What are Lingual Braces and How do They Differ From Traditional Braces?  

Lingual Braces

The very first braces were created nearly 300 years ago, flat pieces of metal connected to one another with a thread. Modern technology has tremendously improved its design in recent years, making braces more effective, more durable, more comfortable to wear, and less visible. In response to people increasingly wanting “invisible” braces to improve their smiles, today there are a number of alternatives to traditional braces. You may have heard of clear aligners like Invisalign, or even clear ceramic braces, but there may be some options you aren’t familiar with, such as lingual braces. 

What Are Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces work exactly the same way as traditional metal braces, with brackets affixed directly to the teeth and connected by wires. However, lingual braces have one very unique difference: They are placed on the backs of the teeth facing the tongue, rendering them almost completely invisible.

Despite their special placement, lingual braces correct teeth misalignment in the same way as traditional braces, by putting consistent but light pressure on the teeth to gradually move them. The metal wires do most of the actual moving, while the brackets have the important function of holding those wires in place.

Lingual vs. Traditional Braces: What’s The Difference?

For all their similarities to traditional metal braces, lingual braces do have some distinct differences that should be taken into consideration.

  • Placement – Aside from the fact that lingual braces sit behind the teeth, they also differ from traditional braces in how they’re actually placed. Where traditional braces are made of standard-sized brackets that are placed on each individual tooth, lingual braces are custom-fit to each person’s mouth and all the brackets are placed at once using a specialized tray.
  • Adjustment period – There is a bit of discomfort when someone is getting used to wearing any type of orthodontic care. Because lingual braces directly interact with the tongue, it may be difficult to speak and swallow when you first get them, though these challenges lessen over time.
  • Day-to-day care – Although keeping your teeth clean is always important – especially when you wear braces – it’s even more so when it comes to lingual braces. Food particles frequently get trapped in the brackets and wires, and because you can’t easily see behind your teeth, more diligence is required when brushing and caring for lingual braces.

Who’s A Good Candidate For Lingual Braces?

The first thing to know when considering lingual braces is that not everyone who wants them is physically able to wear them. The teeth have to be long enough for the brackets to be affixed to their backsides, which rules out many children and in some cases, adults whose teeth are on the smaller side. People with severe bite issues, such as having a deep overbite, are also unable to wear lingual braces.

Lingual braces are an excellent choice for many older children, teens, and adults who are self-conscious about the look of traditional braces. According to Harvard Medical School, one in five people who get braces are adults, which may at least partially explain why lingual braces are growing in popularity.

Ultimately, there are a number of individual factors that contribute to whether or not someone is an ideal candidate for lingual braces, and the best way to determine that is to schedule a consultation with an experienced orthodontist who can help you decide if your lifestyle, oral health, and overall desired results make you a good candidate for lingual braces. 

Talking To Your Orthodontist

As you’re comparing lingual and traditional braces for yourself or someone in your family, the most important thing to note is that one is not necessarily better than the other; they are simply different options. Knowing that lingual braces come with increased responsibility in terms of dental hygiene, they are an excellent choice for those patients willing to accept that responsibility.

If you have any questions or are ready to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne today. We have flexible appointments to help your family prioritize dental care. We specialize in perfect healthy beautiful smiles and can’t wait to help you with yours! Call us today to get started! 321.425.5050


What Are The Different Types of Malocclusion?

Child with Malocclusion at Orthodontist

Not all smiles are created equally. There are a number of factors that come into play during the development of your child’s teeth before, during, and after they erupt. When you lose baby teeth, your smile changes drastically, and your adult teeth can even come in different than your baby teeth. While your teeth serve to help you chew, eat, drink, and even speak as you grow older, an improper bite can cause a number of problems for patients in the future if they don’t get it corrected earlier on. This is why many parents turn to orthodontics for help with malocclusions.

What Are Malocclusions?

The term ‘malocclusion’ simply means that the patient’s bite is misaligned. This means that the jaw and the teeth do not line up properly. When teeth are misaligned, there can be additional stress on the jaw and you may experience difficulty eating or speaking. The good news is that this condition is very treatable. But before looking for ways to treat a misaligned bite, it’s important to understand the different types of malocclusions and how they could be affecting your oral health overall.

Types of Malocclusion

Malocclusions are more common than you might think. In fact, according to ScienceDaily, one in every five people have some sort of misalignment in their teeth. Here are the three types of dental misalignments:

Class I: Overlap

The first type of malocclusion is frequently called the overlap. This is where the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth, but otherwise the bite is normal. There are many causes for this condition including prolonged thumb sucking and bottle use during infancy. An orthodontic appliance can be used to correct this misalignment. Our orthodontist, Dr. Valerrama, will develop a treatment plan based on the angle of you or your child’s teeth. The three main classifications for this type of malocclusion include:

  • Teeth angling toward the tongue
  • Lower teeth angling in toward the tongue with the upper teeth protruding
  • Upper front teeth slanting toward and tongue and causing crowding among the other teeth

Class II: Overbite

The overbite is classified as when the upper teeth stick out over lower teeth. This affects the alignment of the bite. Orthodontic treatment is generally recommended with an overbite. With treatment and appliances, the overbite can be corrected but it may take some time. Two different overbites are typically seen. This includes when the upper teeth angle in toward the lips and when the upper incisors slant toward the tongue.

Class III: Underbite

An underbite is when the lower teeth protrude further than the upper teeth. In some cases, this can include a cross-bite where there is an overlapping of the upper and bottom teeth. The underbite has three classifications that include:

  • The arch is not normally shaped but the general tooth alignment is good
  • The lower front teeth lean toward the tongue but the upper teeth are properly aligned
  • The lower teeth are in aligned but the upper teeth angle toward the tongue. Often, the upper arch is underdeveloped

Treatment Options

Before beginning any treatment option, an orthodontist, like Dr. V,  will need to make an assessment and go over your lifestyles and any hobbies that could be affected due to orthodontic treatment. This will then help your orthodontist to recommend the best course of treatment to correct the issue. There are many treatment options including Clear Correct, Invisalign Teen and even Champagne-colored braces! Depending on your specific needs and timeline, you will be able to choose which treatment option would best suit you in your everyday life.

Correcting Malocclusions at Valderrama Orthodontics

Valderrama Orthodontics works to provide the best and most comfortable orthodontic care available! With a commitment to providing compassionate dental care, Dr. V and her staff know how important a beautiful smile is, and how it can contribute to your confidence. As a little girl, Dr. V saw the profound impact it had on her when she received orthodontic treatment, so she vowed to become an orthodontist so others could experience it themselves too! That promise lives on today through her practice and every patient that she treats for problems with malocclusions, poor jaw development, and anything in between! Contact us today to see how we can help you smile a little bigger this year!

Orthodontic and Gummy Smiles  

Girl with Gummy Smiles showing Orthodontics

Excessive gingival display, more commonly known as a gummy smile, can affect a person’s ability to smile confidently. An estimated 14 percent of women and seven percent of men have this condition. A person is thought to have a gummy smile if there are three millimeters or more of gum showing when smiling or laughing. 

A gummy smile gives the impression that the teeth are too short and can make a person feel self-conscious. If you’re unhappy with your smile, know that treatment is available. Our orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama can suggest services for treating the appearance of a gummy smile with the help of orthodontics.

What Causes Gummy Smiles?

Improving a gummy smile is primarily based on its cause. During childhood, teeth erupt through the gums and continue to develop until adulthood. Over time, the gums shrink back from the teeth and eventually stabilize. This results in a crown length that averages 10 millimeters and an overall width to length ratio of about 75 to 85 percent. However, various factors can affect the width to length ratio, causing the teeth to appear shorter and the gums to become more prominent.

If your tooth to gum proportions are normal, the problem may be caused by abnormal upper lip movement. While smiling, the lips retract about 6 to 8 millimeters from their typical resting position. If the lip is hypermobile, this movement may be exacerbated, which can cause too much gum to show. Also, some people have shorter upper lips. In some cases, the upper jaw can also extend too far out or down, making the gums more noticeable while smiling. Teeth can also be small or short due to excessive wear, and the teeth may continue to erupt to compensate for the loss.

Orthodontic Treatment for Gummy Smiles

Depending on the cause of your gummy smile, our orthodontist may recommend braces. This treatment method may be suitable in cases where the teeth or underlying bones are causing the gummy smile. Both conventional and invisible braces have the power to align the teeth and jaw in their proper position to increase oral function, improve the ability to eat and speak, and minimize the appearance of the gumline.

The International Journal of Surgery Case Reports (IJSCR) recommends orthodontic treatment if a gummy smile is caused by the excessive growth of the upper jawbone or the downward movement of the upper teeth. Orthodontic appliances can be effective in moving the teeth forward and straightening the teeth and jaw. However, as each case is different, so it’s important to speak with Dr. Valderrama about your options and see which treatment is best suitable for your lifestyle.

Orthodontic Options for Gummy Smiles

Today there are many convenient and practical orthodontic options for adults of all ages who desire a less gummy smile. Invisalign or Suresmile are a popular option for patients who do not like the look of conventional braces. However, Clear Aligners are not the only invisible braces for adults that are offered by our office. Lingual braces have the same elements of conventional braces, but are fixed to the back or side of the teeth, where they remain unseen.

Treatment of a gummy smile depends on the severity of the problem. Most mild to moderate cases of gummy smiles can be treated with braces. When the braces are placed, an upward force is applied to the upper incisors which cause the teeth and gums to move together. This also allows the upper jaw to remodel and reduces the gumminess of the smile without causing the teeth to shorten. In severe cases of a gummy smile, both braces and jaw surgery may be recommended.

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation with Dr. Valderrama

A gummy smile is a common complaint amongst men and women of all ages. While most people believe that there is no treatment for a gummy smile outside of surgery, this is not always true. Oftentimes, a gummy smile can be corrected with orthodontic treatment.

At Valderrama Orthodontics, you will find a team of orthodontic professionals with vast experience in treating gummy smiles. Contact our orthodontic practice in Suntree/Viera, Florida today to learn more about our orthodontic services or to schedule your complimentary consultation! Remember that at Valderrama Orthodontics we see our patients in private rooms that have HEPA filtration and have many touchless and isolation features to keep all of our patients safe during this COVID-19 crisis. If you book an appointment prior to June 30th you receive 10% off your orthodontic treatment!


Celebrating Child Dental Health Month

Young girl drinking milk

Taking care of our teeth is incredibly important. It ensures that our teeth will last longer and that they won’t require frequent visits to the dentist to fix them. However, some of the most important lessons that we could ever learn about proper dental hygiene happens when we are very young. It is the responsibility of the parents and those around them to teach their children all about proper dental hygiene techniques. National Children’s Dental Health Month was created in order to help people learn more about the importance of dental health and provide dental cleaning techniques.

Fortunately, we have some information pertaining to children’s dental hygiene that will help you understand the importance of proper dental hygiene and how it can change your child’s life. We will go over various dental hygiene techniques and information that you can teach your child that will ensure they have a fighting chance against oral disease and decay. Let’s take a closer look at some of these techniques and why you should be implementing them into your child’s routine.

Oral Health In The U.S.

Before we go any further, we want to touch on the importance of oral health and how it is impacting our society. Around 47.2% of U.S. adults have some stage of periodontal disease. This means that the average person in our country does not do enough each day to take care of their oral health and kick these horrible diseases to the curb. There are more processed foods out there than ever before that are hurting our dental health and causing oral issues such as cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. It cannot be stated how important it is to develop good oral hygiene habits whenever someone is very young. Our goal for this month is to provide as much education on the subject matter as possible to make a positive difference in your child’s life.

Good Hygiene Habits

One of the most important things that a child can do to stay on top of their oral health is to practice good hygiene habits. Your dentist will recommend that you brush at least twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. If you have braces or clear aligners, you Dr. Valderrama recommend that you brush after every meal or snack. Flossing should be done at least once a day in order to keep the particles of food out of your teeth.

Braces for Your Child

Growing teeth can be a serious problem for young children. They may end up growing in the wrong way and can cause problems such as gaps in teeth and pain throughout their mouth. Fortunately, there are affordable braces options available that can help your child with this issue. Our orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Valderrama will be able to find the best options for you depending on what your child needs. 

While braces can help realign the teeth that have grown in crooked, they can also provide benefits by closing the gaps in between teeth that would otherwise collect particles of food and other debris. These particles of debris can end up causing gum issues that would snowball into further problems in the future. Fortunately, there are a few different options you can benefit from such as:

  • Clear Ceramic Braces
  • Champagne or metal braces
  • Invisalign Teen
  • Lingual Braces

Practice Good Oral Hygiene For Life

Whether you are looking for Invisalign for your child or need invisible braces yourself to help you improve your smile, there is an orthodontic office that you can always depend on. Valderrama Orthodontics has you covered whenever it comes to providing you and your child with excellent dental care. 

We know the importance of National Children’s Dental Health Month and are here to provide you with even more information on our services! Not sure what would be right for your child? No worries! We offer complimentary comprehensive evaluations on your first visit that let us discuss with you what we feel would be the best solution to a straighter, more confident, healthier smile. Contact us today and ensure your child’s on the road to a healthy oral care routine for life! 


Can Braces Help TMJ?  

TMJ Pain In Mouth

Do you have TMJ disease (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), which is sometimes referred to as TMJD? Temporomandibular joint disorder can be caused by several things as rheumatoid arthritis, cysts, trauma, tumors in the joint, bone or cartilage problems, misalignments with your teeth that can put uneven pressure on your jaw, etc, resulting in the temporomandibular joint being sore, stiff, and sometimes even crack, pop and lock. Our orthodontist can help you with your TMJ by examining your bite and the alignment of your teeth to determine if orthodontics would help you indirectly get some relief on your muscles of mastication and joint.

Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder that May Require Braces to Alleviate

TMJD causes pain and soreness in the jaw, facial pain, pain in the ears, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. This can make eating and talking difficult. Temporomandibular joint disorder can be caused by a variety of factors including arthritis, jaw dislocation, an injury to the jaw or face, stress, bruxism, problems with tooth, or jaw alignment.

If your TMJD is caused by a misalignment with the teeth or jaw, such as an under, over, or crossbite, teeth that are crooked, crowded, or too long or short in relation to the surrounding teeth, it can create uneven pressure on your jaw and affect the TM joints. Additional symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder can include headaches, jaw and ear discomfort, pain in the neck, upper back, or shoulders.

How Braces Help with TMJ in Rockledge, Viera, Suntree, and Melbourne

If your TMJ is caused by an alignment problem with your teeth or jaw, braces like Invisalign, Clear Correct, traditional braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners can help. As your jaw and teeth alignment problems are corrected, you’ll notice less jaw pain and less jaw locking, which means you’ll be able to chew and talk better.

Diagnosing TMJ and the Need for Invisible braces for Adults

Before our orthodontist prescribes braces, other factors must be ruled out. This includes arthritis and severe jaw alignment problems that may require surgical intervention. If our orthodontist determines that you would benefit from traditional or invisible braces, we will discuss these options with you:

  • Traditional Braces – Traditional metal braces that are affixed to the front of your teeth. Great for correcting severe overbites, underbites, and crossbites, as well as crooked or improperly gapped teeth.
  • Clear Braces – Ceramic braces that are either clear or tooth-colored. Corrects the same problems as traditional braces, just less noticeable.
  • Lingual Braces – Silver-colored metal braces that are affixed to the back of the teeth. Used to correct tooth and jaw alignment problems.
  • Invisalign – Clear removable aligners that can correct mild to moderate crossbites, overbites and underbites as well as improperly spaced and crooked teeth.
  • Suresmile– Clear removable aligners, like Invisalign, that help correct bite problems and tooth alignment problems

Seeing an Orthodontist

Our orthodontist, Dr. Natalia Valderrama, can help determine if you need braces in order to help with your temporomandibular joint disorder. We can take digital x-rays of your teeth and jaw and perform an examination of your mouth and the supporting structures. This helps us determine if there are any problems with the alignment of your teeth or if your jaw that could be putting extra stress on your temporomandibular joint. In severe cases of TMJD, Dr. V will refer you to a TMJ specialist,  who is a dentist that has been in a University for at least 1 year formally learning everything about the joints and treating patients with the Disorder. Usually, they request an MRI and CT scan of the TMJ’s and properly diagnose your problem before treating it. The treatment can range from simply alleviating the symptoms (pain, muscle spasms) to in some severe cases surgery.

If you are a good candidate for braces or Invisalign, our orthodontist Dr. Valderrama will explain the benefits and drawbacks of each type of tooth alignment orthodontic appliance so you can make an informed decision on what would be best for you and your lifestyle. Most adults choose clear aligning trays,, since they are removable and do not limit the types of food you can eat.

To learn more about how we can help you with your TMJ symptoms and to learn more about all the ways you can straighten your teeth, give Dr. Valderrama and her team a call at 321-425-5050.


Life After Braces: What To Expect  

Do you know what to expect after you get your braces off or complete your last day of teeth straightening with your clear aligners? Once you complete your teeth straightening treatment, it’s important to maintain your straight teeth by wearing a retainer. Our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama at Valderrama Orthodontics can help you choose the right retainer for your lifestyle and your ideal wear schedule.

What to Expect

The day you end your clear braces, clear aligners, or lingual braces treatment your mouth will feel a bit different. It may even take a day or two to adjust your speech. It also means you will no longer have to deal with dietary restrictions due or paying attention to when you eat and how long you wear your clear aligners for. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You will still need something to retain your teeth a few hours a day so they don’t go back to their old position. 

1. You’ll Need a Retainer

Once you get your braces off or stop wearing your clear aligners, like Invisalign or Suresmile, you’ll have to be fitted for a retainer. Retainers help hold your teeth in place while your jawbone and gums solidify around your new teeth positions. If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth will start to shift back to their original locations, leading to the need for more teeth straightening procedures in the future.

Fixed Retainers

There are two types of retainers. The first type of retainer is a fixed retainer. These retainers are bonded to your teeth and worn 24 hours a day forever and they are designed to last for years. The reason you may want to consider a fixed retainer is that when you first get your braces off or stop wearing your clear aligning trays, you’ll need to wear a retainer almost 24 hours a day to ensure your teeth do not shift for the first 30 days.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers can be clear or made from durable colored plastic or composite. These retainers are not fixed to your teeth, and you can remove them for eating and drinking. If you had Invisalign or Suresmile, your retainer wear schedule will be prescribed by Dr. Valderrama depending on your specific needs.

2. You’ll Have to Wear Your Retainer For a Certain Amount of Time Each Day

Directly after your teeth straightening treatments end, you’ll need to wear your retainer for several hours each day. In the beginning, you’ll have to wear your retainer at night and during the day in order to prevent your teeth from immediately starting to shift. The reason for this is because your jaw and the soft tissues that support your teeth won’t be fully adjusted to the new positions of your teeth. As you get increasingly farther from the end of your teeth straightening treatments, you’ll be able to wear your retainer for less time each day. You’ll still need to maintain a retainer wear schedule for the rest of your life in order to maintain your smile.

3. You May Want Additional Treatments, Like Teeth Whitening and Enamel Strengthening

Once you stop wearing your adult braces or Invisalign, you may want to undergo additional treatments, like enamel strengthening and teeth whitening. A good fluoride rinse can help restore enamel after your braces so that you avoid cavities and tooth decay. If your teeth are discolored or slightly yellow, you may want to consider teeth whitening in order to further improve your appearance.

Braces and Beyond

Our orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama, offers many different types of affordable braces that are both visible and invisible. These include traditional metal braces, clear brackets, lingual braces, and now champagne braces!!! and clear aligner trays, including Suresmile and Invisalign for adults. If your teeth are crooked, twisted or improperly gapped, our orthodontist, Dr. V. can help determine which type of braces are right for you. She will also suggest the best type of treatment depending on your lifestyle and current oral health.

To schedule an appointment to see if braces or invisible braces would be right for you, call our office at 321-425-5050 or contact us online here.


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!


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!

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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.