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Sydnee Mcinulty

Invisalign over Metal Braces

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If your parents didn’t opt for getting you braces as a child, have no fear! It’s not too late! Considering the origination of Invisalign, more and more adults are discovering the beautiful smile they have always desired and with much less of embarrassment. Those days of smiling at your third-grade crush at lunch with PB &J stuck in your braces are over.

Metal braces in general are unattractive, clunky, can be painful, and are overall distracting. Invisalign are as the name suggests, are practically invisible. Invisalign is a tray made of clear thermoplastic material making it hardly noticeable that you have aligners on. Any type of mouth shifting treatment can cause discomfort however, Invisalign provides less pressure. Stained teeth and red gums are also a problem when traditional braces are removed. It’s difficult to brush and flossing around metal braces. You need to maneuver around your wires to get to the parts you can’t normally reach. With Invisalign, you can remove the tray and do what you need to do. You are also able to whiten your teeth when needed.
The list goes on and on about foods you have to avoid when you have metal braces. The clear aligners can be removed while you’re eating. We recommend you to avoid or limit your sugar consumption in general. However, indulging every now and then is no problem when you don’t have to think about damaging your metal brackets. Sports activity also doesn’t need to take the backseat when you have Invisalign. Playing any sport with metal braces makes it harder when of the fear of the metal scraping and cutting your mouth is looming over you. Invisalign can be taken out when playing and even with it on you don’t have to worry about anything happening to the inside of your mouth.
If the appearance of metal braces has been holding you back from a straighter smile, Invisalign could be a great option. Give Invisalign and Braces in Orange County a call to set up a free consultation and find out if Invisalign is right option for you.

Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home During COVID-19

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Due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic almost all Orthodontic offices are closed or only open to emergency appointments. So, how can you handle potential orthodontic issues that may arise at home? There are a few different steps that can be taken while you are at home during the pandemic to keep your mouth free from any discomfort and maintain any temporary fixes.  If you are experiencing any extreme discomfort it is extremely important to notify your orthodontist as soon as possible to alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.

Tools and Supplies to Keep on Hand

Being sure to keep these tools and supplies on hand will ensure that you are readily prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues.

  • Orthodontic Wax
  • Dental Floss
  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
  • Topical Anesthetic
  • Salt-Water Rinse
  • Interproximal Brush

Experiencing Discomfort

While it is normal to experience discomfort while you are going through our orthodontic treatment, however, orthodontic discomfort should not last any longer than a couple of days at most. If you are having severe discomfort or pain it’s important to rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate some of the discomfort. Be sure to contact your Orthodontic office if the pain persists longer than a couple of days as there could be an underlying issue that may need to be addressed or discussed.

Mouth Sores or Irritation

Sometimes braces and wires can be irritating to a patient’s mouth, especially when eating, and can cause irritation or even mouth sores.  While braces themselves do not cause mouth sores, they can be precipitated or exacerbated by the irritation of the brackets. While mouth sores are not actually considered an orthodontic emergency, prompt relief can be achieved by applying orthodontic wax or topical relief such as ora-gel or orabase to the ulcerated or irritated area. By placing orthodontic wax on top of the bracket that is causing irritation you are creating a smooth surface barrier between the bracket and inside of your mouth to help eliminate irritation. Orthodontic wax and topical relief can be purchased at any drug store or large supermarket while you are awaiting your postponed orthodontic appointment. If after multiple days the irritation and or mouth sores do not subside, be sure to call your Orthodontist to create an appointment to help find the underlying cause or issue regarding the irritation.

Protruding Wires

Occasionally the ends of wires can come loose and ultimately can irritate the inside of your mouth. By using a Q-tip or disinfected tweezers try to push the exposed wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position coat the exposed wire with orthodontic relief wax to provide immediate relief until you are able to see your Orthodontist.

Loose Bands or Brackets

If any of your orthodontic braces or brackets have become loose or fallen off please contact your Orthodontist immediately. Experiencing a loose or broken bracket does qualify as an orthodontic emergency so it is crucial to call your Orthodontist immediately following the orthodontic issue regarding your brackets to make an appointment.

While we are all ready to get back to our normal lives; if you have an orthodontic issue during these times not all issues qualify as an emergency. If you have any questions regarding what qualifies as an orthodontic emergency, give our office a call, and braces or an Invisalign specialist will be able to answer any and all of your questions and guide you in the right direction regarding what steps you need to take to keep your smile healthy during COVID-19.

4 Ways to Relieve Painful Braces

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Whether you just got them or getting them tightened, braces can be painful and the pressure on that’s on your teeth results in aching jaws and gums. Fear not as there are several ways you can relieve some discomfort with some of these tips.

  1. Drug Store Pain Medicine

As with headaches or cramps, you can take over-the-counter medications to relieve some pain. Taking the medicine an hour before your appointment is the most efficient way to reduce feeling sore.

  1. A Cold Compress

Holding a cold compress to your jaw and mouth a couple of times a day may provide some relief. The cold slows the flow of blood and constricts the vessels which help numb the pain to reduce inflammation.

  1. Gum Massage

Gently rub your gums in a circular motion by using your fingers. Using a cube of ice to numb your gums will have more effective results.

  1. Rinse with Warm Water

Gurgling warm salt water for about 30 seconds can speed up the healing of any sore or cuts you might have in your mouth. The saltwater can reduce swelling by drawing out fluids and cleaning the affected area.

The most important way to get over the pain of braces is time. The discomfort would only be last a couple of days, but your smile will stay with you. If you have any other questions, please contact us at Invisalign and Braces in Orange County.

Welcome to Invisalign and Braces in Orange County

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Invisalign and Braces in Orange County is an Orange County, CA-based Orthodontics practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long-lasting smiles! We are proud to have an exceptional group of dental professionals on our staff.

Our standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality orthodontics services our patients deserve. We provide comprehensive treatment planning to achieve your optimal dental health. Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.

Our exceptional, friendly staff is our greatest asset. They are excited about what they are doing, have high standards of quality and integrity, and are motivated to achieve the best results for our family of patients. Our dental assistants are highly skilled with many hours of training and meet all requirements for state licensure.

We pride ourselves on our ability to stay on top of all of our treatments and our communication with our patients.  During your consultation, we will take the time to assess any preexisting dental conditions you may have.  We will make sure we are aware of all of your dental goals and desires in order to provide you with the best course of action and all the information you need to get there.

Invisalign and Braces in Orange County offers many different types of braces including Invisalign, Cosmetic Braces, 6 in 6 months’ braces as well as regular metal braces. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to see what types of braces you’re qualified for!

What to Expect When Getting your Braces Off

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The day your braces come off is often a day that is celebrated and thought of for a long time to finally see the new smile you have achieved. When you arrive to get your braces taken off, your appointment should take about an hour+ to be on your way to show off your new smile to the world. Here are a few thing of what you can expect during your removal appointment:

De-Banding

First your orthodontist will use special orthodontic pliers to gentry crack the adhesive from the bracket to the tooth and remove the complete bracket. Often time’s people are worried about the brackets staining their teeth. Depending on how well you looked after your teeth during the course of your orthodontic treatment will depend on if/how big the stains may be. If your oral hygiene was poor during your treatment, it is possible that you could have staining from the braces. Luckily if that is the case, Orthodontic Center of OC offers teeth whitening service at all locations.

Fitting the Fixed Retainer

Your Orthodontist will determine if a fixed retainer is best for you and your treatment plan. Having a fixed retainer is a good solution for keeping your smile fresh and straight long term. A fixed retainer consists of adhering a thin piece of wire on the back of your top and bottom arches. The fixed retainer is permanent but it can also be removed if necessary. Our doctors will then go over with you the proper steps to take when keeping good oral hygenine and teach you how to brush your teeth and avoid the retainer.

 

Removable Retainers

If you’re Orthodontist determines that your smile does not need a fixed retainer and that you will be fitted for a removable retainer. Impressions of your teeth are taken to make the removable retainer and can be picked up shortly after your removal appointment. Removable retainers are meant to be worn for at least 22 hours a day except when you are eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. Your removable retainer needs to be worn full time for at least the first 3 months after your braces are removed to ensure your teeth are not moving and holding their new positioning. If you lose or break your retainer, do not hesitate to call our office- it is important to get your retainer replaced immediately to make sure your teeth do not start shifting.

Caring for your New Smile

Ensuring that you keep up with your routine 3-6 month check-ups is a crucial part to your treatment plan after getting your braces off. At these check-ups your Orthodontist will check up on your smile and ensure there are no problems arising with your retainer and that your teeth are still in the correct positioning. As you or your child grows tooth positions are expected to change throughout a lifetime so it is important to keep wearing the retainer your Orthodontist provide to minimalize any positioning changes.

If you or your child has any questions before getting their braces removed, don’t hesitate to ask your Doctor before the removal or give our office a call and one of our staff members will be able to answer all of your questions.

6 Common Types of Bite Problems

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While everyone is born with different genes and genetics, often times environmental factors can come into play when baby teeth are growing in and can impact the alignment of the teeth. Below is a list of 6 different bite problems that children and even adults can have before corrective Orthodontic treatment:

  1. Overbites

Overbites are one of the most common bite problems in children and adults. An overbite is often times caused by the shape and size of the individuals jaw or teeth. If the jaw has too little or too much space in between the teeth, it can cause major problems and even cause crowding. When an overbite is severe enough it can cause irreparable damage to the teeth, including; jaw pain, tooth decay / cavities, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, sleep apnea, severe headaches, discomfort when eating or opening/closing mouth, and difficulty speaking.

  1. Crossbites

A crossbite is oftentimes when the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth or vice versa. This frequently can be caused by the misalignment of teeth, or misalignment of the jawbone. If the jaw were to shift to a single side it can wear down the enamel on the tooth/teeth. Anterior crossbites are when the front teeth sit behind the bottom teeth. Because a crossbite can occur from genetics, it can cause delayed loss of baby teeth or abnormal eruption of the permanent teeth. When the teeth are pushed out, the bone can be distorted. Addressing a crossbite as soon as possible is crucial as it can cause larger problems when left untreated later in life and may require more extensive orthodontic treatment.

  1. Underbites

An underbite is when the bottom teeth are in front and overlap the top front teeth. An underbite is the exact opposite of an overbite. An underbite only affects between 5%-10% of the population and can range from slight to severe, even though both can cause significant problems. Underbites are most often caused by genetics and cannot be prevented but are mainly caused by overcrowding of the teeth or a larger lower law. When an underbite is left untreated,existing complications such as difficulty chewing, and pain can increase. Sometimes symptoms aren’t noticeable until later in life but the wear and tear of misalignment causes pain and can erode the enamel, increasing the risk for tooth decay, gum disease and infection. Orthodontic treatments have a few different options to fix an underbite.

  1. Open Bites

An open bite occurs when the back teeth are together but the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. When an open bite is not corrected it can cause problems swallowing and even speech problems. One of the major causes for an open bite is actually thumb-sucking.Stopping the bad habit as soon as possible is essential to avoid an open bite later in life when the permanent teeth have grown in. Having an open bite is completely avoidable, but is still easily fixed with Orthodontic treatment.

  1. Crowding

Crowed teeth occur when there is inadequate space for the teeth. Crowding can be caused by insufficient space in the jaw or simply by large teeth. Having crowded teeth can result in rotated or teeth that overlap while appearing crooked or have a staggered appearance. While crooked and protruding teeth are their own problems, when combined they often lead to crowding as well. Because there is difficulty brushing and flossing crowded teeth it can lead to growth to bacteria, bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and plaque. In children and adults crowded teeth can be repaired with Orthodontic treatment. Call your closest Orthodontic Center of Orange County location to find out what treatment is best for you.

  1. Spacing

Having too much space between your teeth can result in missing teeth, undersized teeth, oversized jaws or a combination of all 3 of the conditions. While spacing between the teeth isn’t the worth of these common bite problems it can cause an annoyance with food getting stuck between the teeth and possibly suffering from cavities and gum disease later in life. There is a lack of protection to your teeth which can lead to reduced performance and of course, gum disease. Orthodontic treatment for spacing between the teeth is a relatively common treatment.

If you or your child is suffering from any of these common bite problems, call your local Orthodontic Center of Orange County location and schedule a free consultation to see what type of treatment would be best for you.

Tips for Teaching your Kids to Take Care of Their Teeth

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As a parent you worry about your child; but worrying about what sugars they are putting into their mouths shouldn’t be something that you need to stress over. One of the most challenging tasks as a parent is teaching your children good oral health and hygiene. Kids can be ever so forgetful and brushing and flossing can seem like chores to children.

Diet is a Major Playing Card

Sure you can keep your children away from sugar but can you keep the sugar away from your kids? Sugar masks itself in the most inconspicuous foods that are delicious snacks. Just because it’s a strawberry and it’s a fruit doesn’t mean it’s not pack full of sugars that can be extremely harmful for your teeth is not property taken care of. However, did you know that cheese can also help fight off cavities? Swiss, mozzarella, Monterey jack, and cheddar all stimulate the salivary glands which help wash away plaque-causing foods.

Ensure your Child is Getting Sealants over Their Fillings

Sealants are a clear coating that is places on-top or in the grooves of your child teeth to prevent any type of decay. As much as we want to admit our kids are perfect little brushers, we know they’re not brushing as well as they could or should be. Sealants can do wonders for children who are struggling to brush every one of their teeth at every angle and can be extremely beneficial to the child’s teeth in the future.

Floss, Floss, Floss

Now as adults we know how detrimental flossing is to our overall oral health and can the make or break of a healthy smile. Often enough we are guilty of letting our children skip out on flossing every day. Flossing is one habit that should be started as early as possible and not treated as a chore as this can be one of the most important things to maintaining your child’s healthy smile.

Using the Right Toothbrush

Toothbrushes can some in all different shapes, sizes and other varieties but the best and most efficient toothbrushes for children are the soft bristled brushes marked with ADA approved on the packaging. Replacing your brush every 3 months is extremely important as a toothbrush that is long overdue for a replacement can start to irritate your gums and even make them bleed. Understanding the correct and incorrect way to brush your teeth is something that should be explained when your children first start brushing their teeth on their own. Incorrect brushing can make your child’s life just a little bit harder than it needs to be.

Having a healthy smile and good oral hygiene is extremely important- especially in children who are just starting to create the habit. Call Orthodontic Center of OC for your free consultation to see our Pediatric dentist, today!

Teeth Whitening After Braces

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Once you’ve finally finished the race and crossed the finishing line, you’re saying goodbye to your braces and hello to your new beautiful smile! After having your braces removed you know there is not a better feeling than having a smooth surface of your brace-free teeth, showing off your new smile and being able to take that first bite of an apple again.

Many people experience discoloration of their teeth around the braces after orthodontic treatment. Perhaps you weren’t able to maneuver your toothbrush around each and every single bracket at every angel- it happens! Naturally, with your newly straight teeth it is completely normal to want your teeth to be as white as they are straight. There are several different methods when considering cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening, but as wearing braces can cause a temporary weakness in the teeth, so you have to be a little more careful with how you choose to whiten your teeth post-treatment.

While there are many ‘at-home’ teeth whitening options, as well as many DIY options as well, it’s important to bear in mind that these whitening treatments can actually weaken your teeth. Orthodontic Center of Orange County offers a free teeth whitening service in their office after your Invisalign treatment with the office is complete! Ortho Center OC understands how having the perfect smile is necessary after having your braces or Invisalign removed. The General Dental Council clearly advises that whitening is an ‘act of dentistry’, and therefore needs to be carried out in the right setting – preferably in a dental practice, by a qualified dentist. What better way to have your teeth whitened for free rather than having it done by your Orthodontist who was by your side throughout your entire treatment.

Orthodontic Center of Orange County is offering new patients free teeth whitening at the end of their Invisalign treatment at selected practices. For further information or if you have any additional questions about our teeth whitening special, click here– to read more. If you’re interested in furthering your Orthodontic treatment, call Ortho Center OC today to set up your free consultation!

Six in 6 vs. Invisalign: What’s the Difference?

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If you’ve found yourself needing braces after unsuccessful treatments or if it’s your first time wearing braces, today we are going to explain the difference between two of our more popular choices for our adult patients.

Six in 6:

If you are one of the millions of adults in need of adult braces who are unhappy, self-conscious or even embarrassed of your smile, Orthodontic Center of Orange County can help.

Many adults spend their entire lives covering their mouths when they laugh, smile or talk. They feel stuck because they do not want to wear adult metal braces for years or they are concerned that other corrective teeth straightening procedures could be too invasive or too expensive. Now, there is an effective, safe and affordable cosmetic braces solution that fits your lifestyle.

A revolutionary combination of proven orthodontic techniques, modern materials, and innovative thought – The Orthodontic Center of Orange County’s Six in 6 utilizes specialized clear braces to gently straighten and align teeth in an average time of just six months. The speed of six in 6 is usually reflected within the overall price, and in most cases it costs less than the average metal braces or Invisalign orthodontic treatment. If you’re worried about your teeth not being where you would like them to be in 6 months time, call us for a complimentary consultation to see what other options may be right for you and your lifestyle.

Invisalign:

The Orthodontic Center of Orange County specializes in the Invisalign clear braces procedure. We can provide a complimentary consultation to determine if you would be a good candidate for clear Invisalign braces. Invisalign takes a modern method to straightening your teeth by using a series of custom-made, removable, plastic appliance called aligners which are made specifically from an impression of your mouth. While you wear these custom clear aligners, they gradually and gently shift your teeth into place based on a plan by our doctors here at the Orthodontics Center of Orange County.

While the benefits from the Invisalign treatment are a straighter, more beautiful smile; this procedure can also improve the health of your mouth, which can have an impact on your overall health. Also, treatment time ranges 6-12 months depended on how much teeth alignment is needed by a patient.

The benefits of Invisalign compared to traditional metal braces are:

  • You can straighten your teeth without others knowing.
  • The aligners are removable, you can eat and drink what you want.
  • You can brush and floss normally due to aligners being removable.
  • Aligners are comfortable compared to wires and brackets.
  • We will mail you all your clear aligners

The Invisalign process begins by taking an impression of your mouth. While most orthodontics offices will take an impression of your mouth using a poly-vinyl siloxane-based impression material; the Orthodontic Center of Orange County does not use this older method. We use the state-of-the-art iTero Digital Impression Scanner to make the more accurate impressions of your teeth without having to gooey impression material that can make some patients gag. Call us to schedule a consultation, or you can fill out our contact form is you would like more information about how Invisalign can help you get a great smile quick and easy.

Metal Braces vs. Ceramic Braces

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Metal Braces

Metal braces, or most commonly referred to as traditional braces, are the most common type of braces used in the practice of orthodontic care. The traditional metal braces used by the Orthodontic Center of Orange County utilize high quality stainless steel. Technology in traditional braces has advanced that today metal braces can be smaller, more comfortable and more effective than only a few years ago.

Metal braces straighten your teeth by using metal brackets that are glued to your teeth, along with using archwires which can easily be adjusted for added comfort. The archwire can be fabricated from several alloys, but the most common are beta-titanium, nickel-titanium and stainless steel. Traditonal braces are often used to correct underbites, overbites, cross bites, crooked teeth, or other flaws of the jaw and teeth.

Treatment Duration                                                        

Wearing braces can last 2-3 years with adjustments needed about once a month. After the braces are taken off, your brand new, straight smile can last a life time. This time frame can be longer or shorter dependent on the age of the patient and the amount of tooth straightening needed.

The overall benefits of metal braces compared to others types of orthodontic braces are their average lower cost, and the option to have colored bands placed on the braces. We also provide the option of adding colored ties which can be set in different and fun patterns. These colored ties can also be swapped out during your next office visit. Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can determine if you are a candidate for braces.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. Ceramic braces are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.

While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Ceramic brackets can be used in place of metal brackets for a more discreet appearance. Ceramic brackets are constructed to mimic the color of the tooth so the only part of the braces that is clearly visible is the arch wire. The bands used to hold the arch wire in place are usually clear or white, but colored bands can also be chosen. Ceramic brackets generally cost more than standard metal brackets.