Celebrating Dental and Oral Hygiene Month

Oral and Dental Hygiene

How are you celebrating dental hygiene month this year? Dental hygiene month occurs every year in October, and it’s a great month to reevaluate your dental hygiene routine. This is because we tend to eat more sugary foods, snacks, and candy than at any other time of year. Here at Valderrama Orthodontics, our orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Valderrama wants to help you take your dental hygiene to the next level.

Ensuring Good At-Home Oral Hygiene

A healthy mouth, teeth, and gums starts with good at-home oral hygiene. This means choosing the right oral hygiene products for your teeth. Our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama always recommends choosing toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash that has the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval for quality and safety. You may also want to consider using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush. This is because electric toothbrushes with rotating and vibrating heads remove more plaque and food particles from the teeth when used correctly. But be very careful to be very gentle since sometimes the vibration and force from electric toothbrushes can brake brackets while you are in orthodontic treatment.

Next, always brush your teeth in the morning and at night before you go to bed for at least three minutes, and concentrate on reaching every surface of your teeth, including the front, back and biting surfaces. If you wear braces or Invisalign, you will also want to brush your teeth after every meal and when drinking anything that isn’t water.

Taking Your Oral Hygiene to the Next Level 

Along with good at-home oral hygiene and regular teeth cleanings by a dentist, you may need to consider straightening your teeth. When most people think about straightening their teeth, they think about improving the quality of their smiles so that they are not embarrassed every time they open their mouths or uncomfortable about the appearance of their teeth in social situations. However, straightening your teeth is about more than simply improving the way your teeth look. It can also improve your oral hygiene and reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease, as well as oral infections.

The Oral Hygiene Impact of Crooked and Crowded Teeth

When you have severely crooked, misaligned or crowded teeth, you may find it difficult to reach every surface of your teeth, regardless of how much detail you put into brushing and flossing your teeth. Unfortunately, when you miss areas of your teeth, the plaque on your teeth can turn into tartar and collect along your gum line as well as on your teeth. When tartar collection on your teeth, it results in a yellow hue. When tartar collects along your gum line, it can result in gum inflammation, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. You may even have more cavities than expected when you visit your dentist for regular cleanings.

Improving Oral Hygiene with Braces or Invisalign

Teenagers, as well as adults, can straighten their teeth and improve the effectiveness of their oral hygiene routine with a variety of teeth straightening methods, including Invisalign or Clear Correct, traditional braces, clear ceramic braces, and lingual braces. Here is how they differ: 

  • Traditional Braces – silver-colored metal braces affixed to the front of the teeth and attached with a wire.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Clear braces made out of ceramic affixed to the front of the teeth and attached to each other with a metal or white wire.
  • Invisalign and Suresmile – Clear, removable aligning trays that are nearly invisible when worn.
  • Invisalign Teen – Special aligning trays developed for teens that contain a blue wear indicator to ensure they are worn for the proper amount of time each day.
  • Lingual Braces – Metal braces that are attached to the back of the teeth, which are less noticeable than traditional braces.
  • Champagne Braces- New braces available only at Valderrama Orthodontics, gold plated and super nice, less noticeable than silver braces and in totally fashion now!! 

Choosing the Right Way to Straighten Your Teeth

Our Rockledge orthodontist can evaluate the alignment of your jaw and teeth and recommend the right teeth straightening method for your needs. In general, those with mild to moderate teeth alignment problems can use Invisalign, Invisalign Teen or Suresmile. If your problems are more severe and include a severe over, under or crossbite, you may need traditional, clear, champagne or lingual braces.

To learn more about how we can help you straighten your teeth and improve your oral hygiene routine during dental hygiene month this October, contact us online or at 321-425-5050.

 


Problems In Pre-K: A Tooth Story 

Problems in pre-k

When you think about taking your child to the dentist for the first time, you probably think about scheduling an appointment before their first day of preschool to check for cavities and tooth and jaw development. However, young children should visit their local dentist much sooner than the age of four or five.

In fact,we recommend that children first visit a pediatric dentist no later than six months after the first tooth emerges from the gum, or by the age of seven. From that first appointment, young children should visit their pediatric dentist every six to 12 months in order to ensure the teeth and jaw are healthy and developing correctly. Otherwise, they could experience some major complications. 

Parent’s Role In Tooth Development

As a parent, it’s only natural to want the best for your child. Unfortunately, in today’s busy society, many parents aren’t aware that the foods and drinks they give their children can contribute to cavities and tooth decay. Doing your research before you head to the grocery store could prevent you from choosing sugar-filled snacks and treats. Picking up easy, to-go snacks might sound like a simple solution to curb appetite till lunch or dinner, but snacks like nuts, pretzels, and even dried fruit can cause a cracked or chipped tooth.

Being proactive about preventative dentistry and establishing a morning and nighttime oral health routine can create healthy habits from a young age. When you wake up, a thin, slippery film forms over your teeth, this is known as a biofilm. While biofilm is normal, and almost everyone has experienced it upon waking up, this slimy substance can create dental plaque quickly in children if left on for a prolonged period of time. Be sure to monitor your child’s oral health routine until they are old enough to brush properly and reach all the nooks and crannies. 

Habits That Could Be Harming Your Child

Thumb sucking is a habit that many children do when they are young. While you may think that they will eventually grow out of it, it’s best to deter thumb sucking early on. Typically, thumb sucking is something your child might start doing around six or seven months and can last till they are about two to four years old. It’s best to stop this habit before they turn one to ensure they don’t develop protruding teeth or an overbite. Pacifiers can also leave your child with protruding teeth, it’s best to limit your child’s pacifier use around the age of two and completely eliminating it when they turn four. Young children should visit their local dentist much sooner than the age of four or five. 

Food and Drinks That Contribute to Pediatric Dental Problems 

We aren’t saying you should completely cut out certain foods and drinks to protect your child’s teeth, but you should be limiting the consumption or amount of times your child eats or drinks the following: 

  • Sour or Hard Candy
  • Ice
  • Soda
  • Sugar-Filled Juices
  • Bread Or Heavy Starches
  • Citrus
  • Potato Chips

By limiting the amount of sugar your child consumes, you can ensure that they aren’t doing harm to their bodies and teeth. You can opt for healthier snacks that will prevent your child from getting cracked or chipped teeth, tooth decay, or the need for dental extractions like:

  • Water
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Cheese
  • Carrots
  • Leafy Greens
  • Tea

Preventing Tooth Problems in Pre-K and Beyond with Valderrama Orthodontics

If you wish to help your child avoid problems down the road, it’s extremely important to schedule your child’s first visit after their first tooth emerges. From that point forward, we recommend scheduling pediatric dental appointments every six months to help keep your child’s teeth clean and to make sure his or her jaw is developing correctly.

Once your child turns seven, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama to evaluate your child’s growth and development and to make sure that the eruption of the permanent dentition is going well. This is especially important if you’ve noticed crooked teeth, crossbites or a protruding upper or lower jaw. Also, if your child has a habit like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting or if you notice mouth breathing, clenching and snoring. With early treatment and orthodontic intervention, your child may be able to avoid braces.  It can also reduce the amount of time they have to wear braces or invisible aligners to straighten their teeth and correct jaw alignment problems.

To schedule your child’s first appointment with our orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama at our Suntree/Viera office, contact us online or give us a call at 321-425-5050 today!

 


Are The DIY Orthodontics I See On Social Media Safe?  

DIY Orthodontics

DIY orthodontics, like “make your own braces at home,” are currently a worrying trend on some social media platforms. Many kids who are desperate to get a straighter smile attempt these DIY braces using tutorial videos online – and end up with extremely bad results. DIY orthodontics are never safe. Keep reading to find out why.

They Don’t Move Your Teeth The Right Way

Moving your teeth is a complex job because it involves not just the teeth, but also the gums, ligaments, and bone in your jaw. Braces and clear aligners like Invisalign Teen, Clear Correct, Suresmile and other teeth straightening options at Valderrama Orthodontics moves your teeth using highly specific plans designed by expert orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama. Only with extensive and meticulous pre-planning can your teeth move without damaging their underlying structures. When you get braces at Valderrama Orthodontics, the teeth movement is incremental.

However, if you have DIY braces, the movement is often far too forceful and sudden. Teens are using items from around the house to make DIY braces. These include items such as earring posts, fishing line, and super glue. This can certainly bring about tooth movement, but it’s not healthy or safe, and it definitely will cost you more in the long run to correct the problem. Many kids who got DIY orthodontics found themselves with unexpected changes, often making their bite problem far worse than it was to begin with.

When DIY Orthodontics Actually Start Moving Your Teeth

Sometimes, DIY orthodontics also trigger infections, gum disease, and tooth decay. It’s common for the “brackets” or fishing line to shift and get embedded in the gums if you are doing it yourself and aren’t being supervised by an orthodontic specialist. 

If DIY orthodontics actually stay in place, it’s usually because the wearer has used a large amount of highly damaging super glue on their tooth enamel. This can destroy enamel quickly, and has the potential to result in tooth loss eventually. Even worse, when their orthodontic treatment is over, they will have ruined enamel encrusted with super glue and uneven textures. 

Why Some People Turn To DIY Orthodontics 

Many kids only need to wear braces, Invisalign, Clear Correct, or lingual braces for around one to two years total. If you wait until adulthood to straighten your teeth, the cost might be higher because you might need to wear them longer. 

Some young people say that they tried DIY orthodontics because they don’t have the money to get braces, Invisalign, or Clear Correct. As a parent, you might think that paying for braces is impossible right now, but you might not know about all your options. Find out if you’d be a good candidate for clear aligners here

Determining Damage Done By DIY Orthodontics

Be sure to caution your child about the dangers of DIY orthodontics. They might see examples of DIY braces online and think it’s a great new trend, never realizing the serious harm that could come from it.

First, it’s important to schedule an initial consultation with your orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama, about exactly what your child actually needs in terms of bite correction. All initial consultations and dental record reviews are free. 

Dr. Valderrama’s main priority is preventative dentistry and helping to prevent problems before they start to save you time, money, and headaches down the road. She works with many insurance providers to be able to provide you with caring, compassionate dental care with your kid’s best interest in mind. 

If you can’t afford to pay for braces all at once, there are affordable financing options available that might suit your family’s budget perfectly.

Straightening Your Smile Without DIY Orthodontics

In the end, DIY orthodontics can cost you a lot more money than they’ll save you. If your child attempts DIY orthodontics, the odds of serious and lasting tooth, gum, and bone damage are very high. Correcting those problems could take many years of intensive and highly complex orthodontic care.

Valderrama Orthodontics is a Melbourne, Florida orthodontic care provider serving patients of all ages. From early treatment to preteen orthodontic evaluations all the way to braces for adults, Dr. Valderrama and the team are here to help you and your family get the very best orthodontic care. Get in touch using the online messaging system, or call the office at 321.425. 5050  to book your orthodontic consultation today!

 


Am I A Good Candidate For Clear Aligners?  

Clear Aligners

Are you considering straightening your teeth, but are hesitant because you don’t want a mouth full of metal? Today’s teeth straightening procedures have evolved past metal brackets and wires to clear aligners. These are virtually invisible and can be taken out to eat, drink, and for important social occasions, like interviews and first dates.

How Clear Aligners Work

Clear aligners work by straightening your teeth in stages. You will receive several aligners that are meant to be worn for about two weeks. They work fastest when they are worn 20 hours a day, preferably 22 hours a day. This means you will have to wear them while sleeping. At the end of each two week period, you’ll move to the next aligner in your series. Of course, it depends on how your treatment plan is structured and how fast your teeth respond to the aligners. 

Most teens and adults can expect treatment to last between 18 months and 2 years, which is similar to traditional braces. You’ll also see your orthodontist usually about every eight weeks in order to check on your progress. 

Good Candidates for Invisalign

Invisalign offers two products; Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. Teen is geared for teens, while Invisalign is used for adults. In general, Invisalign is designed to correct crooked teeth, crowded teeth, inconsistently gapped teeth, underbites, and overbites that are being caused by teeth that slant inward or outward. While everyone might not be a good candidate, the following people are:

You Had Braces as a Teen and Your Teeth Started to Move Again

If you had braces as a teenager but your teeth look like they are starting to shift again due to lack of wearing your retainer, you are a good candidate for clear aligners. In many instances, individuals got braces during high school, worn their retainers for a few years, and stopped wearing them because their teeth looked great. Usually, this results in the teeth starting to shift back to their previous positions. Clear aligners can help straighten teeth that moved.

You’ve Developed an Under, Over, or Crossbite that’s Cause by Slanted Teeth

Teeth that protrude into the mouth and toward the lips can create underbites, overbites, and crossbites that affect your ability to chew food. You may even frequently bite the insides of your mouth. Invisalign or ClearCorrect can help shift the teeth so that they are completely vertical.

Your Teeth Are Crowded, Gapped, or Crooked

These aligners work to correct teeth that are crowded, inconsistently gapped, and crooked. Teeth that suffer from these issues can be hard to clean properly, leading to an over-abundance of cavities and instances of gum disease. These clear appliances can help move the teeth to their proper locations and make-at-home oral hygiene easier.

What Happens If I’m Not a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

Severe underbites, overbites, and other issues, like cavities and gum disease, may need additional treatments before undergoing Invisalign. If your case is extremely severe, clear braces or lingual braces may be recommended by your orthodontist that may prove to be a better option. This way, you’ll still be able to achieve a nearly invisible orthodontic treatment plan while still achieving straighter teeth. 

Lingual braces are a great option for those who don’t make a good candidate for Invisalign. These braces go on the inside of your teeth and are virtually invisible. Only you and your orthodontist will be able to tell that you’re wearing braces. Clear braces are another great alternative. These braces are comparable to the traditional braces you may be familiar with seeing, but these come in a clear form. 

Find Out If You’d Make A Good Candidate For Clear Aligners

Before finding out if you are a good candidate, you will want to come in for an initial consultation and dental digital records. During this visit, our orthodontist will examine your mouth, look for cavities and signs of gum disease, or other problems that may need to be corrected prior to getting your clear aligners. If there are no problems, Dr. Valderrama will make a diagnosis and a treatment plan with the 3D digital images of your teeth and send the images and paperwork to the laboratory so that your clear aligners can be custom created. 

Once they arrive, Dr. Valderrama will schedule another appointment to explain the treatment plan to you. Afterward, you will wear your aligners between 20 and 22 hours a day, switching aligners about every two weeks and receiving follow-up appointments every six to eight weeks.

At Valderrama Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Suresmile and ClearCorrect for adults and teenagers. If we determine that you are not a good fit for these clear appliances, there is no reason to leave disappointed or frustrated. Dr. Valderrama can offer you an orthodontic treatment plan, like lingual or clear braces, that can give you the same result, with little to no impact on your smile. 

Ready to start the summer with a smile you’ll love forever? Contact Dr. Valderrama Today To at 321-425-5050 to Schedule Your Initial Consultation!


The Value of Prevention Dentistry and Orthodontics  

children dentist

You probably know that you should take your infant to see a general dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts. But, did you know you should also schedule a prevention dentistry appointment with an orthodontist for early treatment before the time your child reaches seven years old?

Having early orthodontic treatment can correct many problems you may not necessarily associate with teeth alignment. Maintaining good oral health – including the overall alignment of your teeth – can prevent many problems that can follow your child into adulthood.

The Consequences of Not Seeing An Orthodontist for Prevention Dentistry

There are many causes and reasons why an airway can be obstructed. This can cause snoring as well as breathing problems both in childhood and as an adult. As a result of an obstructed airway many malocclusions can develop in the future. An orthodontist can evaluate, identify and help correct some of these problems early so your child does not develop worse orthodontic problems later in life. In many cases, correcting those causes will also decrease or eliminate clenching, snoring and other breathing issues that occur during sleep.

Overcrowded teeth could be another consequence of not seeing an orthodontist early on. An overcrowded mouth makes it difficult to floss properly, which can lead to restorative treatment for cavities, gum disease, fillings, crowns, and even root canals.

Teeth that aren’t aligned properly don’t bite together correctly. When teeth don’t have the right “bite,” the teeth can wear badly, causing long-term damage to the enamel. Since enamel protects the outer layer of your teeth, it’s imperative to keep it intact, as it does not grow back once the damage is done.

Avoid Costly Procedures and Painful Treatments In the Future

Your child may still have some baby teeth, and yes, you may not think your child needs a lot of orthodontic treatment. However, getting started at a young age will keep many issues from occurring, which can be costly and painful to address later in life.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of seven. Some parents even hold off on considering orthodontic treatment until puberty, which can affect their dental development.

Even if the child still has baby teeth, he or she should have some permanent teeth in place. That’s why at Valderrama Orthodontics, we recommend starting early orthodontic treatment as soon as we identify those problems that can be corrected by early intervention.

Getting your child in early can help prevent his oral health from negatively affecting other parts of his body. Additionally, many parents will seek treatments like speech therapy to help improve a child’s speech. When in actuality, the problem that is causing the speech impediment may be due to a simple anatomical oral problem, like a short lingual frenum or enlarged tonsils or an obstructed airway.

Address Issues Needing Immediate Correction and Discover Which Ones Can Wait

An orthodontist can assess your child’s developing teeth and jaws. The records gathered in this first consultation visit will help determine your child’s dental and orthodontic treatment for the future. If you have a particular concern about your child’s developing mouth, you can certainly see us sooner than the recommended age of seven.

Preventative orthodontic treatment includes many of the same aspects of teen and adult orthodontic treatment plans. Treatment may call for fixed or removable appliances that move the teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold your child’s teeth in place. Some baby teeth may also be removed to help permanent teeth come in straighter and easier.

Following the orthodontic evaluation, one of three things will occur.

  • Your child will need treatment immediately by our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama or by another provider that she will refer you to.
  • Your child will need treatment at some point in the future and Dr. Valderrama will follow up the development of your child with future periodic visits.
  • Your child will likely not need orthodontic treatment.

If treatment is recommended, we have a variety of tools and services that can help treat overbites, underbites, crowding, missing teeth, and congenital problems with the jaw or teeth.

Treatment Options

Preventative dentistry and orthodontics are aimed to help you educate and inform your children about the importance of oral health, and how it impacts your entire body.

Along with clear aligners like Invisalign, Suresmile, and  ClearCorrect, Valderrama Orthodontics also offers Incognito lingual braces, which sit on the back of the teeth and are essentially invisible when you smile.  

Have questions about the importance of preventative orthodontic treatment and dentistry? Dr. Valderrama offers complimentary consultations, record reviews, and customized treatment plans, regardless of your insurance. Dr. Valderrama’s goal is to help prevent problems before they begin to exist. Take care of your little one’s oral health at an early age!

Contact Us Today!

 


Choosing an Orthodontic Treatment That is Right for Your Child

Orthodontic Girl

The days of only having one option for orthodontic treatment are a thing of the past. Currently, there are half a dozen different options available. Valderrama Orthodontics understands how having so many different treatment options to choose from can make preparing for braces stressful.

To help relieve some of your stress, we have created a comprehensive guide that explains the various types of orthodontic treatment options. While this guide won’t help you make a final decision, it will help you better understand what options you have available to you.

An Overview of the Different Types of Orthodontic Treatment Appliances Available

On a very basic level, all early orthodontic treatment options are designed to improve your child’s smile, prevent future problems, and intervene before their smile gets worse. They will all shift or move their teeth to a new position. The difference between them is the type of braces or aligners (appliances) your orthodontist uses to make the treatment work. This includes how they work, the type of maintenance that is involved, and what problems they can correct.

The different types of orthodontic treatment appliances that are available to your child include:

  • Traditional braces – these are the ones that include the metal wires, colorful brackets bonded to the teeth, and sometimes rubber bands.
  • Ceramic braces – these are similar to traditional braces, but instead of using brackets and wires that are visible, they use clear-translucent brackets to make it less noticeable.
  • Clear aligner trays (like Invisalign) – using a series of customized clear aligner trays that can be quickly and easily removed, your teeth are shifted and moved to their new position.

The Type of Problems that are Corrected with Each Orthodontic Appliance Option

The biggest factor that will determine what type of orthodontic appliance is right for your child is what types of problems need to be corrected. The following are some examples of what types of problems each orthodontic treatment appliance corrects:

  • Invisalign – can help shift teeth back to their proper position, close gaps and help with overcrowding. However, cannot help with issues that involve alignment of the jaw, as the aligner trays do not correct the placement of the jaw.
  • Metal or clear braces – can help with all types of orthodontic problems including anything that involves jaw or bite issues. These braces are often recommended for severe orthodontic problems where the teeth need to be moved large distances or when the teeth need to be rotated.

Responsibility and Commitment Play a Huge Role in Which Orthodontic Treatment Appliance to Choose

Undergoing orthodontic treatment is a huge commitment for both you and your child. You have to attend all ongoing orthodontic appointments every six to eight weeks. Additionally, your child must make a commitment to regularly floss and brush their teeth, gums, and other orthodontic devices.

Some things to consider include:

  • Busy lifestyle – If your child takes part in a lot of activities and cannot commit to regular office appointments, you may want to look into Invisalign, which has fewer office appointments and brushing and flossing are easier.
  • Unable to follow through with instructions – if your child tends to be forgetful, it may be better to go with a more fixed orthodontic treatment, such as traditional braces or ceramic braces. These treatment options cannot be removed which reduces the likelihood that your child will lose their orthodontic device or forget to change the Invisalign trays out.

Regardless of which orthodontic treatment is chosen, you will still need to stress to your child the importance of keeping appointments. If appointments are not kept, orthodontic treatment can be delayed. That means you have to wear braces or aligner trays longer than expected.

Work with an Orthodontist to Find the Best Treatment for Your Child

Even if they have their heart set on a specific type of treatment plan, it may not be right for them. By working closely with Dr. Natalia Valderrama orthodontist,  you will be able to learn more about the different options and find out which one will be able to get your child the results. 

A trusted Orthodontist, like Dr. Valderrama, will also help make sure that whatever orthodontic treatment appliance is chosen won’t interfere with your child’s favorite activities, hobbies, or day-to-day life.

Contact the office of Valderrama Orthodontics today to schedule an orthodontic treatment consultation. Our orthodontic consultations include an oral exam, digital x-rays, and a one-on-one private consultation to find the best plan for your child.


How Puberty Affects Your Dental Development  

Smiling Braces

At the onset of puberty, your body will be going through a lot of physical and emotional changes. What you may not realize is that in addition to these changes, you are also experiencing changes to your oral and dental health.

Learn more about some of the changes you will experience during the onset of puberty.

Healthy Gums May Start to Bleed or Become Extremely Sensitive

Before puberty, your gums may have been a nice, healthy pink color and they will rarely bleed. That all changes once puberty starts.

Once puberty begins, you may start to experience symptoms of gum disease. When you brush or floss, you may start to notice your gums bleed and you may experience some pain, sensitivity, and discomfort. You may also notice that your nice, healthy pink gums now have a bright red, swollen appearance.

These gum problems happen as a result of the hormonal changes you are experiencing. The increase of very specific types of hormones to the body results in the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease.

Permanent Teeth Have Usually Fully Developed

The start of puberty often coincides with when your permanent teeth fully grow in. If your permanent teeth are properly aligned and don’t appear overcrowded, you may not experience a problem. However, if the teeth grew in crooked or misaligned, it can cause a number of problems.

Some problems that can develop as a result include:

  • Issues with confidence and self-esteem – you may feel self-conscious if your teeth do not appear “normal” and they look like they are shifted, misaligned, or crooked.
  • Issues with speaking – misaligned teeth or improper jaw alignment can cause you to experience difficulty pronouncing words or speaking.
  • Problems with eating or chewing – this can cause you to experience problems if you need to eat around friends or other people as you may be self-conscious about the problems you have biting.
  • Oral health problems – cavities, bad breath, or missing teeth can all happen as a result of food becoming stuck between misaligned teeth. Even if you get all the food unstuck from between your teeth, overlapped or crooked teeth can make it difficult for you to properly clean your teeth. This can result in dental problems forming, even if you brush and floss regularly.

How to Prevent Dental Problems from Occurring During Puberty

Most of the dental problems you start to experience during puberty can be corrected. Some of the ways you can prevent these dental problems from occurring include:

  • Brushing your teeth at least three times a day
  • Flossing daily
  • Learning proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques
  • Using the right toothbrush – a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Scheduling regular dental checkups every three to six months
  • Following through with any recommended dental treatments
  • Getting a professional dental cleaning three to six months
  • Mentioning any current dental problems to your dentist
  • Scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist to see if there are any development problems that could be corrected with orthodontic treatment
  • Using a toothpaste that is designed for tooth sensitivity can help with any issues caused by hormonal changes

Some in-office treatment options that may be recommended to help with any dental issues caused by puberty include:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Fillings of any cavities that formed
  • Professional dental cleanings
  • Deep cleanings
  • Orthodontic treatment to correct bite and tooth alignment or placement

Schedule a Consultation with Valderrama Orthodontics

Scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist right around the time your child starts puberty is a great idea. This consultation will allow you to see how their teeth and jaw are growing and developing, and help you gain a better understanding of any treatment that may be needed.

Scheduling a consultation during this time can also help make treatment easier as many orthodontic problems are easier to correct in their early stages.

Call the office of Valderrama Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation. Our orthodontist will assess how your teeth and jaw are growing and provide you with treatment recommendations.

 


5 Ways to Get Comfortable with Your New Braces  

There is no way around it, it’s going to be a bit uncomfortable and somewhat painful when you first get your braces. While the entire experience will eventually get better, the first few days or even weeks are going to be filled with discomfort, soreness, tenderness, and pain. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make things more comfortable for you while wearing braces.

Tip #1 – Keep Yourself Hydrated

Keep yourself hydrated, it’s that simple. Staying hydrated will make wearing braces more comfortable. The coolness of the water can reduce any inflammation from the brackets or wires. Water will work as a temporary pain reliever, numbing agent, and anti-inflammatory. 

Water will also prevent your mouth from becoming extremely dry. Braces can cause small cuts on the cheeks and gums if the mouth is too dry. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your mouth from getting sore or damaged. 

Tip #2 – Rinse Your Mouth With Warm Salt Water

Combining a half teaspoon of salt with warm water can help you naturally relieve any pain and discomfort you experience in the first few days of wearing your braces. The warm water and salt rinse work to reduce inflammation. This makes things more comfortable for you by relieving some of your pain.

Tip #3 – Don’t Eat Crunchy or Hard Foods

Pecans, almonds, and hard candy should be avoided when you have braces. Your entire mouth is going to be sore and painful the first few days after getting braces. It’s recommended that you stick to only eating soft foods that require little to no chewing.

Eating soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, smoothies, and yogurt, will reduce the pain and discomfort you experience. It’s due to the fact that you’re not moving your mouth and jaw around a lot or as much. Limiting mouth and jaw movement will give you time to adjust to wearing braces. It also allows your teeth, gums, and mouth to naturally heal and adjust to the braces so that you experience less pain and discomfort.

Tip #4 – Try Eating Cold Foods

Just like water, the coolness of certain foods like frozen yogurt, ice cream, or popsicles can help reduce any gum swelling you experience when your braces are first put on. Try to incorporate these foods into your daily diet for the first few days as it will help reduce inflammation and even relieve some of your pain.

Tip #5 – Learn How to Use the Items in Your Orthodontic Kit

Every person who wears braces will have a small orthodontic kit that contains helpful tools and items. Learning how to properly use the items can help you reduce any pain or discomfort you experience. This will not only sooth the pain in the first few days of wearing braces, but also throughout the entire course of your orthodontic treatment.

Using your Orthodontic Kit

Some of the items that can be found in an orthodontic kit that will help any discomfort include:

  • Orthodontic wax – can be used to add a layer of padding to any sharp points or edges that can be found on your wires or brackets. Orthodontic wax is also helpful if your brackets or wires break throughout the course of your treatment. The wax can be put on the broken bracket or wire so the sharp parts don’t stick or poke your gums or cheeks.
  • Lip gloss or lip balm – protects your lips from getting cracked or scratched by your braces
  • Dental flossfloss helps remove any food that may be stuck in your braces. Stuck food can often cause pain and discomfort, especially when you get new braces.

Valderrama Orthodontist wants to make sure that every patient has a positive experience with wearing braces. That is why we take the time to make sure that each of our patients learns valuable tips and tricks that will reduce any pain and discomfort.

Have any additional questions about how to reduce pain and discomfort associated with wearing braces? Feel free to contact our office and ask any questions you may have. Our staff will try to help you find comfort in your new braces. 

 


What to Do if You Lose Your Retainer

Mouth Retainer Girl

In a perfect world, you would always keep your orthodontic retainer nearby and never lose it. Unfortunately, things don’t always work that way and there is a good chance that at some point you will lose your retainer. Learn why your retainer is so important and what you need to do if you should lose it.

Why is Your Retainer an Important Part of Your Orthodontic Care?

After months and months of dealing with uncomfortable wires and stiff brackets, you have finally entered the last stage of your orthodontic treatment – wearing a retainer. This part of your orthodontic treatment may not seem like it does much, but it is one of the most important parts of your orthodontic care.

It is extremely important because it helps you keep your teeth straight and perfect. The braces with wires and brackets that you wore helped to shift and move your teeth into their new proper position. Unfortunately, your teeth will not stay in their new position and will naturally want to shift back to their “old” position. The retainer you wear helps to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their old position.

How Long Do You Have to Wear Your Retainer?

If you had orthodontic treatment,  you will always have to wear a retainer. As long as you want your teeth to stay the same way as they looked when the braces were removed. But the length of time that you will have to wear your retainer per day will vary from person to person. Some people will need to wear their retainer regularly for 12 to 15 hours per day, others would only need them for 8 to 10 hours per night.  

Everyone needs to wear retainers regularly to prevent their teeth from shifting back into their old position.

Don’t Panic if You Lose Your Retainer

It is important that you don’t panic if you lose your retainer. While it is an important part of your orthodontic care, you won’t experience problems if you are unable to wear it for few days or a week.

It usually takes a few weeks of not wearing your retainer for your teeth to shift back to their old position. So, as long as you get a replacement retainer relatively quick you won’t have to wear  braces again in order to fix your smile.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Orthodontist to Get a Replacement Retainer

A replacement retainer can be ordered through your orthodontist. Depending upon how long ago you got your retainer, you may be able to just call your orthodontist’s office and order a new retainer. However, if it has been a while since you got your retainer, you may need to come into the office and have measurements taken for a new retainer.

Retainers May Feel Tight the First Few Weeks with the New Retainer

The first few weeks of wearing your new retainer you may notice that they feel tighter and a bit uncomfortable. This is completely normal. The retainer feels uncomfortable and a bit tight because your teeth have started to shift. The retainer is gently guiding them back to their proper position.

If you don’t want to deal with any potential discomfort from your new retainer, you will want to replace your lost one as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get a replacement retainer, the more time your teeth will have to shift and you have a higher chance of experiencing slight discomfort.

Tips for Preventing the Loss of Your Retainer

There is no guaranteed way to prevent you from losing your retainer. However, there are some things you can do to lessen your chances of losing your removable retainer. Some things you can do to prevent yourself from losing your retainer include:

  • Never wrapping it in tissue as it could accidentally get thrown out
  • Keep it stored in the same place. For example, store it on a table next to your bed or in the bathroom.
  • Keep it stored in the protective case when you aren’t wearing it.
  • Try to keep to a schedule when wearing it. This helps you create a routine and lessens your chances of misplacing it.

Recently lost your retainer and in need of a new one? Call Valderrama Orthodontics to schedule an appointment to get a new retainer or to place an order for a new one.  


Why We Recommend Starting Early Orthodontic Treatment

Why We Recommend Starting Early Orthodontic Treatment

Timing is everything when it comes to orthodontic treatment for your child. Some orthodontic problems can wait for several years before being addressed – slightly crooked or gapped teeth can be fixed with tooth straightening or other cosmetic dental procedures at nearly any age. Other orthodontic problems become more difficult to address over time. In some cases, dental professionals recommend early orthodontic treatment.

Early treatment means that the orthodontist provides treatment while the patient still has some baby teeth. Orthodontists also refer to it as an interceptive treatment because it addresses problems in their earliest stages before they can pose a serious problem.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests every child has his or her first checkup with an orthodontist by the age of 7 years. By this age, there are permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the child’s developing teeth and jaws. This early evaluation can provide a wealth of information that can guide the child’s dental and orthodontic care for years. Of course, a child should see an orthodontist earlier than the age of 7 if an orthodontic problem develops sooner.

What to Expect at the Checkup

The initial checkup will likely have one of three outcomes:

  • No immediate treatment is necessary, and treatment will not likely be needed in the future
  • The orthodontist will recommend treatment in the future and follow the child periodically, as the child’s face and jaws continue to grow and develop
  • The orthodontist spots a problem that could benefit from early treatment

Orthodontists have the training and skills needed to spot subtle problems, even in young children. They can also perform a wide variety of procedures to address these problems early when the issues are more likely to respond positively to treatment.

Early Orthodontic Treatment Goals

Early orthodontic treatment has a number of goals. Orthodontists can guide the growth of a child’s jaw, for example, or guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position. This early treatment can improve appearance and improve the way the child’s lips meet. Early orthodontic treatment can correct harmful oral habits, and even lower the risk of trauma associated with protruding front teeth too.

While most orthodontic problems benefit from treatment after all the patient’s permanent teeth have come in, there are some issues that become more serious over time. The goals of early treatment are to detect developing problems, eliminate the root cause of an orthodontic issue, guide the growth of a child’s facial and jaw bones, and to provide enough space for the incoming permanent teeth.

Some patients who receive early orthodontic treatment require a second course of treatment later after all their permanent teeth have come in.

Orthodontic Problems that Benefit from Early Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment effectively addresses several orthodontic problems, such as:

  • Underbite – when the child’s lower front teeth sit ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbite – when the patient’s jaw shifts to one side
  • Very crowded teeth, which can push each other out of place or damage teeth
  • Excessively spaced teeth that cause gaps between the teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Habits, such as thumb sucking, finger sucking or use of a pacifier, which affect the teeth or jaw growth
  • Inherited orthodontic problems
  • Injuries from accidents
  • Orthodontic problems resulting from dental disease or abnormal swallowing

Early orthodontic treatment is an umbrella term that covers many procedures. Early treatment may include the use of a fixed or removable appliance that moves teeth, changes the position or the jaw or holds teeth in place to bring about desirable changes. Early orthodontic treatment may involve the removal of some baby teeth to help permanent teeth come in easier and straighter.

 

For more information about starting early orthodontic treatment, consult with your child’s dentist or with Dr. Natalia Valderrama, our orthodontist and dentofacial orthopedist at Valderrama orthodontics in Suntree. She has more than 20 years of dental and medical experience and can answer any questions you might have regarding with child’s growth and development. Her consultations are complimentary! Keep in mind that early orthodontic treatment can give your child something to smile about for the rest of his or her life. Remember – timing is everything when it comes to early orthodontic treatment.