Am I a Good Candidate for Invisalign?


If you’re interested in straightening your teeth for that perfect smile, then you have probably heard about clear Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is an extremely popular option offered by Valderrama Orthodontics for straightening teeth without the use of traditional wire braces and brackets. So, who makes the best possible candidate for Invisalign?

Why Invisalign is so Popular

Orthodontic medicine has a lot of options available that can help to straighten a patient’s teeth. Invisalign is able to achieve those same goals, whether the problem involves a minor underbite or overbite, slightly misaligned teeth, or something else.

Invisalign involves wearing clear — nearly invisible — plastic aligners over your teeth for at least 22 hours a day. One of the most attractive things about Invisalign for patients (other than the near invisibility) is that they are removable. You take them off to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. This is unlike metal braces which are attached to the teeth around the clock.

Because they are removable, Invisalign aligners don’t require the dietary changes that come with traditional braces. You remove the aligners, eat whatever you want, brush your teeth, and put them back in!

Who Makes the Best Invisalign Candidate?

Patients in their late teens through the adult years make the best candidates for Invisalign, so long as the orthodontic correction needed does not involve the bone structure of the jaw. Some orthodontic problems, such as a severe overbite or underbite, simply cannot be corrected by Invisalign.

But if the required adjustments to give you that perfect smile are mild to moderate, and do not require realignment of the jaw, you might be the perfect candidate for this popular treatment.

Traditional braces might be a better choice for you if the back teeth need major adjustments, if you have existing bridge work, or if the teeth need to be shifted vertically instead of horizontally. We should also note that younger teens and children usually are not as good candidates for Invisalign. This is because their jaw is still growing. For younger teens, traditional braces are usually the better option.

How Do I Get Invisalign?

The process starts with a consultation with your friendly, affordable orthodontist. We will do a standard exam here at Valderrama Orthodontics, including X-rays, and have a conversation about your smile goals. We’ll talk about the best options for meeting those goals. If it is Invisalign, then it’s off to the races!

Once the aligners are created for you, it will require regular visits to make sure the teeth are shifting properly, and to ensure that you’re receiving new aligners every few months to keep the process moving forward. Total treatment time with Invisalign can take between six months to a year-and-a-half, for most patients. However, you’ll start to see the results within just a few weeks of wearing your aligners!

For the best results, you will need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. If you take them out to eat, be sure to give your teeth a thorough brushing afterwards. Do this before putting them back in. The same goes for beverages, other than a glass of plain water.

Once your treatment is complete, there may be one additional step you need to take for an undetermined amount of time. Many patients have to be fitted with a retainer that they must diligently wear at night. Your teeth might want to naturally shift back to their original position, which would be bad news. The retainers help to keep your teeth aligned nice and straight after the Invisalign treatments end. The amount of time that retainers are necessary varies from patient to patient.

Contact Us for an Invisalign Consultation

We would be thrilled to have you as a new Invisalign patient at Valderamma Orthodontics if you’re in the Suntree, Viera or Rockledge area (or even further away if that works for you). The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign is to contact our office and schedule your first consultation.

Undergoing Orthodontic Treatment for the Second Time  

Orthodontic Treatment Second Time

A lot of people go through orthodontic treatment once and then are still not happy with the final result. Sometimes, the teeth didn’t fully adjust, or perhaps your teeth shifted because you had Invisalign as a teen and then your wisdom teeth shifted things. Can you still go through orthodontic treatment for the second time? The answer is: Absolutely!

Reasons People Need Orthodontic Treatment a Second Time

There are several reasons why people may want or need to go through a second round with braces or another orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Not Wearing Retainers Properly

We’re not judging, but… this really is the number one reason why you might end up having to see an orthodontist again. After your first round of orthodontic treatment – when the braces finally come off – it’s really important that you follow your regimen with the retainer for the first year. If you forget to put the retainer back in as often as you should, your teeth will naturally try to shift back to their original positions. Many times, people who don’t follow their retainer rules can end up with their teeth being even more crooked than when their orthodontic treatment first began.

2. Here Come the Wisdom Teeth

Some people who don’t have a lot of free space in the mouth will find that their teeth have to go somewhere when those wisdom teeth erupt in their late teens or early 20s. This is why it’s really important to get a checkup with your dentist or orthodontist as soon as you start feeling an ache from your wisdom teeth or back molars. We can often predict whether your teeth are going to shift ahead of time from your wisdom teeth. Although this issue is less common, it can still cause the teeth to shift and necessitate a second orthodontic treatment.

3. Accident or Trauma

You might have had a perfect smile after your teeth were adjusted with invisible braces, only to later lose a tooth due to an accident or tooth decay. This can cause your teeth to shift in the mouth, once again, requiring some specialized treatment, and even a replacement tooth or bridge to restore your smile once again.

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease is extremely common in adults. When gum disease is untreated for any length of time, it can lead to an infection. The infection can cause swollen gums, which in turn can cause the teeth to shift even faster.

5. Bruxism and Other Bad Habits

If you grind your teeth in your sleep, or clench your teeth together unconsciously due to stress, that puts strain on your teeth that can cause them to shift.

How Do I Know if I Need a Second Orthodontic Treatment?

The issues listed above can cause a relapse that undoes all the hard work of your first round of braces or Clear Correct. But how do you really know it may be time for a second orthodontic treatment? Here are some of the symptoms to consider:

  • Your smile looks much liked it used to, due to overcrowding from wisdom teeth
  • New gaps appear in your smile, even though you completed the first treatment
  • Extreme pain or discomfort in the jaw (can be a sign of a severe misalignment)
  • Gum disease or tooth decay which is caused by shifting teeth

How Long Does a Second Orthodontic Treatment Take?

Here’s a bit of good news on this topic: If you do need a second round with braces or Invisalign, it most likely won’t take as long as your first round of treatments. That’s because the distance your teeth will need to be adjusted is most likely much shorter. It is a case-by-case scenario, though; your second orthodontic treatment could take as little as three months, or as long as 18 months.

Is a Second Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

That is really up to you as an individual. If you want to get your “bride braces” before your wedding or feel like your smile needs a touch-up in any way, we are here to help! Invisalign, Clear Correct and many types of braces are cosmetic procedures. It ultimately depends on whether you are happy with your current smile or if you think it needs some more improvement. We can give you our best recommendation at Valderrama Orthodontics, but the final decision is yours! Call us today to get started on your journey to a smile you’ll love again! 


Braces, Bullying, and Beautiful Smiles

Bullying and Braces

Standing out can be difficult as a child. You can probably remember back when you were a kid and how other children might react to someone who looked different from everyone else. So you can understand why your child might be a bit hesitant when it comes to getting braces. 

The good news is that braces have come a long way since you were a child. It’s easier than ever before to straighten teeth and to give your young one a perfect, beautiful smile. If your child is struggling with the idea of wearing braces, here are some tips to help them through the initial process.

Talk To Them

Above everything else, talk to your child. Ask them how they are feeling and what is making them nervous. Perhaps there are other children at school who already have braces, so they already know what it might look like and how others treat them. Openly talking to them about it and getting their perspective goes a long way. They will feel better by simply opening up to you. From there, you can help address some insecurities they might have about wearing braces. 

Reassure them that this is only temporary and that it even helps them adopt a healthier oral care routine once they finish the orthodontic treatment. Always give them words of encouragement. Clear ceramic braces, Invisalign, and lingual braces are just a few additional options that they could consider outside of traditional metal braces. Knowing there are more conspicuous ways to straighten their teeth might make them feel more comfortable with new braces.

Different Braces Options

Perhaps your child is nervous about the overall size of the braces and how they look. There are some options available that keep the metal and brackets to a minimum or invisible altogether. Invisalign, for example, is one of the best options for straightening teeth and is almost completely unnoticeable. These are clear mouthpieces that slip over the teeth, almost like a mouth guard, but without the bulk. Find out if you would be a good candidate for clear aligners here.

If your child needs the traditional metal wiring to correct their teeth, there are other options available in our office. You might want to consider invisible braces. These braces have clear connectors, so it blends better with the look of the teeth. 

Tom Cruise even had these kinds of braces after he became a big-time movie star, so if your child is still worried about braces, you can go through all the great celebrities who have had braces as well. Some of the celebrities who have had braces? Angelina Jolie, Prince Harry, Emma Watson, and Kendall Jenner.

Reward Your Child

After going through the initial fittings for braces and returning home with braces it can be a little strange for your child. Their teeth will feel odd, and they’ll constantly be running their tongue over the new braces. You should reward your child for a job well done. Perhaps offer them a milkshake for dinner. This way it won’t cause any pain on their teeth (which may very well be sensitive with the tightened braces). Spoiling them a little bit won’t be a bad thing early on, and it will help their mouths adjust to having braces.

Walk Away From Bullies

There might be a bully or two at school. However, talk to your child and tell them the best thing they can do is to walk away. The bullying won’t last, especially as there are other children who have braces on now (or who have previously had braces). So it’s not something that will affect your child for long. But make sure your child knows they can always talk to you about what’s going on in school. 

Your Child’s Smile Is Our Top Priority

When you want the best smile for your child, you need to make sure you go to the best child orthodontist here in the area. So whether you’re looking for Invisalign, affordable braces, or clear ceramic braces, you’ll find everything right here with our staff at Valderrama Orthodontics. Whether you’re new to the area, have been recommended, or have been looking around for the right orthodontist, now is the perfect time to give our staff a call! 321.425.5050



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.


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.

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. 


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.


Invisalign vs. Clear Braces for Your Teen

invisalign or clear braces

Teenagers often want to correct their smile but they don’t want to walk around with a mouth full of metal, rubber bands, and noticeable brackets. That is why there are the orthodontic treatment options of Invisalign and clear braces.

Invisalign and clear braces are two different types of orthodontic treatment that are designed to improve your teen’s smile by shifting and moving the teeth into their proper place. While both orthodontic options can improve your teen’s smile, one option may be better for your teen. Learn about the differences between Invisalign and clear braces.

Understanding More About Invisalign and Clear Braces  

Before you can learn about the differences between clear braces and Invisalign, you need to know more about what is involved with each orthodontic treatment option.

Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic trays to move and shift your teeth into proper position. Each of the trays is designed slightly different from each other. When you wear them, they force your teeth to slowly shift into the new position. Once the teeth are in their new position, you take out the aligner tray and replace it with the new one. This is done until your teeth reach their final position.

Clear braces, on the other hand, are very similar to traditional braces. When you get clear braces you will have the brackets, rubber bands, and archwire. However, instead of having those bright, noticeable wires and brackets everything is tooth colored. This gives the appearance that you aren’t wearing braces.

Which is More Invisible?

While both Invisalign and clear braces promise to allow you to change your smile without anyone noticing, one is more noticeable than the other. Since clear braces uses wires and brackets, people will be able to see them up close. Invisalign, on the other hand, is almost completely clear. In fact, people hardly notice you are wearing the clear plastic aligners even when they are up close to you.

Which Option Treats Moderate to Severe Orthodontic Cases?

Invisalign is great for correcting overcrowded teeth or gaps. However, it isn’t always successful at treating severe orthodontic problems. If you have severe orthodontic problems, such as extremely crooked or misaligned teeth and crossbites, you may not be a good candidate for Invisalign and will need to get clear braces.

Want Bright, White Shiny Teeth? Choose Invisalign

Staining is a huge issue with clear braces. If you smoke, like to drink dark colored beverages like tea and soda, or eat acidic or brightly colored food, you may develop noticeable stains. The stains won’t be noticeable while you have braces, but once they are moved you may notice them.

People who want bright, white teeth immediately after straightening their teeth may want to consider Invisalign. Staining doesn’t occur as often with the clear plastic trays because you are able to properly brush and floss.

Which Option is Less Painful?

Your teen will experience slight pain, pressure, and discomfort with both Invisalign and clear braces. The pain occurs because the teeth are shifting and moving to their new position which can be uncomfortable.

If your teen is looking for the least painful option of the two treatment options, they will probably want to choose Invisalign. The clear plastic aligner trays don’t cause gum irritation like clear plastic braces. The brackets and wires of can sometimes rub against your teen’s cheek and gums which can cause pain and discomfort.

Which Treatment Options has Food Restrictions?

One of the most frustrating aspects of undergoing orthodontic treatment is having to give up some of your favorite foods. That also happens with Invisalign.

When you eat, you are encouraged to remove the clear Invisalign trays. Removing the clear plastic trays is extremely easy and allows you to eat your favorite foods but you can also break the bumps in your teeth so you have to be careful also.

If you have clear braces or clear aligners,  you will still need to follow the same food restrictions that come with traditional braces. You will have to avoid popcorn, nuts, crunchy and chewy foods, and other things.

Which Option is Right for Your Teen?

It depends on their personalities, does your teen loses their phone,  the keys to their car, or house? Do they have a clean room and organized closet? Do they have good oral hygiene? Do they follow instructions well? Does your teen want to improve their smile? Call Valderrama Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation. Our experienced orthodontist will discuss treatment options with your teen and help them determine what option is the best.