Breaking The Habit Of Thumb Sucking And Pacifier Use

Pacifier thumb sucking use

Thumb sucking and pacifier use are actually very comforting to babies and young children, so you don’t want to discourage a child from doing these things too early. Eventually, however, these can become habits and can start to impact your child’s “bite.” If that happens, you may be sending your child to visit an orthodontist in Melbourne when they become a teenager. Here’s what you should know about thumb sucking and pacifier use, and how to break the habit as your child grows older.

Why Young Children Suck Their Thumbs or Pacifiers

It’s pretty easy to understand why babies and infants suck on their thumbs or a pacifier. The sucking reflex is how they take in nourishment in the form of breast milk or bottle formula. That same reflex is extremely comforting and can help them (and their tired parents) fall asleep. Thumb sucking and pacifier use are perfectly normal for the first few months of a baby’s life. It’s after the baby’s teeth start coming in that the thumb or pacifier can become a damaging habit.

Risks of Long-Term Thumb and Pacifier Sucking

If a child’s permanent teeth start to come in, habitual thumb-sucking and pacifier use can affect the shape of the child’s mouth. It can also affect the direction their upper teeth come in. Misaligned teeth mean that you’ll likely be looking for Dr. Valderrama, our orthodontist in Viera/Suntree in Melbourne when the child gets older. Children that have made an intense habit of thumb sucking and/or pacifier use will have a more dramatic impact on their teeth. If the habit is broken before the permanent teeth come in, the child’s bite may correct itself on its own.

Proper Age to End Thumb Sucking & Pacifier Use

Some pediatric dentists and orthodontist recommend ending the habit by age 2. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends weaning children off of thumb sucking and pacifier use no later than age 4, at the latest. Although, a child could most definitely give up the habit willingly much earlier.

Tips for Weaning Your Child Off the Pacifier

    • Cut the Pacifier: Poking a hole in a pacifier or shortening it by 1/4- to 1/2-inch with a pair of scissors can make a child lose interest in the habit. They won’t get the same sucking sensation from it and sometimes this is enough to get them to abandon the habit. 
    • Give It Away: If you have a friend with a younger baby, you can encourage your child to “give” their pacifier away as an act of kindness and generosity. This can be an effective way of getting your child to “let go” of the pacifier. Your friend can then just throw the pacifier away. 
    • Get Creative: If you have sewing skills, sew the pacifier into a favorite stuffed animal’s mouth. Then you have a handy excuse to explain to the child that the pacifier is currently unavailable for use. The stuffed animal is now enjoying it!
    • “Lose” It: The “Oops! Mommy and daddy lost the binkie on accident” excuse can work wonders as well. It may result in some short-term tears, but once the pacifier is gone, it’s gone.

    Tips for Weaning Your Child Off Thumb Sucking

    • Lots of Praise: Praise your child when you see them try to stop sucking their thumb. Positive reinforcement, rather than punishment, can help break the habit.
    • Non-Food Rewards: A special toy that the child only gets to use after they avoid sucking their thumb for a while can help as well.
    • Sticker Chart: The concept here is the same as a sticker chart for potty training. Success for several hours results in a sticker reward.
    • Palatal Crib or Rake: This is an absolute last-resort that Dr. Valderrama our Suntree/Viera in  Melbourne orthodontist can install in your child’s mouth. It’s used for about three or four months and is designed to prevent thumb-sucking.

    Call an Affordable Orthodontist in Melbourne

    If your child has misaligned teeth or a problem with their bite that lasts into their teenage years, Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne can help. We have a wide variety of orthodontic bite correction methods at our disposal. We will straighten teeth and give you that perfect smile, from bride braces to Invisalign Teen to invisible braces for adults. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today!

Why Early Orthodontic Treatment is Best

The same principle you always hear your family physician talk about when it comes to your health applies to orthodontic treatment. Early intervention provides the best outcome! Your child’s first appointment with our Suntree orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama should happen no later than age 7. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends this as well. By age 7, a highly skilled family orthodontist, such as Dr. Natalia Valderrama, can identify many issues well in advance. Early intervention in these cases can ensure that your child’s smile, jawbone, and facial features develop properly over time, without any potential complications.

First Checkup with an Affordable Orthodontist

Your child will have several of their permanent teeth by the time they reach age 7. This means Dr. Valderrama can project how the rest of your child’s permanent teeth are going to come in down the road. By examining the child’s development to date, issues can be found as soon as possible. In many cases, everything is developing normally and no further orthodontic treatment will be recommended. Sometimes a potential problem can be spotted based on space on the child’s jaw, or the direction that a particular tooth is going to grow. In those cases, further monitoring at future appointments may be recommended.

In more rare cases, Dr. Valderrama can identify a problem that will impact your child’s smile, their jawbone, or even their facial features if early intervention is not done. In those cases, Dr. Valderrama will recommend a course of treatment to correct the problem. It’s always better to intervene early in these cases, to achieve the best possible outcome.

Problems Early Orthodontic Intervention Can Correct

When teeth are coming in misaligned or if a child has a jawbone that’s not large enough to accommodate all of their incoming permanent teeth, early orthodontic intervention may be recommended. Dr. Valderrama will explain the options to you after a potential problem is identified. Early intervention is strongly recommended for cases where a problem has the potential to become worse over time, if no action is taken.

Here are some of the most common issues where early intervention can lead to a much better outcome for your child:

  • Teeth that are too crowded, or have too much space between them
  • Underbites: An underbite occurs when the lower teeth rest in front of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed
  • Crossbites: If the lower jaw is shifted to one side, so the upper and lower teeth are not aligned
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or that don’t meet at all
  • Extra teeth or missing teeth that can change the direction of future permanent teeth
  • Thumb-sucking or other habits that can impact the growth of the jaw or teeth

Treatment Options for Early Intervention

Your orthodontist has several options for early intervention treatments, based on the diagnosis of your child’s teeth. “Early intervention” is not as serious as it sounds! If a child has most of their permanent teeth by age 8 for example, they may be ready for affordable braces. Other dental appliances can be used to adjust the growth and development of the teeth. In certain cases, extraction of some baby teeth may be recommended in order to help the permanent teeth erupt in the right direction. Dr. Valderrama will walk you through all of the possible options to ensure the best outcome for your child.

Other Treatments Available at Valderrama Orthodontics

In addition to early orthodontic treatment for children, Valderrama Orthodontics offers many of the latest technological advancements in treatment for teens and adults. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Invisalign in Suntre/Viera
  • Invisalign Teen
  • Clarity Advanced
  • Incognito Hidden Lingual Braces
  • Bride Braces & Engineer Braces
  • Clear Correct
  • Invisible Braces for Adults
  • And much more!

Many adults who haven’t visited an orthodontist in a long time will be surprised at the technological advances that have been made in the profession. Many affordable treatment options are also available!

Contact an Affordable Orthodontist in Suntree/Viera

If your child is old enough for their first orthodontic visit, please give our office a call at (321) 425-5050 to schedule an appointment.


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


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! 


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!


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.