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Your Smile is No DIY

November 4, 2015

Over the years we have seen trends such as bell-bottom pants, perms, platform shoes, and more that should remain in the pages of history books rather than on the streets. But, a recent online trend is alerting more than fashionistas as people are attempting to straighten their teeth using rubber bands, paper clips, and elastic floss without the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is particularly concerned with this practice and the harmful effects it can have to people’s bodies and wallets.

One of the “quick fix” practices that the AAO is warning against is rubber bands promoted to close gaps in teeth. Not only can this cause extreme damage to teeth and oral health, it can result in thousands of dollars worth of dental repairs. A Tennessee orthodontist reports a patient who attempted to use rubber bands to close a gap in his teeth and forgot about the elastic until it was submerged under his gum tissue. This resulted in $50,000 worth of dental work to repair the loss of his two front teeth.

As your Jacksonville orthodontist, we want you to leave the teeth straightening to us. Orthodontists are highly qualified individuals with years of specialized training and the vast knowledge and experience to straighten your teeth safely and healthily. If you are ready to get to work on your beautiful smile, don’t try it at home, give us a call to schedule your appointment today.

What’s the Deal with Decalcification?

September 23, 2015

Proper oral hygiene is a huge part of orthodontic treatment. Keeping up with brushing and flossing, following the rules for what foods to eat, and regular dental check-ups all play a big role in a healthy smile when the braces come off. Wearing braces can make it more challenging to keep up with your regular oral hygiene habits, but taking the extra time to make sure those chompers are clean is the best way to avoid problems with decalcification, an issue that can go hand-in-hand with braces if the proper care isn’t taken.

Tooth decalcification is an early stage of tooth decay in which teeth lose calcium. Decalcification occurs from a build-up of plaque on the surface of teeth from poor oral hygiene, and unfortunately braces can sometimes lead to this issue since it’s difficult to clean the surface of teeth beneath brackets. Decalcification causes white spots to appear on the teeth from acidic bacteria that damages enamel and wears down calcium, and though it can typically be reversed, it can lead to irreversible damage if not properly cared for.

Braces don’t have to be a hassle, as your Jacksonville orthodontist, we’re here to help you keep your teeth healthy throughout your entire treatment. If you’re concerned about damage to your teeth, give us a call, we’d be happy to talk with you about how to properly care for your braces and how to keep up great oral hygiene habits.

Your Back-to-School Braces Survival Kit

August 19, 2015

If your new back-to-school look includes a mouth full of braces this year, you’ll need a few accessories to go along with it. It’s easy to get caught up in your school schedule and forget about your oral hygiene routine, but keeping up despite your classes and homework is still just as important. Here’s some items you should add to your school shopping list to keep those braces clean all year long:

  • Wax: When you find those wires giving you a hard time in the middle of class, wax will be your best friend for keeping your cheeks and tongue scrape free.
  • Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste: After eating lunch, take some time to give your teeth a quick brush before heading back to class. You’ll be happy you did when it comes time to take your braces off.
  • Extra Rubber Bands: If wearing rubber bands is part of your orthodontic regimen, make sure you have plenty of extras on hand for after lunch or snacks.
  • Proxobrushes: Having a proxobrush will be extremely helpful during those times when you can’t get all the food out of your braces by brushing alone. The last thing you want is a piece of PB&J stuck in your braces when it comes time to give a class presentation.
  • Mouthguard: If you’re playing sports this fall, having a mouthguard to protect your hardware is very important. You’ll be thankful you have it come game time!

The excitement of a new class schedule, fresh school supplies, and getting back to your friends can be overwhelming. When you’re swapping summer stories before the bell rings the last thing you’re going to want to worry about is your braces bothering you. Be prepared this school year with your braces survival kit and never miss a beat of your oral hygiene routine. If you have any questions about how to improve your cleaning routine, give us a call!

Three Tips for Cleaner Braces

July 1, 2015

Braces certainly take some getting used to. From the feeling in your mouth to you new dietary restrictions there’s a lot to take in. Brushing your teeth and keeping your braces clean is admittedly the hardest part of going through an orthodontic treatment. You’ll be spending a lot of extra time in the bathroom brushing and flossing, but with these tips you should be able to get sparking clean teeth and braces without dreading your twice daily routine.

  • Get a Waterpik – Waterpiks are the best first step now that you’ve got braces. They can help you get large food particles out of your teeth before you take a brush to them.
  • Use your proxabrushes – Proxabrushes are your new best friend. They’re the most effective way to clean behind your braces, and can save you time by easily taking care of those hard to reach places.
  • Invest in floss threaders – Floss threaders are your other new best friends. Flossing is by far the most tedious activity you’ll encounter with braces. You can’t just stop flossing for a year or two. Threaders make this step bearable and a lot simpler.

While having braces and keeping them clean is a commitment, it’s one you’ll be happy you made when your teeth are straight, you jaw is aligned and you don’t have any dental scarring or cavities when you get them taken off. If you have any questions about how you can keep your braces clean and teeth healthy while undergoing orthodontic treatment, call Ortega Orthodontics today.




Orthodontic Emergency Checklist

May 20, 2015

Having braces alters your lifestyle. For the most part the goal of having a straight, healthy smile makes the slight discomfort of not chewing gum, or eating candy apples an easy choice. Sometimes, however, orthodontic mishaps do happen and can severely affect your treatment. Here at Ortega Orthodontics, we’re ready to fix any of your problems. Should you run into an orthodontic emergency, here’s what you should do:

Broken Bracket: A broken bracket is a common nuisance that should be fixed as soon as possible. Teeth can shift adding time to your treatment, and discomfort in your mouth. If the bracket is still on the wire, leave it there until your appointment. If it falls off completely, hold onto it and bring it in.

Broken Wire: Broken wires are extremely uncomfortable and need to be put back in place. If left out of place they can cut the inside of your mouth and cause extreme discomfort. Even worse, a broken archwire can derail an entire treatment and will be scheduled immediately for repair.

The Non-Emergency
Scraping and Scratching: When you first get your braces, it takes time to adapt to the feeling in your mouth. They are abrasive, but you’ll get used to them. This is not an emergency. Apply wax over the brackets to ease the discomfort.

If you have any questions about orthodontic emergencies, or would like to know more about when you need to schedule an emergency visit, don’t hesitate to call!

What’s an Orthodontist Anyway?

May 7, 2015

At Ortega Orthodontics we’re proud to have not one, but two experienced orthodontists under our roof. When we heard that recent research revealed that less than 6% of consumers either don’t know or don’t see the difference between orthodontists and dentists, we knew that we had to set things straight here on our blog.

In order to become orthodontists, both Dr. Holland and Dr. Schellhase first needed to become dentists. Only after becoming a general dentist can a doctor go on to become an orthodontist. General dentists check your general oral health, fix your cavities, and clean your teeth. Becoming an orthodontist requires additional education, making orthodontists specialists in both aligning jaws and straightening teeth.

Still have questions about the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation here at your Jacksonville orthodontist office and find the answers you’re looking for! We look forward to giving you answers you can smile about!

Retain Your Retainer for Years to Come!

March 19, 2015

At Ortega Orthodontics we love to share in the experience when our patients get their braces off and see the smile they’ve always wanted. While braces are a major component of orthodontics, they’re certainly not the only component. When it comes to your smile, your retainer is your best friend.

After your braces are removed, your orthodontist in Jacksonville will fabricate a retainer for you to wear for as long as possible. When cared for, these appliances can last you for a lifetime, ensuring a long lasting smile. Your retainer should be properly stored in its case at all times when not in your mouth. Keep the retainer in a safe location, hidden away from pets and children. Wearing your retainer more often actually protects it from these everyday threats.

Whether you’re just getting your braces on, on or you’re just getting your braces off, we’re excited for your new smile! Contact your orthodontist in Jacksonville today with any questions about wearing or storing your braces. We look forward to helping you achieve a lifelong healthy smile!

When Should Your Child Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?

December 17, 2014

Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommend for your child to see an orthodontist by the time they reach the age of seven? While that might come as a surprise to you, don’t be alarmed as these early evaluations don’t typically result in early treatment.

Early evaluations are performed in order to establish a solid foundation for healthy growth and development. By the age of seven, your child’s permanent teeth have likely erupted and developmental issues can be identified. With an early evaluation, we are able to determine a likely timeline of development and treatment options. Jawbone growth, bite, and facial development are just some areas Dr. Holland and Schellhase will focus on during these early exams.

There are never any fees for an early exam here at your Jacksonville orthodontist. If you are curious about whether your young child would benefit from an early orthodontic evaluation, please contact our office today to schedule your initial visit.

Need to Know Info Regarding Your Orthodontic Appliance

December 3, 2014

As your orthodontist in Jacksonville, FL we truly enjoy improving the function and aesthetics of your smile through orthodontic treatment. Throughout your treatment process, you might have a few concerns regarding your orthodontic appliance.

While we make every effort to ensure your orthodontic treatment process is as seamless and as comfortable as possible, there are times that you might require a little guidance from your orthodontist in Jacksonville, FL. Here is some emergency info regarding the scenarios you might find yourself facing throughout your treatment:

  • Soreness or discomfort. You might experience soreness or discomfort after getting your braces on and following routine adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers, warm washcloths, and wax will help relieve your discomfort.
  • Loose or broken bracket. If you experience a loose or broken bracket, please contact our office as soon as possible. If the bracket is loose and remains attached to the wire, leave it in place until your visit and place wax in order to ease your discomfort. If the bracket comes completely off, slide it off and make sure to bring it with you to your next appointment.
  • Loose, poking, or broken wire. Wires can poke into your cheek and cause discomfort. You might be able to redirect the wire yourself by using your toothbrush or other device. If you’re unable to bend the wire yourself, please contact our office for an appointment.

Should you have any questions about your appliance throughout your treatment process, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We look forward to seeing your smile at your next appointment!

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