May 2, 2016
If you’re looking into getting braces, you may be intimidated by all of the orthodontic jargon. When it comes to your treatment, there’s a variety of terms and phrases used to explain the treatment process and it definitely helps to understand their meanings. At Ortega Orthodontics, we want you to feel comfortable throughout your entire treatment process, so we’ll make sure to explain every step along the way.
April 4, 2016
From time to time, nothing tastes better than an iced cold Coca-Cola. Whatever your favorite soda is it’s okay to indulge every now and then, but if you’re slurping down a soft drink with every meal you could be causing serious harm to your teeth. Soft drinks, including regular and diet soda, sports drinks, fruit drinks, and energy drinks all contribute to weakening tooth enamel. The damage to your teeth can be serious, however it’s even more threatening to teeth with orthodontic appliances, which is why the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends skipping the soda throughout your orthodontic treatment.
February 15, 2016
Whether you’re a pre-teen, high schooler, or adult with braces, undergoing orthodontic treatment can be a big change! Though the new hardware in your mouth may not be your favorite Valentine’s Day look, you should be happy knowing that you’re taking proactive steps towards improving your smile and oral health. Straight teeth not only boost confidence and project friendliness, but what most people don’t realize is that straight smiles are healthy smiles.
February 3, 2016
We all encounter stress in our lives, whether it’s from school or work, stress can have damaging effects on your body. Your mouth is not immune to the effects of stress and sometimes it can even have an impact on your orthodontic appliances. Researchers have found significant links between stress and oral health, which helps us to better understand how anxiety and depression can exasperate dental problems. As your Jacksonville orthodontist, we know that limiting your stress will improve your overall well being and the success of your orthodontic treatment.
January 27, 2016
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, occlusion is the relationship between your upper and lower teeth as they come into contact with each other. When you chew, bite, and close your jaw, the contact between your teeth affects your jaw muscles, gums, head, neck, and oral health. Since your jaw alignment affects so many aspects of your overall health, your orthodontist ensures that by the end of your treatment your jaw is aligned and your teeth fit together without causing any unnecessary force in your mouth. Here are the various classes of occlusion that your orthodontist will asses throughout your treatment:
Class I Occlusion: This class is considered the “ideal” occlusal fit and is identified by the lower anterior incisors sitting just behind the upper anterior incisors when biting down.
Class II Malocclusion: This class is typically considered an overbite and is identified by the lower lower anterior incisors being positioned significantly behind the upper anterior incisors.
Class III Malocclusion: This class is usually called a crossbite and is identified by the lower anterior incisors being positioned edge to edge with the upper anterior incisors.
Although your teeth may appear normal, an offset bite can lead to a series of oral health issues, such as:
- Teeth injury
- Tooth wear
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chronic headaches
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Muscle pain
- Tooth movement
- Tooth loss
At Ortega Orthodontics, we will make sure that your jaw is aligned during your treatment so that you can have proper bite function and a lifetime of healthy teeth. There are several options for treating a misaligned jaw and as your Jacksonville orthodontist, we can determine what treatment option is best for you! Contact us today to schedule your appointment for achieving the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
January 13, 2016
While on the road to your perfect smile, it’s not always all fun and games. Making sure you’re keeping up with your oral hygiene and protecting your teeth is important for ensuring the result you’re looking for when the braces come off. If you’ve just gotten your braces on or tightened, you may find that your gums are more swollen than usual – rest assured that this is normal. But, if your gums remain swollen for a long period of time, it may be a sign of other problems.
When your teeth are moving, bone is dissolved and new bone is formed as your teeth are repositioned. This causes the expected discomfort and swelling that comes with the territory of orthodontic treatment. But, if you haven’t had your braces adjusted recently and find that your gums are swollen and sore, it may be a sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is a result of plaque buildup on your teeth and can lead to more serious gum disease if left unattended.
Keeping up with your oral hygiene is a critical part of orthodontic treatment and is the best way to ensure the perfect smile you’re looking for. Although braces can make it difficult to reach certain spots, brushing and flossing after eating will help keep your teeth clean and gums healthy. If you’re struggling with swollen gums or could use some extra advice on maintaining your oral hygiene, talk to your orthodontist at your next appointment.
January 6, 2016
Whether your sport is soccer or football, basketball or skateboarding, the American Dental Association recommends the use of a mouth guard for 29 different sports and activities. A good-fitting mouth guard is extremely important for anyone with braces, dental work, or just wanting to protect their smile. A mouth guard will protect your teeth, brackets, appliances, and cheeks from soft tissue damage.
If you’re on the market for a good mouth guard, you should make sure that it stays in place during activity, doesn’t limit your breathing, is comfortable, easy to clean, and durable. Although most mouth guards only protect the top teeth, many dentists and orthodontists suggest that athletes, especially those with braces, wear a lower mouthguard as well. A mouth guard may not be the most attractive addition to your uniform, but it will protect your teeth from chipping, root damage, and tooth loss.
Whether you choose a stock mouth guard, mouth-formed guard, or custom-fitted guard, any option will be instrumental in protecting your teeth. As your Jacksonville orthodontist, we love to cheer on our patients, but we also love when they keep their smile safe! If protecting your orthodontic hardware and teeth during your sport is a concern, talk to us about different options at your next appointment.
December 16, 2015
With the holiday season upon us, so are the dinner parties, sweets, and celebratory snack foods. Whether your favorite part of the holiday meals is the pot roast or stuffing, there’s something for everyone to look forward to. If you have braces this winter, you may find an extra challenge from tempting treats that could damage your braces. Though you may not be bobbing for apples or munching on caramel corn this year, there’s still plenty of holiday treats to enjoy! Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help your braces survive the holiday season:
Good to go:
- Ham, turkey, pot roast
- Mashed potatoes
- Green bean casserole
- Cranberry sauce
- Pumpkin pie (no crust!)
- Hot chocolate
Not this year:
- Candy canes
- Hard cookies
- Pecan pie
- Peanut brittle
- Hard pretzels
- Meat on the bone
- Caramel apples
- Corn on the cob
Even with braces, there are plenty of sweets for you to enjoy this winter! To prevent tooth decay, remember to brush extra and keep up on your flossing – especially after sugary and sticky meals. From your Jacksonville orthodontist, we hope you have a happy (and delicious) holiday season!
November 25, 2015
Maintaining proper oral hygiene throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment is extremely important for the health of your teeth. The last thing you want is to is damage your teeth because of poor oral hygiene. At Ortega Orthodontics, we want you to be proud of your healthy and clean smile. Here are some tools that can help you maintain your oral hygiene throughout your treatment:
Interdental toothbrush: When trying to clean in between your teeth this is a great tool for getting pieces of food out of your braces.
Antibacterial mouthwash: Rinsing with mouthwash can reduce inflammation in your gums and cheeks and may help with possible irritation from your braces.
Waterpik: Many patients find that using a Waterpik helps keep their appliances clean.
Braces can make it difficult to clean your teeth during treatment, which is why there are tools to help. Remember, these tools are here as a supplement to regular brushing and flossing, not as a replacement! You may find that your braces make it harder to get plaque off your teeth, but brushing and flossing after each meal is important for preventing tooth decay, plaque buildup, and gum disease. If you have questions about how to keep your teeth in tip top shape, give us a call.
November 18, 2015
Every now and then you may find a wire uncomfortably poking your cheek or perhaps you broke a bracket over dinner. Accidents happen and as your Jacksonville orthodontist, we’re here to let you know that we’ve got you covered! If you find yourself in the middle of an orthodontic emergency, contact us as right away so we can make the time to treat you properly. If an accident happens outside business hours, give us a call on our answering service and we can get back to you as soon as possible. Here’s what to do in case of an orthodontic accident:
- Soreness and discomfort: After getting your braces adjusted, you’ll most likely experience some soreness. Wax, over-the-counter pain relievers, and a warm washcloth may help to ease your pain.
- Loose or broken bracket: If your bracket becomes loose or broken, give us a call as soon as possible. If it remains attached to your wire, simply keep it in place and use wax to combat any discomfort until your next appointment. If you completely lose your bracket, just slide it off and bring it along to your next visit.
- Loose, poking, or broken wire: You’ll probably experience a poking wire at some point throughout your treatment. While you may be able to redirect the wire, if you’re unable to bend it, contact us. Use wax to keep the wire from poking and moving further out of place. Should your main archwire break, give us a call to schedule an emergency appointment.
There’s no need to stress about an orthodontic emergency, we’re here to get your treatment back on track and minimize your discomfort as much as possible. If you break or loosen any of your appliances, call our office so we can determine the best way to help you.