Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments available to correct many dental and jaw issues. While this is a viable way to get the ultimate smile, using dental braces can be a hassle for its users, especially when dealing with food and oral hygiene. This article offers a few tips on braces-friendly food to have alongside those you should avoid as a small help to new braces users.
Dental braces and their issues
What are braces? Braces are a form of orthodontic treatment designed to fix common dental and jaw misalignments like crowding, crossbite, spacing, and others.
Braces come in different types. These include the traditional metal type, the lingual type, the self-ligating, the ceramic type, and the Invisalign type. Each aligner is unique in its make particularly with material composition, its location in the mouth, and the time frame of usage. Their only common feature is their function; to correct dental and jaw issues.
As remedies to many issues, these aligners are a miracle, yet one cannot overlook the issues that come with them. Some of these problems include:
- Cuts inside the mouth - these cuts occur from the wires on the brackets.
- Tooth staining - many users complain of uneven staining as the areas where the brackets cover remain protected but the rest of the teeth get stained. This leads to uneven staining.
- Sore mouth and teeth - this happens due to the shifting that the teeth go through and chewing food with it.
- Snapped or missing ligatures - ligatures are the tiny rubber bands in front of the brackets that keep the wire attached to the brackets. Hard foods or eating forcefully can cause them to snap.
- Dental hygiene - braces trap food particles and make it hard to brush and floss.
- Broken brackets and wires - sometimes certain foods like popcorn, caramel, whole apples, etc., can cause breakage to the brackets and wires of the braces.
- Poor dental hygiene - braces make brushing and flossing hard, plus braces also trap food particles in them, leading to tartar, cavities, and plaque.
What to eat with braces
When we look at the issues mentioned above, a vital way of preventing many of the problems; like the breaking of brackets and wires, or poor dental care is to avoid certain foods and switch up one's diet to reduce the discomfort and to get accustomed to the braces.
Certain foods are advised for the earlier part of the treatment with braces. As time goes on, you can add some food types as you are now fully accustomed to eating with your braces. Below are some foods and meals you can enjoy while using braces.
As a healthy part of every diet, even braces can't stop you from having fruits. Although you'll have to make some adjustments, you can still have as many fruits as you like. With braces, soft fruits like blueberries, watermelon, bananas, pineapple, and other berries are great as they are easy to chew and won't graze your teeth much when they are tender. Later in your treatment, hard fruits like apples and pears are good choices, but make sure they are cut into small bits that you can easily chew.
Just like fruits, there are the soft ones and the hard ones. To enjoy the soft ones, a little cooking helps, and having vegetable soup is also a great idea with the broth and the softly cooked vegetables. Tough to bite vegetables like broccoli, carrot, cucumber, etc., are best cooked. But if you wish to have them raw, cutting them into bits will make chewing easier. Cutting them into tiny bits will avoid large chunks getting stuck between the ligatures and wires.
● Dairy products
Since dairy products are soft, they make great meal options for braces wearers. All types of yogurts, milk, cheese, and other dairy products are perfect. Keep in mind that certain cheese types can get stuck between the wires and brackets because they are sticky. To prevent that, cut the cheese into smaller sizes or you can have less sticky cheese.
Eating meat with your braces is like fighting a war, but it can always be better. You can have soft meat like lean and tender meat, chicken, and fish since they soften up fast when properly cooked. You can also get creative when cooking your dishes with meat to make chewing easier like making meatballs. To make it easier, cut the meat into small sizes to avoid having too much in your mouth. Also, for vegetarians, tofu is a good option as it's soft.
● Nuts and seeds
Just like meat, nuts are also challenging for braces wearers because they have tough shells while some are too small. A way to save yourself from stress is by having your nuts and seeds in butter forms like peanut butter, almond butter or blend/grind them for yogurt toppings.
Grainy products like bread, whatever the kind it may be, pasta, and rice, are a staple food for everyone, and the good news is you can still have them all in your diet. Soft bread of any kind is recommended as it's easy to chew, but be careful of them sticking to the braces. Avoid hard-crusted bread like bagels or bread with whole grains are not advisable as they can damage the braces.
With braces, you can also enjoy the likes of pasta, rice, muffins, mashed potatoes, ice cream, pudding, milkshakes, smoothies, beans, eggs, and many more.
Foods to avoid with braces
Certain foods become a no-go area for braces wearers because they can do a lot of damage to the apparatus. Foods that are hard to bite/chew and sticky are particularly off as they can do a lot of damage. These foods include:
- Hard foods like chips, pretzels, popcorn
- Sticky foods like chewing gum, jerky, caramels, taffy, snicker, etc.
- Sugary foods such as boiled sweets
- Foods like corn on the cob that you need to bite into forcefully
- Hard meat and raw vegetables
- Bones or meat from bones
- Whole nuts
- Unground whole grains
The good news is that having braces on is not the end of the world. It is true that there are certain limitations, but you can always mix foods and create variety, so long as these foods are easy to chew, and they are non-sticky.
Foods and braces
Keeping in mind that not all foods are brace-friendly, you'll find it easier to navigate around the whole idea. The moment you get your braces on, your licensed orthodontist will provide you with a list of foods to take and those to avoid. A word of advice is to follow that list and do all that is necessary to make your braces treatment comfortable. At Cordoba Orthodontics, we’ll be with you every step of the way, ensuring that you’re aware of best practices during your orthodontic treatment. Call us today for a consultation or schedule an appointment online. We’d love to help you achieve your new smile!
Types of Orthodontic Treatments
Everyone knows that there's no one way of getting the perfect smile. Considering that many people suffer from different dental issues, having a fixed way out wouldn't do. For an effective solution to the best smile quest, there are different types of orthodontic treatments available, each designed to meet specific needs and to make the best smile goal possible.
Who is an orthodontist?
You must be wondering why we aren't mentioning a dentist in this article and who an orthodontist is, and the answers are all here. An orthodontist is a dental specialist whose area of focus is in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. In other words, an orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in sorting abnormalities of the jaw and teeth.
Difference between a dentist and an orthodontist
As earlier mentioned, an orthodontist's area of focus is correcting misaligned teeth and sorting out jaw issues. A dentist on the other hand focuses primarily on the overall dental and oral health of the patient. While orthodontists focus on issues like crowding bites and the others, dentists focus more on teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, gum diseases, and so on.
What sort of orthodontic issues need treatment?
Now that you know who an orthodontist is and why one is different from your regular dentist, it's time to know some of the issues they specialize in tackling and the reason for the distinct treatments available.
Some of the most common ones include:
- Crowding - This issue occurs when there is little space in the mouth to accommodate all the teeth. It's a situation of too many teeth in the mouth that makes flossing hard and can lead to tooth decay.
- Bite/Malocclusion - Bites occur when the upper and lower teeth do not meet adequately when biting down. Bites come in different forms. They include the open bite, the underbite, and deep bite/overbite. All types of malocclusions inherently affect the shape of the face.
- Spacing - Spacing happens when one has abnormal gaps between the teeth. Spacing is most common between the two front teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis.
- Crossbite/Misaligned bite - Misaligned bite occurs when one's upper teeth are sitting inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. Crossbite often causes teeth chipping and lip pain from bites.
- Impacted tooth - An impacted tooth occurs when there is another tooth in its way or when there isn't enough room in the jaw for the tooth to erupt. An impacted tooth leads to severe pains.
- Improper eruption - An improper eruption happens when the teeth come out or erupt at an angle, partway, or in the wrong spot.
It is imperative to note that many of these orthodontic issues are genetically inherited. While genetics is the primary cause of these orthodontic issues, other reasons for their occurrence include jaw injuries, failed procedures, defects from birth, childhood habits like thumb sucking, and teeth abnormalities.
Types of orthodontic treatment
With a better knowledge of the distinct types of orthodontic issues, it is safe to assume and know that there are more than enough orthodontic treatments to cover each one of them.
Keep in mind that while some orthodontic issues require the use of a single treatment, others require multiple treatment types.
Braces are popular orthodontic treatments that come in different ways and have multiple types. Braces comprise brackets, bands, wires, and other components fixed to the user's teeth for permanent or temporary treatment. There are five types of braces -
- Traditional metal braces - The traditional metal braces involve brackets and wires often made of metal and are attached to the teeth for adequate positioning. They are visible as they are attached to the outer part of the teeth. Today, a few traditional metal braces involve heat-activated archwires for a quicker treatment using the body heat in the mouth.
- Ceramic braces - These braces are similar to traditional metal braces based on their size and shape. The main difference is that ceramic braces are made from ceramic material. The ceramic material makes the braces less noticeable. A significant disadvantage is that the material makes the type more expensive.
- Lingual braces - Although metal-made, they are not seen as they are attached to the inside of the teeth. Lingual braces are not as effective as the traditional ones as they are slower in terms of teeth resetting and are often uncomfortable because they are tough to clean and come in contact with the tongue.
- Invisalign - Invisalign or aligner uses clear plastic aligners without brackets and wires to rearrange the teeth. The Invisalign shows faster results and is a popular choice because it is almost invisible.
- Self-ligating braces - Self-ligating braces use clips instead of elastic bands to keep the brace's wire in place. As a similar model to the traditional metal braces, it is efficacious, offers less friction on the braces, and makes cleaning easier for the user. Its downsides are price as it's more expensive and it's still visible from the outside.
2. Cosmetic straightening
Cosmetic straightening is a unique method that targets the front six or eight most visible teeth. The treatment focuses on straightening the selected front teeth for appearance purposes. Due to its short-range target, the procedure is quicker, lasting six months at most, and it employs methods or appliances such as the Invisalign.
Headgear treatment is to rectify the placement of the rear teeth. Strapped around the back of the head, it is removable and only required or used at night.
4. Jaw repositioning appliances
Designed to readjust the jaw's position when it closes, the appliance is worn on the top or lower jaw. Jaw repositioning appliances is a treatment created for individuals with TMJ - Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
5. Palate expanders
These are plastic plates designed to widen the arch of the upper jaw.
6. Lip and cheek bumpers
The bumpers are designed to relieve the pressure exerted by the lip and cheek muscles by keeping them away from the teeth.
This orthodontic treatment is a final level treatment method used to ensure that the corrections made by other forms of treatment remain. Retainers could be permanent or temporary. There is the clear gummy-like retainer used to fix the shape of the newly corrected teeth, and there is the stainless-steel wire fixed retainer that is more permanent to ensure the success of the orthodontic treatment. Wearing a retainer as instructed plays a vital role in the success of the treatment.
Are orthodontic treatments and procedures safe?
Orthodontic treatments and procedures are medically safe and risk-free. These are treatments and procedures carried out by specialized individuals with appropriate machinery. Although there are some side effects to many treatments like toothache, discomforts, and scratches, all these effects are short-lived and can be treated medically.
To prevent any irreparable damages, it is always best to register and perform your orthodontist procedures with a licensed and registered orthodontist to ensure that all is according to the law.
Orthodontist treatments, are they worth it?
Getting that perfect smile and healthy teeth is always worth the stress. With the many treatments available, you do not need to suffer in silence anymore. All you need to do is register with licensed orthodontics and give yourself a beautiful smile. Contact Cordoba Orthodontics today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cordoba to discuss what orthodontic options will work best for you!
10 Tips for Finding the Best Orthodontist Near Me
When it comes time to choose an orthodontist, you want to make sure that you make a good, well-informed decision. Orthodontic treatment is nothing to take lightly, but in addition to finding a qualified orthodontist, you also want to make sure that this professional is located near your home or office so that if treatment requires repeated visits (as orthodontic treatments often do), the process is convenient and sustainable. At Cordoba Orthodontics, we always advise our patients to look carefully at their options before committing to a particular orthodontic treatment center. So, as you consider your options, below are ten valuable tips for helping you choose the right orthodontist for you in your area:
1. Consider the experience, education, and training of the orthodontist.
Many patients overlook this step when they choose an orthodontist, but experience and training are an essential consideration when choosing an orthodontist. If you have a specific treatment that you need or want or if you have a tricky orthodontic situation, you may need to seek out an orthodontist who can work with your particular situation with skill and specialized experience that will guarantee their skill in managing your particular situation.
All orthodontists require certain qualifications including a high level of education in order to practice. They must have a bachelor’s degree and have a doctorate in dental surgery as well as other types of training in orthodontics. Though board certification isn’t necessary, it is desirable to seek out an orthodontist who has the necessary qualifications to be certified by relevant boards.
2. Consider the advantages of Invisalign vs. traditional braces.
At Cordoba Orthodontics, we offer patients both treatment options: Invisalign and traditional metal braces. As a general rule, the cost of these treatment options are similar, but not all patients qualify to receive the Invisalign treatment because the complexity of their orthodontic situation may require the use of traditional braces in order to achieve the best results.
If you’re committed to receiving treatment with Invisalign and your dental situation is such that Invisalign is a viable treatment option for you, then it’s important that you locate an orthodontist who can do this kind of treatment for you.
3.Determine the cost of treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can be a significant investment so it’s important to gather information about costs from different offices in your area before you make a decision. Ask about payment options as well as insurance coverage before you make your final decision. Some orthodontic clinics offer payment options that can help make your treatment more affordable. Ask about any additional fees that you might be required to pay and remember that every orthodontic clinic is different and every patient is also different. Be sure that you understand the scope of your treatment plan before committing to a particular orthodontics office.
4. Know your treatment options.
At Cordoba Orthodontics, we enjoy educating our patients about the various treatment options that are available to them. We offer a wide range of services for straightening the teeth from Invisalign to traditional braces. Doing a little research on your own at home can help you make the decision about what you want and target your decision more effectively while shopping for the right orthodontist near you. Figure out what treatment options appeal most to you before you make your first appointment with an orthodontist. This will help you make more informed decisions about treatment.
5. Ask friends and family members for referrals.
Many of our patients come from referrals from friends and family members. At Cordoba Orthodontics we rely a lot on satisfied customers and word-of-mouth to find new patients. If you’re looking for an orthodontist, this is perhaps one of the best ways to find someone to provide the kind of treatment you want. In addition to friends and family members, you can also ask your dentist to refer you to a trusted orthodontist in your area.
6. Consider the location and office hours.
Obviously, it’s important that the orthodontic office is located near your home or your place of work because it’s likely that you’ll have to make repeated visits to the office during treatment. But in addition to location, be sure you ask for the orthodontist’s office hours before you make the final decision. If their office hours don’t sync up with your work schedule you may want to seek out a different clinic.
7. Cost of the initial consultation.
It’s common practice for orthodontists to offer a free initial consultation to examine your teeth and then provide you with information about what kind of treatment the orthodontist plans to use and how long it will take to achieve a great smile. During the initial consultation, photos and x-rays are taken and a treatment plan is provided after evaluation of all the information that’s gathered.
8. Is the office environment pleasant?
In other words, do you feel comfortable at the orthodontic office? If you feel uncomfortable, then it may not be the office for you. At Cordoba Orthodontics, we work hard to create a pleasant office environment for our patients because we know that they’re going to be spending a lot of time with us. Orthodontic treatments can last for a year or longer, so we want you to feel relaxed and comfortable while you’re with us.
9. Is the office staff pleasant and helpful?
The office staff is an important part of the overall experience for people who are seeking orthodontic treatment. The receptionists, clinical assistants, and even the scheduling coordinators can have quite an impact on how you feel throughout treatment. Are they friendly? Can they answer your questions? Choose an orthodontist with qualified, capable support staff so that you’re guaranteed to have a pleasant treatment experience.
10. Check the Google reviews for the orthodontist.
Make sure your chosen orthodontist has good reviews online and excellent ratings. If you can find real people who can provide you with real-life reviews, that’s even better. Referrals of any kind can help you find a well-qualified orthodontist with an excellent reputation.
Five Myths About Orthodontic Treatment
If you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment so you can enjoy a beautiful smile without the embarrassment of crooked teeth, you may have come across misleading information about what orthodontics is and exactly what it does. Basically, orthodontics is a specialist field in dentistry that corrects misalignment of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontists can use many different types of devices, removable or fixed, to apply gentle pressure to move teeth and promote healthy growth of the jaw. We can explore the world of orthodontics in a little more detail by looking at five popular misconceptions you should be aware of when considering orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic Myth #1 – There’s no difference between general dentists and orthodontists
Not all providers of dental braces or aligners are orthodontists. There’s a big difference between practitioners of general dentistry and specialists in orthodontics and that is the level of training. General dentists set up in practice on graduation after four years at dental school. To become an orthodontic specialist requires a further two or more years of training in an orthodontic education program certified by the American Dental Association (ADA).
This extra training takes the form of a residency and involves both clinical and academic education. During this time, the budding orthodontist will get hands-on experience of treating patients, from start to finish, under the watch of orthodontic professors. If you’re looking for cosmetic dental treatment such as veneers or teeth whitening, a general dentist will do just fine. However, repositioning of the teeth and jaws is best left to an orthodontic expert.
Some dentists may offer braces or aligners as part of their general practice but only a dentist who has successfully undertaken advanced training through an accredited orthodontic residency can call themselves an orthodontic specialist.
Tip: Look for an orthodontist who’s recognized by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), which points out that while all orthodontists are dentists, only six per cent of dentists are orthodontists.
Orthodontic Myth #2 – Orthodontic treatment is too expensive
The benefits of expert orthodontic care far outweigh the costs. Orthodontists, such as Dr. John Cordoba, provide a personalized treatment plan for each patient, and their fees reflect the complexity of individual cases. Simple cases may take just a few months, while treatment for difficult ones can last a couple of years. The average cost of braces in 2016 ranged from $5,000 to $6,000. This may seem high, but not when put into perspective and compared against the average cost of a car in the US the same year – $25,000.
Orthodontists, with their advanced training and greater experience, generally charge more than general dentists. However, they can still provide the best value for money because the cheaper option may not deliver the outcome you had hoped for, and treatment is likely to take longer. Sometimes orthodontic specialists have to fix orthodontic mistakes by general dentists.
Many orthodontists offer:
- Free consultations.
- Flexible and affordable payment options to fit the patient’s budget.
- Filing your insurance claim for you.
- Discounts for payment in full.
- CareCredit financing acceptance.
- A breakdown of costs included in your detailed treatment plan.
Orthodontic Myth #3 – Orthodontic treatment takes forever!
Whether your case is simple or complex, an experienced orthodontist will draw up a treatment plan to provide the best outcome in the shortest possible time. However, many factors can affect the repositioning of teeth. Before treatment, even the most highly-skilled orthodontists cannot say how your teeth will react to movement. They can suggest a time frame but cannot give an exact length of time you’ll have to wear your braces.
Orthodontic treatment can last as long as two years, or even more in severe cases, but it can also take only six months. Younger patients will typically experience faster results because their mouths are still developing and better able to adapt to orthodontic treatment.
You can help to minimize treatment time by:
- Taking good care of your braces.
- Following all instructions from your orthodontist.
- Brushing and flossing twice a day.
You’ll also need to visit your orthodontist at regular intervals so they can monitor the condition of your teeth, gums and jaw, to ensure your treatment is staying on track.
Orthodontic Myth #4 – Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic
Orthodontic treatment goes far beyond giving you a stunning smile. While some people may choose orthodontic treatment for cosmetic purposes, in many cases appliances like braces are necessary for health reasons, such as:
- Crooked teeth and especially protruding teeth that can put you at more risk of accidental damage.
- Misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean and straightening them makes it easier to brush all the surfaces. This lessens the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Orthodontics can improve the way your jaw and teeth function together.
Indications that you may need orthodontic treatment on medical grounds include:
- Overlapping teeth.
- Persistent bad breath.
- Poor bite function
- Developing a lisp.
Orthodontic Myth #5 – Orthodontic treatment involves unsightly braces
Thanks to advances in dental technologies, modern braces come in all shapes and sizes and are now more discreet and effective than ever.
The Invisalign system of teeth straightening provides a popular alternative to conventional braces. The fact that these aligners are so inconspicuous, combined with the convenience of being easy to put in and take out, makes them the most common removable dental brace. One of the chief benefits of being able to remove the aligners is that it makes brushing and flossing much easier than with traditional braces and their brackets and wires.
Invisalign provides greater control in how your teeth are moved, and, with smooth, edges, are more comfortable than old-style braces and won’t impede your speech once you get used to them after a few days. The Invisalign system can fix many issues resulting from misalignment of teeth, from bite problems to gapped or overcrowded teeth. Treatment time with Invisalign is also typically less than that with traditional braces and costs roughly the same.
At Cordoba Orthodontics, we can guide you through your teeth straightening journey. We are the experts in all things orthodontic. Contact us today to find out how we can help create your perfect smile.
What are Orthodontic Expanders?
Orthodontic expanders are a commonly used tool in dentistry that helps correct and properly align the teeth of younger patients. Also known as palatal expanders, this orthodontic tool is cleverly simple and straightforward to use. It is one of a few preventative orthodontic tools available at Cordoba Orthodontics as a way to prevent future dental problems that would require braces or surgeries to correct. Orthodontic expanders are incredibly useful and require very little effort to work in the right way.
How Do Orthodontic Expanders Work?
Orthodontic expanders are designed in two parts. These two parts each attach to some of the top teeth near the back of a patient’s mouth and are attached in the middle with an adjustable screw that slowly pushes apart the upper palatal bones. The screw is turned slightly each day to induce tension, which over time results in a wider upper palate. Every orthodontic expander at Cordoba Orthodontics is custom made for each patient to ensure perfect fit and function.
At a certain point, the intended amount of palatal expansion is reached. When this happens, the orthodontic expander is left alone for a few months to allow the patient’s jaw to grow new bone that will secure the changes to the upper palate. After the palate has adjusted adequately to its new shape, the orthodontic expander can be safely removed from the mouth and the patient’s upper palate will remain the same shape thereafter.
Who Can Get Orthodontic Expanders?
At Cordoba Orthodontics, most of the patients who receive orthodontic expanders are younger than age 12. The reason for this has to do with the way that orthodontic expanders are intended to work. In children who haven’t hit puberty, the upper palate is still separated down the middle into two separate parts, which fuse together permanently in the teenage years and adulthood. When we recognize that a young patient is exhibiting particular dental issues, or we foresee a distinct possibility that the patient will have problems in the future, we recommend orthodontic expanders to alleviate and avoid the problem. Some of the issues that orthodontic expanders can treat include:
- Impacted teeth -
A number of our younger patients struggle with impacted teeth as their adult teeth start to grow in. Occasionally, a tooth will be blocked and will not be able to come in properly due to the shape of the upper palate. When a tooth struggles to erupt, we recommend orthodontic expanders to create enough room in the jaw for the new tooth to come in comfortably.
- Crossbite -
Some patients with a smaller upper palate will have what’s called a crossbite, which is where their upper teeth come to rest behind their lower teeth. This generally happens because the upper palate is too narrow or isn’t large enough to produce the correct bite. Of course, this is a perfect situation to use an orthodontic expander. Many patients who have a crossbite have lifelong relief when they use an expander to correct the problem.
- Crowding -
Plenty of parents will recognize that the crowding of teeth is a very real and uncomfortable problem for their children. Unfortunately, crowding is an all too common problem. The good news is that orthodontic expanders can widen the upper palate in a manner that allows a young person’s adult teeth to grow in without any crowding or struggle! Because crowding is also caused by having a smaller upper palate, an orthodontic expander comes highly recommended to fix this problem.
What Can I Expect from Orthodontic Expanders?
Orthodontic expanders are an example of a brilliantly simple way to treat common and frustrating dental problems. At Cordoba Orthodontics, we recommend orthodontic expanders most often for children whose parents are looking for straightforward, noninvasive methods to repair present dental problems and prevent later issues as well. But, while orthodontic expanders are significantly less uncomfortable and obtrusive than braces or dental surgery, there are still some things to be aware of if you’re thinking of getting orthodontic expanders for your children. Here are a few of the things you can expect from getting orthodontic expanders:
- Variable adjustment period -
Of course, just like any dental apparatus, orthodontic expanders require a bit of an adjustment period for any patient. Children who get orthodontic expanders will have to get used to the way that it feels to have the expanders in the mouth, especially while speaking and eating. Encouraging your child to eat slowly and speak slowly for the first week or two after getting expanders can help them adjust more quickly and easily.
- Mild pain/discomfort after turning the screw -
After each adjustment to the orthodontic expanders, the pressure that is put on either side of the upper palate may cause some discomfort in the mouth and jaws. Although there is some pain present after an adjustment, the discomfort felt from having orthodontic expanders is dramatically less than the discomfort of having braces later in life. For that reason, we often recommend orthodontic expanders whenever possible in place of braces, especially in patients who are young enough to have the expanders.
- Gap between the front teeth -
If a gap appears between the patient’s two front teeth when they are using the orthodontic expander, this is actually a sign that the treatment is working the way it’s supposed to work. Later, their adult front teeth will come in straight and beautiful! While this is an undesirable side effect of orthodontic expanders, it does resolve rapidly once the child’s adult teeth grow in.
- Variable time wearing the expanders -
Depending on the patient, we will prescribe a wear-time of 3-6 months for the orthodontic expanders. The expanders must be worn 24/7 during this period of time, and the screw to expand the apparatus must be turned every day (or according to your dentist’s instructions). The wear-time for each patient depends on many factors, including the amount of separation required in the upper palate and the age of the patient.
Orthodontic expanders are a solid, reliable choice for young patients who are in need of dental intervention to prevent further problems in the future. If you think that orthodontic expanders might be right for your child, contact Cordoba Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation with Dr. John Cordoba or another member of our highly qualified team.
Benefits of Invisalign
A healthy smile goes a long way in building self-confidence and happiness. In the world today, advancements in the orthodontic sector now allow for better and more efficient ways to provide that healthy smile. One of such advancements is the Invisalign which has proven to be efficient in a variety of ways. Here today you will learn a little bit about the unique Invisalign and why it should be your go-to orthodontic technique.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the brand name of an invisible apparatus created by Align Technology. Introduced to the dental market around 1998, the Invisalign is an invisible set of teeth that allows the wearer to correct any misalignments and issues in the teeth. As a new introduction to the dental world, it is a technique that appeals more to users as contrary to other visible orthodontics techniques, the Invisalign is completely invisible and completely effective.
How does it work?
Designed with custom-made thermoplastic trays or molds, the Invisalign or aligner functions by slowly moving the teeth together perfectly. For a complete change, users change the custom-made trays within specific periods in line with changes in the teeth until the wearer attains the final desired change. The process of procuring one requires certain processes that begin with you paying a visit to a dentist or specialized orthodontist like Dr. John Cordoba, where 3D images of your teeth are taken to create the molds that will accompany your journey to a perfect smile.
Invisalign vs. Other Traditional Techniques
Unlike the likes of braces that make use of metals and wires and are often permanent i.e they cannot be removed easily for a long period, the Invisalign offers transparent aligners that allow users to eat as they desire while also being able to maintain a steady and healthy oral hygiene as it is removable. This technique is perfect for treating a variety of cases such as crowded teeth, gap teeth, open bite, crossbite, underbite, and overbite.
The 8 Benefits of Invisalign
Unlike other orthodontist techniques, the aligners are so-called Invisalign because of their invisible appearance. The advantage of this invisibility is that users can proudly use their aligners without feeling embarrassed as no one would be able to see the aligner in the first place. Its invisible nature makes it perfect for teens and young adults who are worried about their appearance. One of the main reasons people go for teeth realignment procedures is to avoid being gazed at and avoid embarrassments, hence using one that is hardly noticeable is a great advantage that already boosts one’s confidence from the onset.
●Improved Oral Hygiene
One of the first features of an Invisalign is that it is removable. You can always remove it when you want to eat and when you want to brush to avoid cases of having food stuck in them or not being able to properly care for and clean your teeth. This way the user’s oral hygiene is standard and being improved by the aligner too. On the plus side, the aligner molds themselves can be cleaned to avoid the buildup of dirt or other particles. They can be cleaned with a simple rinse and brush.
Traditional orthodontist techniques are known to be a pain in the mouth as they include wires and metals that often cause soreness to users. Invisalign on its part features a malleable thermoplastic material that is smooth and easy on the teeth, gum, tongue, and cheeks. Aligners are devoid of sharp or protruding edges as they are designed for individual use, and users can remove their molds at any time for brushing, flossing, and eating, hence making it more comfortable to use with little to no inconveniences.
●Safe for all ages
The invisible aligner is a safe technique for users of all ages from children to teens, young adults, and adults. Since the process of fixture is not as rigorous and strenuous as those involved when using the traditional techniques safety is assured at every use. Although many parents worry that their children could misplace their aligner trays as they are easily removable, it is still a small worry when compared to the numerous benefits of the invisible aligner.
●No food limitations
Many brace users complain of having food limitations because of their braces as they avoid certain food particles that could get stuck in their braces and make oral hygiene difficult. The Invisalign on the other hand doesn’t pose such an issue to its users simply because it is removable. Users can easily remove their aligners to eat whatever they desire without worries of food particles getting stuck anywhere.
●Fixes a wide range of dental issues
The plus side of an invisible aligner is that it fixes a variety of issues at once in comparison to the braces. Since aligners are custom-made after proper examination, they are capable of fixing a variety of dental issues through the same process. Dental issues such as misaligned teeth, gap teeth, under or overbite, crossbite, and open bite are some of the most popularly tackled by the aligner. Additional underlying issues that the aligner fixes include cavities and gum diseases which often emanate from misaligned teeth, bite, and other dental alignment issues.
●Compact time frame and timesaving
Traditional orthodontic treatments take a longer time to act. At least between 2-5 years. An aligner on the other hand completes its entire alignment process alongside other issues within 6 - 18 months. This works in so far as the users keep the aligner on for at least 20 hours a day. And considering that this whole timeframe includes periods when you can remove the aligner to eat, brush, and floss, it is a short time. Also, using an Invisalign reduces the time you need to spend at the dentist or orthodontist’s office. An aligner requires fewer appointments and fewer regular checks for optimum functionality, unlike traditional braces that require frequent visits at least every 4 weeks.
●Improves your smile and confidence
There is no way we can skip mentioning the tremendous effect the Invisalign has on an individual’s smile. Invisalign offers users perfectly realigned teeth in a short time, giving rise to a bright smile at the end of it all with stronger and more beautiful teeth.
The perfect smile will not only boost your self-confidence but also allow you to enjoy life to the fullest.
Bigger Smile with Invisalign
What is stopping you from getting that bright, strong, and confident smile today? A quick visit to any specialized orthodontics such as Cordoba Orthodontics will set the pace and you’ll be put through the entire process of getting yourself a perfect and healthy smile through Invisalign. Feel free to reach out to us today!
How a Teen's Smile Can Affect Their Confidence
Teenagers are well known for worrying about what other people think about them. They’re not being deliberately self-centered or narcissistic; they’re just hard-wired that way. Adolescents are acutely aware their smile says a lot about them and plays an important role in creating a good impression.
Unfortunately, dental problems such as crooked, protruding or misaligned teeth plague many teens in the U.S., and this can lead to feelings that they’re unattractive to others, as their self-confidence plummets. This situation can quickly become a vicious circle because smiling actually makes you feel better about yourself, and if you’re embarrassed about your teeth, you certainly won’t want to show them off with a beaming grin.
During the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood, hormones take hold of the teenager, producing stronger moods and emotions, often resulting in low self-esteem and a greater awareness of peer pressure. These mood swings are caused by fluctuations in the levels of the chemicals testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.
The Crucial Role of a Teenager’s Smile
Maintaining at least some level of self-regard during these surge and dips in hormonal levels can be difficult but is vital for a healthy journey into adulthood, and the confidence to show off a winning smile during social interaction performs an important function in progressing toward adult maturity. Teens who suffer from a lack of self-confidence during the emotional turmoil of adolescence are more susceptible to negative influences of their peers and are more likely to become depressed.
Adolescents are naturally self-consciousness and suspicious that everyone is watching them. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that teenagers feel more embarrassed than younger children or adults when they believe they’re being observed. A Psychological Science study in 2013 concluded that in adolescence, self-conscious emotion peaked in response to evaluation by others.
The beaming smile that comes with teeth in good condition isn’t the only factor that affects a teen’s confidence but there’s plenty of research to suggest it plays a crucial role. It all boils down to that if you think you look good, you’ll feel good, and teens in this state of mind are likely to be confident about learning from new experiences while less likely to fall into the trap of succumbing to negative peer pressure.
The Problem of Psychological Bullying Among Teens
In 2014, U.S. government health experts published a report indicating that irregularities of the jaw and teeth prompted teasing and harassment among youngsters, impacting social interactions and mental wellbeing. When you’re in your formative years, these slights and jibes can be particularly cutting, because teens tend to compare themselves with their peers, and if they feel they don’t measure up, it’s a big deal for them.
Results of a study presented in 2016 in The Angle Orthodontist, the official publication of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, showed that orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth resulted in a significant boost in self-regard and quality of life.
Other research has shown that 6 per cent of teenagers unhappy about their smile were also insecure about their overall appearance, and 30 per cent were most self-conscious about their teeth.
Judging a Book by Its Cover
Older teens unhappy with their smile who are starting to think about making their own way in the world face another source of anxiety. Rightly or wrongly, appearance plays a major part in the first impressions we make and how others perceive us, and this can affect the ability to get a job, according to the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO), which concluded that people with “ideal” smiles are considered more intelligent.
Among other studies that confirm the power of a smile when it comes to first impressions are two by market research and strategy agency Kelton Global, on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and Align Technology, makers of Invisalign the clear, removable appliances to correct misalignment of teeth.
Kelton found that people with an attractive smile were perceived as being more successful and smarter than someone with crooked teeth. Tim Mack, senior vice-president of business development for Align Technology, said: "You can say you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but people do it every day."
How to Restore Your Teen’s Smile and Self-Esteem
Babies start smiling within a few weeks of birth. They discover that crying gains attention but smiling keeps it. As an outward manifestation of happiness, a genuine smile connects us with others. However, this social system becomes weakened when people don’t smile or conceal a smile through concerns about how they look, which can lead to difficulties in relationships.
If you are a parent of a teen struggling with lack of self-esteem through embarrassment about the condition of their teeth, an orthodontic dentist may be able to help put things right. A specialist in correcting teeth that are not positioned properly can restore your kid’s winning smile – and self-confidence – while improving the functionality of how their teeth and jaws bite together.
Look for an orthodontist who can offer a range of braces, like Dr. John Cordoba. Traditional braces are still popular among adults but teenagers may prefer more modern devices that are practically invisible. You’ll find that a reputable orthodontic dental office, like Cordoba Orthodontics, keeps up to speed with the latest advances in dental techniques and technologies, including 3D digital imaging. If your child is towards the lower end of the teenage spectrum, he or she will probably feel more at ease in a dental office that provides a fun, friendly environment for youngsters.
Negotiating the maze of adolescence can be a trying time as the developmental hormones kick in, and teenagers have a lot on their plate – coping with new experiences, adjusting expectations, and trying to strike a balance between schoolwork, friends, family and hobbies. Worrying about their smile or feeling ashamed if they’re not happy with how it looks is another cross that many teens have to bear, but it’s one adolescent burden that can be lifted with the help of parental support and a professional, compassionate orthodontist. Contact Cordoba Orthodontics today and trust the specialists with your adolescent’s smile!
What Can Braces Fix?
Initially, this seems like a very straightforward question. Most people will request orthodontics for themselves or another family member with the aim of achieving a more beautifully aligned smile. In fact, there are several other reasons for considering orthodontic treatment. For example, are you aware that speech impediments can be caused by misaligned teeth or malocclusion, and where your teeth do not bite together correctly? If you have problems with your speech, then orthodontics could help.
When to Consider Orthodontics for Speech Impediments
Your dentist may suggest treatment with us here at Cordoba Orthodontics if you have problems pronouncing certain sounds or words, or if you find you whistle when you talk or if you have a lisp. Treatment may also be helpful if you struggle to be understood and perhaps people complain that you mumble? Our board-certified orthodontist Dr. John Cordoba can provide the most advanced and most up-to-date orthodontic solutions to help you speak more clearly, while at the same time you will enjoy having straighter teeth and a healthy smile.
What Does It Mean If You Have Misaligned Teeth?
When your teeth are poorly aligned, it can cause serious oral health problems. Ideally, when your teeth are properly aligned they will fit easily into your mouth and will be correctly spaced. You won’t have any problems with crowding and your teeth should be properly oriented, so they are not rotated or twisted. When your teeth fit together correctly, your upper teeth will slightly overlap your lower teeth and the cusps of your premolars and molars which are the pointed ridges will fit into the grooves of the teeth in the opposing jaw. Any deviations in alignment are known as malocclusion. If you have malocclusion then your teeth cannot perform vital functions. Malocclusion can occur if you have teeth that are crowded, or if you have a crossbite, overbite, underbite or open bite. One side-effect of malocclusion is frequently biting the insides of your cheeks and lips or biting your tongue.
What Can Cause Malocclusion?
Often malocclusion is inherited but certain conditions and habits can increase the risk of poorly aligned teeth. These include:
- Using a pacifier after age 3
- Prolonged thumb or finger sucking
- Prolonged use of a bottle in early childhood
- Cleft lip and palate
- Tumors in the jaw or mouth
- Having impacted or abnormally shaped teeth
- Poorly fitting dental restorations including crowns and fillings
Speech problems can also be caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils, or by TMJ disorders which affect your jaw joints, making it harder to comfortably move your lower jaw.
How Malocclusion Can Affect Your Speech
If you have an overbite, a crossbite or open bite, then you may have problems with your speech. To speak clearly, teeth must meet correctly, creating a seal and allowing the tongue to be properly positioned in the roof of the mouth. Often an opening is created if you have an overbite or open bite, so instead of your teeth forming the proper seal, it is created by your tongue, resulting in a speech impediment. If there is insufficient room for your tongue which is often a problem with underbites or crossbites, this can also affect speech.
Lisping or Whistling
A lisp or whistle can be caused by an overbite. An overbite is caused when your upper teeth bite too far forward of your lower teeth, overlapping them by a considerable margin. Another possible cause of lisping or whistling could be due to gaps in between your teeth, allowing air to escape while you talk and preventing your tongue from resting in the proper position. Orthodontics can close the gaps in between teeth and correct an overbite.
To pronounce words correctly, your tongue needs to be able to move properly and this also helps to regulate the speed at which you talk. If your teeth are positioned incorrectly, movement of your tongue can be restricted which may result in slurred speech or even a stutter. This problem may also be caused by the structure of your jaw. It is often possible to use braces to align the teeth, creating more room for the tongue.
If your teeth aren’t exactly where they are meant to be then it can be difficult or nearly impossible to pronounce words. Certain sounds require your tongue to contact your teeth, for example, sounds like “s,” “t,” “z” or “ch” will be tricky to pronounce correctly if your teeth are misaligned. It can also be more difficult to pronounce strident sounds, for example, words such as “ship” or “page.” To make the sounds correctly, the stream of air escaping from the mouth must be aligned with the front teeth. If your front teeth do not meet correctly then these strident sounds are harder to enunciate. Orthodontic treatment can precisely realign teeth, making it easier to correctly pronounce words.
Exploring Possible Treatment Options
If you are interested in orthodontics or perhaps have a young child who you think may have speech problems due to the alignment of their teeth, then it’s best to make an appointment for a full consultation with Dr. Cordoba. After examining your teeth and jaws, he can recommend the most suitable treatment to achieve the very best outcome. Your teeth and jaws are unique, so every treatment recommended is carefully customized to accommodate your needs. Young children could benefit from early interceptive orthodontic.
Early Orthodontic Evaluations for Young Patients
Children can have an orthodontic evaluation as early as age 6 or seven. While it is rare for a child to receive orthodontic treatment at this age, an evaluation can be useful in helping to identify potential problems. By closely monitoring the development of your child’s teeth and their jaw growth, Dr. Cordoba can recommend the most suitable treatment to help ensure their bite develops correctly. Sometimes early treatment can be very helpful if your child has a small upper jaw, or if their teeth are in a crossbite, or if they have developmental problems because of thumb or finger sucking. Orthodontic appliances can help to guide the growth of their jaws, potentially reducing treatment time during their teens and preventing the removal of permanent teeth.
Orthodontic Treatment for Adults
Not everyone had the opportunity to wear braces during childhood or may have seen their teeth shift with age. If your speech has been affected, perhaps by teeth shifting position or by tooth loss then it’s possible for Dr. Cordoba to work with your general dentist, repositioning your teeth prior to restorative dental work. This can help to ensure you receive an optimal outcome if you need dental implants or a dental bridge.
Contact Cordoba Orthodontics today to find out more!
Orthodontists vs. General Dentists
Everyone wants straight teeth and these days patients have plenty of options in terms of how they go about creating a more beautiful smile. In addition to traditional braces, patients sometimes qualify to use Invisalign as a straightening device. But if you’re considering getting your teeth straightened, you may be wondering whether you should go to an orthodontist or just have your regular dentist do the work. But most dentists aren’t qualified or knowledgeable about how to straighten teeth. By better understanding the differences between dentists and orthodontists, you can take the next step toward getting a straighter, healthier smile with confidence. We took some time at Cordoba Orthodontics to put together a guide to help you learn more about this.
Orthodontists vs. Dentists: What’s the Difference?
At Cordoba Orthodontics, we regularly educate our patients about the difference between dentists and orthodontists and what sets them apart from each other. There are some similarities between them after all, but also some important differences. First, let’s talk about schooling and how dentists and orthodontists differ in terms of education, training, and experience.
Both orthodontists and dentists begin their careers by graduating from dental school. But only students who are at the top of their dental classes will be invited into an orthodontic residency program. Orthodontics is a competitive field and it represents a higher level of attainment in terms of education and experience.
Once a student is accepted into an orthodontics program, they must do an additional two to three years of training full-time with an emphasis on orthodontic work. What this means is that orthodontists have spent two to three years doing nothing but studying work that’s relevant to straightening the teeth. This includes working with traditional braces, straightening the teeth, and problems related to bite.
General dentists, on the other hand, do not have this level of training or expertise in regard to moving and straightening the teeth or adjusting the bite. Essentially, orthodontists are dentists who studied for an additional two to three years in order to develop very specific expertise regarding the movement and straightening of the teeth. As with medical doctors who can specialize in general medicine or go on to study specific body systems in depth in order to work as specialists in their field, dentists can also specialize in orthodontics.
What Dentists Do
Dentists work with issues like tooth decay or gum disease. They specialize in diseases and disorders related to the teeth and gums. Their work is focused primarily on helping patients achieve good oral hygiene both at home and through regular office visits and teeth cleanings twice every year. Some dentists may specialize in an area like periodontal care (pertaining to the gums and the bones beneath the teeth), but most dentists work very generally to keep the patient’s teeth and gums healthy. Patients get an appointment with the dentist to treat problems like gum disease or tooth decay, not to straighten their teeth. Below are common problems that general dentists are able to treat:
- Cavities/tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Repairing diseased or broken teeth
What Orthodontists Do
Orthodontists have all of the knowledge and training of a general dentist, but they are also educated and trained in the science and art of straightening the teeth. They’ve devoted years of study to topics like jaw alignment, the movement of the teeth, bite (malocclusions), and dental issues as they relate to the jaw, among other things. Common problems that orthodontists treat include the following:
- Crowded teeth
- Teeth that are improperly spaced
At Cordoba Orthodontics, we have all the knowledge and education of a dental clinic in addition to the knowledge and training required to function as an orthodontist. We specialize in moving the teeth and working with the patient’s bite to create the most aesthetically appealing end result possible.
Can Dentists Straighten Teeth?
Dentists can straighten teeth. But dentists who did not complete an orthodontic residency, will not have the same level of skill as an orthodontist who spent years studying teeth straightening in-depth. General dentists can attend seminars to gain knowledge about how to straighten teeth, but often, because their knowledge and training regarding teeth straightening is limited, they often offer cookie-cutter solutions to patients and treat each patient as though their issues are exactly the same.
Though dentists can straighten teeth, the rea