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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.

10 Non-Cosmetic Reasons for Orthodontic Treatment

October 21, 2015

For most of us, we undergo orthodontic treatment solely for the purpose of having the straight, white smile we’ve always dreamed of. Despite this being an obvious upside to treatment, there are many other physical health benefits. Here’s the top ten, non-cosmetic reasons for visiting your orthodontist:

  1. To keep teeth from erupting in the wrong position. When your child receives their routine dental x-ray, you’ll be able to know if their teeth are likely to erupt where they should. If wayward teeth are headed in the wrong direction, your child can receive early orthodontic treatment to guide teeth to their proper positioning before they cause a problem.
  2. To correct crowding. Even minor crowding issues can cause problems with oral hygiene and bite alignment, fixing this results in healthier teeth and more comfortable bite.
  3. To protect teeth and gums. A misaligned bite can cause teeth, fillings, and crowns to break or become damaged. This can lead to pain and unhealthy gums.
  4. To correct an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. Misaligned bites can cause issues with speech, biting, and chewing. A big part of orthodontic treatment is to align the bite so the top and bottom teeth fit together, this is known as occlusion.
  5. To prevent jaw pain. Misaligned bites cause your jaw muscles to work harder than they should, which can cause issues such as headaches, lock jaw, muscle spasms, fatigue, or sinus pain.
  6. To avoid breathing or swallowing problems. A misaligned mouth can cause snoring and more serious sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
  7. To correct over-spacing. Over-spacing issues from injuries, small teeth, tooth decay, or natural spacing issues can be corrected with treatment.
  8. To correct the effects of finger or thumb sucking. These habits from a young age cause issues for bite alignment and the proper positioning of teeth.
  9. To prevent heart disease. Poor oral hygiene can cause tartar buildup in the gums which leads to the growth of harmful bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  10. To prevent tooth decay. Misaligned teeth can make it difficult to clean every area of your mouth, leaving many spots susceptible to decay.

As you can see, there’s a ton of benefits to choosing orthodontic treatment. Whether it’s early treatment for your kids, traditional treatment for the teens, or adult treatment for you, it’s never too late for a healthier smile. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today, you’ll be happy you did!

Go Incognito

October 7, 2015

If you’re looking for straighter teeth without compromising your current smile, it may be time to go Incognito. Lingual Braces, or Incognito Braces, allow you to undergo your orthodontic treatment without others having any idea. Since Lingual braces are placed on the inside/back of your teeth, you can be on your way to a straighter smile and still show off your pearly whites in the process.

Incognito braces are a great option for adults who are looking for discreet treatment, or patients who are concerned about the appearance of traditional braces. No matter your reason for wanting a more confident smile – graduation, your wedding day, or a new job – Incognito braces achieve the same great result as traditional braces and are just as comfortable to wear. It may seem odd to have braces on the inside of your teeth rather than the outside, but you’ll spend time adjusting to the new hardware in your mouth and revamping your oral hygiene routine just as our traditional braces patients.

There’s no reason the cosmetics of orthodontic treatment should hold you back from achieving the smile you’ve always wanted. If you concerned with others seeing a mouth full of hardware before they see you, then Incognito braces are your perfect treatment option. Schedule your appointment today, so we can send your on your way to a healthier and more confident smile.

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 Orthodontic ABC’s

September 9, 2015

With the new school year underway, what better time to learn your orthodontic ABC’s? As your Jacksonville orthodontist, we want to make sure you know everything you need to be prepared for your orthodontic treatment, so study up!

A is for Age

Early orthodontic treatment can have a significant impact on establishing the proper foundation to assist with growth and development. By age seven, the permanent teeth begin to surface and we can check for problems related to jaw growth, cross bites, and the eruption of adult teeth. With our no-charge early examinations, we can establish the best time to start orthodontic treatment for your child. But, if you think that braces are just for the kids, think again! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, it’s never too late to tweak your smile.

B is for Braces

Traditional braces consist of metal wires and brackets and are so popular because of their affordability and effectiveness. But did you realize the amount of options available for achieving your perfect smile? Here at Ortega Orthodontics we offer clear braces, Invisalign, Lingual braces, orthognathic surgery, and retention options so that we can find the treatment plan that is just right for you.

C is for Cost

Orthodontics is one of the best investments you can make in the overall dental, medical, and psychological well being of children and adults. We believe that financial considerations should not be holding you back from a more confident you, which is why we’re happy to offer flexible payment options for our patients.
If you need further review of your orthodontic ABC’s, feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment. And, to all of our patients back to school, we hope you have a great year!

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!

How Attractive Is Your Bite?

August 5, 2015

Just when you may be tired of wearing your braces, science says they make you smarter, more social, and better looking. Well, that’s not exactly how it works, but according to a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, your bite does affect how others perceive your attractiveness, intelligence, and personality.

The study collected survey data from 889 patients ranging from different ages and genders who rated photos of people with six different types of occlusion or malocclusions (or types of bite in layman’s terms). Those with a normal bite were rated as more attractive, intelligent, agreeable, and extraverted, versus those with an underbite who received more negative ratings in each category.

A normal bite was rated most positively and issues such as underbites, crowding, overbites resulted in patients being perceived as less attractive, intelligent, and socially competent. At Ortego Orthodontics, we want you to put your best foot forward! We specialize in healthy smiles and healthy bites here in Jacksonville so that you’re always looking your best. Give us a call today so we can find a treatment option that’s just right for you.

Four Fun Facts About Retainers

July 15, 2015

You’re not off the hook once you’ve gotten your braces taken off. It’s a well-known fact that if you want your teeth to remain straight after orthodontic treatment, you’re going to need to wear your retainers. Retainers are expensive to replace and getting a fresh set of braces as an adult is not an ideal situation, here are a few fun facts about retainers. They should help you remember to keep them safe.

  1. Retainers are shaped with heat. They’ll easily distort if you leave them, say on a dashboard, in a sunny window or your pocket all afternoon.
  2. Retainers are made custom to your mouth. Wear them for 22 hours a day at least to ensure your teeth don’t shift back.
  3. Retainers can get dirty. Make sure you clean them daily with either denture cleaning tablets or just your toothbrush to prevent bad breath.
  4. Your pets want your retainer more than you do. Keep them out of reach of Fido.

Keeping your retainers in good repair is easy. However, because they’re not glued to your teeth, they can be hard to remember. If you can keep your retainers clean, you’ll want them in your mouth. When they’re in your mouth they’re away from harm.

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.




It’s All About Options

June 17, 2015

When you’re deciding which orthodontic treatment to pursue for straight and a healthy smile, it should be a great relief to know that there are many options. Each treatment option has it’s own pros and cons. Take a look at this breif breakdown to decide which treatment best suits you and your lifestyle.

Traditional Braces – are the most noticeable braces. They’re made of metal brackets and wires. They are extremely affordable and obviously very effective as they’ve been around for so long.

Clear Braces – use the same technology as traditional braces, however the brackets are made of clear ceramic. They’re just as durable and equally as effective as traditional braces, yet they blend in with teeth much better.

Invisalign – is the most modern approach to straightening teeth. They’re plastic trays that are customized to your teeth. They gradually move your teeth where they need to be. Every two weeks you switch them out and your treatment continues right along. You can remove these to eat and they’re virtually invisible.

Lingual Braces – are the least visible option available because they’re placed behind your teeth. They are just as effective as traditional braces but nobody will ever know you’re going through treatment.

When choosing your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to know your options. At Ortega Orthodontics we know having many is important, and if you have any questions about what we think the best treatment option based on your circumstances would be, give us a call today.



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