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Child VS. Adult Braces

Differences Between Child and Adult Orthodontics

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Braces are still one of the most frequent and effective procedures for treating bite issues and misaligned teeth for both children and adults. Also, adults are becoming more interested in them because of the many options accessible nowadays.

Braces accomplish the same thing regardless of age: they move and straighten teeth and correct bite problems. But what are the differences between child and adult orthodontics? Well, today we will share them with you.

Young Woman Getting BracesAdults Have Fully Developed Teeth

One of the most significant differences between orthodontic treatment for adults and children is that adult teeth and jaws are completely developed while children’s teeth and jaws are still growing. It is easier to make alignment changes to the teeth and jaws of younger patients since they are still in the process of oral growth.

Adults’ bones have calcified, and the tissues around their teeth have settled into their current positions by the time they reach adulthood. The process of realignment is made a little more difficult by these conditions, which are referred to as biomechanical limits.

Past Tooth Extractions

Several adults have had one or more teeth extracted before, which can sometimes cause orthodontist problems. Unless old extraction sites are restored with sections of prosthetic bone, they may not be viable places for teeth to shift into. Because adult bone does not respond to pressure in the same way that developing bone does, closing gaps between teeth produced by extractions – and keeping them closed – can sometimes be challenging.

Bite CorrectionYoung Boy Getting Braces

Correcting a malocclusion or inadequate bite is one of the most common reasons patients seek orthodontic treatment. In an older patient with a deep overbite, there is generally not enough space in the mouth to make room for the teeth to shift back without removing one or more teeth.

The orthodontist has additional possibilities to fix the bite in children and teenagers. The jaw will commonly respond to aligners and dental appliances. In the case of adults, the orthodontist may decide to fix the bite. Rather than aiming for perfection, the goal is to restore your smile as much as the conditions allow.

Adults’ Reaction to Braces

A great benefit that adults have when it comes to braces treatments is experience. Before scheduling a visit with an orthodontist, most adults have a good idea of what to anticipate. Previous dental procedures provided the information and exposure. And they can be relaxed and willing, which makes the procedure easier.

Children, on the other hand, are more hesitant to seek care. When working with children, an orthodontist may have to use a different approach.

Orthodontic treatment can vary significantly between children and adults, as you can see, but if you are an adult looking for braces, don’t worry! Although they may seem a little more difficult to work with older people, they’re nothing that good orthodontic practice cannot handle. Such as The Orthodontic Center of Orange County. Here we are experienced and trained to handle any orthodontic treatment. We will work with you to provide you with the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today!

Young Girl Eating Pizza

Tips to Make Eating with Braces Easier

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When patients get braces, they are often concerned about continuing to eat their favorite foods. Although it may be hard to put your favorite foods away, it is a crucial part of avoiding unexpected complications with your braces. We know that figuring out what you can and can’t eat might be challenging, so we want to share with you these general guidelines to keep your braces and teeth safe while eating.

Begin by Eating Soft Foods

Your teeth may be uncomfortable for a few hours after you get your braces on, which is very normal. It proves that your braces are working.

Begin by consuming soft meals like fruit smoothies, noodles, mashed potatoes, and rice. These foods are less likely to harm your braces or bring pain and discomfort to your sensitive, aching teeth since they are simpler to chew.

Avoid Hard or Chewy Foods

Young Woman Eating Watermelon

Before you consume anything while wearing braces, think about how long it will be in your teeth. If the response is a prolonged time, such as in the case of hard candies, there’s a higher chance of harming your braces, so you should avoid it. This is also true for chewy candy, like taffy and caramel, which have a high chance of being stuck in your braces’ bands or wires for an extended period.

Avoid Gatorade and Soft Drinks

These beverages are highly acidic and full of sugar, both of which will permanently damage the enamel of your teeth. Water and milk are both healthier options. Soft drinks and Gatorade should be reserved for exceptional occasions. They should never be consumed for an extended time, and after drinking, we recommend brushing properly or rinsing with water to reduce the amount of damage.

Take Smaller Bites

Rather than chewing into larger bits, cut your meal into bite-sized pieces. To make an apple more manageable with braces, cut it into thin slices rather than biting into it. Taking efforts like these will help you manage discomfort and protect your braces while also providing you with additional nutritional alternatives.

Brush your Teeth After Every Meal

With braces, what you do after you eat is just as essential as what you eat. Even if you avoid all of the foods listed above, it is significantly more probable that food will become trapped in your braces. So, be careful and keep a toothbrush with you at all times so you may clean your teeth after each meal. It’s also a good idea to bring floss with you to remove all the food out from between the brackets so that any remaining food doesn’t sit on your teeth and cause harm.

Use your Back Teeth to Chew

Your back teeth are stronger and bigger than your front teeth. Using your front teeth to rip or tug at meals is not a good idea.  Place tiny portions of food toward the back of your mouth instead.

Drink Water

It is also beneficial to drink plenty of water while eating, as this will soften the foods and make them easier to swallow. Drinking water can also help you dislodge food stuck in your braces while you’re eating. You should always carry a bottle of water with you.

Chew Slowly

Always eat more slowly and thoroughly. If your teeth are very sensitive, you’ll probably be doing this anyway, but if you’re hurrying, make sure to slow down and chew slowly.

All of these tips will make it easier for you to eat with braces, but remember that it is best if you always consult everything with your dentist, especially if you’re having any issues with your treatment. Here at the Invisalign and Braces in OC, we are always ready to assist you and bring you excellent service with our exceptional group of dental professionals on our staff.  Contact us today!

Bad Habits You Should Avoid When Wearing Invisalign

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Invisalign is a clear, comfortable, and discreet way to straighten your teeth in a short time. While you would never purposefully prolong your treatment, there are a few common bad habits that can cause significant delays or damage to your Invisalign. That’s why we want to share 6 things that you should avoid when you are wearing them.

  • Wearing Invisalign Trays Without Brushing First

Brushing is especially necessary for people who are wearing aligner trays as part of their orthodontic treatment. If you don’t brush your teeth adequately before wearing your aligners after eating, food particles from your meal could become trapped between and against your teeth inside the trays. This increases the number of germs in the mouth and raises the risk of tooth decay.

  • Leaving the Trays Laying Out

When you are not using your aligners, you must keep them in their case. If you keep them out in the open, you risk exposing them to airborne infections and bacterial growth. You’re more likely to lose or damage your aligners if you don’t keep them in their respected case.

  • Changing your Aligners Late

When it’s time to switch to a new aligner, your dentist will let you know. Many patients, unfortunately, fail to replace their aligners on time, and it takes them an extra day or two to remember. While an extra day may not seem like a big deal, keep in mind that by the time you’ve worn the aligner for the recommended amount of time, it’s already shifted your teeth as far as it can. You’re not gaining much (if any) benefit from that extra day of wear. So, if you change your aligners late frequently, your Invisalign treatment may need to be extended by a month or two to adequately straighten your teeth.

  • Forgetting to Remove your Aligners When Eating or Drinking

Except for pure water, you should avoid eating and drinking while wearing Invisalign aligners. The aligners aren’t designed to withstand the force of chewing. Food and drinks might also become stuck between the aligners and your teeth. This not only puts you in danger of cavities, but it also stains your teeth. Finally, eating or drinking while wearing Invisalign might discolor the aligners, defeating the purpose of the almost invisible treatment.

  • Exposing your Aligners to Heat

Your aligners can wrap if you clean them in hot water, drink a hot beverage while putting them on, or leave them in a heated place. This will change the fit of your trays, potentially affecting your results. Make sure they aren’t exposed to excessive heat. If you’re rinsing them, make sure the water is lukewarm rather than boiling. When sipping a hot beverage, always remove them out of your mouth.

  • Using Harsh Cleansers on your Aligners

Toothpaste can be abrasive, causing your aligners to scrape, this will make them stand out more. Also, stay away from harsh soaps, particularly those that are colored or scented. When you put your aligners back in, they may cause discoloration and won’t taste very good.

If you avoid these bad habits, your Invisalign treatment will go as smoothly as possible. At Invisalign and Braces in OC, we will walk you through your treatment and provide you with advice; we want nothing more than to provide you with the best results possible. Contact us today!

We’re working with Invisalign Near Me Deals

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Orthodontic Center OC offers the latest technology in orthodontics, Invisalign, and braces. We’re proud to be an Invisalign Near Me Deals featured office. We equip you with all the information you need about braces before deciding on treatment.  We’ve been featured on their website for our deals and we’re proud to announce that we’re now featured on the homepage! Let us help you get perfect teeth with a smile that’s symmetrical and healthy. If none of our 5 convenient Orange County locations are local to you, Invisalign Near Me Deals offers a user-friendly directory where you are able to find an Invisalign orthodontic office local to you that offers deals!

At Orthodontic Center OC, we offer a warm and welcoming environment with all the latest equipment and technologies, so it’s never been easier to find the best orthodontic care for your needs. You can even book a free consultation – just fill out our online form today! Orthodontic Center OC has not only some of the most convenient locations for Invisalign in OC, but is also one of the most affordable! We offer a cost-effective solution that is sure to meet all your needs.

Sleeping with Braces and How to Cope

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Sleeping without having braces is much different than sleeping with them and anyone who has ever had braces can tell you how and why. In the first few days with your new braces you might find yourself having trouble sleeping from the soreness of your gums and cheeks. This is a very common thing to go through in the beginning of orthodontic treatment. Not every patient will experience this but a majority of patients do, so there are a few things that can help ease your pain while your adjust to your new life with braces.

Pain Relievers

Our staff and orthodontists highly recommend taking acetaminophen to help reduce any pain or discomfort the braces may cause in your first few days with them. If you are in an extreme amount of pain it is recommended to take one ibuprofen (Aleve) with one acetaminophen (Tylenol Extra Strength) combined they help reduce any type of swelling and diminish any pain caused by the braces.

Cold Foods and Drinks

Cold foods and drinks provide the same effect as ice packs, popsicles and ice cream; they not only taste delicious, but can actually help ease pain by numbing your mouth and reducing overall inflammation on the gums. Always brush after eating any type of food that has a large amount of sugars to prevent any decay. Simply sucking on an ice cube or sipping on iced water for relief is always a great route to take as well if you aren’t looking to add the extra sugar into your diet.

Rinsing with Warm Salt Water

Oftentimes soreness and irritation develops along the gums and cheeks as they adapt to tightened wires and metal brackets. Rinsing with warm salt water solution will help reduce infection and alleviate soreness caused by irritation from the braces on your gums and cheeks.

Gum Massages

Massaging your gums with your fingers can actually alleviate pain, especially if your gums are swollen or irritated. Massaging the gums can help to relax the soft tissues in the mouth, and in the process your newly tightened braces feel a little bit more comfortable. For the best results try applying an ice pack to your cheeks before massaging.

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.

Tips For Taking Care Of You New Braces

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At The Orthodontic Center of Orange County, we do everything we can to ensure the time you spend wearing braces is the best experience possible. However, some issues may arise throughout your journey; we hope you take note on these tips and tricks to make your experience the best it can be.

1. Never Stop Smiling!

Although you have now braces, that shouldn’t hold you back from smiling. Over 4 million Americans wear braces, 25% of them being adults, so it is not something that you should be ashamed of. You would be surprised at how many individuals try and cover up their mouth when they have braces. Smiling can also be contagious, where as it only takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 muscles to frown.

2. Carry Orthodontic Wax with you

When you first receive your braces or go for a monthly check up to tighten the brackets, it is normal to feel some discomfort within your mouth. It is always a great idea to keep orthodontic wax with you at all times. The wax can act as a barrier between your cheeks/lips and the metal brackets/wires and eliminates the friction between the two causing less irritation and discomfort in your mouth. The orthodontic wax can help a bracket that may have fallen off, or if the wire is poking your cheeks. If you feel wires and brackets are causing too much irritation and you are in pain, please give us a call for further instructions.

3. When to Remove Your Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are what help your teeth shift into the place they need to be in. Even though you may be a little sore at first, make sure you are ONLY removing your rubber bands when you are about to eat or brush your teeth. If you are not constantly wearing your rubber bands, this may result in your time wearing braces being delayed or halted.

4. Check Braces for Bent or Loose Wires Regularly

When your teeth are shifting into the correct place, it is sometimes common to experience the wire poking into your cheeks and irritating your mouth. If this happens, you should call our office immediately to set up an appointment for repair. A tip in case of emergency is sanitizing finger nail clippers and having someone help you safely clip some of the wire.

5. Make a To-Go Braces Care Kit

A to-go kit can be a life saver in many different ways, including bringing the kit to school, to work, or leave it in your car for emergencies. Products that go inside the kit can include: A travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and more importantly, dental wax. Many patients have said they recommend having a to-go kit when you are a braces wearer.

6. Be Aware With Your Retainer

Don’t be fooled by the freedom you feel when you have your braces removed, it is relieving but you still need to maintain your new straight teeth. Wearing your new retainer is mandatory and the only way to make sure your teeth stay straight. We have a few different options when it comes to retainers, your orthodontist will provide you with the best option that he/she finds fitting for your lifestyle.

We hope you enjoyed learning about those tips and tricks and that you can use them in your routine with your new braces. Remember that if you have any problems with your braces to call us as we are here to help you throughout this journey.