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!


Preparing for Orthodontics  

Preparing for Orthodontics

Preparing for orthodontics is necessary for all children, adolescents, and adults. Your teeth and gums must be in a healthy and decay-free before you even consider getting clear braces or clear aligners, like Invisalign. 

You must do any typical dental procedures, like wisdom tooth removal and fill cavities, before getting started with any orthodontic treatment. This is because braces are not only meant to straighten teeth, they also improve the overall health of your teeth and oral care routine. And because of all of these structural changes that come with orthodontics, it’s important that your teeth are prepared. Read on to learn what you should know as you prepare yourself for braces.

Why Consider Orthodontic Treatment? 

Do you or your child have crowded teeth, teeth that protrude, or are too far apart? Perhaps your bite is so poor that your teeth meet in an abnormal manner. Some people experience a crossbite, or an open bite. These, and other issues are the types of problems that an orthodontist treats when providing care to their patients.

The American Association of Orthodontists reveals that one in three patients are over the age of 18 when they see an orthodontist. At Valderrama Orthodontics, we encourage parents to bring their children in around the age of seven. This is because problems spotted early on are relatively easier and more cost-friendly to correct. Early treatment can also help detect and abnormalities or growth in your child’s mouth. 

The Importance Of Early Treatment

It is important that parents recognize the importance of early treatment. There is a myth that only teens or pre-teens need to see an orthodontist. This is far from the truth. Untreated problems that require the care and treatment provided by an orthodontist can lead to bite issues, difficulties with proper chewing, and major oral health and speech issues. Prevention dentistry also helps to decrease or eliminate clenching, snoring, or other breathing issues that occur during sleep. 

Scheduling Your Consultation

When you make the appointment to receive your complimentary consultation, it is the first step towards preparing for orthodontics. Our orthodontist provides you with the right education to help you make the ideal decision that is best for you or your child. We will go through each option that would suit you after you discuss your needs and lifestyle habits with us, then we will inform you on some pros and cons that come with each treatment plan. 

Learning to care for your braces or other orthodontics appliances is another part of preparing for orthodontics lessons and ongoing care. You receive the specialized care information that helps to maintain your oral health, along with optimal functioning of your orthodontics appliances during treatment.

Choosing Your Orthodontic Treatment

The days of clunky metal braces and brackets are gone! One of the best parts of preparing for orthodontic treatment is learning about all of the options you have for your smile. Remember, your needs might differ from your childs or friends, so you should be open-minded when going into choosing your treatment plan. 

Not everyone is a good candidate for clear aligners, like Invisalign, or lingual braces. But if you are a good candidate, we will discuss how your day-to-day will change, as well as the duration of your treatment. At Valderrama Orthodontics, we offer: 

  • Traditional Braces
  • Clear Braces
  • Champagne-Colored Braces
  • Lingual Braces
  • Clear Aligners 

Costs And Financing

Finding an affordable orthodontist is important for many families. When you discuss financing with the team at Valderrama Orthodontics, we help you discover a financial plan that works for your family. There are several available financial options and payment plans.

Dr. Valderrama, or Dr V, as her patients call her, along with her team, provide the care that you need and answer any of your questions. Preparing for orthodontics is easy when you go with a trusted orthodontist, contact Dr. V today to get started!  


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! 


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



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.


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!