll be able to eat pizza with the crust again. The big difference will be that you’ll have a perfect smile when eating that pizza crust!

Dr. Valderrama is an amazing orthodontist who specializes in working with kids and all types of braces or clear aligners. Contact our office if you want to schedule an orthodontic appointment.

Orthodontic Problems and Emergencies


Valderrama Orthodontics will provide priority scheduling for you during an orthodontic emergency. We even provide an after-hours number that you can call in case you need emergency treatment right away or on the weekend.

  • Regular Office Hours: 321.425.5050
  • After Hours: 321.544.4127

The next question is: What really constitutes an orthodontic emergency? Here is a closer look at some of the most common problems that we see at our Suntree, Viera, and Rockledge orthodontic practices.

Minor Orthodontic Problems

Real emergency orthodontic problems are not common, but they do happen. A lot of times, a consultation with Dr. V. on the phone can provide you with enough information for at-home treatment until an appointment can be scheduled the following week. You may have to put up with a little discomfort over a weekend, because the problem you’re experiencing is not serious enough to be considered an emergency.

Here are some orthodontic problems that might be considered minor:

  • Broken or loose wires or brackets on braces.
  • Wires poking the insides of the cheeks or mouth.
  • Discomfort from an orthodontic appliance or braces.
  • Losing your clear Invisalign aligners.

These are problems that can be fixed with a quick visit to Valderrama Orthodontics. These are not “end of the world” scenarios that require you to rush in for emergency treatment, and you can wait up to a couple of days to correct them. These are just general guidelines, however. You should still call our after hours number for a quick consult to determine the best course of action.

Orthodontic Emergencies That Require Immediate Attention

A true emergency will be much more serious and requires quick action to prevent further injury or damage. Here are some emergency situations in which you will want to come in for a special appointment with Dr. Valderrama.

  • Oral infection, which causes the face or mouth to swell.
  • Injury or trauma to the teeth, face or orthodontic appliances like braces.
  • Severe pain in the mouth, teeth, or face.

A lot of times these constitute real oral emergencies that should be treated as quickly as possible. Sometimes an injury can be so severe that it needs professional treatment above and beyond what our clinic can provide. This is why you should call us immediately in the event of an emergency.

Orthodontic Problems with Braces

Since braces are the most common treatment an orthodontist provides, most minor problems or emergencies will involve those. Braces can be damaged by hard foods, chewing on hard objects like pens or pencils, or facial trauma. While the damage might not constitute a full emergency, it should still be looked at within a day or two.

If you experience any of the following problems, you should call our office for an assessment and to schedule a quick appointment.

Loose Brackets

Brackets are the metal appliances that are secured to the front of the teeth using an adhesive. These can shift or come loose sometimes. If the bracket and wire are both moving, it could mean that the adhesive did not cure properly. If the bracket falls or rotates around the archwire, you can move back to roughly the correct position; use some wax to hold it in place. Dr. V. will reattach the bracket during an appointment.

Broken Wires

This is one of the most common minor problems that we see with braces. If your archwire breaks for any reason, it will likely cause some discomfort, soreness, or irritation inside the cheek. You or a parent can try to bend the wire into a more comfortable position with a pair of tweezers or a pencil eraser. This doesn’t completely fix the problem, but it will make it less uncomfortable until you can come in to have the wire replaced.

Loose Bands

A loose band might not cause any discomfort at all, but you will notice it when caring for your braces. It’s important that a loose band be reattached soon. If a band remains loose for too many days, it can cause discoloration on the tooth.

Call Us for Minor or Emergency Treatment

Most of the time, a quick and affordable orthodontist visit is all that’s needed to correct a problem. Whether you have a true emergency or a minor problem, contact us for a quick consultation and we’ll let you know the best way to proceed!


A mouthguard is a great way to protect your teeth, gums, and oral tissues if you play sports. However, not all mouthguards are the same. If you play a sport that carries the possibility of a “high speed collision” with another player, a mouthguard is important. It can mean the difference between keeping all of your permanent teeth, or needing dental implants to replace missing teeth! Dr. Valderrama can build you a custom mouthguard that will protect your teeth and keep you safe and sound on the playing field.

Why You Might Need a Mouthguard

Accidents happen in sports all the time. Football and soccer players are constantly bumping into each other and can suffer a blow to the face. Basketball players can “catch an elbow” from someone else on a rebound.

A blow to the face can cause damage to the enamel on the teeth, crack a tooth, or even dislodge it completely. There is also a good chance that your teeth will do some damage to your tongue or the insides of your cheek during a collision. Cuts inside the mouth can even require stitches if they are deep enough.

A mouthguard fits over your teeth and provides protection during sports. It protects the teeth, tongue, and cheeks. They’re made of materials that act as a buffer between your teeth and the rest of the oral structures in your mouth.

Dr. Valderrama can even build mouthguards that will fit over your braces, so you can still play your favorite sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment!

Types of Mouthguards

There are basically three types of mouthguards when it comes to protecting the teeth and/or braces during sports. There are cheap “boil-and-bite” mouthguards that can be purchased over the counter at any drug store. Another type is the one-size-fits-all stock mouthguard that some companies sell. The best mouthguard for sports, however, is the type of custom mouthguard that Dr. Valderrama can create for you.

Why You Should Get a Custom Mouthguard

Don’t just take Dr. Valderrama’s word for when it comes to the quality of custom-made mouthguards. Ask your insurance company!

If you use a cheaper type of mouthguard that is not custom made, and then suffer an accident that damages your braces, teeth, or tongue, your insurance company very likely won’t pay for emergency treatment. The insurance companies view it as if you assumed the risk for yourself by wearing a cheap mouthguard that isn’t a perfect fit for your teeth or braces.

This is why it’s a very good idea to have Dr. Valderrama create a custom mouthguard for you. Only professionally crafted mouthguards created by dental professionals or orthodontists are accepted by most insurance companies in case of an accident. (And they’re not that much more expensive than the over-the-counter ones anyway.)

How a Custom Mouthguard is Created

At Valderrama Orthodontics, we digitally scan your teeth in an initial appointment. This digital scan will be an exact match for your teeth and/or braces. The scan is 3-D printed and then used to fashion a mouthguard that fits you perfectly. You’ll then get to try on the mouthguard for the first time at a followup appointment. 

One thing to note is that if you have braces on both the upper and lower arches in your mouth, you will probably need a “double decker” mouthguard to offer full protection.

Call Us for a Custom Mouthguard

Call our office at 321-425-5050 to set an appointment to have your custom mouthguard created by us! We also offer many additional orthodontic treatments for our patients, from braces to Invisalign, and more.

How To Maintain Healthy Gums

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 47 percent of people over 30 have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. While gum disease can certainly be treated, any dentist or orthodontist will tell you it’s better to take preventive measures so that it never develops in the first place. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth for too long, it can lead to the earliest stages of gum disease, which is gingivitis.

Gum disease is characterized by inflammation, tenderness, redness, and swelling of the gums. A person’s gums may also become prone to bleeding. Here are some things you should be doing to maintain healthy gums, and prevent gum disease from developing.

Regular Brushing

You should technically brush your teeth after every meal, but be sure to brush at least twice a day to maintain healthy gums. Brushing helps to get rid of the food and plaque from your teeth and around the gumline. Scrub your tongue with your toothbrush as well, since that’s an area where bacteria like to hang out. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably inside your mouth.

If you wear standard braces, lingual braces, or another orthodontic appliance, it is especially important to keep up with regular brushing. Use any specialized tools or picks that your orthodontist or dentist recommends, so you can get to those hard-to-reach places and clear out the plaque. Gum disease or tooth decay could develop more quickly while you’re wearing braces — so keep up with brushing!

Regular Flossing

The same goes for flossing. Be sure to floss your teeth at least once a day. Most of the bits of plaque or food that you miss through brushing can be removed with regular flossing. If you wear braces, use the floss threader that your orthodontist taught you how to use.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Some range in color and various flavors. It doesn’t matter what other features the toothpaste has. Those are just preferences. Any are fine as long as it has fluoride in it. That’s what helps to maintain healthy gums.

Use Fluoride Alcohol-free Xylitol Mouthwash

Using an over the counter mouthwash after you brush your teeth can flush away any excess food or plaque. Mouthwash will reduce plaque and can also reduce the speed at which tartar builds up on your teeth. And, of course, it can reduce or prevent early-stage gum disease. Remember that rinsing with mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing or flossing. Be sure to use all three (brushing, flossing, mouthwash) every day to have the best success in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Stop Smoking

Tobacco use is strongly associated with the onset of periodontal disease. If you are a smoker, your friendly and affordable orthodontist is always going to recommend that you kick the habit. Smoking has been proven to weaken the immune system, and that makes you more vulnerable to developing gum disease, along with a host of other potential problems.

If your gums become damaged by periodontal disease, it will take time for them to heal. Smoking can actually slow down that healing process. For the sake of your gums and your overall health, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do.

Don’t Miss Oral Health Appointments

When you have regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist, keep those appointments! Having your teeth cleaned professionally, twice a year, is another way to stave off gum disease. Plus, your oral health care professionals are going to check your gums for early signs of gingivitis and gum disease during your exam. The earlier that gum disease is detected, the easier it will be to treat.

If you are a patient of Valderrama Orthodontics in the Suntree, Viera, Rockledge, or Melbourne areas and your gums are feeling sore or tender, let us know during your next appointment. If you are a new patient considering braces, Invisalign or another orthodontic treatment, contact us to schedule your first appointment.

Traditional, Clear, and Lingual Braces – How is Each Used?


The three main types of affordable braces that we offer at Valderrama Orthodontics are traditional braces, clear braces, and lingual braces. Each of these have their own pros and cons. Depending on the type of orthodontic procedure that you need, we might recommend one of these to you. Here’s a closer look at how these three types of braces differ.

Traditional Braces

Traditional metal braces have been around for more than a century, and they remain the most common type of orthodontic treatment used for straightening a patient’s teeth. They are most commonly used by children and teens, although they are appropriate for some adults as well. Metal brackets are affixed to the teeth and then a wire runs through the brackets. Your orthodontist tightens the wire every four to eight weeks at appointments, to shift the teeth over time.

Traditional braces are one of the most affordable options when it comes to straightening a patient’s teeth. Braces are also more convenient for children because they do not have to be removed at certain times a day like aligner systems. There’s no risk of your child accidentally misplacing their braces! The elastic bands that tie the wire to the braces also come in a variety of fun colors, so we let kids and teens personalize their traditional braces if they want.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are similar in function to traditional metal wire braces. The main difference between traditional braces and clear braces is the materials that they are made from. Clear braces are crafted from ceramic materials that match the natural color of the patient’s teeth. Although they are somewhat visible, clear braces tend to be less noticeable and less obtrusive when compared to traditional metal braces.

Clear braces are sometimes referred to as invisible braces or bride braces. For women who are planning to get married but want treatment with braces to start before the wedding, bride braces are a great option. The fact that they are nearly invisible means that the bride can flash her full smile for the wedding photos. Because clear braces are nearly invisible, the most common patients to request them tend to be teens and adults who don’t want everyone to know they are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are one of the least common of all orthodontic treatments. They are an extremely specialized service that we provide here at Valderrama Orthodontics. Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces in that they are made with metal brackets and metal wire. However, lingual braces are affixed to the back of the teeth, so they are out of sight.

Even though they are less common, lingual braces are a great option for teens and adult patients who don’t want other people to know they are having their teeth straightened. Unlike clear braces, lingual braces are truly invisible to others, since they are attached to the backs of the teeth.

In some cases, lingual braces have a major advantage over traditional braces. Lingual braces are able to achieve certain orthodontic outcomes that are not possible with traditional or clear braces. As one example, lingual braces can be used to open up a deep overbite. They use a more complex wire pattern, so they are able to achieve significant shifts in the teeth that are not possible with traditional braces.

One downside to lingual braces is that they can impact a patient’s speech for the first two weeks or so. The patient will be able to feel the braces with their tongue, which can be uncomfortable at first. The speech issues and tongue discomfort will fade away in a couple of weeks as the patient gets used to having them on the backs of their teeth.

Call Us for a Braces Appointment in Melbourne

Contact one of our affordable orthodontist practices in Suntree, Viera, or Rockledge to schedule an appointment. Call 321-425-5050 or email us at newpatient@valderramaortho.com and make an appointment for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Valderrama and her team.  We take most insurance and are actually in-network with them, we are open on Fridays and Saturdays and treat you as our own family. Come see us today.

How Drinking Water Influences Your Teeth

Water is the most basic thing in the whole world that people need to consume for survival. Unfortunately, when you go to the store, there are countless other beverages to consume from coffee to sports drinks and more. All of these drinks aren’t as good for you as water, especially when it comes to the health of your teeth. Those pearly whites need water for so many reasons. When you don’t get enough water, it can affect your teeth in a very negative way.


At our Suntree, Viera, and Rockledge orthodontic practices, the team at Valderrama Orthodontics sees the effects that not drinking enough water can have on teeth. Let’s look at how drinking water influences your tooth structure, and why it’s so important to get H2O each day. Our goal is to specialize in perfect smiles at our orthopedic dentist office. Water can definitely help you get there.


Water Consumption Keeps Your Mouth Clean


Here’s a big part of why water is so important for your entire mouth. During the day and night, bacteria grows inside your mouth. There are extra food particles hanging around after you eat, as well. Of course, brushing and flossing helps to get rid of bacteria and food debris, but drinking water throughout the day helps to rinse off bad bacteria and tiny food particles that are otherwise going to get stuck to your teeth and gums.


Plaque won’t build up in the mouth as much when you get in the habit of drinking a lot of water each day. You’ll also notice that your smile is brighter when you drink water after eating or drinking anything that may stain your teeth, like coffee or wine. Just a few simple swigs can help to rinse off the teeth and prevent stains, which can yellow your teeth.


Healthy Tooth Enamel Needs Water


Water contains minerals and fluoride that are necessary for healthy tooth enamel. Drinking water is part of the “remineralization” process that restores and strengthens tooth enamel. Keep in mind that some of these minerals and fluoride aren’t in filtered or bottled water, so make sure you are drinking some tap or mineral water. If not, you may need to explore some fluoride treatments at your orthopedic dentist.


Prevents Dry Mouth


Drinking the right amount of water can help to prevent dry mouth. When you have a dry mouth, it means that you don’t have enough saliva that naturally washes away food particles and bad bacteria. Drinking water can increase healthy saliva amounts, which is beneficial for your mouth and teeth. When you don’t have enough saliva, it can compromise the structure of your teeth, wearing away the enamel and leading to more tooth decay.


How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day


So the big question becomes, how much water should you actually drink each day? According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, it’s 15.5 cups of water or 3.7 liters for men, and 11.5 cups of water or 2.7 liters for women.


A cup is 8 ounces of water. If it helps you keep track of how much water you are drinking, get a large container and fill it up each morning. That will help you get in the habit of watching exactly how much water you are drinking each day. Another smart tip is to bring a portable water container with you wherever you go. You’ll get used to having water on hand to drink throughout the day, which will get you where you need to be with your water drinking levels.


Avoid Beverages That Are Bad for Your Teeth


As much as you probably don’t want to hear this if you are a soda or juice lover, these beverages are terrible for your teeth. That includes all of those sugary coffee drinks, alcohol, wine, and energy drinks.


Anything with excess sugar is going to wear away tooth enamel and can cause cavities in otherwise healthy teeth. You especially want to take care of your teeth when you have gone through the process of having Clear Correct or invisible braces. Once you schedule an appointment with us and are on track for your dream smile, always remember to keep drinking water. So try to increase your water consumption because you’ll be amazed at how much better your teeth will look and perform for you in the long run.

When Can Your Child Get Braces?


Children are often excited to get braces, because they will give them a distinct look while they are installed, and the end result will be a great smile. But what’s the best age for a child to get them? Additionally, how can you tell whether your child might need braces? Your friendly and affordable orthodontist at Valderrama Orthodontics is here to answer those questions!

When Can My Child Get Braces?

Most of a child’s adult teeth need to have erupted before they can be successfully treated with braces. Some molars might not come in until your child is in his or her 20s, so what’s the best age? For most children, the optimal time for braces is between the ages of 9 and 14. They will have lost most of their baby teeth and their adult teeth will be established by then. Some kids are even ready to start treatment at age 8, but that 9 to 14 range is the most common.

The major advantage of treating a child with braces at this age is that their bodies — including their teeth and jaw — are still growing and developing. The teeth are more pliable and can be shifted successfully, with really great results. The teeth “cooperate” more with the orthodontist when kids are in that age range!

This is not to suggest that adults can’t be treated with braces, too. You’ve probably heard of bride braces, invisible braces, and other types of appliances that are meant more for adults. We also have other options like Invisalign that adult patients prefer, since they’re very unobtrusive. We serve a great amount of children when they have the need for braces, but you would be surprised at how many of our patients are adults!

How Can I Tell if My Child Needs Braces?

Some of the signs that a child will need braces are fairly obvious to parents. If the teeth are coming in crooked or if there’s a gap between the teeth, those are obvious things that can be corrected with braces. Other problems that can be treated, such as a misaligned “bite,” are not always as easy to detect.

Ask your child if they feel any discomfort when they bite down on their food, or if they have trouble chewing. These can be warning signs that you will want to tell your orthodontist about.

This is why it’s so important for parents to bring their child in for that first orthodontic visit by age 7. Orthodontists are specially trained to determine how the teeth and jawline are going to develop when those permanent teeth start erupting. Dr. Valderrama will almost always be able to tell you wether your child is going to need braces after this first exam.

Another really important reason for your child’s first appointment is that if an orthodontic problem is identified, early intervention can be of great benefit to your child. For example, if the child will need more space in the jawline to prevent over-crowded adult teeth, some baby teeth can be extracted early to make more room. Sometimes early interventions can even eliminate the need for braces when a child gets older, or reduce the amount of time that they will need to wear them.

What Are the Benefits of Braces for My Child?

The most obvious benefit of braces for your child are that crooked teeth will be straightened, gaps between teeth will be filled, and they will have a dazzling, straight smile. Braces are a life-changing treatment for most kids just because of those things. But there are other benefits as well.

Braces can correct issues like a misaligned bite, which can lead to difficulty chewing their food, speech problems, and bruxism (grinding the teeth). Teeth that have been straightened are easier to brush and floss — for the rest of your child’s life. The teeth are also less likely to rub against each other, which can lead to cavities or infections.

Contact Valderrama Orthodontics

If you think that your child might need treatment with braces, or if it is time for you child’s first visit, contact us to schedule an appointment at our office. We serve patients in the Melbourne, Rockledge, Suntree and Viera areas — and we look forward to meeting you and your child!